Flashback: A game show and a honeymoon

Game shows were the first form of entertainment to demonstrate how stupid most people are. Seriously: you have a group of people in front of a live studio audience who do everything from answer inane questions to perform feats of weirdness. Needless to say, my participation had a two drink minimum.

Near the end of our honeymoon cruise to Alaska, a formal dinner was followed by the “Love and Marriage Game Show” as after-dinner entertainment. My new bride said she’d like to go, and maybe be one of the contestants. As soon as she said this, I felt the hand of fate half-nelson me as fear slugged my gut. Didn’t she know game shows were for idiots?

We enter the theater after dinner to find the cruise coordinators handing out raffle tickets for those who had been married 5-20 years, 20-40 years, and 40+ years. Having been married two weeks, I was told to raise my hand when they called for volunteers. Three longer-married couples were selected, and then the call came. My bride and I were newlywed couple two of seven.

Now, instead of randomly picking one of seven couples like a nice host, our cruise director made each couple come up to the stage in turn and say:

“Ooey baby, ooey baby, we want to play, ooey baby!” and seal it with a kiss. The winners by applause got to play the game.

Some reward, right?

So, we head up when called, and as I stroll down the aisle, time slows as fate whispers in my ear:

“Crush this, Mike.”

I look deep into my wife’s perfect blue eyes, smile and belt out:

“OOEY BABY, OOEY BABY! WE WANT TO PLAY! OOEY BABY!” And with a full-on kiss, I gathered her up in my arms and gave her a slight dip.

The room exploded with cheers.

The competition breathed a sigh of relief – they wouldn’t look stupid tonight.

The Game

The game itself is split into two rounds of four questions each. First, with their wives out of earshot, the husbands are asked four questions. Upon returning, the wives try to match their husbands’ answers for 10 points each. Next, the roles are reversed; however each question is now worth 20 points. Finally, there is a 50 point bonus question posed to the wives that their husbands must match. So, the unlucky shmucks husbands, are responsible for guessing 130/170 possible points worth of their wives’ opinions.

Round 1 kicks off as the women step out with champagne and the men are addressed. The first question, asked first to yours truly, was:

“Who is the biggest trouble maker on your wife’s side of the family?”

And they’re filming this.

My deft reply:

“Well, I’ll preface this by saying she’s also the ‘fun-maker,’ but I’d have to say her aunt Pam.”

The cruise director smiled and gave the slightest of nods.

Other questions were asked that I don’t recall, but when the women came back in, the heat was on.  Meredith was asked:

“Who is the biggest trouble maker on your side of the family?”

“Aunt Pam,” without a moment’s hesitation.

(Note: when shown the DVD, Pam fell out of her chair laughing at this point.)

My wife got two of the four questions right, with a near miss on a third. Topics ranged from cooking to “unusual locations.” Then it was the husbands’ turn to head out.

The other men and I were led to the casino while making awkward conversation, the highlight of which was the man married for 40+ years looking me straight in the eye and saying:

“This is a terrible way to start a marriage.”

My steely eyed response: “We’ll see about that, Joe.” I added with a wry grin, “really, a snow bank?”

We laughed heartily as we filed back into the theater.

I answered three of the next four questions correctly, and some of the other guys landed in hot water by missing trivia most obvious. The scores after two rounds were as follows.

Married 20-40 years: 65 points
Married 5-20 years: 70 points
Yours Truly, married just shy of 2 weeks: 80 points
Married 40+ years: 95 points

It was anyone’s game with a 50-point bonus question up for grabs.

The final question: “What is your husband’s favorite condiment?”

They started from the lowest score and worked their way up. The first two had a hard time with the definition of “condiment,” wanting to choose things such as sugar or salt, and completely missed their wives’ answers. Then it was my turn, and I knew I had this one cold:

“+1 for Mike, what did your wife say is your favorite condiment?”


And the crowd exploded in cheers! Finally, a correct answer!

Then came the moment of truth: would old Joe be able to clinch the win?

His response: “Mustard?”

Hers: “A-1 steak sauce.”

And that was it! We won!

… and I didn’t look dumb!


+1 Amazing Victory for Mike


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