I tried to think of the right answer. Unable to think of that, I spoke anyway. “The War of 1812! Photosynthesis! The Magna Carta! Dante’s Inferno! The Nevile Brothers!” She knew she had my balls in a sling and was just enjoying watching me squirm. “The Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria! The Prime Meridian! The Cotton Gin! The Great Muppet Caper!” A particularly playful smile crossed her obviously amused face. “6.02X10^23! The Communist Manifesto! James Earl Jones! The 1964 Ford Mustang!” I finally took a breath, inhaling the taste of eminent failure, along with the stagnant air of the crowded bar, deep into my lungs. “John F. Kennedy! John Wilks Booth! John Quincy Adams! John Wane Gasey! John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt! Spandex!” An explosion of beer erupted from her glass and momentarily threw my attention as she stifled her laughter. Undaunted, I continued my trivia rampage. “The Cuban Missile Crisis! Sensory Deprivation Tanks! The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly! Knit one, pearl two! Colonoscopy!” I was never going to get this right, which meant that I was never going to see this girl again. “Chris Fucking Kringle! The Mother Fucking Easter Bunny! Jesus Fucking Christ! Fuck it!” I could keep going, probably for hours, but I knew there was no point. “I fold. How the hell am I supposed to know your favorite trivia answer when I know nothing about you besides the fact that you sneeze into your beer when a stranger yells ‘Spandex’ at you?” She tilted the last of her beer down her throat, placed her now empty glass bar with a little more force than necessary, wiped her mouth with her wrist and said, “Well, from now on, that’s my new answer.”
This post is in response to Law With Grace’s project, Stolen Lines #1. I, under orders from Grace herself, stole the first two sentences from Night of the Avenging Blowfish, by John Welter. I am only a patsy in this cut-and-dry case of copyright infringement.