Were we smart or just smarter?

Tina Comeau
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A selfie of Carla Allen, Tina Comeau and Eric Bourque with their newspaper hats after winning their round of the April Fool’s Trivia Challenge.

Yarmouth Vanguard associate editor Tina Comeau writes a welcome column for the newspaper called It's My Life.


So once again our Yarmouth Vanguard newsroom participated in the April Fool’s Trivia Challenge at the Yarmouth library.

It’s an event that rolls around once every two years to launch an important event at the Western Counties Regional Library – this being their Adopt-a-Book campaign in which the library aims to add over 1,000 books to its collection in its library branches.

We’re always a little nervous in the newsroom when we agree to participate in these types of events since the word trivia leaves one with the impression that you need to be smart.

Or at least smarter than we give ourselves credit for in the newsroom.

And we’re usually stacked up against the CJLS team. So now our dignity is at stake because if we lose the radio guys will go on the air bragging about how they beat the Vanguard. Blah, blah, blah.

On the morning of the challenge Eric Bourque came into the newsroom. “Good morning Eric,” I said. “Are you feeling smart today?”

His response? “I thought you said we only had to be smart today for 10 minutes around noon.”

Aaaahhh, yes. That was our strategy.

About half an hour before the challenge, however, we decided we needed to add more to our arsenal of brilliance. We decided hats made out of newspaper were the way to go.

Carla Allen, Eric and myself took a selfie of us wearing the hats, tweeted it out and posted it to Facebook as a means of throwing down the gauntlet. Then we headed to the library.

As we walked into the building a crow in a tree seemed to be taunting us. “Haw, haw,” I swear I heard it say. Once inside, the CJLS guys started taunted us. Deep down I think they were just jealous because we had cool hats – or smart hats, as we called them.

Each round of the trivia challenge lasts only 10 minutes and those 10 minutes fly by – except for when you haven’t given a correct answer to the last three questions.

I will give credit where credit is due. That Kevin Northup fellow from CJLS was pretty quick at answering questions. It’s not that we didn’t know the answers to the sports and music questions that were being asked, but we couldn’t spit the answers out fast enough.

Our speed comes in typing as opposed to speaking.

Also thrown into the mix during our round was the team from Tusket Ford whose correct answers seemed to mostly coincide with them waving money in the air. Yes, the folks at the library throw morals out the window on trivia challenge day and will except bribes.

So when in Rome . . .

I do have to say during the next round there was much more money exchanging hands as the teams from the various banks had a lot of money at their disposal. It all seemed rather suspicious to me.

Going back to our round, as the clock ticked down to the final 20 seconds we graciously slid a “gift” to the library across our table that included a stack of new books and a bookmark that looked remarkably similar to a 20 dollar bill. We may not have been the smartest team in our round in terms of answering the most questions, but we were smarter when it came to our line of attack. Plus we had Belle Hatfield on our side. Belle is on sick leave from our newsroom. While that didn’t disqualify her from being on our team, the fact that she helped to write some of the questions for the trivia challenge did.

Still, she opened her heart – but most importantly her wallet – to help secure our Vanguard win for that round.

And we had the hats.

Did I mention that we beat CJLS?

In the end the team from the town of Yarmouth ended up winning the whole trivia challenge as they had the most points of the day. In their round they had the advantage of going up against just one other team, the Municipality of Argyle, so they had less people competing for the answers. Seems to me there ought to be a bylaw against that.

Regardless, the event was a lot of fun and most importantly it raised awareness and money for the Adopt-a-Book campaign. During the past nine campaigns, around 11,620 books and other materials have been purchased, or adopted, for the library. People still have until June 30 to support the campaign. I encourage you to do so.

As for our team, while we didn’t win the overall challenge we did preserve our dignity while making a smart fashion statement at the same time.

Okay, ‘smart’ might not be the best choice of words.


Organizations: Western Counties Regional Library

Geographic location: Yarmouth, Rome, Argyle

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