Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Senseless Destruction

The Game Show of Product Elimination
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
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"Our next contestant is a Ms Joan Smith from Schenectady, New York. Now tell us, Rod, what will Ms Smith be playing for tonight?"

"A new car!

[crowd cheers loudly]

This 2006 Chevrolet Corvette has a Small-Block LS7 engine rated at 505 horse power, plush interior, several windows, at least four wheels, and California Emissions!"

[more cheering]

"That's fantastic Rod, what do you think, Joan, are you excited?"

"Yes I am, Bob!"

"Are you ready to play?"

"I sure am!"

[crowd cheers]

"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 correctly, you win a chance to have a go at that fabulous car. Now Rod, what is our first product?"

"Bob, our first product is Flea-nuke, the original thermonuclear flea removal product for dogs and cats. Remember, for 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 $8.76"

"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 separately!"

"Joan, how much is the Annie Hall playset?"

"Bob, I'll guess $11.99"

[more cheering, more nervous murmuring]

"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, the 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 Headorroid L!"

"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. Joan?"

[the crowd starts yelling out disparate advice, Joan looks around, glances back at the price tags, looks back at the audience, takes a step toward the products, then stops]

"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 the 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 Annie 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 Joan Joan]

[Bob flips the price for the Headorroid L] "Joan, I have good news. The Headorroid L *is* $8.76."

[the audience loudly chants Joan Joan 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 game show.

JakePatterson, Mar 26 2006

BBC Top Gear: Toyota Hilux (.ram) http://www.bbc.co.u...prog28/toyota.shtml
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 love that show.
migennes, Mar 26 2006

       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 collided.
JakePatterson, Mar 26 2006

       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.
migennes, Mar 26 2006

       BTW, loved your description. Very descriptive.
migennes, Mar 26 2006

       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?
jutta, Mar 26 2006

       If you lose, they put you in the car.
Cuit_au_Four, Mar 26 2006

       [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.
JakePatterson, Mar 26 2006

       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.
jutta, Mar 26 2006

       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.
JakePatterson, Mar 26 2006

       I don't like the idea, but I am compelled to give a croissant because of the description.
DarkEnergy, Mar 26 2006

       What if Joan had gotten all three prices correct?
migennes, Mar 27 2006

       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
madfishsam, Mar 27 2006

       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.
notmarkflynn, Mar 27 2006

       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 dynamite.
JakePatterson, Mar 27 2006

       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
zeno, Mar 27 2006

       //What government taxes prizemoney?// The US, for one.
Laimak, Mar 28 2006

       //What government taxes prizemoney?//   

       One that it occurs to.   

       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?
egbert, Mar 28 2006

       How does the show procure the to-be-destroyed prize products?
bristolz, Mar 28 2006

       //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?"
Zimmy, Mar 28 2006

       [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 future.   

       [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.
JakePatterson, Mar 28 2006


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