Trivia Night at Deutsches Haus
ARTHUR NEAD ILLUSTRATION
Our problems began with Odie the dog, who was smiling from the big projection screen with his tongue hanging out. He looked familiar, but my personal trivia pursuit just has not included keeping up with fictional hounds, especially one that played second string to a cat in the Garfield comic strip.
It was trivia night at Deutsches Haus, a popular event held on the fourth Friday of each month. The Haus is still in exile in an American Legion hall on Ridgewood Drive in Metairie, waiting for the day when a new home opens along Bayou St. John. It will replace the South Galvez Street building where folks once chicken-danced in the courtyard, but that stood in the way of the new hospital complex.
At its temporary domicile, partisans of the Haus still do German things like celebrating Oktoberfest, watching German movies, drinking German beer and feasting on German food, plus they have events that belong to no nationality, but rather to the universe of people enchanted by minutiae. Because it was our first time and we didn’t know better, our team consisted of only two people playing under the name of “The Mid-Cityians.” Other teams, which did know better, consisted of what looked to be eight to 10 people, so there were more minds to search for answers. Nevertheless, we thought, with the right categories we could be competitive, but then Odie showed up. In this the first of five categories there were more dog questions to come; including identifying Eddie, Frasier’s pooch from the TV show of that name, and the hound on the “Simpsons” whose name is actually “Santa’s Little Helper.”
Like a race horse that stumbles at the gate, we were off to a poor start in the first category, gathering only two points out of a possible 10. Then, because it was the season, there were Thanksgiving questions, including the name of the only child born during the Mayflower’s voyage. I cringed when I learned the right answer from among the multiple choices.
“No parents should be allowed to call their child “Oceanus,’” I thought. “Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins should have been sent to the pillory.”
Another category had the heading of “Meters,” under which we were asked to match the names to various scientific devices. One of them was something called an “orchidometer.”
(If you embarrass easily skip this next sentence.) An orchidometer, we learned, is an instrument used to measure the volume of testicles. That question, I thought, hit below the belt.
For the block of questions dealing with Star Wars I was totally useless. I don’t like movies in which the sun never shines, and that’s the case in space flicks. Plus, I hadn’t realized that there had been seven Star Wars films, some of which were considered prequels to the original. Discerning the prequels from the sequels seemed like a task for Mr. Spock, but that was a different ship, a different galaxy, with still no sun.
My one moment of glory came in a category about songs that had the name of a state in them. I am sure I was the first to name the recording in which country crooner George Strait explained why he could never live in a certain state. With pride I answered, “All My Exes Live in Texas.” Take that, Obi-Wan Kenobi!
Despite my championship moment we didn’t do too well, finishing 22nd out of 26 teams, one of which dropped out early. The winners got free beer, which at a place called Deustches Haus is a worthy prize. “Let them lavish in the suds,” I thought. After all, it’s only a game. That is what we kept telling ourselves: it was just a game, but if ever we win, no beer – champagne.