I knew that something like this might one day happen. Last night's Trivia Night at Professor Thom's had a fairly large crowd, and it was going rather well through the first four rounds. Then I asked a question that caused a bit of a stir when I announced the right answers. Here's what happened:
I asked, "Who was the goddess of love in Greek mythology?" I had the answer as "Venus," but as it turns out the answer is actually "Aphrodite." (I know very little about Greek or Roman mythology, but it sounded like a good question to use.) Just about all of the 10 teams involved in the contest last said Aphrodite, but I figured they all got it wrong. (That should have triggered something in my head, but didn't.) As soon as I said "Venus," a few of the bar patrons went absolutely bananas and some shouting went on, and three of them ran up to my station and protested the answer. From the shouts and the looks in their eyes, I figured they were right and I was wrong, so I threw the question out and gave everyone one point extra (as just about everyone had that as an answer, it ended the protests).
As all this was going on, my buddy Jim the bartender grabbed a cricket bat that adorns the wall behind the bar and started walking towards me, as he thought the whole thing might erupt into real trouble. (It didn't, as no one was threatening me with physical violence). Jim later said to me he was covering my back "just in case," and my friends Rhonda, Ruth and Jason, who were closest to me at the bar, said they would have jumped up to my defense had it gotten ugly as well. (It's nice to have friends, especially ones carrying cricket bats.)
I was a little bit shaken after all this went on. I was thinking after it happened that I felt like an umpire who has made a controversial call and one team is going crazy over it, giving him all kinds of abuse. I now have a new appreciation of what they go through, even if it's on a rather small scale. (Thankfully, the world wasn't watching the trivia contest on TV last night.)
The controversy didn't alter the outcome of the contest, as the winning team won easily, and by six points.
This morning, I went to the web site that I got the question from, to see who's fault that whole mess was. I went to ukwebstart.com, which is actually a pretty good site with a lot of good general knowledge questions. As it turns out, I have been exonerated, as it was the site's screwup. I wrote the question and answer they had down correctly. They had two consecutive questions, with their answers:
"Who was the goddess of love in Roman Myth?" "Aphrodite.
"Who was the goddess of love in Greek Myth?" Venus.
I did a quick Google check to be sure, and their answers are mixed up.
I'll have to check these questions and answers a little more carefully next week.
And I hope Jim never has to use that cricket bat in my defense.