By Sean Pearson
I’ve finally decided what I want to be when I grow up. (OK. That’s not exactly true, but it’s as close as I’ve come since hanging up my Nomex hood and spanner wrench a few years ago.)
And if any of you are cruel enough to suggest that I have yet to reach that all-important stage of “grown up,” I have only one thing to say:
I guess I never realized it was necessary to rebuild a tolerance to TV after being without it for so long. A recent hospital visit found me ridiculously fixated on the thin, flat box hanging on the wall. And once I got my hands on the remote control, that’s pretty much all she wrote. Flipping through the endless variety of channels initially gave me a bad thumb-cramp. (Don’t worry, I worked it out with some stretching techniques.) But then — when my eyes started bleeding from yet another Mattress Ranch commercial — I decided to search for something a little more intellectually stimulating.
As I squinted and blinked through blood-soaked retinas, I suddenly noticed a somewhat familiar face on the screen.
It was none other than Alex Trebek, “compensated endorser.” And while he wasn’t exactly ON Jeopardy, I felt somehow compelled to listen to him as he hawked some kind of insurance or Jeopardy troll dolls or smug sense of intellectual superiority. (Hmmm. I wonder if I just thought that last one, or if I actually wrote it down?)
I really like the sound of that. Is there a school somewhere for it? Can I just send off and get some kind of certificate? I mean, I know a guy, who knows a guy who can make you a doctor — for the right price. But I’m really not sure just what all a compensated endorser does.
Come on. If Alex Trebek can get paid to sell something, the rest of us simple-minded folk who don’t act arrogant and pretentious because we know all the questions to the answers, just might have a chance before that moment of Final Jeopardy. (Hello? He’s got all the questions right there on the cards in front of him. Even I could be a fancy compensated endorser if I had all the questions [or answers, if you will] in front of me.)
Still, there was just something about the way the answer man looked at me that kinda made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
Either that, or the frighteningly slaughtered “elevator-music” version of “Dude (Looks Like a Lady they had playing in the background. (Boys, boys, boys. How could you?) I cringed when Clapton caved, wept when Whitesnake wilted, and even grieved when Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five gave in. But Aerosmith? That’s like Lou Gehrig betting on baseball. It just doesn’t happen.
So now I’m back doing a little self/life inventory to find out exactly what kind of “marketable” skill or quality I possess that would allow me to excel in the realm of compensated endorser…ism, endorsership, endorsement.
First of all, I have an excellent, or should I say superlatively unparalleled vocabulary. (And my “grammer” ain’t nothin’ to be ‘shamed of, neither.)
I went through a phase in college once where I ate a lot of peanut butter and bologna sandwiches — (not as bad as you might think.) I wonder if the folks at Jif would be interested?
Then there’s that time in fourth grade when Lance De La Croix and I held a contest to see who could make his face turn the reddest. (I hear I won that one. Technically, there was no rule about passing out.)
Then again, after the French teacher in second grade bonked my head into my dance partner’s head because we didn’t do some stupid folkdance step correctly, I really don’t have much memory left of those days. (Don’t get me started on school discipline in the 70s.)
Back then, teachers had paddles. Some were big and thick. Some had holes drilled through them so you could hear the air rushing through them as they rapidly approached your backside. Back then, you went outside in the hall, and the teacher came out and gave you swats with a board. But the principal had the biggest paddle of all. I was never really too worried, though. Our principal, Mr. Beadle, was so old, I don’t think he had much swing left in him. In fact, I doubt he could do much of anything the way he pulled his pants clear up to his nipples.
I have a theory on principals and the “where’s my waist?” dilemma. We should chat sometime. I bet Alex Trebek doesn’t have any really cool theories.
I just can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to pay me to act as their compensated endorser.
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