Eileen’s Trip to Jeopardy Part 7: Waiting and Watching

On which Eileen should have been careful what she prayed for. We had done our
practicing, signed all pertinent forms and had the make­up artist spackle our faces(I
asked her to come home with me to show me how she minimized the bags under my
eyes. They’re a genetic thing. My mom could have packed for Europe on hers). We
all go up to the audience. If you’re facing the stage, we’re on the right side. An aisle
away are our families whom we’ve brought to watch us potentially humiliate
ourselves. Mind you, we can’t make eye contact. Not only have we been told that,
they have, too. In this day of cell phones and stuff, nobody wants to take the chance
that you could even seem to be cheating. So the fifteen contestants for the day talk to
each other.

And I pray I don’t get called for the first game of the day. I don’t do morning, even
on the west coast. I truly don’t want to be caught drooling on national TV. So I watch
the lady with the clipboard approach, and I close my eyes. And she…calls three other
names. I sign in relief. The three chosen ones grow noticeably paler, but follow to
the stage. We notice that the middle booth’s screen is not working properly. The lady
signs her name, just like you see, but it’s, er, upside down. People’s heads can’t.
Everything stops. They erase(the producers are the only ones who can erase, in a
bipartisan method, like election places). She tried again. You see dots and dashes,
like Picasso doing morse code. Finally, after five tries, everything looks find and
they claim all well(remember that for when I get the middle booth. Some of that
wasn’t my fault.

Aaaaaand, there’s Johnny Gilbert in the corner. A group of people, some with
headsets, take their places at a table in front of the stage with a bunch of computers.
The stage managers gives hand signals, and Johnny starts the intro(It’s so cute. He
actually bounces right up off his stool when he says the word “JEO­pardy!!” Out
comes Alex, who really does look exactly like that. He really does look so perfectly
Alex that if I hadn’t been there, I would have sworn he was a video of himself.

Greetings, buzzers up, and…

Arrrrrgh!!! Why are they giving my game to somebody else? That stupid first game I
didn’t want to play has all the categories I want. Literature, history, TV. I mean,
come on! The Congress of Vienna?! I’m the only one sitting in our area who
even knows what it was!! They even have a clue about Daniel Radcliffe being in the
play Cripple of Inishmaan on Broadway, which nobody in the game knows. I not
only know it, I SAW the damn thing(great play, BTW)two months earlier. Not fair!!

I think I answered every clue on the board. I just know I’m going to get Shakira Hits
and the NBA. Sigh.

Maybe they’ll have Great Guitar Licks and Great Cardinals Teams when I’m up. I
just have to wait….