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Marley's Play It! Report.

2nd edition

In various areas of the article, Marley uses "Bored" Lingo,
used often on a Message Bored. Here is an example:
BB = Board Buddy
Nintendo Kids = Kids that are guessing at the Fastest Finger
FF = Fastest Finger

While a squad of BBs were moving in to take DCA by storm, I made a solitary assault on MGM Play It! on Thursday and Friday. Herewith are the highlights.

First, some general observations. To the great relief of those of us who have seen it too many times already, they have eliminated the taped segment with Regis. Instead, they go right into explaining the rules, introducing the host, and starting the game. The shows are still about half an hour long, but we probably get five extra minutes of playing time out of that without the Regis shtick.

They're also promoting the SyndieBAM show, while saying that Regis will continue with prime time specials. Just when, I'd like to know!

Audiences were small, often only half capacity. With most of the Nintendo kids back in school, the FF times were actually reasonable. One FF, in fact, only had two correct contestants in the entire audience:

Arrange these US currency according the people pictured on them, in alphabetical order. A) $1 B) $5 C) $10 D) $20

Trying to instantaneously recall the people on these bills and alphabetize them, I either brain farted or fat fingered, since I wasn't one of the two. To add insult to injury, the winner was a man from Scotland! :-)

On Thursday, I missed the Hot Seat in the first show, ending up as #1 when the buzzer sounded. But in the second show, I followed the FF winner and was again sitting in the Hot Seat by noon.

The $200 question almost tripped me up.

Who is the big, blue creature in Monsters, Inc.? A) Mike B) Sulley C) something else D) something else

I haven't seen the film, but I remembered from reviews that both the first two were in that movie.

"I've narrowed it down to two," I say.

"Which two?"

"I don't want to say," thinking of the real show, where you don't want to tip your hand to the audience, then I stop as--duh!--I remember that Play It! ATAs are locked in before you ask for it.

"It's either Mike or Sulley," I say--then I notice the clock is down to two seconds--"Sulley, final answer!"

And the time out buzzer sounds as I'm saying that, but thankfully they accept my answer and I move on.

Note to self: Fifteen seconds is not enough time to talk out an answer!

Nothing difficult for the next few questions, such as deducing that one of the Scandinavian names for Donald Duck is not Seņor Duck.

At 4K or 8K I have to use my ATA for the Canadian pop musician who won a "Best New Artist" award in 1996. The audience gives me a clear 65% vote and I move on.

And I reach the 32K plateau, where I run into trouble.

For 32K I get the question: Since 2001, the Marines have required training in what? A) martial arts B) computer programming C) American sign language D) something else

I don't recall anything from the news. A seems like an obvious distractor, B is a possibility, so are the others, I suppose, so I ask for the 50/50. That leaves: A) martial arts C) American sign language

Well, this is a reasonably high level question, and I'm left with a clear distractor and a choice that seems so odd that it must be right (although sign language might be reasonable, both for political correctness and for combat situations where soldiers might want to communicate silently). So, I say something about being sure that martial arts training must have been required long before 2001 and I choose American sign language.

And Kevin, the host, tells me I'm wrong! :-(

Rats! I've barely started the first day of a two day visit...and I'm officially finished, on the bench for 30 days before I can sit in the Hot Seat again. For the price of an airline ticket, three nights in a hotel, park admission and overpriced food, I've "won" another five pins and a baseball cap. And now they're going to send a 1099 to the IRS to make sure I pay taxes on the inflated retail value of my winnings.

Time out for a tax law question: If the Play It! prizes are taxable, shouldn't my expenses to play be deductatable? At the least, my park admission should be, since contestants must pay admission to Play It!

At that point I went to lunch, saw some other MGM attractions and two other Play It shows, before park hopping to Epcot. I'd be returning on Friday, when I expected to meet RJS and family.

On Friday, I was back for the first show of the day, after riding the Tower of Terror three times in a half hour. :-)

RJS and family never showed up. I hope nothing serious happened; but if not, I reserve the right to tease RJS mercilessly for chickening out of our bragging rights competition. ;-)

So, playing for fun only, I manage to top the leader board and turn down the Hot Seat on the first show of the day, and the second, third and fourth. I miss the chance on the fifth show (was #1 at the 32K plateau, but answered wrong on the 64K question), but get it again on the sixth and seventh, for a total of six times in one day! By the last time, Olga, one of hosts I didn't have, knew my name and was saying, "[Marley], stop playing!" I tried one more show but missed a question, so I called it a day with a record of six declined opportunities in eight shows, and hopped back to Epcot for dinner and their fireworks show.

During my run, there was one time when I was #1 and turned down the Hot Seat, as did the #2 person (who also had played already), and the #3 person (ditto). They had to go down to the #4 slot to get a player, by which time the host was begging, "Please tell me you can play!" :-)

I also sat next another competitive couple, from Ohio, for a couple of shows. We ran neck and neck for a while, until the wife got into the Hot Seat during the second show. She answered too quickly at the 32K level and also walked away with a hat.

By my final show, I was starting to hear grumbling from the row behind me, "I'm answering as fast as he is. How is he doing it?" Discretion said it was time to leave before things got ugly. :-)

Now, about my Marine Corps question: It turns out the Marines have started something called the "Marine Corps Martial Arts Program" with it own system of belt rankings. Every recruit must now pass the first level while in Boot Camp. Higher level belts require more experience and higher rank.

While martial arts was clearly the "right" answer, I remain uncomfortable with its phrasing. The Marines may have a new system of training--which, BTW, is a weapons-based program--but no one can say that martial arts, whether hand-to-hand or with weapons, has not always been a required component of Marine Corps training. As the answer was phrased, it would have been ridiculous for me to have chosen it as my answer, unless I had read some news report of the new program, which I didn't.

I don't know whether I'll write a letter to Disney to protest the question, or if it would be worth the time. Opinions, anyone? I don't care about getting another polo shirt, since I was really hoping to bring back a confetti-covered leather jacket in time for tomorrow's bus tour audition in Syracuse. Now that I'm home, the best I could hope for is an exemption to play a second time in one 30-day period, whenever I make my next trip to MGM.

Formerly Imander's Game Shows
2002 Toeth's Game show insights,

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