Trivial Pursuit


As a bright teenager,
I wondered how adults,
who weren’t
– all that,
knew so many facts
and took so many
trivial pursuit slices.

Fast forward >>>
twenty years >>>

“Which country produces
the most olive oil?”
The eager, over-confident
PhD student expels
quickly, quietly:

I shake my head.

She looks at me
as if I’m mad –
she’s recently visited
and Italy is known
for its Olive oil.

“The question is about
quantity not quality –
we need to say Spain.”

Spain wins us the question.

But I’m left with another:
Why, when I’ve
accumulated all these
trivial facts –
knowledge dust that
clings revealing themselves
in a certain slant of light –
can I not remember
what I did last week?


26 thoughts on “Trivial Pursuit

  1. I thought Greece… but then I remembered it comes at the 4th place… may be. 🙂
    The gift from Athena is simply great.
    Very well observed and thoughtful piece. We tend to cling to the facts, forgetting many other important things.

  2. the italians make a dang good olive oil… we had some in tuscany that was made with their own olive trees where i used to sit on a swing amidst them… sad when quantity beats quality…. and yeah..sometimes over the facts we forget the real important things..

  3. ha. our heads are too full of the useless information to remember the important…it is rather fascinating at times the things that our minds hook into and hold onto…and what is so easily forgotten…agree as well on the sadness of quantity vs quality

  4. Isn’t that the truth!! It is amazing sometimes what we remember and then can’t remember what it was we needed at the grocery store. Smiles. I enjoyed your poem.

  5. I guess Spain makes the most olive oil but Italy’s is better, more subtle. I liked how you started your poem with the Trivial Pursuit and, at the end, your remark about what our memory ‘chooses’ to keep.

  6. It’s the 20 years–a great break in this poem–that does it. We love our long term memory which is almost mythic in its delights and horrors. Last week? pfff.

  7. One of my favorite games – I remember when it came out and the people my parents played with said, “No kids!” until they needed help then everyone wanted to ask me. I still love to play – and I remember the olive oil question! How cool…I miss playing it. Not many enjoy it as much anymore. 🙂 Great poem my friend.

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