Comeuppance – Episode 7 introduction


Not Sian Welby

The show opens in a different studio to usual. It has the same features – most notably a cylindrical vat towering in the centre of the stage – but the layout and colour scheme are slightly different. A leggy dark-brunette of olive complexion struts out, clad in a short green dress. She beams as she laps up the enthusiastic applause.

Brunette: ¡Gracias, muchas gracias! Buenas noches y bienvenidos a este nuevo espectáculo – ¡Merecido!

The audience cheers.

Brunette: En este programa, tenéis la oportunidad de vengarse de aquellas profesiones que realmente os molestan. Cada semana, vamos conecer tres trabajadores muy impopulares, y vostros debéis decider, por votación pública, quien más merece un castigo humillante… ¡en nuestra “Mucky Dip!”

The scene switches to a close shot of Sian.

Sian Welby

Sian: Do not adjust your sets! We just wanted to give you a glimpse of our Spanish sister show, which started airing this week. [Winks at the camera] Spoiler: the matador got it!

The camera slowly zooms out to reveal Sian standing on the familiar stage with the Mucky Dip behind her.

Sian: But back here in the UK, it’s business as usual. We have three abhorrent professionals, millions of vengeful voters, and one very mucky punishment. I’m Sian Welby [spreads arms wide and throws back head] and this is COMEUPPANCE!!

The audience goes mental.

Sian: What a fab crowd we’ve got tonight! Let’s get straight down to it and meet the contestants!

The fashion vlogger
Sian: Back for another round of judgement is Princess Priscilla. She’s eighteen, from Derry, and as you’ll surely recall, she’s a fashion and makeup blogger.

The guards wheel on a cage containing Priscilla, who plays up to the camera while the audience boos and hisses.
Princess Priscilla

Sian: This is normally the part of the show where I ask the returning runner-up what they’ve been up to during the week, but in your case, Priscilla, there’s no need. You’ve spent the week making a deluxe-length vlog post about your experience on last week’s Comeuppance, and it’s already garnered over three million views. Must be raking in a nice bit of dough for you, huh?

Priscilla: Indeed it is, and my other videos have also had a big boost in views since my appearance. Still, the money never lasts long. Good clothes and makeup are expensive, you know.

Sian: About this video of yours – it’s 45 minutes long and mostly dull drivel, but there’s one part that caught my attention, [frowns] and not in a good way. Let’s play the clip.

The scene shows Priscilla at her dressing table, wearing a pale pink top and staring self-importantly into the camera.

Priscilla: …I had rated Sian Welby very highly for fashion-sense – she always looks chic on the Health Lottery – but on the occasion of meeting her in person I was rather disappointed. Sian was evidently trying to pull off a bright and breezy spring look, but the yellow tone of her dress clashed dreadfully with her hair, her lipstick was insipid, and as for those shoes… [sighs] well they have to go on Priscilla’s little list of celebrity faux pas, I’m afraid…

The clip fades out. There is a long “OooooOOOOooo!!” from the audience and a number of meows. Sian stands with her arms folded, glaring at Priscilla.

Sian: So what’s the meaning of this?

Priscilla: [innocently] Just my honest and well-considered review. You’re lucky to get free advice from someone with such refined taste. [Looks Sian up and down] I have to say, you and denim…

Sian: [growling] Not! Another! Word! I’ll tell you what a faux pas is! It’s wearing the most garish colours and foulest fragrances of the season from head to toe! Because that’s how you could be leaving us tonight, and I will gladly push the button if the public so will it, Princess!

Sian stomps off. Fear flickers on Priscilla’s face as she recalls the trauma of last week’s vote, but she maintains a sultry pose.

Sian: [Takes a deep breath] Well folks, I trust you’re itching to see this little madam make her big splash on the Comeuppance catwalk, but I’m duty-bound to introduce the other contestants and commend them for your consideration, so let’s press on.

The student union sabbatical officer
Sian: Our second malefactor is twenty-one-year-old Monique. She’s originally from Leeds, but currently she’s president of Larchester University Students’ Association – or LUSA for short.

The guards bring out a caged Monique to the customary Comeuppance unwelcome.

Sian: Monique is a sabbatical officer, meaning she’s suspended her studies for a year and is paid to work full time for LUSA, but I’m not convinced by what she has to show for it. Monique, there was a time when student unions concerned themselves with bread-and-butter issues such as accommodation, grievances with faculty, and most importantly, cheap beer! These days they’re bogged down with self-indugent gesture politics, tedious debates over semantics, and general neo-Stalinist lunacy. Lost the plot rather, haven’t you?

Monique: No, not at all Sian. I think it’s important that students engage and show solidarity with the wider world, and LUSA’s policies do that very effectively.

Sian: Well let’s have a look at those policies, shall we? You’ve banned virtually every televised sporting event from the union bar, because you deem one or other of the sponsers to be “unethical”. You’ve passed toothless motions condemning everything from emerald mining in Zanzibar to Donald Trump’s comb-over. And you have two women’s officers, but your constitution expressly forbids the instatement of a men’s officer, leaving half of the student body unrepresented!

