Inside the pavilion at Lake Ondawa one Thursday summer evening, there was suddenly absolute silence.
“Can you repeat the question?” one trivia player asked.
“What is a flabellum?” the trivia host repeated.
After a few more seconds of silence the members of all five teams bent their heads together, the puzzled looks on their faces slowly disappearing as they analyzed the unfamiliar word.
Playing Trivia has become the new “hot” fun entertainment in many establishments around the area. Many places offer a special “Trivia Night” and there are organizations that have Trivia as fundraisers.
Some people like to play Trivia for fun; others see it as a brain exercise.
The American College Dictionary defines trivia as “inessential or inconsequential things; trifles.”
Online, Wikipedia defines it as “bits of information, often of little importance.”
According to Wikipedia, the origin of trivia is from the ancient Romans. They used the word triviae to describe where one road split or forked into two roads. Triviae was formed from tri (three) and viae (roads) – literally meaning “three roads”, and in transferred use “a public place” and hence the meaning “commonplace.”
In 1979 Canadians Chris Haney and Scott Abbott created the board game Trivial Pursuit that became popular in the early 1980’s.
Today, there are trivia questions on line that cover many different categories from history, animals, and art, to science, sports, and even food trivia.
Trivia at the Lake takes place every Thursday through August at 6:30 p.m. at the Lake Ondawa pavilion on North Lake Road. The cost to play is $5 per person and teams can be up to six players. Look for the Trivia sign in downtown Big Pond along Big Pond Road.
And when Trivia at the Lake ends, people will be able to play in Athens. Trivia to benefit the Bradford County Humane Society in Ulster will be resuming their Trivia night the first Tuesday of the month, at 7 p.m., starting in September. It is held at the Unitarian Universalist Church on North Street.
The lakeside pavilion at Lake Ondawa is owned by the Tim Leonard Rod & Gun Club. Built in 1930, over the years, different fundraisers have kept the pavilion alive and in good repair. Many people remember the square dances, concerts, chicken barbecues, baseball games, mystery dinners and blue grass festivals that took place there and at the ball field across the road.
At one point in its history, the pavilion was in such a state of disrepair that some thought it should be torn down. But members of the Rod & Gun Club voted to save it. Fundraisers began and everyone pitched in. They felt it was important to restore it so that it would continue to be an active part of the community and offer many opportunities.
As a result, today, the pavilion is available to rent from the Rod & Gun Club and the beach area is open to the public for swimming and fishing.
This summer, Trivia at the Lake has been a fundraiser for the pavilion. And it’s been quite the fun time for those who have come!
“Trivia at the lake is a great place to compete with your neighbors and have a great time,” said Don Craig. “And it’s non-fattening!”
“I learn something new every week,” said Sharon Decker. “People always say they’re not smart enough to go to trivia, but everybody knows something.”
Often people say, “I can’t play Trivia. I don’t know any answers.”
My answer to them is always why would you know the answers? It’s trivia – “bits of information, often of little importance.”
When I see team members putting their heads together to come up with an answer, I realize what great exercise they are giving their brains. And when asked, “What is a flabellum?” the creative answers were proof of what awesome brainpower came into play. Some of those answers were a butterfly, a belly button, a tongue, a dandelion and a soft spot. Very creative, don’t you think?
Oh, yes, a flabellum is a hand held fan.