by Cathy Allie
I have been slightly obsessed with Jeopardy lately, due to a new champion, James, who has amassed great amounts of money. I either tune in or watch it from the DVR, almost daily.
By the time you read this, he will have crossed the 2-million-dollar threshold, yet to be upended by a quick-thumbed speech therapist or airline pilot or mountain climber. He might be on his way to 3 million, but either way James’ knowledge base is impressive. He has got me thinking about my Jeopardy skills.
There are days when I shout out an answer (of course in the form of a question) which has come from the deep recesses of my generally untested brain. I silently thank my junior history teacher Anthony McCord for sharing with me that FDR was the first sitting President to fly in a plane. I raise a hand to my Sunday School teachers for helping us memorize the books of the Bible in order or bless my dad for his love of an ice sport which makes it easy to recall that Gordie Howe’s nickname is Mr. Hockey.
I have had some notable success in playing the game against my husband. I once “ran” the category Parts of Speech. I am a former English teacher so frankly, it would have been embarrassing not to. But then he smoked me on Billiard Games. There were lots of pool halls in his small hometown where he apparently hung out as a kid. Go figure that would come in handy in a hotly contested Jeopardy game.
My daughter has joined in the quiz fun, primarily shouting out Pop Culture answers that someday her own children will call ancient history. “Who is Lady Gaga?” she says when the video comes up of the star in a Christmas tree headpiece.
Oddly, she also knew most of the answers under Amphibian Anime as well. Those Geico gecko commercials are working, I think.
Suffice it to say that categories like European Family Dynasties, Classical Music, Russian Literature, and Opera Arias are not my bag. Neither are World Geography, Scientific Mysteries, or Modern Artists. What’s left, you say? Well, I need a little different type category to succeed.
I would be a master at the Never Make these Recipes Again category. Clue: ‘Orange in color, sweet in taste, this yam-based dish made your family puke.’ Answer: “What are sweet potato bombs?”
In the category Pinterest Fails, the clue would be: ‘Excellent medium for children’s play and a tasty after school treat’ . Answer: “What is edible slime?” In the category I Would Never Do That Again, the clue would be ‘Packaged in boxes by approximate color,’ and the answer would be, “What is a home hair highlighting kit.” Don’t ask.
I would run the category Stuff We Will Never Understand About Middle School Girls. “I’ll take Middle School for $400, Alex.” Clue: ‘Mgrblhnphnph’. Answer: “What is her first unintelligible phrase of the morning?”
Possibly in the same category the $600 clue is ‘Currently going through any middle schooler’s head‘ and the answer is “What is I am being raised by wolves?” Maybe for $800 the clue is ‘5 weeks’. I hope that is the Daily Double, ‘cause I am betting it all. Answer: “What is how long is it since you have seen the floor of your room?”
And I might just need a different host than good old Alex Trebek. I want a sassy 40-50’ish Melissa McCarthy look-a-like woman who appears to have washed her hair on Tuesday and this is now Friday.
Maybe she would be wearing an Old Navy shirt from about 2006 with some unidentifiable stains because it is comfortable, and she never comes out from behind the podium because she is wearing yoga pants with a hole in an awkward spot and house slippers.
If I stay out of the negative in the single Jeopardy round, she winks at me and says, “You go girl.” In the category of Things You Would Like Them to Say to You at the Doctor, where the clue is: ‘Wow’ and the answer is “Why are you are so thin?!,” she hollers, “I know that’s right!”
My Final Jeopardy Round would need to be a working mom category and include something like Driving Multiple Places on Nearly No Gas Because I Know My Car, or Thawing Meat on the Dashboard While Driving Multiple Places, or What Do You Mean You are Out of Lunch Money? for me to make any cash and not go home in a respectable second place, broke as a joke.
Just so you know, in the category of Dreams Deferred, the clue is ‘Not tomorrow, not the next day, and not ever,” and my answer would have to be, “When is Cathy headed to Jeopardy?”
Cathy is a retired public school English teacher and Public Information Officer.