Welcome back to another freaky Friday edition of everyone’s favorite neverending story, my Millionaire Journey! Last week, I blew my first chance at entering the Hot Seat when a caterpillar ate a hole in my brain. But my loss was Amy Turner’s gain, and she gets to be the first contestant from my group to get a shot at a seven figure payday. Let’s see how the pride of Athens, Tennessee does in her moment of glory….
One of the first things Regis comments on is how Amy shot up out of her seat “like a rocket” when she found out she’d won. Leave no doubt about it, Amy was quite excitable and had the sparkling personality to match. She was everything the production crew for the show could have ever wanted in a contestant to make for great TV. Those same qualities would also grind on the very last nerve of those who were patiently waiting for the next chance at one of those Fastest Finger questions…
Amy has brought her husband Paul along to watch her play for the big bucks.
Amy is a “database application programmer,” yet another fascinating field that I don’t remember from any career day in high school. She describes this job by saying she “writes the programs that help the data go in so people can get it out.”
Nobody can spend their entire day on GIGO duty, and Amy has an awesome hobby to unwind in her spare time. She races a 1959 Austin Healey Sprite… which I’d assume is not made out of a big green soda can.
She doesn’t just race these classic cars, she actually maintains and restores them as well! Sorry all you car guys out there, but she’s already taken. She even has hubby whooped into being her “pit crew”, through his own admission. Amy’s type of racing is “autocross”, where rather than have everyone out on the track at one time, each driver races on the course by themselves with the best time winning. If you’re aware at how “thrilled” many NASCAR drivers are at the prospect of having females on the track with them, then you can feel free to insert your own “woman driver” joke in here…
Forgetting that he has a game show to conduct, Regis decides to dig a bit deeper into this racing fascination and asks Amy what got a woman like her interested in such a male dominated hobby anyway. Blame it on Jill Taylor from “Home Improvement”, she says, who brought home an Austin Healey in an early episode of the show.
Oh, hurray! We’re finally going to get the game started. Not that any of us are in a hurry or something…
$100 – When something comes as a complete revelation, it is said to be a what?
It would have been a real jaw chewer had Amy missed this, but she did not. C. Eye opener, final answer.
$200 – Most erasers on pencils are made from what material?
I liked to chew on the wood of my pencils, but not on the A. Rubber erasers…
$300 – If someone’s chances of succeeding are ruined, it is said that “his” what “is cooked”?
B. Hot dog
D. Veggie burger
How odd that both Ed and Amy got $300 questions where “goose” was one of the choices. However, unlike the former contestant’s “gag” question, this time C. Goose is quite obviously correct.
$500 – Which of the following letters is not normally found on a standard automatic gearshift panel?
“Right down your alley,” Regis says to Amy before he can even read off the choices… since, you know, a lot of 1959 Austin Healeys have automatic transmissions in them. Amy confirms that her race car is a manual, but she obviously knows this… and having grown up entirely on automatic cars in my life (Flog away, old timers!), this is right up my alley as well. There is no D. X, unless that is possibly the hidden gear that allows you to automatically parallel park…
$1,000 – Which of the following beverages is best known for being chocolate flavored?
D. Mountain Dew
I honestly don’t believe I had even heard of Yoo-hoo until I started working at Mecca two and a half years before this taping. I can’t even say at the time if I knew for sure whether it was a chocolate flavored drink or not… but process of elimination would have given it to me since I know the others are not. I’m sorry, but anything chocolate flavored is just not drinkable… whether it’s hot chocolate, anything coffee related , or something called Yoo-hoo.
Amy’s niece drinks B. Yoo-hoos, as I believe it is some kind of educational requirement in the South, so she knows the answer… and with that, she’s locked in the $1,000 payday!
But no, they will not be going on to the next question just yet… it’s already time for that second commercial break. What!?!? Already!?!?!?
As he does during each commercial break, the warm up comedian Q comes back out to unleash his brand of audience perkifying levity on those who merely came to watch others compete for big bucks. Seeing how fast one taping segment got burned, I’m starting not to buy into the lighthearted atmosphere anymore. The competitive part of me wants that next shot at redemption… this time doing it right!
