January 28, 2010

I'll take "No shot in hell" for $400, Alex

I just took the online test to try qualifying for a Jeopardy audition. How'd I do?

Well, let's just say you probably won't see me standing behind a video-monitor-equipped podium, with a signaling device in hand, asking Alex Trebek questions like, "What is the Venus de Milo?" (er, actually, I mean this one) or, "Where is Lake Titicaca?" anytime in 2010.

I think I acquitted myself fairly well, but in the immediate aftermath of the 50-question test (15 seconds to answer each one), the only thing I'm confident of is that I've got almost no chance to make it to the next round. I'd guess I got about two-thirds correct, but I can think of too many I flubbed. For better or worse, the website doesn't recap which ones you got right or wrong, or even give a score, and I don't even know if there's a preset minimum number of correct responses to qualify for the next round, but... eh.

A few quick highlights and lowlights from the test:
  • The first question was about a Dr. Seuss character - child's play! was my first thought - who has some thing or other to do with trees. Argh! Pretty sure that ruled out The Cat, Horton and Sam He Is, and for the life of me, I couldn't think of The Lorax.
  • My mom always used to tell me I should read more books, and although I usually do alright on trivia questions about novels, even when I haven't read them, tests like this are pain-in-the-ass reminders that my mom was probably right. One question referred to a Faulkner novel with a title that repeats the same word twice. As time ran out, "Absalom, Absalom" came to mind, but literally only because it was the one two-repeated-words title I could think of. Except that I was completely sure it wasn't a Faulkner work, so I left that one blank. Um, oops.
  • I always like ending on a high note, so I was glad that the last question was about a pro tennis player born in Basel in 1981. A cinch for an incurable sports fan.
  • My wildest guess that actually worked came on a question about a Supreme Court justice who, from 1801 to 1804, wrote a biography of George Washington. Thought process: "Marshall sounds like an early 19th century judge kind of a name.... There was another Marshall besides Thurgood, right?... Oh, whatever, I'll go with Marshall."
  • ZenMom is going to absolutely murderize me for missing the question that sought the name of the TV show whose theme song includes the line "Our whole universe was in a hot dense state" and is performed by the Barenaked Ladies. I knew it was "that show with three science dorks and a cute chick that I watched once and swore never to watch again," but I think the judges were probably looking for The Big Bang Theory.
  • I did, however, guess right on another pop culture question, figuring that it was Penelope Cruz who played "neither Vicky nor Cristina, but Maria Elena in Vicky Cristina Barcelona."
  • I got the one about Ben Franklin's 1784 invention that was probably a result of his advancing age and increasing trouble reading - bifocals - and I dug back into the recesses of my 11th grade chemistry knowledge and remembered that the chemical symbol for potassium was K. (Fist bump!)
  • The one that really fried my brain was a geography question having something to with Albania and a large lake and some peninsula. (Possibly they were going for the Balkan Peninsula - I don't know.) I couldn't even discern the question what the question was asking because as I was reading it, all I could hear was a hilarious scene from a 1985 Cheers episode, with Coach and Sam studying for Sam's GED exam by singing, "Albania, Albania. You border on the Adriatic."
Go figure. Normally, my vast knowledge of Cheers dialogue comes in handy in everyday situations, but this time it was merely a distraction. Maybe if I had been reading Faulkner in 1985 instead of watching Cheers, I would have gotten two more questions correct. Well, at least my mom can say she told me so.


ZenMom said...

"That show" you don't want to watch again?!?! Dude. You're dead to me.

Ok, not really. But your geek cred is seriously diminished.

On a related note, did I ever tell you I was once on the "Win Ben Stein's Money" game show? True story. Not nearly as impressive as Jeopardy, which I've wanted to do since back when Alex was a brunette. But still, tons of fun. ;)

Your escalator operator said...

ZM - I knew it was very risky to call that BNL/BBT passage to your attention, but I have to admit that I had minimal geek cred to begin with - and I think even that comes from a loose association with Daddy Geek Boy. (Unless you count "sports geek" or something.)

And... SO COOL you were on Win Ben Stein's Money! I'm extremely impressed. I loved that show.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Yeah Zen, you obviously didn't read our two part interview where I knew nothing about sports but YEO admitted he's never seen LORD OF THE RINGS?

But YEO...Big Bang is a really good show.

When it comes to Jeopardy, I usually get one answer right per episode. Since my in-laws in town right now, it was on tonight. The answer I knew, "serif".

Your escalator operator said...

DGB - I watched tonight's Jeopardy also ... never heard anyone pronounce "serif" quite like that guy in the three-piece suit said it. Thankfully, he didn't win.

And, I've heard from other people that BBT actually *is* a good show, so I must have just seen one during the writer's strike or something.

bugs said...

I don't listen to our mom either and I couldn't answer ANY of those answers on Jeopardy quiz - if that makes you feel any better?!
Although, ironically, I am reading a book that she suggested right now - we're both reading it, so that we can discuss it. hhahahahaha. Makes me laugh just to think about it.