Saturday, January 13, 2018

Phone a Friend

INGRID THOFT

Remember that trivia app I mentioned in Wednesday’s post?  HQ trivia?  Over the holidays, various family members would gather together to call out answers while the millennials and teens selected the answers on their phones.  The idea was that if you have enough knowledgeable people in the room, someone would know the answer to the question.

No doubt we played better as a collective than individual players, yet we still didn’t win.  The experience reminded me of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and the option to “phone a friend.”  It made me wonder, who would I call if a lot of cash was on the line, and I needed to tap into a wealth of knowledge?

This is a tough one.  My husband knows lots of things, but he does not keep up with popular culture (hence the reason he constantly asks me when we’re watching TV, “where do I know her from?).  Putting marital loyalty aside, I would choose my friend Lauri.  Smart and well-read, Lauri knows all kinds of things and would do well against a ticking clock.  And she’s used to “phone a friend.”  I call her all the time seeking her advice!


So tell me Reds, who would you choose when it came time to “phone a friend?”

HALLIE EPHRON: I remember that. It was like a life line. I'm like you Ingrid, first instinct: my husband. He's great on history, geography, science, outdated sports trivia, but goose eggs on popular culture. For that, dialing my daughter Molly. Unless... can you "call" Google? I think the Jungle Reds, as a single entity, would slay.
Hank looks like she knows stuff, right?

LUCY BURDETTE: I'm pretty sure I would instantly call Hank. She has her finger on every pulse and seems to have heard things well before anyone else does. If she didn't answer (Hank, really, you're screening me out?), I'd call my friend Steve. He reads every source of news and popular culture online and knows it all before we even think to ask the question. Unless it was about politics, then I'd go with my son Andrew:).
JENN McKINLAY: The Hub. I refuse to play him in any variation of Trivial Pursuit because he mops up the board with me. A musician, book lover, history buff, sports fanatic, and gossip mag reader (no, not kidding), he knows more about everything than any person I've ever met -- and he can remember it all. Truly, I think I've gotten worse at remembering because I know I can just ask him - he's my Alexa

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Jenn, my sister drives all over the DC metro area with her boys and back before GPS, she would frequently get lost. (Anyone who has tried to navigate through a city in a minivan with two small boys in the back can sympathize.) She used to call her husband, Dan, and he would give her directions - either from memory, or from his computer screen. She called it her "Dan-Star" service.

RHYS BOWEN: I used to be quite good at Trivia (I did win Sale of the Century after all) but like the rest of you, I now find myself woefully inadequate on pop culture. I can't tell you the name of one hip hop artist. I'd probably call my daughter Clare. She is super smart, so smart that she reads books on string theory for fun, and she has 3 teenagers so should be well up on things like Justin Timberlake and Pokemon.
Justin Timberlake, in case anyone was wondering.

JULIA: No question - I'd call my sister-in-law Julia, who was an actual contestant on Jeopardy! Not only is she the family's Queen of Trivia, but she also has a calm, reassuring demeanor, which I would need, since I assume with a million bucks riding on an answer, I'd be a total wreck.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Hey, I am thrilled.  Thank you, Lucy/Roberta. I am so honored! And yes, I know a certain amount of  ridiculous unnecessary stuff from a certain era. In the old days, I was great at Trivial Pursuit. It kind of drives me crazy, because I always worry that all of it is taking up room that otherwise would have been used for important stuff. And more and more, for current "celebs," I have absolutely no idea.  Who would I call? Depends. Jonathan, for many big-deal things. However, the other day I mentioned Mr. Ed, and Jonathan said: Who? When I explained, he still had no idea. But we all have our specialties. That's what friends are for.

Hmm. Now I'm worrying about who I'd call. Bueller? Bueller?

DEBORAH CROMBIE:  Oh, I love trivia. But too many choices here! Science and engineering questions, I'd ask my husband, although I'm pretty good at science overall, and geography, too. Classic TV and music? Him without a doubt. Literature, drama, and history, Gigi. General knowledge and pop culture, my daughter, Kayti. But sports, ack. That was always my downfall in Trivial Pursuit. We are a useless, unsporting bunch. (Unless you ask me about ice skating or rowing...)

Your turn!  Who would you ring up if you had to "phone a friend?"

