Quandries Unplugged: The Comps Episode
A philosophical game show by Thorin N. Tatge

CHARACTERS

HOST1: A typical charming game show host.  Starts out bashful.
HOST2: An over the top game show host.  Melodramatic and cheesy.
DEATH
AMY ANTAGONIST
 

HOST1 enters, bounces the two green balls, sets them aside, and addresses audience.
HOST1: Welcome, welcome!  Well actually, youíre just welcome.  I donít know why I said it twice.  I must be not only nervous, but also rather nervous.  Ahem.  Welcome, professors, friends, family and fellow students, to my comps presentation.  Please help yourselves to the cheese and crackers and juice and cookies and brownies and sandwiches and pizza and soda and fruits and cream and scones and coffee and celery and cake and marinated cod and boysenberry strudel and angelfood cake and chocolate danishes and fritters and rutabaga crumble and tuna surprise and fritatas and parfaits and browniesówait, damn, I already said brownies.  Fuck!  Iím gonna fail now, I know it!  Please donít fail me!  I didnít mean it.  You only have to have one brownie.  No!  You donít need to have any if you donít want to!  Donít feel coerced or anything!  Okay, anyway.  Iíd like to thank you all for coming to my comps.  As you probably know, all Media Studies majors taking the Glitzy Pomp concentration produce a game show for their comprehensive exercise.  So without further ado, letís open the curtains on Quandaries Unplugged: The Comps Episode!  Letís have a round of applause for our contestants!
HOST1 steps aside and claps for the CONTESTANTS as they enter.  The CONTESTANTS stand facing the audience.
HOST1: First, from the Show Me state of Missouri, itís Amy Antagonist!
AMY: Itís a pleasure, Host.  For now.
HOST1: Letís just skip introducing you and move along.  Next, from charming Macalester College, itís an alternate universe version of me!
HOST2 (shaking HOST1ís hand): I canít tell you how pleased I am to be here!  This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.  A unique, lifechanging experience like this only comes along once in a lifetimeóbut when it does, it changes your life.
HOST1: My god, do you always talk like that?
HOST2: Sorry, bud, but this is me.  I am who I am, what you see is what you get, and Iím not going to change.
HOST1: According to his bio, my alternate version was reared on a diet of nothing but cliches and food produced by sponsors.
HOST2: Plus the occasional product placement.  You know, you think you know yourself, and then you hear about yourself from somebody else, and it makes you sound like a totally different person.  You know what I mean?
HOST1: Absolutely not.  Moving on to the next contestant, thenÖ  Coming to us from the great Beyond, immortalized in countless elegies, legends and Terry Pratchet books, named the Person of the Millennium by the Onion newspaper, letís give a big Carleton welcome to Death!
DEATH: I greet you with the certainty of my will.
HOST1: So Death, this has been a pretty exciting year for you, hasnít it?
DEATH: I didnít come here to talk about work.
HOST2: Of course he didnít!  He came to win big bucks and exciting new prizes!
AMY: So tell me, why is it necessary to say the prizes are ďnewĒ?  Do game shows usually give away used products?
HOST1 (bored): No, itís necessary in order to complete the phonetic meter of the sentence.  ďBigĒ mirrors ďbucksĒ and ďexCITingĒ mirrors ďnew PRIZes.Ē  So anyway, Death, I understand youíve just taken on a new job?
DEATH: Thatís right.  Iíve signed on to Carletonís Wellness Center.  Iím going to be working as a Student Wellness Advisor.
HOST1: That sounds like a conflict of interest.
DEATH: What do you mean?  Do you think I want people to die?  It just means more work for me.  Iím all in favor of funding anti-aging research.
AMY: Are you saying you donít get paid on commision?
DEATH: Um...
HOST1: Can we move on?  Our last contestant, whoís just offstage, hails from the Crumbling Castle in Grathenorís secluded Upper Village.  Letís all have a round of applause for Mr. Postulate!  (Claps, waits for applause)  Öwho may or may not exist.
HOST2: These twenty-two contestants, working together in teams of two, will compete in a grueling race around theó
HOST1: So thatís it!  Thatís why youíve been talking this way!  Youíve been working the Reality game show sector!
HOST2: Thatís where the money is these days.
AMY: But itís led to your being wildly inaccurate, making statements that have no bearing on your actual surroundings.
HOST2: When youíre under the wire, everything changes.  You have to question your assumptions.  In this game, nothing is what it seems.
