Your Bar Trivia Host Lays Down Some Ground Rules

Hi! Welcome to Millie’s Bar and Grill. Tonight we’re kicking off our biweekly trivia tournament. Before we get things started, I’d like to set some ground rules.

First and foremost: if you aren’t planning to take this seriously, please withdraw from participating immediately and disband your team. This is not a game—if you joined this league with the intention of socializing, making friends, or, god forbid, enjoying yourself, then you’re in the wrong place. We at Millie’s Monday Night Trivia are here for one reason and one reason only: to take what is—at its core—a standardized test, on the beer-soaked tables in the back room of a struggling dive bar. So if that’s not what you’re here for, please remove your name from the list, apologize to each of the other teams individually for wasting their time, and never set foot in this aspiring taphouse again. Okay? Great! Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty details.

No phones! If I see any phones, they will be confiscated and destroyed, but only after the entire bar staff goes through your messages and makes fun of the way you text. Seriously, you need to chill out with the emojis.

Our bar trivia is not—and I can’t stress this enough—fun. Think: the SATs. Think: those timed math tests you took in middle school. Think: your driver’s exam—the one you had to study for. This bar trivia is designed for people who want to pretend they’re socializing while focusing on literally anything else.

Just to get ahead of things, the Smarty Pints win every week. That’s just how it goes. They are smarter than you, hotter than you, and they can do more complementary shots than you, if—nay, when—they win. They have never gotten a question wrong and share a beautiful friendship that you’ll quietly envy every time you see them unanimously agree on the correct answer to a question.

No bathroom breaks. Pee your pants if necessary. I understand peeing your pants is not preferable, but we have to do what we can to preserve the integrity of the game.

No talking! If you must talk with your teammates to come to a consensus on a question, do so in a whisper or in a complicated, non-verbal code of your choosing. Please note that if you choose Morse Code, the Smarty Pints will be able to decipher it. They’re just that good.

The question categories will be random, unpredictable, and based entirely on the Wikipedia hole I found myself in the night prior. That being said, you can expect at least one Mariah-Carey-based question every week. The answer to this week’s Mariah question is “Loverboy” from her criminally underrated 2001 project, Glitter. Yes, I just gave you the answer. Treat me nicely and I can be a benevolent god.

If we catch you participating in trivia at any other bar, you will be fined and suspended from our league. Yeah, it’s NBA rules around here. We value our participants’ safety and don’t want any unforeseen injuries from participating outside of the league (carpal tunnel, a bad hangover)—also, I get really bad FOMO and it hurts my feelings.

Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s talk prizes!

I mentioned complimentary shots earlier, but that’s not an official prize. The waitstaff usually just gives those to the team they feel has the nicest hats. It’s a genuinely kind gesture and makes that team feel good about their headwear. Last week, the Smarty Pints broke necks in some swanky corduroy newsboy caps—just so you know what you’re up against.

We also give a free round of drinks to the team with the best name, but it’s never the one that you think it will be. Rather, it’s always the dirtiest, filthiest, most depravedly sexual name you can think of. One that will make you regret your decision to, for some reason, bring your grandparents tonight (apologies to Joyce and Philip—wonderful folks). Sure, we play by a strict code of rules, but we’re not prudes.

As for the winners, they will walk away with a little something called “bragging rights”—ever heard of them? Probably not—by the look of your mediocre hat and deeply sex-negative team name, you’ve never even sniffed the winner’s circle before. It’s okay though, few have. Like I said, Smarty Pints wins every week.

So, anyway, those are the basic guidelines. I’m sure I’ll think of more as the tournament progresses and will implement them as I see fit, in what will be an undoubtedly arbitrary and infuriating manner. At minimum, these guidelines should provide you with a rough outline for how to comport yourself throughout the duration of this trivia competition. At maximum, they’re a quasi-religious set of principles that can and should guide the way you live your entire life.

Okay, now let’s go have a little f– oppressively difficult assessment of your knowledge!

First question: What’s my favorite Mariah Carey song?

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