When trivia isn’t trivial

For each of us, the COVID-19 pandemic brings challenges that we could never have foreseen. For some, health challenges. For others, juggling work, childcare, remote learning, unemployment, and loss of friends and family members. We’ve all gotten creative with coping skills, and for me, my husband, and a handful of neighbors, Tuesday evenings bring a welcome distraction and a new routine to our personal chaos.

What happens when you take a cross-section of the NoDa neighborhood and mix it with the love of trivia? You get a regular trivia night, with a technology assist from Zoom plus, of course, an altruistic bent — we are NoDazeans. Since March 2020, a group of funny, kind, and wildly smart neighbors (and former neighbors) from all walks of life has joined together for a weekly evening of trivia. Many in the group had been playing bar trivia together “BC” (before Corona), and the disruption in routine was yet another COVID wound.

Neighbor Rob Hammock deserves the credit for getting the group started. He set up our online meeting, served as the master of ceremonies, and authored fun and challenging sets of questions each week with themes ranging from sports to civil rights to geography. Now we take turns and give Rob a well-earned break. (Cue groans about SCOTUS trivia themes!) One of the most memorable rounds was guessing advertising jingles accompanied live by Susan on the piano. I still have that darn Stanley Steemer earworm!

Kevin Gavagan calls it “one of the things that really kept me going last year, and continues…It has always been something to look forward to regardless of how trash the news has been.”

All in, we’ve played 40-plus weeks. But here’s the best part – what we would have paid in bar tabs going out to a local trivia game as we used to, we now Venmo and PayPal to our host Rob, and the week’s winner gets to select their charity of choice for a contribution. As of this writing, we’re over $4,000 in charitable contributions.

Rob quipped, “I never would have thought we would continue doing this for so long and I certainly didn’t think we’d be able to spread the love around our community by coming together to answer crazy questions, talk smack, and laugh with each other.”  #truth

Like this idea? Please steal it and start your own night. We would be flattered. A good idea should grow. We recommend a group size of less than 10-ish, as it makes score keeping manageable.