Saturday, April 28, 2018

Family Feud: My family would never make it on the show.

This would be my family on the show.
Still chewing over our responses but never
answering before the buzzer sounds.
by Angela K. Durden
The Most Brilliant Woman in the World

Family Feud. I am of two minds about this show. One: I love it. Steve Harvey is the best host of the show ever. The stage is great. And the families all dress so uptown.

Even the Preggers Sisters manage to match dress colors with Grandma and Brother and Single Sis. 

They all smile and laugh and seem so good-natured and loving and kind. Even if some of them are dumb as bricks, they still make good entertainment, right? Right. Of course, the audience picks the answers, so that is always entertaining to find out what is on the collective whole's mind. 

My second mind says: I hate it — for all the above reasons. 

You see how torn I am. Here is America in all her glory displayed in TV-approved fashion guaranteed to entertain, maybe titillate just a tweensy bit, but never ever offend.  

That is not my family. We wouldn't make it past the application to audition. First, we will not wear matching colors. Our tastes run to the spots, checks, stripes. Business casual? What's that? 

If they were still alive, I could hear Awesome Aunt Number One saying, "They want us to match colors? Oh, for goodness sake. You ever hear of anything so silly?"

Awesome Aunt Number Two would naturally reply, "You are right, Sister. I do not see why we cannot just wear our regular everyday clothes that fit our color pallet. I mean, I could get something pink, but the last time I did that I looked like I was ready for the grave."

Then there would be the uncles. "Awww...hell, no." And that would be that. You would think the cousins would somehow want to have such an adventure, but I can hear them now. 

"I can't stand that long anymore...then there's my prostate..."
"I can't see the board...and there's my blood sugar..."
"Those questions are stupid...who cares?"
"Dress in the same colors? Forget it. Hey, if they want me on the show, they will buy me some new clothes."

That is my father's side of the family. I have four siblings, only one of which is related to my father. But they wouldn't do it, either. 

"What are they trying to pull anyways?"
"Tie? Awww HALEnaw."
"Will they let me wear my knife? No? But I'll wear my dress knife. It ain't got no knicks or dings or grease or pine tar or nothing. "

But let's say we did manage to come to agreement on clothes.

We still wouldn't win. We wouldn't even score. The buzzer would sound before we could even get an answer out and there's a really good reason for that: We are all super smart.

That's right. You heard me say it: We. Are. Super. Smart. We would have several answers that nobody would ever have thought of that, when we said them, the audience would all shut up in amazement that they had not thought of such things. That itself would entail massive conversation further ramping up production costs.

And we are very independent-minded people. That means we don't know how to relate to the masses except in a Socratic fashion, that is, we ask the question then answer it.

Besides, many of us are storytellers. So, let's say a question comes up with four top answers. Okay? And that question is "Name a country that seems to tell other countries what to do." 

This was a real question. The audience's answers were: U.S. (81), Iraq (8), France (6), Russia (3).

Well, already we have a problem with providing a timely answer because the Air Force, Army, and Marines in the family would weigh in and off we would go with the war stories, none of which involved driving a big rig up and down the California cost or smoking marijuana while playing checkers waiting on the trailer to be loaded which is a story a certain ex of mine said his military service was all about.

No, my uncles and aunts were of what Tom Brokow called The Greatest Generation. But there I go. Getting into the storytelling again. Of course, for a writer that is not a bad thing for a reader. But for an audience in front of a live show being taped on a tight schedule with a rabidly strict dress code, it sure is. Let me get back on track. 

What if the question is "Besides chicken, tell me a type of bird that's good to eat"? (Another real question.) Again with the stories of chasing that tough old bird around the dirt yard and then getting interrupted by somebody with the rest of the story. All about how after all that chasing, it was the damn cat that cornered that cock under the porch and ate him all up and how Mama wasn't too worried about it as she made an extra pan of corn bread and the goats sure did output a lot of milk on that day.  

Oh, yeah. And you remember that cat and what he did to your friend's knuckle? You remember. Ol' what's-his-name that lived down the street and his pappy was a school bus driver.

Hahahahaha. Yeah. I remember he also worked in the grocery store as a...

No, he didn't work in the grocery store. That was Jimmy Joe's daddy that worked there and he was a bagger and stocker plus he had a bad knee that gave out on him but only when he took out the groceries for Baby Sister. You remember? He was always fainting dead away and claiming some other such ailment that Baby Sister could "fix."

Oh, yeah. That rotten apple didn't fall from the tree, either. Ol' what's-his-name...

Oh, my God. Do you see how we could not, as a family, answer in time? 

Steve Harvey would be staring at the family with his deadpan eyes, but the audience would be roaring at the stories. But is that the kind of real entertainment they want? 

Hell, no. They want entertainment served up pretty. Color coordinated. Like fast food. Always the same all the time. Guaranteed. 

Damn boring show.

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