A perfect score in the trivia I play is 144 points. Not that I’ve put a lot of thought into calculating that, mind you. Oh no. It’s just you add up the possible points for each round, which are 37, 48, and 59. Assuming, of course, you put the maximum points possible into the double point questions and get them right. See? Very little thought at all.
Tonight, I aced the first two rounds. Broke a sweat over maybe one question, guessed at it and got it right. I went into the final round with a 14-point lead. The evening felt charmed. I raced through the first six questions and started getting that tingle when you know you’re onto something. Which promptly turned to something more akin to heartburn when the next two questions came along and smacked me around for a bit. And there went the perfect game. I stared at the answers I knew were wrong, or at least weren’t sure were right, and sighed.
I still won, but I felt like I’d had something really awesome almost in my grasp and then let it slip away. I’d come this close before, actually, missing only one question in the final round. But that game hadn’t had the same sense of momentum. There were a lot of close calls, a lot of lucky guesses. It was a skin of the teeth kind of thing. Tonight, tonight was the Patriots going 16-0 and losing in the Super Bowl. I had this thing. And I blew it.
Yeah, it’s silly to complain about the manner in which I won a $25 bar tab. But I’ve won before. This had the chance to be something memorable. An exclamation point. Something drunk people would slur their words about for days to come. Gone, just like that. Oh well. At least that $25 will buy plenty of beer to help me forget it.