HOST1: Whatever.  Anyway, todayís theme is the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles!  Central to the concept of identity itself is whether two objects which have every property in common are necessarily the same thing.  Weíll be assuming this principle is true and giving you pairs of objects.  Your job is to identify some property one has which the other doesnít.  You get ten points per correct answer.  Ready?
DEATH: I am prepared.
HOST2: All set!
HOST1 (pointing to the balls): All right, then.  Letís start with these green bouncy balls.  Who can name some property that one has which the other doesnít?
(Long pause.)
AMY (pointing cautiously): UmÖ One is over there, but the other is over there.
HOST1: Very good!  Ten points for Amy!  Next pair.  What property can distinguish a jailor from a jeweler?
HOST2: Oh, I know this one!  One sells watches, while the other watches cells!
HOST1: Correct!  Ten points for Me!
AMY: Oh, Iím getting the hang of this.
HOST1: All contestants ready?  What property can distinguish a Mercedes Benz full of lawyers from a porcupine?
AMY:  I know!  A porcupine has pricks on the outside.
HOST1: Excellent!  Ten points to Amy, bringing her up to twenty!
AMY: Iíve got a question for you, mister Host man.  Why do we get ten points for each correct answer, instead of just one?  This way thereís no possible way we can get a score thatís not a multiple of ten.  Whatís the point?
HOST2: This is America, Amy.  In America, we do things big.  If that means extra zeroes on the end of all our numbers, so be it.  No bizarre Pac-Man-like creature who eats zeroes will ever starve to death in the great country of America.
DEATH: That is for me to judge.
HOST1: Quiet, all of you!  Tradition, Amy, itís just tradition.  But that brings us to our next questionówhat is the difference between the natural numbers and the positive multiples of ten, if the only arithmetic operations defined are addition and subtraction?
AMY: UmÖ the heft of them?  The feel of them?
DEATH: Their souls.
HOST2: Their marketability?
HOST1: Wrong, wrong and wrong.
AMY: If Mr. Postulate were here, heíd know.
HOST1: Was that a postulation about a postulate?  Well, since heís just a postulate to begin with, we might as well postulate that he did know!  Ten points for Mr. Postulate.
AMY: How is that any different from just saying no one got the question right?
HOST1: Maybe itís not.  Just because two scenarios are identical doesnít mean we canít have different names for them.  Now thenÖ whatís the difference between a fish and a bicycle?
DEATH: Bicycles canít swim.
HOST: Youíre on the board!  What property discerns a food inspector from a census taker?
AMY: One surveys produce; the other produces surveys.
HOST1: Correct!
DEATH: That was awful.
HOST1: Oh, if you think that was awful, wait til you hear the next forty of them.
DEATH: Okay, I think thatís about enough of that.  Host, Iíve got a question for you.  Have you been getting enough Vitamin A in your diet?  Vitamin A is a good source ofó
HOST1: What does that matter?  Are you being a crazy SWA again?
DEATH (advancing ominously): Itís been clinically proven that ten gallons of red wine a day can actually cure cancer.  The only side effect is rigor mortis.
HOST1: Get back!  Go back to your place!
DEATH: This weekís SWA tip: Blowjobs.  Have you given your significant other a blowjob lately?  if not, you may be missing out on a valuable opportunity to objectify your relationship.  Studies show tható
AMY: Thatís enough!  (Grabs a green ball and tosses it at DEATH.)
DEATH: OW!  That hurt!
HOST2: The truth can hurt, my friend.  Thatís what these nine couples learned when they applied to be systematically and socially dissected, studied, and overanalyzed from a position of relative ignorance by the internet community.  That, and hit by rubber green balls.  Here, on Humiliation Island.
HOST1: Thatís it!  Go away!  All of you!!  Get lost!  You all lose!!
DEATH: I havenít claimed your eternal essence yet.
HOST1: You didnít get to the stupid bonus round, idiot!  Now scram!
AMY (leaving): Yeah, whatever.  You better come to my comps talk, loser.
HOST1: Dream on, Amy.  Oh, and donít forget to take some food with you when you leave!  (To audience)  Uh, thank you, everyone.  I hope youíve enjoyed my presentation.  I think that my conclusions are sufficiently strong to render further work in this field unnecessary.  Long live academia, and goodbye from all of us here ató
EVERYONE: Quandaries Unplugged!
The End.