The end of an era

For more than 30 years, I’ve been an occasional participant in the Old Maltese’s trivia and map contests.

I started with the Great Maltese Circumglobal Trophy Dash, which used real and fictional maps to take you on a journey around the world – it was fun and very creative.

I’ve also participated in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, which uses a real atlas to take you around America. It wasn’t my cup of tea, but I did do better than Ken Jennings – I finished the whole thing!

But the contest that kept me coming back was the Almaniac, which gave you a copy of the World Almanac and about 80 questions – your job was to find the answers. I finished 28th one year (well, tied for 28th – which probably meant that there were a few hundred people ahead of me) and got a small plaque to commemorate my success.

The Almaniac has two editions per year, and there’s a small discount if you pay for both at the same time, which I did this year. I won’t do it again, though, because the postcard announcing this fall’s Almaniac bore sad news – it would be the last one.

Good thing I still have Learned League to feed my trivia habit!