Posted in life

That time I wanted to be Ralph Fiennes

So, how come on Wheel of Fortune, when the contestants are introducing themselves, they always say, “I’m married to my wonderful husband Mark”, or ” I’m married to my beautiful wife Wanda”? Well, duh, of course you’re married to your wife or husband. Who else are you going to be married to? Frankenstein? I think that whole redundancy is covered in some kind of ipso facto.

And then there’s the part where there are 3 letters left and they have $15,000 dollars and they still don’t know it and then spin a bankrupt. That’s when I scream, “YOU IDIOT” and throw popcorn, or skittles at the tv.

Or they guess tame duck instead of lame duck.

And then there’s Jeopardy, where they have to stand there and make those dumb faces when they have their close ups during the show’s intro. And I’m sorry, but Alex Trebek has kind of turned into a snotty prick over the last few years.

It’s not contestant envy that I rag on these people. I was on a game show once. I was a 3 time champion and won a crapload of money. It was great. Paying the taxes wasn’t fun, but I still had oodles left over.

Back in the 90s I saw this movie called Quiz Show. I was like, “Cool, I want to do that”! So, I added it to my bucket list. This was before internet, so I went to Book Star and bought all kinds of trivia and knowledge books. I didn’t know what I was studying FOR, but I figured that to get on any game show you had to know junk. So, I made flash cards and studied them all the time. My friends thought I was crazy. I said, “Look bitches, I’m going to get on tv and win money just like Ralph Fiennes”. They just rolled their eyes. Sure, Bob.

My first tryout was for Jeopardy. I figured why not start at the top. The Jeopardy Brain Bus was coming to town, and I planned on it leaving with me on it. Figuratively, that is. I went to the used car lot where it was parked and stood in line…for hours. The lady in front of me brought out her Trivial Pursuit Genus Edition cards and started quizzing everyone. Only she pronounced it genius edition. I thought, “Okay, there’s one less competitor”.

I finally got to the area where you take the prelim test. 10 questions, fill in the blank. I knew them all but one. I passed. I got a card that got me into the 50 question test scheduled for the next day. I knew the first 7 answers. Then ummm, hmmmm, let’s see, blank blank blank…
So yeah, I bombed out.

I continued to study. And tryout. Any time tryouts came to town, I was there. Wheel of Fortune, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Deal or No Deal…everything. I passed the Millionaire test 3 times and got interviewed, but not selected. Then I figured I’d better start working on my interview skills. After a while you learn the dos and dont’s of what they’re looking for.

Ten years after I saw quiz Show and decided that I wanted to be Ralph Fiennes, I auditioned for some new show called The Rich List and got selected. I flew to L.A. and got sequestered in a hotel room. The network had ordered a certain number of episodes, so not all of us would get to be on. I got lucky. If you’ve ever seen the show (in other countries, because it sure didn’t last long here), then you know the premise. Needless to say, I got my glass booth (just like Ralph), only I had a partner. You work as a team with a stranger. That sucks because I’m not a team player. We ended up beating the champions and went on to win 2 more times. We ended up losing on a Peanuts question (my fault). I had done most of the work to get the other wins. I knew 11 countries that started with the letter C and 15 no. 1 Beatles songs, so the Peanuts thing wasn’t that big of a deal. We had spent 12 + hours filming 3 episodes the day before, and I was just exhausted. So, we lost. I must admit, the Peanuts thing still kind of haunts me.

After the loss, I was immediately put back on a plane to Vegas. Two months later the show premiered. My appearance would begin on the 2nd half of the next episode. Only that didn’t happen. Because they cancelled the show. After one stinkin’ episode. I threw all of my trivia books and flash cards into the trash. Ten years of study for what?
I got depressed and blamed myself. Some bigwig network guy probably saw my episodes and decided I was too hideous to be shown to the public. That was my thinking, anyway. The contract had stated that if our episodes didn’t air we wouldn’t get the money. So, I felt like the most screwed person ever.

When I had first gotten selected it would be 3 weeks before I started filming. I didn’t want to be a fat ass on tv, so I had stopped eating. To the point of passing out at times. When the show got cancelled I started eating everything in site. “Fuck those people and fuck game shows”, I thought. Oh yeah, and to add insult to injury, I got a call from Who Want’s to be a Millionaire. I had auditioned a 4th time, and now they wanted me. I got the call on the day after they cancelled The Rich List. My contract had stated that I couldn’t be on another game show for a year. I explained the situation to the lady who called. I told her (because she asked) that I had filmed another game show, but that it got cancelled without my episodes airing. She said she’d call me back. She did. I’m sorry, but blah blah blah…Basically, it was, “I’m sorry Lucy, but you can’t be in the show”!


But, there is a silver lining. Four months later I got a check for my winnings. I guess they decided to pay the winners after all. I got the money and remained anonymous.

So yeah, when I rag on those clowns about being married to their wonderful husbands, it’s because I’ve been there. Like being able to complain about a crappy president because you voted (not for them, but just voted).

…and because I’m a jerk.

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