In a perfect world, a Tacoman’s appearance on a nationally syndicated game show with 25 million weekly viewers would provide T-Town a moment in the sun. A tourism boost. Fifteen minutes of fame, give or take, after commercials are subtracted.
The “Jeopardy!” soundstage would resound with merry banter about Mount Rainier, Almond Roca, Bing Crosby and other local treasures. The televised small talk between host Alex Trebek and the Tacoma contestant would go something like this:
Trebek: “Wasn’t Tacoma chosen instead of Seattle and other prima donna cities to be the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad in the late 1800s?”
Contestant: “That’s right. Up yours, Seattle.”
Trebek: “And now Tacoma has the world-famous Chambers Bay Golf Course and will host the prestigious 2015 U.S. Open?”
Contestant: (whispers) “University Place, actually, but close enough.”
Trebek: “Wow, Tacoma really is the City of Destiny!”
Alas, ours is not a perfect world. Life is not a Merv Griffin production. Where we live and work, people don’t politely press buzzers and form their answers in the form of a question.
The real world is awash with madness, mayhem and murder – and somehow the sludge always flows downstream to Tacoma.
Which brings us to the two-day run on “Jeopardy!” that a local man enjoyed last week.
It started well enough: On Day 2, Trebek introduced Mike Malaier this way: “He’s from Tacoma, Washington – not Washington, D.C.”
But then the quizmaster asked the contestant to share his personal story about a creepy connection between the two Washingtons.
Malaier gamely recounted a time when he was a high school student in Tacoma. A man flagged him down because he could see Malaier’s car was about to die. The good Samaritan put on his scrubs and went to work on the young man’s beater.
And then the kicker: “I find out 15 years later,” Malaier said, “it was the D.C. sniper.”
Hey-o! Thanks, Jeopardy, for reminding America that John Allen Muhammad spent most of his adult life in Pierce County.
Way to represent the 253!
Next time a Tacoman appears on the show, maybe we’ll hear nice-guy stories about Ted Bundy.
Final Jeopardy: To be honest, quiz shows don’t do much for The Nose. Ask us what the Daily Double is, and we’ll say it’s our minimum number of espresso shots at The Metronome.
Still, it’s nice to know T-Town will have another chance to shine on “Jeopardy!” when a local teacher competes in the annual teachers tournament. It was taped this week and airs next month.
John Hines teaches at Todd Beamer High in Federal Way; the show lists his home as Tacoma.
The producers describe the 15 contestants as some of the brighest educators in the country. Hopefully bright enough to understand that game shows aren’t run the same way as schools.
Final Jeopardy really means final. There are no alternative assessments, no retakes are allowed, and they won’t be graded on the curve.
Mystery revealed: Tacoma City Manager T.C. Broadnax rolled out his no-nonsense 2013-14 budget this week with talk of three key principles: Core services, Continuous improvement and Credibility.
The “Three Cs,” as it were.
Guess we finally know what T.C. stands for. Now folks can stop asking, and Mr. Inscrutable can stop not answering.
Better late than never?: Ticket holders were ticked off when Madonna started her Seattle concert two hours late Tuesday night.
Not to make excuses for the Material Girl, but maybe she flew in on a Boeing Dreamliner.
Give them bigger bats, too: There was a whiff of desperation in the air when the Mariners announced Tuesday they would move in the fences next season. Or was that the whiff from the 20 times they struck out in a game last week?
No complaints here. In our championship-starved state, fans will accept any and all accommodations. Invoke the Americans with Disability Act, if necessary. And don’t stop with the M’s:
• Huskies: Make opposing defenses count to “Four Mississippi” before rushing the quarterback.
• Cougars: Spot them 15 points to start each game.
• Seahawks: Bring back the replacement referees.Got news for The Nose? Write to TheNose@thenewstribune.com.