Okay, so say someone asks you a really simple question online. You have fifteen seconds to type into a little text box the one-word answer. Like the question, “What is the capital of Kenya?” At any other time it takes you two seconds to think “Nairobi” and another two to type it. But that doesn’t happen. Instead your brain makes a rude noise and goes blank, and thirteen seconds later you type “nibbmx9*” and before you can correct it your time is up and the text box disappears.
That is a picture of my brain having severe flatulence.
That is also a picture of me taking the test for JEOPARDY.
You know Jeopardy — the game show for geeks, nerds and losers. The hokey old thing that’s been on TV since the late medieval period and hasn’t changed its format since about 1958.
Well, I am a Jeopardy nerd/loser.
It’s a pathetic confession. It means that on the rare occasions when I get home by 6:00 and don’t have to rush out in half an hour to fencing, I plop down in front of the TV and watch the show. No, not just watch. I answer as many of the questions as I can OUT LOUD. I argue with the contestants (WHY COULDN’T YOU GET THAT EASY ONE?). I marvel at how they have answers for the sports and chemistry categories, about which I know squat.
Oh yeah, I’m pathetic.
So of course in occasional fits of delusion I’ve considered being a contestant on Jeopardy. So of course about a week ago I signed up for the once-a-year online test to see if I had what it takes and get on the show.
My test was Wednesday night. Answer fifty questions by typing in the answer. Fifteen seconds is allowed to read and answer each one.
Well, when my brain wasn’t farting away like a cowboy on beans, I think I did okay. I know I made at least 30 correct answers, maybe as many as 36. But without the brain farts I should have been able to answer around 45.
What’s also frustrating is that I’ll never know my score or ranking among all the other wannabes out there. You’ll only know that you did well when you receive an invitation to take another test and undergo an audition. As for my own chances, I’m not holding my breath.
Action heroes never suffer from brain farts. In books and movies and on TV you can see their brains always whirring efficiently away even when they’re under the worst nerve-crunching pressure. But for us normal humans, it seems to be a recurring condition for which there is no cure.
I just thought of a dumb joke. “How’d your test for Jeopardy go?” “It was a gas.”
And what’s really bad is that I’m already looking forward to taking the test again next year.