I’ll Take Early Hungarian Cabinet Making For $1000, Alex


Oh, how I love “Jeopardy”!


I love playing along, I love yelling at people to “bet the farm!’ during Double Jeopardy.


I even love the theme song, and I may have some inappropriate feelings about Alex Trebek.  (WITH the moustache, thank you.)




There’s just one problem.


The “Let’s get to know the contestants!” portion of the program.


The contestants give the producers a story about themselves.  Alex gives them a lead-in:  “So, Ted, we hear you like to read phone books.”  And then the contestant tells a 30 second story.


Tonight’s three offerings: 

1)  I gave aloe vera to a sunburned (Z-list) TV actor. 

2) I give my grad school friends rides in my car.

3)  The reception tent fell apart at my wedding.


Come ON.  This ain’t the Teen Tournament.  You’ve lived a whole life, for the love of Pete, has NOTHING interesting happened to you?


So I’m putting it out there.  If you were on Jeopardy, what would your 30 second story be?  (Keeping in mind it would have to get past the censors, so nothing involving two girls and a cup, pervs.)


Leave your answer in the comments, or make it a post for your own blog.  But I’m sure we can do better.


37 responses to “I’ll Take Early Hungarian Cabinet Making For $1000, Alex

  1. I can feel earthquakes before they actually happen.

    LOL I think that would catch enough attention. It’s weird enough too. But True. 🙂

  2. See what I mean? BANG, first comment, already better than any story I’ve seen on the show in years. Nice start, Loni.

  3. ooh Ginny, I’m reading Brainiac at the moment – have you read it? It’s all about Jeopardy and it’s fascinating!!!!

    I would probably tell one of my travel stories like the time a plane I was on dropped 30,000 feet out of the sky.

    Or how I arrived in NYC for the first time in September 2001 and as I was walking down the street I saw a plane fly into a building…..

  4. (side note: While often getting the answer wrong, my dad somehow knew the math that would always allow him to win by a dollar…)

    That “Getting to know you” part always seemed so awkward for Dear Alex… does it not?

    My “tidbit”… hm… I can’t think of anything wicked unique. I’d probably pull a “And then I got to be on Jeopardy!”

    (nursemyra: um, yeah, that counts as interesting)

  5. I would make something up.


    My Dad was lined up to narrate the Dukes of Hazzard TV show, because the show producers initially wanted a man with a heavy Polish accent to narrate. But then a producer met Waylon Jennings at a cocktail party and hired him on the spot and fired my Dad.


    In my garden I once created the perfect hybrid of strawberry and rhubarb which would revolutionize piemaking in America. I was almost finished negotiating the sale of the formula with the Dole Fruit Company when a careless motorist tossed a cigarette butt out of the window of a passing car and torched the whole field. I haven’t yet been able to re-produce the formula to it’s initial perfection.

  6. I’m leaving a sweet-ass well paying corporate job with awesome benefits and the generally superior Canadian economy and healthcare system to live in a trailor in the deep south with no real job, no real health care, no idea what the future holds for either country, all so I can be with my wonderful blue-collar man who can’t travel north due to his felonious disposition.

    Holy crap.

  7. I could mention how disasters follow me around like an eggy fart.

    Leaving NO as a newly wed only to turn on the TV in New York and see it buggered by Katrina, and 12 months later to leave Istanbul with the sound of bombings in my wake….

  8. Do you think Alex Trebec and the audience in general would like to hear about the time I took a guy home from a bar and he stole my car while I was sleeping?

    I know, thats what I get for being a whore!

    The best part was, he locked my keys inside and had to pay Pop-a-Lock to get them out. Sorry, it’s the first thing that came to mind.

  9. Well, my dear Ginny. You know it will be hard for me since you’ve put the ‘must pass censors’ rule on it. However, I think it is kismet that I was just thinking of posting something that would make a great 30 second Jeopardy moment. Something along the lines of being chased down an alley in Wichita, KS by a grown man with a baseball bat just after I’d ripped the head off of his favorite teddy bear.

  10. Let me give you a little insight into the actual process…About this time last year, I took the online test–the first step in getting on the show. The fact that my husband was in the same room to answer questions about mountains and calculus was a big help. Fast forward to May and I’m invited to audition in person in Chicago. Part of the paperwork you have to take is a list of 4 or 5 things that you and Alex can chat about. Coming up with those topics was excruciating. The guy playing the role of Alex just picked one topic and for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was. But everyone’s was lame. Anyhow, I in the contestant “pool” for another year or so.

