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Monday, May 6, 2013



I used to like the TV quiz show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” until they changed the format.  The old format gave a contestant who didn’t know an answer the opportunity to “Phone-a-friend” to get help.  I always said my phone-a-friend would be my friend “Frog.”

Frog (named as he once wore glasses reminiscent of “Froggy” in the “Little Rascal Comedies”) is my friend all the way back to high school, and he is an expert in everything, especially history where he has a Doctorate (almost) in American History.  I guess I should call him Doctor Frog.  Anyway, the only problem with Dr. Frog as my phone-a-friend is his tendency to ramble on with facts not requested.  I have a recurring nightmare where I am a contestant on the old format of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”

“OK Cranky, you are down to your final question worth ONE MILLION DOLLARS.  Ready?

“I’m ready Regis.”

“Here it is…”

What is the name of the Master Sergeant in the Civil War who before the battle of Squeak Falls said, “Five minutes till hell boys, smok’em if you gott’em.”

A.   Fast Freddie James

B.   Martin Kurtika

C.    John Hammond

D.   Gilbert Shill

“That is a tough one Regis; I’d like to ask a friend.  I’d like to call Dr. Frog.”

“OK sure, we'll call Doctor…Frog?  Does he know history?”

“If he doesn’t know the answer, the answer doesn’t exist!”

“All right then we’re calling Doctor Frog…Hello is this Doctor Frog?”


“This is Regis of the Millionaire Show.  We have a friend of yours, a Mister Cranky, he is going for ONE MILLION DOLLARS and he needs your help.”

“OK, sure…go ahead.”

“You have one minute.  Here is the question”:

What is the name of the Master Sergeant in the Civil War who before the battle of Squeak Falls said, “Five minutes till hell boys, smok’em if you gott’em.”

A.   Fast Freddie James

B.   Martin Kurtika

C.    John Hammond

D.   Gilbert Shill

“That is an easy one Regis; it just happens that in 1974 I wrote a thesis on that very person.”

“Forty-five seconds.”

“Yes; the battle of Squeak Falls was very important.”

“Thirty seconds.”

“If the South won that battle, they would secure their supply lines for…”

“Twenty seconds Doctor Frog,”

“As I was saying, they would secure very important supply lines for their march toward…”

“Ten seconds.”

“Ten seconds?”

“Five now.”

“OK then, the answer is…”

“Oh, I’m sorry, time is up.  We had to hang up on Doctor Frog.  Do you have a guess Mr. Cranky?”

“Yes Regis, I’m going to guess that I will have to friggin kill Doctor Frog!!”

I always wake up in a cold sweat.


Actually, I was once the phone-a-friend for Frog.

Frog had an argument with his then girl friend, now wife Hillary.  At 2 AM one morning I received a call from Frog,

“Jowles*, I need you to settle an argument.  I’m here with Hillary…”

“Hi Hillary, glad to finally meet you.”

“Never mind that, here is the question.  When Superman changes into his Superman outfit where does he put his civilian clothes?”

“That’s easy; he has a pocket in his cape!”

THANK YOU!.…I told you so Hill! Gotta go Jowles, thanks!”


And THAT, Doctor Frog, is how a phone-a-friend answers a question!

*Old knickname…long story.    


  1. ok Jowles! btw I dint know Superman had a pocket in his capes!

  2. I say you oughta go kick Frog's ass just for the lost sleep he's caused you. Not to mention the million bucks.


  3. No way is there a pocket in Superman's cape.

  4. I've heard of civilian capacity before but never civilian cape-acity. ;)

  5. I knew where he kept his clothes, too

    BTW - Pipsqueak Falls was the site of the battle

    The media got the name all screwed up... as usual

  6. KILL FROG is the right answer--you are a funny man, my friend!!

  7. Someone's blowing smoke here. Smoke 'em if you got 'em was from Teddy Roosevelt trying to cover the San Juan hill dust with the smell of smoke.

  8. pretty funny! My husband would never be friends with Frog because the other one would never get the chance to talk!

  9. I think many of us worried about who'd we'd call when that program was popular. Funny post. I can answer succinctly but I've also been known to be long winded.

  10. I used to worry the other way - imagine if a friend called YOU and you didn't have the answer! That would be horrible. Also if you DO have the answer and your friend wins, what proportion of the prize money do they have to give you?

  11. Doctor Frog sounds like my Dad! He knows a ton, but it takes him a while to get to the point. :P

  12. I find it interesting how we get some of our nicknames. I have several nicknames in high school. One of my classmates called me the guys with a 1000 names.

    I miss watching the Little Rascals on Saturday mornings. "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" was at its best with Regis as the host.

  13. Do you think they let the phone-a-friend go because there was a team of people at the house Googling the answer? I can always tell when people are Googling on the Kelly and Michael show... Not that I'm always in front of the TV. Really. lol

    I like your friend, Frog. Those are the kind of people who you love and get annoyed by at the same time.


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