My Grandma Picks Fights with the Contestants on The Price is Right by K.B. Carle

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close up of TV remote with blurry TV in the background

This time over toothpaste.

No way some Colgate costs some $2.99, she says. It ain’t Crest!

I don’t know the difference but I nod and cross my arms because she’s my grandma. I mean mug the TV, the contestant. We are ready to fight them all, we’ll even take down Bob Barker between our naps.

My Grandma Gets Called to Come On Down on The Price is Right

Maybe she’s wearing her pearls and best dress. A velvet hat. Red lipstick. Shoes with a short heel. She’ll keep her poise, won’t high five anyone while walking down the aisle. I don’t know these fools, she might say. Someone might bet $1500. She’ll bet $1501. The actual retail price, says Bob, and my grandma will walk up before he finishes. Shake Bob’s hand. Call him Mr. Barker. Tell him she watches him every day with her grandbaby. Maybe Bob will smile, wrap his arm around her shoulders, shift her attention to the curtain where a white woman in a dress too short — no need to be showing all that skin, my grandma might say — will smile and reveal the Yodeler on the mountain.

My Grandma is the Yodeler on The Price is Right

She wears Lederhosen though she doesn’t know it’s Lederhosen. You could do that, I say, my finger on the Yodeler. Get your finger off my screen, she says, and I take my seat on my soft towel bed. Baby, she says, and maybe she tells me Black folks don’t climb mountains. Maybe she says Black folks don’t wear gingerbread overalls. I ask if she knows how to make gingerbread cookies. Hush, she says. Hush baby I can’t hear. Tells me that the little fellow making noise has climbed too high.

My Grandma gets to Spin the Big Wheel on The Price is Right

There’s a trick to it, she says. Perhaps it’s in your wrist. Your stance. The viewers at home you say hi to. How close you stand to Bob Barker. She’ll land on one dollar. Perhaps she’ll smile then. Perhaps Bob Barker will ask what she’ll do with the thousand dollars. Open a pie shop, she might say, for my grandbaby. Then, she’d leave. Perhaps Bob Barker would tell her to wait. Say, you get to spin again. Say what about the final showcase? Tell someone to go to commercial.

My Grandma Makes History by Being the First Contestant to Walk Off The Price is Right

Think of the taxes, she says, as two women bid on boats and cars and vacation hotspots. I don’t know what taxes are but I don’t like them. I don’t like Bob Barker because he knows what taxes are. Knows the contestants will have them, and still, he announces a winner. What would I need a boat for, my grandma says. I shrug because I don’t know anyone with a boat so, clearly, no one needs one. Perhaps my grandma reads about boats in magazines while we wait in the checkout line at Acme or Kmart. Perhaps she learns about vacation hotspots while watching soap operas like The Young and The Restless or Days of Our Lives while I nap in the middle of her living room floor. Maybe, she remembers what it’s like to buy a new car, not worrying about getting carsick, what the difference between that new car smell and an air freshener shaped like a pine tree that dangles from the rectangle mirror in the front seat. You’re both too high, she says, these fools just don’t know. Maybe I agree. Maybe I cross my arms. Shoot both contestants and Bob Barker my meanest look because, maybe, I don’t want them to know that I don’t know, either.

Meet the Contributor

KB CarleK.B. Carle lives and writes outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is the associate editor at Fractured Lit. and editor at FlashBack Fiction. Her stories have appeared in Passages North, Porcupine Literary, Apiary Magazine, Jellyfish Review, The Offing, and have been nominated for Best Small Fictions and the Pushcart Prize. Her story, Soba, was one of the winners of Sundress Publications’ 2020 Best of the Net Anthology. She can be found online at or on Twitter @kbcarle.

STORY IMAGE CREDIT: Flickr Creative Commons/littleghoti/Flickr Creative Commons

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