I was afraid this would happen. For weeks now, the “Men in Black” have been boasting how they would once again sweep the field and win the Trivia Night. With unassailable confidence we said, ‘come and see if you can second’. How could anyone doubt that we would defend our title? And then, last night came the moment of truth.
It wasn’t pretty.
First of all, a record turnout – 27 tables! But we could still beat them!
People came from all over Sydney. There were challengers from St Mark’s and St Anthony’s and Anba Abraam. St Demiana sent some representatives as did the Apostles. And probably others I did not notice in my agony. But no matter … let them come! We were ready for them!
At the half way point, we shared the lead. Yes, everything was going to plan. Let them build up their confidence and then … we’d go into overdrive in the final rounds!
But then the wheels began to fall off!
Our Sudoko expert (Tasoni Georgette) unexpectedly fell sick and couldn’t make it (sabotage?) Fr Arsanius, filling in that role valiantly struggled with puzzle, wrestling it with the full force of his analytical prowess – but he didn’t have his laptop with him! Oh no – that was a 30 point advantage we had to give away. But we could still do it, surely!
We killed the first “Famous Faces” question, but then we went against our instincts in choosing what was behind St Mark instead of our local favorite, Pope Kyrollos VI … and instead of 30 much needed points we ended up with … Siyami Cake! SIYAMI CAKE? Where is the justice????
Then they changed the mix of questions on us! Come on! Where were all the questions about Ishbosheth or the towers if Uzziah? Lo-ruhama and Lo-Ammi we know, but what is this Viduka???
We were beginning to stumble! We fell to the dark depths of 16th position. It was like a nightmare, a nightmare you want to wake up from but you just can’t!
The final rounds, and we bravely knuckled down to make a late comeback. 14th place. 11th place. Yes, yes… 10th place, 8th place … and suddenly, it was over!
Seriously though, it was a wonderful night regardless of who won (yes, I know, that’s what the losers always say, but in this case, it is true). Believe it or not, the MIB table was actually overjoyed at the outcome of the night. Through the rounds, we were torn between disappointment at every question we got wrong and pure joy at every religious question that everybody else got right. And there were some tough ones in there! You guys have learned your stuff well. And your performance in the general knowledge questions showed that you are very well-rounded individuals.
Christians living in the world, yet firmly and permanently founded in Christ – what more could a bunch of priests (and their wives) ask for? We may not have been winners on the scoreboard, but we certainly felt like winners when we saw you all doing so well and enjoying the night in such a lovely spirit of Christian love and fellowship. Not to mention the countless selfless individuals who gave up their time and effort to make the food, do the decorations, work the IT, prepare the questions, etc, etc, etc. A huge task, and all carried out without a complaint or an angry word, teamwork at its best.
No, we could have come 28th last night and still felt that we were winners – because you are our joy and victory. May God bless you all and protect you from the wiles of the devil. And especially, may He keep that ugly demon pride away from you all. Speaking of which…
We’ll be back next year, and this time …. no more Fr Nice Guy!