h a l f b a k e r y
Expensive, difficult, slightly dangerous, not particularly effective... I'm on a roll.
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"Our next contestant is a Ms Joan Smith
from Schenectady, New York. Now tell
Rod, what will Ms Smith be playing for
"A new car!
[crowd cheers loudly]
This 2006 Chevrolet
has a Small-Block LS7 engine rated at
horse power, plush interior, several
at least four wheels, and
"That's fantastic Rod, what do you think,
Joan, are you excited?"
"Yes I am, Bob!"
"Are you ready to play?"
"I sure am!"
"Well, Joan, what we have here are three
common products that you might find in
you neighborhood supermarket, and five
price tags. All you have to do is match
each product with the correct price tag,
and for each one that you match
you win a chance to have a go at that
fabulous car. Now Rod, what is our first
"Bob, our first product is Flea-nuke, the
original thermonuclear flea removal
product for dogs and cats. Remember,
your flea nuking needs, accept no
substitute. Always look for the glowing
blue box, Flea-nuke, the *original*
thermonuclear flea removal product for
dogs and cats!"
"Joan, tell me, do you think that the Flea-
nuke is $10.99, $11.99, $7.77, $4.50, or
"Bob, I think it is $10.99"
[mixture of cheering and nervous
murmuring from the crowd]
"Rod, the next item please!"
"The second product is the Annie Hall
action figure playset, perfect for the
children. Includes Alvy Singer, neurotic
new york comedian, Rob and Allison,
Duane Hall, and of course, the title
character, Annie Hall. Your culturally
literate son or daughter can reenact the
famous Duane Hall driving
scene, car sold
"Joan, how much is the Annie Hall
"Bob, I'll guess $11.99"
[more cheering, more nervous
"Rod, what is our last item?"
"Bob, our final item is a package of
Headorroid L, the only one application
hemorrhoidal cream that is applied
directly to the forehead. Headorroid L,
only one application hemorrhoidal cream
that is applied directly to the forehead.
Headorroid L, the only one application
hemorrhoidal cream that is applied
directly to the forehead."
[the crowd goes silent]
"Now Joan, tell me the price of the
"Bob, I, I, think it is, um, $8.76"
"I will just place that price tag next to the
Headorroid L, and now I will give you one
last chance to change those tags if you
think you might have made a mistake.
[the crowd starts yelling out disparate
advice, Joan looks around, glances back
the price tags, looks back at the
takes a step toward the products, then
"No, Bob, I think I've got it right!"
[the crowd cheers]
"Alright Joan, let's see the actual price of
the Flea-nuke!" [flips a door, revealing
price] "Oh no!, Joan, the Flea-nuke is
really $7.77. That's not the right answer!
Don't worry Joan, there are still two more
left..." [flips the door for the Annie Hall
playset] "Joan, we're in trouble. The
Hall playset is not $11.99. It's really
$10.99. I know this is a disappointment,
but there is still one more chance..."
[the audience starts chanting Joan Joan
[Bob flips the price for the Headorroid L]
"Joan, I have good news. The Headorroid
[the audience loudly chants Joan Joan
"Joan, you know what you have to do
now. You got one price right, so you now
may make one choice from our three by
three grid here, and that choice will
determine the fate of that beautiful
Corvette. Behind one of the numbers is
Ten Swings with a Sledge Hammer,
behind another is the Dynamite, and
behind a third number is the crowd
favorite, the Trebuchet! All other
choices yield nothing at all, so be sure to
pick a good one. This is a verrrry
important choice here, Joan, give me a
number from one to nine."
[Joan looks at the audience. people are
yelling different numbers, she looks left
and right, pauses, and then...]
"I choose lucky number seven, Bob"
[the crowd cheers]
"Let's see what's behind lucky number
seven!" [bob looks behind number seven]
"Joan, it's a good one!" [he flips it over]
"It's the Trebuchet! Rod?"
[the audience cheers uncontrollably, Joan
starts jumping up and down]
"Bob and Joan, the Trebuchet was a
mediaeval siege weapon, but this one is a
modern technological marvel.
Constructed of all carbon fiber, with it's
heavy depleted uranium swinging
counterweight, it can hurl a 3132 pound
object up to two miles! Bob?"
"Joan, you have won the right to unleash
the power of this fantastic machine, the
Trebuchet, on that other fantastic
machine, the Corvette. Are you ready?"
"I certainly am, Bob!..."
What we have here is a game show,
called Senseless Destruction, where
contestants play for the opportunity to
destroy various valuable prizes, like cars,
bedroom sets, etc., basically, the types of
prizes given away on The Price is Right.
