Anthea: Yes, I can dish it out as well as I can take it, be in no doubt! I’m Anthea Turner and this is the series finale of Comeuppance! We’re fast approaching the moment – the moment – when Miss Comeuppance herself, Sian Welby, gets hoisted by her own petard!
Anthea pats the infamous chair, which is suspended in front of the Mucky Dip ready for action.
Anthea: Thank you to everyone who voted in our two polls, both of which are now closed. Please don’t call; your vote won’t count and you may still be charged.
Anthea and the guards walk over to the cages. Sian appears the most fearful of the three occupants, but Judi and Sasha are also anxious.
Anthea: Sian, you can spend a little longer thinking how awful that Mucky Dip looked, because first it’s time to send one of this pair to the Sloppy Superwash! Though I havve to say, “wash” is a misleading term! Unlike previous votes there hasn’t been a score update, so we have no indication which way it will go. Judi, do you think your copyright corruption is going to catch up with you, and your sister will get the last laugh?
Judi: [firmly] No I don’t. As you said yourself, the last episode of the series is a time to turn the tables on the hosts, so the public will want to see Sasha get it.
Anthea: Hmm Sasha, Judi might have a point.
Sasha: Nah, I think she’s in for a shock. Her crimes are much worse than mine, and I reckon the public appreciate my services to this show.
Anthea: Well we’re about to find out, because the totals have been verified!
The lights dim and two intense spotlights illuminate Sasha and Judi.
Anthea: The people have spoken, and here is their verdict:
Anthea: A clear margin there. Take her away fellers!
The guards close in, but instead of hauling Judi out of the cage, they wheel the entire thing away.
Judi: Now think carefully about this! Did you get proper copyright clearance for those old clips you just showed, because I could make life very diff…
Anthea: Sasha, your colleagues are just over there off-stage, and there are some glum faces on them right now. You’ve got away it!
Sasha: Yep, they should know who’s boss. They’ll find out over the next few days when we dismantle the lab; I have some messy jobs to hand out!
Anthea: Oooh dear, I wouldn’t like to work under you! Sasha, it’s fitting that the final Jammy Dodger trophy of the series should go to someone of your stature. In ten years, when you’re an evil scientist plotting to enslave the world, it’ll remind you of your time here at Comeuppance.
Sasha: What do you mean? I already am an evil scientist plotting to enslave the world!
Anthea: I don’t doubt it. Ladies and gents, a round of applause please for Sasha Holdsworth MSc!
The spectators cheer and whistle as Sasha strolls off-stage to rib her colleagues. Anthea proceeds to the Sloppy Superwash, where Judi’s cage has been mounted to a rail at one end of the ride.
Anthea: Awww bless, the puppy-dog eyes! There are no heartstrings to be tugged here, Judi! [Leans in and adopts a hushed tone] However, if you’d prefer to avoid the mess, I’m willing to settle the matter out of court for a payment of £5,000.
Judi: [hopeful] Really!?
Anthea: Nah, only joking! This isn’t one of your letters! Besides, your sister would never forgive us if we let you off the hook. Trudi, come and join us!
Anthea: Not too close, Trudi; you still smell a bit from last week! Speaking of which, when you got said comeuppance, Judi laughed so much she almost wet herself! Now she’s at the entrance of our Sloppy Superwash with a week’s worth of Olive’s disgusting school dinners in front of her!
Anthea: This must be sweet revenge, eh?
Trudi: Ooh yeah! I’m a tad disappointed she won’t be going in the Mucky Dip, but this will more than suffice to shut up her bragging!
Judi pouts in response to this.
Anthea: Well Trudi, get a hold of that there lever. Judi, on behalf of everyone who’s been threatened by copyright trolls…
Anthea, Trudi and audience: HERE IS YOUR COMEUPPANCE!!!
