published Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Cook: I’d like to wager nothing, Alex

David Cook

Last November, Chattanooga law clerk Julie Podlesni went to California to compete in the TV quiz show “Jeopardy!”

From start to finish, Podlesni (her episode aired Jan. 9) missed only three questions. But when you’re competing against folks who by lunchtime forget more facts than most of us learned in high school, then missing three questions is about three too many.

In honor of Podlesni, today’s column will model the format of the show, where the answers come in the form of a question. And daily doubles for everyone.

Answer: This hybrid mental condition might be afflicting state Sen. Richard Floyd.

Question: What is homophobic delusional paranoia?

Floyd made headlines last week after wanting to pass legislation requiring transgendered Tennesseans to use restrooms and dressing rooms to match their birth gender.

“I believe if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there — I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there — I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry,” said Floyd.

Not only is the senator encouraging violence against a minority, but he’s also using not-going-to-happen-in-a-million-years scare tactics. Does the senator believe that armies of transgendered people are hiding behind the potted plants at Talbot’s, waiting to pounce?

Do you also recognize that in the wildly hypothetical situation he describes, there’s already a man in the ladies’ dressing room?

It’s him.

Answer: This former president of the American College of Physicians is the best choice for the next appointment to the Erlanger board of trustees.

Question: Who is Dr. Clif Cleaveland?

A physician, professor and writer who understands the connection between mind, body and soul, Cleaveland is like the Hippocratic Oath made human. Anybody who’s written books with titles such as “Sacred Space” and “Healers and Heroes” needs to sit at the table when making decisions on how to heal Erlanger.

Hamilton County officials should appoint Cleaveland, who would be like medicine for our city’s hospital.

Answer: This is the number of Chattanoogans on the waiting list for public housing.

Question: What is 1,944?

Answer: 200.

Question: How many Chattanoogans will be able to move into the new apartments being built in the old Chattanooga Bank Building, whose developers will get tax breaks thanks to a recent City Council vote?

Answer: $1,000 to $1,300.

Question: What is the average monthly rent they’ll pay?

Answer: Zero.

Question: How many of those 1,944 Chattanoogans can afford to live there?

Answer: This is the potential name of the potential group of local baseball fans that could potentially make an offer to buy the Chattanooga Lookouts.

Question: What is the Scenic City Baseball Club Inc.?

Many readers have responded to the idea of buying the Lookouts. For this to happen, we need a cleanup hitter of sorts, someone who can organize the formation of this club and navigate the legal and financial curveballs that may come our way.

I’ve got a lineup of interested people. We just need a skipper.

Answer: “When asked for a home address in the ‘Blues Brothers,’ Elwood gives 1060 W. Addison St., the home of this facility.”

This was a recent Final Jeopardy question. Finally, I feel rewarded: Years of skipping college classes instead of attending them can pay off on “Jeopardy!”

I’ll bet Julie Podlesni knows the answer. Do you?

David Cook can be reached at davidcook@blumail.org,

about David Cook...

David Cook is the award-winning city columnist for the Times Free Press, working in the same building where he began his post-college career as a sportswriter for the Chattanooga Free Press. Cook, who graduated from Red Bank High, holds a master's degree in Peace and Justice Studies from Prescott College and an English degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. For 12 years, he was a teacher at the middle, high school and university ...

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