This, Is, Jeopardy!

by Maria Francesca

So there I am,
just like last night,
behind the center podium.

To my left
is the United States' Librarian General;
I didn't know there was such a person,
but here she is,
in living color.

To my right
is software engineer, Stormin' Mormon,
and Jeopardy God,
Ken Jennings.

As the categories appear on the video monitors,
I realize that that feeling in the crook of my stomach,
that crazy fluctuation between
abject depression,
mind-numbing fear,
and serious nausea
is well-placed.

"Here are the categories:" crows Alex,
(that bastard).

'Why Maria Should Have Listened To Her Mother',
followed by 'People Who Really Don't Like Maria',
'People Who Have Never Even Heard Of Maria And Are Still Kind Of Put Off By Her',
'Maria's Bad Habits',
'Things Maria Doesn't Know'
and finally,
'What's That Smell?'

Ken," Alex croons adoringly,
"You choose first."

"I'll take
'What's That Smell'
for a thousand million dollars, Cutie!"

Alex blushes,
and gushes
"Right back atcha, Kiddo,
now here's the question:
'What's that smell?"

I don't even try to buzz in.

Ken does, of course.
"What is Maria?"

"Good question!", declares Alex.

The game proceeds pretty much in this way,
and even though I never buzz in,
I end up thirty-eight thousand dollars
in the hole.

After a five minute dissertation
on the historical agony of my loss
and how I have disgraced my family,
and people who smell bad,
I am dismissed
to the sound of mingled laughter and hissing
from the audience.

The remaining contestants point and laugh,
then compose themselves
as they listen to the Final Jeopardy Question:

"How much wood would a woodchuck chuck
if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"

The librarian looks puzzled and shocked
while Ken quickly writes his answer
in a downright inspiring display of confidence.

The music from Hell finishes
and Alex asks the librarian for her answer:
blank space.

She hangs her head and cries,
her tears causing a short-circuit
in her video monitor.
Ken turns to her and gently clasps her shoulder,
then smacks her hard in the face
(just helping her get a grip, you know,
ever the gentleman).

Alex then turns to Ken expectantly,
certain he has fould the Inalienable Source
of All Correct Answers Everywhere.

Ken smiles and says, "Forty-Six".

Alex goes pale,
then paler,
then becomes absolutely transparent.
"Nooooooooooooo," he screams,
"That is Not The Correct Answer....
and, you forgot to phrase it in the form of a question!
Oh, my God -
I mean my Ken,
what will become of us now?!"

Meanwhile, Ken's smile remains for a fraction of a second,
then dims to complete puzzlement.
"Not The Correct Answer?", he wonders aloud,
and under his breath
I can hear him begin to chant
as he starts to rock back and forth
on the balls of his feet:
"does not compute...
does not compute

His eyes start to bulge
and then they shoot free
just a half a second before his whole head explodes
in a shower of bolts and springs
and then

my alarm clock goes off
and I awaken
with a gigantic grin on my face
and I am so ready
to face my day.


Posted on 11/04/2007
Copyright © 2022 Maria Francesca

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 11/04/07 at 03:48 AM

A fantastical dream that just made my day!!

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