Open Letter to the Up-and-Coming Trivia Team that Keeps Beating Us

Open Letter to the Up-and-Coming Trivia Team that Keeps Beating Us

Hey, Dudes (what, nobody to rep the lady-types?),

I’ve heard you’re supposed to sandwich a criticism in between two compliments, so that the criticism stings less. So I’ll just start out by saying that your team name, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Squirtles, is pretty fantastic. I mean seriously, kudos for combining a little 90s nostalgia with what is inarguably the cutest and least aggressive of the Pokémon. This is definitely the right crowd for that. Okay, criticism: back the fuck off and stop fucking beating us, seriously.

Oh, a second compliment. Um…uh…you guys…seem…super…punctual, I guess? What with managing to all meet at the same place at the same time on the same day of the week? So good job there.

Look guys. My team, The Bill Paxtons, has been coming here for nigh on two years. In trivia team years, that makes us the gruff and experienced middle-agers who deserve your respect simply by virtue of the fact that we will, on occasion, not be charged for our fountain pop. I can count the trivia hosts among the list of humans I interact with outside of their place of employment. I once requested to be given both pesto and marinara sauce with my mozzarella sticks and Aaron the waiter-dude did it without making me pay extra.

All I’m trying to say is, we’re the seasoned professionals here.

Which is why it really steams my beans that you guys have very inconsiderately been consistently beating us these past few weeks. I admire your gusto, I really do. You’re clearly a bunch of intelligent young…high schoolers? College students? I can’t really tell the difference anymore. And certainly a drive to succeed is an important quality for any young professional/aspiring entrepreneur/future tyrannical dictator to have.

You might counter, “C’mon Katie. Either you have the right answers or you don’t; it’s no fault of ours that we knew more about deciduous trees, 90s prog rock, and Christian Slater movies this week than you did.” To which I can only reply by stomping my foot on the ground, crossing my arms and whining but we waaaaaaaaaaaaant to win!

Please? Pretty please? It’s been so long since we’ve tasted the sweet sweet nectar of victory on our parched tongues. We used to be the juggernauts. Our collective table of higher degrees and pop culture knowledge used to mow unceremoniously over the rest of the competition, spread their delicious remains across the floor, and present their bewildered heads upon spikes outside Galactic Pizza, serving as a stark reminder to all who wished to compete: THIS IS OUR DOMINION. ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE, FOR YOUR SLAUGHTER WILL BE GLORIOUS TO BEHOLD.

But nowadays we’ve been losing and it’s really poopy and we’d just really like it if you threw us a bone, yeah? Just a couple? Let us suckle once more from the teat that you wrenched from our hungry lips? I hope my overwrought metaphors are proving to you just how important this is to us.

A lot of us are grad students. We have resigned to a life of pauper-itude and spend most of our waking hours convincing hordes of people (ourselves counted among them) that what we’re doing with our lives isn’t an abysmal waste of time, money, and energy. We work for weeks, months, sometimes years to produce something that might see the light of day, but probably not, and even if it does fewer people will give a shit about it than survived the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains which, if you really knew your random trivia which I’m not convinced you do, you would know was practically nobody. My biggest academic victory this year was scoring a gig watering my adviser’s plants for a month. Our lives are sad and you’re making them sadder.

We don’t have to make this a big thing; it can be our little secret. Just leave a single slice of pepperoni and a piece of paper with the phrase “WINK!” written on it on our table, and we’ll know you’re on board with this and that we can expect to win that evening. Thanks, Squirtles.

The Bill Paxtons


Katie Sisneros