'You could be set for life!' By Ramblin' Gamblin' Willie

Copyright 1985, 1986 by Gregory S. Swann. All Rights Reserved.
Direct inquiries to CIS I.D. 75115,1341.

'You could be set for life!'

By Ramblin' Gamblin' Willie

        At the end of a brassy overture, the sequined curtains parted and out
stepped Hunk Femflam, host of the hottest game show on video: 'Our Rich
Uncle'. "Hey!," he shouted.
        "Hey!!," the studio audience responded.
        "Oh ho!," Hunk continued.
        "Oh ho!!," the crowd replied. With enthusiasm.
        "Oh ho ho ho!"
        "Oh ho ho ho!!"
        "Hey, you're a great audience!" The crowd cheered its own proficiency
at crowd-ness. "And have we got a great show for you!"
        "Yahoo!," said the audience.
        "We've got it all, folks. The thrills, the excitement, the chance of
a lifetime: the chance to be set for life!"
        "Hurrah!!," the crowd enthused.
        "That's right, friends. =Millions= within your grasp! And all
you have to do to get it is..."
        "YES!," the mob demanded.
        "Put one over on..."
        "OUR...," Hunk shouted. The crowd roared. "RICH..." The roaring
swelled. "UNCLE!!"
        The sound of the cheering was deafening.
        "What a lineup!," said Hunk. "What a show! Folks, we've got it all!"
        "Let's have Don Barritone introduce our contestants, so we can
pull a fast one on..."
        "OUR..." Roar! "RICH..." Roar! "UNCLE!" Roar, roar!!
        "Well, Hunk," boomed Barritone from his echo chamber offstage, "our
first contestestant is a bricklayer and a thirty-second degree Mason. From
Bearded Rock, Idaho, greet Delmore Washburn!"
        The crowd cheered effusively for the tubby, grizzled man who lumbered
across the stage.
        "Next," said Barritone, "meet an anorgasmic-psychologist from New York,
New York, Wilma Jungel!
        The mob gushed for the prim looking dowager in the stiff white
blouse and pleated wool skirt.
        "And our third contestant, Hunk," Barritone continued, "has just
earned his doctorate in Advanced Social Studies. From Madison, Wisconsin,
welcome Spent Wearily!"
        A roar went up for the emaciated youth who shuffled out. He blinked
into the bright lights and scratched at his scraggly beard.
        "Hey, hey!," Hunk burst. "What a line up!"
        Roar! Roar, roar!!
        "Now you all know the rules," Hunk continued. "The object of the game
is to get Our Rich Uncle--" Hunk paused for the cheering "--to set
you up for life. Players compete by trying to trigger Uncle's Pity Meter.
Everyone starts with one thousand dollars, which Uncle takes back at the
rate of ten dollars per second. That means you have one hundred seconds to
trigger the meter before you go broke. The player with the highest dollar
amount when Uncle decides they've suffered enough wins!"
        Roar! Roar, roar, roar!!!
        "Isn't that simple? Let's play the game! Del, you're first. What is it
you're going to do?"
        "Well, Hunk," said Delmore, "first I'm gonna beat up on my wife,
then I'm gonna ridicule my kids until they hate me."
        Roar! Roar!
        "That's quite a stunt, Del. I don't think we've ever seen that one
on..." Roar! "OUR..." Roar! "RICH..." Roar! "UNCLE!" Roar, roar!! "Get your
wife and kids out here. Judges, give us one hundred seconds on the clock. Okay,
Del, go to it: you could be set for life!"
        Beefy Delmore Washburn slammed his wife a good one, right in the eye.
Her mousy blonde hair was instantly disheveled, and though she tried to
rearrange it for the cameras, I'm convinced it was the least of her
problems. He belted her again, this time in the stomach, then caught her with
an upper-cut while she was bending over. Mrs. Washburn was out cold. With sixty
seconds left on the clock, Delmore turned to his two scrungy youngsters.
        "If Del wins this stunt," Don Barritone announced, "he'll receive
lifelong benefits from Our Rich Uncle. Uncle will guarantee an income for him
and his wife, and his children will receive free psychological counselling
for as long as they want!"
        "Hey, Junior!," Delmore said to his son. "Do you know that when you
play that damned saxaphone it sounds just like when the cat got caught in
Dwight Miller's combine?"
        The crowd roared with laughter. Junior didn't seem too amused.
        "And, Sissy?," he said to the girlchild. "Is it true that that
boyfriend of yours has a boyfriend of his own?"
        ...maybe Sissy didn't get the joke.
        Off-stage a claxon sounded: "Blee blunh!"
