It was Evelyn’s and my routine for years: enjoy dinner (on TV trays) while we watched “Jeopardy!” at 7:00. As soon as the show was over at 7:30, we would switch from ABC to MeTV where *M*A*S*H* was airing. That show never lost its edge. And it didn’t matter that we had seen each episode so many times that we could practically recite the dialogue along with the actors. We laughed just as hard every time at Hawkeye’s rapier wit, Frank Burns’ narcissistic stupidity, Radar’s precious naiveté, and Hotlips’ blind devotion to Frank. We cried when a soldier blamed himself for his buddies’ death because he slipped back to the mess on the front to grab some seconds (“I’d be dead, too, if I weren’t such a pig.”)
But then, for some unintentional reason, we began leaving the TV on Channel 6 (ABC) and watching Pat Sajak, Vanna White, and that huge Wheel of Fortune. I do enjoy the show because Pat displays an appreciable level of wit himself (and mostly extemporaneously), and it’s fun to try to figure out the puzzles before the contestants (or Evelyn) do.
However, I’ve noticed a couple of strange things that happen on the show:
1. Whenever there’s a special wedge on the wheel – a trip, a Wild Card, a wedge with either $10,000 or a Bankrupt on its hidden side, the “ride the train” wedge (or whatever it’s called), etc., – somebody always lands on it. Now, really, what are the chances that every single time that there’s a special prize wedge on the wheel that somebody will actually land on it?
2. When the show is about to wind down and Pat asks a contestant to “give the wheel a final spin” so they can add $1,000 to the dollar amount that the spinner lands on, it’s never a Bankrupt or Lose a Turn. It’s always a dollar amount. Now, I’ll say upfront that I haven’t caught every single show since its inception to verify my claim, but since Evelyn and I have been watching it virtually every night for over a year, it seems that somebody at some time would have managed to get the wheel to stop on one of those non-numerical wedges. And, I’m sure that if that were to happen, the rules of the game have it covered somehow.
Now, please don’t read anything sinister into my observations. I’m saying right here in black and white that I’m not suggesting that anything remotely coming close to cheating (such as some backstage technician having control over the wheel) is what’s happening.
But, really, isn’t it strange …?