Newfoundland Jeopardy

Published on July 28, 2012

This isssssssss “Jeopardy!” In another example of public broadcasting spending at its best, we present “Jeopardy.” And here, as part of our Canadian content, with a brand new, Newfoundland version of “Jeopardy” is our host, that former Canuck himself, Alex Trebek.

Thank you, Peter Mansbridge, for that typically nice Canadian introduction. You still have a grand set of tonsils, I must say, even after all those years of reading words night after night after night. Those cuddly interviews you’ve been doing haven’t tired you out, either.

So, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians — and notice, if you will, that I’ve added Labradorians, being the politically correct type I am — welcome to a Rock version of “Jeopardy.” You all know the rules. I’ll supply clues, our guests figure out what they mean and will answer in the form of a question.

Our three contestants are Sammy Sidecatch from Salmonier, Elizabeth Equalization from Englee, and Peter Poacher from Petites.

And we have a variety of Newfoundland topics, from personalities to sayings.  

Our first clue in personalities: This runner in the Tely 10 didn’t stop at the finish line and kept running right to Port aux Basques, where she was seen boarding the ferry to the mainland, and screaming, “I can’t stand it anymore. No one will give me a break. I was just an accident.”

Sammy Sidecatch: Who is Kathy Dunderdale?   

Alex: Correct. Our next clue: his non-stop tongue could power a 19-foot wooden boat through a gale on its way to the food fishery.

Sammy: Who is Brian Tobin?

Alex: Correct, although we would have accepted a variety of answers, including Brian Peckford of “they stole the shop” fame; Andy Wells, the now-silenced but renowned motor-mouth himself; Paddy Daly, the new man of yak; and innumerable others.

And our next clue: If you should happen upon this individual and are bold enough to stick out your tongue or give him the middle finger, or even say “boo,” you should know his cellphone is on speed dial to a law firm, and that you might be sued for slander.

Elizabeth Equalization: Who is Danny Williams?

Alex: Absolutely. And please leave it at that. We do not want any trouble with the litigious Mr. Williams. We’re all terrified.

Next clue: This organization prides itself on its members being able to professionally handle a spinning pole in just about any lake in Labrador; in fact, it’s part of this organization’s basic training, we’re told.  

Peter Poacher: What is the Department of National Defence?

Alex: Absolutely right.

Now some lighter fare. We’re onto a couple of Newfoundland sayings. Our new clue: This is a saying many Newfoundlanders once used, especially in “town,” when asking for a drink of a companion’s Sprite.

Peter Poacher:  What is “drops on ya?”

Alex: Correct. And along those same lines: This is the expression many townies, and some baymen, and an awful lot of Ganderites, used when trying to get a friend to hand over a smoke, or fag, as it was called back then.  

Sammy Sidecatch: What is “Come on, b’y, you knows me?”

Alex: Again, quite correct. Now back to some general Newfoundland questions. Sorry, Newfoundland and Labrador questions. Our next clue: Other than the Upper Churchill contract, this is the name of another project resurrected by many Newfoundlanders when talking about Muskrat Falls.                

Elizabeth Equalization: What is the Sprung Greenhouse?

Alex: Correct. That woman knows her white elephants. Next clue: This politician’s hair has been sprayed more times than budworm-infested Newfoundland trees.

Sammy Sidecatch: Who is Dwight Ball?

Alex: Yes, again. That Mr. Ball is as neat and tidy as yours truly, I do believe. And still with politicians, here’s our next clue: This former Bride of Christ (as Ray Guy recently described her) has both the Tories and the Liberals wondering whether they need to be born again or start praying harder to the god of politics, given this leader’s continuing, near-miraculous rise in the polls.

Peter Poacher: Who is Lorraine Michael?

Alex: Correct. What a show we have going here tonight, folks! And speaking of television programs, here’s our next clue: This man is hoping to host a new game show in Newfoundland, a revival of “I’ve Got A Secret.”

Sammy Sidecatch: Who is Felix Collins?

Alex: Correct. Our next clue takes us a bit north: Other than winning the Atlantic Lottery, this is the next best way to add $600,000 a year to your bank account.

Elizabeth Equalization: What is to apply for a job running a development corporation in Labrador?

Alex: Correct. And finally, keeping to this last theme of money: This is the latest issue in an ever-expanding range of issues that will bring the Tories’ popularity crashing down.

Peter Poacher: What is the projected billion-dollar deficit?

Alex: Correct. And let’s see the spin doctors handle that one. Oops. A little uncharacteristic editorializing on my part. An appropriate time, it seems, to say goodbye. See you next time, all you oil-drenched, oil-rich Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Oops. Not quite accurate, is it? Let me correct myself: See you next time, all you oil-drenched, oil-rich Townies.  

Bob Wakeham has spent more than 30 years as a journalist in Newfoundland and Labrador. He can be reached by email at