Wednesday, 22 March 2006

A Tax on Fools...

Last night I couldn't get to sleep, so I decided to watch a bit of TV and stumbled across ITV's delightful 'Quiz Mania'. I have never seen or heard of this quiz show, so for those of you with me on this one, it's a quiz show where you are required to call the number on the screen to get the chance of guessing the second half of the word 'Free'. E.G. freepost or freelance, to name but a few. There where six valid winning answers with prizes ranging from £100 to £25000.

^

The luring cheesy quiz show host banter started and calls started to flood in with several wrong answers, but a few correct ones, which where 'Willy', as in the film Free Willy, winning the caller £700 and shortly after that a caller won £2000 for the correct answer 'Radicals'.
After watching for 15 minutes I couldn't believe the intelligence of the callers or should I say lack of it, and how tacky, badly presented and false the whole show was; so I rang up and had a go myself! :-)
The first time it was engaged, the second time I got a recorded message saying, "Welcome to Quiz Mania, this call will cost 60p... Sorry you have not got through this time, please try again." followed by the bleep, bleep, bleep of being disconnected.
I was flabbergasted to discover that you do not even go into a queuing system and that you just get charged 60p for trying. So, I did the sensible thing of trying again, just to make sure I had got this right, but got the exact same result... Darn.

At the start of the show, the blonde presenter gave you some useful (*Cough* chuffin' obvious) tips, like, "Write down the wrong answers you have heard as not to repeat them."
This quite obviously meant nothing to 99% of the callers, who seemed insistent on repeating most of the wrong answers over and over again, the most popular being the guess 'Freeloaders' to which the presenter would say, "Ooh it's good, but we need the exact word" every time this was guessed. It very quickly became a tad obvious she was after the intransitive verb 'Freeload', but this didn't stop countless callers giving it a go anyway.

Perhaps they where going on the same principal of asking someone foreign a question, who does not understand you, and then simply asking them the same question again, only a bit louder, thus obviously making yourself all that bit easier to understand!
At this point, I got annoyed and tried again, if only to put them out of their misery, but got the same pre-recorded message. This I thought, along with lotteries, is a tax on fools*.

However, someone then got through a few minutes later and with the guess 'Freeload', walked off with several thousand pounds. Grrr

[^ The picture was liberated from the Internet and not taken at the time]

[* Taken from Samuel Johnson's quote, "Lotteries are a tax on fools."]

Today, I'm most angry about: Being fleeced £1.80 last night.

Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 3/10

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