Tick, tick, tick. Time is passing and answers need to be walked that long way up to the front. A small sweat bead trickles down the forehead of a man struggling over the last right answer. Then, all of a sudden, “Steve Holt!”
It is the sporadic outbursts and inside jokes that make Des Moines Social Club Team Trivia night the place to be. The attitude floating about the darkened, eclectic Sideshow Lounge room scattered with chairs and local artwork is relaxed. It’s the ultimate oxymoron of competition—a way to wind down, while throwing out witty banter in an attempt to gain the most points.
Along those unhurried lines, the way new teams come and go would send the fantasy footballers into a tizzy. People trade, join and jump teams. There are still the die-hard players, at the same table found recounting questions from weeks past. Team Trivia even happened as snow piled up in the parking lot and the winds swirled past the glass front Social Club windows during the last Des Moines snowstorm.
Teams of up to six people toil over questions presented by the question masters. There are five questions in each round and 10 rounds total. Questions typically build on one another, with a point from the previous question giving a clue to the next. The advantage to having a weekly team is team member attendance points, which are tracked weekly and paired with trivia question points, cumulating each month with a “championship.”
Weekly winning teams are allowed to choose the next week’s beginning topic. Topics and team names range from the sporadic to the strange, with names like “Better late than pregnant,” “Steve Holt” and “I wish this mic was a bleep.”
Stephen Brandt, a Drake music education major, likes to get his trivia on when he can make it. He says it’s a good way to learn things that you would otherwise never think about.
“It’s nice to have teammates from different backgrounds, because then everyone can bring random knowledge to the table.”
Looking around the room, the variety in ages adds to this variance in knowledge. From young professionals to older retirees, the fluid and crystallized memories combine to form an electric energy for the love of learning.
Trivia nights are not just all brains-to-pen-to-paper. Drinks are available for purchase at the bar, and many teams bring in Jimmy John’s and pizza to snack on. Hold on to the orange ticket on the tables. Random drawings of numbers let lucky winners win free beverages and trinkets.
Team Trivia has grown in popularity and the medium sized room is often full to capacity. The last Tuesday of every month, double points and championship night, is typically the busiest. Team Trivia will soon move with the Social Club to a temporary location in the downtown Kirkwood Building in March.
Test Your Trivia
Des Moines Social Club,
1408 Locust St.
When: Every Tuesday,