But I’ll never get it if they can’t put a lid on the Mouth of the South, and coming back from commercial break was the perfect opportunity to pump their charming goldmine for more sparkly nuggets…
One of the first things Amy will buy with whatever she wins today is a dishwasher. She has lived her entire adult life without a dishwasher, and I cried the same crocodile tears for her 13 years ago that I do now, having never lived in a house with a dishwasher myself. I sure as hell can’t buy one with what I’m going to win stuck in Bendy Side Out® Seat 9…
Oh, but that’s not all. She wants to get a tattoo.
This was a few years into the craze that continues to this day of tattoos for the everyman rather than just the social outsiders and tough guys. If you want to piss off a real ink-stained rebel, bring up the fact that tats have become the trendy, hipster thing to do. They’ll probably cuss like a sailor and then deck you with their anchor-inscribed arm. My two youngest sisters were both coming of age around this time, and clamoring for the time they could legally hit the tattoo parlor up so they could get scarred for life with something that meant a lot to them at the time that they would soon likely regret getting indelibly etched into their skin…
OK, enough of the crazy ways Amy’s going to spend the money I’m not going to be winning… it’s time to continue on with this damn game!
$2,000 – On the TV series “I Love Lucy”, what is Fred and Ethel’s last name?
It is well known by both me and Amy that Fred and Ethel’s last name was A. Mertz. It is not as well known that William Frawley and Vivian Vance hated each other’s guts during the entire run of “I Love Lucy.” If only they could have drawn the same wisdom that caused the producers of “My Three Sons” to replace old gin and tonic Frawley with the more likeable Uncle Charley…
$4,000 – What were the radio speeches made by FDR during The Great Depression called?
A. Sunday conversations
B. Living room visits
C. Coffee talks
D. Fireside chats
I don’t even think any of these other three choices even sounds plausible. Of course it’s the D. Fireside chats. And Amy keeps moving along…
$8,000 – Which of these branches of the U.S. military has a rank of petty officer?
B. Air Force
And finally, the great Amy Turner has been stumped….
I know the answer, but despite having some experience around military installations, Amy can’t recall which branch has the petty officer. This was the first question where Amy took a rather inordinate amount of time hemming and hawing, trying to figure out what to do. She spent nearly as much time in debate over how to proceed on the petty officer question than Ed had taken trying to make sense of his glowing potato query…
Finally, with nine pairs of eyes glaring a hole in her back, she throws out a few complimentary bouquets to the audience before letting them have at this question. Keep in mind, Amy, that this “good looking audience” was the same one who ran our friend Ed out of the Hot Seat just a few minutes ago. Let’s see if they can redeem themselves…
Dear old Dad, who helped lead to Ed’s demise earlier, managed to vote correctly for this one rather than help his poor, unfortunate, stuck-in-Seat-9 son out. The 80% vote for Navy is off the charts, and much more convincing than the first audience vote for “tomato”. Amy doesn’t even hesitate… she’s going with these guys!
$16,000 – A famous 1951 UPI photograph shows what scientist sticking out his tongue?
A. Louis Leakey
B. Robert Oppenheimer
C. Albert Einstein
D. Jacques Cousteau
OK, Amy’s once again evened the score with me. I’ve never heard of this photo before, though the correct answer did pop into my mind before the choices were revealed. Amy, on the other hand, has a magnet of this picture on her icebox:
So she knows this one cold…. it’s C. Albert Einstein!
And now Amy has made it to the all important $32,000 question! If she can get this one right, she’ll be guaranteed to leave with enough money to buy that dishwasher, get a whole sleeve full of ink, and even give her pit crew a raise.
But Amy’s run in the Hot Seat is about to turn into one huge, discombobulated mess. And I’m gonna need some time to catch my breath before I
rant and rave go on about that, so we’ll revisit our good friend Amy Turner next time! Remember, we have a date next Friday!