Archive for June, 2012

You’re Welcome, Ethel!

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Hello to all soccer players writhing in false agony, cats on treadmills, and drawings of lilac trees.

Spam is amazing! And no, I’m not talking about spam as in, ‘Spam, spam, bacon eggs and spam.’ I’m talking about spam as in the mysterious, nonsensical comments that occasionally find their way to my blog. I don’t know quite how spam filters work– I assume they check for nonsensicality, sentences that don’t go anywhere, and strange people called Ethel. A comment came to my attention a while ago, and this is it:

I am glad for commenting to make you understand what a beneficial encounter my wife’s daughter obtained going through your webblog. She came to understand a good number of issues, most notably what it is like to have a wonderful coaching character to make many people with no trouble learn a number of hard to do subject areas. You actually surpassed my desires. I appreciate you for presenting those informative, trustworthy, edifying and also easy thoughts on your topic to Ethel.

Well, I just want to say to this man that I’m very glad to have presented my informative, trustworthy, and edifying thoughts on my topic to Ethel. That’s my primary objective, writing this blog: to please Ethel. Because everyone’s lot in life should be to present their edifying and easy thoughts on their topics to her.

So this entry is for you, Ethel: I’m pleased that you’re pleased with what I’m writing. I’m glad that the guy who wrote the comment, whose wife’s daughter is you, took the time to tell me how you feel about my blog.

Anyway. I love spam. I’ve heard about even stranger things: once there was an entire article that didn’t make sense about electronic cigarettes. I wasn’t interested. I’ve heard many spam comments telling me about how they enjoy my blog and find my thoughts informative, trustworthy, and edifying. I’m happy that the spammers really like my writings. And I’m even more glad that Ethel does.

Yours as always, enormously– verily– uh… look! There’s a giant ladybug behind you!

(I’m running out of quirky ways to end the entries.)

~Onceabasementdog

SHRRRRRIEEEEK! OF PURE JOY

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Hey, I’m here to complain about something. But I’ll try and make it sound as reasonable as possible. I’m sure you wade through oceans of fan mail all the time, but on the off chance that you get to this one, I’ll actually write something intelligent, not I LOVE YOU CASSANDRA CLARE! (Which is true, too.) I’m halfway through City of Lost Souls. What I’ve noticed is that there’s a GREAT DEAL of kissing, and declarations of love, and so forth going on. I don’t mind stuff like that, usually, but in this one I find it’s kind of overwhelming. I love demon slaying and cat-saving and running-from-the-scary-automatons. My favorite part of all your books is when Charlotte absolutely destroys Benedict Lightwood at the end of Clockwork Prince, though Will singing the demon pox song is in a very, very close second. Call me an unusual fourteen year old girl, but I love that stuff much more than I love all the making out and loving. They’re your books, of course, and I shouldn’t tell you what to write. But I just feel like I had to state my opinion. Consider editing in some more demon slayings in Clockwork Princess, if you can. All the best, your adoring and hoping this isn’t THAT rude fan, Onceabasementdog. 

Hi Onceabasementdog, 

Thanks for your kind words, I’m glad you’re loving the series! More demon-slaying: noted. Best wishes, 

Cassie 

My Brain Is A 90s TV Show

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Hello to all scratched-out song lyrics, men with eyeshadow and symbols on their foreheads delivering emotionless lines in ridiculously awful sci-fi shows, and never-used golf clubs.

As I was sitting here, wandering about the internet, biting the cold sore on my lip to see if that would get rid of it (it didn’t), I realized something about myself. If you were to take a listen to my thoughts at any point in time, you’d be hearing My So Called Life-esque observances and narratives.

What’s My So Called Life? Well, it was a short-running TV show in the nineties about a somewhat unusual girl in high school.

Um. Ahem. Yes. Look here.

Well, okay– I’m not in high school. I SHOULD be in high school. But I’m not. I’m actually in Solitary Confinement, (no, no, I’m not incurably demented), but, technically, I’m connected somehow to high school. Anyway, getting back to my brain and how it runs like a narrative from My So Called Life. Well, if you’ve ever seen the show, then you know how Angela thinks: ‘ People are always saying you should be yourself, like yourself is this definite thing, like a toaster. Like you know what it is even.’ This is the type of thing that runs around in MY head. You could have fifty thirty-minute episodes’ worth of musing narratives if you wrote down everything that goes through my brain. And I’m not saying HBO should make a TV show based on me or anything. (HBO, why aren’t you listening to me? Do I have to try to convince ABC instead or something? ABC, I understand you also aired My So Called Life. Look no further for the next teenage-drama blockbuster. I’m right here. Right. Here.)

