Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Brain Drain

Be it a result of ageing, watching too many VH1 clips shows, or a consistent upswing in alcohol intake over the years, I am afraid that I am getting dumber. Not that I do dumb shit, I mean I do but that has always been a character trait, but rather I think I may be losing my vast reserve of wholly useless knowledge. I don't know how you determine something like that or how practically appreciable it really is but, well, I don't think I am as good at Jeopardy as I once was.

You see, I used to watch a lot of Jeopardy. A lot. In high school I watched just about everyday, which was a bit of a problem only because I would have to flip back and forth between that and reruns of Star Trek: TNG. Obviously sex, outside of self-abuse, was pretty much a non-option for me during my pimply youth -- which is surprsing given how handsome I looked in my marching band uniform...according to my mom. Anyway, I could kick fucking ass on that show. I would sit in my room shouting out answers in the form of a question (in retrospect this explains so much) and I had a very high percentage. Especially when the high school challenge was on because let's be honest, those questions are always cake.

My senior year of high school during the beginning of my epic tenure at the local Blockbuster, I worked with a girl who actually went on the Jeopardy High School Challenge that year. She was your typical type-A overachiever; going to Penn, no personality, uppity, had never seen Star Wars, not good at common sense tasks, etc. I had watched the entire tournament that year and she made it to the final rounds. Now playing at home, I was doing phenomenally well. I even recall batting 1.000 during one of the episodes. (No revisionist history at work here.) So, Ms. Hot Shit makes it to Final Jeopardy of the final round and blows it. She could have won the whole damn thing but she couldn't recall the name of the epic poem that represents the largest example of Old English text -- which I of course knew: What is Beowulf. Damn I am awesome. Now this all went down months before she started working at the 'Buster, my 'Buster, so when she showed up for her first day I knew exactly who she was and like any New Fish in The Yard I needed to put her in her place. The withering stare I got when I greeted her with one word, Beowulf, was absolutely priceless.

But I digress, we are talking about ME here. Why is it that I believe I am dumbing down? Because I have taken to watching Jeopardy on the regular again (perhaps because my sex life of late resembles that of its secondary school self) but my skills are weak. I've gone soft. I'm hanging in there but my dominant years are gone, like an old ballplayer with bad knees. Shit, last night I only got two (!) questions right in the "Hawaii" category which is at least a little bit pathetic. This is a crisis. If I don't have my useless trivia knowledge, what do I have left? If I can't beat people at stupid fact-based board games, how will I justify my solipsisitic sense of superiority? If I can't kick ass on Jeopardy, what will I do from 7:30 until 8pm? (Another Seinfeld rerun?)

Unacceptable. I am going back into training. It is time to renew my subscription to The Economist. I will daily memorize dictionary.com's Word of the Day, randomly surf Wikipedia for at least 20 minutes, read at least 40 pages of whatever book I am in to, and do 1,000 pushups. I am taking the online Jeopardy challenge at the end of the month!

20 Comments:

At 1/10/2007 9:42 AM, Blogger Hey Pretty said...

I doubt the Economist will be much of a help in honing your trivia skills. Probably best to take up reading the Encyclopedia instead. And probably just as boring. Speaking of which, there's a book out there by a guy who did just that. It's called the Know It All. You might enjoy it.

 
At 1/10/2007 9:57 AM, Blogger Jason said...

Got it on the nightstand.

The Economist is good because they make a lot of abstruse references that prompt the reader to do a little encyclopedic research.

Boring? How dare you?

 
At 1/10/2007 9:58 AM, Blogger Carrie M said...

have you ever taken the online jeopardy quiz? i did it a year ago and i have never felt more stupid in my life. i'm decent at jeopardy, but i was shamed after that quiz. shamed!!

 
At 1/10/2007 11:02 AM, Blogger Frankly, Scarlett said...

The training can only have a positive affect on your sex life - brainy guys - such a turn on :) (especially if they can kick my @ss in jeoprody).

 
At 1/10/2007 11:05 AM, Blogger Kathryn Is So Over said...