A chorus of snorts and puffs emanates from the audience throughout Sian’s list.

Monique: Actually, cis-males make up 50.3% of Larchester’s student body, which goes to show what a priviledged and over-represented group they are!

Sian: [shaking her head] Point three percent, eh? That’s exactly the kind of pedantry I’m getting at! But I shouldn’t be too harsh on LUSA, because they do have some good policies. For example, the very reason you’re standing here in this cage is because a motion was passed mandating you to sign up for the show, right?

Monique: [ruefully] Yes, and it had the biggest turnout and majority of any vote in LUSA’s history!

Sian: I’m not at all surprised! Your fellow students all want to see you brought down from political cloud-cuckoo-land into something wet, cold and slimy, and they might well get their wish!

Monique grins with her tongue on her lip and shakes her head.

Sian: [turns to face the camera] No doubt many of you would like to see that too, but before you send Monique off for her re-education, please weigh up tonight’s third and final villain.

The nutritionist
Sian: Her name is Cara. She’s thirty-three and from Shrewsbury, where she has run a private diet and nutrition consultancy for the past nine years.

Cara is wheeled from the wings to join the other two cages on stage, greeted by the usual disapprobation.

Sian: Now Cara, I’ve always thought that our mothers and grandmothers had settled the question of healthy eating – a sensible balance of meat, carbs and veg, and the occasional sweet treat. Yet I can’t step into a bookshop without being confronted by some radical diet manifesto purporting to be the biggest gastronomic revolution since sliced bread!

Cara: I certainly wouldn’t recommend eating bread Sian, sliced or otherwise. Wheat is very bad for you! And I’m afraid that mother doesn’t always know best. Modern science is overturning conventional wisdom, and we nutritionists are here to rectify those age-old errors and improve people’s wellbeing through smarter nutrition.

Sian: [sharply] Actually, many medical experts say you push nonsensical fad diets that encourage extreme eating habits and have grave consequences for health!

The audience boos.

Cara: [icily] I don’t “push fad diets”, Sian. I develop carefully structured nutrition plans.

Sian: Really? Earlier I went on your website, and here are some of the “plans” you offer: the grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet, the detox diet, the retox diet, the breakfast diet, the Buckfast diet, the shrew and berry diet (guess that’s a special one for your locality), the Three Mile Island diet, the National Diet of Japan, and of course the current big alimentary craze – the Paleolithic diet!

Cara: Oh, no no no! The latest research shows the Paleolithic diet is extremely bad for you; the new Triassic diet is where it’s at!

Sian: And that’s another thing: the advice gets rewritten more often than an Orwellian newspaper! Last year’s miracle diet becomes this year’s poison, otherwise you lot wouldn’t make money flogging new books! Well guess what Cara, we have a diet that’ll work wonders for you! It’s somewhere between solid and liquid intake, and even though you may gain some weight during the process, the smell is guaranteed to suppress your appetite! It’s called the muck diet, and you could be on it very soon!

Cara raises her eyebrows and flashes a little coy smile.

Sian: [facing the camera and strolling forwards] So those are our three wrongdoers, safely under lock and key while they await judgement. Before the evening is out, one of them will be submerged in our Mucky Dip, hauled back out and left to dangle as a warning to others!

As the audience whoops, an overhead camera peers down over the colossal vat, but the dry ice fog obscures what lies within.

Sian: [looking up at the camera] You might not be able to see in there yet, but let me tell you, the pong is wafting down already and it’s none too sweet!

The scene reverts to the stage-level camera.

Sian: The only question is who will sit in that dreaded chair, a decision we leave in your capable hands. Appearing on your screen are the phone numbers for voting for your preferred comeuppancee. If you’re eager to give the vain and conceited Princess Priscilla [spits out the words] a mucky makeover, then you need to get dialling 0900 68259 01. If you want to teach militant Monique a lesson she won’t find in her university syllabus, then you should key in 0900 68259 02. Or if you’d love to see Cara the fad foodie eat her words and wash them down with bitter slop, then 0900 68259 03 is the number for you! Calls cost £1.50 plus whatever your service provider charges; it’s a bargain price for some seriously satisfying payback. See you all later!

Alternative poll link

The poll will close at 10 pm on Wednesday the 20th. You can vote multiple times throughout the course of the week, but only once every 12 hours.

About TG

Hunter of WAM media, author of WAM fiction, founder and administrator of the independent and community-led blog
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17 Responses to Comeuppance – Episode 7 introduction

  1. briff1es says:

    After the last episode I think many considered Princess Porcelain a shoo-in for the next dunking, but I’ve got to hand it to you – these three make for a *very* tough choice.


  2. P says:

    Wow, what an utterly vile, pathetic piece of writing. I’m sick to the teeth of women hating virgins writing on this website.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thewhitelady316 says:

      While I sympathise with having an issue with the whiff of women-hating that these stories can sometimes give off, your tone seems unnecessary. Do you think there was anything constructive in starting out with insults? Do you think ‘virgins’ is a reasonable insult to begin with, as someone who presumably hates patriarchal notions such as sexual conquest infers social success?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. sam says:

    Sake guys, been a supporter of this site and always championed the fact you guys do a lot of writing and keep it fresh with new ideas while sticking to your own thing with characters you are familiar with, but I’m with ‘P’ here.

