Remember Trivial Pursuit? I used to love that game and so recently bought a Junior Edition from eBay, which must date from the mid-90’s, based on the pop culture questions.
Maya, Ben and I sat down today to play. I had the advantage, but they held their own in most subjects. (Let it be known that we all avoided the Science category like the plague.) I won and then went to make dinner, and they continued to play for 2nd place. In the kitchen, I listened to the questions and it was interesting because they know some things that I am quite sure I didn’t at their ages. Ben for instance, when asked “which part of the Earth is flatter, the North or the South Pole?” didn’t even hesitate before answering “south”. To be honest I wasn’t 100% sure about the answer myself, but I know that at 7 years old I would have been guessing. Then Maya got the question, “Which two seasons begin with an equinox?” I figured she knew it, and she did, but I’m not sure I’d even heard of an equinox when I was 10. (Or if I had it didn’t register in my brain.)
On the other hand, Ben didn’t know in what state Plymouth Rock where the Pilgrims landed is found – but did I know that when I was 7? Not sure.
The questions I enjoyed most were the ones that would need to be re-written if the game was new. For instance “What baseball team has gone the longest without winning a World Series title?” Boston, of course, but now they’ve won two, so ‘has gone’ would need to be changed to ‘went’. Little things, but still.
I’m thinking about ordering an older regular edition, just for the fun of going through the questions. Even this Jr. edition has virtually no computer or internet questions, and of course nothing about texting, no smartphone questions, no iPod references. It’s a great snapshot of our culture from the year the game was produced, both for what is included and what is not.
Some things, of course, never change. When the question “What food is not meant for silly rabbits?” was asked, both my kids shouted out in tandem, “Trix”! As in, “silly rabbit, Trix is for kids”, which Maya recited, then laughed and said, “Geez, maybe I watch too much TV”. Not to worry, kid. Over the course of the game I sang the entire Oscar Mayer jingle (and I’ll bet many of you can too) and recited several Nursery Rhymes. Remember “Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater”? Quick aside – Nursery rhymes factor very heavily into both the kindergarten and 1st Grade versions of “What Your [insert grade level here] Needs to Know” books. But why, I wonder? The only place I’ve ever had need of them was in playing “Trivial Pursuit” or when shouting out the answers at the TV while watching “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”. (The original one with Regis.) Essential knowledge? I don’t think so.
But in any case, I love playing Trivial Pursuit. I kill on pop culture, books and movies. I’m pretty good in sports and history and only just fair in Science. Quick, who knows the definition of “absolute zero”?
Let’s play. You can be on my team.