Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Jeopardized




[Image from Jeopardy.com, may their hits increase!]

As I write this, I am awaiting the start of the on-line version of the test to qualify for Jeopardy. As you read this, who the hell knows?

I've been down this road before. I've taken the on-line test twice. I've been administered the test live and in-person once. I may have passed the on-line test before, but I don't know for sure. They don't tell you whether or not you passed when you take the on-line version of it. I know I flunked the live test. They tell you how you did on that one. They don't give you your score, but they tell you if you passed. I didn't. The number I recall being mentioned by somebody as that needed to pass was 37 correct answers from among the 50 questions given. Whatever the passing score was then, near as I could figure, in going over the test in my mind afterward, I blew it via one incorrect answer.

That still irks me. I know for a fact the answer was Albany, as in the capital of New York. It was a question regarding the Hudson River. I answered something like Newark, New Jersey. Albany seemed too obvious. I basically out-thought myself. I made the test harder than it was, and I blew it.

Using the in-person scoring as a guideline for what constitutes pass/fail scoring on the on-line version, I tend to believe I've passed the on-line test at least once before. Unfortunately, just passing the test does not guarantee anything. Unless they call you and invite you for further testing, including a personality interview, you've basically accomplished nothing of importance.

Still, I want very badly to pass the test, and to know for sure that I did so. It would do my ego a world of good, even if they never choose me to be on the show. The Jeopardy test is a decent challenge, unlike the one for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. I tried out for that show, and passed the test. Let me tell you about NOT being a contestant...

[I've already told some of you about this. If you've been here for a few years, you might have read this when I originally published it. Too bad. I love you and all, but you've come this far, so you may as well read it again. It's full of funny! And have you got anything better to do? No! If you did, you wouldn't be reading me in the first place.]

[Image of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire logo from the official website of the game.]

Auditions were held in New York, so I traveled there at my own expense to compete. The audition itself was a simple process. We were checked in by staff and then handed a sealed envelope containing the written test. After being seated, we were given some instructions concerning the filling out of answers on a separate form, and then we were allowed to open the envelopes and begin the test.

The test consisted of thirty questions, multiple choice, and we were given ten minutes to complete it. If I passed, it was on to the personality interview. There someone would decide if I was personable enough to make a national television audience want to root for me. Or perhaps decide that I was a blowhard psychopath. In the interest of fairness to ABC, as well as future contestants, I won’t give you any of the actual questions. However, they were mostly of this caliber:

What do you use to drain your spaghetti after cooking?

A – A Colander

B – A Calendar

C – A Tennis Racket

D – Your Hands


Well, OK, it wasn’t quite that stupid, but it wasn’t MENSA stuff, either. A particularly bright ten-year-old would have had a decent shot at it. And – getting back to the personality thing - I didn’t stand up in the middle of the test and shout, "I came all the way to New York to take this fucking idiotic test? Why didn’t you just grab all the people off of the first short bus you saw passing by and save me the trouble?" I filled out the test paper as instructed and, in the approximately six minutes I had remaining after doing so, I re-checked my answers, making sure I hadn’t drooled on the form or anything else which might have been off-putting to the judges.

The tests were very quickly graded and then we were told which of us should stay for an interview and which should go home. We had been given numbers with our tests. I was number 12. They called out the numbers of those who passed the test:

"193... 78... 126... 12..."

Yes! I passed the written test!

After being informed that I'd passed – I’d estimate that 1 in 8 of those tested did so – I had my picture taken. I smiled nicely. I was very pleased with the photo, too. I don’t think I photograph particularly well, but this one was a winner. I looked reasonably intelligent, somewhat friendly, and I had no hanging boogers in my nose. So far, so good.

Then it was on to the personality interview, wherein it appears they concluded I was a blowhard psychopath. I received this postcard from the production staff about two weeks after my trip to New York.



Given the result, you might think I had answered the interviewer’s questions in the following manner:

Interviewer: Hi, Jim! I’m Debbie.

Me: Debbie? Hah! Are you the one who did Dallas? Hah-hah!

Interviewer: What do you do for a living, Jim?

Me: I disembowel rabid weasels.

Interviewer: That must be fun!

Me: Not if you’re the rabid weasel.

Interviewer: What’s the first thing you’ll do if you win a million dollars?

Me: Give it to Al-Qeada. Either that or I’ll rent out a roomful of whores and snort massive amounts of cocaine off of their asses until I die.

Interviewer: What sorts of hobbies do you enjoy, Jim?

Me: I thought I made that clear with my previous answer. Wow, you’re really thick!

