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Smart People

Corky Cummings


Do you ever watch game shows such as Jeopardy and wonder how the contestants have so much knowledge in a wide variety of categories? They are not only intelligent but their quick recall to answer correctly is unbelievable. To me the contestants border on the genius level and I sometimes feel that my IQ is a negative number after watching the show. If I get 2 or 3 answers correctly for the whole program I feel I have done okay.  

Following are some examples of topics that might be on Jeopardy: National Marine Sanctuaries, Poets of the 17th Century, Religion & Mythology, Words & Etymology, and Rivers in Pakistan. Now how in the world would anyone have a clue as to the correct response for any of these subjects? In order for me to have a chance to be competitive I would need topics such as The Andy Griffith Show, College Football, PGA Golf Tour, Seinfeld, and Covid-19 (I feel that I have become an expert in that area in the past year). 

Although I would not fare well on Jeopardy I think I would do okay on Wheel of Fortune. You do need some knowledge for each puzzle but a great deal of word recognition is also required.  It is frustrating when I watch the show and the contestants are not able to solve a puzzle so they go Bankrupt by continuing to spin the wheel or lose their turn by guessing a wrong letter. My wife, Patti, always says I should try out for the show but I have a face better suited for radio so I don’t think I would be selected.

Since it is unlikely I will make a large amount of money on TV I have decided to continue purchasing lotto tickets. When the Mega Millions jackpot recently reached a billion dollars I purchased 5 tickets and matched 3 of the 6 numbers drawn on 1 ticket. Based on the odds of winning I foolishly thought the prizeshould be around $1,000 but guess what, it turned out to be $9. Based on the $10 I spent to purchase the tickets I came out a dollar in the hole. As you can tell, my chances of hitting a big windfall of money don’t appear likely. 

Those reading the subject matter in this essay might think I do not have a very active lifestyle and may need to get out of the house a little more often. I would not totally disagree with that assessment, but based on the stay at home restrictions of the past year, it might be understandable how I became a Covid-19 expert.  Obviously, I use the word “expert” loosely and I would still recommend listening to Dr. Fauci rather than anything I might offer.