“Alex Trebek Never Eats Fried Chicken” by Matt Bell

In honor of Alex Trebek’s birthday:  “Alex Trebek Never Eats Fried Chicken,” may have the know-it-all host’s name in the title, but it really doesn’t have anything to do with him.  Matt Bell won the 2008 “Million Writers Award,” sponsored by storySouth, with this story, orginally published in Storyglossia.  It’s about loneliness, faith, hypocrisy, fried chicken, love, and young adult angst:

“When I watch “Jeopardy,” I don’t keep score, but I do pay a lot of attention to how the contestants play, specifically to how they hold their signaling devices. Some contestants clamp onto them, their knuckles white until they know an answer, when they’ll suddenly press their plungers rapidly, even though once is enough to signal that they’d like to answer. Other people hold them loosely, leisurely, their faces as emotionless as their grip. These are often the people who do the best, their nonchalance slowly unnerving the other contestants. There’s something about their pretending not to care that appeals to me. I’ll never be on “Jeopardy,” but that doesn’t mean I can’t emulate their technique in other areas of my life.”

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