Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #321, Theme: Gripe

So my husband and I are fans of “Wheel of Fortune”.  We even play the Xbox game, and it can get heated (especially if I “buy time” by buzzing in like I know the answer and take the full 70 seconds to figure it out).  He says it’s cheating–I say it’s smart.  The theme for last week’s prompt (I know, I’m late) was “Gripe”, and I could think of a multitude of things to “gripe” about, like how cell phone technology has turned half the populace into rude drones, or how restaurants don’t put your salad in a big enough bowl to mix it around, or when people ask for a bag for one can of food (“it’s easier to carry?!).  I came up with a plethora of ideas, but I wanted to just do something lighthearted, so I started with all the gripes I had about reality TV (alternate realities/hoaxes), like the sleazy “fantasy suites” of “The Bachelor”, the recipe cards that are hidden from view on “MasterChef”, the food-like substance abuses on “Extreme Couponing”, the tarted-up little girls on “Toddlers and Tiaras”, the bizarro worlds of “2000 Kids and Counting” or “Here Comes Honey Boo Hoo”, not to mention the infotainment branded as “news”, with tampon-wearing anchors on MSNBC, the 24-hour Trump Show on Fox…the list goes on and on.

I chose to gripe about the most benign show in existence–“Wheel of Fortune”–the game show that makes you feel brilliant after watching “Jeopardy”.  (Btw, a “fickle wheel” is how AT&T describes the show in their synopsis.)

The Fickle Wheel

Buying unnecessary vowels,
calling letters that have already been called–
it’s not using your noodle, is all.

Listening to the host without the most,
who holds the female contestants’ hands to the Bonus Round,
makes me want to wash my hands and whiskey-wash it down.

Contestants who jump up and down after every triumph,
who use flowery adjectives to describe their significant others,
who rattle off all their kids’ silly, pretentious names,
are just a few of the many gripes I have about America’s game.


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