Tag Archives: Jeopardy

What Is … Arthur’s At It Again?


A few thoughts while ruminating on the (remastered) Behind the Music: Deep Purple that I enjoyed way too much last night. Sad but true: It was only the second or third largest time waster I engaged in over the weekend. But I digress …

You might know, if you know me, that I’m a big fan of Jeopardy! If the categories are right, I usually beat the freaks and nerds that go on the show. What does that say about me? You be the judge. A bit more about my fascination with Jeopardy!:

A game within a game (with apologies to Hamlet)

I’ve written before, Karen and I play a game within a game while watching Jeopardy! We call it Ultimate Jeopardy! You basically wait until it’s time for Final Jeopardy! They unveil the category and then go to commercial. During this time, Karen and I – and occasionally Garrett – will try to guess the question before Alex reveals the answer. Every once in a while, we’ll get it right.

I recently expanded it to the Daily Double questions and won. The category was Graphic Novels, and I guessed Alan Moore (Watchmen). Major score! Those dweebs actually playing have no chance against me.

To be, or to be

I recently asked a semi-rhetorical question on Facebook. Should I audition for Jeopardy or The Voice. I was kinda crushed by the responses.

It wasn’t that I was offended by the people saying I should go on Jeopardy! After all, they were voicing – you see what I did there – their confidence that I’m intelligent. It was just that I was offended by the people saying I should go on Jeopardy! who HAVE ACTUALLY HEARD ME SING.

They should know better …

The Canadian Ringers

I know, sounds like a pretty decent band name, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s a theory I have about the show. It has been well established that Alex Trebek is Canadian. That’s why it’s a pretty good strategy to study your provinces and rivers there before you go on – Canada categories seem to pop up more often than would normally be required.

(Alex supposedly is retiring in 2016. Speculation is that Matt Lauer will replace him. Ugghh! Can’t we get someone who can fake being smart?)

Anyway, the Canadian Ringers are the pool of contestants that the producers summon when there’s a boring champion who keeps winning. The next night, they will introduce someone who’s a bait farmer from Saskatoon.

Karen and I have seen it time and time again. The Canadian, who obviously has been primed with the answer before the show, will defeat the champion in a one-off appearance. By that, I mean the Canadian ringer will inexplicably lose to a lesser contestant the next night. His or her sole function is to get rid of the boring champion.

I’m totally serious about this.

Just watch the next time they bring on a Canadian challenger. I’ll bet you find that I’m right. In fact, I’ll make it a true Daily Double, Art.

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It’s Not Me, It’s You


Earlier this week, I was discussing weirdness with a co-worker. My weirdness. My alleged weirdness, that is.

It all started because Heidi had said she was bringing cake for Shakespeare’s birthday. The caveat was that people who wanted a piece had to recite a line before getting a slice.

My response: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day, nah, you’re better than that, summer’s too dang hot.” Which after all is the gist of that sonnet anyway. Heidi said that was acceptable, and I replied that I had more where that came from.

Then I wrote her – we were messaging at the time – that I quite often quoted “Out, out, damned spot” to my kids when I was running them out of my room or chair or house or – well, you get it. Then I added, “They have no idea where it comes from and just think I’m weird.”

Heidi’s response: “That’s not why they think you’re weird, Arthur.”

Which got me to thinking. I’m not the weird one. I’m normal. It’s the rest of you folks who are weird.

Then again, you decide …

I call myself to the stand as a Witness for the Prosecution – a great Billy WIlder film (aren’t they all, by the way) starring Charles Laughton, Marlene Dietrich, Tyrone Power and Elsa Lanchester with an ending you’ll never see coming.

Prosecutor: Mr. Nator, isn’t it true that you play some sort of deranged type of Jeopardy!?

Me: That’s unfair, you’re prejudicing the jury by calling it deranged …

Prosecutor: Your honor, instruct the witness to answer the question!

The Judge (also known as anyone who’s made it this far): Answer the question, Mr. Nator.

Me: Well, let me explain. You see, I like TV. Doesn’t have to be good TV. In fact, I generally like stuff other people don’t. And don’t get me started on TV shows about the Mob or high-brow period pieces about British families or …

The Judge: The question, Mr. Nator, the question …

Me: OK, OK. Yes. It’s called Ultimate Jeopardy! What my wife, Karen, and I do is, on Final Jeopardy!, when the category is revealed, is try to get the question before the answer is revealed. It’s fun, because you have to look for a question that’s not too obvious but not too obscure, often with little to go on. A few nights ago, for example, the category was International Road Sign Stickers. Had no idea how to respond to that one.

Prosecutor: But why would anyone play something so obviously impossible?

Me: That’s just it. It’s not impossible. Sometimes we get it right. (It’s never a bad strategy to guess Ernest Hemingway. You’ll just have to trust me on this.) Last night, my son Garrett won with the question “What is Orion?” The category: Constellations and Myths. So see, it isn’t impossible. Or deranged.

Prosecutor: Very well, Mr. Nator. But isn’t there another game you play when you’re watching TV?

Me: What are you talking about?

Prosecutor: Blake and Miranda, Mr. Nator, Blake and Miranda.

Me: Oh, I can explain. I mentioned I like bad television. Well, I like singing competitions. I know they’re not cool, I just like them.