What fueled this blog entry was the thought that drifted through my head a few minutes ago as I stared at the computer screen clicking through other WordPress blogs. I was thinking, It’s funny how everyone on this website has an ‘About’ page. It’s a non-discussed norm in WordPress-world. I wonder if there’s anyone who DOESN’T have an ‘about’ page. Maybe people would think they’re weird.

No lie. This is what I was thinking about. ABC wouldn’t even have to get writers for my TV show. It’s all ready-made.

Anyway. I already know what the theme song will sound like– I already have a bunch of ideas for ads and marketing campaigns. All they have to do is hire some people to play my friends, (because I’m playing myself,  of course.) Do you think Alec Baldwin for the Karate Master? No… that doesn’t make sense.

I’m already wildly off track, so let’s make a list of possible actors for the people in my life.

George Harrison: Woody Allen. (Even though he’s really old.)

Karate Master: Alec Baldwin. (Even though that doesn’t make sense.)

Budding Satirist: Sascha Baron Cohen.

The Mom: Maryl Streep.

The Father: Alec Baldwin. (Yes, that makes more sense.) Alec Baldwin, I hope you don’t mind playing a Chinese kid and my dad at the same time.

Little Girl of Horrors (also known as my little sister): Tina Fey. (She’d do a great impression, I’m sure.)

Glasses Boy: Tony Shalhoub.

So there you have it. ABC, or HBO, or whichever one is going to sign a contract for fifty episodes for the show Onceabasementdog, (airing nine o’clock on Sundays), you’ve already got the whole thing more or less planned out. Also, I want J.J Abrams to direct it and Steven Spielberg to produce it, and go ahead and throw in Arcade Fire every couple episodes just to make it better.

Yours not a toaster but not normal, either, Onceabasementdog.

Stupid Questions Ask Is Asking Me

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

All right, I couldn’t help writing about this, so approximately two minutes after my last blog post here comes the stupid question an ad just asked me.
“Was the Titanic real?”
YES. YES IT WAS.
Oh, no, this isn’t the first stupid question the ‘Ask’ ads have asked me. Once it wanted to know if vampires were real. Oh, just a moment, I’ll ask THAT FIVE YEAR OLD I KNOW.
Also I’ve seen “Where is Justin Bieber right now?” I don’t know, Ask, and I don’t care. Do YOU know? Are you tracking him? Do you have a network of informants following his every move?

The disturbing part of this is that somebody MUST feel inclined to click on those ads. So somewhere out there there’s someone who doesn’t know if vampires or the Titanic are real. Or where Justin Bieber is for that matter. Well, actually, Justin Bieber is on the Titanic with a bunch of vampires.
Yours sincerely, Onceabasementdog.
(Ask asks: is Onceabasementdog real? NO SHE’S A BLOGGING-CAPABLE CONSPIRACY!)

Everything I Write Is Depressing

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Hello to all orangutans swinging from trees, cats hiding in laundry baskets, and computer game manuals.

It just kind of occurred to me, as I looked through my word files on the computer, that recently all I’ve been writing is tremendously, tremendously depressing. Since Christmas: a story about Gordon Lightfoot and a sort-of-evil-but-not-really boy who smokes cigars and deals with the living dead, a story about a kid whose parents were murdered by demons, a short story about a psychopathic villain who ends up being murdered and then coming back to life– and not to mention all the SONGS I’ve been writing. George Harrison, my partner in song-playing, knows very well what dark and sad lyrics my songs contain and also that I’m incapable of writing anything happy.

Do I have like a… depressing and disturbing writing problem? Don’t other fourteen year old girl writers write about the adventures of their cats and ridiculous, fluffy narratives concerning dreamy heroes of fantasy? (Well… okay, the latter is true, actually. I’ve spent a few kilobytes writing about the death god from The Kane Chronicles. Maybe.) But anyway– what’s wrong with me that I have to make everything I write dark in some way? Like, today I was in the midst of writing the psychopathic-villain-is-shot-but-comes-back-to-life scene, and I thought JEEZ, HOLY CRAPOLA, is this really what I’m writing about?

Sometimes I wish I just liked Justin Bieber and thought Twilight was awesome. Why? Because then I’d be NORMAL.

