A few weeks ago I was invited to participate as a contestant in my local library's first-ever Literary Jeopardy. This event took place this past Tuesday.
The above is what I saw when I entered the room. When I saw a total of only eight contestants, I became hopeful that I might win one of the three prizes. The odds seemed good.
Then this came onto the screen. No, that's not blood splatters. There would be no blood shed that night though the competitive spirit was lively.
Our game host reviewed the rules. Note that we did not have to respond with the answer as a question. I was glad as it has been quite a few years since I watched that show and I'm out of practice. We played in two rounds, four contestants each. Two contestants failed to show so the audience was called upon. Two people volunteered to substitute. Then each contestant was given some kind of noise-maker in lieu of a buzzer. And the first round began. The two winners would return for round 3.
Then we moved onto round 2. I did not thoroughly disgrace myself. In fact, while I stupidly missed the Jane Austen question—had it in my head but was too slow ringing my bells—I redeemed myself by getting the Truman Capote question. I'm pleased to brag that I was one of the two winners of that round. Then onto round 3, the final round.
I messed up. Here's the question I should certainly have had. It asked for the star of The Princess Diaries. I knew it was Anne Hathaway, but again was just a second behind my more nimble bell-ringing opponent. But missing that one hurt as Anne Hathaway went to Millburn High School when I was teaching there! Shame on me.
Then poor listening skills cost me another question. That one mentioned Blanche DuBois, so I rang my bells and answered, "Streetcar Named Desire." Wrong! The question wanted the author's name, Tennessee Williams, which I knew, but I was trying too hard to make up for my lack of speed.
Nevertheless, I won third place and received a very nice prize.
Six brand new books: 1) Rules of Contact, by Kristen Heitzmann, 2) Nothing But a Smile, by Steve Amick, 3) The School of Essential Ingredients, by Erica Bauermeister, 4) The Housekeeper and the Professor, by Yoko Ogawa, 5) The Miracles of Prato, and 6) Servant of a Dark God, by John Brown.
Worst Question of the Night: What were the names of the original Three Little Pigs?