Thursday, April 06, 2006
The following is fictional.
One day Alex Trebek went to Pre-Wheel Elementary in Syndication City. "Students," said Mrs. Wolliver, "This is Mr. Trebek, host of the TV show Jeopardy! Would anyone like to ask him a question?"
"Ooh, ooh!" said Hermione Jo. "What is Australia?"
"I remember the answer to that," said Mr. Trebek. "In 1827, Allan Cunningham became the first European to explore this continent's Darling Downs."***
Hermione Jo wrinkled a brow hard enough to defy botox.
"I got one!" said Eleesha. "What is green?"
Mr. Trebek's eyes twinkled. "We envy the Egyptian mau cat, whose eyes are the gooseberry shade of this color,"*** he said.
Eleesha's eyes rolled up far under her forehead.
"Me, me, I do!" said Dmitri. "Who was Lincoln?"
Mr. Trebek smiled and said, "In the Scarecrow's song 'If I Only Had a Brain' in The Wizard of Oz, this president's name is mentioned."***
Dmitri scratched his head lice, which in turn scratched their dust mites.
"Ahem," said Mrs. Wolliver. "Mr. Trebek, why does your show replace the word what with the word this to turn what is really a long trivia question into a pseudo-answer no one would ever give?"
"Er, uh, hrrumph," said Mr. Trebek. "We never had that question on our show before! Anybody else want to buzz in? Oop, there's the signal the round is over! I'm afraid I have to end this show!"
Mrs. Wolliver turned to the class. "What is the magic word?" she said.
Eleesha, Hermione Jo, Vinnie and Dmitri didn't hesitate. Being quick learners, they cheerfully said in unison: "Abracadabra and alakazam, as well as such two-word phrases as hocus pocus and open sesame, which was used by the character Ali Baba in 1001 Arabian Nights, are examples referred to by this fanciful term of stage and story."
"Smart ... kids!" said Mr. Trebek with a pause. "Why don't you try out for the grammar school edition of Deal or No Deal? Or Win Ben Stein's Money? On second thought, don't answer that. I've experienced enough Jeopardy! for today! So long!"
"Goodbye, Mr. Trebek!!!!"
"Thank you very much, Mr. Trebek," said Mrs Wolliver.
***Actual answer quoted verbatim from a recent Jeopardy!