When we last left our story, we had just gone to the first commercial break with yours truly holding a somewhat-significant early lead over our two Remote Control competitors. Sadly, when we returned, that lead started to slip away, pretty much from the moment Denis Leary showed up on stage.
Leary was a virtual unknown at this time of his career, and came out to ask questions while pretending to be Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones. I’m not sure how it comes across on video, especially so many years later, but at the time, I was so into the impression, that it was nearly impossible for me to tell when he was just rambling, and when he was actually asking a question.
No chance at Leary rescuing me
As such, my lead shrunk significantly as we approached the final round of play – the “Lightning Round” where you had to answer either “A” or “B” to a series of rapid-fire facts. First one to buzz in answered, and if you were right, you got points… if you were wrong, you lost them. Our round was “Paul Hogan or Hulk Hogan” and though I knew all of the answers, I just couldn’t beat out Howie (in third place with nothing to lose, buzzing in long before someone with points to risk could) often enough to be ahead by the end of the round.
Howie, as expected, was sent packing with the lowest score, leaving me and Glenn to battle it out “Final Jeopardy”-style to see who would get strapped into the Wheel of Torture, which had replaced the more traditional Craftmatic Adjustable Bed for the bonus round, where you had to identify nine music videos before time expired.
Glenn had 125 points and I had 110 – essentially the difference between him beating me out on just one question in the Lightning Round. We had “the commercial break” to decide on our wagers, and this is where we had to play a little poker…
Assuming we both got the question right, the only way I could win would be if Glenn did not wager enough, and I kind of thought he would definitely risk at least 100 points – figuring that he might not be swift enough to do math well without using round numbers. I didn’t want to risk all my points, just in case we both got the question wrong – I’d certainly take a 1-0 victory, as unlikely as that was to happen.
However, if Glenn wagered just 100 points and got it wrong, he’d still have 25 points. If I played to get “26” that would mean betting only 84 points, which would give 194 if correct, far less than Glenn would have unless he completely choked on the “how much to wager” calculation. So I figured it was totally in Glenn’s hands. I risked 109 points, just in case he went “all-in” and we both got it wrong, and hoped for the best.
Thinking back on it today, that was kind of dumb, since losing 220-219 would have been horribly embarrassing, but in the heat of the moment, that's what I did.
The question was a combined trivia/math problem which involved Laverne and Shirley each capping bottles at a different rate per hour. We had to come with which wacky lady would complete more work, and name the brewery in which the work would have taken place on the show. Channeling my inner Boo-Boo Kitty, I quickly surmised that the correct answer was “Schotz and Shirley.”
I got my 109 points for a grand total of 219. I also predicted accurately that Glenn would wager 100 points, but sadly, simple multiplication was not beyond his grasp, and he also answered correctly. I lost 225-219, and with the show going off the air after our season – as it turns out, I ended up with the highest second-place score in show history.
I stood to the side, watching Glenn get strapped in as he prepared to play for the grand prize – a ski trip to Utah – which made me happy, since I do not ski and had no interest in winning it. I was content to take my British Knights and go home. As I watched, Denis Leary came over to me, still in character and said in a overly-thick English accent, “So, yor-d-loser, eh? Kin-a suck, doe’n’t’t?” He patted me on the back and continued on his way, but making a fan for life in the process.
And so ends my trip to 72 Whooping Cough Lane. But it was not the last time I’d endeavor to partake in game show tomfoolery. However, that’s a story for another day…