With a huge grin, Trudi rips down the lever. The cage trundles forward, Judi holding the bars in front of her to aid her balance. The first port of call is a pair of revolving brushes. Although these don’t touch Judi directly, they flick against the sides of the cage, misting her with water.
Slightly damp, Judi enters the Superwash. Above her unsuspecting head a tank opens, showering her with egg. The white turns Judi’s hair shiny, her suit dark and her shirt see-through, while the unbroken yolks burst over her in brilliant streaks of yellow. A mocking chicken sound effect compounds her humiliation.
Judi wipes yolk from her face with disgust, but can barely recover before passing through the next tribulation. Two barrels upend inwards, unleashing an avalanche of baked beans. Judi’s clothes and skin are stained orange; beans pile on her head and shoulders. Trudi is absolutely loving this.
The cage comes to rest and Judi finds herself under a wide metal chute. A gloppy mixture of brown and yellow spews out, piling onto the cursing lawyer.
Anthea: Oh, it’s shepherd’s pie, a school favourite!
The shepherd’s pie keeps coming: copious mounds of semi-set mash and brown rivers of mince and gravy. Judi’s hair is plastered with the stuff and it runs down her face. No matter where she tries to stand in the cage, the chute follows her.
Eventually, the cage resumes motion, but hasn’t moved far when a huge pile of cabbage, swimming in green slime drops down on Judi.
Anthea: Ah yes, the stewed cabbage – who could forget that? Now Trudi, get ready with those condiments!
Trudi picks up oversized bottles of ketchup and mustard, and squirts the red and yellow at her unamused sister. Trudi then slings a bucket of coleslaw, getting the lumpy white mixture in Judi’s hair and face. She follows up with a bucket of pickle. Judi’s suit is a total wreck, but there’s yet more to come.
Anthea: We’re entering the pudding zone, and we’ve got some old school favourites! There’s bread and butter pudding…
A heap of soggy bread drops on Judi.
Anthea: …rhubarb crumble…
Sticky purple goo sprays from both sides, causing Judi to scream.
Anthea: …and the most feared of all: Olive’s special custard – thick ‘n’ lumpy!
A gargantuan urn looms above Judi. She puts her hands over head, but it does little good to stop the deluge that turns her canary yellow. By now Trudi is doubled up with mirth, slapping her thighs.
Anthea: Or maybe you’d prefer cream?
Plenteous amounts of white spray from all directions, turning Judi into a flapping snow-woman. The cage passes through another pair of revolving brushes, which are there for little more than show, and rattles to a stop. Trudi stands laughing and pointing. Judi wipes her face and returns a pout.
Anthea: She certainly got served her DMCA notice! And by the way folks, feel free to upload and download this gunging to your hearts’ content. Share it far and wide! Judi, are you going to cease and desist your wrongful ways?
Judi: [spluttering] Am I hell!
Anthea: Oh, well in that case, Trudi, you better pull the final lever!
Without a word or a blink of hesitation, Trudi executes Anthea’s recommendation. A siren wails and the audience cheers. Judi cowers, expecting something to rain down from above, but instead a KCA-style fountain of green and pink gunge erupts all around the cage.
Anthea: Judi you’ve been a good sport!
Anthea walks away while the fountain continues to surge over a squirming Judi, and Trudi waves her fists in the air in celebration.
Anthea: Wow! What a spectacular series send-off this is shaping up to be, and the best is yet to come! Cos you know what happens now, don’t you folks?
Anthea: [Glides up to the still-occupied cage] And you know what happens now, don’t you Sian?
Sian: [cringing] Uh, actually I think we’re out of time.
Anthea: Nice bit of wishful thinking, but for TV gold like this the channel controllers are willing to extend the schedule for as long as necessary! Folks, we asked you whether Sian should face her long-due comeuppance attired in this elegant, full-length gown she currently has on, or whether she should take the more minimalist option of our super-skimpy Comeuppance micro-bikini [holds up said garment]. Nearly 700,000 of you have had your say on this crucial issue. At the midway update you showed a strong preference for the bikini – and an excellent choice that was too – but could the dress stage a comeback? It’s time to find out!