Interviewer: Well, it’s been nice talking to you, Jim. We’ll let you know in a few weeks whether or not you’ll be placed in the contestant pool.

Me: Like I give a shit, sister. Hey, what are you doing later tonight? Would you mind if I snorted some cocaine off of your ass?

The interviewer’s questions really were like those above, but I didn’t give hideously inappropriate answers. I was nice. I wasn't threatening. I thought I was at least fairly humorous. Maybe the swastika I painted on my forehead was a bit too much. I thought it was a nice homey touch, but you never can tell what’s going to turn some people off these days.

Truthfully, I don’t know for sure what I did to not be chosen. They don't tell you why they decided not to use you. Here's some conjecture.

Since the time of my testing, I’ve talked to a few other people who passed the written exam and who also were not invited to appear on the show. They are, without exception, nice people possessed of a higher-than-average intelligence. And I hope this isn’t too self-serving, but I think that’s the problem. I think the producers aren't looking for the highly intelligent. I have a feeling that what they really want are the reasonably intelligent – those who know how much two plus two is, but not necessarily what someone might do with that information - combined with a type of perky which I, unfortunately, never have been.

Hey, it’s a TV show. I know what they’re trying to do is appeal to the widest possible audience and, just because they decided not to use me, I don’t need to feel like it’s some sort of personal insult. Luckily for me, as a voice-over talent, I work in a subjective business. I know what it’s like to be rejected for reasons having nothing to do with intelligence, talent, or personality. Sometimes, what you’ve got simply is not what someone else needs or wants. I’ve had ample opportunity to get used to being passed over in a like fashion, and I know how to deal with it like an adult.

Stupid Poopy-Heads.

***************************************************************

And now, here I am testing for another shot at fame and fortune via the game show route. If I pass the test and somehow get on the show - that is, if the Jeopardy staff decides an appearance by me on the country's TV screens won't constitute a threat to the moral health of the nation - I'll give a shout out to each and every one of you, one per show. Since I have 517 followers, that means you can expect to see me on Jeopardy for the next two years straight, and I'll win about $12,000,000.

Damn. I hope I pass this test.

Soon, with more better stuff.


32 comments:

haphazardlife said...

Let me know when you'll be on TV. I want to see you win fame, fortune and universal acclaim.

- Jazz

Deb said...

Very astute obversation of 'Millionaire', I think you nailed it.
Good luck, if you get on I'll have to start watching again.

Uncle Skip, said...

Ooh! And when the clue: "The citizens of Albany, New York" comes up, I will be watching as you say, "What are Albanians?"

Good luck.

Craig said...

Well, you know, I passed the 'live in-person' version of the Jeopardy! test, which meant that I got invited to stick around for the 'next level', which was a series of 'mock games' with the other 'passers' from my session. I realized too late that it was essentially a screen test, and had little or nothing to do with our skill as players. Having passed the test, tho, I was a bona-fide member of the Jeopardy! contestant pool for one year, but I never got called. Their loss. . .

And you know, having gotten my 'peek behind the curtain' kinda ruined it for me, after that. 'Cuz now I know that what you see on TV has WAY more to do with timing the buzzer than it does with who knows what. . . (Who was it that said, anyone who loves sausage or the law, should never watch either one being made? Jeopardy! is kinda like that, too. . .)

Jayne said...

Stupid, stupid Poopie Heads. Their ratings would have skyrocketed had you been on the show.
Good luck w/Jeopardy!

David said...

If Jeopardy! won't let you on Suldog, they are losing, I mean losing their next "Ken Jennings" or dare I say better.

LMAO on the post!

Jeopardy Answer:

He is a "Suldog," but he ain't no Teddy Kennedy.

Question: Who is James T. "Suldog" Kirk? ;)

Quirkyloon said...

"Stupid poopy heads."

How concise, succinct and well-written!

And I totally AGREE!

*grin*

Good luck! Remember it's "Quirkyloon." I'll be waiting with bated breath to hear my mention! hee hee hee

Pam said...

Great post! And I so agree with you. Good luck to you!

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

I think we both know that there's no way you can expect the opportunity to mention all 519 followers on the air.

But not to fear. Those other 518 morons will get over it.

Good luck on the test!

Red Hamster said...

I think you are exactly correct in your conjecture - you are too intelligent, witty, and deep for most of the unrefined tv viewing audience. Which is why we select, sophisticated few love you.

Best of luck at winning a spot on Jeopardy, but don't ever dumb yourself down for anyone. We like you just the way you are.

Suldog said...

