It's a quarter to eleven on New Year's Eve. We're playing a horribly ill-advised game of Trivial Pursuit. Nothing can kill a party faster than playing Trivial Pursuit, except for playing Tetris. Our game is worse, because it's not being played as a drinking game, and because the cards are from 1981.
There are a lot of questions about "Mork and Mindy" and President Ford, plus references to ABSCAM, the genius of supply-side economics, and the "wild Hottentots of Rhodesia". Finally, my moment of glory arrives. I am asked an Art & Literature question about where one might find the O'Connell Street of literary fame. For the first time in my life, I find myself wearing the correct answer on my clothing.
"Dublin", I say, popping my zip-up sweatshirt in triumph. I am fully zipped up, so there is no gap between "Dub" and "lin". All of the other players stare in admiration, and I pose for celebratory photos with the card.
Then Gene starts denouncing the Times Square ball as a false god and the moment is over.
I'm at a New Year's Day party in Bernal Heights. Approximately 60 Irish relatives are crowded into this house, roughly 10% of whom are named Michael. Another 15% have Michael as a middle name, and 10% got Michael as their confrimation name. There's still only one Dennis in the house.
I am talking with my cousin, who is not a Michael. He is however home from Kuwait, and more recently, Arkansas. He admires my zip-up sweatshirt. This compliment is not completely selfless, for he adds, "I have the same one."
He has good taste, I think. Then I realize, I cannot remain silent and take credit for this zip-up sweatshirt, fine as it may be. I inform my cousin that I deserve no accolades for choosing this apparel, because it was a gift from my stylish sister Kelly. He laughs.
"My sister Kelly bought me my Dublin sweatshirt, too."
And there we are. Two stylish sweatshirts, two stylish sisters, both named Kelly. Two conclusions: Irish people do not have a lot of creativity in their nomenclature, and great Kellys think alike.
My cousin's little brother asks, "So, what does that Dublin represent?"
"A soccer team", I answer, at the same time my cousin says, "Just the city."
We pause. "Maybe you should ask Kelly", suggests Michael.
EDIT: The triumphant Trivial Pursuit moment, courtesy of Kristina and Mike:
[EDIT, 1/20/06: The photos clearly show that the question was not about Arts & Literature, but Geography. The entry also deals with the difficult nature of questions in 1981 Trivial Pursuit, then the photo shows a card with a few rather easy ones: "Which of the Seven Dwarves comes first alphabetically?", "Is the African Queen a boat?", "Fill in the blank: ______ Queen of Scots." In short, my memory is unreliable, and my life is a lie.]