Is that a Pink Question?
It was just a matter of time before somebody introduced me to Trivia Crack. I used to love the old Trivial Pursuit game. I got my first edition of the game in…wait for it…1981. And I still had that 35 year old classic edition until last year when we got the tattered box out of the closet (reminding me that in 1981 I was practically still in the closet) and had a game.
Hilarity ensued. Not only had the players aged gracelessly, but the game aged worse that we did—incredulous as that may seem. You see, that old game had questions like “What’s the Soviet Union Political Arm called?” (Defunct?) or “When is RFK’s assassin Sirhan Sirhan scheduled for parole?” (um, the answer was a chilling 1994, but thankfully he didn’t make parole and died before his hearing came up again).
Woman who won most Wimbledon championships? It was Billie Jean King in 1981, but then Martina Navratilova came along! “British Airways and Air France” was the answer to “What two airlines fly the Concorde to Europe?” By this time the answer was “Nobody.” The game was seriously showing its age.
One question after another was impossible to answer, not because we were ignorant, but because the facts of life had changed (well, not those facts of life, but you know what I mean.) Everything old was not new again and we consigned the vintage game to the dumpster.
Surprisingly, I had a never-unwrapped, 20th Anniversary Edition of Trivial Pursuit in that aforementioned closet as well. Even that game was old school, since not only had it been 15 years of life, liberty and a deluge of trivia since the update was introduced, all of the questions were from 1990-2000.
Our inability to answer most of them showed us just how fleeting pop culture has become. Where lots of the original questions asked about history or geography and classic literature, these questions offered up flash-in-the-pan celebrities and song titles that seemed to disappear as completely as the devices we used to play them on. Cassette tapes, anyone?
When we got to the question of “What classic toy celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2000?” we all realized we were older than Silly Putty. That was sobering.
As we failed to succeed we figured the names, places, and events hadn’t stood the test of time or we all dozed through the ‘90s. Our gang was so horrid at this old new edition it would have been Trivial Pursuit’s 50th Anniversary by the time we answered enough questions for somebody to win the game.
And, those original trivia categories, as in Blue for Geography and Pink for Entertainment (universally acknowledged as my best category!), were known so well by us that they became part of our daily conversation. Over dinner, or at a bar, somebody would ask, “Who was that actor in, you know, um…” and several people might answer, “Is that a Pink question?”
I would also like to note that the new board was way flimsier than the old sturdy cardboard one, slightly smaller and with cheesier plastic “pie” pieces.
There was, however, a new card dispenser to help keep the cards organized and dispensed. Although for those of us whose knuckles are more arthritic today than they were in 1980, the thing was a bitch to get going.
So there we were, trying to answer things like, “What 1997 Play Station game obliged players to teach a cartoon dog to rap and dance well enough to win over his girlfriend?” Seriously? In case you care, the answer nobody knew was PaRappa the Rapper.
Do you know, “What line in Big Brother appeared in closed captioning as ‘your colon smells good?.’” None of us wanted to know that one, but it turned out it should have said “cologne.” Apparently none of us watched Big Brother and now we are glad. And both of those questions came from my stellar Pink category Entertainment or Sound and Screen as it was renamed.
So out went the 20th Anniversary edition, too, replaced just recently by that invitation for me to play online Trivia Crack.
Trivia Crack is a mobile app that allows users to compete against friends and people around the world. Modeled after Trivial Pursuit, it was the most downloaded game in 2014, hence the comparison to a disastrously addictive drug.
It is insanely addicting. My friend Sparky urged me to play and I can now say, that yes, I played enough to lose an entire 48 hours in October. I couldn’t stop. It was like I was shooting up, glued to my iPhone or computer 24/7. Just one more, just one more, just one more.
But here’s the thing. I was just as bad at Trivia Crack as the other trivia games. In fact, after about a day and a half of bleary-eyed Q&A I finally got a pink question to win my game. Much to my horror my screen lit up with the phrase, “This is your worst category!”
Not only had they been keeping tabs on me, but they were rubbing it in.
Here’s the deal. Apparently I have not really listened to pop music since my forties; the History category is painful because the questions still seem like current events to me; and my beloved pink questions are now about anonymous people who weren’t even born when I first rocked out on pink questions.
When somebody comes up with the Old Fart Edition of Trivial Pursuit, with answers like Perry Como, Cher, “Yellow Submarine,” and “Lipstick on Your Collar,” please let me know.
And if you are reading this and don’t recognize the name Perry Como, please don’t let me know.
Fay Jacobs is the author of As I Lay Frying—a Rehoboth Beach Memoir; Fried & True—Tales from Rehoboth Beach, For Frying Out Loud—Rehoboth Beach Diaries, and her newest book Time Fries—Aging Gracelessly in Rehoboth Beach.