I have returned from the lands of my childhood: the Midlands. With me I’ve brought six crates of my old books, reclaimed from storage at my parents’ house, a new water pump in the engine of my car, and a stinking cold—thank you, Maisie and Sam, you cute little bundles of virions.
Naturally I took the opportunity of watching your primitive Earthling entertainment: television. Deal Or No Deal?: what is that about?! No skill, no quiz, no plot. According to a post up on Harry’s Place at the moment nearly four million Britons sit down to watch it every day. Its “concept” has been franchised across the World. (My dad says that in the US version women in bikinis hold the boxes around which the show revolves; in the UK version ordinary punters look after them.)
Here’s my idea for a planet-conquering gameshow format: Cash Or Splash? There are two rooms. I stand in front of the closed doors that lead to them with the contestant. (The lucky candidate is chosen from the studio audience by pushing ten randomly chosen ticket-holders into an earth pit, tossing down a Swiss Army knife, and waiting for one to emerge victorious with the blood of his cohorts upon his bruised fists.)
I ask the contestant to choose one of the doors. Then I fill up half-an-hour of air time taunting him with the possibility that he has made the wrong choice. Finally I open the door selected and the contestant enters to discover either one million pounds in used fivers or a large salmon on a bed of ice granules. If he has chosen the fish then the contestant must stand still while I smack him about the jaw with it. Phone this premium number now to win your chance to be stabbed in the spleen with a can opener attachment!