DY: In Just a Few Words (#79)
Game shows have taken over our dinner hour.
Readers who take life lessons from these blogs will undoubtedly remember that the daughter of friends of ours recently won $37,000 on Wheel of Fortune. To me, the life lesson from her experience is that it’s good to win $37,000. Really good.
Ever since that historic evening, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy have become nightly back-to-back dinner companions. It used to be that Karen and I would talk at dinner. This was our special time to tell each other what we did that day and what we might do the next day.
We basically no longer talk at dinner except to say something like this: Please pass the salt. Actually, we don’t say that anymore either as it’s bad for my blood pressure. When we do talk at dinner, which is really infrequent these days, it’s to marvel at how smart the contestants are as they make their way to $37,000 and often more. How can they possibly have that much useless information in their brains? Or, How in the world does somebody remember who the losing candidate was in the 1924 South Dakota Democratic Party primary?
I mean, give me a break. I can’t compete with these Jeopardy contestants.
Frankly, I cannot compete with Wheel of Fortune contestants either - but in another way. Have you noticed how the contestants are introduced at the outset? Who knew there were so many flowery adjectives in the dictionary?
Pat: Our first contestant tonight is John Smith from Monrovia, California. He’s an aerospace engineer. John, tell us something about yourself.
John: I’ve been married to my beautiful wife, Barbara, for 17 years, and we have three amazing children – Sam, who is 15, Ben, 12, and our little angel, Donna, who just turned seven. They’re watching at home.
Pat: Our second contestant is Mary Johnson, a homemaker from Stow, Vermont. Mary, tell our audience about your family.
Mary: Thanks, Pat. I met my fantastic husband, Charlie, when we sat next to each other in the second grade. We have four wonderful children, all under the age of six. They are simply incredible. If there’s such a thing as perfect children, it’s our four. They're just adorable and they always obey. We never have to tell them something twice.
Pat: Our final contestant is Robert Jones, a 36-year-old science teacher from Shreveport, Louisiana. Tell us about your family, Robert.
Robert: I’m very happy to do that. My stupendously, incredibly beautiful wife, Suzy Q, is a Girl Scout leader and plays the organ in church on Sundays. She is such a wonderfully philanthropic woman. We’ve been married for five amazing years and our little miracle is Jessica, who just turned four.
I would definitely need a pre-written speech (much like an Oscars acceptance speech) if I ever appeared on Wheel of Fortune. I’m pretty sure that I would forget Karen’s name, much less the 17 adjectives (all good) I had thought of to describe her....
Pat: Davis, tell us about YOUR family.
Me: (blank face) For the life of me, I just can’t remember.
Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have some real people introduced sometime? Incredible. Amazing. Wonderful. What are they really like?
Here is what I COULD say if I ever had the chance.
I’ve been married to my wife for a long time. A really, really long time. In fact - 60 years, 253 days and 14 hours. But who’s counting? We have two kids. Our son, Denny, once hit a tennis ball through a window screen at our house. And, I crashed his Moped - but that’s a story for another day. Our spectacular, amazing, incredible daughter, Tracy, is the perfect child. (Tracy is my blog editor, so she made me say that.)
Get some real people in front of the camera. People like my family.
DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.
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