Let the record reflect that I am completely on board with the proliferation of game-show screwups on the Internet.
Overall, does the explosive distribution of these gaffes within ten seconds of their occurrence foster a detrimental subset of bullying, whereby we all cyber-stand there and point at the dimwitted culprits and laugh at them like Nelson Muntz from The Simpsons?
Of course it does.
But with every potential reward there is risk, and if you want a shot at a trip to Cabo and 20 grand in cash and other prizes by playing a glorified game of Hangman, then expect to be ridiculed when you mess it up. That's the trade-off. Sorry, i don't make the rules.
So let's go to our latest installment of Game Show Follies (a Pendergast production) and hit the set of Wheel of Fortune. The complete lack of baggy sweatshirts tells us that this is apparently a regular episode of Wheel, not a college week episode. So these are actual adults who function in society.
The puzzle category is "What Are You Doing?" (Wheel's ultra-cute way of saying "and action") and the puzzle is practically complete, with only a two-letter word and one minor letter remaining.
Or is it minor? Let's take a look...
The contestant's name, by the way, is apparently Rachel Brill. A quick mini Zapruder of this fiasco:
0:05 -- Rachel wins the second half of a car for which she does not own the first half. Nothing more useless than half a car. She correctly guesses "M" and now is ready to solve the puzzle. Rachel's not going to get greedy.
0:13 -- Underrated moment of this video, hands down, is Pat Sajak's condescending, high-pitched "okay" when Rachel requests to solve the puzzle. He should do this more often. Pat Sajak turning heel would freshen up his TV character immensely.
0:14 -- Okay, Rachel, let's do this. This one is a tap in for par...it's "BOOKING MY SHORE EXCURSION"...let's get this over with...
0:14.3 -- Or is it a tap in?
0:14.5 -- Sometimes these puzzle responses are a window into somebody's soul...
0:14.7 -- ...where demons are exposed...
0:14.8 -- ...and the haunting pain of a childhood wrecked by alcoholism is on display for the world to see...
0:14.9 -- ...and this happens....
0:15 -- BOOZING MY SHORE EXCURSION!!!
0:16 -- Ouch, that's gonna leave a mark. But at least the men in the audience know that Rachel likes to party! She doesn't book a damn thing. I'm Rachel Brill, BITCH! I don't make reservations for my shore excursion! I just get in the car with a fifth of Jack and start driving! AND BOOZING! SUCK IT!!
0:20 -- Thankfully, Rachel's Wheel neighbor Josh responsibly books all of his travel, and does so sober, thus he easily cashes in on Rachel's mess, solving the puzzle.
0:30 -- We get confirmation that Sajak's heel turn is subtle, at best, because he resists the urge to mock Rachel and her subliminal revelation of her alcoholism.
0:37 -- Josh wins...wait for it...a Caribbean cruise! Yes, he wins an actual shore excursion for solving a puzzle about a shore excursion. NO. WAY.
And meanwhile, Rachel is left to find another place to drink away her sorrow. There will be no shore excursions for her. Rachel, can I introduce you to Julian? Perhaps the two of you can go somewhere far, far away and sit around and misspell answers to puzzles all day and all night...