Well, now even I’ve seen Jeopardy! Again. I have to admit, I’m relieved. As I told you before, I didn’t remember much about the actual game(except for the moments of humiliation, like when I didn’t remember that Frank Lloyd Wright didn’t have a webpage). I answered a lot more questions than I remembered. I even got a baseball question, which made me much happier(Alex even seemed surprised that I knew it—I guess he figured that anybody conversant in baseball wouldn’t also be conversant with the Virgin Mary.) I appeared purposeful, even to me(although I would have edited out the Wallace squee after finding out that a jacknife was also a fish), and he seemed to like my answer to the obligatory question(and come on. It was more interesting than mermaids).
Thank you to everyone who has followed me along my trip. Special thanks to those of you who took the time to send messages of support and congratulations. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you didn’t think I looked stupid. I do have a couple more notes I took that day about what happened. First was about what happened during the first commercial break.
Great. I just almost killed Alex Trebek. During one of the commercials, he comes around to take pictures with each contestant, so we could prove we were actually there. He was moving so fast to get the photos done before the end of the break, that he missed seeing my hydraulic lift was set at maximum and slammed right into it. I heard this mild oath, and then him saying, “Holy cow, you really are short” right after he almost went ass over teakettle across the stage. Fortunately for me, he didn’t, or I have a feeling he would have made sure I didn’t get a right answer for the rest of the game.
I’m not sure he didn’t get his revenge, though. At the end, when he comes around to shake hands, he reaches for mine and….here’s the note.
Alex Trebek just called me old. Well, not really. But it feels like it. When he came over to shake hands like he does at the end of every show, he grins at me and says, “Well, Eileen, it’s just tough going up against these whippersnappers, isn’t it?”
Whippersnappers? What?! Do I look old? Did I sound old? Confused, anxious? Blank-brained? For an entire three days my poor sister has had to keep telling me that no, I wasn’t old. I had been fine. “Well, except for that moment when you were all standing up on stage and there’s this awful silence, and finally you said, “Welllll, I guess that would be me.” (which, thankfully, they edited out). On the other hand, I was older than everybody else by at least 20 years. But really, whippersnapper? I’m younger than Alex is, damn it.
In summation, it was the trip of a lifetime. The people with the show were amazingly kind, funny, patient, excited, enthusiastic and exacting, so that we didn’t have to be. They truly seemed to want us to do well. The other 14 contestants were interesting, nice, funny, and friendly(even the two snots who beat me). Alex is exactly the pro you would think him to be, and Johnny Gilbert is as cute as a button. And even though I didn’t win, neither did I find myself in the humiliating position of not being asked back for Final Jeopardy. On any other episode, I would have won by a wide margin(damn smart contestants). And contrary to what my siblings contended all these years, all that trivia wasn’t a waste of time. It got me on Jeopardy!