THINKING OUT LOUD: Memory Lapses and Unsuccessful Aging
INTERESTING STUFF – 18 January 2020


It's that time of the month again – The Alex and Ronni Show wherein the proprietor of Time Goes By and her former husband chitchat about old folks stuff.

One of the subjects that came up on Wednesday when we recorded this episode was the TV game show, Jeopardy!

Most Americans, I think, have watched the venerable program, hosted by Alex Trebek, at least now and then. I certainly have but it had been a long time since I had tuned in. Years, in fact, until last week.

The show brought back the three highest-earning winners to compete with one another for a GOAT show – the Greatest Of All Time game. I watched. It was fun and, if you're not a fan or didn't watch, Ken Jennings won.

Over the evenings of the tournament, as the well-known theme song played, a coziness settled over me. Through the shows, which were twice as long as the regular one, I felt comfort in the familiar format and in the formality of it.

The rules, which are sensible, are absolute and no one breaks them, arguments do not happen, the judges are meticulous and no one lies.

When was the last time that was true in U.S. politics? Or even in the daily news? It's hard to recall.

So it struck me that Jeopardy! is like a little island of sanity in a world of horrible chaos, of daily outrages that don't have time to run their course until the next one – or two or three – land in our laps.

Maybe I'll become a regular viewer of the show for awhile just to help maintain my sanity in an insane world.

There. Now you can fast forward through that part of The Alex and Ronni Show which is near the top of the video.

You can find Alex's show – Alex Bennett's Ramble – on Facebook and Apple Podcasts.


I just had an incredible hit of longing when you noted that, on Jeopardy, nobody lies.

Oh, man.

While I have no desire to have, say, the ice cream trucks around here play the theme song - I would get sick of that very fast - the politeness, competition-without-meanness, dedication to accuracy in facts, and simply *not lying* is so, so appealing. Can we make it larger? A continent instead of a tiny island?

Really enjoyed the show today. I think the age for Social Security should be lowered to 60. Not only do older people have trouble finding a job but those who have physical demanding jobs can be physically disabled to a greater or lesser degree by the time they pass "middle" age. I also think the unemployment figures should count the number of people who are still unemployed but not eligible for unemployment benefits.

Our whole family loves Jeopardy, the kids try to beat each other to the right answer.

The network needs to increase the money amounts in the boxes. The contestants don't win near enough money to reward their intelligence.

The vetting process to find contestants for Jeopardy is different from that of most other game shows like "The Price Is Right" where the only qualification seems to be who can jump and shout the loudest when their name is called.

I may have told the tale here before how I became aware of age discrimination when I was in my thirties, my husband in his forties in the ‘60’s. He had completed the final year of a long-interrupted business degree, was interviewing with a variety of companies whose response to his resume’ had been enthusiastic. He had not included his age, but when they met him further discussion soon revealed that data. Finally, one international corporate interviewer told him what they wouldn’t dare do now for fear of an age discrimination lawsuit.

The interviewer volunteered with words basically to this effect: “I’m going to level with you. I’d hire you in a minute, but I have to forward your resume’ and my interview info up the chain of command. They’ll throw it out based on your age which will also reflect poorly on me for having not done so myself. They want only young guys whose thinking they believe is more amenable to their molding.”

We learned then there was a national organization for those age 40+ with groups meeting in many U.S. cities for those job applicants who had been discriminated against when seeking employment. By the end of the decade legislative was passed to resolve that problem. What happened to how aging people are all too often treated for employment? Age discrimination is just more covert.

Oops....legislation was passed.

I have been an avid Jeopardy fan for years, but when Alex Trebek was also diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I wanted to see each show while he was still around. I know that sounds a bit ghoulish, but it's due to the reputation of the disease, that it takes people pretty quickly. Or at least that's what I used to think. Between your own survival rate and Trebek's working while in treatment, I'm changing my attitude. However, I still love all you've mentioned about the show, as well as a bit of learning trivia and sometimes even knowing something the contestants don't.

Another good Alex & Ronni Show, I just wish the effort wasn't made to wrap things up in a half hour--you two have such a good rapport, always nice to sip my coffee to :)

When you were discussing the awfulness of ageism in the workplace, I couldn't help but be reminded of something that happened at my former company (I retired 5 years ago). A few years before leaving there, our computer system had undergone a major replacement by an outside company (and it was understood that many in our own IT dept would be laid off, as this other company would be managing the new system). The layoffs didn't occur however, because the company who installed the system didn't have the 'people power' to meet all the user demands--so my company was forced to begin training us & hiring a slew of new programmers.

ANYWAY--it turns out the new system had been written in "RPG", a very old programming language not in much use for decades. So the only people applying for the positions (that required RPG experience) were men & women in their 60's! A slew of them were hired, and they had some great stories to share (working for older companies like Pan Am Airlines, NASA) and tickled to be in such demand again.

Have you tried calling Comcast and complained about rate increases?
You could also ask for a lower rate. You might get it!

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