Arts + Culture

Ms. Adventure: Can the Trivia Divas Beat the Nerdist Colony?

What my team learned at Trivia Night

BY January 26, 2016

Ms. Adventure is always up for an adventure—unless it’s happening after 8 p.m.

I’m a cocktail-hour kind of girl. Happy to meet at 5 for festive beverages and good conversation, but I’m almost always home by 8, happily in a muumuu on my comfy sofa, sipping a glass of pinot grigio and waiting for The Voice to start.

So, when I was challenged to venture out to Trivia Night at a local watering hole, my first task was to find a bar that started the event at around 4 in the afternoon. Alas, it seems they call it Trivia Night for a reason. I was going to have to buck up and get off the sofa.

According to several online articles, whether it’s Trivia Night, Pub Quiz Night or Geeks Who Drink, playing trivia games in bars is the hot new trend among millennials (also known as Generation Y), their birth years starting in the early to mid-’80s (also known as around the time I graduated high school). Unlike my generation (that would be X), these brainy young people aren’t content to just sit in a bar and drink. They want to play games that challenge their brains.

They also like fancy beer, which explains why Monday Night Trivia at World of Beer (located in the Bell Tower Shops in South Fort Myers) is so popular with Southwest Florida 20-somethings.

Spending an evening in a bar full of people under the age of 30 is an adventure in itself, but spending it in a bar that’s famous for its enormous beer selection is quite another.

See, I don’t drink beer. I drink everything else, but I don’t drink beer. I blame this on the fact that I never attended college, a place where I’m convinced folks learn to enjoy beer. Between keg parties and tailgating, it seems higher learning and beer seem to go hand in hand.

I almost attended college. After high school, I went to see an adviser at Edison Community College (now Florida SouthWestern State College) and took a sort of a career/personality test. After turning it in, the advisor summed it up for me, “According to your results, Miss Davis, you have a strong aversion to patriarchal institutions.”

“Oh,” I responded. “What’s a patriarchal institution?”

“College,” she answered.

Therefore, I never developed a taste for beer. Trust me, I’ve tried—but one sip is all I need to remind me why I love margaritas.

The good news is that World of Beer serves wine. Good thing, because I was nervous about sneaking in a flask of vodka in my evening bag.

I made arrangements to meet my fellow Gen X friend Melinda there, who was smart enough (she actually did go to college) to bring a ringer—her millennial-aged stepdaughter, Sarah.

Thank goodness for Sarah’s 28-year-old brain because just figuring out the rules to Trivia Night was hard enough—and we hadn’t even gotten to the actual trivia yet. We munched on loaded tater tots (think melted cheese, sour cream and more, because 20-somethings can eat bar food like that after 8 p.m. and not gain a single pound), while Sarah, an old hand at trivia nights, explained how to play.

First, we had to name our team, and we thought “Trivia Divas” was brilliant, but it turned out the other teams were far more clever (some are not exactly printable in a rated PG publication; sorry) like “Nerdist Colony,” “We Skipped A.A. For This?” and “Mediocre at Best.”

While some trivia nights use machines and computers, World of Beer does it old-school with DJ Mad Mel (aka Melissa Crawford), where players use pen and paper to answer Mel’s questions. She parks herself at the bar with her microphone and laptop and gets the crowd going with humor, energy and questions like, “Where is the ciliary muscle located on the body?” and “What’s the largest country in Africa?”

These types of questions are when you wish you’d ignored that college adviser in 1985 and went ahead and attended a patriarchal institution.

And don’t even think about grabbing your iPhone out of your purse and Googling anything; if Mel sees you punching around on your touch screen, there’s a major point deduction.

How many digits on a Ouija Board? We said 21; it’s only 10. Is a banana a seed or a berry? We said seed; it’s a berry. Any questions we got right, it was because of Sarah—especially ones having to do with math. Seriously, if you want to do well at trivia night, bring a millennial with an MBA.

After three rounds, it was after 10, but it was the most fun I’ve had on a Monday night in a long time. Plus, I learned a lot of trivia (did you know that four U.S. presidents were all assassinated on the same day of the week? We said Saturday; it’s actually Friday). But, more importantly, I learned that adventures are always better with wine, tater tots and good friends.

If you go…

  • Trivia Night at World of Beer with DJ Mad Mel at Bell Tower Shops, 13499 S. Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers, Mondays at 8 p.m. (Get there around 7:30 to register your team and secure a table.)
  • The Pub Naples at Mercato, 9118 Strada Place, Naples, Pub Quiz Mondays at 7:30 p.m.
  • Boston Beer Garden, 2396 Immokalee Road, Naples, Trivia Tuesdays at 8 p.m.
  • Stillwater Grille, 13451 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers, Trivia Mondays at 8 p.m.


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