OK, guys. Click here.

[I use “guys” in its modern, pan-gender form. I am delighted to note that, where almost all the contestants on ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” were guys — and morons — the readership here is wonderfully diverse — and bright. Did you see this show? “What building is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington?” Granted, that was only for $100, but it was the first time I tuned in, and I was astonished to hear, in the next breath, that it was a multiple choice question. And that if you needed help with it, you could ask the audience or phone a friend. “(a) The Washington Monument, (b) the White House, (c) the Louvre, (d) Starbucks.” Or something like that. So — after a little tense silence — the guy says, “I’ll go with ‘A,’ the White House.” Regis Philbin allows another moment of silence and asks, “Is that your final answer?” (You can tell he feels silly about this, because at one point he explains to the contestant why he “has to” ask that each time.) “Yes, that is my final answer.” A bit more dramatic silence … though of course not nearly as tense or drawn out as when the questions get harder (“Paris is the capital of what country? (a) France … “) and the stakes get higher … and then Regis beams, “YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! THE WHITE HOUSE.” The fact is, it’s a very fun show, brilliantly designed, and almost everyone watching can feel certain he or she would win and get to keep at least $32,000, if only he or she could become a contestant. And yet almost all the contestants are male. This is not a brains thing — everyone knows women are smarter than men — it is a fear thing. Men are fearless. “Ask me simple questions in front of 15 million people and risk my looking like an idiot to the whole world? WHERE DO I SIGN?” But I’m getting a little off point. Namely: Click here.]

 

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