The best thing about abandoning your dreams is that it really frees you up. A great deal of pressure is lifted from you. If you don’t know where you’re going, you can’t get lost, or something like that. There is one dream I will never give up on though; getting on Jeopardy!. It has become an all consuming drive that motivates my every action.
Two years ago I took the online test and made it to the second round. Phase two of the test was held at the Sheraton in a non-descript conference room. As soon as I walked in, the lady running the auditions thought she recognized me from somewhere. Bad news. You can’t be a contestant if you know, or are related to, any Jeopardy! staff or even their friends. Throughout the two and a half hour process, she kept bringing it up over and over, even though I told her I had never met her.
Now, imagine the best one or two people you have ever watched Jeopardy! with, I mean the absolute top one or two lights out best. Now imagine yourself in a room filled with thirty of him/her. The competition was tough to say the least. The written test at the beginning of the audition was tricky, but I thought I did all right. Then we had a mock round where three of us would get up and actually compete with buzzers and everything. That was fun, and I smoked my two competitors. Our threesome was one of the last to go, and part of the mock round was being asked “If you win on Jeopardy!, what would you do with the money?” I was so sick of hearing person after person say “I’d travel,” or “I’d pay off my student loans,” or “I’d cure cancer, and plant a tree, and save the fucking whales…” Ahhhhhh! Booooring. So when I got my chance to answer the question, I said “I’d drink and gamble most of the money away…..and the rest I would squander.” Well, the middle of the three judges thought it was the funniest thing he had ever heard, but the other two judges looked like I had just kicked their prized pet poodle in the privates. They both glared at the cool judge until his laughter kind of broke down into a throat clearing.
Now, let me explain the philosophy behind my answer.
If you watch Jeopardy! then you are probably just as sick as I am of the banal contestants. If I see one more patent attorney from Hartford, or an accountant from Sacremento, with their fucking sweater vests and ridiculous bow ties rambling on about a cat they named Trebek, or their trip to Spain, when some store owner mistook them for Bill Gates I’m going to scream. Nobody fucking cares! (They really need to get rid of the little interview portion, but perhaps that is another rant on it’s own). Whether they know it or not, Jeopardy! needs cooler, funnier contestants, so I went into my audition with that agenda. It must not have worked, or maybe I did way worse on the written test than I thought, or maybe that crazy judge insisted she knew me from somewhere and put the kybosh on me. Either way, I never got to phase three, which is actually being on the show. It’s brutal to know that I was that close, and I’ll never find out why I didn’t get the call. Every winter they have the online test, and mark my words, I will be on that show someday!
I just hope there aren’t a lot of Bible or geography questions when I do get there…….