I have wanted to be on Jeopardy its entire life. The DVD recorder is set up to record the program every night in case I can not be home (book discussion does take priority) or in case the phone rings during the show (obviously these callers don’t know me, so why would I want to talk to them?).

A few years ago, I started playing Final Jeopardy with my Younger Brother. I watch the show at 7 p.m. on the Columbus station. In Toledo, it airs at 7:30 p.m. so I would send him the category, the answer and how many of the contestants got the correct question and how I fared. Occasionally, I would add a comment.

A few weeks ago, after talking to Youngest Sister on the phone where something was said about Brother’s and my ritual, I decided to add her to the game. Then I thought, “Why make this an exclusive club?” We all value our intelligence and that of our siblings, so that night I added Younger Sister and Youngest Brother to the quiz.

In all fairness, there are 12-years between the one I was born and that of Youngest Brother’s birth. This gives me the advantage on really ancient ruins, but he will trump me on more recent pop culture.

The first night of familial Final the category was Classic Children’s Books. I was pretty sure I would get this and did (A. Cavaticus, the scientific name of the barn spider, inspired the middle initial & last name of a character in this book). Youngest Brother could not get the question, but admitted books may not be his strong suit.

The second night the category was Political Terms. Younger Brother got this one right, but Youngest was in a slump already. (The OED traces these 2 parallel terms to an Oct. 30, 2000 “Today” show discussion of an electoral map – I miss you Tim Russert). Youngest Brother had no clue and then quizzed me, “What’s with this book and politics stuff?  where’s the questions about cars and sports?”

A few days later Alex Trebek presented the Final Jeopardy with a picture of World Leaders. To me, it was simply name the heads of France and Germany. Piece of cake for me. Youngest Brother retorted with what has turned into the highlight of our nightly ritual, “Abbott and Costello?”

Now, instead of playing Jeopardy the others respond, “I can’t wait to hear what Youngest Brother answers.”

Just before I left for Booktopia while still worrying about the approaching Library Book Sale, I had trouble remembering Husband and Son’s name let alone answering Alex’s answers, so I made a comment about having a day full of brain farts. That was ll Younger Brother needed, “I’ll take brain farts for $600 Alex.  That I’m good at.”

Younger Brother finally figured this past week with On the Periodic Table. Of the 5 elements with 4-letter names, it’s the only one that is not a solid at room temperature. He not only knew the correct element, but the other four elements, too. (This one you may look up for yourself.) In a second e-mail, he did comment “It took a moment for the light to come on!”

The best exchanges (so far) have come this week. On the same program where I was thrilled to know the question “Who are the Beastie Boys?” (only because of Adam Yauch’s death last week – and none of the teen tournament contestants knew), the Final was

Ancient Landmarks
It’s believed that its nose was about 3 feet wide when it was first constructed around 2500 B.C.
I did not get it (should have) but I liked YoungER Brother’s question, “What is YoungEST Brother’s nose?” (He did get the proper response, too.)
Then Youngest Brother queried, “Was it Leon Spinks?  I mean the Sphinx?”
So Younger Brother had to respond, “3 feet was the width of its nose, not the space between his teeth.”
I am so happy to have “rediscovered” my brothers and sisters in such a light-hearted fashion.
P.S. I made sure any of the guilty wouldn’t mind if I wrote about this. I’ll let you guess which one responded, “It would be more appropriate if we were Good Looking Brother and Better Looking Brother.”
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