This post was up briefly on Thursday due to a technical error.  If you commented then, your comment should appear today.

47 comments:

  1. It's 3:22 pm here, and when I pulled up Jungle Red Writers it said "no comments." How is that possible?

    Nevertheless, I guess I'll take my chances with Blogger and jump in. I would call different people for different things. Grammar questions? My friend Cerelle. All things English? Debs, of course. Musicology questions? Will or Carol. Texas politics? Sharron. Warren was once my font of all information on pop and folk music, quantum mechanics, and written Chinese, but alas! That deep well is no more. These days I often get the feeling that I'm everyone else's go-to trivia maven, but trust me, folks, I do not know all the stuff you think I know.

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    1. Gigi, I think we’ve landed in tomorrow.

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    2. Peculiar, but correct, Ann. Perhaps I should call you when I need the answers!

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    3. Yes, ahem, blogger burped. You got a preview.

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    4. It was surreal, but kind of fun.

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    5. I kind of love this monkey wrench in the space time continuum. :)

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  2. Depends. My friend Marlene was on Jeopardy and is a fund of trivia. And Julie knows must c, both pop and classical. I’m good with most things science. And I’d call Hank for anything political. Except she’d think I’m a stalker. Have her card somewhere. Does it have a phone number?

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    1. I’m amending the above. Gigi and I will be partners and wipe the floor with everyone else. Because WE have a superpower. We time travel

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    2. Bwahaha! No, seriously, Ann, we must promise to use our power for the good.

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    3. Forget the mystery-writing gigs, now we have a time-traveling blog we can clean up on Lotto and sports betting.

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  3. My sports post went kablooey. Let's see if this works. Who would I call? Depends. History and politics, I guess my hub or my son. Current music, computer stuff, games, my niece.

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  4. Yeah, weird! Where is everyone???? HI, Ann! Hi, Gigi! Let me check in to this....xoxo

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  5. I would call my friend Mario. He is interested in everything. He remembers everything : from artist's names to films and TV shows, the names and dates of history and name of places around the world. He knows a lot about politic too.
    He's astonishing and so enthusiast. I love to listen to what he has to say ( 3 to in 10 words: not good).
    But I'm missing all my commenters-friends right now.

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  6. Yes, we are all in tomorrow....so cool! More to come.

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    1. I just woke up in today ,with two feet of snow , two dogs who need to go out, and two guests who’d better still be coming for dinner or what am I going to do with all these lobsters?

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    2. Better skip ahead another two days, Ann.

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    3. Afraid it needs to be more like two months Julia. We’re getting lake effect now.

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  7. My husband, for most things; he constantly amazes me with the things he knows . . . a veritable fount of knowledge.
    And daughter Lauren takes after him, so she’s my back-up . . . .
    However, if I want pop culture, daughter Kristen or granddaughter Raylah would get the call . . . .

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  8. I would call our trivia team leader Bernie. He organizes and leads our weekly trivia team and would be good at sports, history, science etc.

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    1. Wow, Grace! You have a trivia TEAM!! Maybe I would call YOU, unless we were competing against each other, of course!

      DebRo

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    2. Tell us more about your trivia team, Grace. Where do you compete?

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    3. You have a team? Is it made up of librarians? They are the best at trivia!

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  9. I would call my son Allan. He has always remembered every single thing he ever happened across, and still does. He's widely read, knows cooking and sports and politics and history. He and his fiancee go to trivia nights weekly - and win.

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    1. Interesting Edith. My kids certainly knew everything when they were teenagers. Now, not so much.

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  10. I would have to call my youngest son - he knows about almost everything!

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  11. Whoever I'd call, I'd have forgotten the question by the time they answered...

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    1. This is why I love you Hallie

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    2. I'd have scribbled it down and then be unable to read it.

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    3. Ah yes, the handwriting - I once made a shopping list for my husband and he called from the market to ask what we needed with a half dozen gerbils.

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    4. LOL - yes, it must be written down!

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  12. Hallie, too funny! I can relate.

    My oldest daughter is the pop culture queen. She actually takes Us Magazine and People, and reads them like it's her job to reduce stress. (She manages the diabetes education at two hospitals, with nearly no staff.)

    My husband is good for pop music, especially back to the 50's through the 80's. He had older siblings, and they had huge record collections between all four kids. He's also good for most science topics, since he's spent the last 25 years making science flims/videos for kids.