The bf just put a TiVo season pass for Jeopardy! on my list. He's convinced he's going to do a White Men Can't Jump (I'm the Rosie Perez) and we'll live richly ever after.

My hopes were shaken by Hawaii last night. And the Kurds the night before. You are not alone.

Oh, and FS - I can't resist. You mean "effect" in that sentence. And you spelled "Jeopardy" wrong. Just sayin'. I am a total geek, I can't help myself. Obvy you are infinitely cooler.

OUT

 
At 1/10/2007 11:23 AM, Blogger mysterygirl! said...

Good luck with your training! I am great at Jeopardy! in my living room, but I really think I'd either freeze up on TV, or be the one wildly signaling without ever actually buzzing in first. You'd better train for that, too!

 
At 1/10/2007 12:51 PM, Blogger Ryane said...

Yeah, kick Ass. I wouldn've LOVED to have seen you say, "Beowulf" to that girl...that is hysterical.

 
At 1/10/2007 1:09 PM, Anonymous 123Valerie said...

What is: I totally relate on all accounts?

Well, except that maybe your Mom never said I was handsome in your band uniform. That would have been weird.

 
At 1/10/2007 2:58 PM, Blogger Jason said...

This will be my first foray into taking the quiz and I fear that I too will be expeditiously put in my place. It all depends on the questions, I guess. Anything about MacGyver's gadgets or Calvin & Hobbes minutae and I am gravy. Otherwise...

Beowulf Girl was definitely salty, but that's how I roll. I couldn't be held reposnible when I put on that name tag and entered full-on "Randal" mode.

Not to put the cart ahead of the horse (or any other beast of burden) but I have considered the buzzer issue. I've got fast thumbs (???) but I do worry about getting in to soon. You gotta get the jump on your opponents but what happens when we get to 20th Century Feminist Literature? Ignorantly stammering my way through wildly guessed answers to five questions about The Feminine Mystique would not look good on TV.

 
At 1/11/2007 8:59 AM, Blogger Jason said...

I got my arse handed to me on Jeopardy, last night. Although I was excited to see a Battlestar Galactica-related question. This does not bode well...was last night especially difficult or am I really softening? (Who the fuck is Armand Hammer??)

 
At 1/11/2007 9:35 AM, Blogger Meokat said...

HHHHAAAAAAAAA great story. A subscription to the New Yorker might help as well...they always have random shit in there.

 
At 1/11/2007 10:24 AM, Blogger Carrie M said...

some nights are harder than others. as for the buzzer issue - i've noticed that people just buzz in sometimes just to get a jump on their opponents and then they give an educated guess, which is usually right.

i suck at final jeopardy by the way. i could totally have a cliff claven night, and then tank on final jeopardy.

 
At 1/11/2007 1:01 PM, Blogger Jason said...

"What is, My Kitchen?"

 
At 1/11/2007 3:02 PM, Blogger Carrie M said...

what is three people who have never been in my kitchen...

boo yah! ;-)

 
At 1/11/2007 3:19 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Nice pull.

I do happen to own the Cheers edition of Trivial Pursuit. Or perhaps owned -- no idea where it is now. I never had anyone to play against.

 
At 1/11/2007 4:03 PM, Blogger DCVita said...

I recently renewed my subscription to the Economist. It is so bloody expensive! And this will sound really bad, but I think I might be the only person alive that has never, not once played jeopardy!

 
At 1/11/2007 10:49 PM, Blogger Jason said...

I know, $100 for a year is RIDICULOUS. But the cachet of being cool enough to have a subscription, well that's gotta be worth every penny.

As for never "playing" Jeopardy, seriously? What's your deal?

 
At 1/12/2007 12:29 PM, Blogger DCVita said...

I know...I am forever shamed :( Maybe you can show me how;)

 
At 1/12/2007 2:23 PM, Blogger Jason said...

A Jeopardy personal trainer, sound like the sequel to Little Miss Sunshine. I'm intrigued...

 
At 1/12/2007 7:57 PM, Blogger Jason said...

...and my rates are steep.

 

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