January 29th, 2005

elongate politburo messianic strife

As long as we're straggling back in from Rabbit Hole Day ...

... let me toss out a quick Baxil's Greatest Hits post from the deep, dark past: An alternate reality that I'm sure as heck glad I haven't wandered into.

This is an idea for a hypothetical game show I fleshed out for a challenge for Antwon's "Survivorerer" (an on-the-cheap satire of the now-long-dead "Survivorer" parody of the popular reality show "Lord of the Flies: Grown-Up Edition") back in December 2000. It still seems fresh after four years, so heck, here goes nothing.


The game where EVERYONE'S a contestant!

The scene: A 1984-esque dark future of humanity. "Big Brother" really is watching you. A whole bunch of stuff is illegal. Maybe even more than today, but that seems physically impossible.

The show: "Welcome, citizens, to House Guests! Today's game will start shortly. The police squad is warming up -- let's go talk to them."

A short bit of taped footage showing cops arming in full riot gear and with fully automatic weaponry. "Who knows what we'll find today? Just last week, it turned into a shootout. And then there was that guy with the drug lab. You really live for excitement like that."

Back to the announcer. "And we're ready to roll! Today's lucky contestant lives in --" he opens a little envelope from his pocket -- "Guildenstern, Wyoming. Now, live and on camera, it's ... TIME TO KNOCK!"

WHAM. WHAM. BLAM! A shotgun blast sends splinters flying everywhere. BASH! An army boot kicks in the remnants of the door. "FREEZE! POLICE!" Two wide-eyed children jump up and down and shriek in joy. "We win! We win!" Their father looks like he's just wet himself.

The announcer does his typical voice-over, even though everyone knows the rules. "Once the inhabitants are subdued, the police have ONLY FIVE MINUTES to search the premises! It's going to be a race against time, folks. What will they find? That's one of the two things that determine just how fantastic of a prize today's contestant will take home. If he's good enough at hiding his wrongs, and honest enough to admit them ... he might even get ... the GRAND PRIZE."

Cameras frantically follow the policemen through the house. Every few moments, they hack objects apart with huge, official-looking axes. One policeman grabs the family cat and sticks a drug wand up its anus. "MRAOOW!" *beep beep* *beep beep* "It's clean."

"WAIT A MINUTE!" the announcer cries. "What's this? THEY'VE FOUND A BOOK ON CIVIL LIBERTIES IN THE HEATING DUCTS! Oh, that's going to hurt his chances. In order to win the grand prize now --" the camera cuts back to the studio, where a huge "thermometer" on the wall has just risen from "0-degree offender" to "7th-degree offender" -- "he's going to need to beat his Offender Rating by 10 points. That means ... he needs to show proof that he's responsible for an act of international terrorism. A tough nut to crack. We've only ever had two of those on our show."

"Of course," adds the announcer, "you also win a grand prize if the cops don't find ANYTHING in your house -- but admit it. Everybody's guilty of SOMETHING." He smiles disarmingly.

It's the moment of truth. The cops haven't found anything more incriminating than the book. The father is manhandled in front of the cameras. He's bruised, bleeding, and has an arm twisted behind his back, bent nearly in two. He also has a smile plastered, incongruously, across his face.

"Our search puts you at level 7, Mr. Binkles," says an offscreen voice. "How much more can you reveal? What sort of prizes will we be giving your family tonight?"

"I ..." he says, then goes for broke. His smile falls away, and he starts trembling. "The registration on my handgun is counterfeit."

"Wow!" the announcer's eyes bug out in the studio. "Firearm ownership AND forgery! Level 12! If we can confirm that documentation, that means the Binkles family will get a FIFTH PRIZE! Charley, tell them what that means."

"A two-day all-expenses-paid vacation to Happy Happy Fun Land, a new set of virtual reality vids for the children, and all charges against him will be waived!"

"Fantastic! Well, that's all the time we have for now. Join us in two hours as we continue our 'round-the-clock competitions, here on ...


(Note: All contestants are shot through the head right after the show ends.)
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