In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 15, 2006 / 17 Shevat, 5766

Artificial intimacy

By Pat Sajak

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | During a recent Wheel of Fortune taping, I was answering a few questions from the audience during a delay, and a young man took to the microphone and asked whether I wore a toupee. He got a good laugh with the question, and I got a good laugh with my answer, which was, referring to my Hair From Hell, "If I did wear a toupee, I'd buy a better one than this!"

That moment reminded me anew of the strange, artificial intimacy that exists between performers and some of the people who watch them perform. Think about it. That was an incredibly rude and potentially embarrassing question that that young man would never have asked anyone else publicly, least of all someone he had never met. It's hard, for example, to imagine him getting on the loudspeaker at his local grocery store and asking whether the guy in aisle one was wearing a "rug".

I've seen Vanna asked by strangers how old she is and how much money she makes, questions they would be unlikely to ask the female druggist or doctor. I've been approached by viewers who tell me to let Vanna know how rotten that dress was she wore last Friday or to tell me what they don't like about me or my performance or the game or the rules, most often with a pleasant smile, as if they were performing a public service for which I should be grateful.

I understand that showing up for 20-plus years in someone's living room produces a sense that people know you even if they've never met you, but that doesn't account for the liberties some take when they actually do meet you. After all, they may have had the same neighbor for over 20 years, but they still might hesitate to openly criticize his job, his clothes, his attitude, his wife or his personal grooming.

Don't get me wrong. The overwhelming number of people I meet are kind and courteous, as I try to be. But you'd be surprised at how many folks say outrageous things assuming it's okay because I host a television show. Politicians report similar encounters, but that has to do, I think, with an "I pay your salary" kind of mentality.

I've shared similar "war stories" with others in my business, and we all laugh and shrug our shoulders. I suspect the reason some behave this way is, in part, because we're considered TV performers first and human beings second. Others have suggested it's because some viewers believe you wouldn't have a job if they didn't watch, but you could make that same argument for any business. ("If I didn't shop at your store, you'd be out of work!") Whatever the explanation, it's an odd phenomenon.

None of this is a complaint; it's just an observation. I love my job, and I understand that part of it involves dealing with the public. And, again, most of my daily exchanges with strangers are pleasant, and, even when they're not, they're interesting. It's just one of those human puzzles I enjoy trying to figure out.

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JWR contributor Pat Sajak is the recipient of three Emmys, a Peoplesí Choice Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He's currently the host of Wheel of Fortune.


© 2006, Pat Sajak