Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Jeopardy! Test Almost-Live Blog

I finally decided that I'd had enough - no more swearing at the TV when people get easy questions wrong, I was going to step up to the plate and take the Jeopardy! test. I like trivia, I adore pub quizzes, I seem to be pretty good at Jeopardy! questions when I'm sitting at home on my sofa (which is clearly a good measure of how I would do on television in front of a live audience), so what the hell, why not give it a shot?

I don't know exactly why, but taking the Jeopardy! test is close to the nerdiest thing I've done in a long time, and I was reluctant to tell anyone I was doing it ahead of time. (I say close to the nerdiest thing, because I'm not sure if following Brent Spiner on Twitter is nerdier or not). So, seeing as I was mortally embarrassed by the whole endeavor, it naturally occurred to me to make it entirely public on my blog where I could be exposed to public scrutiny and ridicule. Naturally. I even played around with live blogging software, and then I realized that for live blogging to actually be meaningful in any way, people would have to be watching, you know, live. Hmmm, that might be a problem, since I told, oh, two people that I was taking this test tonight and only thought about live blogging it this morning. The other problem is that live blogging only works for events that are exciting, whereas this would be as exciting as live blogging a shave and a haircut. So I'm doing almost-live blogging, that will suffice.

Well fed from some excellent Vietnamese food from my new favorite spot Dragon Rouge, and surrounded by all of the necessities (root beer, bottle of secret nostrum, Ralph Wiggum, handful of kumquats), I was ready to roll.

Hurry up, Alex, I'm ready and full of fish sauce

I logged in just after 7:30, excited and nervous to start the test. Of course I was stupidly early and had to wait 28 minutes and 51 seconds for the test to begin. Luckily I got to stare at the delightfully Perry-Ellis-clad Alex Trebeck while I waited.

I finished my root beer 23 minutes and 11 seconds before the test started.

Just before the test started, the Final Jeopardy song started playing, indicating that it was time to get ready. And then the first question popped up immediately and holy shit, slow down, slow down, you're going too fast, what the hell did that say oh damn that guy was Finnish not Indian why did I think he was Indian?, how the hell do you spell the name of the character from Les Miserables?, gaaaaah!

Thank you for taking the freaky fast panic-attack-inducing Jeopardy! test

50 frantic questions later, which took about 12 minutes, and now I'm done sitting here panting and feeling mildly freaked out. And blogging. Somehow I remembered that Walt Whitman wrote "Oh Captain, My Captain", I stupidly put Alexander Graham Bell and knew that I should have put Samuel Morse the second I hit enter, I confused the Punic Wars with the Peloponesian Wars, I think I got a question about Desperate Housewives right (all I remember is that it said something about a woman cheating with a pool boy). I guessed correctly that the Fermi Award was given out by the U.S. Department of Energy, and I knew that atomic number of an element was the number of protons in the nucleus, but I had no idea who was the "successor to Moses" (better dust off that Old Testament, Andy). I passed on two questions, one was a Before & After that included a late fashion designer and an immigration station, and, damn it I just figured it out right as I'm typing this - Perry Ellis Island. Crappity crap crap. Everything else is a blur. Oh yeah, and there was something about Nicole Kidman and possibly Enrique Iglesias.

Well that was exciting - probably more for me than for anyone reading this. How did I do? I think I did okay, not amazing - but if you read the fine print in the picture above, it sounds like the process of picking is mostly random after this point anyway. If I get on TV, be sure to wave.


Steve said...

I have wondered for years why no Murdock has attempted to get on Jeopardy. Thank you, my world now makes more sense.

Anonymous said...

Here's hoping the "Secret Nostrum" was Demerol. Here's hoping the successor to Moses wasn't Aaron. Here's hoping you get to the screen-test phase and the producers think you're hunky enough. I also heard they were concerned with contestants who scream or mutter obscenities when incorrect, which is why this particular Murdock doesn't stand a chance. I also think that if I vanquished someone simply because he didn't know how to bet properly, I might strangle him. Strangling apparently doesn't play with the 35-65 demo.