Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Riddle You This! My skills as a quizmaster

To quote Airplane!, "We have clearance, Clarence."

For a while I've been submitting questions for Geek Trivia, which Cort and Fatboy have been hosting and which Things From Another World has been sponsoring, and which -- this is the point -- precluded me from playing. What if questions of mine came up in the contest? The thing is, not many did. Maybe four. Ultimately, what I was writing wasn't different enough from what Cort and Bobby were writing for the contest to really stand out, plus the two of them are doing plenty well writing them anyway.

The immediate upshot is, Bobby's allowed me to play again (he'll make sure any questions of mine -- the last of which I submitted over a month ago -- are off the list). The less immediate upshot is, I know I can write geeky quiz questions.

Here's an example of the thought process I know I can do to write them.

Writer-director James Cameron, I remembered, has often gotten romantically involved with co-workers: he's been married to several of them, most recently and the longest to actor Suzy Amis who'd been in Titanic. (She also was Edie in The Usual Suspects.) Before marrying her, he'd been married at different times to director Kathryn Bigelow, actor Linda Hamilton, and producer Gale Anne Hurd. OK. Possible multiple-choice question: which Hollywood-connected woman he'd worked with did Cameron not marry? Who should be the fifth, "not married" answer?

Here's where I'd need to balance likelihood and familiarity. Kate Winslet, star of Titanic, is familiar (thank goodness; she's a fantastic actor who's earned her success), but she's too unlikely, mainly because of how poorly they got along making the film. Jamie Lee Curtis from True Lies is probably too obviously the "not" answer: I think most people paying attention to Cort and Fatboy in particular and geeky stuff in general know she's married to Spinal Tap/A Mighty Wind's Christopher Guest. Avatar's Zoe Saldana? Too unlikely. Dark Angel's Jessica Alba? That's a reach; would people even remember that show, let alone that Cameron worked on it? Had I done this as a Geek Trivia question, I probably would've used Sigourney Weaver as the "Not" answer (which was my suggestion to Bobby), but... devious side knew that the crowd at Geek Trivia would know who Jenette Goldstein was.

You'd probably recognize her. Jenette Goldstein worked with Cameron on



(That's Aliens, Terminator 2, and Titanic, in case there's trouble seeing the images.)

What if she'd been the answer? Too obscure? Or the right kind of you'd-have-to-ponder-it question? Because I can totally picture Jenette Goldstein and James Cameron being married -- and plenty of other Geek Trivia contestants could, too. It'd make them think!

Anyway, I know I can write trivia questions. I've developed another skill.
Tags: portland

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