Whad’ya Know?: The Unanswered Audience Questions


Whad’ya Know:  The Unanswered Audience Questions


Q: Clara, from Chicago, asks “what is the strongest part of your body?’

A: Did you mean my body or one’s body? The answers might be quite different.

If you mean my, can’t tell you because I hate to brag. In general, have to say feet. Or didn’t you mean -smelling.

Q: Paul from Madison, self-described retired professor of theology, asks, “Any advice for retirees (all in caps, btw, but I couldn’t bear to do it) who don’t know how to retire (caps)?”

A: Being a retired professor of theology would seem to give you a leg up on any sort of afterlife, Paul- maybe take one you’ve run into and try it for a while. If it’s right for you you’ll know.

Q: Lisa, who is a Lutheran pastor from Green Bay, writes the fragmentary “Favorite Jewish food?” on her card.

A: Full disclosure: I did have a response for Lisa’s call (she said I could call her Lisa) to confirm her suspicions–matzo ball soup, brisket (from the audience), pickled tongue, your borschts your kishkes, etc, but I neglected to thank her for not stating her question as my English students of yore used to, “What do Jews eat?” Thank you, Reverend!

Q: While courageously asking the question “Will this be the Cubs’ big year?” John, from Evanston, IL, was not very accepting of the answer:

A: No.

Been getting Amy from Boise question: “How do your hands compare to Donald Trump’s?” pretty often, but I suppose everybody has–personal tellers, maitre d’s , Uber drivers, what have you. Perhaps better was Marsha from Madison, I think: “Has anyone ever checked on Napoleon Bonaparte’s glove size?” first because she added the Bonaparte just in case I jumped to the wrong Napoleon (Solo?) and because it’s a nice soft ball, comedically:

A: That’s why he kept his hand in his tunic. (I know, where was the other one).

Sorry I didn’t get to French hornist Dan from Madison’s Question, because I really would like to know how many feet of tubing in a french horn, but, now, with any luck, I’ll never know.  I’m not even tempted to look it up–so much for my intellectual curiosity.

While I make a huge effort, I don’t always get every or even an implication(s) of every audience question, and probably, more than once, have assumed implications that weren’t there. For example:

Greg, who farms in, or more likely near, Monroe, Wisconsin,  and his 2 parter:

Q: “Do you know the answers beforehand?

Do you know the questions beforehand?”

A:  So, Greg, do you know what you’re going to plant beforehand–or is it just a whim?  And, come fall, do you remember not only what it was but where?  In fairness, there are a lot of misconceptions about quizmasters, mostly centering on how much they really know and whether they make it all up as they go. It’s pretty much the same as a news anchor–they only know what they read. I do write the questions (index cards, recipe box) so that pretty much behooves (and I don’t use that world lightly) me to appear to know the answers. Don’t know how it works for Alex Trebek, who starts with the answers. Plus he’s Canadian.

College student Riley from Minneapolis recently got me to ask his question: “Is Ted Cruz the Zodiac killer?” but not to answer it, while Jacob, an engineering student at UW Madison got my attention after claiming to mistake me for the  auditing geezer in his Physics class with “Did you get the answer to #3 on that physics exam last week? Killer, bro*” (* might be brae–smudged).

A: Right, bro, the classic box on a pulley on  a frictionless plane, killer stupid. Why would you need a pulley on a frictionless plane, let alone where would get a frictionless plan as Riley rightly declaimed. “Frictionless!” he said, and I had to agree, since, in later life, I have never run into a frictionless plane even once.

Special Whad’ya Know? merit goes to “name: Tucker from: Mars” for his card & general approach to life:

“What I do:  part time sumo wrestler part time you tuber

Question: can I keep this pencil.”

Sure. Hope you did–didn’t get a chance to let you know it was alright.

I feel really bad about not getting to Jane from Pardeeville, WI, who wrote:

“On my 62nd birthday I did something really extraordinary–probably unique. I always said I would do this on that birthday but no one took me seriously– but I did do it!! I’ll be happy to share this with you–”

Jane, your card was in my shirt pocket, next up, and I was anxious to find out what you did, why no one thought you would, and what was unique about it (!) while hoping it was nothing life-threatening or foolhardy, but just then the air horn blew. I did talk a bit to you and your husband before the show about whether you catch Pardeeville off of 16 on County K (or not), but didn’t realize this amazing thing you finally did was waiting there to be released. If you ever see this, Jane, or someone who knows you sees it and relays it to you, please contact me here (while I’m still at the station) because I know it was wonderful and I’d love to hear about it.

Finally, for this round, I did get a chance to work with Keith, an insurance agent from Appleton, on “why do people wear drop crotch pants?” although I think we were at loose ends–first, I got him to stand up and show everybody he was not wearing crotch drops ( skinny corduroys, I’d say) and then presuming he meant people at the agency were wearing crotch-drops while pushing disability insurance, on a way too casual Friday. They weren’t, of course, unless it was around the house, Keith just didn’t like to see anybody else’s underwear without having asked. I guess I’d agree with that, but, you know me, I am willing to make cultural allowances.



%d bloggers like this: