Feb 2, 2009

"What is... Cliff Clavin?"

One of my very favorite episodes of one of my very favorite shows (Cheers) was titled "What is... Cliff Clavin?" It ran during the eighth season, and its primary plot involved mail carrier Cliff Clavin's appearance on Jeopardy!

[TRIVIA BREAK: The categories on the first round board (CIVIL SERVANTS, STAMPS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, MOTHERS AND SONS, BEER, BAR TRIVIA, and CELIBACY) were later used in a 2005 episode of the Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions.]

Anyway, the Final Jeopardy! category was "Movies," and the answer was "Archibald Leach, Bernard Schwartz and Lucille LeSueur." Cliff bet all his money, $22,000, on his response: "Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?"* And I thought it was brilliant television.

That episode has been on my mind this week because I found myself in my across-the-street neighbors' kitchen for the first time ever this week -- and we've lived in these houses for 10 years and our kids play together pretty often. They just gutted and remodeled their kitchen and den, so I can't compare it to what it USED to look like, but I can tell you that now it is STUNNING.

As I was standing there admiring the new space, I was thinking about how she'd never been in MY kitchen, which of course led my needs-help brain to start making a list of all the people who perhaps SHOULD have been in my kitchen, but have not. (I do not count famous movie stars on that list, although they are always welcome here.)

1. Any of my neighbors. A few of my neighbors have been in my den ... to help us move furniture in and out. None of them have ever been in my kitchen, that I can recall. This fact is embarrassing and calls into question my alleged spiritual gift of Hospitality.

2. Most members of Grayson's family. Two of my sisters-in-law, Grayson's parents and a niece and her family have visited us in our current home, but the rest of his LARGE extended family has never seen it. Since we are closer in spirit than most extended families, I'm always surprised when I remember that most of them have never been here. (They live in NC, SC, FL and NY, so it's not an easy drive for anyone.) Birmingham has stuff, so y'all come visit!

3. My managers from various jobs. I've liked most of my managers, and I've had lots of co-workers over for supper, games, etc., over the years (and continue to do so). Why not my managers, then? I'd really never thought about it until now. Strange.

4. Any of my grandparents. My maternal grandparents died before we moved to this house 10-and-a-half years ago, and my paternal grandfather died when I was 6. My paternal grandmother (who has always gone by the traditional "Grandmother" until our boys were born, and then she became "Gigi," short for Great-grandmother) and I are very close, but she lives 9 hours away and refuses to fly. I would love to share my home with her, but it will never happen!

We used to entertain a lot more than we do now, and I hope one day to go back to that. I miss it. Plus, my kitchen's cute! I should be using it more often.

* The correct response to the Final Jeopardy! clue was "What were the real names of Cary Grant, Tony Curtis and Joan Crawford?"


Sarah T. said...

I love that episode, too. And I'm still with Cliff, his answer was technically correct.

Rylan W. said...

Ever since that episode, my dreams of winning on Jeopardy have been tempered with the grim certainty that I would bet it all and pull a Cliff Clavin.

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