Wednesday, June 18, 2008

All Up in Alex's Junk

This is Eric's third blog and it won't be nearly as cute as those with pictures of Miles.
I got back from my Jeopardy try-out last week and it was a crazy experience. It was mostly crazy because I had two flights in less than 20 hours once you factor in the three hour delay I was blessed with on Wednesday night. I crammed as best I could by thankfully praying to E. D. Hirsch for the 6 hours I was at the airport and on the plane, but it could never replace the fact that I had done nothing for the month preceding it despite the best of intentions. Having a delightfully cute and entertaining son born six weeks prematurely seems to change your academic preparation. I had to rest on the laurels of my Mentor High not-so liberal arts education and it didn't do me so well. More on that later...

I arrived at the Cleveland Renaissance? Hotel cringing at the $12 parking fee. However, that will pale in comparison to my eventual winnings so I pressed on to the conference room. There were already a bunch of people filling out paperwork and as I looked around, I saw too many college professors from schools we have never heard of, coffee shop baristas, and overweight bookstore women. I was different. I was young. Only three of us (out of thirty) were under thirty. Most were in their late forties or fifties. I was different. I was dapper. My khaki suit (the one I got married in) was coupled with a blue button down and sandals. It was a beautiful thing. I looked like a true Southern Gentleman walking to Paula Dean's restaurant for some biscuit comfort after a rough night at a Preakness after-party.

After awkward instructions and random seating, the lot of us sat down to our pencil-and-paper test. This was administered to make sure you weren't in a room full of trivia freaks or googling with one hand and answering with the other while you passed the online test. You had to answer at least 35 of the 50 questions correctly with only eight seconds to answer. I got at least 35 of them right but was sorely disappointed at my failing memory and angry at the others potentials that had 20-40 more years to study than me. Kudos to my English education as a Laker as I missed three of the four literature questions; I am sure after four years of Language Arts (and actually reading books) my Cardinal cohort would have known that Herman freakin' Melville wrote Moby freakin' Dick and not "my mind totally went blank, but I know it is the guy who wrote Moby Dick." Seriously, I answered that. In any case, I had at least three questions that I wrote the correct answer and then crossed it out and put a wrong one. Did you know there is a city called "THE Hague." WTF Mate? A city that begin with "the?" In any case, I passed. It was at this point that the MC announced that we were all eligible to be on the show and we could be called any time in the next 18 months to be on the show. There are 1500 of us for between 400 and 600 spots. It is not a random draw though, they pick who they want (unfortunately not who I want). Advantage Eric. I am not an old, overweight, bookshelf stocker drinking a double soy mocha latte between terms of teaching Kierkegaard to undergrads that coincidentally don't care about the class because it is too difficult.

We do get to play the game a little and during this activity I did wonderfully average. I missed some easy questions including one on Raphael and one on Hans Holbein (surprisingly not the Younger). I do think that I did no worse than others but certainly no better. Some girl next to me knew every movie ever made including a PBR reference from "Blue Velvet." David Lynch movies suck too much to be on Jeopardy. This was followed by a brief interview in which I stammered a bit but made them laugh as well. It was an average performance despite being able to discuss compound interest.

We were dismissed about two hours after we began and I left with my head held high. I did acquire one memento of the event: a Jeopardy pen.

This quickly reminded me of the power of the pen and I am not talking about the 7th grade English project we all got suckered into doing.

Now, I am just trying to forget about it so that when they call me in December 2009, it will be a wonderful surprise. Time to go study for "Months that Begin with 'Feb'...."


  1. Well, well! There are two clever writers in your family! Well summarized, Eric! It may well be an advantage to be a dapper young man in a field of more mature contestants. We'll hope!

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  3. This was Hilarious. "Moby-freakin'-Dick".

    I covet that pen. Seriously.

    Can't wait for the next Jeopardy update!

  4. Haha! that's so very funny :)) I especially liked the way you described your impressions, and the way you dressed 'like a southern gentleman" in your wedding suit and sandals made me laugh out loud (especially when i saw the pic!)
    you have a terrific sense of humor, Eric! :)

  5. So, when you posted this entry, did YOU activate all the hyperlinks or did blogger do it automatically??? Curious...
    Bt-dubbs... WAY TO GO, Dude! You're gonna be on geo-party!

  6. Argh! "anonymous" was meeee, gosh darnnit!