FUNNY WOMEN #44: Family Jeopardy


The Koslowskis, Air Date: January 25, 2011

Alex Trebek: Before we begin, I’d like to introduce our contestants. First, we have James Koslowski, a 24-year-old University of Texas graduate who moved back in with his parents two years ago. Hello and welcome, James.

James: Hi. Thanks.

Alex: Next we have James’s mother, Lorna Koslowski, a real estate agent. Hi, Lorna.

Lorna: We are huge fans.

Alex: Thanks, Lorna. Finally, we have Larry Koslowski, Lorna’s husband and longtime real estate partner. They live in Houston.

Larry: Huge fans, Alex. [Gestures with arms wide.]

Alex: You’re such big fans, you’re putting your family in jeopardy just being here! [Big laugh.] That’s a classic. Great, let’s get started. The categories are Rue the Day, Reasons Why, The Refrigerator, Mom’s Pet Peeves, Questionable Girlfriends, and Tommy’s Life. Audience, you should know that Tommy is James’s older brother.

Lorna: Who has two adorable children. Hi there, Max and Sophie! [She waves at the camera.]

Larry: Tommy’s a doctor.

Alex: James, since you’re the youngest, you can start us off.

James: Mom’s Pet Peeves for $100.

Alex: This pet peeve causes Lorna to put on her iPod and turn on Michael Bublé.

Larry: What is hearing James in the basement with his girlfriend?

Alex: We need something more specific.

James: What is hearing my girlfriend and me practicing banjo in the basement?

Alex: Yes. James, pick again.

James: Mom’s Pet Peeves for $200.

Alex: The correct thing to do with drinking glasses that come out of the dishwasher.

Lorna: What is wiping their bases with a dishtowel before putting them back on the shelf?

Alex: You would know! Lorna, it’s your turn to choose.

Lorna: I’ll take Questionable Girlfriends for $1000, Alex.

Alex: James’s second real girlfriend, who encouraged him to get the dragon tattoo.

Larry: Who is Tattoo Tammy?

Alex: I need her real name.

Lorna: Who is Tammy Tortelli?

Alex: No. James?

James: Who is Tammy Tomaselli?

Alex: Correct.

Larry: [Rolls his eyes.] Good lord. That girl. Alex, you would have loved her.

Alex: James, pick again.

James: Rue the Day, $400.

Alex: What Larry and Lorna regret ever having given James as a baby, because it ruined his teeth.

Lorna: What is a pacifier?

Alex: More specific.

Larry: What is that goddamn pacifier?

Alex: Yes. Larry, the board is yours.

Larry: I’ll take Tommy’s Life for $100.

Alex: The age at which Tommy was admitted to medical school.

Lorna: What is 20?

Alex: Yes.

Larry: You beat me to that one, honey.

Lorna: Tommy’s Life for $200.

Alex: Tommy’s 1990 Little League batting average.

Larry: What is 0.650?

Alex: Correct. What’s next?

Larry: Tommy for $300.

Alex: What Tommy said the first time he saw James as a newborn.

James: What is, “He can’t have my Cheerios!”

Alex: No. Larry?

Larry: [Pauses.] Oh, crap, never mind. I thought I knew.

Alex: Lorna?

Lorna: What is, “What’s wrong with him?”

James: You told me it was the Cheerios thing.

Lorna: Tommy was only six. He didn’t know better.

Alex: Larry and Lorna are cleaning up on Tommy’s Life. Lorna, it’s your turn.

Lorna: Alex, let’s try Rue the Day for $400.

Alex: Failure of this birth control method led James to be conceived.

Lorna: The IUD.

Alex: Again, we need something more specific.

Larry: What is the goddamn IUD?

Alex: That’s correct.

Larry: Refrigerator, $1000.

Alex: Where Lorna hides her Virginia Slims.

James: What is in the freezer, behind the icemaker.

Alex: That’s right.

James: Refrigerator for $800.

Alex: What Larry does when he eats all the fried chicken Lorna made for the next day’s church luncheon.

James: What is drive to the 24-Store and buy more to replace it before she notices?

Alex: That’s correct! Nothing gets past you, James!

Lorna: [Lowers her head down close to the mic.] The cigarettes are my sister’s.

Larry: [Looks at Lorna.] That was one time with the chicken. One time.

James: Reasons Why, $100.

Alex: “Because all I could find were unpaid internships.”

Larry: What is why James moved back home after college and became a freeloading son-of-a-bitch?

Alex: Correct!

Larry: Reasons Why, $200.

Alex: “Because of a simple misunderstanding.”

Lorna: What is why Tommy and James haven’t spoken for six months.

Alex: No.

Larry: What is why Lorna had an affair with our former partner, Cliff.

Alex: We’re looking for something else.

James: What is why Mom and Dad are getting a divorce.

Alex: That’s right. And we’re out of time for that round. Will James be able to win enough money to finally move out of his parents’ basement, or will Lorna or Larry get out of negative numbers and win enough to hire adequate divorce attorneys? Stay tuned for more Family Jeopardy!


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Elisabeth Dahl is a writer and editor whose fiction and essays have appeared at and in Urbanite. She's currently at work on two novels, one for adults and one for the middle-grade set, and trying not to confuse the two. She tweets occasionally from the stark and poorly tended branch that is home to @ElisabethDahl. More from this author →