        "Aw...!," the crowd groaned.
        "Oh, Del, I'm sorry!," said Hunk. "Your time has run out and you
failed to trigger Uncle's Pity Meter!"
        "But we are sending you away with some handsome consolation prizes.
Don, tell Del all about it!"
        "Well, Del, you'll get a year's supply of Uncle's Food Stamps, plus a
free root canal at the welfare dentist of your choice!"
        "Next up," said Hunk, "Wilma Jungle. Wilma, it says here that you're
an anorgasmic-psychologist. Just what does that mean?"
        "Vell," said Wilma. "Ve have found zat zertain anorgasmic women can
be taught to enjoy sex by playing a recording of autoerotica."
        "Hey!," said Hunk. "Who says you can't learn anything on TV?!? What
recording do you play?"
        "Ve have had good results with 'Jane Fonda Reads =Das Kapital='."
        "Oh... Well, Wilma, what are you going to do for us today?"
        "I am going to drive myself mad."
        "Hey, hey!," said Hunk. "Southern California is certainly the
place for that! Mad is about the only place you =can= drive yourself!"
        The audience laughed just as well as if they were on the payroll.
        "Well, Wilma, you'll only have one hundred seconds! Think you can do
it? Judges, one hundred seconds on the clock please."
        Wilma screwed her face into a grimace of intense concentration. In
the audience, the cheering swelled as the seconds ticked away.
        "If Wilma wins," said Don Barritone, "Uncle will provide her with
a lifetime's care in one of his sanitoria. She'll be free of all legal
responsiblility for her actions, and Uncle will protect her from any
criminal charges!"
        The claxon sounded: "Blee blunh!"
        Hunk said: "Time's up, Wilma. Are you insane?"
        "...I think I must be."
        "Oh, I'm sorry, Wilma! Our judges have ruled that if you're not
=sure= you're sane, you can't be insane!"
        "But Don Barritone will tell you about your exciting
consolation prize!"
        "Wilma, you won't go away empty handed. As a consolation prize, Uncle's
Legal Services Corporation will provide you with an all-expenses-paid lawsuit
against the multinational corporation of your choice!"
        "Spent, you're our last contestant," Hunk said. "Think you'll
con Uncle out of the Big Bucks?!"
        The stringy kid shuffled his shoes. "...no."
        "Ha!," Hunk chuckled, joined by the crowd. "What a sense of humor! What
are you going to do for us, Spent?"
        "...shoot myself."
        "Hey, hey, hey!! That sounds like a winner! But I remind you, if you
shoot yourself dead, you can't collect from Uncle. To pull this off, you'll
have to hurt yourself dreadfully, but not fatally. Think you can pull it off?"
        "Well, you'll have one hundred seconds to try! Judges, the
clock please."
        Roar, roar!! The crowd went wild. Spent didn't do much of anything,
just stared hatefully at the gun in his hand. The roar deepened as he raised it
to his temple.
        "If Spent wins," Barritone announced, "he'll recieve free
hospitalization, medical care, and Uncle's Supplemental Security Income!"
        Roar, roar!!
        "Ten seconds," said Hunk.
        "Nine!," roared the crowd. "Eight! Seven! Six!"
        Spent held the gun at his head with new resolve.
        "Five! Four! Three! =Two!="
        Blam! Spent shot the gun right through his skull. Behind him, the
Pity Meter leapt.
        Roar! Roar! Roar!
        "Hey, hey, hey!," Hunk exuded. "We have a winner!!"
        Roar, roar!!
        "Congratulations, Spent! You've put the screws to..." Roar! "OUR..."
Roar! "RICH..." Roar! "UNCLE!" Roar, roar!! "How do you feel?!?"
        Spent said, "Bluh..."
        "Perfect!," said Hunk. "Perfect! A vegetable, but not dead! You'll
soak old Uncle for a bundle!"
        "Hurrah!," the crowd cheered. "Yahoo!!"
        "Yes, Spent," boomed Barritone, "you're set for life! You'll never
again have to wonder where your next meal is coming from..."
        "That's right, Don. Because from now on, Spent's meals will be provided
by..." Roar! "OUR..." Roar! "RICH..." Roar! "UNCLE!" Roar, roar, roar!!!
"What a show!," Hunk enthused, pounding the spent Spent on the back. "Tune in
tomorrow for another exciting chance to pull a scam on..." Roar! "OUR..." Roar!
"RICH..." Roar! "UNCLE!" Roar, roar, roar!!! He waved to the crowd and the
cameras as the brassy band resumed its cacophony.
        Spent said, "Bluh.."

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