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(Little Godspeed You! reference there)

Yes, gentle reader, you knew it would happen one day. Your merry blogger has found national fame. Ish.

Mr Crisp used to say that the way to become a virgin was to appear on television, after which people who would usually walk by on the other side of the street, averting their eyes and saying, “Don’t look now; it’s that terrible man!” will now rush across, at the risk of losing their very lives, to say, “We saw you on the telly!”

Well, that doesn’t apply to mid-afternoon game shows, for the sad and lonely. Nor, one suspects, does the old adage, attributed to Mr Coward and others, that ‘television is for appearing on, not for looking at.’

But, sixteen whole months after filming in Bristol, now it can be told. Telly has been appeared on, a number of acquaintances have watched it and, thanks to kind editing, your hero doesn’t look too bad.

Well, relatively speaking. They did cut out the comment that the tie was by Versace, and that was why they shot him.

The game was Tipping Point, based on the penny falls arcade games, where one inserts shitloads of coins at the top and nothing ever falls out at the bottom.

On this version, stuff does emerge. Counters (mustn’t refer to them as ‘coins’ on air!) are dropped into the machine as a reward for answering (mostly) simple general knowledge questions correctly. Four players begin, each round eliminates another until the victor is left to insert a star-spattered jackpot counter and get it out again by answering six questions, for one, two or three counters each.

The whole show is available until mid-October on STV player in the UK, should you be so masochistic (23rd September edition). If you do watch, please note that editing makes it look like he passed after hearing the whole question “In 2006, When the Sun Goes Down was a number one hit for the band called Arctic what?” and is thus ignorant of (Who the Fuck are) the Arctic Monkeys. He isn’t. He even has that recording (which was embarrassing at the time). The ‘pass’ was pre-emptive — after the word ‘When‘ in fact — on the assumption he wouldn’t know many 2000s chart hits and wanted to get to the next question quickly.
And ‘silverside’ sprang to mind about five seconds after passing the question to his opponent.

Who cares. He is, as they say, cringing all the way to the bank. And has spent most of it alleviating debts and putting stuff aside for unexpected bills and (at his kid sister’s repeated insistence) funeral expenses.

But the last thing he says is “I’m going to have to write a poem about this now.” And on the plane back from Bristol, he did. Here it is.

Jackerpotty
[Apologies to Lewis Carroll]

‘Twas Brizzle, and the Isambard
Did shipsteam in the stovepipe hat
Suspendy was the Cliffyroad —
And other shit like that

“Appear on Tipping Point, my son!
You Mastermind, Countdown the weeks
All Pointless is Fifteen to One
And Eggheads is for geeks”

The buzzy mushroom thrice he pressed
He played his counters, one, two, three
One rival had a jammydrop
One left in poverty

Too soon he passed the Indyband
But still he answered quizzlies four
Another victim fell too short
And now he had the higher score

He dealt with subjects far and wide
He knew of mixed up flutterbies
His dodgeball foe was brushed aside
And left without a prize

Excitedly, he stood alone
He gibbered like a nervous goon
He hardly let the Shephard speak
He answered questions far too soon

Although impaled on ozzygroups
He answered all the others well
He counted labourleaders till
The jackerpotty fell

“And hast thou found thy tipping point?
Come to my arms, you daft old ponce”,
His sister yawned in apathy,
“Don’t spend it all at once”

‘Twas Brizzle, and the Isambard
Did shipsteam in the stovepipe hat
Suspendy was the Cliffyroad —
And other shit like that

(May 2018)