Thursday, August 21, 2014

Story 46: Do You Have What It Takes?

Set up is a typical game show – one podium to the left, three to the right, and bright colors everywhere.  The breathless host runs from the back to make her entrance.
Host: Welcome, folks, to another installment of – (Points to the audience)
Audience: “Do You Have What It Takes?”!
Host: That’s right, the show where we invite everyday people here so we can judge in the court of public opinion whether they would make good parents, or whether they really shouldn’t inflict their spawn upon the Earth.  Now that our new viewers are caught up, please welcome our first wannabe parents, Janet and Tom!
(A bland-looking couple enters and they take their places at the podiums at the right while the Host goes to stand behind the one at the left.  She reads from index cards)
Host: Now, Janet, I understand that you actually have had five children already?
Janet: Yes, but this would be my first with Tom.
Host: And Tom, you already have seven young`uns of your own, correct?
Tom: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……………
Host: Great!  Here’s the first question: you’re at a party and all your children are there mixing with strangers.  Do you: A – Ensure that each one of you keep an eye on all your children at all times; B – Enlist a childless adult who has seemingly nothing to do to keep account of your offspring; or C – Let the older kids watch the younger ones while you two go off and enjoy yourselves?
Janet: (Hits the buzzer) C!  The oldest one’s 10 and does fine, and Tom and I have lives of our own, you know!
Tom: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………….
(The sound of a wrong buzzer)
Host: I’m sorry, the correct answer was A.  And Tom and you need to knock it off.  You can go now.  (They are escorted out by Security)  Our next contestants: John and Ryan!
(The couple enters and they stand at the podiums; one of them is typing on his phone)
Ryan: (To John) Would you put that away now?
John: I will when I’m done.  (Types some more and pockets the phone)
Host: Moving along, it says here that you two are both high-ranking businessmen who work 80-hour weeks.  Your question is in the form of a scenario: your 7-year-old child is sick in school for the third time this year.  The principal’s office calls, and both of you are at work.  Who picks up Junior?
John: (Hits the buzzer and points to Ryan) He would!
Ryan: I knew it!  You always dump everything on me, you’re so selfish, it’s always your career, what about my career – ?
Host: Thank you!  Come back when you’ve solved that age-old dilemma.  (They are escorted out by Security, still arguing) Our next contestants: Rachel and Mark.  (The two enter with another woman, who stands at the third podium) Who’s this?
Mark: Our au pair.
Host: For when you have a baby?
Mark: Oh, we’ve needed her for years.
Host: I see.  You have an essay question: your child has been caught stealing, red-handed.  When questioned, the response given is, “I felt like it.”  What should the punishment be and what steps taken to ensure child never feels inclined to do this again?
(Rachel and Mark look at each other)
Rachel: (To the au pair) Uh, Shelley?
Shelley: (Hits the buzzer) Administer 50 lashes of the strap and withhold food for a week.
Host: Thank you!  Please leave – all of you.  (They are escorted out by Security) We have time for one last round – please welcome Leslie and Lesley.  (The Leslieys enter) Now, I’m told that you two have been arrested at different times and simultaneously for disturbance of the peace, shoplifting, public intoxication, trespass, assault, and being a general nuisance?
Leslie: So?  We’re out now.
Lesley: Jeez, everybody’s always on our case!
Host: Can’t imagine why.  Your question is this: your child complains that no one likes him and they call him a bully.  Do you: A – take a long, hard look at what horrible people you are and make amends, or B – fight everyone who calls you out for being all-around a-holes?
(Both hit the buzzer)
Leslie: B!
Lesley: What kind of a stupid question is that?  We’re surrounded by idiots, hon – our kid’s gonna take what he wants, when wants, and there’s nothing any of you losers can do to stop us!
Host: Officers – arrest these two before they spread more of their awfulness across the planet!  (The two are escorted out by Security) Folks, that’s all the time we have for today.  Please join us tomorrow in this important public service as we play “Do You Have What It Takes?”.  And please, for the sake of humanity, realize when the answer is “No”.


  1. Very true and to the point. The scary part is we all know people like this.