Whenever my husband David and I visit my father-in-law, we have to watch Jeopardy so that sweet man can count how many answers his Son-the-Genius gets right. The genius title has been disputed by David numerous times, but his proud father insists there’s an IQ test score floating around in history to prove it.
Of course, David doesn’t help his non-genius argument when he throws out correct responses like these: “What is a Leopard 10-point Crampon Flexlock?” … “Who are the Limeliters?” … “What is an Aye Aye?” … “Who is responsible for the Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Disorder?” … “What is Gallopin’ Gertie?” … “Who is O. Winston Link?
Who knows all these things … I mean, besides my husband … and people like him?
Not to brag, but I know a lot of stuff too. In fact, my knowledge base is so massive I have to store it outside my brain in places like the Oxford English Dictionary, People Magazine, and Wikipedia. As a fail-safe, two self-appointed guards are in place to correct me: 1) my husband, Son-the-Genius, and 2) my friend, Smarty-Pants Mahoney. But I am quite certain I could do as well on Jeopardy … if they’d only change the categories. Why, I might even rout Son-the-Genius! [For instance, see how I used the word “rout” instead of “beat?”]
Here’s the way I imagine it would go …
CLARICE, WIFE OF SON-THE-GENIUS: “Alex, I’ll take CANDY for 400.”
ALEX TREBEK: “Nation famous for red fish.”
CLARICE: Buzz. “What is Sweden, the country of origin of those chewy fish that get caught between your teeth but taste so good?”
ALEX: “Correct.” Chuckle, chuckle. “Even with the mixed review.”
CLARICE: “Let me have PUNCTUATION for 600, Alex.”
ALEX: “A partial punctuation mark.”
CLARICE: Buzz. “What is a semicolon, which you should avoid using when writing fiction–especially in dialogue–because editors are not partial to it?”
ALEX: “Correct–again with more editorializing.”
CLARICE: “Glad you like it, Alex. I’ll move on to COLORS for 800.”
ALEX: “A French liqueur made by the Carthusian Monks since 1737.”
CLARICE: Buzz. “What is Chartreuse–also a color which I never wear because it makes me look old and jaundiced?”
ALEX: “Um, you’re right again … uh, not about looking old or jaundiced… uh, I mean … never mind.”
CLARICE: “Thanks, Alex. You’re too kind. Now I’ll take HGTV for 1,000.”
ALEX: Family, Waco, magnolia, farmhouse.
CLARICE: Buzz. “Who are Chip and Joanna Gaines, hosts of Fixer Upper, whose style I love unless she gets too country like the time she used the rusty, dented red metal buckets for kitchen lamp shades, which were a bit too much for me, but what did you think?”
ALEX: “Uh, correct again, Clarice. I’m sorry, but I’d like to stay on point next time, if you don’t mind?”
CLARICE: “Works for me, Alex. No need to apologize. Besides, I would’ve gotten the last one right on the word Waco alone. How about BIBLE for 1,200?”
ALEX: “It’s the Daily Double! Clarice, you have $10,000 so far. What would you like to wager?”
CLARICE: “I’ll make it a true Daily Double, Alex. Never know when I’ll get this chance again.”
ALEX: “Four creatures sent as part of the plagues against Egypt.”
CLARICE: “What are frogs, mothers-in-law–just kidding!–mice–oops, no, I mean lice–flies, and locusts?”
ALEX: “Hmm. It seems you have more than four creatures … Wait. Our judges have ruled in your favor. Looks like we have a new champion!”
CLARICE: “But what about Final Jeopardy?”
ALEX: “Brad and Stephanie have no money to wager, so that’s the end of our show for today.”
CLARICE: “But I have a lot more answer-questions. I’ll be quick. What is on the lam (not lamb)? What is soapstone? Who is Snoop Dogg? What is claptrap? Where is Patagonia? What is tongue-in-groove and tongue-in-cheek? What are washboard abs? Who are Andrew Johnson and Julie Andrews? Where is Mount Nebo? What are Spoolies? …
ALEX, HOLDING UP HIS HAND: “Again, Clarice, you won, the show is over …”
CLARICE, HOLDING UP HER HAND: “… What is a frozen rope? Where is Waldo? What is a frozen shoulder? Who is Amy Carmichael? What is Pierre? What is hardtack? Who is Bobby Vinton? What is the number 42? Who is Juan Ponce de Leon? Where is Double Header?
Yep. It would go a lot like that.
Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud: “To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it. Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.. ~ Proverbs 8:1-6 (NIV)
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. ~ 2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)
Note: To those who know me well (and those who don’t know me at all), you have surmised correctly–I did NOT appear on Jeopardy.