I want Vanna’s job.
Unless you live under a rock like those guys in the Geico insurance commercial, you know Vanna White, the perpetually smiling blonde that turns the puzzle letters on “WHEEL…OF…FORTUNE!!!”. Actually, she doesn’t even have to turn them anymore. Thanks to the miracles of technology, all she has to do now is point.
Anyway, I think it is time Vanna retires. She’s got to be worn out from all that applause she has to give. You have probably heard of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I suspect that Vanna might be suffering from Flipper Clapping Syndrome. I’m not sure that condition actually exists, but it sounds plausible (Doctor to Vanna: “I’m sorry Ms. White, but if you continue on your current path, I am afraid your hands are going to fall off!”).
I am ready to step into her six inch heels, figuratively of course. The first thing I will need to do is change my name. Like Oprah or Sting, there is only one Vanna, while there are thousands of Neils out there. To make my name unique, I will legally change it to Neilo. Rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it? As long as I am not mistaken for a Marx brother, it should do fine.
Vanna seems like a nice gal, but she really doesn’t have much of a personality. That would work to my favor in getting her job, since I have been told I have none.
I have been working on a signature wave, like Vanna does when she leaves Pat Sajak to go to the board and at the end of the show. The Vulcan “Live Long and Prosper” look came to mind, but Mr. Spock would probably sue me for copyright infringement. So I have perfected a wave where I smack my fingers against my thumb repeatedly, sort of like a clam quickly opening and closing.
It wouldn’t look good for Pat and I to enter the stage like him and Vanna, with arms entwined. I will suggest that we come in with our arms over each other’s shoulder, like two old buddies leaving a bar after a good time. That might be hard for Pat though, since I’m kinda tall and he’s, well, kinda short.
By the way, how is it that whenever Pat gives the wheel that final spin at the end of each show, it never ends up on “Bankrupt” or “Lose a Turn”? But I digress.
The show’s producers wouldn’t have to pay me much. I figure I could get by pretty good with just the perks.
For instance, look at all the exotic places Vanna goes to, just to cheerfully exclaim: ” One lucky contestant could win an all – expenses paid trip to this beautiful paradise!”. The film shoot maybe takes about an hour, and then she probably gets to hang out there for a week or so. I could handle that.
If I got Vanna’s job, I would never have to pay for a meal again. Think about it. Whenever she goes to a restaurant, no doubt the owner and the chef are falling all over themselves for the chance to meet her . So when the tab comes up, I am sure they gratefully tell her the grub is on the house. Even the food server would probably settle for Vanna’s autograph in lieu of a tip.
Speaking of autographs, that is another way for me to could cash in. Once I get famous like Vanna, I could hold autograph sessions, just like baseball players do. Instead of signing balls, I’d sign little cubes with letters on them. I would call the sessions “Buy a vowel from Neilo!”.
I could also do graduation addresses for a fee, spouting words of wisdom like this:”Graduates, as you prepare to spin that great wheel of life, let us hope it does not land on bankrupt!”. Or: “On the puzzle that becomes your livelihood, don’t be idiots by choosing a Z before an S!”.
One of my main challenges would be the ability to banter amusingly with Pat at the end of the show. I can banter. Some of my friends might call it blather, but banter sounds so much more appealing. Here is an example:
“Well Neilo, we certainly had some big winners tonight, didn’t we?”
“We sure did , Pat. That guy Darryl had to easily weigh three hundred pounds. And Peggy could make a blimp look anorexic.”
“Uh, yeah. So do you think Peggy will enjoy her trip to Hawaii?”
“Probably Pat, but it’s a shame that the hotel we’re putting her in is not even half as nice as the one I stayed at during the promo shoot. Better check your room for bedbugs, Peg!” [wink wink]
” Um.. time to say goodbye, Neilo.”
“Goodbye Neilo!” [signature wave]
One thing, however, could seriously derail my quest for Vanna’s job. There is no getting around it. I look really awful in an evening gown.