Trivia or Treat

Miranda Scott, Christina Mahoney, Mark Mahoney, Ty Rushing, Alisha Schlichte, Bri Harrell and Josh Harrell after Trivia or Treat at Crossroads Pavilion in Sheldon on Oct. 31.

For weeks, I talked smack to anyone who would listen about what the outcome of Trivia or Treat would be.

Crossroads Pavilion hosted a Halloween-themed event called Trivia or Treat Wednesday, Oct. 31, in Sheldon. Teams of two to five players competed in an eight-round trivia game — trimmed from 10 — hosted by Wayne Barahona at the event center.

I was stoked.

I’m obsessed with trivia, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and, best of all, this was all happening in my own backyard.

I’m also a tad competitive, which is why I may have pre-emptively dropped these jewels on associates, co-workers, friends and foes alike when they told me they were planning on attending Trivia or Treat:

“Get ready to enjoy second place.”

“Oh, I’m glad you’re coming, but you’re going to lose.”

“Yeah, my team is about to win.”

“Think you’re going to win? That’s cute.”

Needless to say, I was pretty confident that whoever I played with — my roster wasn’t even finalized until we got to the event center — we were going to win.

One of my pastors always told me to speak something into existence when you want it bad enough and I wanted to win Trivia or Treat that badly.

Well, honestly, I want to win any trivia night I attend, but I really wanted to win this one because I’ve never played trivia in Sheldon.

You see, I am a trivia fiend.

I played in Orange City when it was sporadically held there (yes, Vaughn Donahue, this is a public guilt trip), I try to make it to trivia night in Sioux Center on Tuesdays in the fall and I get down to one of the Sioux City nights to reunite with “Fake News” whenever I can.

“Jeopardy” is my favorite game show, I’m a certified HQ-utie — the affectionate nickname host Scott Mogowsky uses to describe regular players of “HQ Trivia” — and I was a quiz bowl team captain in high school and college.

Also, in case you do not think I’m aware, I know I am a nerd. Speaking of which, I went as Steve Urkel for Halloween this year.

Urkel was the main character on “Family Matters” — another TGIF classic — and is a certified bust on TV Nerd Mount Rushmore alongside Carlton Banks, Donatello from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and Screech.

Dressing up as Urkel only helped my confidence and I thought my team — Christina Mahoney dubbed us “Trivia Newton John” — had a good mixture of backgrounds.

Joining me were staff writer Mark Mahoney, who is basically a “Highlander;” graphic designer Alisha Schlichte, an expert in TV trivia, and medical professionals Miranda Scott and Christina, Mark’s wife and my friend.

We were considering pairing off with a boys team and girls team; however, Josh and Bri Harrell showed up 30 minutes after the event started, which comes as a surprise to no one who knows them.

Also, Josh, a former Mail-Sun photographer, arriving late while dressed as Marty McFly speaks for itself.

Every table was full — only about a third of the hosting space in the Pavilion was used — and most people were dressed up.

The questions, curated by Pavilion assistant general manager Heather Jacobs, required a mixture of great guessing and random knowledge, and Trivia Newton John stayed in the thick of it.

However, one question came back to bite us because we did not go with the answer the only native Nebraskan on our team went with.

The question: It is illegal for men in Nebraska to have this kind of chest?

Our options were shaved, bare, hairy and painted. Mark, whose Nebraska roots are a major part of his identity, said “bare,” which turned out to be correct. We doubted him and had Alisha write “shaved” on the answer card.

Mark later checked with Dr. Ryan Becker, who also was playing and is a fellow Nebraska native, to see what answer he gave. When Dr. Becker told him “bare,” you could sense Mark’s frustration grow.

So why was this moment so pivotal? Well, because we loss by one point. ONE. SINGLE. POINT!

I would much rather lose in a landslide than lose by one. All my trash talk was for not because of an obscure Nebraska chest hair law.

Even though Trivia or Treat ended in heartbreaking fashion for Trivia Newton-John, it was still a good time. Between that event and Game Show Night at the Eagles Club, I had a pretty spook-tacular Halloween in Sheldon.