For months as the Lifestyle Editor of the Courier, I have wanted to cover Trivia Night at a local bar in Pasadena. The following is what occurred when I assembled a team, and took on the challenge.

It was a cool Wednesday night when “Team Courier,” staff writers Homer Cabrera, Veronica Barriga, (June) Uyen Phan, and I fought our way through the crowds for the last spots in the pint-sized parking lot of Congregation Ale House in Pasadena.

We immediately secured a table, came up with our team name, and registered for Trivia Night. The inside of the bar was dark, loud, and overflowing with beer lovers. We were given a stack of five cards, each containing numbers 1-10 to place our answers for each round.

As we awaited further instruction, we couldn’t help but notice the beautiful decorations scattered throughout the ale house. From the shrek-green neon jukebox to the beer taps lining the walls, Congregation certainly had a distinct style about itself. Giant chandeliers which looked as if they were straight out of a Sia music video dimly lit the tables as players gathered their thoughts.

The rules were simple: “No cheating” and “No shouting out answers.” The possibility of a double down really shook things up. If a team was confident in their answers for a round, they could check a box marked “double down.” A page marked double down with all 10 answers correct would earn double the points that round. A page over confidently marked double down missing even 1 of the 10 questions would not earn any points for the round.

Round 1 began as a simple general knowledge category, containing questions such as “Which planet in the solar system is sometimes called the morning star,” and “Which U.S. city is nicknamed the city of brotherly love?” Anyone who expected the game to play out in this traditional general knowledge fashion was sorely mistaken.

Round 2 introduced teams to the concept of “handout rounds,” where a member from each team would go to the announcer and collect a print out with a task for the team to complete. This particular hand out was a “Name the Celebrity” handout. Some celebrities were easy to identify, such as Anna Nicole Smith, Paula Abdul, and Britney Spears’ ex husband — Kevin Federline.

By the end of Round 2 Team Courier had scored a total of 12 points, averaging at 6 points a round. This trend would continue into the 3rd round.

Round 3 was the “common bond” round, where the announcer would provide only 9 questions and the answers to them would all have a common bond. This common bond they shared would be the answer to number 10. Team Courier was unable to correctly figure out that the common bond being shared was the derby, and ended the round with 18 points.

Round 4 was another hand out round, this time containing cities and capitals from Africa that contestants were to match. We were able to correctly match enough cities to their capitals to earn 4 points this round, bringing our total to this point up to 22 points. Our score stayed the same for the next 2 rounds.

Rounds 5 and 6, while trying to be creative and inventive, were very confusing to us newcomers. It was during this drought for our team that we decided to hit up the bar. I treated myself to a Hefeweizen and slowly sipped as I awaited the 7th and final round.

After our short break, we felt re-energized and refocused. Although at this point we were at least 40 points behind the 1st place team, we were ready to give it our best shot.

The final round required teams to name 5 types of execution that are currently legal, and the top 5 states in which these executions occur. Between the 4 of us, we were able to come up with electrocution, lethal injection, and Texas.

We finished the game with a measly 28 points, but the 4 of us were a lot closer than when the games began. The trivia night was a great bonding experience, and overall was very entertaining. We here at the Courier welcome anyone interested in trivia night to challenge our score by tweeting us with your team’s score. Future trivia nights can be found on Action Trivia’s website.

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