Your RDA of Irony

Millionaire Lost

In an unprecedented manifestation of commonsense, I decided not to audition for Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. Chicago was enduring a barrage of thunderstorms, and standing four or more hours in a downpour, while awaiting the audition, just didn’t seem like a great idea. The odds of being selected as a contestant are about one in a thousand. The odds of developing pneumonia are about one in two.

So, at least, I have spared myself illness and the added indignity of a mass-produced, soulless rejection card. Last year I received one. It read, “Thank you for your interest in being a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire.’ You have not been selected to be a potential contestant. We appreciate your continued interest in the show and thank you for taking the time to audition with us. Please accept these nude photos of Meredith Viera as our expression of gratitude.”

Actually, the last sentence was in pencil and looked like my mailman’s handwriting. Great, I was being ridiculed by a government agency, too.

Of course, I predicted my rejection, but I can’t say that I enjoyed being right. In fact, I found myself quoting a certain charismatic character from Paradise Lost and swearing eternal vengeance on “Millionaire.”

How, in my brimstone sauna, would I expect to accomplish this feat. I want to be a phone-a-friend and help contestants soak that show for a fortune. I once was a phone-a-friend and helped an acquaintance with a $125,000 question. But now I want to do it as a vocation!

What though the field be lost?
All is not lost–the unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?


  1. Bob Kincaid says:

    Eugene, I promise: if ANY gameshow EVER comes to rural West Virginia (“Who Wants To Be An Ignorant Hillbilly,” or maybe “The Weakest Coal Sludge Impoundment Link”) you will be my go-to phone guy.

    In the interim, let’s hang some metatags on the site so folks can find you. Even if the networks catch on, it means a lot of really dull network people will have to hit your site, thereby driving your traffic.

    It’s a win-win!

    P.S. I think we’ve got a potential show to pitch in the “Ignorant Hillbilly” show. We pit a hillbilly against a Wall Street hedge fund manager, and if the hillbilly wins, they have to switch places. Permanently. We can dovetail into the other game by moving said hedge fund manager into a single-wide 1968 Fleetwood in the shadow of a sludge dam.

    We’re both in the wrong business, Eugene! If only we had Ivy League educations or Hollywood connections!

  2. Judy says:

    Why risk getting felled by large tree branches just for the sake of a few $!

  3. Dear Judy,

    The temptation was not for a few dollars. The show is not called “Who Wants $53 in Food Stamps?”

    I went on “Jeopardy” for the glory, to match my wits against my vanity. My interest in “Millionaire” is pure greed.

  4. Peggles says:

    Let’s hear it for greed!
    I am hoping to try out in 2008 -the time limits from J! require it.

    If I make it, I absolutely, positively want you as my phone lifeline.

    BTW, I wonder if it is really better to reign in hell than serve in heaven? Gotta admire his style!

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