I may have missed my calling, according to my family. According to them, I either need to be on the pro wrestling circuit or wearing a football uniform.
They came to this conclusion after a video of me surfaced either clothes-lining or left-arm blocking a 200-pound man in order to claim my rightful place on the throne as Music Trivia Queen.
It started innocently enough. We had just got into the rather large amphitheater at the resort we were staying at in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, when the emcee announced a music trivia contest.
The rules were simple: a few notes of a song would play and if anyone knew the song, he should rush to the front, sit in the chair center stage and proclaim the answer.
If you were correct, you got a poker chip. If you were wrong, however, you had to take a shot while the crowd chanted, “Shot! Shot! Shot!” Whoever had the most poker chips at the end of the contest would be declared the winner.
So there I sat, minding my own business, when three notes were played.
“Eye of the Tiger,” Tom and I said to each other. And yet no one made a move to the stage.
With a little prodding from Tom, I ran 16 rows forward, climbed six stairs and plopped in the seat.
After saying my name and where I was from, I gave my answer. Correct! A poker chip. I walked leisurely back to the family.
I knew the second song too, but I was too out of breath from all the running and jumping, that I couldn’t muster it.
So we moved closer to the stage.
The next song was also easy. It was the theme from The Fresh Prince of Belair.
That’s where my amazing defensive skills came into play.
I started to walk, then from the corner of my eye spied a younger man running toward the stage. So I ran too. In a dress and flip flops. He was almost to the emcee when I called forth my Superman ability and leaped the last three stairs leading to the stage.
Being younger than me, and more agile, he tried to thwart me.
That’s when I used my left arm to block him from the chair.
The audience was roaring. The emcee was appalled, only finding his voice long enough to say, “Somebody sit down.”
I did. I reveled in three poker chips that I won, while the poor defeated young man had liquor poured down his throat–a consolation prize, if you will.
I made my way back to the family once again, took a breather and then dashed toward the stage one more time to correctly identify the theme from Three’s Company.
The contest was nearing an end, when the emcee announced the contest would conclude with one last song, this one with five parts: the song, the artist, where he was from, two of his children’s names and his mother’s name.
I knew before a note played it was going to be Bob Marley, Jamaica’s favorite son.
I counted my chips. I had 11. The emcee was awarding seven for the correct answer to the last song. There were two people who had more than four chips, and if one if them got this one correct, I would lose the contest. I had 30 seconds to plot my strategy.
The song was indeed Bob Marley. But no one went forward. More of the song played and still no activity.
Then I reasoned maybe if I got the question partially correct, I would get some of the chips....prorating the answer seemed logical.
So I went up, walking this time since no one else was going forward.
“Bob Marley,” I answered. “From Jamaica. One son Ziggy. Mother–Mary?”
The audience laughed. I knew I was wrong.
Tom was mouthing something from the back, but the spotlight blinded me so I couldn’t see. Later, I learned he was telling me the song was Exodus and another son was Damian. He didn’t know the mother’s name.
The emcee shooed me off to the Shot Corner.
I had missed my opportunity.
Three more people went forward, and no one knew all five answers.
Finally, someone from Kingston took the stage and got all five parts correct and claimed the seven chips.
I did some quick math in my head, and thought I was the winner, but when the emcee called everyone with poker chips to the stage, I began to have doubts.
I shouldn’t have. I was the winner. Music Trivia Queen.
I got to choose between some Appleton Estates Rum or a T-shirt. I chose the latter because I reasoned it would last longer than the rum.
When I finally got back to my seat, my family was grinning like cheetahs–all fiercely proud of me but not for winning the contest.
“Don’t ever say you’re not competitive again,” Tom warned.
“What? Me? I really feel badly about that dude,” I said. I meant it. “I am twice his age, but I acted like a kid.”
And to always remind me of it, there is the video to prove it.
I just pray it doesn’t surface on YouTube anytime soon, because if it does, I will know I should have chosen the rum.