SACRAMENTO- Pacing nervously inside his dressing room, Jeopardy contestant Tom Donahue prayed the show would not ask him any questions about birds, the singular topic about which he knew absolutely nothing.
The MENSA scholar, whose knowledge spans world history, contemporary literature and modern sports, expressed frantic hope the night’s clues would not address falcons, macaws, and/or geese, all subjects with which he was entirely unfamiliar.
“I really, really hope they don’t ask me about grackles,” stammered Donahue. He added that if the “Daily Double” had anything to do with a cockatiel, he would “just about shit his pants.” Concerned family members described watching the panicked contestant frantically flip through flash cards about cormorants mere minutes before air. “His notes on storks were dripping with sweat, too,” confirmed his sister, Sarah, shaking her head.
Friends of Donahue, who has memorized sixty one digits of pi, say his achilles heel has always been birds. “Tom can recite every vice-president in order, but if you ask him even one thing about owls he basically cracks in half,” wrote Tamara Feingold, a former trivia teammate. “We lost the Quizbowl finals in Atlanta because he thought penguins were orange.”
At press time, the reveal of “Two Birds One Stone” as a second round category prompted Mr. Donahue to cover his podium in vomit.