I grew up thinking that Alex Trebek was a smart great man whose brilliance and knowledge of the earth could be contained in no volume or tome. I held unknowingly tight to this understanding for what’s almost certainly years, but today I considered this understanding to no longer be true. And I watched as one more steadfast absolute to which I have desperately clung after abandoning God and Christ slowly floated away.
Alex Trebek is not a smart man; in all likelihood, he is a dumb man. He is not a mathematician or a diamond professor. Alex Trebek is a game show host. He doesn’t know the answers to the questions he asks. Instead, he reads the knowledge off cards, cards handed to him by a sweating fat man in a small, small suit who gives him his lies in the darkness. Profane, undying darkness.
Alex Trebek does cocaine. Terrific amounts of cocaine. This is one of his cherished nighttime activities, long after the buzzers and grey suits stop applauding. With shutters drawn, Alex Trebek sits in his horizon wide mansion and ingests cocaine en masse. He does not read books and dictionaries. He does not make flash cards.
Ho! There is Alex, in the Caribbean, with a nose full of cocaine and an arm full of tan women. These women wear bikinis in bright, primary colors and often avoid eye contact when speaking. They are all inside a cigarette boat. They are floating in international waters.
“Hand me my sunning oils and bottle of Whiskey Galore!” Alex bawls from the middle of the sea. The girl in the Fuschia bikini huddles over to the Cooler and pulls out a large, unwieldy bottle full of Alex’s terrifying home concoction. None but Alex may drink it. A small label lays askance on the browning surface of the bottle; he drinks with open eyes, staring out at the sun.
“Goddamn! Goddamn!” this New alex screams. Few people hear his cries.
I felt like an uncle died, a happy, smiling uncle who never hurt an animal and never owned a pet. It was a funny comfort, certainly, but in the back of my hat I always knew that if I were sad or bored or waiting in a doctor’s office I could watch in gaping awe as Alex spewed out knowledge like a sage.
Yes, gone is the man who was better than a president. Displaced, forgotten, this Alex that Was glued outsider art in his country home and bought meals for the homeless and Racial Minorities. He sprinkled grass on the ground and cried for all the crime. This man, this Novaman, is dead.
And good riddance! He was a figure – a phantom! He was the abstraction of an ideal shook loose from the Coconut Tree. And in his untrue place I have found reality. Grandiloquent, cocaine reality.
“Goddamn!” I hear in the distance. A cigarette boat purrs.