“Which Czech writer’s nightmarish novel The Trial was published in English translation?” “What was the new official name of the southeast Asian nation Siam?” “What is the name for the Israeli parliament, which convened for the first time?”

These questions come from a deck of playing cards for the year of my birth. You know the type of thing: every question on a card relates to something that happened in that year.  (Answers at end of post.)

I love trivia. Whether Trivial PursuitJeopardy! or Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? I’m addicted to testing myself, and answers from others are a natural part of that process. Since my husband is a) not into pop culture, and b) a tad younger than I, I sometimes have an advantage. That’s what happened the other day as he whipped out (often hilarious) answers. For example, I held up this card:

Tracey and Hepburn

Before I could ask the question (“Which screen pair played husband-and-wife lawyers in Adam’s Rib?”) he said, “I know those people! Father Knows Best,” followed quickly by “Ozzie and Harriet.” His earnestness only added to my amusement.

It went downhill–and got even funnier–when he answered with a fictitious name. “Ricky Valley” was his answer to the question, “Which popular singer was the first to hold both the #1 and #2 spots on the charts with ‘That Lucky Old Sun‘ and ‘Mule Train‘?”Frankie Laine

Finally I had an entertainment question for him I knew he couldn’t miss. I displayed the card. Could he name the man?

Jeff Bridges Card

Nope. I read the card prompt: “Name this American Big Lebowski film actor, born December 4th.” Still nothing. “Okay” I said, “here’s a major clue: Your wife acted with him.” Relief flooded his face. “Ted Danson!”

When I finished laughing, I had to admire once again the way he jumped in and responded with relish, correctness be hanged. Then I started to think about it, and I wasn’t laughing anymore.

I’m older than Jeff Bridges.

(Franz Kafka; Thailand; Spencer Tracey and Katherine Hepburn; Frankie Laine; Jeff Bridges. I had a walk-on part in the 1992 movie, Fearless.)