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Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: From “Match Game” winning answer …

Editor’s Notebook: From “Match Game” winning answer …

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… to a crime against humanity (in some eyes) in just 45 years.

Don’t hate me for de-stressing at the end of a busy workday with an hour of episodes of “Match Game” from the mid-1970s. We all need a release, and mine is less illegal/immoral than some.

But it is kind of a time warp, going back those 45 years ago. Cringe-worthy whenever host Gene Rayburn had to read a question involving Asian people and goes into his linguistic overkill. And whenever the word “fairy” comes up in any context? Oh boy … but even Charles Nelson Reilly plays along, as he knows where his paycheck bread is buttered.

On an episode airing on a relatively obscure cable channel earlier this week, from that bicentennial year of 1976, came the final bonus game, in which a contestant picked (as most did) Richard Dawson in an effort to match a common word for a big payout.

The question was: “[BLANK] Lee.”

(Insert really, really bad game-show music here as you ruminate on the possibilities.)

The contestant went with “Robert E. Lee,” the audience applauded its approval, and Richard, after pretending he had written down with “Sara Lee,” turned his card and showed he had matched her successfully. The contestant garnered $2,500 for her efforts, the equivalent of $11,556 today.

Of course, these days, if you’d even thought about writing down “Robert E.” to that question, somebody would try to burn down CBS Television City, where “Match Game” was filmed.

As a society, we’ve decidedly moved on from 1976; whether we’re advancing or regressing in inter-personal human relations remains something of an open question.

BACK TO THAT INSTANT-RUNOFF REPUBLICAN CONVENTION: A couple of days ago I mentioned that Virginia Republicans had finally figured out their nomination plans for statewide office. Well, kind of.

Which brought an inquiry from a plugged-in personage, asking if the state GOP had ironed out how it planned to run an instant-runoff (ranked-choice) election from all those multiple sites it was planning on.

Turns out that’s something of a complicated thing.

The voting is in early May. Whether it will take days, or weeks, to come up with who won the nominations remains to be seen.

Heckuva way to run a railroad, but it will be a good learning experience for localities across Virginia that are thinking about converting some elections to instant-runoff. They can learn from the successes and failures of the GOP, maybe moving the process along a little.

That is the problem with being on the cutting edge. Sometimes, you get some nicks along the way. But somebody has to do it.

  • Scott McCaffrey
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