He won a hat, and didn't lose it until six whole months later!
Pub Trivia was never my strong suit, because my best category was always Beer Drinking. And after slurping a couple of cold ones down, the only thing I want to do is write down “answers” that I think will upset the host. Then I block out the world around me and study his face as he goes through each square of paper… that one’s mine! I recognize it immediately, I folded into a tight, obnoxious little square. But not too tight! I don’t want him to throw it out. It’s a chore, but a chore that’s just lightweight enough that you’ll grumble and do it anyway. The paper unfolds. Part one of my plan is a success. The gears are lubed. The misery machine is ready to crank. The host reviews the question in his head, “Who portrayed Archie Bunker in the top-rated 1970s sitcom, All in the Family?” The host squints to read my square. The paper is wet, the room is dim, and my cheap-beer-drunken handwriting is a hatchet-faced massacre. After much effort, the words finally slide into focus. “Shit Burritoe.” He can’t process it. Not right away, at least. Maybe it’s the unnecessary “e” in “burrito.” His eyes don’t move, but you can see his mind do a double-take. Not the sexy lady kind of double-take. The sad kind. The “I hope someone checks to see if that homeless man is dead, but it’s not going to be me” kind of double-take. He swallows a sigh, and casually folds the paper in an effort to disguise the blatant subversion of his sacred trivia system. The bar can’t know. It would be the end of everything. But I haven’t won yet. No, not until he puts that square into his pocket. It’s out of the running, and it’s accidentally in his pants the next time he wears them. It’s a week later. He’s parked outside a kitchenware store, searching for a quarter to feed the meter. He finds a square of trash in his pocket. What’s this? He opens it. “Shit Burritoe.” He turns pale. Now I’ve won.