This is a series of brief and simple stories that I’ve decided to do alongside my more involved work. This will be a bit different to anything that’s gone before but I hope you’ll enjoy it. It’s inspired by some of the early NHP votes on people with unpopular professions (e.g. tax inspector versus wheel clamper). While those votes resulted in mostly male gungings, it’s a great premise for a gunging and an opportunity to mess up some women in uniform.
Note that the contestants taking part in this are fictional characters and the photos are stock images.
Sian Welby strolls into camera shot in a large warehouse type studio. The audience applauds heartily.
Sian: Thank you, thank you! Welcome, to this brand new show called Comeuppance!
Sian: This is the show that punishes the zealous, the officious, and the unscrupulous. This is the show where Public Enemy Number One gets a head-to-toe dunking in some seriously nasty gunge! This is the show where you, Joe Public, bask in your moment of revenge!
The audience cheers in approval.
Sian: We have three representatives of different professions facing judgement tonight. You will vote on who should face a comeuppance, by being plunged into this – the Mucky Dip!
Sian gestures to a giant cylindrical vat with the Comeuppance logo on the side. The camera angle is too low to see what is inside, but dry ice billows over the top. Above the vat, a chair is suspended by cables.
Sian: Believe me folks, you don’t want to see what is in there! And you don’t want to know what it smells like either – pwff!! [Waves hand in front of nose as audience laughs]. But one of our three contestants will be going in there tonight – let’s bring them on to face judgement!!
The budget airline check-in clerk
Sian: Our first contestant is Yasmin. She’s 26, from Manchester, and for the past 5 years she’s been a check-in clerk for a budget airline who shall remain unnamed.
The audience boos as a cage is wheeled on with Yasmin inside.
Sian: Now Yasmin, I’m sure many viewers are familiar with this scenario: they’re going on holiday, they turn up at the airport all excited, only to get walloped with a huge charge because their bag is a kilo overweight or they’ve printed the wrong piece of paper. Spending money gone, holiday ruined. What do you have to say for yourself?
Yasmin: [Smiles with gleaming teeth] Well Sian, I’m very sorry if people can’t read the rules before they turn up, but regulations are there for passengers’ own safety. We don’t want our planes falling out the sky because everyone has taken an extra bottle of duty-free on board.
Sian: And what does charging someone eighty quid for forgetting to print their boarding pass have to do with safety?
Yasmin: I’m not here to argue, Sian. It’s very simple: do you want to fly today, or don’t you? Oh, you do? Then please insert your credit card.
Sian: Whew! With an attitude like that, you may be the one flying – straight into our Mucky Dip! But before we condemn Yasmin here, let’s meet our other contestants; they may be even worse!
The Traffic Warden
Sian: Our second contestant is Tanya. She’s also 26, from Nottingham, and she’s been a traffic warden for four years.
The audience boos as Tanya is wheeled on in a cage.
(Yes, I know it’s a police hat she’s holding. Use your imagination.)
Sian: Now Tanya, I have a bone to pick with you. Last week, I was three minutes late getting back to my car and one of your colleagues slapped a £70 parking fine on my car. Seventy pounds!! For just three minutes!
Tanya: [Folds arms unsympathetically] Rules are rules, Sian. It may be three minutes this time, but what if it’s three hours next time? Law-abiding motorists appreciate my work in keeping our streets clear, so I’m confident I won’t be going anywhere near the gunge. [Gestures to the Mucky Dip] By the way, have you got a permit to park that thing here? No tax disc either. [Starts writing in a notebook]. I’ll need to make a closer inspection.
Sian: Fear not Tanya – with luck you’ll be treated to a very close inspection later! Oh, and nice try bringing your hat with you, but you won’t be wearing it if you go to the Mucky Dip! Now, let’s meet contestant number three.
The telesales operator
Sian: Our third and final contestant is Sandra. She’s 28, from Swansea, and she’s been in telesales for six years.
The audience boos as Sandra’s cage is wheeled on.
Sian: Now, Sandra. Call me common-sensical, but when I want to buy something, I go out to a shop and buy it. I don’t wait for someone to hassle me over the phone at 7:30 pm when I’m sitting down to dinner with my family!
Sandra: Ah, but what about the things you don’t know you want to buy? Like that double glazing, for instance?
Sian: [Confused] What double glazing?
Sandra: Exactly! You don’t know that you want it, so you need me to phone and tell you.
Sian: But I don’t…
Sandra: [Yatters with a saccharine-laden voice] Buy the downstairs, get the upstairs free! And we’ll throw in a five year warranty too. May I call you back at midnight, Sian? Is it ok to call you Sian, or do you prefer Ms Wel…
Audience boos Sandra into silence.
Sian: [Gives a bemused look to the camera]. Now ladies, let me explain how this will work. The general public will vote on which of you should face a comeuppance. Whoever of you gets the most votes will be up in that seat by the end of the night, to face some seriously slimy justice!
Yasmin smiles more nervously than usual. Sandra cringes slightly. Tanya puts her hands on her hips and pouts.
Sian: But be warned, whoever of you comes second in the vote won’t be out of the woods either. You’ll go forward to the next episode, to face judgement again alongside two new contestants. Only the person with the fewest votes will walk free, carrying this Jammy Dodger trophy! [Sian holds up a cheap-looking award]. So folks, this is your opportunity to give one of our contestants a richly-deserved comeuppance in our Mucky Dip. Will it be Yasmin, the check-in clerk who loves to penalise overweight baggage? Will it be Tanya, the traffic warden who gives no leeway? Or will it be Sandra, that annoying telesales operator who pesters you in your own home? You decide!
The poll will run until the end of New Year’s Day. There will be an update segment at some point mid-week. Multiple voting is allowed in this vote, but you can only vote once every 12 hours.
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