Guest Post: Notes from the Field Part II
The second part in a series of correspondence received from a (sister)/sister missionary in L.A., who is bound to become a stalwart contributor to IRF upon her return home in February 2008.
From an e-mail entitled, “Answer: What is the Best Preparation Day of my Rumpled Life?”
Today I asked Alex Trebec, of Jeopardy, a question that stumped him, then he gave me an answer, warmed up to me and shot me a smile.
Today my zone went to Jeopardy (a connection from a Hollywood Ward member). i had the time of my life. We watched three thrity-minute segments get made that will air December 17th. The contestants were fascinating, one must pass a lengthy test to even be able to get onto the show. We were VIP guests, so we got front and center seats. I will most definitely be on television. During down-time, we were encouraged to ask Alec questions. he enjoys some light mingling with his guests. We were warned not to answer questions out loud, by Jonny (picture an elderly, tucked, man in a red button down underneath a beige satin jacket which read Johhnny on the front, and Jeopardy on the back, no doubt a clever Christmas cast gift for him from the 80s). If any of us spoke, they would have to pick another question. Apparently Alex Trebec does not like to be asked how old he is (he’s been tucked…), or how much money he makes. Soooo… OTHER than that, we could ask him any question.
Alex waltzed over to us, looked at us with confusion (we had removed our name tags) and said, “You’re from an organization. Let me see if I can guess…Hmm. Mormon missionaries!” Alex, mind you, has a very dry sense of humor. The kind of creativity that flows from the rock of manic depression. One woman asked him, “How do you stay so fit!?” Response? I drink. Another guest asked, “Why did you shave your mustache?” “I felt like it. Just like my Mother.” Alec’s tongue is sharper than the guillotine! I thought I better not get my rumpled fingers near his blade!
A few segments later, i mustered up some courage to ask a question. I proceeded to ask, “Which modern invention do you feel we would be better off without?” Alex looked like he had just been doused with a super soaker water gun. He went speechless. The audience fell dead silent. He started to pace, back turned to the crowd. “Hhhhmmm,” he pondered. “I have never even considered such a thing…” He paused over the crew table and said “Well, having two teenagers I would say the cell phone, but I see its necessity. Hmmm.” After a few more awkward seconds (which in TV time is about an hour), he said “I’ll have to think about it and I’ll let you know before the end of the day.” Another segment later, Alex went to his private quarters for a wardrobe change, and I knew, serious contemplation. My missionary friend turned around and said, “You stumped Alex Trebec!”
Segments more passed, he walked back tot the crowd to answer more questions, shoot some more people down, then before turning to the stage he looked me dead in the eye. I slightly ascended heavensward in my seat. He then flipped around, like a young sassy super model taking her first turn on the catwalk, looked at me and said, “The electric can opener.” He coyly smiled like a fourteen year old girl in her first pair of high heels walking past construction workers.
i raised my soft arm and pointed straight to him. He said, “My house has had an electric can opener built in to the kitchen for seventeen years, and it has never worked. I have to use the old hand job, the manual.”
Later on in the show Alex asked us some useless questions about “the gold man on top of the Temple” and the price of BYU tuition. Then I shot him another question. i asked him which career he would pick for his teenagers. More contemplation. he then told me that Emily, 17 has a knack for design, she’s organized, she would make a good architect, and Matthew, 16, has none of those things, but he is build like a rock. He had encouraged him to be a telemarketer, so that he could experience what it feels like to have someone hang up on you over dinner. (“Serve a mission!” I thought quietly.)