Thank you every one for the good "Jeopardy" wishes the other day. Would you like to know what happened? Is it okay if I tell you anyway? Here's how it all went down: Tuesday night, the husband and I drove four hours to Cleveland* for the audition, arriving after midnight, road weary and starved. We were saved by a delivery from Fabio's Pizza, which, shockingly and yes, disappointingly, is not owned by this guy or this guy's man-pecs:
I then spent most of the night waking up, worrying that I'd missed my testing time because, yes, I think I'm smart enough to audition for "Jeopardy" but am still intimidated by the unfamiliarity of hotel alarm clocks. Anyway, I managed to get up on time and make myself presentable. We headed over to the Cleveland Renaissance Park Hotel, the husband made himself scarce and I started filling out my paperwork. All the contestants, or as I like to call us, "honking huge trivia nerds," then had our photos taken and by "photos taken," I mean we were individually put up against a wall and captured with a Polaroid. Mine ended up looking something like this...
...but less dignified.
All of us then gathered in a small conference room where the contestant scouts chatted with us and generally made us all feel calm and welcomed with their awesome friendliness. Seriously, you wanted to go out and have an iced tea with them and, you know, maybe commiserate together about how Fabio didn't deliver your pizza last night.** After a few minutes, they started explaining the different kinds of questions asked on the show and we got to answer some samples. No buzzers were involved. We just raised our hands and I immediately became the obnoxious classroom suck-up who has to raise their hand the highest and telepathically plead with the authority figure to call on them BECAUSE I KNOW THE ANSWER, GODDAMIT! IT'S NERO! CALL ON ME NOW BEFORE MY SOUL EXPLOOOOOODES!
And that is why I did not get asked to prom.
Anywho, when we finished with the practice round, we got to take our written test. And yes, when I say "got," I am equating it with the same happy feeling that arises when you "get to" go out for ice cream or snuggle with Wolf Blitzer. I enjoy answering questions. It's totally a social validation for me. Or, as some would say, a sick compulsion. Whatever.
After the test, three of us at a time went up to the front of the room for practice rounds. I got to hold a buzzer, my friends, and it was awesome. I rang in like a champ and got a whole bunch of answers right. Or at least I think I did. Standing up in front of 20 people and playing faux "Jeopardy" in front of real, live TV producers gave me self-conscious tunnel vision. I checked when I sat down though and am 99 percent sure I did not wet myself at any point in the process. Woot.
Unfortunately, there was also a point where I had to tell people about myself and say what I did for fun. Everyone else waxed poetic and normal about golf and gardening and playing with their kids. Me? "I write a blog for nerdy women." And I got the response I usually get: some laughter (which is a good thing) and then a sort of dubious, crickety silence (which is not so much a good thing). In retrospect, I knew I should have told the story about lifting my skirt over my head as a six-year-old in front of a mall full of people. It's totally classy and humanizing! Maybe next time.
And then, two hours after it had started, the whole shebang was over. Honestly, it was a blast and if you ever have the chance to audition for "Jeopardy," absolutely do it. Whatever happens in terms of getting chosen or not, it's just a really fun experience. The people who run the auditions are great and so are the other applicants. I even met a real live pool hustler! I don't get to do that every Wednesday. As it stands, I don't know if I'll ever get the call to be on, but as the sad, sad Academy Award nominees disengenously say every year, it was just an honor to be nominated.
Also, our day ended with a stop at Tony Packo's hot dog place in Toledo (as made famous on "M*A*S*H) so it was win all around. Fried pickles make every day like Christmas!
ETA: My husband just reminded me that I didn't actually say if I got accepted or not. Apparently, I'm in the contestant pool and have roughly a 25 percent chance of being called at some point during the next 18 months. If I do get the call, you'll all be the first to know.
* Cleveland is, by the way, just as fabulous as "30 Rock" made it out to be last year, although I was disappointed no one came up to me and asked if I was a catalog model.
** Not a euphemism.