I should probably have blogged about this sooner than COMPLETELY AFTER THE FACT, but sometimes I forget that I have a blog at all. Apologies.
Arthur flew to LA right after work (he left early, in fact) and arrived late at night. He had to be at the studio in Culver City at 8 am the next morning. I was not a fan of this “miss as little work as possible” plan, but he could not be dissuaded.
I texted him to wish him luck in the morning, but he didn’t reply. I spent the whole day chewing my nails and shitting bricks, trying to focus on writing, waiting to hear from him. (I did get some novel work done.) Finally, around 8:45pm EST, he called me.
“I have some bad news,” he said, but it was in his “I have some good news” voice. I wasn’t fooled. “I have to spend another week ignoring everything to study for Jeopardy because I’m coming back.”
I don’t remember what I said but it was along the lines of “OMG YAY”. What he said next kind of made a little blank space in my memory.
It was, “I won a hundred thousand dollars.”
My brain shut down for a little while. A hundred thousand dollars in one day of taping. They hadn’t even brought him on until the second game (of five). He’d been studying for weeks, lurking forums of die-hard fans of the show and former contestants to glean strategy tips, and watching every single episode of Jeopardy he could find on the internet, back to the 1980s. (The episodes are posted illegally but Sony seems to turn a blind eye to a small amount of infringement as long as the eps aren’t recent.) We’d even bought a pair of rabbit-ears for the TV to pick up the show as it was broadcast every weeknight. It seemed like there couldn’t be a better-prepared person in the entire world.
And yet to see it pay off so fantastically well boggles the mind. I laughed and hyperventilated and told Arthur he’s awesome. (He is.) I hung up and called my parents. We yelled a little. I texted him an hour later to ask him to repeat that figure because my brain kept telling me I’d misheard. He confirmed it.
I said I was flying to LA with him next week because, hell, we could afford it now, and I wanted to see him kick ass in person. It turned out to be impossible to get onto the flight Jeopardy had booked him, but I found one with only one stop that left a little earlier and landed a little later than his. This was happening.
Then I just had to keep mum for another week about what the hell was going on. I’d already locked down my social media and told Twitter that I wouldn’t say a word about Arthur’s success or failure from the moment I dropped him off at the airport. I’ve been addicted to Twitter (and, before that, blogging) for ten years. Sometimes the inability to yell about how proud I was felt like a physical pain. But I soldiered on somehow.
There’s three weeks of tournaments before Arthur comes back on, I believe, February 24th. I’ll be tweeting my little fingers off over at @elizaeffect during the airing. I won’t post my Day 2 rundown until it’s appropriate, but stay tuned as I travel into the bowels of Hollywood and become part of a live studio audience!
#teamarthur #chuchutrain #kingarthur #swaglordarthurchu @arthur_affect