I have to go way back to before Christmas to find anything that’s light-hearted. The rest of it is a kid wanting revenge for the terrible demon that murdered his parents before his eyes. I think I’m slowly turning more and more emo. As I was starting this post, I was listening to a sad City and Colour song called The Grand Optimist, (which you’d think might be, I dunno, optimistic) and then I thought that, This is really proving my case that I’m really, really, really depressing.

That’s why I’m listening to ‘Irish tavern music’ on Youtube now. Fiddles! Jigs! Fiddles!

Oh, yes, I can get through eleven minutes of the same riff playing over and over.

Yours not depressing anymore, because I’m listening to Irish tavern music! ~Onceabasementdog.

(P.S: I’m currently making plans for a serial of short stories about a land of Starburst candies, taken from an idea of the blogger Michael. That’s fun. Right? Right? That’s not depressing.)

It’s So Hot I Want To Be An Icecube

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Hello to all flowers wilting in the scorching sunlight, vampire rockstars, and hands with pencils floating over them.

This morning I woke up feeling nice and cool. Unlike the last few days, my room wasn’t actually the temperature of a tropical fish habitat. I squinted at the flamingly-bright window, shrugged to myself, and after the mother came in to wake me up several times I finally got up. I was wondering why it was so nice out today. But I wouldn’t complain.

My mom went out to hang up some laundry on the balcony. I poked my head out, and–

WOOSH. The hot hit me like a fire demon holding burningly bright stagelights over its head.

(Turns out the ‘nice, surprisingly cool day’ was the air conditioner doing its air conditioning.)

DARN THIS PLACE I LIVE IN! DARN IT TO HECK! (What? I’m not going to say swear words, no matter how ‘darn it to heck’ sounds.) I want to live in Iceland SO BADLY. In Iceland, not only is there lots of green and ice and accordion-playing people, there’s also the people from one of my favorite bands, Of Monsters and Men. I’m already making blueprints for a wind-powered and solar-powered raft made of pool noodles and lawnchairs that will take me across the ocean to Iceland. I’ll show up in Reykjavik and quickly learn to play the accordion, meanwhile slipping in unnoticed into Icelandic society. In three months I’ll no longer be Onceabasementdog, Canadian blogeress, I’ll be Brinjar Ragnarsson, Icelandic accordion-player. I’ll start a new blog containing strange, quirky monologues in Icelandic.

Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll just keep living here, in this wonderful, wonderful burningly hot and humid wasteland where we would all melt like plastic action figures in microwaves if we didn’t have the blessed scientific creation called air conditioning.

I wish this blog entry had a point, but it really doesn’t. I just wish I was an icecube sometimes. You know? I wouldn’t even mind if people plopped me into their drinks or anything. I’d get to hang out in a freezer every day. My life would be short-lived, but at least enjoyable and hot-free.

Yours most sincerely as never, Onceabasementdog.

P.S: a little note for everyone. I checked it the other day and I have nine followers on my blog! That might not seem like a big deal, but to me it really is. Also I’ve been getting likes-by-the-plenty and with every ‘like’ I get more and more giddy and pleased with myself. So keep following along with the adventures of Onceabasementdog, Blog-Reader. If enough people discover this, I have a pretty good feeling I’ll end up with a TV show. I’m looking at you again, HBO.

A Monster Calls… Depressingly.

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Hello to all trees crushing churches, pigs from outer-space, people with funny suits and computer speakers from 1987.

Yesterday I read a book. I read lots of books; however, I rarely read books about living yew trees that talk to people and tell stories and are INCREDIBLY DEPRESSING. A Monster Calls is a book by Patrick Ness, author of the tremendously cool series Chaos Walking. This book is a 200-some sad picture book, so sad, so incredibly sad that you will very possibly feel like crying… or rewriting the ending, like I did. And Conor could finally face it, his mother’s death. Wouldn’t it be better if it ended like, And Conor lived happily ever after in a flying castle with his friends and there was never another depressing day to be had. Ever. Then they all went and got ice cream and there were puppies and butterflies falling from the sky.

