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The Works

By Britton Perelman

 

Humans of Oxford: Masters of Trivia

Originally published on TheMiamiStudent.net

 Photo by Connor Moriarty (@connormoriarty_photo)

Photo by Connor Moriarty (@connormoriarty_photo)

Sam Streicher and Tanner Singleton sit at the DJ booth near the windows in the bar above Skipper’s. It’s 9:50 p.m. on Wednesday and trivia night
is about to begin.

“Alright, trivia teams come up and get your category sheets,” Sam says into the microphone.

The group in front of him multiplies instantly as people grab category sheets, pens and small pads of paper.

“Bennie and the Jets” plays through the speakers, courtesy of Sam’s “Trivia” Spotify playlist, full of everything from Billie Joel to Maroon 5, Johnny
Cash to Fetty Wap.

Top Deck is crowded, but not overflowing. There’s still room to walk between tables, and no one is fighting for a stool to sit on yet.

Everyone goes nuts when Sam gets on the mic at 10 o’clock. He explains the rules and calls out that a plain cheeseburger is ready for whomever ordered it.

Tanner sits against the wall. He and Sam switch off weeks writing and announcing questions, and it’s his night to keep track of the scores.

Sam picks someone he knows out of the crowd and tells them to pick a category.

“Category Eight: Small Countries,” he says. “It’s not about the size.”

Question: What is the smallest country in Europe?

Answer: Vatican City.

At the end of the round, people flood the DJ booth with answer sheets. Sam checks off right and wrong answers, Tanner enters points into an Excel spreadsheet that does the math for him.

Then Sam announces the right answers, Tanner the scores. Each team name is more inappropriate than the last.

There are cheers, high fives and fists slammed on the tables.

“Sometimes, I feel like a professor of the world’s rowdiest class,” Tanner says.

Trivia Night continues for a few more hours — seven more rounds, 15 more categories, 47 more questions.

Britton Perelman