Judge (remember, that’s you readers): Just get on with it, Mr. Nator. We don’t have all day.

Me: OK, OK. Yes. Karen and I watch The Voice. And we both really like Blake Shelton.

Prosecutor: The Blake and Miranda game, Mr. Nator, Tell us about that.

Me: Well, that’s nothing. You know Blake’s a loveable bumpkin, right. And his wife, Miranda Lambert, she’s a country spitfire.

Prosecutor: On with it, Mr. Nator.

Me: Well, sometimes Karen and I role play their communications on the show. We’ll have Miranda saying, “Blake Shelton, you stop talking to that blonde slut, Christina Aguilera.” And Blake will reply, “Aw, Miranda, you know you’re the only blonde for me.” And stuff like that. We’ll make up an entire dialogue of them and perform it with one another.

Prosecutor: That’s not all, is it, Mr. Nator. Tell us the rest.

Me: Your honor, I fail to see the relevance …

Judge: On with it, Nator. Our patience is wearing thin.

Me: OK. Well, see I play Miranda and Karen plays Blake …

Prosecutor: Case closed, your honor. Case closed.

Me: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I throw myself at your mercy. I’m not weird.

Didn’t I just prove it?

“I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that are weird.” – Paul McCartney

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It’s Not Me, It’s You


Earlier this week, I was discussing weirdness with a co-worker. My weirdness. My alleged weirdness, that is.

It all started because Heidi had said she was bringing cake for Shakespeare’s birthday. The caveat was that people who wanted a piece had to recite a line before getting a slice.

My response: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day, nah, you’re better than that, summer’s too dang hot.” Which after all is the gist of that sonnet anyway. Heidi said that was acceptable, and I replied that I had more where that came from.

Then I wrote her – we were messaging at the time – that I quite often quoted “Out, out, damned spot” to my kids when I was running them out of my room or chair or house or – well, you get it. Then I added, “They have no idea where it comes from and just think I’m weird.”

Heidi’s response: “That’s not why they think you’re weird, Arthur.”

Which got me to thinking. I’m not the weird one. I’m normal. It’s the rest of you folks who are weird.

Then again, you decide …

I call myself to the stand as a Witness for the Prosecution – a great Billy WIlder film (aren’t they all, by the way) starring Charles Laughton, Marlene Dietrich, Tyrone Power and Elsa Lanchester with an ending you’ll never see coming.

Prosecutor: Mr. Nator, isn’t it true that you play some sort of deranged type of Jeopardy!?

Me: That’s unfair, you’re prejudicing the jury by calling it deranged …

Prosecutor: Your honor, instruct the witness to answer the question!

The Judge (also known as anyone who’s made it this far): Answer the question, Mr. Nator.

Me: Well, let me explain. You see, I like TV. Doesn’t have to be good TV. In fact, I generally like stuff other people don’t. And don’t get me started on TV shows about the Mob or high-brow period pieces about British families or …

The Judge: The question, Mr. Nator, the question …

Me: OK, OK. Yes. It’s called Ultimate Jeopardy! What my wife, Karen, and I do is, on Final Jeopardy!, when the category is revealed, is try to get the question before the answer is revealed. It’s fun, because you have to look for a question that’s not to obvious but not too obscure, often with little to go on. A few nights ago, for example, the category was International Road Sign Stickers. Had no idea how to respond to that one.

Prosecutor: But why would anyone play something so obviously impossible?

Me: That’s just it. It’s not impossible. Sometimes we get it right. (It’s never a bad strategy to guess Ernest Hemingway. You’ll just have to trust me on this.) Last night, my son Garrett won with the question “What is Orion?” The category: Constellations and Myths. So see, it isn’t impossible. Or deranged.

Prosecutor: Very well, Mr. Nator. But isn’t there another game you play when you’re watching TV?

Me: What are you talking about?

Prosecutor: Blake and Miranda, Mr. Nator, Blake and Miranda.

Me: Oh, I can explain. I mentioned I like bad television. Well, I like singing competitions. I know they’re not cool, I just like them.

Judge (remember, that’s you readers): Just get on with it, Mr. Nator. We don’t have all day.

Me: OK, OK. Yes. Karen and I watch The Voice. And we both really like Blake Shelton.

Prosecutor: The Blake and Miranda game, Mr. Nator, Tell us about that.

Me: Well, that’s nothing. You know Blake’s a loveable bumpkin, right. And his wife, Miranda Lambert, she’s a country spitfire.

Prosecutor: On with it, Mr. Nator.

Me: Well, sometimes Karen and I role play their communications on the show. We’ll have Miranda saying, “Blake Shelton, you stop talking to that blonde slut, Christina Aguilera.” And Blake will reply, “Aw, Miranda, you know you’re the only blonde for me.” And stuff like that. We’ll make up an entire dialogue of them and perform it with one another.

Prosecutor: That’s not all, is it, Mr. Nator. Tell us the rest.

Me: Your honor, I fail to see the relevance …

Judge: On with it, Nator. Our patience is wearing thin.

Me: OK. Well, see I play Miranda and Karen plays Blake …

Prosecutor: Case closed, your honor. Case closed.

Me: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I throw myself at your mercy. I’m not weird.

Didn’t I just prove it?

“I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that are weird.” – Paul McCartney

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