A Monster Calls is fantastic. Patrick Ness is a great writer and, though melancholy, the book is quite entertaining and brutally honest. The best part is the illustrations, which are dark and strange and sometimes alarming. It’s a lot to take in three hours of furious page-turning, and it leaves a bittersweet (mostly bitter, not very sweet) taste behind. But the monster, which is a yew tree but not a yew tree but not real but real at the same time, is possibly the funniest part of the whole thing, which is ironic since it’s also the scariest and darkest part of the whole thing. The stories it tells to Conor are interesting, and the whole thing is like a half-daze of frightening images and wordplay: all very lyrical, like a long, dark poem about a dying woman and a struggling boy and a darn freaky living tree that crushes things.

I reccommend it, if mostly for the artwork. The story is good on its own, but the images that Jim Kay conjures up really makes it what it is. Four stars out of five, I say.

So ends my review of one of the most interesting yet horribly, horribly sad books I’ve ever read. Let’s read the Clifford the Big Red Dog Valentine’s Day book next. Please.

Yours tr– THE YEW TREE HAS COME ALLLLLLIIIVVVEEEEEEE! (Onceabasementdog.)

Sleepless Nights and A Ridiculous Book

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Hello to all un-sleeping people curled up on the mattress watching National Treasure through bleary, half-closed eyes, roosters on cereal boxes, and… … … *snort.* Huh? Were you talking to me? Um, and hello to all… something. There you go, live with it.

Last night, which became this morning sometime around four o’clock, I got no sleep at all. At first I just planned to greedily devour the newest Cassandra Clare novel for an hour or two until I got so exhausted and swamped by all the ridiculousness going on that my brain would work no good no more and I would drop out cold. But things didn’t go as planned; I read for a while, cringing at every romantic moment Cassandra Clare feels inclined to cram into her books, and then turned the light off and tried to get some sleep. I was restless, so I thought about the usual pattern of things: the best characters from my books, the next scenes they’ll be in; I worried and fretted and turned over again and again, and it became quite clear around twelve o’clock that sleep was not coming.

I sat up, considering a course of action. One thing I knew, I would not turn the TV on to channel eleven and watch French people guess the wrong yellow fruit. So what then? I thought it best to go sit at my aunt’s jewellery table — I had the basement room because of her absence out west– and, by light of the jewellery lamp, scribble some obscure poem-song called Paris, 1923. Then I considered making myself a necklace, but that seemed girly and I didn’t want to steal from my aunt’s beads and stuff. I ended up stringing a neatly-engraved piece of jewellery that looked like a tablet of mysterious properties onto a string, but couldn’t bring myself to take it, so I put it back. Then I wandered in circles for a while, trying to ignore my zombie-like reflection glaring out at me from the mirrors. Look, there’s that creepy hollow-eyed vampire again. Oh look, there’s the zombie that wants to eat your brains. They all look like me!

At two o’clock in the morning, I wandered out from the basement, hoping my uncle would still be up and I could ward off some of the late-night panicking by talking with him for a while. I found him at the computer on Google Earth, following Highway 180 or something through Pensylvania on street view. I was so needing of anything but the panicky darkness of my room that I didn’t even mind playing arond on Google Earth with him for a while. There is one town in Greenland, and it’s called Nuuk. As my uncle said, ‘If you moved there you’d be the nuuk kid on the block.’ I looked at Fukishima, but it looked fine, and then at North Korea, but there wasn’t anything special about that, either. After Google Earth got boring, (and that took far longer than you’d imagine, somehow), we watched a little bit of a show about aliens. I was impressed by the solar-sails idea, and I think that, if I were to be a space-traveler, I’d travel space on a great blue ship called The Starstealer with my crew of murderous pirates.

I wandered downstairs again, and my uncle came with me. We looked through some movies; there was some old TV show called The Pretender that seemed suspiciously like a bunch of other things, and we watched ten minutes of that before deciding, since there were morgues and body-dissecting and so forth going on there, that it wasn’t maybe the best thing to watch in the middle of the night, especially on my end, the panicky, anxious, crazed end.

My grandma came down, alerted by our late-night awakeness. She suggested I try falling asleep again, but I was too worried about all my irrational worries that I really honestly couldn’t. I couldn’t even lie down and close my eyes at that point– so, what better to do than to watch National Treasure at three thirty in the morning? The dog came down and lay down on the bed with us, wondering at our strangeness — those humans, being up at this hour to watch the moving-colors box! Blows my mind! And you know, I do like the first one quite a bit, especially the part with the glasses that lead to the final clue, but my favorite scene in those movies is the one in the whitehouse with the desk and… … …

*Snort.* Excuse me, was I trying to say something…? Does coffee work well? I don’t know if it’s wise to try it. It smells kind of like skunks and besides, what effect it could possibly have on my sleep-deprived, City of Lost Souls-infested mind is dubious.

