Los Angeles, CA
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Total Miles: 13,274
Days on the Road: 236
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OUR FIRST HATE MAIL

Finally, someone wrote to us and accused us of being horrible people. Anthony replied, and a series of hilarious judgements and insults followed. Presented for your amusement, The Jerk Files.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - Day 236

Last Wednesday, I (this is Anthony talkin') took the Jeopardy!™ test. Here's how it went down. (Many details have been left out because they made me sign a paper that said something like, "if you talk to anyone about this, you must leave most of the details out.")

First, we went shopping. If there's only one Thoreau quote that I paraphrased, and took to be my own thought, before ever hearing Thoreau's version (and there is only one), it's "beware any enterprise that requires new clothes." I still needed new pants. My zip-off cargo pants have taken on a two-toned character because I rarely wear the legs, and it's just not Jeopardy!™ material. So off to REI for some new pants.

Freshly panted (and shirted and belted), we headed off to the lovely Radisson. The test was to take place in a small conference room, and all these nerds were waiting outside. Also, much to Liz's chagrin, there was a guy with a microphone walking around saying, "Hi, I'm from National Public Radio. Do you mind if we ask you some questions?" Liz had the mini-disc recorder and microphone in her bag, but had, apparently, been scooped.

At the appointed time, we were all ushered into the room and given a piece of shirt cardboard and a Jeopardy!™ pen. So I'm down a pair of pants, a shirt, and a belt, and up one clicky logo pen.

After seemingly endless babble from our friendly (way too friendly) contestant coordinator, we were given the test. 50 questions from 50 different categories, with eight seconds to answer each. We wrote the answers on an answer sheet, not in the form of a question. I'm not allowed to reveal any of the questions or answers or whatever they call them, but I think I'm allowed to say what some of the categories were: State Nicknames. That's the only one I remember.

I remember that one because I know every state nickname. This is one of the benefits of spending eight months driving around more or less aimlessly: you tend to read everything in the car, mostly the atlas. Our atlas doesn't only have maps, it's full of little tidbits like state nicknames and mottos. The nicknames were the easiest thing to memorize, so I memorized them. Needless to say, I was happy to see this category. I was not so happy to see the ones about British Royalty or old literature or whatever. Those sucked.

I felt fairly confident in my performance until we reached #50 and I looked at my answer sheet and realized I was on the 49th blank. Shit. They had said that they would try to correct any transposition errors, "if the right answer was somewhere nearby," but it still made me feel pretty stupid.

While they scored the test, they made it clear that they couldn't tell us the answers, or our scores, or what the cutoff was, or, basically, anything at all. Then they opened the floor for questions. This paradox resulted in questions such as, "How much money does Alex make?" and "Why do you keep changing the set?" Fascinating.

To make a boring story short, I failed. Only six or seven people out of about 50 passed, some of whom had taken the test three or four times before. I thought I had probably gotten about 40 questions right, but apparently that ain't enough. On to the Hollywood Squares.

Friday was squares day, and this one was a bit less serious, as you can imagine. I passed the written test, making it to the "mock game" round. I kicked ass in the mock game, winning in three turns with only Xs on the board, but I'm still not sure I'm game show material. They're really looking for bubbly, super enthusiastic people who can't stop smiling even if you beat them mercilessly about the eyes and ears, and that just ain't me. I have trouble having any enthusiasm in real life, let alone faking it. I only laugh at things that I think are funny. I don't talk very loudly. I tried, though, and I think maybe I was good enough. They said they'd call by Friday if I made it.

I definitely did better than this one guy with a funny name. They obviously wanted him to be on the show because of his name, so they gave him more chances than anyone else. He had the following exchange when it was his turn (I'm paraphrasing):
Guy: I'll take Dennis Rodman.
Host: OK. Dennis, according to some survey, three out of four men do this with their eyes open.
Guy Acting Like Dennis Rodman: (blah blah blah) Uhh.. sleep.
Guy: I'm going to agree.
Everybody: (laughs)
Contestant Coordinator Lady: Let's give him one more chance.
Guy (doesn't understand why that was wrong): OK, I'll take Elton John.
Host: Sir Elton, according to something or other, 90% of people said they would not bother to pick it up if they saw what on the sidewalk?
Same Guy Now Pretending To Be Elton John: Whitney Houston. No, let's see... a bunch of grapes.
Guy: I agree.
Everybody: (laughs)

That guy will probably get on the show.

So that's the game show circuit. We failed to get on The Price is Right, failed to make the cut for Jeopardy!™, and results are pending from Hollywood Squares.

On Friday night, we got incredibly drunk to celebrate Liz's brother's engagement. To Janna.


What is ... boring?

Babies, and Liz's Dad.

The happy couple, a bad picture.
more photos in the archives »




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