Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Consolation Prizes That Fail to Console

About a week ago, B and I attended a game show party thrown by some friends. From what we could gather from the invitation, it seemed the evening’s agenda would be a sort of hybrid version of Jeopardy and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, but with a considerably more modest top prize of $50.

As soon as I crossed the threshold, I had to immediately dispense with a few preconceived notions.

  • No. It wasn’t going to be an intimate crowd of 10 easy-to-triumph-over contestants; it was going to be a raucous crowd of 35 potentially high-IQ contestants.
  • I was slated to be a contestant in the first game: Family Feud, a game show I have never in my life watched.
  • The bitterest blow. Not everyone was going to get the chance to play Who Wants to Win $50.

At 7:30 sharp, the feuding "families" were rounded up. Predictably, I contributed nothing to my family’s efforts to win the feud. We were handily crushed by the other family.

Next up was the weed-out for Who Wants to Win $50. As on the show, the person who qualifies is the person with the best manual dexterity, i.e., who can put items in sequence the fastest. Does that make sense? Since the actual game tests the breadth of a person’s knowledge base or, put another way, who has the largest fund of trivia clogging his or her brain, shouldn’t the qualifying test measure that? Come to think of it, I guess that would result in too many people becoming millionaires or, in our case, fiftyaires.

Needless to say, my lack of dexterity (and the glacial pace at which my brain sorts data) put me out of the running. I sat speechless in the audience and watched the contestant squander his lifeline to find out from which musical “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” comes from. Doesn't everyone know that? He failed to become a fiftyaire.

The grand finale and highlight of the evening was the Newlywed Game. All I remember about this fossil of a show from when it was on TV is that every other question was about “making whoopee.” (Hee, hee.) B and I were exempt from playing, as our relationship meets neither the “newly” nor the “wed” criteria. We just sat back and watched the other couples squirm and reveal an astonishingly high degree of prudery as they where interrogated about their whoopee-making habits, e.g., “Fill in the blank: Compare your making-whoopee sessions to a type of candy. A) Red Hots B) Snickers C) Good ‘n’ Plenty.” Various members of the audience shouted out additional entertaining, bawdy, and thought-provoking options: Zero, Big Hunk, Idaho Spud, Nerds, and Salted Nut Roll.

So B and I won no cash prizes, but I did walk away with the following:

  • a tomato slicer
  • a box of herb and butter Rice-a-Roni
  • a sticker proclaiming “Everyone’s an Artist”
  • a Collegiate Cheerleader Doll with a degree (you can get a degree in cheerleading?) The back of the box states that this knock-off Barbie doll has “not just beauty, brains, too!” The diploma is from the University of Michigan and is signed not by the president of U of M, but by Claudene Christian, President of the Collegiate Doll company, Class of 1992. Her photo in full cheerleader get-up appears on the back of the box. Totally bizarre.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What?!?! No Price is Right???? Those people are lame. ;)

So, did the chearleader come with her M.R.S. degree?

And So It Goes

1:52 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Yeah. Too bad there was no Price Is Right. I could use a new dishwasher.

7:05 PM  

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