    For almost everything else I'd call my friend Claudia, who teams up with her husband Jim and some friends twice a week at two different Pub Quiz places. And they win consistently. They've both been in theater since college, and can be relied on for obscure movie and stage facts, among others. Vocabulary, too, and art, since Claudia is an artist.

    If anyone needs assistance in a sewing or craft question, I'm your gal.

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  13. I used to be great at trivia games, but lately I've developed a fairly serious case of CRS. I'm still not bad at music through the 80s, when Rosenkrontz and Raffi destroyed my brain. After that I'd call older son, who plays in a band and keeps up with stuff. He's also a politics junkie, so I'd call him for those, and he keeps up with current sports better than I do... maybe I'll just give him my seat instead of calling. Anything related to children or education or hiking, definitely my wife. For odd miscellaneous stuff, my friend Joel. For science, I have no idea; can I call Watson?

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  14. Well, my friends and family frequently say "ask Deb; she remembers everything", except that that's not really true. My head is filled with random factoids that are of interest only to ME. If you need info on odd historical facts regarding the State of CT I can probably help you. For all other facts, I can only cheer you on. I would call my niece Emily for facts regarding dance and science. For psychology and medicine I'd call my brother. For popular culture, I'd call my friend Laura. (If she didn't know the answer she'd be devastated.) I'm trying to remember who it was that told me a long time ago that "when people need information, they should ask ME because I know a lot about a lot of things." (It was probably a young person!)

    Hank, I remember most of the words to the Mr Ed theme song. At a family gathering last year a couple of us began to sing it for the young people. They asked us to stop!

    DebRo

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  15. Just like so many others here, my husband is my first thought. He, too, is one of those guys with an encyclopedic knowledge of this and that, partly fed by his natural curiosity and partly by his 10 years as a morning radio dj earlier in life. For gaming, modern movies, anything from Japanese culture (especially manga and anime), anything Marvel, and classical music, I'd call my son. I guess for the rest of pop culture I'd probably call Libby, the daughter of a good friend and recent college graduate who seems to be a keen observer of the world around her.

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    1. Your husband was a morning radio DJ? How interesting. Love the things we learn here!

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  16. I have to say that when Trivial Pursuit first hit the scene, I was the one everyone else wanted on their team. So I guess I'm the one they'd call on Millionaire.

    I still have that rep, but my trivia brain is dated, and I can't be reliably responsible for any pop culture stuff after, say, 1990.

    Although at quilting class the other day, one person asked me, Who's that mystery writer who writes about Churchill's secretary? I was able to answer with confidence, Susan Elia MacNeal. :^))

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  17. Ingrid, I started playing HQ after you mentioned it the other day. I haven't won, but I've learned some things. Now I just need to find a pub trivia night!

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    1. Debs, it's a little addictive, right? And you never know when info about the Cruiserweight weight class in boxing (or some such fact) will come in handy!

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    2. I am doing this TODAY. Whoa. Is it on Saturday?

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  18. I love that so many of you would call your kids. You've clearly raised smart, knowledgeable kids! Or they're filled with useless facts, but either way, how nice!

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  19. I would call my little brother - he and I are always neck and neck in Trivial, so I trust him, plus he knows way more pop music than I do and newer tv shows...if he wasn't available it would be my little sister, who also is a great trivial player

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  20. And yes, good idea! I would call my step-son Paul and his wife Krista. 40-somethings in Brooklyn. Knowers of EVERYTHING. And if Jonathan and I could also add 14 year old Eli and 8 year old Josh, we would nail this. Okay, here's what I just thought of. Family trivia teams game show, like family feud. Wouldn't that work???

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  21. I have the same problem as most of you. There are plenty of people I would call for certain areas, and my husband knows so much history trivia, but one person for it all is a hard choice. I would probably go with my son, as he seems to know all kinds of things that amazes me.

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    1. It is hard to find one person, Kathy. I suppose it's one argument for liberal arts education!

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  22. A unanimous decision in our family --- our oldest daughter Elizabeth. She reads EVERYTHING and remembers EVERYTHING and loves pop culture but also know languages and literature and all sorts of things. When that show was on, the one with the phone call, her sisters all said she would be the one to call.

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    1. I think all of us should calling Elizabeth!

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