Again, the studio lights go down, with a lone spotlight trained on a resigned Sian.
Anthea: The people have spoken, and their verdict is as follows:
The audience cheers while Anthea clenches her fists. Sian reacts with disappointment but no particular surprise.
Anthea: Still 71-29 to the bikini! Sian, the percentages haven’t changed, but you will!
Anthea unceremoniously tosses the bikini through the bars. It bounces off Sian and lands at her feet.
Anthea: It’s all yours – all precious few square-centimetres of it!
Sian: What do you expect me to do with it?! I can’t get changed here!
Anthea: Oh yes you can! [Snaps fingers]
The guards carry on a folding screen, which they wrap around the cage.
Anthea: It’s not as roomy or luxurious as your usual dressing room but it should do the trick! Quick as you can, that’s my love! [Turns to audience] While Sian’s getting kitted out, can we have a big round of applause for our comeuppance enforcers Tom and Charlie? Guys, you’ve carried out your duty with distinction.
The two guards nod and bow in response to the generous applause they receive.
Anthea: Are you done yet Sian? [Peeks through chink in the screen] Chop chop! It’s not like you’ve got a lot to put on! [Rolls her eyes to the audience before taking another peek] Ready? Right, out you come then!
Anthea draws back the screen and unlocks the door.
Anthea: Come on out, Sian! Don’t be shy!
Blushing, the scantily clad Miss Welby steps out to a chorus of wolf-whistles.
Anthea: [covering mouth with hand] Oh my! Oh my oh my! Good thing you keep yourself well waxed! Give us a twirl, girl!
Sighing, Sian swivels on her bare feet, revealing her backside to be completely exposed. The audience are going crazy.
Sian: [sourly] Well at least I’ve got the body for it.
Anthea: Meow! You’ll pay for all these remarks. Lads, take her away!
The guards step forward to grab an arm each, but Sian raises her hands to fend them off.
Sian: No! I’ll go there myself. Grant me at least that.
Sian strides over to the chair and seats herself, wincing a little at the cold wire-mesh against her bum. She secures the straps around herself.
Anthea: You’re a good sport, Sian.
Sian: [muttering] I think you need to have a choice in order to be a good sport.
Anthea: Ladies, if you would like to get yourselves to the plinth. Let’s get this show on the road!
The familiar pre-dip music commences and the winch slowly lifts the chair. Sian shudders with dread as her feet leave the floor. The fourteen women congregate around the plinth, grinning as they watch Sian’s squirming ascent. Once the chair has reached the required elevation, the winch slides backwards until central with the Dip. Sian screws her face at the sight – and stench – of the fate looming below her. Not missing an opportunity, the camera homes in for a close-up of her bare buttocks, pressed up against the wire-mesh.
Anthea: [chortling] Dear me, your boyfriend’s going to think you sat on a waffle machine!
Sian: Can we get this over and done with?
Anthea: Oh no no no, a moment like this is to be savoured, not rushed! In fact, as punishment for the catty comments you made to me, I think you should go in from a bit higher. [Looks around at crew] Is it possible to take her up a bit?
Sian: [firmly] No it isn’t!!
But before Sian can even finish, the winch is back in action, raising her by a metre.
Anthea: Wasn’t a good idea to insult me, was it?
Sian: [Moo! Moo!!]
Anthea: [Tutting] For language like that you can go in from higher still!
Sian whimpers as she is elevated through another metre. The lettering “Revenge is sweet” is now a long way below her.
Anthea: Perfect! The muck is really going to slap those arsecheeks! Ladies, ready yourselves with that button; the moment of revenge has arrived!
Sandra, Yasmin, Meera, Lizzie, Ivana, Veronica, Priscilla, Cara, Leah, Miss Field, Trudi, Heidi, Anita and Thimbleswick-Watson huddle around the plinth. Each holds out an arm, their hands stacked above the big red button. Sian squeals in squeamish anticipation.
