Deck the Halls With Phil and Alice . . .
Standing athwart nostalgia, yelling "Art!" . . .
KEN ROBERTS: Tonight, Chapter Ten, entitled, "Jane Gets on a Quiz Program, and She Answers So Many Questions and is Winning So Much Money, Until Mr. Ace Discovers How She's Doing It and Puts Out the Fires of This Atomic Bombshell of the Quiz Program." Or, as Mr. Ace puts it:
ACE: How to stop radio activity.
ACE: A sweet little lady, her husband, and their pretty eighteen-year-old daughter. Life was good. Father had a comfortable job at the railroad office, the daughter was going with a nice young fellow at the bank, and the sweet little lady made their modest bungalow a haven of contentment.Then one day the phone rang, and the sweet little lady answered a question on a quiz program. She won $3,500 in cash, a trip halfway around the world, twelve rhumba lessons, and a deluxe model Piper Cub airplane.The daughter took the twelve rhumba lessons, got mixed up with a South American dance instructor, and when last heard of was dancing in a low type waterfront saloon in Buenos Aires.The father took the trip halfway around the world and is now stuck in Cairo, Egypt.And the sweet little lady, left alone with the deluxe model Piper Cub airplane, tried to back it in her garage. Hospital bills and building repairs ate up the $3,500, and she is now working in her sister's beauty shop in Salt Lake City, Utah, and she's doing very well.But how many people can be that lucky?Please keep this story in mind when I tell you what happened to me last week, when Jane decided to get on a quiz program. And she had to pick the one quiz program which the advertising agency I work for puts on the air.
JANE: I wonder what he lost. Did you see anything, Paul?
PAUL: You mean this radio script, Jane
JANE: Paul! You were sitting on it! I'll call him back.
PAUL: Sis! Come back here---don't you realise we have a fortune here in my hands?
JANE: Hands? You were sitting on it.
PAUL: Sure. I got a quick look. And when I saw what it was I played smart and sat on it. Look. All we have to do is memorise these answers, go down to the studio, and if they call on either one of us we're a cinch to win a barrel of money.
JANE: Paul, I'm not gonna have any barrels cluttering up this house.
SAMUELS, THE SPONSOR: Mr. Ace, this is getting ridiculous! Did you hear that woman rattle off the answers on yesterday's program?
ACE: Uh, no, Mr. Samuels, I didn't hear the program yesterday, I was, uhhhh----
SAMUELS: Mr. Ace! Is it too much to ask you to listen to a quiz program?
ACE: (short pause) Uh, yes. Uh, I mean, in radio who's got time to listen to the radio?
SAMUELS: (indignant) A fine advertising agency I've got. Those schoolboy questions! Look at these questions for today. "Who was it said, 'I'd rather be right than President?'" Any child knows it was George M. Cohan.
ACE: No, but it was Henry Clay, it was Henry Clay, the answer's right there---
SAMUELS: But still, I don't care---I want proper questions!
ACE: But the listeners send the questions in, we don't make them up.
SAMUELS: Well, use the toughest questions they send in. Here, I've got some right here. Now, here's my idea of a tough question: "What is meant by a laporotomy operation?"
ACE: A laporotomy oper---I don't even know the answer to that one myself.
SAMUELS: All right. Right here, we have the answer right here.
ACE: What is it?
SAMUELS: A laporotomy is an operation on the abdomen.
ACE: On the abdomen?
SAMUELS: Yes. Use this question today, now that's a stopper, I'm sure.
SAMUELS: And, Mr. Ace---if you can possibly find the time, try to listen to our little program? Give me at least fifteen percent of your time.
ACE: I'll try.
ROBERT Q. LEWIS: Well, well, welcome back, Jane Sherwood. You're about to try for $8,192. Now, would you like to try for it? You can stop right now if you'd like to.
JANE: Stop now, while I'm going like a horse on fire? Oh, no.
LEWIS: (chuckle) That's the spirit we like. Here's the question: What is meant by a laporotomy operation?
JANE: Henry Clay.
LEWIS: (slightly aghast) What's that?
JANE: What did you ask me?
LEWIS: I said, what is meant by a laporotomy operation>
JANE: Lapero---oh, wait a minute, you're not asking the right question.
LEWIS: Well, now you wait a minute, we can ask whatever question we like.
JANE: But that's not one of the---
LEWIS: Miss Sherwood, do you know the answer?
JANE: But that's not the---
LEWIS: Miss Sherwood, you either have to answer the question or you lose your money!
JANE: Oh, that's not fair, I think that's abdominal.
LEWIS: Abdominal? Correct! (Audience reaction.) A laporotomy is an operation on the abdomen. You have $8,192.
JANE: What happened? (Audience laughter.)
LEWIS: "What happened?" she says. Miss Sherwood, you kill me!
JANE: All right.
ACE: If he finds out, we'll lose the account, I'll lose my job. I don't know how you're answering those questions, but you've got to miss out on 'em, lose that money.
JANE: Lose that money? Just as I'm making such wonderful headwork? Tomorrow I get the $64,000 question.
ACE: Jane, when I heard you on that program I hit the ceiling.
JANE: Dear, you're not taking the right altitude.
ACE: I'm not?
JANE: After I worked my head to the bone winning all that money.
ACE: You mustn't win all that money!
JANE: Why mustn't I? If I don't win it, somebody else will. I'm as good as anybody else. We're all cremated equal.
ACE: (sotto voce, sort of) Doesn't that burn you up?
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