Friday, January 1, 2016

Picayune contestant

It's a new year, and I was scrounging through Google News for game show items to write about.

The second story I came across in my "game show" search had a doozy of a headline. Picayune woman to be featured on Wheel of Fortune. I thought that was a pretty harsh way to refer to a lady contestant. The Google dictionary says "picayune" means "petty, worthless," as in "the picayune squabbling of party politicians." The second definition isn't much better. "A small coin of little value, especially a 5-cent piece." That didn't sound like a favorable omen for Wheel of Fortune.

As it turns out, Picayune is the name of an actual place...in the south, of course. Picayune, Mississippi is a town of ten thousand people located about 45 miles from New Orleans, and the Big Easy is involved in the town's name. Seems that a local writer named the place after the Times-Picayune newspaper in NOLA. Previously, Picayune had been called Hobalochitto. Gotta admit, the name change was an improvement.

The Picayune Wheel lady is a grandmother named Christine Kennard. She won her chance at the big round spinning thing in a New Orleans audition last May. She taped her episode November 20 for a January 20 air date. "It was nerve-wracking but fun. Pat Sajak is a doll."

And on that doll of a note, this blog is off and running for 2016.

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