Monday, April 22, 2013
WHEEL! OF! HUMILATION!
Well, I won't be on "Wheel of Fortune" any time soon. I'm pretty good at the game...at home, that is. So when I heard the "Wheel-Mobile" was rolling into town I decided I'd go and audition. Really not much to it: just fill out an application, put it in a drum, and hope they pick your name to play the live game to see if they like you enough to qualify. I didn't even think I'd make it that far. My name never gets drawn in these kinds of circumstances, and there were easily 3-400 people at my session and only enough time to pick about 50 of those people; so you can imagine my surprise when I was my name was the last drawn for the very first group.
We were told to be energetic, enthusiastic, demonstrate good personality, and be good at the game. I thought I did well at presenting myself and my charms. I was asked a little bit about myself, hobbies, career, that sort of thing. I felt I came off well. I may have tried a bit too hard to come across as more charismatic than I feel I am, but I held my own and didn't embarrass myself...yet.
We played the speed round - the part where Pat Sajak lets each contestant guess a letter and then they have three second to solve it before he moves on to the next contestant. We had been brought up in groups of five. The letter I chose on my first turn was "T," and it was up there. Other contestants didn't have as much luck, and no one was yet able to solve the puzzle (which was "An Event," by the way). On my next turn, I picked an "A" (also up there).
I was determined to be the one to solve the puzzle. I had already demonstrated charm, enthusiasm, and charisma. I just needed to win this thing, and they would pick me to be on the show.
Then my stupid nerves took over.
After I guessed "A" and had my three seconds to solve, I looked at the board, which said:
T_A_ _ _C
I thought of words that start with "T" and end with "C", and it took me a couple of seconds, but I finally realized it was "traffic," but I knew I had no time left, and I choked and blurted out the first thing that came to mind:
Yes, folks - I said "traffic HAM"
To make matters worse, I immediately realized my error and blurted out "traffic jam" after my turn had already ended, thus spoiling the game for the remaining contestants. If the guy after me didn't already know the answer, he certainly did after my display.
I was at least glad the host thought I said "traffic cam," which at least makes slightly more sense than my stupid guess.
And then of course because I was in the very first group, I had to spend the next hour watching other possible contenders vying for a shot while lamenting the fact that I had blown my own. I was so annoyed with myself and yet laughing at the absolute stupidity and absurdity of it all. And of course being an "armchair contestant" is so much easier than when you're actually up there playing. I was able to solve quite a few puzzles from my spot in the audience. Wish I had done so well when I was actually on stage. I could feel them crossing my name off as soon as I shouted my inane answer.
Oh, well. I got a "Wheel of Fortune" tee-shirt, a "Wheel-Mobile" paper model, and a great (and embarrassing) story to share. lol
[Oh, two side notes: One lady asked the host to give Pat Sajak a big hug for her. He said something like "I'll get right on that," but his tone and body language told me he's probably never even met Pat Sajak let alone able to find himself in a position where he could hug him for some random lady. I actually thought the host had a thankless job which he did very well: pump up the crowd, keep them engaged, move things along, and keep things funny and light.
Other side note: One lady who also won't be joining me on "Wheel of Fortune" was this strange woman who kept saying random things and didn't listen to the host's instructions. He asked her to tell a story about where she was from and she went off on some other tangent but then she said she had another story to tell, and when the host told her okay, she shouted into the audience, "Hey, Mom and Dad!" and when the host was done with her, she randomly shouted, "Bon Jovi!" Then when she played the game, she guessed a letter than had already been guessed even though you could clearly see what letters had already been guessed.
I guess nerves make people do stupid things. ;-) ]