When I was a little kid, I mean, real small, we would go stay with my grandma. Being that I was so small, I don’t remember much. This was probably 20 or so years ago, so you get the picture. So what do I remember? Frozen blueberry pancakes that she ALWAYS had on hand, Good Morning America in the morning, and Wheel of Fortune at night. In between was riding bikes, playing in the backyard, or running around in the basement (while trying to avoid the dark, scary room that I can only picture looking like the scary basement in Home Alone). But at night, Wheel of Fortune was where it was at. The tradition carried on because as we grew up and moved on, I remember watching it with my mom. “The Wheel” and Jeopardy. Every. Night. *It may have contributed to the genius I am today* And as more time went on, my mom was replaced by my roommates and my girlfriend (now wife). Now, I live on the other side of the country, away from everything I’ve ever known. Except for a few things; The Wheel of Fortune being one. Almost every night, we sit down and dominate the heck out of that; yelling, “C’mon! That was so easy!” and other jabs at the contestants.
Rewind to about 5 weeks ago. While nerding out to The Wheel, the local news said, “Hey Portlanders, come watch the Wheel of Fortune, right here in Portland.” We looked at each other and went, uh, yes please. We quickly filled out the required “credentials” to be a member of the audience, something that was super simple based on the amount of elderly people at the taping. ;) Then we waited. We talked about it with friends and family, like we were already holding the tickets. We waited. And we waited some more, until we pretty much forgot about it. Until the envelope came. Boom! We won! I mean, we didn’t really win anything, but we won the chance to go see something that has been a part of our life for a couple of decades. It was great.
So finally last night, the time came. We showed up about 2 hours early with our friends Matt & Alison who joined us in this once in a lifetime event. I’m calling it once in a lifetime because it took them 29 years to get to Portland, and who knows when they’ll be back. We were pretty early but the crowd had already started. And boy what a crowd. Old, new, weird, loud, coughy. Oh what a crowd. And the security, well, they took their jobs VERY seriously, and made sure we knew everything about everything even if we didn’t ask. :) So after waiting for about 1 1/2 hours, we were ushered into the seating area. Honestly, the set was smaller than I anticipated but genuinely BAD ASS. Seriously. Awesome trees, super realistic LED waterfall, the whole 9 yards. Awesome. Once we were in our seats, the party started. Surrounded by old people, yelling out answers the whole time, life was good. It was just so much fun. Watching the shows (sat with two different episodes that air May 24 & 25), chatting with the announcer, Pat Sajak, AND Vanna White!!! So awesome. It was as close to acting as we would ever get and boy did we have fun. Destroyed the applause cue, every time. Cheesed it up and laughed, even though I’m pretty sure not one camera actually spotted us. It was fun.
So that’s it. We got to sit through two tapings of Wheel of Fortune. It was an opportunity that we will remember for ever. Hell, I’ll even brag about it. Psh, you’ve never been on The Wheel. Boom. Now, in terms of proof, because cameras were not permitted, I’ve got a couple of iPhone pics that I snagged as we were leaving. I figured, I’m not giving anything away with this, boom, got it. Proof. Also, I have a glowy Wheel of Fortune magnetic pin. So there.
*Wanted to give a quick shout out to the lady who got my mom, and subsequently me, started on this Wheel of Fortune madness. One Mrs. Geraldine Kennedy. Grandma, I miss you every day. I wish I could call you and tell about this awesome adventure. But I’m sure you were looking down, whispering the answers like everyone else around me. Love you.*