True Story©… Trap Gawd


     Fun fact: Jeopardy has been a favorite television activity of mine since I was in middle school.  I have ATTEMPTED to take the quiz several times in my adult life, but have sadly only come close to making it on television thus far.
“Almost,” you ask?

     I have never told anyone this, but one time I actually made it through the test – back in the pre-“anytime test” dark ages.

The thing with trying to get on Jeopardy is that it is a multi-part operation before you ever make it onto television.  The first step, as hinted at above, is to take a randomized trivia test.  This is to test your knowledge before you find yourself on television looking like Tyrone.

     After the testing comes the tryouts, wherein prospective contestants are interviewed and assessed for television readiness.  Next, you’re presented with clues to be sure you’re comfortable with the formatting and pacing of a game.  This is not in a test game format — we’ll get to that in a minute – these are more to confirm that you can answer the questions accurately enough to warrant being put on air and not embarrassing yourself…  (again, Tyrone)

     Once they assess your television readiness and determine that you’re not a dumBy, you are advanced to play a mock game of Jeopardy.

Not to let y’all in on more than you need to know about me, but when I can be bothered to be interested enough to interact, I can get comfortable enough in most situations.  I am also a master of infinitely useless bullshit.  That said, I breezed right through the preliminary test, then the “screen” test and the final exam without breaking a damned sweat.
In the mock game, you play one legitimate game of Jeopardy for points instead of for money.  This comes complete with the Johnny Gilbert introduction and the customary pause to shoot the shit in the game breaks coming back from commercials.

It is at this point where I should say that I only half expected to make it this far, so I decided early in the process that “project specialist” is not interesting enough, so I filled in “Trap Gawd” as my occupation during the application process.  To be frank, I had friggin forgotten having done that until we got to “A Trap Gawd. from Greensboro North Carolina… Phillip [redacted]!”  My smile when the camera panned to me after they said that was actually more of a wry chuckle.

First round begins and with about half the clues gone from the board, I was in second place.  I was in the middle lectern, so the post-break chopping it up came to me second.


Ken: “So you’re Phillip [redacted] from Greensboro North Carolina.”

Me: “Indeed, sir.”

Ken: “Where in North Carolina is that?”

Me: “Right in the center of the state.”

Ken: “And it says here you’re a–...  Trap Gawd?”

Me: “Yessir”

Ken: “What does a Trap Gawd do?”

I was REALLY not prepared to answer this shit, I wasn't supposed to get this far!  I swallowed hard.

Me: “It’s a customer service and management position.”

Ken: “Interesting…  Can you say what it entails?”

Me: “Basically, it entails being the realest n**ga in any room I've ever been in.  I am the bossest of boss in any situation.  I can show up in any trap, any bando in America and sell whatever is being sold and–...”

Ken: “Oh my gah–...”

Me: “... and who gon’ check me?”

Ken: “And this is a legal occupation?”

Me: Hell no!  I serve fiends, I move illicit goods from state to state; I do whatever it takes to bring in that guap.”

Ken: “Wow”

Me: “Matterfact, check your tone when you look at me!”

And with that last part – or probably all of it, to be honest – I had crossed a line and they immediately stepped in and stopped the mock game and security escorted me out of the studio.  They agreed to still pay for my hotel and per diem but explained in no uncertain terms that if I ever set foot near their facilities ever again that I would be arrested and trespassing charges filed.

     So here I am…  I can’t even go and be in the studio audience of one of my favorite things on television without eating a trespass charge and I don’t know how to feel about that.

Perhaps I should have told them I was a nauga farmer.


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