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1.29.2002 by Zebulon

Well, this is decidedly a turnaround. You see, for the past couple of months, I was the only person at Tangmonkey updating a column (albeit irregularly), and I was lookin’ good compared to those other slack daddies. But now, everyone is updating and posting great new material, whereas my work schedule is playing hell with my updates, so I look like a lazy irresponsible slob, which, of course, I am.

It also doesn’t help that you see things like Sean’s thoughtful reviews of music, JP’s interviews or Ash’s Pulp, which is one of the Funniest Things I Have Ever Read. (Number One on the list is currently my W-2 form)(Remember, Zebulon lives in the US.) And after that, you go read View Askew, which has me ranting about ferns and some guy named Henry.

I don’t really have a point here. I just wanted to fill some space.

Anyway, on to today’s topic. As you may or may not know, British television, which consists of BBC, BBC2, BBC3, BBC8, BBCDEFG, Return of BBC, Son of BBC, and BBC Versus Mothra, is producing their own version of the show “Survivor.” For those of you who do not know, “Survivor” is an obscure little show where contestants are forced to live on an island with a fat naked guy. At the end, the fat naked guy gets a million dollars and all the contestants get to do TV commercials. It doesn’t make much sense to me, but it is apparently somewhat popular.

But the British show is somewhat different. It seems they have different ideas of hardship. Just check out this actual transcript from an episode:

Clive: I daresay, Nigel, this endurance thing is becoming most vexing.

Nigel: I do agree, good sir. I’ve not been able to leave this manor house for quite some time, and if I do not see a tobacconist soon I shall be forced to start smoking the ferns.

Clive: Bloody nasty business, this is. I don’t see how this can get any worse.


Nigel: What is it, Dolores? What is the matter?

Dolores: Th-the producers!! They came in the kitchen and…and..

Clive: It’s all right, Dolores. Just calm down.

Dolores: They took all the tea!!

Nigel: Good God! The bastards!

Clive: But without tea, the crumpets….mouth…so dry….. (He collapses)

Nigel: Stay with us Clive! We’ll find a way! The British always endure!

Dolores: I must have tea! I know! We have that Snapple!!

Nigel: Dolores! No!! That’s not proper tea!

Dolores: But what else can we do, Nigel?? WHAT ELSE CAN WE DOOO?? (She breaks down sobbing)

Nigel: Oh, this really fogs my monocle! (shakes fist at camera) See what you’ve done, you bastards!!

(A small packet of Earl Grey drops from a hole in the ceiling. Dolores, Nigel and Clive all scramble for it. What ensues is the worst scene of carnage ever seen on British TV.)

Dolores: (she is covered in blood and gore, and missing her right arm. Limbs everywhere are all that remain of the others.) The tea is mine!! Wait..NOO!! The blood has soaked into the tea bag!!! (she runs screaming from the room, blood spurting everywhere. The credits roll.)

I personally cannot see how this can be good TV. Where’s the heavy sexual innuendo? The partial nudity? The heavy-handed sermons on the writer’s perception of morality? It’ll never work. However, the BBC plans an "Irish Survivor,” where a group of Irishmen are deprived of alcohol for fifteen minutes, and Canadian TV plans “Canadian Survivor,” where the producers sneak into a packed hockey game, steal all the pucks, and bar the doors.

And finally, ABC plans a “Zebulon Survivor,” where I must evade readers irate over my use of absurd national stereotypes, and literary critics who are furious over my abuse of perfectly good words. Production is set to start as soon as monkeys fly out of my butt.

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