Natural Selection: The Show!

April 7, 2000

Right now the two most popular things on television are game shows and wrestling. (No, I’m not kidding. I’m not even exaggerating.) In my latest hare-brained scheme to escape my workaday librarian’s life, I’ve come up with a new show that actually combines both. The principle of the show will be based on natural selection. In fact, it’ll be called Natural Selection.

Here’s how it works: ten contestants will work with each other to complete a round of "general knowledge" questions. (This means they’ll be asked questions about movies, sports, television, and maybe once in a while something vaguely scientific, such as, "What gas do we breathe to stay alive?") At the end of the round the ten contestants will then compete for the pool of money by making threatening speeches at each other. The six contestants who can’t roll their eyes menacingly and say things like, "I’m gonna crush my opponent like an overripe grape!" and squeeze their hands together without laughing will be eliminated. This means that Natural Selection will follow modern game shows which, unlike the classic ones that pit individuals against great odds, instead force people to cooperate then immediately turn around and humiliate each other and themselves. (The fact that "reality based" shows are only slightly less popular than wrestling and game shows proves that most people basically want to see human beings demolish each other, either emotionally or physically. But then this has always been considered entertainment from the Roman amphitheatre to the Salem witch trials.)

The remaining four can then use the money they’ve won to buy outrageous costumes, two-by-fours, folding chairs, and tazer guns. (Hey, we’ve gotta step these things up a notch, right?) They’ll be divided up into tag teams and sent into the ring. Here’s the best part: the winners will be married in a formal ceremony and a camera crew will follow them on their honeymoon. The loser will be the first person to file for divorce, but, as compensation, will be granted a free restraining order.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


You Know You’re Born and Raised in Small-Town Idaho When. . .

  • During a storm you check the cattle before you check the kids.
  • You are related to more than half the town.
  • You can tell the difference between a horse and a cow from a distance.
  • Your car breaks down outside of town and news of it gets back to town before you do.
  • Without thinking, you wave to all oncoming traffic.
  • You don’t buy all your vegetables at the grocery store.
  • You don’t put too much effort into hairstyles due to wind and weather.
  • There’s a tornado warning and the whole town is outside watching for it.
  • The local gas station sells live bait.
  • You go to the State Fair for your family vacation.
  • You get up at 5:30 am and go down to the coffee shop.
  • You’re on a first name basis with the county sheriff.
  • When little smokies are something you serve on special occasions.
  • You have the number of the Co-op on speed dial.
  • All your radio-preset buttons are country.
  • You try to find the cheapest room rates when going out of town.
  • Using the elevator involves a grain truck.
  • Your mayor is also your garbage hauler, barber, and insurance salesman.
  • You know you should listen to the weather forecast before picking out an outfit.
  • You call the wrong number and talk to the person for an hour anyway.
  • Your excuse for getting out of school is that the cows got out.
  • You know cow pies aren’t made of beef.
  • You wake up when it’s dark and go to bed when it’s still light.
  • You listen to "Paul Harvey" every day at noon.
  • You can tell it’s a farmer working late in his field and not a UFO.
  • Your nearest neighbor is in the next area code.
  • You know the difference between field corn and sweet corn when they are still on the stalk.
  • You know the code names for everyone on the CB.
  • You can eat an ear of corn with no utensils in under 20 seconds.
  • You wear your boots to church.
  • It takes 30 seconds to reach your destination and it’s clear across town.
  • You can tell the smell of a skunk and the smell of feedlot apart.
  • The meaning of true love is that you’ll ride in the tractor with him.
  • You go to Wal-Mart for your Saturday shopping.
  • Your main drag in town is two blocks long.
  • You defend the beauty of being able to see the next town which is 20 miles away.

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