Because it’s human nature to forget pain, and also because I have the memory retention of an aquarium-based goldfish, I gather the family together in front of the TV every night to feed my Jeopardy addiction.
I may not rinse and spin with any degree of regularity, and if it's going to take me past starting time, the roast may just come out of the oven at half past rare, but at 7:30 Alex Trebek is going to find me poised on the edge of the recliner screaming, “Dust Bunnies for $100!”
I’m a perennial loser at Trivial Pursuit, I don’t store random facts about movie titles away in my cheeks for the winter, and I’m at the point in life when I have to slap a sticky note on my forehead to remind me why I’m looking in the mirror, but I’m going to get the video clue to finish out the category or die.
Meanwhile, my husband and two sons, human memory dumps in baseball caps, are spouting off the answers to history, science, and technology questions like it’s the entrance exam to Romper Room. By the time I get to answer a question, the Jeopardy music is giving way to a commercial featuring a bear in the woods.
I was an English Major. I can compare and contrast diction and theme in Shakespeare and Chaucer with one poet tied behind my back, but give me three seconds to come up with the name of Tex Ritter’s horse and I crash and burn.
The show ends, high fives are awarded all around and the living room empties. I feel like the last kid on the school bus.
“Oh sure, everybody leaves now,” I snarl. “I was about to stage a come from behind victory.”
“The show’s over, Mom.”
“Why don’t they have essay questions?”
“Because Alex Trebek is getting older. He doesn’t have enough time left to grade papers.”
That hurts. Alex was my first love. If it were up to him, I’d probably be the Vanna White of the light up board.
I pop back in the recliner, grab a handy copy of War and Peace and prepare to do some light reading.
I’ll get ’em tomorrow. Double Jeopardy or nothing.