Worried that we might be getting ‘predictable’, I think, our Aussie housemate Robbie delved deep into his beard, thought, scratched his chin philosophically, had a ‘lightbulb’ moment, and then sent us all an email inviting us to combine our now-becoming-regular night down the pub with a bit more Aussie Culture. We’ve done the rugby (on numerous occasions) – now it was time for the famous Trivia Night.
Yes, ok, pub quizzes aren’t exclusive to Australia but, if you don’t count the event we stumbled into on my first night in Sydney (when I was so jetlagged it was all I could do to decipher my brain’s message to ‘stay awake, STAY AWAKE!’, let alone comprehend or answer a random trivia question), it was going to be the first time we’d tried our (collective) knowledge in the local version.
To Darlinghurst, then, to a lovely bar for the worryingly named ‘Texas Chainsaw Trivia’ – forget winning anything, I was just hoping that we weren’t going to get a limb removed every time we got an answer wrong. In reality, I think the chainsaw reference was more likely to describe the two main hosts, who were about as loud and grating as a whirring blade. If you saw one of them coming towards you in any social situation, I’m pretty sure you’d run away as fast as possible! Maybe that’s a tad harsh. They would be better described as a couple of failed radio DJs, which in itself says quite a lot as the standards here are pretty low – I’ve steered clear of listening to the Aussie airwaves since our terrible constant-channel-changing experiences over four days on the Great Ocean Road. Think hospital radio DJs on a terrible day.
When the questions eventually started rolling out, it wasn’t quite what we’d expected/ were used to. Not only were the hosts handing out so many clues that it was almost pointless for them to ask the questions in the first place, but there was a whole round on bizarre 90s trivia, mostly relating to the US. I’m sorry, can you remind me, which country are we in again?
Trying to find something positive to say about the night, I reckon there were two highlights:
1 When a question was asked about Nick Cave, and Tracy innocently asked ‘Who’s Nick Cave?’ to the absolute face-twisting disgust of one of the girls at our table. If looks could kill, I’d be a travel buddy down.
2 When my brain bank of absolutely useless knowledge came in vaguely handy for once – thank you Bill Bryson for teaching me an incredibly random fact. Even though the actual Aussies at the table didn’t have much faith in my answer, it turned out that Australia did indeed get its first TV channel (9) in 1956. I doubt I’ll ever need to use that piece of information again, though, so to the depths of the filing cabinet it goes…
By the second round, half of the teams that had been there at the start of the night had left. Maybe the influence of third host, ‘Miss Death’? She didn’t seem too inspired by the goings-on around her anyway, sitting on a bar stool, looking bored as she knitted her way through the evening, occasionally breaking off to read a question from the over-prepared, under-humorous script. When the third round finally came along we had also skipped out, as the remains of our team decided that testing their tastebuds with delicious icy gelati from Messina was far preferable to the cold reception the quiz was getting inside the pub.
With that trivial pursuit ticked off the local cultural experience list, I suppose the only question left for this round is: what’s next?