    Can’t be arsed with this whole idea that feminists are uptight and should be ridiculed for it. I know it’s fiction and the reasons for gunging the other two characters in this episode aren’t exactly real world either. If this was a one off then fine but I’ve brought it up with you before and feel the need to again, it’s really bad patter. Grow up FFS.


    • A few points on this.

      1: If you don’t like it, don’t read it. If you are going to read it but don’t want the feminist character to get gunged, vote for one of the others.

      2: You lot are not the first group to have one of their own represented on Comeuppance. For example I’m a metal fan (a bassist and a vocalist no less) with a background in event security. Thus, I’ve had two characters in this series that I can “identify” with – the metal musician and the bouncer. I didn’t go “I’m offended that you’re inaccurately representing something I identify with, don’t make this story”. I actually voted for the metal musician (she did fairly accurately represent some of our culture’s cringiest elements after all) and sympathised with the bouncer. These are the kinds of reactions TG wants you to have. If you think she’s a poor representative of feminism, vote for her to get it. If you sympathise with her, see point 1.

      3: Ask yourself this. If there was someone who you disagreed with on social or political issues in this story, would you be okay with them being on it? If the answer is yes, congratulations, you’re a hypocrite. And because I know someone’s going to say “but Vanilla, what if someone you do agree with was on this, would you be okay with it?” I’ll answer that now: Yes, I would. Whether or not I voted for them would depend on a number of factors such as how they were written and who their opponents were. Good luck with caricaturing a centrist though.

      4: Criticism of feminism isn’t the same as woman-hating. Feminism does not have the monopoly on rights for women. If we accept the idea that feminism is the belief that women and men should have equal rights, egalitarians and humanists believe that too.

      5: As you said, none of the characters in this are realistic. They’re caricatures based on stereotypes held by people outside the group they represent, and the stereotypical feminist activist is uptight.

      6: What’s even offensive about the way that Monique’s portrayed here anyway? Monique’s actually pretty chilled out about the whole thing with Sian being the antagonist in their interactions. If Sian being a bitch is the problem, she’s like that to everyone. Why should Monique be an exception?

      7: Hi gungeblog. 🙂


      • Sam says:

        Hi Vanilla,

        Fundamentally disagree with all points except point 1. as I was encouraged to check out the story. And point 7.

        Cheers, gungeblog


        • Points 2, 4, 5 and 6 are based around facts, so you’re basically saying you disagree with reality. Frankly, the fruit is so low-hanging at this point I doubt it’s worth picking.

          As for point 3, let me get this straight. Karen Straughan is a woman who is opposed to feminism. If she (or someone like her) was on this, you’d be okay with that. However, Monique is a feminist, and because of that it’s not okay for her to be on this. What’s more, you don’t consider that a double standard in any way. Am I correct?


    • TG says:

      Well you know, that’s what the vote’s for. If you think Monique is being wrongly maligned, vote for one of the others to keep her out of the Mucky Dip.

      I didn’t even intend this to be an attack on feminism. The focus was student union politicians, in particular their petty authoritarianism, penchant for censorship, and immunity to tongue-in-cheek humour – traits that ironically you demonstrate very well yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

      • MessySoMessy says:

        I wasn’t going to comment at all on the drama, and I’ve no interest in arguing with anyone.

        But speaking as a student here, I’d just like to point out that in my opinion, I think TG has chosen a good candidate with realistic ‘crimes’. When I read it, I straight away thought about Student Unions and how Sabbatical officers sometimes come across as big headed. And how some, dare I say, go *mad* with power, especially around elections. It makes me want to see this character get her comeuppance…

        I believe that’s the idea with this series; cringe at the character about the profession and vote away. Didn’t once think any deeper about anti-feminism or anything.

        Loving the series by the way TG, I look forward to each weeks instalment – can’t wait to see the rest of this episode!


    • thewhitelady316 says:

      As the wam community’s resident up-tight feminist, my only issue is with Sian thinking that if 50.3% of the student body are cis-male, then cis-males are only over-represented by 0.3%. There could be other groups beyond just the remainder being cis-female. This oversight is an outrage! Talk about privilege!

      Now how do I vote for Sian? :p


  4. Henry Lee says:

    I was the one who put forward the idea of University Sabbatical officers not to start a debate about feminism and other social issues (although I was aware that such a discussion would probably be provoked) but because, frankly they often tend to be irritating, self-righteous and in possession of an unjustified sense of political grandeur.

    Also because a few years ago a uni used its Sabbs to demonstrate the STV voting system with a gunging for the ‘winner’. Of course a bloke got it and like with most ‘ones that got away’ I’m still bitter.

    I actually thought people would object to such a character because unlike most participants on Comeuppance, there are actually multiple examples of such people being gungees IRL.

    Finally, if people want to debate feminism etc, might I humbly suggest someone starts a thread in the Off Topic part of ECG? It’s easier to have such discussions on a forum rather than a blog or Twitter. I recently resurrected the World Events sub forum there with an EU referendum thread.


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