IT’S A MATTER OF FACTS
RIGHTLY OR WRONGLY, INFORMER’S UPCOMING TELEVISION APPEARANCE IS DESTINED TO BRING OUT THE ARMCHAIR CRITICS
Tomorrow, Informer and son wing our way to Sydney to appear on a TV game show. We hold high hopes of success despite the more likely prospect of abject failure. It’s a general knowledge show and that’s where our problems begin. As a Baby Boomer, Informer has reached an age where I am starting to forget everything. As a member of Gen Y, my son has never known anything and doesn’t mind.
To alleviate our anticipated embarrassment, we have spent weeks committing to memory those time-honoured game show responses — Me: “I know it, but I’ve gone blank.” Him: “It was before my time.” Preparation being the key to success, I’ve upped my running over the past month. After all, I’ve worked much too hard to lose 20kg just for a television camera to whack half of that back on, as I’m told is the case.
To be honest, we’re not entirely sure why we’ve been invited. Our audition hardly set the TV quiz world alight with a performance so impressive that other aspirants immediately fled back whence they came, destined forever to refer to the experience in only the most hushed of tones.
In fact, Informer and son proved dumber than a box of One Nation voters. First up we got the number of state and territories in Australia wrong. Worse, we got them wrong even after counting them on our fingers and saying the names out loud. Turns out we neglected South Australia, which on reflection is perfectly understandable.
Then we stuffed up the name of the singer whose face adorns the Aussie $100 note (I said Judith Durham. He said Beyonce. It’s Nellie Melba). Further ignominy ensued in the form of blank expressions and hopelessly incorrect answers on Dally M Medal winners, the ARIA Hall of Fame, Burke and Wills, Nicole Kidman films, Melbourne Cup jockeys and the number 14.
Our effort was all no brains rather than no-brainers, begging the question: why invite us? Well, if not for intellect it can only be comic relief or — admittedly a long shot — looks. Whatever the answer, tomorrow we head south, coincidentally the same direction as our chances of bringing home the trophy.
I suppose we could improve our actual factual prospects by hitting the books in the kind of last-minute cramming that was always the go-to study option during Informer’s school days. Another option, which worked brilliantly for my British history exam back in college, is cheating.
However, the latter could be risky given we will be under lights, on camera and in front of an audience, meaning it might look a tad suspicious should I start rolling up my sleeves to reveal arms temporarily tattooed with facts about the Oscars, Olympic Games, Greenland, national flags, Shakespeare, dog breeds, Australian prime ministers, World War Two and poisonous plants. Also, I suspect the show’s host, unlike my exam invigilator in 1978, will be awake.
Our only hope, it seems, is if the rival contestants are dumber than us, an unlikely scenario even though I’ve heard two are coming in from rural NSW. Other than that, I fear Informer and son are in for a sad time.
Still, you know what they say: many a tear has to fall, but it’s all in the game show.
“OUR ONLY HOPE, IT SEEMS, IS IF THE RIVAL CONTESTANTS ARE DUMBER THAN US ...”