Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gambling with Alex

ANSWER:  The best of times, the worst of times.

QUESTION:  What is... the time Larainy tried out for Jeopardy?

I remember how excited I was to find out that the Jeopardy gang was coming to Wild Horse Pass to audition contestants.  I couldn't figure out how they were going to choose super smart people in the middle of thundering herds of wild horses, but then I found out that Wild Horse Pass is a 

By the time I got there, the line snaked all the way through the slot machine cave and I couldn't see where it ended.   
image found here

At first I wondered how they were going to identify all the super smart jeopardy hopefuls in the midst of all the gamblers. After a few minutes watching the zombies at the slot machines, I quit worrying.

In my hours spent in the slot machine cave I learned a lot about slot machine experts.  
  • they are old
  • they smoke
  • they wouldn't notice Alex Trebek doing backflips in Vanna White's glitter gown
By the time it was finally my turn to take the ten question prequalifying Jeopardy test, second hand smoke had turned me into a nicotine fiend. I grasped the test with my yellow fingers, filled it out and turned it in with a trembling hand. 

Me:  Hey, where's Alex?

Testing Guy:  Are you serious?  He doesn't come to the tryouts.  Cigarette smoke kills your brain cells.

Me:  Me know that now.

Testing Guy:  Congratulations, you passed.  Here is a letter with instructions on when and where to show up for the next phase of testing.

Me:  Whatever.  Do you have a Marlboro and some spare change?

A few weeks later, when I had kicked my smoking/gambling habit with the aid of a patch and a threatening husband,
 image found here
      I showed up at the beautiful Sanctuary at Camelback Mountain.

So, this is how the Jeopardy winners live huh?  I straightened my shoulders and set my goal to ace the final test, laugh vivaciously and toss my hair during the on camera audition, win at least 10 games and/or $850,000 and move in to the Casita next to the tennis court.

After waiting a while, the group of about 100 was divided in half.   My gang of 50 assembled in a nice conference room where we met Sarah Whitcomb, part of the Jeopardy Clue Crew 

She told us about her glamorous life traveling and prying clues loose all over the world.  She answered questions, she charmed us and showed off her excellent dental hygiene and then she turned into a mean school teacher and gave us the test.

It was fifty questions flashed on a screen with a rapidity that made my head spin.  By the time I remembered the answer to #6 was Howard Taft, the answer to #11 was already Julia Roberts.

We killed time while our tests were graded and then reassembled to find out our fates.  Jeopardy never tells you how miserably you failed or how stunningly you succeeded.  They called out the names of twelve winners with agonizing slowness.  There were 10 men and 2 women.  None of them was me.

It's okay.  I survived nicotine addiction for this man and anyway, I prefer to remember him like he was in the 70's when I still had all my brain cells.



Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Geez, he was/is cute!

I win every evening at Jeopardy at my house. (Mind you, I'm the first to buzz in ....)

Matthew MacNish said...

Wow. Awesome story.

Sue said...

Hey, at least you were in the running!


The Bipolar Diva said...

How exciting to have made it that far!

Connie said...

Great tale you tell. I am sad you didn't make the final cut, you would have been awesome on Jeopardy. You would have had them in stitches I'm sure.

I'm Cindy said...

I'm impressed that you even tried out for jeopardy. So you are not only funny but a smart lady also!! PS, I have lost money at that casino.

Melynda said...

I just have one question, when did you sneak a picture of my Tenants? They love the slots! It would be a hoot to watch you on Jeopardy, but you know we don't get TV reception, I would have to go to the casino to watch you.

karen said...

I admire that you even went. And actually answered things. I tend to forget my name in situations like that.