  11. Too bad I can’t type–the last sentence should read: Anyhow, I’m in the contestant “pool” for another year or so.

  12. rather than comment my experience, you’ve challenged me to blog it, so stay tuned, but at my blogging rate it may take me a couple of weeks to pump out. Plus nothing cool has ever happened to me. I’m knda like the people on Jeopardy, except way dumber.

  13. Echoing hereinfranklin, I was on the show (didn’t win, didn’t lose – nice & average) & you do have to do it at the audition while you’re surrounded by all the other eggheads. The collective dorkitude tends to win out! My anecdote was that I undressed Dudley Moore (RIP) between sets of a concert when I worked for an orchestra.

  14. I found you through a mutual friend and did a little browsing. How fun that you are also a David Sedaris fan!

  15. Um, when I was teaching in rural Western Australia I won a burping competition between me and half a dozen or so feral farm boys on school camp. It helped that I am small-ish and delicate looking. they didn’t know what hit em. 😉



    One of the best feelings in the world is when you know the answer and none of the contestants do.

    Makes you feel really smart. B-)

  17. Yes, Alex, it’s absolutely true that I am able to channel other people’s feelings of anxiety and take them in as my own. Most of the time I can get by with gnashing my teeth and clenching my fists.

    Other times I must turn to Ativan.

    But it’s a skill I provide for the rest of mankind.

    And by the way, I would have figured you’d be done with stage fright now that you’ve hosted Jeopardy for over 20 years.

    Excuse me while I pop an Ativan for your benefit.

    And yes, it is true that I grew up next door to Michelle Obama.

  18. I would like to take back my original claim of lameness.

    When I was ten, I won a fishing derby because my fish was full of tumors.
    I learned how to log roll at the NYS fair.

  19. My younger sister attended an after school program when I was about 15, and they hosted a talent show where the kids recited poems, acted out scenes, played music, etc. As I sat on a padded bench along the wall in the back of the room, I fell asleep, then off the side of the extremely relaxing bench into an accordion room partition. That woke me up, of course, and the kids weren’t the only ones with all eyes on them.

  20. I went to high school with a girl who was on teen Jeopardy. She was a few years older than me and I did not know her well…her: smart, me: under achiever pot smoker.
    Anyway, she choked on a question that me and all of my bong hitting friends were able to answer.
    She never came back to school after Jeopardy. Maybe I should have befriended her before she went on tv and offered her a hit so she would not have been so stressed out. Damn you Alex and your intimidating moustache! Scaring pubescent girls across America.

  21. I’m going to go with sitting around with Captain Beefheart watching a Muhammed Ali fight with him describing Ali as his favorite percussionist and singing along to the rounds. On Drambuie and those little tiny mushrooms that come up in the cow pies in Humboldt County in the late Winter. Alex… don’t give me that look… Alex!

    Rusty Buckett

  22. For some reason the only things that come to mind are lame ‘celebrity’ encounters as well. I once gave Jon Cryer a ride to a party — now known for 2 & a Half Men, but at the time (& always), best loved as Ducky in Pretty in Pink.
    In the Canadiana category, I spoke about a sentence & a half with Wayne Gretzky on the phone once (yup, that’s the whole story), and I met the Tragically Hip backstage thanks to hanging out with a very gorgeous blonde girl.

    Other than that, I got nothing.

  23. That part of the show is so stale. It drives me nuts. That’s why I’d get on there and inform everybody about my extensive collection of sweat stained, wash-upped rock star’s guitar picks. Then I’d break into song.

  24. nurse: Oooh, never heard of the book, but I’ll find it, now.

    Stephanie: I am so envious, the math part just makes me cry.

    Beej: You don’t know how bad I wish the first one was true. That would have been so great. “Yust a good old boy…”

    Em: I can just see Alex trying to figure out how the hell to respond to that.

    Xbox: “eggy fart” You have the soul of a poet, my friend.

    Vinomom: I don’t care if Alex wants to hear it or not; I sure as hell do!

    mongoliangirl: And to think they say that what happens in Wichita stays in Wichita. Liars.

    hereinfranklin: I THOUGHT it was you that qualified! I hope you get in, please, please let me know if you do!

    bluestreak: “at my blogging rate it may take me a couple of weeks to pump out.” I’ll wait; I always do 🙂

    Ellen: AAAAHHH!! I’m honored to have you comment! And clearly I missed the day you told your story, because that’s a good story.

    Poolagirl: Thanks, come back anytime!

    GYL: Feral farm boys. Oh man, now I’m homesick.

    Otto Man: Yup, doesn’t matter that they got the previous 10 in a row correct; one answer I know that they don’t and I’m yelling “You’re a MORON!” at the TV.

    cardiogirl: That’s quite the talent!

