Kind of a potpourri of news this week. (Potpourri, you probably know, is a long-time and oft-used category on the Jeopardy game show. I believe it’s been around since the days of Art Fleming, well before Alex Trebek told players to grab their signaling devices.) Anyway, it’s a great catch-all word that I’m sure the Jeopardy writers use when they can’t think of five similar clues in an individual category.

If I were writing for the show, I think my first answer this week under Potpourri would be, “This country’s population fell by a little under a million people in 2022.” The answer is, “What is China?”

Contestants wouldn’t need to know more than that to get the money, but the fact that China went down in citizenry count is pretty big news. I read that the country has had the largest population in the world since around 1950, or even perhaps before that. But since that time, there have been a few glitches in the communist society’s system that have finally caused the numbers to decrease.

To be sure, there are still some 1.4 billion Chinese within the country’s borders. But when you factor in a widespread famine a few decades ago, as well as the Communist Party’s “one child per family” policy for many years, and an aging overall population, well, forecasts are that there could be as many as 600 million fewer Chinese by the turn of the next century. (Did they really think that one child policy was a smart move?)

A second Jeopardy answer under Potpourri may be, “King Charles’ new pet name for Camilla.” The answer? “What is Queen?” It certainly didn’t take Charlie long to contemplate getting rid of the Consort part regarding his wife’s title. I think he might well regard Queen Consort as something akin to Queen Lite, and that just won’t fly. It was his mummy’s (QEII) directive that the Consort bit be tagged to Camilla’s name. I’m guessing the shortened moniker was the subject of nightly pillow talk or dinner conversation of late between the two royals.

Here’s another answer: “He received over $1 billion in compensation from his company in 2022.” The correct response would be “Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman.” Now, that sounds like quite a take-home check, but, in fairness, he only got $253 million or so of that in direct pay. The rest came from dividends from his Blackstone shares. I don’t pretend to understand how one person can be worth that amount of money for just one year. But I’m pretty sure if I somehow were to receive even half Mr. Schwarzman’s pay package for this coming year, you could just forward all my personal correspondence to a Caribbean island of my choosing come January 2024. Or to my yacht cruising the Greek Isles. I may or may not answer in a timely manner.

The fourth question in my Potpourri category would be this: “She called for a ‘national divorce’ of red and blue states.” If you answered, “Marjorie Taylor Green,” you would be correct. The Representative to Congress from Rome, Georgia, sent out a Tweet on President’s Day suggesting the country basically just divide up into conservative or liberal camps. Ms. Green indicated she feels the country, like many marriages, has reached the point of “irreconcilable differences.”

She really didn’t provide too many details as to how such a split might work. There would certainly be no doubt that states such as California, Oregon, New York, and Massachusetts would be part and parcel of the Blue side, while Florida, Texas, South Dakota, and a host of wheat belt states would become part of the Red side. The big question is, what do the Blues and Reds do with the Purples, such as Georgia, Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina? Do those states have to shuttle back and forth on the weekends between their colorful peers?

Finally, the fifth answer in the category might be this: “An ursine character starring in a major motion picture.” No doubt you’ve all seen the sure-to-be-award-nominated Cocaine Bear and had no problem finishing out the Potpourri mix with that response.

If you somehow missed the movie’s plot, it seems a 500-pound black bear finds and consumes a large cache of cocaine, leading cops, criminals, tourists, and teenagers on a rather raucous rampage through a Georgia forest. No word on what the writers of the movie consumed in creating this entertainment artform.

So, how’d you do? Did you run the category? Well done. Keep track of your score. We’ll tackle Double Jeopardy another time.

©MMXXIII. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer