Game Show and its results.
Update from far afield. The Game Show Spectacular went spectacularly. It was so complete and sweeping and plastic, that it really, really achieved something on the level of Apollinaire’s “sur-reality;” a living, breathing hyperreality of its own power; an adjunct outside of the possibilities of commonsense. Something that made everyone participating— and everyone in the audience— stop and stagger and say “I can’t believe this is really happening. I can’t believe I’m not on television.” Especially when the Eurodance Venga Bus hits dropped and everyone rushed the “stage” like a BET Beach Party gone wild.
The game show, Time To Amazing!, was the first looney-tune Japanese game show at the South Philadelphia Athenæum. Scott and I were the hosts. Davie, the ref. Kristie Brown, our lovely hostess, Vanna Delphia. Sandon, our Japanese/Engrish translator. Nate was in charge of sound effects, music, and the applause sign. Wolf stood on high as our “omniscient judge, whose judgment stands for ever and for all.” And finally Chris Hayden was awarded the role as Tiebreaker, whose task it was to sit in the soundproof booth and drink vodka until he could no longer distinguish between Good and Evil.
In order to better cathect enthusiasm into the stands, every last person who entered the Athenæum was put into either the white team or maroon team (designated by their cool, respectively-colored headbands). Contestants were then chosen and humiliated as representatives of their team. This created the perfect balance, again, between antagonism and synagonism that kept things moving but free of indifference.
Scott and I entered to Sandon’s Katakana intro and a flurry of cheers and sound effects. Everyone was introduced to the audience, which grew as the night crescendoed. Here were the rounds:
One: Pictionary for the Blind, in which the drawer was blindfolded, given chalk and a secret word, and put to task.
Two: Feel My Mind, the psychic round, where various contestants tried to guess which playing card Scott or I had in our hand. 1 point for a correct suit; 2 points for correct face; 10 points for both. Chaz nailed an ace of hearts.
Three: Teams compete to stack plastic cups. (People tried to be smartalecs and wear the cups on their heads).
Four: Jumping Round. Contestants try to jump as many times as they can within a minute. Davie worked the thumbcounter.
Five: Lightning Round. Trivia Questions. No correct answers were issued, except for a belated answer to “What is 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1?”
Six: Pyramind of Gold. Contestants try to get their other teammate to guess secret word without saying the word– or any English words.They can grunt, whistle, make sound effects, or use foreign words. Twig— from Nautical Almanac— did an allstar job mouthing and spitting secret words like “War” and “Die.” Spit went everywhere. Spitzkrieg. An instant classic.
Seven: Lunch Time, in two parts. The first of which involved one teammate forcefeeding another spaghetti from behind their back. Results were weighed and judged. The second part was a gummy bear toss. Gummy got everywhere.
Eight, my favorite: The Puzzle Round. For the white team, I arranged giant letters T,H,L,M,N,U,A,I along their bench and asked “Can you arrange these letters to make the last name of an American president? Twenty seconds…go!”
The answer was “No, no you cannot.”
The puzzle for maroon team was “An airplane is traveling over China on its way to India when it is suddenly struck by lightning. If the plane crashes exactly on the border between China and India, where would they bury the survivors?
The answer was: China. They would bury the survivors in China.
The tiebreaker for the Puzzle round was a Roschach test. Each team got a guess and Wolf judged who was “closer.”
Nine: a hogtie race. Contestants scooch across a carpet, on their back, without using their arms or legs. Worse than it sounds.
Ten: Memory Game. Teams compete to recall an ever-lengthening string of words like “St Augustine” and “babybumper.”
Eleven: Time to Guess Right, our Wheel of Fortune ripoff (or parody, depending on your source). The correct answer was “Pthhhh!” Lot of resentment after that one.
Finally, the twelfth round, the Human Pyramid.
When maroon team won the Human Pyramid, it brought the game to a tie. This was not rigged, despite insistences of some conspiracy-theorists. I promise.
So out came Chris again, as he had done throughout the game, to spin the Wheel of Magic, and decide the outcome. Chris had been performing his duties diligently, slurping away at the vodka and falling out of whatever was left of the soundproof booth. Sometimes even inviting female company. But, now, after it all, out he came, falling over the Magic Wheel.
Scott was quick with the mic “Chris, you were supposed to drink until you could no longer distinguish between Good and Evil. What do think about that now?”
Chris belted out “It’s all the same!!!…. It’s all the same!!”
“You heard it here folks. It’s all the same!”
So around and around the wheel spun and stopped in white’s favor, among cheers and jeers, and the crowd erupted into a tv-perfect curtaindraw dance party (sans the curtain).
We really didn’t know the game would be tied. And I had been worrying how and when to pull out this ideal centerpiece, The Tiebreaker. I now think that there is some connection, greater than we understand, between human will and unplanned outcomes. I used to wonder how Andy Kaufman knew things would happen; it was an ability that bordered on the supernatural. The answer was: he didn’t know. He just hoped with all his Being. He put a kind of spin or English on the course of things, by sheer intention.
Things work out at their most coincidental with this overexertion of will and care. Put these life-forces together, working in concert, and you cast a spell on things that quickly brings about an achieved reality. A previously unthinkable reality, so much so that you have trouble accepting it as it’s actually happening… mythos rendered concrete. Thanks to everyone who helped it happen.
For those who missed it, we won’t repeat it, but there will be a Time To Amazing! DVD. Coming Sooner or Later!!!