THERE were a couple of big happenings this week.
First of all, our glorious President Donald Trump made a state visit to England, where he got booed by the people while being entertained by the queen.
Of course, being his usual self, Trump bad-mouthed about everyone in the British Empire before inviting himself over to their house for dinner.
While there, however, Trump was on his best behavior and didn’t rile too many people. And this time he allowed Queen Elizabeth to walk ahead of him, although he did reportedly touch her back (oooh) while he was proposing a toast.
Still, Trump had to be Trump and while he was being sweet to the queen he was trading insults with singer Bette Midler on Twitter.
And, even while eating oysters across the pond, Trump was barking at Mexico and trying to start a second trade war.
Meanwhile, First Lady Melania Trump, who knows how to act in public, as my grandmother would say, pulled off the British visit with her usual grace and style. She is a class act.
Someone made an interesting point about Trump the other day. You know how most presidents go into office looking young and then four years later they look like old men because of the stress of the job?
Well, my friend said, Trump looks better now than he did when he began his term as leader of the free world.
Why? Because Trump has always thrived on controversy. As for stress, well, that’s something he dishes out to others. He is the Alfred E. Newman of his time. What? Me worry? He doesn’t have headaches; he gives them.
Threats to Mexico and insults to Midler while toasting the queen are just part of his day.
As I have said all along, it is just another episode of the Donald Trump Show, America’s four-year soap opera. Just as he did in private business, Trump is throwing insults, making threats and firing any employee that doesn’t think his way.
Same old Donald—but then we knew what we were getting when we elected him.
Now for the second big news story of the week: James Holzhauer losing on “Jeopardy!” after 32 shows and a near-record $2.46 million in winnings.
The woman who beat him, Emma Boettcher, held the upper hand in winnings as the contestants went into Final Jeopardy and Holzhauer’s only hope was that the Kim Darby look-alike would miss the last answer. She didn’t.
Still, it was very out of character for Holzhauer to bet only $1,311 on a Final Jeopardy answer. If Boettcher bet correctly and got the right answer, she would win regardless. So why wouldn’t Holzhauer, with $2.46 million already in the bank, not bet the farm (the $23,000 he had accumulated that night)?
In the last few games, Holzhauer’s intensity seemed to diminish. He was not buzzing in on questions he should have known the answers to. It was almost as if he was bowing to pressure of fans who said that he was totally dominating the show. It seemed he wanted to give other contestants a chance, pulling off a victory at the end.
Even on the final show, he did not seem to ring in on categories that he should have been able to dominate.
Did Holzhauer not want the mantle of all-time money winner on his shoulders? That would have been a heavy weight to carry around, especially for a gambler. I don’t think he deliberately tried to lose, but maybe he was just tired of the run and all the publicity.
No matter, his legacy will remain, despite the fact that he came up $60,000 short of Ken Jennings’ record (which Holzhauer did in less than half the number of shows). And his one-day record of $131,000 will be tough to beat.
Holzhauer also revised “Jeopardy!” strategy. New players are already starting at the big money end and working backwards, a plan Holzhauer devised to make sure his opponents didn’t have an opportunity to catch him when he got a lead.
The guy is a smart cookie, in more ways than one, and “Jeopardy!” won’t be the same without him.
But if he did pass up answers to make the show more dramatic, he broke the cardinal rule of gambling: Never give a sucker an even break.
If you do, they’re gonna get you.
That’s why Donald Trump keeps the pressure on.