    Stephanie: You caught Blinky!

    jay: To respond in the appropriate, 15 year-old way: Smooth move, ex-lax!

    Miss: She never came back to school? We must find her! What the hell?

    Mark: If I had a nickel for every time…

    Tara: How have I known you for this long and I never knew you gave Duckie a ride? SQUEAL!! Details, woman!

    chowner: Breaking into song would be a logical progression. I think I’d like to see it go like this:

    (Alex) So, Ginny, we hear you collect toenail clippings.
    (Me) No. No I don’t. Where the fuck do you get your info, Trebek.

    (crickets chirping)

  25. Ginny I just finished the book today and I highly recommend it for Jeopardy! and trivia junkies. I really enjoyed it

  26. All of these answers are hilarious. I’d say something to make Alex Trebek blush, because I think he looks cute when he gets flustered. His mustache gets all twitchy. I’d have to make something up, like “I make love to my husband to the Jeopardy theme song.”

  27. Mine would totally be about the time I went to Mardi Gras and came back with a new haircut and a new sexual orientation. I had to break up with my boyfriend when I got home, but the rainbow beads were totally worth it.

    (This is a true story. I’ve been composing a post about it for the blog but haven’t put it up yet. This gives me the round tuit I needed to wrap up the writing.)

  28. nurse: I just happen to have a book store gift card from Christmas, burning a hole in my wallet.

    Gwen: Maybe just add a “While I’m thinking of YOU” and then stare Trebek straight in the eye. Until he squirms.

    Thalassa: Did one beget the other? Either way, yay New Orleans! (I look forward to your post 🙂 )

  29. I can’t stand that segment of the show. I’d have to tell Trebek about the time my friends and I evacuated an entire Mennonite dorm a 3 in the morning. Find something clever to say about that Trebek.

  30. Mennonite dorm, Chowner? Did you do time in Manitoba?

  31. My story would be about the time I opened the circus on the elephant.

    It was tradition that the midday girl at the radio station open the annual circus. I agreed to it thinking that the elephant wouldn’t be THAT big and that I would be sitting on something saddle-like. When I went back to discuss things with the elephant’s trainer and caught a view of the elephant, there was no saddle, the elephant was much larger than I anticipated, and my jeans were entirely inappropriate for such an event (they could have been stretchier). I was told to sit as close to the shoulder blades as I could and hold on to the long hairs by the neck. I am terrified of heights, but there was absolutely no way to back out (at least not with my pride still in tact) so I just did it. I got on and as the elephant rose from it’s sitting position, the trainer warned me that she was a little emotional today as it was close to that time of the month so hold on tight.

    As the trainer led the elephant out into the ring I looked at the cement floor below thinking “sweet Jesus, I wanna live”. I was supposed to be sitting up and waving, but all I could do was hunch over and cling to this poor elephant’s shoulders for dear life. Needless to say, there was almost a code brown up there. To top it off, the town I was working in had a population of 10 000 and the station that I worked at was one that no one listened to but everyone heard. I NEVER mentioned to ANYONE that I worked for the station when I was in public. So, there I am, up on this elephant in front of a crowded arena when the ringmaster says “ladies and gentleman, we have a real celebrity with us tonight…”. Seriously? I started to cry a little. How in the hell do you hide on an elephant in front of a packed arena. I got off about 30 seconds later and gunned a beer.

    Oh, wait a minute. Maybe I’d mention that my sister has a blog and that it’s really good.

  32. Sherri, that is one of your top 5 stories of all time. “sweet Jesus, I wanna live.” You make my laugh till I pee or cry or both.

    You are awesome.

  33. I, too, am a GINORMOUS Jeopardy fan…so, naturally…I loved this post…I tried to comment on what my 30 second snippet would be…and came up with nothing.

    I sank into a deep dark depression…talked to some friends about it…had a therapy session…then decided to blog about it, as well.

    My name takes you to my post…but here it is again:


  34. If Sherri had only typed an “a” intead of an “e”, she would have got down off the elephant and gunned a bear…which is an entirely different ending to a circus story…

    Meanwhile I’d be the girl who once won a car from the McDonalds Monopoly game…

  35. Nikki: Way to run with it!

    mkh: “She says I’m gentler than a butterfly on a warm spring morning.” That was beautiful. I’m going to throw up now.

    deb: You make me laugh. She would have made the news For Sure. And did you seriously win the car? Which pieces did you need? This is a story worthy of a post, I think…

  36. Mmm, I almost ran Adrian Paul down in Beverly Hills [that man does not use crosswalks] and instead of even looking at me he and my dog shared a long deep soul searching moment.

    [This is what happens when you get dogs cuter than you dammit.]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s