Saturday, January 31, 2004

Is That Your Final Answer?

Mom turned 65 today, and the family took her to Disneyland. This was something of a surprise, which is why I haven't spoken about it until now. (Mom's a lurker around these parts.)

So, we spent yesterday in California Adventure (Disneyland's under-appreciated little sister) and we popped in for the 4:00 show of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire -- Play It!" Here's how it works -- they set up a "studio" to look exactly like the Millionaire set, load the audience with 625 theme park guests, throw a guy in a suit down there to play host, and let some lucky audience member play the game (for prizes -- not cash). Here's the twist -- everyone in the audience has a little keypad, and everyone plays along with the whole game. When the person in the "hot seat" finally gets a question wrong (as they inevitably do), the next person selected to play is the person in the audience who answered everything right the fastest (up to that point).

I've been to the park a bit over the past few years (what with being local and all) and I've played this maybe a half-dozen times.

Here's what I didn't know. It has groupies. Addicts. Obsessed Fans. Whatever you want to call them.

Now, let just add right here that I'm not one to judge. I've exhibited behavior most sane people might call a little obsessive here and there. (Anyone here familiar with the word "Jekkie"? No? Good.) What I'm saying, though, is I don't really have a problem with someone liking something so much they see it, y'know, REPEATEDLY. Hey, "Some good, more better" are perfectly good words to live by. As long as it doesn't involve stalking, or actually interfere with your daily life, hey, knock yourself out. Harmlessly obsess all you want.

And still, with all those disclaimers, let me just say: Dang.

I sat next to a woman who comes to the park weekly. When she comes, she comes to EVERY show of Millionaire. (Which is upwards of 5 a day, IIRC.) She knows other fans who come as often, and where they sit. She knows all the "cast members" by name. She knows that once you've been in the "hot seat," you can't go again for 30 days, and she knows (roughly) the eligibility status of all the other regulars.

But what really got me about this, was despite knowing all this stuff, what she DIDN'T know was the answer to the 4000 point question. Seems you can love the game and spend all your spare time there without actually being any good at it. Dang.


sonensmilinmon said...

I still haven't been to the new park. Then I haven't been to Disney in AGES. My aunt used to work for Walt Disney when I was a little one and we went ALL the time. Later we moved to FL and I LOVED WDW. Oh, well, just the mention of it you triggered many happy memories. Amazing how many times people go and play.
Smilin Mon

andreakingme said...

Yup. Who says obsession has to make sense? Or be profitable? Heh.

Happy birthday, NZ's Mom!