Trivialities in Fitzvegas


Trivialities in Fitzvegas

By Jax Cullen

As night falls in the North, a man in a bedazzled jumpsuit will guide us towards the inviting warmth of the Fitzroy Pinnacle.  Pub trivia, hosted by the King himself Elvis Presley, is not for the faint of heart.  The grungy atmosphere of the beer garden is the last place we’d expect to see a rock roll legend but here we are.  The king has a sharp tongue and though he’d never admit it I suspect, like most trivia hosts, he plays with the scores to boost the morale of regulars and encourage the return of first timers. I have no problem with that, its bad business practice to let the same teams win week after week.

The night begins with a short announcement, requesting teams to pay $2 per head and collect the answer sheets.  We dilly and dally over what to call our little crew of trivia buffs.  After much debate our team settles on a celeb gossip inspired name: Catherine’s Carcinogenic Clunge. We liked the alliteration. As I go up to Elvis to sign up, he flirts appropriately with my satin shirt and sighs at the pleasure of not having to see another girl in a bikini. Elvis has just returned from Hawaii where even fine dining has no dress code – this irritated him and Priscilla no end.  I walk away confident that we are going to place tonight.
Before the game begins Elvis takes us through the rules: three rounds of ten questions, a chance to win a jug of any beer each round and most importantly DO NOT yell out the answers.  The regulars are chomping at the bit for the first round to commence while newbies are laughing heartily, unaware of the lows Elvis will take them to.  For example, this week I learnt a fourth meaning of the word “dookie” and I’m not sharing that here.  It’s completely Wrongtown.

Round 1 begins and it’s a gentle introduction to general knowledge, current affairs, geography and history.  After question 5 the crowd falls silent and hands are ready to shoot upwards as we await the opportunity to win a jug of beer.  The first to correctly answer the Who Am I question wins; we fail but look forward to the next rounds and the jugs of beer we may yet win.

After round 1 is scored, we are sharing second place with a set of regulars.  The theme for round 2 this week is film and television and the odour of overconfidence rises into the air, as we’re all children of bad television and cheesy 80s soundtracks.  It’s during this round that Elvis decides to present the bar manager with his very own Hawaiian shirt, the open banter adds to the warm atmosphere of the otherwise quite chilly Pinny beer garden.  As the round draws to a close we all frantically reach for our smartphones to answer one particular question that had us all stumped, “What is the surname of the character Jules from Quentin Tarantino’s film Pulp Fiction?”  We can’t remember, nor do we really know.

Round 2 is scored and Elvis is found wanting.  The question, in question: “What is Mr Burns first name?”  According to Elvis the answer is Montgomery, at which the crowd violently barks “No, his name is Charles Montgomery Burns!” Never go against a crowd when it comes to Simpsons knowledge, in fact all Simpsons questions should be banned from pub trivia as they add no value and can lead to violence.  After the commotion we finally arrive at question 8, where Jules’s surname is revealed and will never be forgotten.

Round 3 is the music round, the round in which we hope to recover the ground lost in round 2.  For half our team at least, music trivia is a forte – can we make a comeback now?  In this round the standard True or False is reborn as Alive or Dead.  Elvis relishes his weekly opportunity to quietly approach an unsuspecting patron from behind and utter “dead…” in a low spooky tone.  It is rare that someone does not jump up in fright, and rarely do I allow myself to be seated near the front of the stage.  As round 3 ends we chastise ourselves for not winning any beer and hope we’ve made the grade to at least win a packet of chocolate biscuits.

Unsurprisingly a novice team won; they’ll be back to spend their winnings and play once more.  We place equal third with two other teams, and Sudden Death rules are invoked. After several failed attempts we are knocked out – loss, pain, anguish and hurt.  Thankfully we have some beer left to drown our sorrows.

Final Round: King Seven proves Elvis isn’t dead every Tuesday 8pm in the Fitzroy Pinnacle beer garden when he holds court to question his subjects and award chocolate coated biscuits to the most deserving among us. It’s a rocking good night all for the bargain price of $2 per head.
The staff are attentive, ensuring the outdoor heaters are well-fuelled to fight the northern chills.  Bookings essential, our team of seven was awkwardly wrapped around a table for four, eight if you include the babe growing in one teammate’s belly.  This is one of the most popular trivia nights in town.  Long live the King.

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