Monday, April 09, 2007

Amazing True Stories!

I have to preface this by stating, clearly and for the record, that I am not making any of this up. After reading this, you may be convinced that it could not have been true, that it must have come from the hellish bowels of desperate humor, but you’re just going to have to believe me - it really, really happened.

Amy is taking her cat in to have its claws removed so that it does not scratch up our baby - an added bonus will be that it can no longer reach out and slash the top of my foot when I’m making the bed. However, the cat is no fan of the cat carrier that conveys, in congress with the car, the cat to the vet. She must be duped into thinking that all is well before the trap is sprung. Amy set out some food for the cat (the lid coming off of the Fancy Feast can typically invokes a Pavlovian response, though did not this time - of course!), and then we sat down on the couch and turned on the television and sat there very quietly and calmly and waited for the cat to come around.

That was all just background for what comes next. We don’t have cable, so the trip through the channels is pretty quick - we landed on Family Fued, the newest incarnation starring the guy who played J. Peterman on Seinfeld. It was do-or-die time on the show - the dollar values had been tripled. The contestants were ready at that goofy-looking podium thing they smack when they have an answer. And here came the question.

Top four answers on the board. We surveyed one hundred people and asked them: Besides America, name a country that starts with the letter A.

(Aside: I know, I know - America isn’t the name of this country, unless you ask someone who still has one of those Power Of Pride stickers on the back of their car, or has slapped an equally-repulsive In God We Trust plate on their truck. That’s the way they phrased the question on the show, though.)

Buzz! The first contestant who buzzed in said Albania. Interesting. Not likely to be up there, but at least he got something out. It was not up there. Second contestant got a shot...Argentina. That was up there, second of four, with 17 of the one hundred people surveyed giving that answer. Play or pass? Well, they chose to play.

Peterman loped down to the last member of the family and asked her the question. She stood there looking blank until the big X flashed on the screen and the buzzing sound was heard. Okay. Next contestant, who looked ready to answer. Peterman gave her the question, and she proudly shouted out her answer.


Hmm...also not likely to be up there - and it was not. Next contestant...another blank stare...another three seconds goes by...another big red X...another buzzing sound. Last chance! Next contestant repeated the same answer, just that blank stare. And over we go to the other family, to try for the steal.

Peterman started at the end of the line, and they were all shouting out various answers, and then he got to the front of the line and the team captain, or head of household, or whatever. And the guy said:

“Well, I think we’re going to go with a place that I would really like to visit someday...Amsterdam!”

(Another aside: At this point I am speechless. Literally without speech.)

Oddly, Amsterdam was not up there. So the other team - who had offered up three blank stares and “Asia!” got the points and won the game.

The actual answers? Well, I know one guy who, if he still reads this blog and is reading this particular post, must be absolutely beside himself, doubled over with laughter, thinking this kind of display is no bloody surprise for a country that elected George Bush president not once, but twice.

Here they are, with the number of the one hundred people surveyed who gave each answer in parentheses next to the answer:

1. Australia (53)
2. Argentina (17)
3. Austria (9)
4. Afghanistan (9)


damien said...

I still read your blog and I must admit I did laugh, but not as much as Ana did.

John-O said...


John-O said...

She also would have liked, if she did not see it, this question given on Jeopardy! some years back. The answer had to do with the country that invented democracy, and the visual clue was a picture of Greece. The contestant's response?

"What is the United States?"