Dude ... shit was about to go DOOOWWNNNN last night at our weekly trivia meet up over at @goalsportscafe. Here's what happened ...
Goal is a pretty popular sports bar on 3rd street co-owned by a who's who of Hollywood gods. On Tuesdays when we play trivia there will no doubt be some randomly awesome person someone at the table recognizes. Not a biggie, I've lived in LA for 8 years - but I gotta admit since trivia is my FAVORITE THING EVER it is a pretty nice touch to the week.
Every week there are three teams that battle it out for the grand prize. (There are on average about 7 or 8 teams, but every week it is Great Table Eight, Foxy Knoxy, and Talk Nerdy To Me, Lover fighting to the death.) Trivia, btw, is SUPPPPEERRRRRR competitive. I warn people before they give me a heads up that they are coming by that 1) they can't suck, and 2) they need to understand how HEATED this shit gets; we're NERDS!!!! Trivia is our JAMMM!!!!!
My Facebook friend Seth had messaged me a few weeks back and we had arranged to kick it on Tuesday. Because I had been traveling I haven't been able to make it to trivia for the last two weeks so I suggested meeting up over at Goal and playing with us.
::it is now last night::
I see Seth walk in, and he joins our table with over half of our team already there.
After a few minutes of catching up the rest of our team arrives, and Steve (our host) begins trivia.
The first round finishes and all of the tables are then introduced. As usual, our top three tables are there, but when we all look over at Great Table Eight - we spot some familiar faces.
Is that Lance Bass? asked one teammate
Yep, Julie confirmed.
And that's Ben Savage at the table too, I reply back quietly.
Whoodathunk in my 90s teen idol days that those two would EVER kick it.
We continue playing - again amused, but barely caring seeing as we were about to TAKE THEM DOWN!!!
During round two, I carefully remind our new teammate that he and his friend have to keep cell phones away. I knew they weren't cheating since I was sitting next to them and could see their screens, but I didn't want any of the other teams to think otherwise.
FTR, I would KILL a teammate if they EVER cheated at trivia. I'm absolutely absolutely absolutely not even kidding in saying that - I would not only turn in our sheet and forfeit the round, but I would kindly ask the teammate to leave. I do NOT cheat at things in life - even in school growing up!! I DIDN'T FREAKING HAVE TO CHEAT!! I worked my BUTT off for my grades, and took an ENORMOUS amount of pride in my academics.
Trivia is an extension of my youth. Where else in my day to day life could I ever pull out some 6th grade history lessons?
A few more rounds go by, and the tension is on as team TNTML is trailing greatly.
Somewhere during the "identify these actors who have won oscars and golden raspberries" handout round, I see Ben Savage (who was directly in my eye line) jerk suddenly.
I then look over and see that our new teammate was on his phone.
I ask him politely again to put it away (which again, he was texting, I could see his screen).
I then lip read Ben say to his team that we were cheating.
<tangent> I've been lip reading since I was about 4. I never missed a beat growing up, and my parents were never able to talk about things in front of me without me connecting the dots. Instead of actually leaving the room though, they would just mouth things to each other figuring since I couldn't hear that I couldn't figure it out.
In those moments, (which happened almost every night) I inadvertantly taught myself how to lip read. I didn't tell my parents until I was about 10 what I was doing (I think I realized I could use it to manipulate even at that age) - but yeah, I'm hella good at lip reading. </tangent>
I genuinely don't use the skill unless it is needed - but I KNEW what he was saying and I immediately got defensive knowing the truth, and knowing nerd code of ethics that cheating at trivia is a BIG no no.
Ben then goes up to the host and again, I lip read that he tells Steve that we are cheating.
At this point ... I am pissed.
I get it, he saw the screen lit - but we play EVERY WEEK!!! We would never EVER accuse them of cheating ESPECIALLY if they had a new teammate who might not have paid attention to the rules enough.
Either way, when it came to handing in the paper I ask to be let out of the booth so I could talk to Steve.
I run up ...
I just want you to know, I say, that we would never ... EVER cheat at trivia. I would legit skin a teammate ALIVE if they cheated, I reaffirm.
Steve looks down at me (he is a very tall human being) and says I know you wouldn't.
He's a friend of mine in town visiting, and you know how nerds can be with shiny things. I'm sure he just saw his phone go off and answered without thinking. I've made sure though that ALL phones will be put away until the end of the game.
Steve then places his hand on my shoulder and says, I know.
I then go back to the table and we continue on to the next round.
Around the third or fourth question I hear Ben shout out something about "cheaters" directed at our table.
I contain my anger and finish the round, which was one of the last.
After the game, we cheered on the winning team (we lost, they won) - congratulating them, and I got out of the booth to talk to Ben.
Hi Ben, I say walking right up to him.
I'm Jen, and I just wanted to let you know that I would never ... EVER let a teammate cheat. I was sitting right next to him and he ABSOLUTELY wasn't cheating.
Ben then stares back at me four eyes to four eyes and denies ever saying that we cheated.
I didn't say anything, he replies back sheepishly.
I saw you - I saw everything go down, I press on. It's fine, I get it - but I just want you to know nerdo y nerdo that I would NEVER stand for that.
He then tries to walk away claiming he knew "nothing" about it.
I genuinely wasn't trying to rip him a new one, I have nothing against the kid, but I'm not gonna lie it was pretty douchey.
Steve then walks by and asks if everything was okay ...
It's fine, I reply. I'll just take this to twitter.
The night ended a few minutes later as we all walked out and headed to our respected vehicles. Only in LA would something like this happen, I thought.
Oh goodness gracious do I heart you Hollywood.
See you next week .... Ben.