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Tea, Trivia on tap in Dover

By Stephen Press
Hometown Weekly Staff

The small group of seniors sits in the center of the Dover Library, talking amongst themselves and exchanging looks and laughs. Suddenly, they quiet down as Joan Campbell, Head of Technical Services at the library, speaks.

“What is the highest number of Michelin stars a restaurant can receive?”

The chatter among the group renews itself as the answer is batted around and the assembled are polled. After a few moments, a guess is hazarded.

“We say five,” says a member of the group.

“Interesting,” responds Campbell, drawing out the syllables just long enough to suggest more than a little doubt.

Adele Coughlin, sitting next to Campbell, rolls her eyes in jest. “When we say something incorrect, she doesn’t say ‘Oh, you’re wrong,’ she says ‘Interesting…’”

This is Tea and Trivia at the Dover Library. The monthly event brings this group - and anyone else who’s interested - together to playfully wrangle with a few brain-teasers.

Its name seems a bit misleading, however.

In truth, the trivia portion seems to be something of an excuse - as does the tea, really - to bring these lovely individuals together for a chat and a laugh. Questions are raised and then batted around, not simply answered in a rapid-fire game-show setting. No scores are kept (except perhaps in the heads of the participants), nor are there winners or losers. Indeed, most of the questions at Tea and Trivia seem a pretext for additional conversation.

Even a simple query - “What’s Tea and Trivia all about?” - precipitates a flurry of differing answers.

“A fun afternoon,” says one group member.

“A challenge to keep our minds sharp,” says another.

“It’s funny and friendly,” yet another adds, receiving positive affirmation from her friends.

Rather predictably, the question then immediately descends into wonderful digression, with the assembled suddenly finding themselves discussing the various languages they could speak, should they want to conduct today’s Tea and Trivia in a foreign tongue. (For the record, Swedish, French, Spanish and Norwegian are all represented).

“This will show up, maybe in our lifetimes, in The Hometown Weekly,” sarcastically intones one gentleman with a wry smile, glancing in the direction of the Hometown Weekly reporter who has embedded himself in the group for the afternoon.

For his part, the reporter can only smile back. He has his own response, of course, albeit one that will only appear in print a week later (though presumably well within the group’s lifetime): interesting.

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