I’ve never been much for TV game shows, but I have to confess there’s one that stops me in my tracks if I come across it in a scroll.
I started watching it when it first came on in 1964 when I was still a kid and Art Fleming was the host. As I recall, I didn’t know many of the answers but my Mom was darn good.
Throughout college, my housemates and I would tune in occasionally though we spent more of our down time playing beer-fueled bid whist.
When I met Hank, I discovered he was a big-time trivia buff and knew all kinds of obscure stuff off the top of his head. That was back in the day when Trivial Pursuit came in umpteen incarnations and was the party game. Before Googling took the fun out of trivia.
Anyway, while I wasn’t bad, Hank was even better — as watching Jeopardy! with him would rudely remind me.
I haven’t seen the show recently but I know someone who has. This past Wednesday night, Mayor Jon Mitchell showed up on my Twitter feed. His clearly tongue-in-cheek tweet: “@Jeopardy really has me stumped tonight. Anyone else?”
I chuckled when I saw the screen shot he’d included. The Jeopardy! answer was: “In the 1800’s, this Massachusetts city was the world’s leading whaling port.”
Lots of people (me included) retweeted the mayor and curious what some of them had to say, I checked out their tweets.
At least a half-dozen of them played it straight, answering simply “New Bedford.”
But when one dared say “Gloucester,” that tweeter drew a resounding “Wrong!” from one of their followers.
A woman who according to her Twitter profile is a history teacher asked her followers “Do you know the answer to this?” I guess she can be forgiven if she didn’t. She’s from landlocked Framingham.
I have to say I didn’t recognize most of the respondents to the mayor’s tweet. But a couple names were familiar.
Retired New Bedford educator Dawn Blake Souza shared that when she saw the Jeopardy! answer, she “just about fell off my chair.”
For his part, Dan McCarthy, race director of the New Bedford Half Marathon, issued a call to action: “Raise up arms if the answer is Nantucket!!!”
As for me, I saw Jon Mitchell’s tweet smack in the middle of deadline so I didn’t come up with anything remotely clever for my retweet.
But that’s OK. The way I see it, however we get it, national game show recognition is pretty cool.
While New Bedford isn’t perfect — what place is? — after some tough years and bumpy going, this city is reclaiming its proud past and sailing toward a bright future.
Because these days, New Bedford is on Jeopardy! Not in it.
Follow Susan Pawlak-Seaman on Twitter @SeamanSusanSCT