Competitive, Much?

We've been going to the Elks' Lodge Wednesday Steak Frys for several years. It's a fun time and we're there every few months or so. But, now, they've found a way to get us there at least once a month.


Here's how it works. Everyone from your table that's playing pays in $3. Half of the money goes to the prize pool, the other half to the APS Light Parade Holiday Float fund. (BTW, they won a prize last year with their float.) There are two rounds to the game and a final question. I won't go into all of the scoring but, suffice it to say, we make sure we know where we stand.

And, because I only play to win and I'm a control freak, I write down all the answers and track our score throughout the game.

The first time we played, we paid over $3 each for our table because we couldn't be bothered to make change. We were that excited to play.

We were in good shape the whole way and they gave us the scores before the final question and it was close. You could bet 0 up to 15 points on that last question and the question was to put in order four Dustin Hoffman movies. They were old ones, too. Kramer Vs. Kramer was the newest.

We hemmed and hawed and went with Moose's order. The question of how much to bet on it came up and we decided, "Go big or go home!" So, we put 15 on our answer.

They announced the order of the movies and we started cheering! Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Except, when they announced the results, they had scored us as missing the question and therefore not winning.

I can't recall the last time I moved so quickly unless a snake was involved. Or, a horse. (((shudder))) I was up at the scoring table in nanoseconds, showing our answer and telling her we won. The nice lady agreed, blamed the scoring error on her husband, and announced the change. Her poor husband was out distributing the winnings amongst the three top teams and had to take money back.

What's funny is that we donated our winnings so the money itself didn't matter. What mattered was the win, dammit!

We were back to play the next month and they were not surprised by the Parrot Head team anymore. We were clearly the favorites to win. I asked for a scoring recap before the final question and we were ahead, barely. The final question was, "Besides Lincoln and JFK, what six US Presidents died in office?" You got two points for each correct answer and lost two points for each wrong answer and a non-answer was considered wrong.

Are you freaking kidding? Clearly, everything we learned in American History AP has long been lost as we struggled to come up with six Presidents that were even remotely possible.

The answers are Harrison, Taylor, Garfield, McKinley, Harding and FDR. I've blocked out how poorly we did because we lost. Not just the question, but the game itself.

By one measly point!

The team that won was a bunch of oldsters. I told them, "You won because you were alive when they all died" and the one, really fun guy said, "I was there when they were born."

Yes, I was bitter. And, not alone in that bitterness. We were determined to prove our mettle in combat again. This month, there was a big group of us and only four teams in all playing. We thought we had it made until the questions came out. Dang, they were hard. For the first time ever, we missed a question in each group of every round.

At the halfway point, I asked for a scoring recap and cringed while waiting for the announcement. Somehow, though, we were in first place! Whew!

The second round was just as challenging yet we ended up with a big lead going into the final question which was again a multipart answer. What are the eight animals currently in a box of animal crackers?

Again, are you kidding?

We managed to put together enough correct answers to regain our title but, here's the funny thing, we didn't even win enough cash to cover our original player pay-in. Again, it didn't matter because we donated it back anyway.

Oh, and the oldsters that we lost to the time before? Yeah, we put them in their place.

Here's one question that still makes me laugh when I think about it. "Who produced and created the the 1960s TV series, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea?" I thought about it and came up with Irwin Allen. He was the disaster/scifi king of that era so it seemed like a good bet.

Crash thought and thought about it then said, quietly for a change (she has a history of loudly declaring the answers), "Jules Verne." I was like, "Yeah, he's the dude that wrote the the 1800s! So, no."

At the other end of the table, Charlie said he just "knew" the answer but couldn't come up with it. Since he was the oldest of the group and could actually remember the series (it started in 1964), we gave him time to think. And, think he did. I thought he might have an aneurysm with all the brain contortions he was going through. Finally, the light bulb came on and he walked over and whispered, triumphantly, in my ear.

"Jules Verne."


We went with Irwin Allen and it was correct.

I will continue to be in charge of writing down the answers.


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