Since I remain on the road this week, I share another gem from my previous newspaper column, “the Lighter Side.”
While flipping through channels the other day on television. I came across the one-billionth episode of the game show “Jeopardy”. Have you ever tried to analyze the reason why this show continues to be a favorite? It is because we are all astounded that there are actually real people who are teeming with this intelligent drivel. Just think about it, do you really think the rest of the country would admit that the only answers they know fall in the category of, “Okay, Alex, $500 for dumb answers please!”
Sadly, it’s this category that most of us know well. Has it ever occurred to you that most Americans couldn’t care less that the average yearly temperature on the planet Neptune is slightly lower than a Minnesota root cellar in January? Or, that a cow belch has enough methane to heat a four bedroom bungalow for a year? Or that ants have peripheral vision if their antennae don’t curl? Hey, Im at the age when if I remember to take a water pill, I feel like a Jeopardy champion!
It must be that we ask dumb questions because we find thinking to be too taxing. The other day, I heard a woman tell a group of her friends that a horrific accident had happened to her husband that required 43 stitches to his head.
One of the group asked, “Did you take him to the hospital?
“No”, she replied with a bit of sarcasm, “I just adjusted the width on my Singer sewing machine and did a beautiful zigzag pattern on his bald spot. Why it saved me a bundle.”
The additional question was priceless. “You sterilized the needle didn’t you?”
I guess we’re all doomed to a continual life cycle of insipid questions. If we don’t ask them, then we have to answer somebody else’s. I was in a department store recently looking for plastic baby pants as a gift. You know, the kind that goes over diapers? Not finding any, I asked the cashier if the store had any. Thinking she was being helpful she asked, “Did you look in the baby section?
Holding my sarcasm, I said, “Do I look like the kind of person who would look for rubber pants in the automotive section? That question stumped her!
You know, maybe we’re on to something. Maybe “Jeopardy” really is America’s last hope for intelligence.
“Okay Alex, $200 for Viking Literature, please…..”