What’s the difference between finishing first and finishing seventh in a trivia contest? It’s knowing how to spell “manuscript” and not getting yourself turned around on the capital of Colorado.
Granted, we weren’t simply asked to spell “manuscript.” I could have done that in my sleep. No, we were given a bunch of scrambled letters and a vague clue and asked to figure out what word it was. Which I failed at mightily. If I could have seen “script” in there somewhere, I would have been okay. But I saw every combination but that. I had time to piece it together, but it ran out, and I had to leave it unanswered. Which was the difference between six points and twelve points.
The Colorado thing though, that was all me. I psyched myself out. The question was what state capital did the TV show Dynasty take place in. Somewhere in my head was the knowledge that it was set in Colorado. I really think I should have gotten credit simply for knowing that, but no such luck. And for some reason, despite knowing the capital of Colorado is Denver, I talked myself into believing it was Boulder. I thought, “Oh, Colorado has one of those not obvious capitals, like Tallahassee or Albany. The answer is Boulder.” Yeah, good going, dumbass.
I get those two questions right, I’m writing this with $350 in my pocket instead of a seventh place finish. Not that those were the only missteps along the way. I forgot there was an eagle on the dollar bill. I forgot the name of the second roommate to replace Chrissy on Three’s Company (that one hurt). I was off by one on the three holes that make up Amen Corner at Augusta. But “manuscript” and Denver were the gimmes, the ones I should have had. And they cost me dearly.
Still, seventh place playing all by myself isn’t too shabby. Although I did manage a second place finish in the last championship game a few months ago. I can’t win them all though. Or place, even. And there was some great conversation with a couple of other players afterward, to the point where three hours flew by without realizing it. So the afternoon wasn’t a total loss.
Except for that $350, of course.