For those of us still in disbelief that sports bettor James Holzhauer finally lost on “Jeopardy!” – not by failing to know the answer but by not betting enough on his answer — it turns out there’s been a whole lot of news that we might have missed while glued to the quiz show.
For example, New York lawmakers have outlawed declawing cats. This is a HUGE debate. Some are arguing that this is war between furniture lovers and cat lovers. Can you imagine the family fights over that one this Thanksgiving?
Turkey might not even be on the menu. It turns out that meatless burgers are in huge demand but cost more than those with meat. The Wall Street Journal reports that more than one out of every seven restaurants in the country offers veggie burgers. Who knew that all those little kids who refused to eat vegetables would grow up eager to pay twice as much for stuff they wouldn’t have touched a few years ago.
It turns out everything will cost more. The White House is considering putting up to 25% in tariffs by October on everything from Mexico (in other words, everything we like and need that doesn’t come from China, with which we also have a brewing trade war) unless Mexico somehow figures out what to do with all the people from Latin America fleeing gangs and violence. But the White House set no goals or standards even as the economy is slowing down. Guacamole eaters and car lovers and farmers are going to take it on the chin, and none of them knows why.
Currently obsessed with everything south of the border, the White House just decreed that you can fly by commercial jet to Cuba but you can’t get there by yacht, cruise ship, sailboat or private flight. The idea is to force Cuba to denounce Venezuela’s repressive regime or go into recession. Ah, the ingenuity of modern diplomacy.
Here’s a news brief that will depress you. Spending on political ads as we head into the exciting presidential election year of 2020 is expected to jump by $3.6 billion to $9.9 billion. And we don’t even have more “Game of Thrones” or Holzhauer to distract us.
But there’s some good news! A looming global chocolate shortage has been averted. Thank goodness for good weather in cocoa-bean growing countries. (Had to go get a handful of M&Ms for that one.) There remain some fears that weather could turn bad, but Hershey, for its part, promises to invest $500 million in research and training to safeguard the world’s cocoa supply.
Speaking of necessities, did you hear about the $85 million apartment in New York that comes with two Rolls-Royces, a Lamborghini Aventador roadster, a $1 million yacht, a summer in a Hamptons mansion, a year’s worth of restaurant meals, season tickets to the Brooklyn Nets, a live-in butler, a private chef and two seats on a Virgin Galactic space flight? Still available at press time.
In Japan, 18,000 people have signed a petition asking for a law making it illegal for companies to mandate that female employees wear high heels at work. Alas, chances don’t look good for passage, but there’s something hopeful about all those signatures.
Now, what we want to know is whether Holzhauer, who won $2.46 million on the quiz show because he is really, really smart can go back to sports betting in Las Vegas or has lost his anonymity forever (he was given the ceremonial key to the Strip). And wasn’t it nice that he was beaten by Emma Boettcher, a 27-year-old librarian?
Just for the record, the winning “Jeopardy!” clue was the identity of the author whose premature death was referred to by the line “A great reckoning in a little room” in “As You Like It.” All three contestants correctly answered Christopher Marlowe, but Boettcher bet more and won.
So, if you have $85 million, want to go to space, love chocolate, know Emma, aren’t a woman working in Tokyo, plan to fly to Havana, have a well-behaved cat, don’t own a farm, refuse to watch political ads, eschew imports and eat beef, life is good!
And there’s talk the two all-time biggest winners on “Jeopardy!” might face each other.