The segment opens with Sian standing in front of the Mucky Dip with the chair stationed beside her.
Sian: Hello again! You’re watching Comeuppance with me, Sian Welby! Tonight we have three stardom-seekers facing your very critical appraisal. Fashion vlogger Princess Prinscilla, not heavy metaller Veronica Pleasance, and mootable mystic Claire Voyant – all of them are chasing their fifteen minutes of fame, but who will be flung into fifteen feet of filth? The midway voting scores should give us an idea!
Sian strolls over to the cages.
Sian: Ladies, I have those all-important scores here. Claire, what percentage are you on?
Claire: [shrugs] How should I know?
Sian: Because, duh, you have psychic powers, right?
Claire: Oh right. Yes… well… it’s a number.
The audience bursts into laughter.
Claire: Errr, a number between zero and one hundred! [Sways her head to the right] It might be even. [Sways her head to the left] But it could be odd.
The audience jeers.
Sian: Blimey! Worth taking to a casino, aren’t you?
Claire: [crossly] I told you, the ambience is wrong! This cage – it’s channelling too much negative energy. You’ll have to let me out!
Sian: [laughing] You’ve gotta be joking! Well, seeing as Claire hasn’t got a clue, and I don’t suppose you two do either, I’m going to let you all sweat it out while we reveal tonight’s punishment. So without further ado…
The camera sweeps out over the audience.
Audience: LET’S PREVIEW THE GOO!!
The scene switches to the overhead camera, slowing rotating as it homes in on the circular opening of the Mucky Dip. Tonight’s muck is mainly a dirty off-white, criss-crossed with straight lines of green, blue, pink and yellow. In the corner of the screen, a box cycles through the reactions of the contestants. Even Veronica, trying to look rock-and-roll about it all, betrays a nervous disposition as the greyish-white mess looms large on the screen.
The scene switches to the rim-side camera. Undulating in snowdrifts, the gunk has a frothy, fibrous texture about it, like marshmallow fluff. For sure it is very sticky, sloping up the inner wall of the vat in a heavy layer. The coloured lines have a gooier, slightly translucent appearance.
Sian: Oooo, what an interesting one we have here! Almost looks like a confection, but don’t be fooled; it’s anything but sweet! Ladies, I hope you like Stilton and pickled onions, because that’s what it reeks of! Yeuuchh!! [screws up her face]
The caged women don’t look too amused by this information.
Sian: Oh they don’t like that, do they? Let’s see what they think of the voting figures. Here they come!
The audience cheers. Veronica raises her hands in a double devil-horns. Claire allows herself a small smile as she serenely runs a hand through her hair. The colour drains from Priscilla’s already pale features.
Priscilla: [in a weak voice] Is it too late to back out of this?
Sian: [walks over to Priscilla’s cage and stands smugly at the door] What’s the matter, oh Princess? Suddenly not so keen to have your mug on TV? Got cold feet? They’ll be even colder when you plunge into that muck, as will the rest of you!
Priscella leans forward in the cage with her head in her hands.
Sian: [strolling forwards again] Needless to say, it’s far too late for Priscilla or indeed our other candidates to back out, but there’s still plenty of voting time to go, and it’s possible things could change. After all, we still have the personal appeals to do. Ladies, you each have fifteen seconds to look into that camera and tell the viewers at home why you shouldn’t be dunked on your national telly debut. Veronica, as you’re in last place, you go first. Take it away.
Veronica opens her mouth and proceeds to growl, in a decidedly unladylike octave, sounding somewhere between the wind whistling in a haunted woodland and an ogre with a chronic stomach ulcer.
The scene switches to various bemused people in the audience.
The scene switches to Sian, frowning and mouthing something to an off-shot crew member, before switching back to Veronica.
The Klaxon bellows.
The audience look at each other confused for a few more moments, then remember they are supposed to boo.
Sian: Do you want some indigestion tablets, Veronica? Have you swallowed something that disagrees with you? Such as a small demon?
Veronica: [sweetly] I expressed everything I wanted to express.
Sian: I daren’t imagine what sound you’ll make if you actually go in the dip! Claire, maybe you’ll give us something less nonsensical, [mutters] though I wouldn’t put money on it. Your fifteen seconds start now.
Claire: [in a wishy-washy voice] I’m an Aquarian. You may think this bodes ill concerning wet things, but with the Moon aligned with Mars, and Sagittarius taking aim at Uranus, and Donald Trump rising in the west, it’s possibly certain that I’ll avoid—
The buzzer honks. The audience boos.
Sian: [sighing] I didn’t hold out much hope. Which brings us to Priscilla. Now sweetie, if you want that frock to stay remotely red, you better work some real charm here.
Priscilla: [looking anxious] This isn’t fair! I don’t disturb the peace like Veronica, nor con the gullible like Claire! I’m just a down-to-earth Derry girl – albeit with exquisite eyelashes and superior dress-sense. Your go-to guru for impeccable styl—
The Klaxon trumpets. Booing resounds to the rafters.
Sian: Hmmm. You haven’t really got this modesty thing sorted out, have you Princess?
Sian turns away, leaving Priscilla looking distraught.
Sian: And that concludes this segment. As things stand, Princess Priscilla is all set for a makeover she’ll never forget! But if you want to cut the kid some slack, you’ve got some voting to do! It’s a huge lead to overturn, but anything can happen on Comeuppance, and it’s you the public that makes it happen. Laters!
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