It has been a few weeks since that kid from Connecticut famously goofed on Jeopardy! (barely) misspelling the word emancipation and losing his final Jeopardy! bet. The story has legs as we say in the news business. Or maybe thats the red wine business. People are still buzzing about it.
The dilemma is whether or not the kid was mistreated by the judges.
After all, Thomas Hurley, grade 8, nailed proclamation so it was obvious what he meant. Its not like he scribbled I Like Pig Butts I Cannot Lie, which I saw on a ball cap worn by the guy ahead of me at the grocery store. And, yes, I totally want that cap.
Thomas had a tiny meltdown after the show and said that hed been cheated by the judges decision. This led to a huge chorus of outrage on both sides and his mama admitting that the whole episode left her son stunned and embarrassed. Facebook, the smiley place for outrage and dunderheaded comments, lit up. The consensus seemed to be that Thomas might as well learn now that life would feature plenty of disappointing crap when he got older that would make this whole misspelling kerfuffle look like a trip to Dizney.
Yes, on Facebook, when things go right, its all pretty pictures of last nights pot roast and potatoes. But when things go wrong, like an adolescent boy momentarily whining about his Jeopardy! appearance, things get ugly pretty fast.
I bet youre wondering what Dr. Laura would say about all this. Shes a radio advice-giver of some renown in sanctimonious circles. Sometimes I like to listen to her when I want to feel like Im not the worst person in the world.
A lot of Dr. Lauras callers preface their questions with a giddy admission that I know what youre going to say! Thats because she has a way of getting into your head like an earworm and all the Debrox drops in the world wont wash her out. Thats how I know that shed tell young Thomas: You accepted the rules of play and now youre complaining the rules arent fair. Shut up. Now go do the right thing.
The earworm has spoken and I basically agree with it. Her. Thomas agreed to play by the spelling rule when he signed on for the show.
Being a kid didnt make him exempt or special in any way. Its not like if you go to, say, a major league baseball game and you actually manage to catch a fly ball and, sure, its really yours to keep but everybody around you is chanting Give it to the kid! because theres one sitting in your general area with his stupid glove looking all baleful and stuff. Not that anything like that has ever happened to me.
Besides, if Thomas wants to sue Jeopardy! and his parents dont agree, he can always file for emanciptation. Yeah, I couldnt resist that.