The segment opens with Sian standing in front of the Mucky Dip. Beside her hangs the meagre wire-mesh chair.
Sian: Welcome back to Comeuppance, where tonight we have budget airline check-in clerk Yasmin, tax inspector Nadine, and estate agent Victoria facing the nation’s ire! We’re about halfway through the period of voting to decide whose backside will fill this dreaded chair, and let me tell you, the phone lines are as hot as the gunge is cold!
Sian strolls to the area in front of the contestant cages.
Sian: Ladies, I have here the midway voting tallies, and we’ll take a look at them in a moment. But first, I thought you might like to see exactly what is waiting for one of you in the Mucky Dip. So without further ado, let’s preview the goo!
A bird’s-eye camera zooms in on the Mucky Dip, spinning slowly, while in the corner of the screen a small box cycles through the contestants’ faces, gauging their reaction as they watch on a monitor. The gunge is brighter of colour than in the previous episode, varying smoothly from sweetcorn yellow to pea green through every sickly shade in between, with the odd splotch of light blue providing contrast.
The view then switches to the rim-mounted camera, which gives a down-close view across the mire. The surface of the gunk is rough and irregular, undulating like the landscape of an alien world. The finish is matte and slightly crusted, a bit like custard that has been left out in the air too long.
In the inset box, the women look suitably horrified.
Sian: [pulls a face] Ewwww, doesn’t that look gross? And for the benefit of those watching at home, the aroma wafting out of there is a delicate blend of rancid cream and garlic – yucky yucky! What do you think Yasmin? Even worse than last week?
Yasmin: [with a squeamish look] Quite possibly.
Sian: Well it’s time to find out what the public think. The midway voting scores are as follows:
Victoria: Arrggh! No!!
Victoria gawps at the screens. Nadine visibly deflates with relief, while Yasmin flashes an edgy smile.
Sian: Quite a spread there. Nadine looking the safest and Victoria is right to be worried, but keep in mind we’re only halfway through. There’s plenty of time for things to change, and it’s possible everything could invert, especially after we hear the personal appeals. Ladies, you each have fifteen precious seconds to address the viewers and explain why it shouldn’t be you plunging into that horrid muck. Nadine, you go first.
Nadine: [looks earnestly into the camera] Funny, isn’t it, how no-one likes tax inspectors but everyone wants hospitals and schools. That stuff doesn’t grow on trees, and we make sure everyone pays their proper contribution. Not a penny more, not a penny le…
The klaxon sounds. There are a few boos from the audience.
Sian: Nifty pitch, Nadine. Now Yasmin, it’s your turn.
Yasmin: [impatiently]It’s a cheek that I’m even back here again and I certainly don’t deserve to be gunked. Folks, if you don’t want to be charged, make sure your baggage meets the specs. And print your bloody boarding pass at home! It’s not rocket sci…
The klaxon blares, accompanied by vigorous booing.
Sian: Hmmm, I don’t think they liked being chastised like that, Yasmin. You might regret that. Now, Victoria, you’ve got a non-trivial lead to overturn, so you’re going to have to sell this like it’s a three-bed semi. Off you go.
Victoria: [with a beseeching smile] Buyers and sellers are like men and women: different needs, different temperaments, but ultimately dependent on each other. I’m the matchmaker who brings love to the housing market. So why not show me some love and save me fr…
The klaxon blasts. Boos reverberate around the studio.
Sian: Victoria it was a clever pitch and I liked the romantic touch, but listen to that reaction. Maybe the estate agent charm has worn off!
Victoria frowns and shuffles in her cage.
Sian: [faces forward]. That’s it folks. The contestants have said all they can say, and so have I. Now it’s over to you to deliver your final verdict. Make your voice heard!
Poll stays open until the end of Sat 9th Jan, and you can vote once every 12 hours. Remember, this is a contest about which character deserves a comeuppance, not which model is the hottest. Just saying.