Saturday, December 14, 2013


My friend Pat works at Post 79 in Manchester, so when she suggested I take part in the post’s trivia contest on December 1, I laughed.

“Trust me, you’ll have fun!” she said. “We start at 2 sharp. I’ll look for you!”

So, against my better judgment, I went. I arrived just as the contest was beginning. Pat rushed over to me, gave me a brief hug and said, ‘Quick! Your team is over here! Take a seat!”

She introduced me to the three men at the table, but the introductions were so fast, I didn’t remember any of their names. I did, however, remember the name of their team…The Scum Bags. So I officially became a Scum Bag that afternoon.

Each round consisted of 10 questions, for which each team had to write down the answers. A numbered sheet of paper and a pen were thrust at me. I became the designated writer.

I discovered that each man on my team had a different category of expertise. One was a sports expert (thank goodness, because I know as much about sports as I do about building a space station). Another favored science and history questions (again, thank goodness). When they asked me about my particular area of expertise, I had to stop and think. I finally decided it was music and entertainment.

A quizmaster began to read the questions. We breezed through the first few and then came to one that stumped us.

“On which day of the week was the 9-11 disaster?” the quizmaster asked.

“It definitely was a Monday!” one guy on my team said. “My wife was supposed to take a flight that day and it was canceled.”

“I think it was a Tuesday,” another teammate said. “For some reason, Tuesday sticks in my mind.”

“No, I think it was a Monday,” the third guy said.

All three of them then turned to look at me.  All I could remember was it was a weekday because my husband had called me from work and woke me up. But seeing that two of my teammates had said Monday, that’s what I wrote.

It turned out be a Tuesday.

Then came the question, “Heather Whitestone was the first Miss America to have a handicap. What was it?”

“She was Italian!” someone shouted out, laughing.

I, however, knew for a fact that Heather was hearing impaired.

“Are you sure she wasn’t blind?” one of my teammates asked. “I think I remember that she was blind.”

“No, trust me,” I said. “She was hearing impaired.”

I turned out to be right. My teammates all smiled at me. I was gaining their trust.

“At what event in Stephen King’s ‘Carrie,’ did the main character have blood dumped on her?” the quizmaster then asked.

“The prom!” one of my teammates boomed, laughing.

The three of us turned to glare at him.

His eyes widened. “You mean I’m right?” He looked genuinely shocked. “I was only joking!”

 “Well, you just gave everyone else the answer!” the guy across from me said.

The next question was, “What is the acronym meaning not to make things overly complicated?”

One of my teammates sitting across from me stared at me. “You’re a writer,” he said. “What’s an acronym?”

“Initials of something that spell out a word, like NATO,” I said.

“Oh!” the guy next to me whispered, his tone suddenly excited. “The answer is KISS!”

‘Kiss?” another teammate asked, looking at him as if he’d just grown a second head.

“Yeah, it means ‘keep it simple, stupid’!”

He turned out to be right.

We then were given a list of pairs of companies and had to circle which one came first: Burger King or Wendy’s? Toyota or Honda? Coke or Pepsi? We got most of them correct – except we thought Honda had come before Toyota.

There also was a sheet of TV stars’ photos. We had to give the name of the TV character each was portraying in the photo.  The first photo was of Mr. T.

“Write down Mr. T!” my guys told me.

I shook my head.

“But that’s who he is!” they said in unison.

“No. His character in this photo is B.A. Baracus from the A-Team.”

They just stared at me.

“Trust me?” I asked.

I could tell they probably didn’t. I wrote down B.A. Baracus anyway.  I breathed a sigh of relief when it turned out to be the right answer.

Miraculously, The Scum Bags were crowned the trivia champs, but only by a couple of points. We each won a gift bag of prizes.

I left there feeling smarter than I’d felt in a long time. Heck, I even learned that Brett Favre was the only quarterback in history who ever defeated all 32 NFL franchises.

Can’t beat that.
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Joe, my husband of 41 years, passed away last December 15th.  He always enjoyed looking up at the stars, so in his memory this Christmas season, I decided to have a giant, lighted star constructed in his memory. My friend Kim’s husband, Dick, who owns Boddie Construction, built the star for me in my back yard last week. It stands about 20 feet high and can be seen for miles. So if you happen to be driving up Deerfield Road in Allenstown, go about 1.6 miles past the Bear Brook State Park toll booth and start looking to your left. You will see a lone star shining in the distance. That’s Joe’s star. Rest in peace, Joe.





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