Stupid Millionaire


When they state that the ticket does not guarantee a seat, they mean it. After spending $35 on train and subway travel, we arrived at ABC studios (promptly at 5:15 p.m., as the ticket required, even though the taping did not start until 7:00 p.m.) and found ourselves at the end of a very long
queue. We had been waiting for about five minutes when a man with an official
ID and clipboard came and vertically chopped the air in front of us with his
forearm, constructing an imaginary wall, and said, “Okay, we’re filled to capacity,
so everyone from here to the end of the line might as well leave because there’ll
be nowhere for them to sit.”

I tried to argue with him, but to no avail. I told him I had taken off work and travelled many miles to be there, but he said other people had flown in from out of town and had still been turned away. He said people had been waiting in line since 2:00. He said there was nothing he could do. He was just a lowly peon with no more authority than the dog poop someone had failed to scoop off the sidewalk not five feet away from him. Yelling at him would have produced nothing but hard feelings, so we left graciously.

I was disappointed that I would not get to see the taping and, according to the guy with the clipboard, would never get another chance since the shows are all completely booked up through the remainder of Regis Philbin’s life. My wife was disappointed for me, though she didn’t have the same level of interest as I did. I love quiz shows, and I’ve been a fan of Millionaire ever since it premiered. I’ve auditioned for it at every opportunity. Many times I have passed the first qualifying round (of three), but I’ve never received a call for the second round. Mrs. Happy has supported me in that, sitting with me as I try to answer qualifying questions over the phone. She has also auditioned herself on the off chance that she might become one of the randomly chosen people to advance to the second round of auditions. I love her.

By the way, neither of us qualified for any of the February shows, so you won’t be seeing us on TV any time soon.

Anyway, we left the ABC studios, took a stroll through Central Park, and had a nice dinner at our favorite Manhattan restaurant, La Bonne Soupe. We even found it without much difficulty, unlike the last time we went. Even though there were disappointments, it turned out to be an enjoyable evening.

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