Volume 93, Issue x

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


Weekend Pass

Damhnait Doyle! She's good!

Dry Heave makes mouth water

Schlink's Reader will keep readers intrigued


Sinclaire clearly impressive

Left out in the cold


Left out in the cold

Nowadays, it seems easier to become a rich trivia whiz than ever before. With the major influx of countless prime-time game shows, the prospect of winning thousands of dollars seems just slightly less likely than the chance of one accidentally bonking their head on something hard.

Move over, Ed McMahon. You've been supplanted as North America's solitary hope for sudden wealth by a slew of useless daytime television personalities like Regis Philbin, Maury Povich and Chuck Woolery. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Twenty-One, Greed, Winning Lines and a cornucopia of other projects currently in the works are poised to bring a worldwide get-rich-quick obsession to North America, the likes of which has not been seen since television's toddler years.

Well, I'll tell you the problem with this in plain and simple English – those of us on the nicer side of Niagara Falls don't get to be a part of it! With all the customs, red tape and qualifying rules of these sorts of shows, Canadians have been left hung out to dry faster than a chronic bedwetter's sheets.

So, we're reduced to watching countless Americans (some of whom seem much too stereotypical to believe) venture onto these shows and take their shots at grabbing the brass ring.

Apparently, your purchase of the Canadian edition of Trivial Pursuit was a waste of time and money. Hours spent memorizing the year Banting discovered insulin would have been better spent practicing hackneyed catch-phrases like "Y'all come back now, y'hear?" so that one could masquerade as a good ol' boy from the deep South.

I want those brain cells that I've spent memorizing useless facts back. I've been deceived and frankly, I'm not too happy about the whole situation. Where are these pointless tidbits going to come in handy in the average Canadian's lifespan? Reciting the order in which all the provinces signed the British North American act to a group of disinterested co-workers at the office party isn't exactly going to win any friends or admirers.

Basically, the avenues left for myself and all the other irate trivia buffs out there are smaller than Regis' feeble mind, as he sits with furrowed brow confronted with a contestant's answer completing "Goose" to the childhood game "Duck, Duck, __."

We can hope to be chosen as a guest on Global's Game On, but only after we bone up on the all-important category of "Famous Sports Injuries." After a long counselling period with our "Hooked On Phonics" tapes, a shot on Bumper Stumpers might yield a wealth of valuable McDonald's coupons, redeemable at nationwide locations. And all the time spent at the checkout line at Loblaws will pay off when we fight our way to a slot on Supermarket Sweep.

Bitter? No, not me. I'm fine with all of this. After all, I can still console myself with the fact that, if ever faced with the choice of naming all the prime ministers or having carbolic acid poured into my ear cavity, I'll be able to rattle off the names of the funny-haired, white geezers faster than one can say "Mackenzie King."

And hey, I just got a pretty important letter in the mail today. "You may already be a million dollar winner... "

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