I had to call the Indianapolis Star today to update some information on our account. That means I finally got to call the number that’s been making me laugh for over a year: 444-4444. This is only funny if you’ve spent any time in St. Louis and heard how some natives of that fair city pronounce the number 4. It tends to come out more like “far” than “four”, making 40 sound like “farty”. Terrific fun for immature lads like myself. The Star has all kinds of clever ads that always include the phone number being sung in the background. S. and I crack each other up by singing along as if we were St. Louisians, “Far-far-far, farty-far, farty-far.”

M. got to watch her first episode of Jeopardy this evening (I forgot Monday night that new episodes were on again) so she finally got a chance to check out this Ken Jennings guy she’s heard so much about. I must say, it is comforting to see his smug mug back on the screen. My life had been a whirlwind since he left us; now all seems right again. He’s clearly a bit off his game, though, blowing over $21K on Final Jeopardy Monday and missing another final question tonight. He was even looking pissed when he had only a $1000 lead midway through Double Jeopardy. He then went on a patented run to open up a massive lead and proved he’s still got it. He’s like Jordan in 1993 or Tiger in 2000. He punishes his opponents.
I do have a theory about Mr. Jennings. I think he’s a government plant, and quite possibly a robot. He has an absolutely astounding range in his knowledge. He knows exactly when to buzz in so he beats his opponents, yet doesn’t come in too quick and risk being locked out. That ability to sift through massive amounts of trivia and ring in at exactly the right millisecond could be proof that there’s a microprocessor in his skull and not just grey matter like you and I have.
I’m not normally down with the whole conspiracy theory thing. I do think Lee Harvey Oswald had some help. When my favorite teams are losing to their archrivals and the officiating sucks, I tend to believe the fix is in. But in general, I think events take place due to the free will of humans rather than puppet masters pulling the strings from behind a dark curtain. However, in the climate that included the national depression caused by 9/11, the lagging economy, the discord in the run-up to the war in Iraq, and the general contentiousness that exists in this country today, unnamed sources in the halls of power decided it was time for action. It wasn’t done to benefit President Bush, John Kerry, members of Congress, or any other political entity. Ken Jennings was unleashed from a secret government lab to give us all something to believe in once again. I think we need to put his face on the flag, because he damn sure is saving this country. I pledge allegiance to you, Ken Jennings!
Remember where you heard it first. And spread the word in case I disappear in a mysterious accident after posting this information.