Anthea: Sian, from those you have teased and tormented simply for earning a living…
Everyone except Sian: HERE IS YOUR COMEUPPANCE!!!
Fourteen eager hands bash down the button. The ensuing sparks and explosions grant Sian a second’s further reprieve, then the near-naked presenter plummets, her pink flesh flashing through the air.
Sian’s scream is swiftly silenced as she slams into the slop. Great lumpy globs of gloop go flying, causing Anthea and the others to jump back. The stupendous splash is matched by the roar of the audience – the loudest ever to reverberate around the studio. The cables thrash eratically, accompanied by a grotesque sound that can only be described as a flush from Lucifer’s own lavatory. After a good few seconds, the cables yank upwards, but instead of retrieving Sian in her entirety, they lift her only until her armpits are just above the surface of the muck.
Blinking, gagging, completely caked, a very colourful Sian flounders and spasms in the gunk.
Sian: EUUURRRRGHH!! EUUURR-HHERR-HHERRGHH!!! IT’S [MOO!!] HORRIBLE!! GET ME [MOO!!] OUT OF HERE!!
Anthea: What’s that Sian? I can’t quite hear you.
Sian: I SAID GET ME OUT OF HARRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHH!!!
Sian reacts as a huge batch of chunky yellow goo rains down, blanketing her head and shoulders. She has barely reacted to this when a deluge of sickly pink slime descends to provide another coat.
Anthea: Oh, that looks nasty!
Sian: YERRUGHHHHH!! YEERRRUUGHHHH!!! THAT’S ENOUGH!!
The crew evidently have other ideas, as a bibical quantity of dark, tarry sludge drops, blackening much of the surface of the Dip, along with the exposed parts of Sian.
Anthea: Ok, that’ll do! Bring her up!!
The winch resumes, hauling out the victim to the usual mocking fanfare. The fourteen women laugh and point; Sian can only gawp back at them from her dishevelled face. A line around her bust demarcates the greens, blues, purples etc, pertaining to the Dip’s contents, from the black grime that smothers her head and upper body. Not a trace of her skin or hair is to be seen.
Sian’s mouth and eyes, already wide, gape even further at the dawning of a fresh horror. She scrambles to cup her hands over her chest.
Sian: [MOOO!!!] The bikini top! I think it came off!!
Anthea: [Fighting tears of laughter] Oh, I wouldn’t worry Sian; it’s not like anyone could tell under all that! But to be on the safe side, we’ve got a final coating for you!
With a “beep! beep! beep!” one of the guards reverses a tanker truck onto the stage. Emblazoned on the side in huge letters is “MANURE”.
Anthea unfurls the hose and passes it to Veronica Pleasance.
Anthea: Veronica, it’s only fair you get to administer an additional punishment for the injustice you suffered at Sian’s hands. Just be careful not to get our lovely audience!
There’s nervous laughter from the spectators as Veronica takes aim. A powerful brown jet splurges out, causing Sian to scream as it blasts her butt through the chair. For the next thirty seconds, with determined thoroughness, Veronica sweeps the hose up and down Sian’s body, making sure no part is missed. The stuff is not real animal excrement, but Sasha and her team have produced a very realistic imitation – including in the smell department. Swinging from the force battering her, Sian and her yelps are soon buried under the brown and thick.
Anthea: I think Judi is feeling left out over there! Why don’t you let Trudi take over?
Veronica hands over the hose. In the cage, the heavily-gunged Judi cowers squeamishly before the “manure” assails her. Trudi sweeps the hose over the length of her squawking sister, who before long is blanketed in the lumpy brown. With nowhere to escape in the cage, Judi turns around to grab her breath, but this only gives Trudi an opportunity to coat her back.
