Every form of addiction
is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism. (or Jeopardy)
~ Carl Gustav Jung
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ADDICTION IS A TERRIBLE THING!
2 July 2004
It's really bad when you've become so addicted to a television show that you get frantic when you miss it and start sending e-mail around to all of your groups trying to find out what happened.
Walt and I have been watching the blitzkrieg of Ken Jennings, as he's calmly rolled over all of his fellow Jeopardy contestants for the past 20 days, earning over $600,000.
Walt went to the opera last night so I would be watching the show alone. Problem was that around 5:30 I could recognize the signs: I was very sleepy.
No problem, I thought. I'd take a nap now and would be awake for the show. Should I set the timer on the stove? Of course not. Jeopardy wasn't for nearly 2 hours. Besides, I'd turn the sound on the TV up and the noise of Hollywood Squares would wake me up.
Well, the sound of the TV did wake me up--during the middle of Wheel of Fortune, which comes after Jeopardy.
I had been dreaming of being in Mary's house, using her computer and trying to find something to write in my journal. I dreamed her daughter Emily was a baby again and she and I were getting all ooey-gooey about how sweet babies are. I also dreamed of eating the leftover Mexican lasagna for dinner, thinking that Walt was gone, and then discovering that he was still here and wanted some. But that was all a dream too.
When I woke up and realized I'd missed all of Jeopardy and had no clue whether or not Ken had won his 21st game, I was really angry with myself.
I immediately got on the internet and sent off an e-mail message to all of my pals on CompuServe. "Did anybody watch Jeopardy tonight?" I posted a message on Steve's Discussion Board. I think I even sent a note to Joan when I made my next Scrabble move: "Did you watch Jeopardy tonight?"
But since there was no response by return e-mail (i.e., in the next 10 seconds), I started trying to figure out if I could get the answer on the Internet.
Jennings, the computer software engineer from Salt Lake City, has made quite a buzz. News shows are talking about how he has bulldozed his way over all the incoming would-be champions. Regis and Kelly have talked about him in their daily happy-talk segment. I fully expect he'll turn up on The Today Show eventually. He's been a topic in Jay Leno's nightly monologue.
But the very soonest I might possibly find out anything on television would be several hours away and I wanted to know now.
I decided to Google "Ken Jennings" and that brought up the Jeopardy web site, where I discovered the...
GREAT! A daily update. I could just click on that!
Only the daily update was from yesterday, not today, since there are probably places in the world where tonight's episode hasn't aired yet. Crushed again.
I did start rummaging around the web site, though, and discovered that there were pictures of each of the contestants and a RealAudio clip you could run. There he was, grinning: Ken Jennings in his own video clip. Maybe it had been recorded after he finally left the show.
I ran the clip, but it was an introductory clip saying hi to all the folks in Salt Lake City and that he hoped soon everyone would be talking about him. (Well--I guess he got that wish!)
Then I found it: The Jeopardy message board. And there I found my answer--and much, much more. I found out that Ken had indeed won again today, to the tune of another $35,000. I also found a lively debate about how people feel seeing him win every day (seems to be evenly divided between those who are bored with it and don't want to watch any more until he's gone and people like me, who think it's cool to watch, wondering when/if he will finally be defeated, and who go frantic when they fall asleep and miss it!).
I also discovered that people on this discussion board are really fanatics, so much so that you can find out all the questions for the day, who answered them, and how much they bet on the double jeopardy questions.
There was even a discussion in which Ken participated himself. I've noticed that he's an expert on movies, and no wonder. Check his movie web site! (When he finally does get dethroned, it will probaby be on a sports question--I've noticed that's definitely his Achilles heel.)
It was a whole new world out there, a bit more fanatical than I think I want to become. But still, it's nice to know that there is someplace to check when it's 7:30, the show is ended and you simply have to find out how it all went!
(By the time I did all of this--about 30 minutes--I already had the first response to my frantic plea, from Cathy in Vermont...but I was way ahead of her!)
Congratulations, Ken Jennings--keep those answers coming. It's been an exciting ride.
This is the other side of the dog park where I walked Sheila this week