The School Trivia Night

The main components of the school trivia night were all there. Old friends. New neighbours. Alcohol. A couple of teachers. Artwork by each class to extort money out of parents. Some trivia questions.

I’m not a parent at the school any more, so it was interesting to note what a representative crowd of them now look like. There were too many leather pants, ie more than zero. A man with a half arm sleeve of tattoos which you never would have seen in MY day. And the crowd was still distressingly Anglo European, so actually not a lot of change.

My new next door neighbour was there, she booked my children in to come in a couple of times a week to help her out with Arsenic Hour. You know, that time of the day when you have three children under five and your entire focus is on getting them alive to dinner time without drinking a whole bottle of wine. The previous owner of my house was also there. She asked a few desultory questions about the neighbourhood. Then, fixing me with a gaze that was a disconcerting mix of steely and wistful she said “So, you’re not planning to sell the house? Ever?” It’s time for her to let it go. Thirteen years it’s been. We didn’t make her sell Her House.

The headmaster bravely came up to say hello. The one who was directly responsible for us jumping ship to the private system two years before we’d planned, costing us tens of thousands of dollars. The one who “couldn’t do anything” about the glaring underperformance about more than one of his teachers. The one who didn’t want to “make more work” for the teachers by even asking them to run a a chess club, say, or maybe mark homework. He was lucky to get away with a cold smile from me, rather than a searing character analysis.

There was the art auction, always a guaranteed money spinner, but more than slightly dull for those of us whose offspring had no hand in it. Ably run by an ex P&C president whose kids aren’t at the school any more, it was an example of how a strong school community can operate even in the absence of any interest from the actual school.

My date for the night, let’s call her Daniela, actually used to run this gig. When Daniela ran it she had a minute by minute running sheet, we were out of there before 10.30 after four rounds of questions, numerous games, a whole lot of exciting shopping from the stuff we’d spent months blackmailing out of the local retailers, and over fifteen thousand dollars raised. She and her husband after five years had to decide whether to continue running the trivia night or stay married. They selfishly decided on the latter. So now it’s contracted out to a nice enough man, who frankly lacks oomph. Only three rounds of fairly good questions (“who is older, Kirsten Dunst or Scarlett Johansson?” “who cares?” “Vaughan, it’s a trivia night”), but we were falling asleep at our tables by 11.30. So we sneaked out before the results were announced, leaving Jane behind to pick up our runners up prize of an out of date box of Lindt, piling most of our team and one of the art pieces in a rather illegal manner into Christina’s car.


OK, Kara is allowed to wear leather pants, but no one else. And if there’s ever a next time, I’m going to memorise the entire periodic table first. But someone else can look after the Davis Cup tennis players. Because, really, who cares?