Craig - I found out about the buzzer being all-important during my only actual game show appearance, on the extremely short-lived Think Twice on PBS. As with Jeopardy, the contestants were given a light as signal it was OK to ring in. I've always had great reflexes, and I found out they were great enough to let me ring in first whenever I wanted. Still, I finished second, and that's why I want so badly to gain redemption on some other show.

Knucklehead - You know, you could have said 517 morons and given me credit for winning ONCE. Just for that, you get to be 520.

Hilary said...

Here's hoping that you have a far better chance of fulfilling this wish than you did collecting on the Super Bowl bets.

The way I see it though, you might well be too intelligent, as you said but I also think you have far too much personality for a contestant on those shows.

sweet pea. said...

good luck!!!
i do hope you pass, jeopardy is better than millionaire anyways (this statement is solely to make you feel better about no getting on millionaire, and not in any way purposely insulting).
if you get to go, make sure to blog about it, for im gonna have to start watching it!!
=)

Buck said...

Good luck on the test. But even if you pass it you still have to get by the Poopy Heads and I'm thinkin' you and Poopy Heads just do NOT get along. It's prolly a body-language thing.

Jeni said...

Well, I feel like I am really in the presence (online) of highly intelligent game show contestants! Another of my favorite bloggers, Linda, the 911 Operator at "Are We There Yet" has also taken the Jeopardy test -and recently too. I'm not sure if she's ever taken the one for the Millionaire game show but it wouldn't surprise me if she has. To my knowledge -and out of respect for hers and yours -I do believe either of you would or should do well if chosen as a contestant. But on a slightly different note -your evaluation of the Millionaire's test -my daughter's ex-sister-in-law supposedly took that test. And even her niece (the step-granddaughter here) was flabbergasted over the audacity her aunt had in even trying out for said show because the general opinion of her IQ from this household was that she was basically dumber than a doorknob. Reading your comments about their test procedures then, maybe she would have made a winning contestant after all, huh?

messymimi said...

Hope you make it on.

I've always liked the show, but i wonder about my Bigger Girl. When i was carrying her, she would start to hiccup as soon as the theme music came on, and do so until the show was over. Five days a week, hiccups for that half hour.

Still don't know what to make of that.

Karen said...

Fun! Hope you get good news... it'd be so much fun to watch you on TV!

Michelle H. said...

Fingers crossed. I crossed my toes, but I hate tripping over myself.

lime said...

if you make it as a contestant all i ask is that you were your lucky tie dye socks so i get to go too. :)

Teacher's Pet said...

Oh, I dooo hope that you make it onto Jeopardy. That would be wonderful!
I watch the contestants push the 'buzzer'...and notice each show that they push and push...several times, and wondered about how quick one has to be to 'buzz' in first.
I do hope that you are a contestant, Jim. What fun that will be for all 517 of us, for you, and for YOUR WIFE!
I'm glad you are going for it again. Go get 'em Jim!!!

Crazed Nitwit said...

If you do win $$ on Jeopardy I'll expect 10% off the top. Hehehehehe.

Sandra said...

That would be so much fun, Jim! I'll look forward to hearing that you made it. I would DEFINITELY watch that. :)

slommler said...

That would be great!! I hope you pass!! I mean seriously...they need you on that show!!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Clare Dunn said...

Let's see...

$12,000,000/518 (I included you, Jim, because you are so nice) =
$23,166 and change.

Hope you win!!!

xoxoxo, cd

If I Were God... said...

You should make your own Jeopardy test as a post. Ask questions about previous posts and let your fans test their 'Suldog IQ'.

Grade them, then pick the chick with the hottest thumbnail and tell her she's won an all-expense paid vacation to ...your house next weekend. Sublime.

Daryl said...

I hope you do too so I can root for you

Tim King said...

Well, if they pass you by again, you can always call them Stupid Poopy Heads on your blog. :)

-TimK

Carolina said...

I'm sure they cannot resist your new smile ;-) Good luck.

Buck said...

Hey! Apropos of not much... didja watch Nova last night?

Barbara Shallue said...

I hope they aren't stupid poopy heads, too, like the millionaire bunch, and this time you get to be on my television! I'll feel sort of almost famous!

Ruth and Glen said...

We do remember the Jeopardy and Millionaire posts from a few years back. Best of luck on this test. We're rooting for ya! Hope you get good news.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Fingers crossed! I thought of you immediately when I heard a computer was up against some real life people on the show. I hear the computer & a person are tied currently. Just goes to show a person can certainly outsmart a computer. So go outsmart it and then tell us when we can see you on tv!