By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
Rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and a Halloween season in full swing provided a fitting backdrop for a seasonal virtual trivia night in Sherborn. On Saturday, October 24, members of the Sherborn community attended a special trivia fundraiser to raise money for the new library’s technology fund. With the event taking place over Zoom, it was the perfect opportunity for patrons to enjoy some nice competitive trivia from the comfort of their own homes.
At 8:00, the Zoom chat was filled with grids of people dressed in costumes to celebrate the occasion. Among the costumes represented in the Zoom grid were RBG, at least three superheroes, a minion, and a couple dressed as the mysterious Men in Black, just to name a few. A fan favorite, who later won the costume contest, was the wacky, wavy, inflatable, arm-flailing tube man.
While most trivia competitions are loud and often filled with sounds of teams chattering, trivia host Brendan Sargent managed to keep this one as organized as possible. Teams submitted their answers via a Google form, where they would include their team name, their bet for the question, and their answer. Those who knew they had the right answer for a difficult question were urged to use their largest betting level for the question, and to save their small bets for ones that most people were expected to guess correctly. Each of the four rounds contained five questions in different categories.
The Zoom room buzzed with anticipation as Sargent announced the first round’s categories: literature, US geography, music, alcohol, and mascots. The first question asked: “What fictional horror series’ first book was 'Welcome to Dead House' in 1992?” Though every participant was helping to raise money for the library, many seemed to be confused by this question that their kids surely would have gotten right. The answer: the popular children’s series, "Goosebumps." The first question set the tone for the night, with participants realizing that the competition would not be easy, but it would be exciting.
Though their mics were muted, the excited energy could still be felt as teams sent innocent gibes to one another via chat and conversed amongst themselves. Following the reveal of many questions, team members could often be seen mouthing “I knew I was right” to each other. The groups sped through the rounds until they reached the 20th and final question of the night: “What is the only horror movie ever to be nominated for double-digit Academy Awards?” Sargent asked before playing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as some waiting music. “What is the only horror movie ever nominated for double-digit Academy Awards,” repeated Sargent, “the correct answer is 'The Exorcist.'”
While all of the teams made it to the end of the competition with high scores, only a few ended with triple digits. The lead team, the Batsh!t Crazies, ended the night ahead of everyone with a score of 110 points, after betting 20 points on the final question.
While no one doubted that they would be having fun, participants were definitely surprised at just how much amusement the night brought to them. In a time when everyone is confined to their homes and group gatherings are verboten, the night of healthy and safe competition proved a fantastic seasonal tonic to lift participants' spirits.