Emily left us with a DVD of the David Tennant-Patrick Stewart RSC production of Hamlet
, which we're about two-thirds through after two nights. Eleanor checked out early tonight- she's on new and nasty medicine for her arm pain, plus she goes back to work for at least five straight days starting 9 tomorrow morning- so when the DVD player went dark, I turned to an old friend and watched the final 2012 episode of Jeopardy!
I go way back with the game. In elementary school, I'd get home for lunch most days just in time to hear Don Pardo announcing that now entering the studio are our three contestants.
At least once, one of those contestants was one of my elementary school teachers (the show originating from New York in those days). By high school, the lunchtime connection was gone, but the show was still in syndication, and when Weird Al brought out this spoof of it, I completely related:
By the time I got to Rochester, the show was back on in the evenings, with a new set, new dollar values, and the erudite Alex Trebek taking over for Art Fleming. Many a night for the next 20-odd years, I'd revisit my past. By the late 90s, I was meeting people online who'd WON on Jeopardy!,
ooooh-oo-ooo-ooooh, including PaulPsomethingorother and the immensely modest screennamed alumnus Jeopchamp. Around that time, I made my first effort to sign up- and wound up in the tank with Al rather than the glory with Paul.
These days, about the only time I watch is when, and shortly after, Emily is home, because she's made watching as much a 7:30 ritual as the lunches with Art and Don were for me over 40 years ago. Twice since she's left, I've found my way to its new home on Channel 4 (the same channel, if different city and network, that showed it in New York in the 60s), but I've also prepared myself for the remotest of hopes: I've signed up, yet again, to take that damned 50-question test, the first step to being selected to appear on the how.
Legend has it you need 35 correct out of 50 to pass, not even worrying about phrasing in the form of a question, and on no prior occasion have I come even close to that. On the other hand, on a typical evening's game with all 60 clues revealed, I routinely know 50 of them, including most of the ones that go to "boop boop boop" where nobody knows. Chalk it up to nervousness, or to the test being harder than the average real game, but that's my history and I'm hopefully NOT sticking with it. A week from Wednesday night, I'll log in (to Internet Explorer, grrrr- DoNotTrack doesn't get along with Sony) and see if the umpteenth time is the charm. Already it's a good omen that one of the audition sites this time, for those who do pass, is right here in Buffalo- first time I've ever seen that. Cleveland was the closest I've ever chosen before this.
I'm still online friends in one venue or another with some who've made it to tapings- maybe only coming out with the Alleve thousand-dollar consolation prize, if not a case of Rice-a-Roni- but they inspire. It's as close as I get to a bucket list item, based entirely on the skull full of useless information I've managed to acquire.
On the other hand, I still have to overcome Art Fleming already in my head going "No, sorry."
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