Tuesday, July 13, 2004

S. A. Carrie brickety-back with you on this (apparently oddly) cloudless Alberta day, eschewing a visit to the rubble of West Edmonton Mall in favour of adding another post to the absent Mr. Nestruck's 'blog.'

Yesterday I promised some ruminations on the subject of the television programme Jeopardy and a case of life imitating art. Viz: author David Foster Wallace penned, some years ago, a short story entitled, I believe, Little Expressionless Animals, which details at length the story of a woman who enjoys an implausibly long stint as a contestant on the set of America's Favourite Answer and Question Game Show.

Having not, for some years, enjoyed regular access to American network television, and thus not regularly apprised of the goings-on in the world of game-shows, I was surprised to read yesterday in the New York Times about a 29-day (and counting?) champion having 'held hostage' the entire cast and crew (the moustache-free Alex Trebek inclusive) of the long-running quiz show en route to racking up the biggest winnings ever reluctantly forked over by Merv Griffin enterprises. While I was aware that the show's producers had raised the money accorded each correct 'question,' I had until yesterday been unaware that they had abandoned the practice of dismissing repeat winners after five days of their beating up on homemakers from Omaha and registered accountants from Boise. Instead of being merely 'invited back,' then, for the great and wonderful Tournament of Champions at season's end, this fellow from the Beehive State has been allowed for a month to make a mockery of the show's contestant selection process.

Just as in the Wallace story, it would seem, the Times' report indicates that, while the esteemed Mr. Trebek is growing a little weary of this prodigiously talented Mormon, the show's ratings have never been higher.

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