Sunday, August 23, 2009

Trivia Night--Fundraising Aussie Style Continued

If you've come late to the party, you can read the first half of our Trivia Night adventure here.

Once we arrived inside the Church Hall, we were greeted by the excited committee of Mums who'd organised the evening. There was a door prize drawing that needed entering and a seating plan posted on the wall indicating where our table could be located. We'd been assigned table 12. Lucky table 12!! Right? Well, we were feeling lucky anyway so I decided it would be referred to as lucky table 12 for the remainder of the evening.

We made our way to our table, carefully dodging the various eskies scattered about the aisles. Judging by the size of the eskies, this was going to be a BIG the Hall...of the Church. Pushing my puritanical American sensibilities to the side, the Handsome Australian and I began to unpack our drinks and nibbles and set them out on the table as our friends arrived to join us. A quick glance around the room and it was clear that if nothing else, our table took catering very seriously. While other tables were breaking out Tupperware filled with carrot sticks and pretzels, the Handsome Australian and I were putting together Antipasto platters, arrays of homemade dips and freshly toasted Turkish bread. It can't be helped, it's the Lebanese in us.

We were pretty proud of our offerings and appreciated the oohs and ahhs from our friends as they indulged in the nibbles. We took quiet satisfaction in the fact that no other table would be outdoing us with their food. That's when one of my friends pointed to the next table and said, "Have a look at that woman. She's brought some beautiful cupcakes and even has them displayed on a cupcake stand." What??? Cupcakes on a cupcake stand?? I'd thought about making cupcakes (they are one of my trademark baked goods) but I'd run out of time. Our friends wanted to know where our cupcakes were. I had to explain that I'd only brought brownies. Brownies that had cooked a bit longer than they should have because I was busy. Busy making heaps of tasty homemade dips. Sorry, I apologised. I needed to lift my game I was told.

The fact that we had heaps of dips and some overcooked brownies but no cupcakes was an early indicator that we had not come fully prepared for this Trivia Night. At our table of 8, we had a talented list of people. There were 2 Engineers, 1 Accountant, 1 Chef, 1 Photographer, 1 IT Professional, 1 Secondary School Teacher, and 1 Ultrasound Technician. The nationality breakdown was this: 1 American, 6 Aussies (five of which are first Generation Aussies hailing from Lebanon, China, Italy and Malta) and 1 Czech. Sounds like a pretty versatile and formidable team. We certainly thought so. Then the questions began...

Each table is given an answer sheet that they use to record their answers. There is a host with a microphone that asks the questions, you discuss them amongst your table and record the answers on your sheet. At the end of each round, you swap your sheet with a nearby table and correct each other's answers as they are read out by the host. Once you tally up the correct answers, you pass the answer sheets up the front where they are tallied by one of the administrators of the evening.

There were about 6 rounds with 13 questions in each round. Each round had a theme. The first theme was, "Bit of this, bit of that". It was predominantly pop culture questions with a heavy emphasis on Australian music. Umm, yeah, count me out on that. Lucky I'd brought along my brain trust of Aussie mates. We thought we'd done reasonably well until we swapped our sheet with the table next to us. They'd absolutely rocked the round and gotten a near perfect score. They were pretty nice about it though and didn't gloat too much to us. I guess table 12 wasn't that lucky afterall!

The night went on and the rounds continued with themes like "Australiana" (which had a heavy emphasis on Aussie music), "Famous Faces", "Music across the decades" (which had a heavy emphasis on Aussie music through the decades). Our answer sheets got worse and worse and our scores for each round got lower and lower, and the table next to us got better and better. So good that they began to make fun of our answers really obnoxiously (don't forget those eskies weren't filled with lemonade!) during the correction period at the end of each round. We ignored them, but were getting slightly annoyed with the questions. It was obvious that no one at our table had a strength in obscure Aussie music and if you didn't, there was no way you were going to win this game.

Our performance didn't disappoint only us, it garnered sympathy from the host who was roaming the room with his microphone while asking the questions. When he'd walk past our table, he'd look over my shoulder and read our answers. Then he'd turn the microphone off and whisper a couple of answers to me. I watched him carefully through the night and didn't notice him helping any other tables. We really were pathetic!! I felt bad taking his answers, but we needed all the help we could get.

During one of the last rounds, one of our friends spotted something at the table next to us. The table that had been performing so well and making fun of all of our answers. She spotted not one, but two iPhones. They were looking up the answers on their phones!!!! So perhaps that's why the Host had been sharing answers with us. Were we the only table that wasn't using our mobile phone to google the answers?? What is the world coming to? First the alcohol and now wide spread cheating at the Trivia Night, for the religiously affiliated Kindergarten, in the Hall next to the CHURCH!

When the final scores were tallied and the winners announced, we had to hang our heads in shame. The average score was about 140 points. Our team had managed a measly 115 points. The only positive thing about the final scores was that the obnoxious table next to us came in 2nd place.

Yes, this event was certainly like no other I've attended. The competitive spirit inside me was disappointed that we'd performed so poorly. The American in me was confused by the alcohol (at a school event) and scandalised by the cheating. The Aussie in me was happy to be amongst my friends enjoying some good food, a few drinks and plenty of laughs. The Mum in me was proud that at the end of the night, our shenanigans had contributed to a successful event which raised nearly $8,000 for the Kinder.

Next year, I'll have cupcakes and perhaps a professional DJ at our table.


Annelise said...

I love how the moral of your story turned out to be "always have cupcakes and a DJ in your corner". lol

suzinoz said...

@ Annelise--Thanks. I recognise what's important don't I?

Nikki said...

Geez, don't forget your laptop! Well, maybe you could just use an IPhone as well.