Anthea: Phenomenal stuff!! I’d say that was the Comeuppance of the series, many weeks in the making, and I’m sure the nation would delight in a slow-mo replay.
A replay of Sian’s free-fall descent duly materialises. The blonde presenter clutches the underside of the seat, her tensed muscles straining the bikini, her mouth chasmal. She markedly jolts as she splashes-down, muck spewing in all directions from around her bum.
Anthea: And from above!
Sian is initially so high that her follicles are discernible to the bird’s-eye camera. Then the plunge commences, and by the time she hits the Mucky Dip, her scantily clad form is some distance away. A massive wave rushes out from the impact zone, instantly destroying the purple writing in a dancing sea of colour.
Back in the present, Sian has one arm draped across her bust (more out of instinct than any real need to obscure), and with the other wipes the manure from her face. She throws the camera a disgusted expression.
Below the crew members are out on stage, waving to the appreciative fans, and the Jammy Dodger trophy holders have joined the comeuppancees. Butlers stroll out with trays of champagne and canapés, nimbly avoiding the puddles of mess on the floor.
Anthea: [picking up a glass] Ooo, thanks very much. Sian, we’re having the end-of-series party now, so the crew won’t be available to show you to the showers. You don’t mind staying up there a few hours, do you?
Sian: I don’t suppose I have a choice.
Anthea: Correct. But look on the bright side: you have a new outfit to wear for the next Health Lottery draw! For once I’ll look forward to watching, ha ha! Do you have any closing remarks for the viewers?
Sian: [grinning wryly] Well it goes without saying I got my comeuppance, euuughhhhh!! Thanks again for watching, voting and giving us your support. I have no idea if there’ll be another series, but keep following us on social media and you’ll be the first to know if there is. In the meantime, I’m going to be rather busy these next few weeks getting cleaned up! Anyone know where I can bulk-buy perfume? Yeeeucckk!!
Anthea: [chuckling] Good on you Sian! Here to play us out is Cyanide Honeymoon, with a song inspired by Veronica’s experience on the show. Take it away!
The three-piece band have assembled in front of the Mucky Dip. Veronica belches into the mic as she belts out a brooding bassline. The guitarist, wildly shaking her green hair, thrashes a riff that sounds like a motorbike cold-starting. The butch, skinhead drummer double-pedals the bass-drum like heavy artillery fire.
Veronica: [in a deep death-metal growl] Dangling over devil’s broth!
Ye condemned by judgement’s wrath!
Witch’s cauldron, steam and bubblllllllllle!
Wretched loser, you’re in trouble!
Anthea: [mouthing at the camera with a disturbed look] Is this actually music?
Veronica: Sulphur rises in the mist!
Brackish as the River Styx!
Satan’s breath, the stench of Hhhellllll!
Wafts from this accursed well!
The chorus is slightly less unmelodic than the verse.
Veronica: Hanging in the chair,
Guitarist and drummer: Comeuppance!!
Veronica: Groaning in despair,
Guitarist and drummer: Comeuppance!!
Veronica: Regretting your transgressions,
Staring down at your [All three:] Comeuppance!!
Veronica: Trembling with fear,
Guitarist and drummer: Comeuppance!!
Veronica: Doom is surely near,
Guitarist and drummer: Comeuppance!!
Veronica: Time to face atonement,
Plunging down to your comeuppance, yuuuhhh!!
The guitarist shreds away on a solo. Veronica snatches up the “manure” hose and whirls around with it, shooting the brown goo in all directions.
Anthea: Now there’s no need for—[getting a faceful] pleeeuuuuggh!!
Screaming, the assembled revellers dash for the exits. Canapés go flying. The audience shield themselves with coats.
Sian: Don’t leave me here with this madwoman!
By the time the names of director and producer scroll by on the screen, the studio is abandoned, save Sian, Judi and Cyanide Honeymoon. Coiled up in the hose, her bass humming with feedback, Veronica issues a parting growl and takes aim at the camera. All goes dark.