I've been hosting trivia nights for nineteen years.
Nineteen. Fucking. Years.
Literally half of my life has involved some sort of weekly ritual asking half-drunk, over-schooled, often depressed, underachievers questions more suited for a Year-10 classroom than the fern-infested ‘boutique’ bars I often found myself in. "What's the capital of BLOW MY BRAINS OUT?!!", "Name this song from the 80s that AAAAAARRRGGHH! KILL ME!" Seriously, if I come across another team that calls themselves 'Trivia Newton John' - AND ACTUALLY BELIEVES IT'S FUNNY - I will literally disembowel each team member with the same pen they use to draw dick and balls on every unused inch of answer sheet.
Some might say being a trivia host for that long destroys your soul and makes you lose all faith in humanity. Others would say my soul was destroyed by the list of girls I met while hosting trivia who tricked me into loving them, get engaged, and have them run off with my best friend or be found sexting sub-par musicians whose careers only existed because they had famous musician uncles. But I digress. The point is, trivia sucks. The relationships you start at trivia nights really suck, and hosting trivia for 19 years makes you hate the universe.
And so I hung up the trivia microphone and embarked on a completely new career. I became a DJ co-host at an opinion trivia show.
Finally, the sense of freedom from these gross facts and horrible tidbit-obsessed people was imminent. I began to look around the room and see people laughing at each others answers rather than yelling at Steve for thinking the capital of Canada was Montreal. The waring tribes of 'Quiz In My Pants' and 'Fact Hunt' were replaced with a communal appreciation that if countries were humans, Canada would be everyone's best mate. Something beautiful was happening. People were nicer to each other. People were smiling more. But the best thing I noticed… people were falling in love.
Yes, it took me three and a bit off-topic paragraphs to get here, but Sheepoll's Opinion Trivia is the new Tinder.
I didn’t notice straight away, but there was this one guy (who has asked to remain anonymous) who would come back week-after-week with a different girl. Each week it was a similar story. While we were setting up for a show, a 20-something year-old female would enter the bar by themselves, look around the room, look at their watch, nervously sit at a table for two, get up, go get a drink, sit back down, and wait for our repeat-Romeo to arrive. It was an obvious blind/Tinder date, as we would get to witness the wonderfully awkward handshake and the “Oh, you look just like you do in your photos.”
At first, we were skeptical of this guy, but as we started to grill him (often on the microphone) I began to realise he belonged within the same class of genius as Albert Einstein and Rick Sanchez. He had discovered that Opinion Trivia was the perfect way to fast-track the getting-to-know-you stage of dating. Forget the boring questions of ‘Do you have any siblings?’ or ‘So, what exactly do you do for work?’. If you want to stare into someone’s soul, discuss the nuances of eating your best friend to survive, or debate whether Gordan Ramsay with a spoon would beat Jamie Oliver with a knife.
After seeing our friend return a few times with different girls, he eventually brought the same girl back again!! Then again the next week, and then again repeatedly with more friends, AND…even family. Yep, Opinion Trivia brought these crazy kids together, and it couldn’t make this jaded old man any happier.
Since then, we’ve noticed more and more beautifully awkward handshakes at the start of the night. You want to find your soul mate? Come to Opinion Trivia! Nathan and Melissa (pictured above) had their first date at Opinion Trivia and largely attribute their disgustingly cute connection to the fun of the show. "It removed the awkward 'Hmmm, what do I ask now?" moments you can have on first dates. Honestly, it set the mood for how our relationship has formed. I remember genuinely laughing at some of her answers and feeling a connection', explains Nathan, 'It certainly set the playful mood of our relationship. Real emphasis has been put on how we ask questions to one another.'
'I also like that we try to go back every now and again and now hide answers from each other. Relationship tester Sheepoll! One day we'll get a question that will make me break up with you (Nathan)', jests Melissa. 'I really liked the icebreaker that night was. I question how well our relationship would be doing without it hahaha. Kidding. But it did help us relax.'
With all this love and apparent Valentine powers unveiled, it only made sense to make an entire segment that would help someone in the audience find their perfect match. ‘Relationsheep’ was introduced at the start of the year to the second half of the show and sees the audience blind-vote a match for our 'star-single' with three single suiters off-stage. The winning match-up is sent on a romantic date then and there, with the occasional probing microphones of the annoying hosts.
Some go better than others. Sam (pictured bottom, right) has featured in the segment a few times but never landed love. Vanessa (pictured below, left) had a great time with her love-match, with the date lasting long after we had packed up and gone home. We asked her the following week how it went, and while they exchanged numbers and had fun chemistry, she hasn’t heard anything back since. Oh well.
But, as they say in the classics, all is fun in a love and… errr umm. I can’t remember. I was never any good at trivia. But I’m great at opinions… and my opinion is if you are looking for love, you may or may not find it at Opinion Trivia. I’m not trying to sell you anything. I mean, I didn’t meet the love of my life at Opinion Trivia…. but I did get a second date with her because of my homemade beard oil… which you can now buy at www.blkram.com and The Sheepoll Shop. But I digress again. At Sheepoll’s Opinion Trivia, you might just find the one for ewe.
Or maybe just someone to ram.
But seriously. Buy my beard oil.
Poll-mating is the new tinder.
Monday July 16, 2018
FEATURE ARTICLE - Steffan van Lint
Opinionated Love - Melissa and Nathan had their first date at Opinion Trivia, and haven't stopped asking stupid questions since.
I'm still waiting! The chemistry sparked for Vanessa, but didn't ignite.
Sam (right) gets a kiss for the photo. But just for the photo.