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At some point in your life, you’ll get dragged in with a couple of friends going to bar trivia. It’s a hyper-competitive environment, and you can finally use all those pop culture facts and Greek mythology you’ve been storing in the back of your mind for years. People eat it up, and it’s a staple in any twenty-something’s social calendar. While It sounds like the makings for a great time, I’m here to tell you that bar trivia sucks.
It’s work disguised as a game.
The thing about going to a bar is that I’m there to relax, throw back a few beers, and decompress after a busy day at the office. Trivia basically takes away these options. Instead of lounging around talking, you have to think and problem solve trying to figure out the name of the longest river in Asia. There’s the frustration of having an answer on the tip of your tongue and not being able to get it out. There are times where you come together as a team and brainstorm ideas as a team to try and spur someone to remember some actor’s name or make an educated guess on a multiple-choice question. That is way more brain power than I should be using. I get paid to think at my job and I hate it, so why would I pay someone else to let me continue working during my free time?
There’s always one untouchable team.
For some reason, every bar always has one team that shows up for trivia ready to blow shit up. They’re the trivia equivalent of the 1989 San Francisco 49ers. Sometimes they have matching tee-shirts, and they always have one player that’s 20 years older than everyone else. No matter how many sports history moments and Latin root words you can remember, this team is going to win in a landslide. These people probably have never paid for a drink with all the $25 bar gift cards they’ve won, and you’re fairly certain someone on the team has to have their phone out under the table. They’re unbeatable and it makes the game not fun for the rest of us idiots.
The bar gets overcrowded.
You’ve just finished up the first round of trivia questions and you’ve handed in your answer sheet to the MC. There’s going to be a lull before the second round starts so it’s the perfect time to go get another beer, right? You and every other person had that same idea and it’s about to cause some serious Trivia Break Overcrowding (also known by the term I am coining right now, TBO.) TBO is destined to happen before the game even starts, so you can’t try to load up before the question rounds either. No matter how you try to time it, you’re going to be waiting forever for your drink. There are five other people in front of you, and some girl probably just asked the bartender to make a strawberry daiquiri for her.
It’s a late-night affair.
I hate to sound so geriatric, but I hate staying up late during the week. I like to be in bed by 10 so I can function the next day without having to chug espresso all morning. With trivia nights, it seems like bars are incapable of having the damn thing end at a reasonable hour. During the last few rounds, all I can think about is all the sleep I’m missing out on. It only gets exponentially worse when more teams show up. It takes even longer to grade between rounds and suddenly it’s 11 p.m. and you’re still waiting for Final Jeopardy. I am officially petitioning the brunch bar trivia become the new norm. A little mid-day Q&A for all of us who need our beauty sleep.
Your tab is exponentially higher.
From a sales standpoint, trivia nights are the perfect way to pull in the money. You’re there to play, but obviously you’re going to have a beer… or maybe two… and those cheese fries look good… and who wants to split nachos with me? I have yet to walk away from a trivia night with my tab under $20. Maybe it’s just a testament to my lack of willpower when it comes to high cholesterol food, but something about the environment just makes you spend more. In a peer-reviewed and published study conducted by myself, I’ve looked at how much I spend during a weeknight trivia session versus a weekend night out and it’s a groundbreaking difference.
Part of the problem is guys aren’t at trivia night to pick up girls. No one’s offering to pay for my drinks on a Tuesday evening at 7. Guys are there to compete, not scope out some ass. I’m all against the objectification of women, but I depend on people buying my IPAs as a source of alternative income. Trivia has essentially taken away my necessary drink subsidy.
Bar trivia is a pain and we’re all just lying to ourselves pretending like it’s fun. In the end though, no matter how much I hate it, I know for a fact I’ll be in my usual seat this week with my friends trying to snag that W. .