This evening, Mr. Rilch and I played Trivial Pursuit. The 20th anniversary edition, to be precise. We decided to make it the short version, where you can get a pie piece for any right answer, not just if you’re on the spokes.
After we establish who goes first, I notice that Mr. Rilch has the symphonic-music channel on. As usual.
“Sweetie?..Do we always have to listen to symphonic? I mean, I can understand when you come home after sixteen hours and you have to decompress, but…”
“You wanna hear something else? Sure, put it on.”
Checking the program grid, I decide that the '80s channel would be perfect. They’re just starting a Thompson Twins song when I switch it on. Ugh. But I keep the volume low and hope Mr. Rilch won’t object.
Questions. What are the categories? They’re always different. Brown and pink are going to be my strong categories. Mr. Rilch always says he doesn’t know the news, and then he does.
What have I…What have I…What have I done to deserve this? “Oh, I love this song!”
“You gotta be kidding. The Pet Shop Boys?!”
“I don’t hate the '80s as much as you do.” :::Rilchiam gets up to dance by the TV, bouncing the ashtray in her hand as she does so:::
More music. Robert Palmer. Wang Chung. Uh…no. Reading more questions. I do not know how Alex Trebek does this: reads fast and in a way that the contestants can understand.
“Please, no more hints.”
“I’m just trying to help.”
“You’re confusing me. A hint for you isn’t necessarily a hint for me. My mind doesn’t work the same way yours does.”
“I’d love to see the way your mind works. I can see a bunch of little elves in there, pushing levers and turning gears.”
We try to guess the song from the intro, without looking at the TV. He can’t believe I know anything by Billy Ocean.
“Ask me a blue question…Omigod, do you realize how that sounds? A blue question. Colorless blue questions sleep furiously.”
I dance to “Nasty”. He thinks he’s funny: gets up and dances to “Eye in the Sky”. Later, he admits that the Alan Parsons Project was “a pretty good Pink Floyd Lite”.
I have to read a question about a Bush Misspeak. I read it in his voice, then adlib. Mr. Rilch promises that if John Kerry gets elected, he’ll mock him the same way. He’s already calling him “Ichabod”, in fact.
“I can’t believe you didn’t get that question. If you ever watched MTV, you’d have known it. You gotta get off that John Stevens message board once in a while.”
“Sweetie…Telling someone they watch too much American Idol and not enough MTV is like telling them they eat too many Cocoa Puffs and not enough Froot Loops.”
He has nothing, then almost nothing, while I keep accumulating pie pieces. Then, of course, he catches up while I’m struggling to get the last piece. He gets easier questions. He gets the gimmes, like “Bridget Jones” and Yasser Arafat, and I get stuff like “What golfer’s father is the Bob Hope of Sweden?”
Finally, I have six pieces. I then go bouncing around the hub, seeing how many browns I can get in a row. I finally get in the center, but have no clue on the question. Go around again, and now he has six pieces.
Hmph. Well, of course it was Steve Jobs. Dang: he was going to say Bill Gates; I could just tell.