Rebecca Returns Victorious, A Bizarro Trivia Night, and The FIVE Basic Tastes?!
Thursday November 29th 2012, 11:48 am
Filed under: Family, Friends, Knowledge Junkie, Liberty!

This Tuesday, our trivia team was bursting with knowledge. Perhaps this was due to our special ringer, recently-returned-home victorious Field Dictator Director of northern New Hampshire for the Obama campaign, my sister Rebecca! I’m exceptionally proud of her and all the hard work she did to get the President re-elected. So maybe I’m just a little biased–the whole trivia team was really on the ball. Plus we had Rebecca! So it was both.

After the first six rounds, we were kicking some ass. Lots of ass, in fact. We had three perfect rounds in a row. We were in first place, with a decent lead over our nearest challenger. Honestly, this is very unusual for us. Normally, after six rounds, we’re doing okay or just fine, but we really tend to pull ahead in the seventh and final round. Even in championship tournaments, we always rule as kings and queens over good ol’ Round Seven.

This week, however, the monarchy fell. We bombed Round Seven. We racked up a bunch of negative points and knocked ourselves out of the money. It was a really weird, bizarro trivia night.

The question that really did us in (and which continues to haunt me) was, “To which basic taste group does MSG belong?” The question’s grammatical correctness was almost certainly not as beautifully as that… but I suppose that’s really beside the point. Anyway, I answered that MSG was “salty,” with which my team agreed, hands down.

The real answer was “umami.” I did not know that this was even a thing. But it is. For some reason, something about the word “umami” doesn’t really seem to fit in with the words “sour,” “sweet,” “bitter,” and “salty.” It turns out that “umami” is a Japanese word that means “savory.” It also turns out that we already have a word for that in English. I mean, if it just means “savory,” why not use the English word for “savory” (“savory”) instead of the Japanese word for “savory?”

Also, what exactly is savory? I’d say it’s something that makes me go, “Mmmm… this tastes good.” Surely, though, each individual person must have different things that make them say, “Mmmm,” right? So it would seem very hard to be scientifically objective about this taste category. Bitter I know–I’m always bitter.

It turns out this is just another one of those things they’re teaching kids in elementary school these days that’s way different from what we learned in elementary school. Five tastes! Five oceans! Eight planets! What is happening to our education system?! And more importantly, do you know any fifth graders who might want to join my trivia team?

–Reid.


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