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Saturday, July 30, 2005

JEOPARDY, Part 10

Continued from Saturday, July 23.

The third game for the week is the third show filmed that day. I’m sitting in the first row of the audience next to Julie, who will be on the next (Thursday) show. There are questions being asked (or more correctly, answers being given) and for quite a few, no one is getting. I remember whispering to Julie, "Be True to Your School" in response to a $500 question referencing the Beach Boys that nobody even rang in on. I had the distinct feeling that if I had gotten THAT set of boards against THOSE contestants, I would have won. Yelling out the answers in front of the TV has nothing on THAT feeling.

There was a technical glitch during this third show; the lights went out. They had stop, then restart, which involved the audience applauding as they were at the time of the incident.

After the show, I went downstairs, got my things, and headed for the front door to a more than a few "Good job!" comments. I ran into my friend Karen from NYC, then to Bianca de la Garza from Channel 10 in Albany, for whom I did a 10-second commercial. "This is Roger Green from Albany in front of the Wang Theater in Boston. Watch for me on JEOPARDY! on ABC-10!" This took longer (i.e., more takes)than I thought it would.

I had gotten a ride over to the Wang Theater in the morning, but I had to walk back to the hotel with friend Karen. There was a bunch of people beeping their horns. I thought they were just rude Boston drivers, but as it turned out, they were beeping and waving at ME! These folks had gone to the taping and were giving me kudos. It’d be a cliché to say that I felt like a rock star. It would be true, but a cliché.

Back at the hotel, Max was waiting, but his mother was retrieving the car. Judy and Max had gotten lost in Cambridge, abandoned the vehicle, took public transportation, and barely got to the show on time. Eventually, Karen, Max and Judy all left, and I lay on the bed happy/sad with the experience.

Later, Karen took me out to dinner, then to a club where we saw Pete Droge and his band. I’d met the group twice when they and Karen were in Albany, and they were among the first people who weren’t at the show to find out how much I’d won; Karen told them, I didn’t. I bought Pete’s then-new album at their gig.

The next morning, I was ravenous. While I couldn’t eat the previous morning, I practically couldn’t stop. Back in my room, I got a message on my phone from Karen: "You gotta see the Glo-o-o-obe!" She said the name of the Boston paper as though it had four syllables. After I pack up to leave, I pick up a paper, and on the first page of the Entertainment sections were two pictures of ME. Well, not just me. Both also pictured Amy Roeder, the "local angle" in the story; one also featured the former champion, Tom. Still, it was a real kick.

I took at train to Hyannis, south of Boston, to visit the brother of my then ex-girlfriend (and now wife) Carol, Mark, and his fiancée, Leanne. On the train, I swear there was a woman staring at me, and I reckon she was a reader of the Glo-o-o-obe . I had decided that I wasn’t going to give out the results to anyone. The contract I signed suggested that I couldn’t exploit the fact that I had won before it aired, and WTEN was under even stricter standards.

Now began seven weeks of "How many changes of clothes did you wear?" Or "How many days shall I set my VCR for?" Or other bald attempts to tell what I was not going to tell. Heck, now it was a matter of prinicple; I don't WANT to reveal the information. Besides, I thought of it as a sporting event, where I wouldn't want to know the score.

I took the bus home from Hyannis and went to work on Monday, where I was also subjected to another form of harassment. When Bianca de la Garza had interviewed me before the show, I noted that just passing the test didn’t guarantee being on the show. So here’s the Bianca voiceover: "He had to have something else." Roger, talking: "It must be charisma, I don’t know." (I laugh.)

Charisma. Apparently enough people saw this to make this the running joke in the office, not for a couple days, or a few months, but for four or five YEARS. Especially from Jinshui.

On October 6, a woman from Albany named Linda Zusman won $12,000 in her one-win appearance. I actually looked for her number to congratulate her (and tell her my news), but never reached her.

Also, in October, a woman who wrote for a quarterly publication for WTEN asked me the Final JEOPARDY! Answer, which seemed to be a reasonable request, except that I didn’t know, exactly. "Had something to do with Donkin or Tonquin. I know the response was 'What is Hanoi?'" She got a little snippy: "Weren’t you THERE?" I didn’t say this to her, but the answer was yes and no. Physically, of course, but mentally, on some other planet.

I went for a walk to a local preserve called Five Rivers with Carol, and hinted that I had won a travel prize that she might go on with me, an obvious wooing move. But it also had the effect of her thinking that I HADN’T won any money.

Peter Iselin used to own the newsweekly Metroland, and was going to be on JEOPARDY! I called Metroland and asked them, "Do you want a story about that?" "Are you one of our regular contributors?" "No." "Well, no thanks." And that was that. I don’t know if it would have made any difference to tell them I had just been on the show, but I never got a chance to get that out.

There were two things I did just prior to the show’s airing that made my life a whole lot easier. I made a phone call to someone, and I paid a visit somewhere.

Concluded on Saturday, August 6.

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