Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Tonight, The Common Man made The Uncommon Wife put The Boy to bed so that he could take the Jeopardy online challenge. Since he was but a boy, playing Jeopardy on his Apple IIe (Even The Common Man's video games were nerdy. Between this and Number Munchers, The Common Man is lucky he had any friends. How do you entice the guys to come over to your house to check out the new Jeopardy game, Mom? HOW?), The Common Man has wanted to be a contestant. And so, as he had nothing better to do tonight, he thought he'd drop everything and spend an evening answering question after question after question.

As it turns out, the test is short. It's just fifty questions, each of which have to be answered in less than 15 seconds (to keep you from Googling the answers, no doubt). Fifteen seconds is almost no time at all, especially when you're racking your brain to remember which poet wrote such and such a lyric in 1846 or whatever. Damn near impossible. It's a test designed to test quick recall, and does not reward intuitive thought, like the real game does with its leading questions. Nor is there time to process the categories. Better to ignore them altogether and to focus on the question. The process is frantic and nerve-wracking, leaving you little time to catch your breath or to compose yourself for the next question.

Anyway, The Common Man feels like he did okay on the test, but will never know for certain how he did. That information is kept under lock and key at Jeopardy headquarters, located in a bunker, 4 stories underground, in Trebek's native Sudbury, Ontario. If he issuccessful in passing the exam, The Common Man's name will be placed in a random drawing to select those who will get to interview to become contestants. Does it sound to you like, even if he did well, The Common Man has a chance in Hell? You're right, probably not. But still, a man can dream of outrageous good fortune in getting picked, and finding that the categories include baseball hall of famers, fried foods, pinups, movies with big explosions, beer, and manly men of historic note. Oh well, maybe next year, eh Trebek?.

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