I Overcame My Fear Of Bar Trivia

Illustration for article titled I Overcame My Fear Of Bar Trivia

Although I like quiz and game shows, I’ve never wanted to play trivia games myself. I have a hard time remembering things on the spot, and I get really anxious in high-pressure situations, even silly ones. Last night, I went to a bar down the street for a trivia night, despite my misgivings. We won, and I’ve never felt better about myself.


I have a deep, abiding love of quiz shows. I used to watch Jeopardy every day with my mom, and we both love The Weakest Link and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. In high school and college, I’d look forward to the year-end British quiz show The Big Fat Quiz Of The Year, not just for the comedians I was a fan of, but to test my knowledge of the year’s events. That introduced me to the vast world of British quiz shows like Never Mind The Buzzcocks, 8 Out Of Ten Cats, You Have Been Watching and Have I Got News For You. My roommate is even more into trivia than I am, and we regularly play along with shows like Pointless and University Challenge.

I’d never done bar trivia, though, which I attribute to my poor ability to recall information on the spot. I feel like I’m pretty knowledgeable on a couple of different subjects, but in trivia games I freeze up. When you combine that with my intensely competitive nature, I just didn’t think I’d be a good fit for bar trivia. Happily, I was wrong.

At the bar we were playing at, the game consisted of five rounds. Three were standard, 10-question trivia rounds, one them was a picture round and the last round was a music round. From the first round all the questions were about beer, and we were feeling pretty confident. We had a lucky guess on a few questions—did you know that there’s beer that’s brewed from fermented bananas?—and we took a two-point lead into first place. It was when they announced the next round, though, that I really got into the swing of things.

The next round, dear readers, was about board games. The host of trivia night did not even have to finish the first question before I started muttering “Risk. It’s Risk” into my roommate’s ear. No one could stop us in the next three rounds. We were so good at trivia that the other teams were audibly irritated at us.

The music round was just a victory lap, but I was pretty proud of myself for recognizing a snippet of “Girl Of My Dreams” by Etta James. When that answer was called out, another team looked in my direction and said “How?” as we cheered. We won with a 10-point lead. I had entered the bar nervous, but let this be a lesson to all of you—if you believe in yourself, you too can walk away with a $50 bar tab.


I’ve been to quite a few Geeks Who Drink events at this point, and they’re always a lot of fun. If you haven’t been to one, grab some friends and try one. The only time I’ve had to pay an entry fee were for fundraising events.

Even if you lose, you got to spend an evening drinking and chatting with people you (hopefully) like. Plus, nothing beats that feeling when you’re the one person who knows some obscure fact and you nail a big point for your team.