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Published January 27, 2014, 12:23 PM

Parenting Perspectives: Alex, I’ll take TV Westerns for $2,000

My younger grandson and I like to watch the knowledge-focused game shows “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and “Jeopardy.” Sometimes we binge watch.

By: Kathy Tofflemire, INFORUM

My younger grandson and I like to watch the knowledge-focused game shows “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and “Jeopardy.” Sometimes we binge watch.

I can understand the 11-year-old liking the former because he can guess with a 1 in 4 chance of being right. That is not to say he doesn’t actually know the answer from time to time.

But “Jeopardy” is another ballgame. No multiple choice; you either know it or you don’t. I am sometimes amazed at what my grandsons know. Heck, I am sometimes surprised by what I know. Answering a sports question correctly? Whoa!

From time to time, we use an app to keep track of our “winnings” and to wager on the final question.

I feel particularly proud if I happen to know the answer to “final Jeopardy” and none of the three TV contestants do. Sometimes I attribute that to the odds and ends that make their way into my memory banks. Other times, I suspect it’s the result of age.

Earlier this month, I triumphed over the contestants on a question regarding the Titanic. But, no, I’m not that old.

Conversely, it’s embarrassing if you don’t know the answers to questions during Kids’ Week.

Both of “my boys” have said, “Grandma, you’re good at this. You should go on the show.”

I don’t think so. Everyone knows we are ever so much smarter sitting on the couch at home. And I’ve watched participants struggle with the buzzer. I can imagine that happening to me. Not to mention I don’t like the sound of my own voice, and the camera adds 10 pounds. I really don’t need that.

If “Jeopardy” could promise to include categories such as grammar, Midwest newspapers, three-letter words, Stephen King novels, TV Westerns and movie musicals, I might consider. But with my luck, it would be poetry, the periodic table of elements, Shakespeare, the NFL, opera and obscure bodies of water.

Luck of the draw in categories would also apply to “Millionaire.” And dealing with Cedric the Entertainer versus Alex Trebek likely substantially raises the chances of making a fool of yourself on national television.

Watching “Jeopardy” at home with the family covers up what might be considered a goofy “rule” I have for the game that applies even if I am alone. I can’t just think the answer. I have to say it out loud or it doesn’t count.

I don’t know why. Who am I trying to impress? The cat? Anyone who lives with a feline knows that can’t be done.

“Look, Shadie, I knew the answer.”

“Yea. Swell. Now could you open up some Fancy Feast?”

Kathy Tofflemire is a copy editor at The Forum. Readers can reach her

at (701) 241-5514, or ktofflemire@forumcom.com

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