In last week’s column, I shared personal recollections my wife might discuss during the “chat” portion of the show “Jeopardy!” if she were a contestant. All of Mary Ellen’s responses were true stories. This week is what I would say if I were accepted to be one of the three challengers. Again, all my answers are true.
First night on show
Host Mayim Bialik: So, Dick, I understand you lied to get your first job as a teacher.
Dick: Mayim, it’s true. Arriving for my interview at the high school I had attended four years earlier, I discovered that the English position I wanted had been filled. What they needed now was a psychology teacher. The assistant superintendent asked me what I majored in. I said psychology, which wasn’t true. I got the job. Then I taught psychology for 10 years.
Mayim: Dick, is it true you once made the front page of a tabloid magazine?
Dick: In New York City, I became friendly with exercise guru Richard Simmons. The paparazzi snapped a photo of us jogging together in Central Park. The next week at the supermarket checkout counter, I saw one of those trashy tabloids with a photo of us on the lower left-hand corner of the cover. The headline read: Exercise with your lover. I received calls from friends I hadn’t heard from in years. I thought the whole thing was funny. Richard thought it was hysterical. So did my wife. What about you?
Mayim: Dick, tell us about the time you had an embarrassing moment on TV with a big Hollywood star.
Dick: Mayim, I interviewed Cyd Charisse, the renowned actress and dancer. My producer told me to mention Underalls, a pantyhose brand that I assumed was sponsoring her tour. This made sense; the woman had awesome legs. I mentioned Underalls numerous times until Ms. Charisse corrected me, saying she had nothing to do with Underalls, but she did want to talk about Enderall, her arthritis medicine. This week, 35 years later, I finally got a pair of hearing aids. A little late, to be sure.
Mayim: I’m told you have asked some really dumb questions on your TV shows. What was the dumbest?
Dick: I interviewed a man who had a 6-foot-long alligator pet named Fritz. When I got to his house, his reptilian giant had on a T-shirt that said, “I’m a Dick Wolfsie Fan.” I asked the owner if he had ever gotten in the tank with the gator. “No, Dick, Fritz put that shirt on by himself.”
Who am I kidding? There is no chance I would get to the fifth night. Or the second night, for that matter.