Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Double Dare Ya!

As a kid, I was obsessed with Double Dare, and when I say “as a kid,” I mean,  I was in high school and was WAY too old  to be interested in the show. In particular, it was Family Double Dare that caught my interest, because I figured, if I were able to get on the show, somehow, my family would  be sure to be the biggest winners of all time.

Well, no, not actually.  As long as we never had to do a physical challenge where my mom and I were involved, we would have been the biggest winners of all time.

If you are unaware of the format of the game show “Double Dare” it worked thusly:

You were asked general trivia questions and you could either answer if you knew it, OR if you thought the other family were a bunch of morons, you could DARE them to answer the question, and then of course, they wouldn’t know because they were knuckle-dragging idiots, and they would DOUBLE DARE you back and then you would get four times as much money for knowing the correct answer.

If for some reason, someone in your family didn’t know the answer, which pretty much wouldn’t have happened in my family because, between the four of us, we would have known EVERYTHING because we are all trivia GENIUSES, you could take a “physical challenge.”  And that is where it would have totally screwed us.

Both my sister and my dad are sporty types.  My dad grew up in a family full of boys, the smallest of whom was 6 foot tall, and they were all athletes.  Two of my uncles were professional athletes, in fact.  As I have mentioned before, we lived with our grandparents, the makers of this hoard of hulking jocks,  for a year, and my sister was taught to play football by my uncle Mike, the college all-star professional NFL quarterback.  I, on the other hand, had a penchant for crying when injured, or frustrated, or looked at, so I did a lot of jump roping while everyone else practiced valuable physical skills.  The one skill I did manage to foster was catching, probably to avoid being hit in the face with footballs, but that’s about it.
My mom, apparently, was kept in a cage like veal while growing up because while she is smart and funny and a creative cook, she is about as uncoordinated as they come.

So, we could have answered any question, but when it came to “physical challenges,” which included things like flipping rubber pancakes across a stage onto a tray your parent was holding, using a giant spatula,  while blindfolded and then dowsing them in “maple syrup” or filling a bowl with green slime to a certain fullness using only your head that has a bucket strapped to it, before 25 seconds is up,  it mostly likely would have ended with death and destruction.

And then there was the Obstacle Course at the end.  The winning family (read: MINE, obv.) would go through a course of 8 different stations, alternating family members, where you had to collect (and in many cases, find) an orange flag from each in a total of  60 seconds.  And again, my sister and dad would have done great, though at 6’4” my dad might have had some trouble getting through some of the obstacles.  And I might have done okay (I had serious fantasies about the sundae slide, in which I would conquer it with my mouth… though I was sure it was most likely not edible, it LOOKED like a big sundae.  Hell, I would still like to dig through a giant pool-sized sundae in pursuit of an orange flag) but I had my doubts that my mom would have gotten through her share of the obstacles and we never would have won a 13 inch TV or a Panasonic VCR or a Conair Hair Dryer.

My family doing the obstacle course would have been NOTHING like this, at all

And there was also the fact that I was about 5 years too old to be on the show. But otherwise, biggest winners EVER!


  1. It's not to late to get on the show . . . it's NEVER too late!

  2. We can do it. We can totally make a giant sundae full of awesome and yum!

  3. How is it I never saw this show? Maybe I was in a cage like your mom. You're mom and I probably the same age--34, right?

  4. @Jelli- I am 34 and 2/3rds.
    It was on Nickelodeon, and then on Fox for a while in the 90s. I spent a lot of time watching Nickelodeon at that time.

  5. We went out to dinner one night in Vail and on the way back from the bathroom I ran into Marc Summers. It has been my one & only celebrity sighting.

  6. my cousins and I made an obstacle course in the back yard (we lived on a dairy)! Loved the show. I also loved Kids Incorporated. Brought it up to my kids the other day and they looked at me like a crazy women.

  7. I totally loved Double Dare. I saw an interview once with Marc Summers and he was saying that the slime was dairy-based and a couple of days after getting "slimed" he would find sour milk in his ears or other orifices. I am always disappointed when I see him on "Unwrapped."

  8. I was always SO grossed out by the giant nose with buggers you had to dig through for one of the flags. YUCK.


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