Have you ever been watching Wheel of Fortune and wondered how such a simple, silly game can completely envelope your senses? Last week, I turned on a WoF marathon in the morning. Before I knew it, I had spent 18 hours watching that goddamned wheel dole out fabulous prizes and crushing failure to the hapless contestants. I didn’t know how it could have happened! I mean, you’re just guessing words, right? They don’t even try to be creative with it – one of the categories is “Things” for Christ’s sake. There had to be something more to this show. I decided to do some Googling, and after only two brief interludes to look at cute cat videos and stalk people on facebook, I uncovered a story that is as horrifying as it is absolutely true. I’m just going to cut to the chase with this: The secret to Wheel of Fortune’s success is that Pat Sajak is a mutated, magical pumpkin.
Look closely…you’ll see it.
I can’t get into details, but after some email exchanges and doing some things that I’m not proud of or even legally allowed to talk about, I’ve uncovered the story.
Years ago, a younger (and still alive) Merv Griffin was wondering through a forest foraging for berries and looking for inspiration for his next hit game-show when he heard a strange, guttural whimpering coming from a nearby swamp. Having nothing better to do, and hoping it was an injured fawn he could take home to eat, he decided to investigate. What he found changed his life forever. At first, he thought it was just a regular pumpkin, with a dying animal inside of it, but then he quickly realized it had legs, and was trying to speak. What he found was the young Pat Sajak.
Why Merv decided to take the pumpkin home that day, we may never know. Maybe it was pure intrigue, maybe it was some kind of weird pumpkin fetish. Or maybe, JUST MAYBE – Merv saw what this tiny humanoid gourd-like squash was capable of.
Merv knew he wouldn’t be able to show the world what he had found. He had read X-Men comics, and knew that if the world found out about the young Pat, he would either be dissected by government scientists, or turned into a weapon by the military. Merv decided to hide the pumpkin in plain sight. He dressed him as a human, and trained him to be one as well. He raised him as his own child.
Pat grew up quickly, and immediately showed an incredible aptitude for hosting a show like Wheel of Fortune. This does not include the skill of spelling or word guessing, of course. Anyone that has seen WoF knows that Pat Sajak really has no interest in the game itself. What Pat was immediately good at, however, was feigning interest in people’s bland stories, staying awake, and naming letters that are displayed in front of him. Pat also had the uncanny ability to mesmerize anyone that stared at him for too long. Merv’s wife eventually died of starvation while watching Pat play with a dead mouse. This didn’t keep Merv from raising and guiding Pat, however. Merv loved Pat dearly, and in order to conceal the truth of what Pat was, he decided the best thing to do was give him a job that allowed him to do what he did best in an environment of gaudy, swirling colours and elaborate sets that would keep everyone distracted.
And so, once Pat was old enough and Merv felt he could pass him off as a human, he created Wheel of Fortune…and the rest is history.
Seriously, look at his face. That dude is a fucking pumpkin.