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by Thomas Wm. Hamilton





[theme music]

Announcer:  And now, the newest and hottest game show!  Stay tuned for Who Wants To Live Forever!


[fade music]


Announcer:  Here's our host, Digley O'Dell!


O'Dell:  Thanks, Rob.  Who's our first contestant today?


Announcer:  Our first contest is Sam Slurch of Flushing, New York.  He wants to win a new heart.


[audience applause]


O'Dell:  Welcome to Who Wants to Live Forever, Sam.


Contestant:  Thanks, Mr. O'Dell.


O'Dell:  Call me Digley.


Contestant:  You got it, Digley.


O'Dell:  Let's get right into our game.  The first question carries a prize of free shots for flu for life.  The penalty for a wrong answer is being barred for life from ever being able to use aspirin.


Contestant:  That's okay, Digley, I don't get headaches or hangovers.


[audience:  laughter and applause]


O'Dell:  Who was the third President of the United States?


Contestant:  Thomas Jefferson.


O'Dell:  Right!  You have free flu shots forever, and can keep on using aspirin!


[triumphal music plays; audience:  applause]


O'Dell:  Are you ready to play another round?


Contestant:  Fire away, Digley.


O'Dell:  The prize here is a free appendectomy if you ever need one, and the penalty is you can't have an appendectomy if you ever need one.


Contestant:  That's getting a bit more serious, but let's play.


O'Dell:  I love a courageous man.  What's the capital of Morocco?


Contestant:  Uhhh.  Algiers?


[funeral music; audience boos]


O'Dell:  You lose.  Hope those flu shots keep your appendix healthy.

[commercial break]
[theme music]
Announcer:  Our next contestant is Mabel Flurbmeister.  She hopes to win big so she can get a cure for what ails her.
O'Dell:  Welcome to Who Wants to Live Forever, Mabel.
Contestant:  Thanks, Digley.
O'Dell:  The prize here is a cochlear implant if your hearing goes bad.  The penalty is you won't be allowed to get a hearing aid if you answer wrong.  Where is the Kamchatka Peninsula?
Contestant:  That's easy, Digley.  It dangles off the Pacific coast of Siberia, north of Japan.
[triumphal music]  O'Dell:  Good enough, Mabel.  [audience applause]
O'Dell:  Are you ready for the next question?
Contestant:  Sure, Digley, fire away.
O'Dell:  An interesting choice of words in view of the next question and its reward and penalty.   The reward is complete medical coverage if you are ever shot or stabbed.  The penalty is you are taken from the studio and a random member of the audience will be given a .38 calber revolver and offered the opportunity to shoot you from twenty meters away.
Contestant:  You can't scare me!
O'Dell:  Great.  Name a major language spoken in Sri Lanka.
Contestant:  That would be Sinhalese and Tamil.
[triumphal music]
O'Dell:  Both major languages!  Wow, you know your stuff, and you're a great show off.  [audience laughter and applause]
O'Dell:  Are you ready for the next question?
Contestant:  Go ahead.
O'Dell:  Having answered two questions correctly earns you a lifeline.  If you need help, from now on you can ask the audience to vote, call a friend, or ask our expert.  Today's expert is a former contestant who answered ten straight questions correctly, earning a brain transplant into a younger clone.  Who wrote "Peter Pan"?
Contestant:  J. M. Barrie.
[triumphal music; audience cheers]
O'Dell:  We'll be keeping those medical people busy with your prizes! Who wrote the libretto for "Cosi fan Tutti"?  The prize is a free lung transplant.  The penalty is you provide one square meter of skin for transplant.
Contestant:  I'll take the lifeline for calling the expert.
O'Dell:  Ooh, using a lifeline costs you a pint of blood.  Nurse!
[Nurse comes out, hooks up device for taking a blood donation.]
O'Dell:  Would you happen to know your blood type?
Contestant:  No.
O'Dell:  That's okay, it will be checked, and if clean, some patient will get it.  So, here's our expert, now that we have your blood.  Felix Flugelhorn, our contestant wants to know who was the librettist for "Cosi fan Tutti"? 
Flugelhorn:  I think that was Lorenzo Da Ponte.
Contestant:  How sure are you?
Flugelhorn:  About 90%.
Contestant:    Gooood enough.  I'll say Da Ponte.
[triumphal music, with a hint of Mozart]
O'Dell:  Good answer.  And now a brief break.  We'll be right back with our final question for this contestant.
[commercial; followed by theme music]
O'Dell:  Our final question for Mabel Flurbmeister has a reward of medical treatment for any broken bones.  The penalty for a wrong answer will cost you the proverbial arm and a leg.
Contestant:  Don't keep me waiting, Digley.
O'Dell:  Hah.  Where is Gondwanaland.
Contestant:  Umm.  It's part of India.
O'Dell:  Wrong.  [funeral music; audience groans]  Take her away.
[Three husky men come out, grab the contestant, who tries to duck.  She is dragged off stage.  Loud screams are heard.]
O'Dell:  We have time for one more contestant.  Farley Frawley is a college student hoping to become an architect.  In his spare time he helps build emergency housing for the homeless and handicapped.  Let's give a big hand to Farley.  [audience applause]
Contestant:  Thank you, Mr. O'Dell.
O'Dell:  Just call me Digley.
Contestant:  Yes, sir, Digley.  [audience laughter.  O'Dell mugs at camera]
O'Dell:  Who developed orgone therapy boxes?  A correct answer gets free arthritis treatment; an incorrect answer will cost you your left eye.
Flurbmeister [rolls and hunches herself onto the stage, and screams at the Contestant]:  Stop!  It's not worth it.  You're young and healthy.  Go home now! 
[four husky men come out and drag her off by her one arm and one leg]
Contestant:  Gee, that's kind of nerve-wracking.  But I took a psych course, so it's Wilhelm Reich.
[triumphal music; fading into theme as O'Dell says]:  Great work.  I hope you can come back tomorrow to continue to play Who Wants To Live Forever?


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