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How Far Will Reality TV Go?

By       Message Leni Matlin     Permalink
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"Hey, hey, hey, Bob, remember what it says in the contract you signed: good sportsmanship and no sore losers, and even though you won't be around, according to paragraph one hundred forty-two we can sue your wife and son for your breach of the rules. If you think they've got it tough now, we can put them on the street. Now Jimbo won fair and square, so you tip your cap to him and take your medicine like a man."

"Right, Tom. Sorry about that. I got a little carried away there. It's just that my son-"

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"Enough with the son already. It also says in the contract we can sedate you and our five psych techs are standing by ready to put you down if need be. Boys, say howdy to the folks at home."

Five burly men in white hospital uniforms wave and call out, "Howdy!" One holds a loaded syringe in his waving hand.

"You don't want to go out that way, do you, Bob? I mean if your son is watching, God forbid, you don't want him to see his daddy whining like a little baby wimp loser on national television. What kind of an example would that be to set for the youngster even if he won't live to be twelve?"

"Yes, of course, you're absolutely right, Tom. Billy, if you're watching, just go to bed, son, and remember I did this all for you. I love you."

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"All right, now that's much better. Our death squad, as we call them, who are professionals from Ossining Prison in New York, better known as Sing Sing, will take Bob away to meet his maker, but not before having to endure excruciating torment in the Iron Maiden. OK, boys, he's all yours."

Bob breaks down and sobs. Four bruisers in prison guard uniforms lead him away.

"You just hate to see a grown man cry, but that's the way the pasta congeals. So tell me, Jimbo, why did you pick the Iron Maiden for Bob's demise? Hanging or a firing squad would have been instantaneous and more humane, whereas the Iron Maiden will be a long drawn out affair, probably one of the worst exits imaginable."

"I thought it would be more entertaining for the viewers at home."

"It's nice that you can think of others at a time like this."

"And besides, Bob was right. I am a son of a-"

"Hold it right there, Jimbo, we have television codes we have to follow. And remember what it says about no profanity in the contract you signed. That could cost you serious cashola."

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"Sorry about that, Tom. Thanks for cutting me off and saving me some dough."

"Well, we can let that one slide, and besides, I appreciate your candor. I've just received word that Bob is strapped in the Maiden and they're ready to start screwing down the lid so those twelve inch spikes can do their job. We have microphones and video cams inside the Maiden so during our credit crawl our viewers who have the stomach for it can see and hear what happens in there."

"By the way, if Bob's family or anyone who knows him is watching, it's time to go channel surfing. That's our show for tonight. Tune in next week, same time, same channel, to see if we're still on the air or if the Supreme Court has pulled our plug. Till then, from all of us here to all of you at home..."

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Leni Matlin was born in NYC and attended Brooklyn College before moving to California in his twenties. For the better part of his adult life, he has worked as a musician (keyboards / vocals) and played in more bands then he can remember, while (more...)

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