Methods of destruction would be things
like the trebuchet, the solar concentrator,
dynamite, angry elephants, the chainsaw,
ten swings with a sledge hammer, things
like that. The methods of destruction
would be chosen to be appropriate for
the prize in question, for example, the
chainsaw would probably not be all that
satisfying against the car. When a
contestant wins, they get to destroy the
prize using the methods of destruction
that they have won access to, if a
contestant uncovers ten swings with a
sledge hammer, and the solar
concentrator, they can take their ten
swings, and then incinerate the prize in
the solar concentrator. If they fail to
uncover any methods, then they lose,
and go home empty handed without
having had the pleasure of destroying
anything on national television. I envision
a wide variety of pricing games, like on
The Price is Right. I think it would be
deliciously ironic to watch a person on a
game show behave just as
enthusiastically as they do on The Price is
Right, except instead of being based in
greed and avariciousness, the
enthusiasm would be about wrath and
lust for violence. An important aspect
here is that the contestant under no
circumstances would take permeant
possession of the prize, even in its
destroyed form. This avoids the high tax
bill that one would have to foot upon
winning something like a car on a regular
BBC Top Gear: Toyota Hilux (.ram)
British car testing show's episode that was devoted solely to repeated attempts to destroy a single pickup truck. Having it washed away, setting it on fire, dropping things on it, driving it against things, ... [jutta, Mar 26 2006]
||Ever see Distraction on Comedy Central? When the last game show contestant has won their prize(s), they have one last round of questions. For each one they get wrong, something happens to the prize. Sometime it's a car and the losers get to smash in headlights or dump paint on it, etc. Sometime the poor winner has to choose a number, and whichever prize has that numbers gets blown up.
||I haven't watched Distraction in a long
time, but now that you mention it, I do
remember that. What really inspired
Senseless Destruction, though, was a
recent Nova episode on the Trebuchet,
and some people who were attempting
to build one to mediaeval specs, with
only mediaeval methods of
construction. I got to thinking, how
awesome, or rather, what would the
limits of a Trebuchet be if you used
carbon fiber, and other modern
materials. And then my mind wandered
to game shows, and the two memes
||Didn't they also build a trebuchet on Mythbusters? But they would have used older materials where possible.
||I think they used it to test the myth of flinging someone across the Mexico-U.S. border.
||BTW, loved your description. Very descriptive.
||That was the *Canadian*/US border. Don't you remember Kari dancing a little victory jig and shouting "I'm Ooot! I'm Ooot!"?
(This slight-of-border allowed them to tackle a racist tale for its technical impossibility rather than getting all political aboot it.)
||What's the difference between winning and losing in this game?
||If you lose, they put you in the car.
||[jutta], If they win they actually get to
operate whatever mechanism that they
have won the use of. So Joan Smith would
actually drive the Corvette up onto the
platform of the Trebuchet, get out, hook it
up, pull the lever, and watch it go.
||If they lose, they just go home, empty
handed, nothing gets destroyed.
||Ah. OK. I had the impression that the scene you describe had someone neither completely winning nor completely losing; I was expecting there to be something particularly spectacular that we didn't get to see this time around. And since you can only destroy something once - well, maybe not.
||Thanks, [jutta], sometimes the idea is
clearer in my head then it is in written
form, and the written form subsequently
fails to paint the same picture in the
reader's head that is in mine. I made some
minor edits to try to clarify it a bit.
||I don't like the idea, but I am compelled to give a croissant because of the description.
||What if Joan had gotten all three prices correct?
||they shouldnt tell the contestants that they are going to destroy the prize, it would be better to spring it on them at the end
||If Joan got all three prices right, they'd drive the car through rural towns, smashing mailboxes.
||This idea is awesome, with more than just some awe.
||To answer your question [migennes], If
Joan had gotten all three (or just two) of
the price matches right, she would have
been able to choose three (or two)
numbers from the three by three grid,
and she might have uncovered more of
the available destruction methods. If
she had three picks, it would have been
possible (1 in 84 chance) for her to have
gotten all three of the available
methods. She would have been able to
give the Corvette ten swings with the
sledge hammer before flinging it with
the trebuchet, and then she could have
blown up whatever was left with the
||he he, this is evil, he he, for some reason my keyboard will not let me type the big letters, AHA I FOUND IT! AND IT'S NOT capslock
||//What government taxes prizemoney?// The US, for one.
||//What government taxes prizemoney?//
||I don't care if this is baked, half-baked, or just slightly stale, I loved reading the post, and for that you get my croissant. In fact the inventiveness of the three products alone deserves another one. Oh, wait; <mumbles> UB, lend us a croissant, will you?
||How does the show procure the to-be-destroyed prize products?
||//How does the show procure the to-be-destroyed prize products?//
||blackmail? "Look, Sir, Nissan gave us a 'donation' nearly double of what you're offering. Do you really want to see a Corvette destroyed?"
||[unabubba] In the US, prizes on game
shows are considered income like any
other kind of income, so the winner
would have to pay income tax on the
value of the sportscar if it were simply
given as a prize.
||[egbert] Thanks! There were going to
be five ancillary products, but I thought
that would make the overall text too
long. The other two might make a
supporting appearance sometime in the
||[bristolz] Products would be procured in
the same manor as on The Price is
Right, that is, furnished by
manufacturers or dealerships as,
basically, product placements. If the
manufacturers weren't into it, well, I
think the whole thing could be done for
about the same budget as any other
prime time game show, even if the
products had to be purchased outright.
Just adjust the odds to be a little less in
the player's favor, and you won't have
to destroy something every time. Of
course, even then, you would have to
make sure you destroy at least one
thing every episode, even if it is only
dynamiting a toaster. Every episode
would have to have at least the
*possibility* of destroying something
on the order of a Corvette though.