Anyway. *Sighs, rubs eyes. Bangs head on the window.* I’ve never been up a whole night before. I like it! It feels neat. My favorite time of the day by far, I’ve just realized, is just at the very moment the sun rises, the second night passes along into dawn. I haven’t been up this early, and it’s 6:30 right now, since at least five years ago. Maybe I’ll do it again sometime. Maybe I’ll just never sleep again– I’ll bike around the country playing songs for food and writing stories twenty seven hours a day, seven days a week, for ever. I’ll be on the news — Crazy Sleepless Girl Turns Up In Reykjavik, Iceland. Where will she turn up next?’

On a subject loosely related to my sleep deprivity, I’m kind of enjoying Cassandra Clare’s newest tale of Shadowhunters and love and etcetera. It’s a Neil Gaiman-esque modern fantasy about demon hunters and so forth. The series should have ended at three, but she chose to go on with two others– bringing back the psycopathic evil-doer from the third book, who was once dead but, because there’s nothing else to write about, he had to be reincarnated and somehow joined with the main character’s love interest, so she’s not quite sure what to do with this. You wouldn’t be either, if your brother-who-is-evil-and-a-demon ‘joined minds’ with the boy-who-you-once-thought-was-your-brother-but-isn’t. Meanwhile werewolves and warlocks and vampires and making out like crazy, and so far I’ve managed to skip only one kissing scene, though I expect I’ll have to skip a few others. I can only take so much gushiness in one volume.

Romance, I have noted, needs to be placed only at the most delicate moment, and…

*Snort.* What was I saying? Mmmmmm…. good-night, thanks for watching. Yours sincerely, Onceabasementdog.

Revisiting the Nerdity

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Hello to all USB sticks, long-forgotten, found under a stack of papers and containing the story you thought you’d lost for three years which makes you almost cry with relief, flying lizards from obscure video games, and apples being thrown at passing businessmen.

The title of this blog entry is none too accurate– why? Well, apparently I’m only ‘revisiting’ the nerdity. However, I’ve been living in the nerdity since the very moment I came to be, so it’s a lie. But on the other hand, it’s true when I say I’ve revisited a certain branch of nerdity, which is the trading card game known as Yu-Gi-Oh! There’s an exclamation mark and I thought I should leave it in.

I was once quite the Yu-Gi-Oh! junkie. I bought a whole plastic bag full of them– there were probably at least three hundred of them in there– from a kid in grade six with my counterfeit paper money. But that’s another story. Let’s just say I didn’t come by my paper money for the buying-and-selling day honestly. I used to get starter decks, and even those fancy tins with the coolest monster in the deck displayed on the front all shinily. There was even a time where I could beat the Karate Master– but now he’s become so good that I have little to no chance of knocking off a few of his life points before he creams me with his well-thought-out strategies and super-good monster cards. The Karate Master made us all get back into Yu-Gi-Oh! yesterday, and for a few hours he creamed us all while we all reveled in the nerdy why-am-I-a-fourteen-year-old-girl-playing-Yu-Gi-Oh! fun.

I like to think I’m a better player than the Karate Master– but the sad truth is I am not. He studies every last inch of strategy, while I throw all the cool cards together and hope fate will be kind to me and let me win. I like the card that’s a very broody-looking fellow with a sword and a barrel chained to his arm because he reminds me of a Miyazaki movie.

So we played cards for a couple hours, me, George Harrison, the Karate Master and Tall He Is. I lost four times in a row, but managed to dredge out two wins at the end. While I played, half-paying attention, I rearranged the Karate Master’s ‘Red Pyramid’ pyramid, which is a silly little cardboard thing you can put together that probably came from the Kane Chronicles guidebook. That is a series of kids’ books about Egyptian mythology and magic and so on. The pyramid has the characters on each side, and you could arrange them any way you like– so I arranged them with Anubis, the death god, facing out so you can oggle at him. I don’t know if my friends-that-are-boys will appreciate this, but I sure do.

In the end I’m glad I came, even if it feels somehow strange to be in highschool and jumping back on the Yu-Gi-Oh! train. My friends are cool guys, even if the rest of society doesn’t think so, so it’s okay– we can get away with being nerdy, I think. Besides, it’s a fun game and there’s broody-looking fellows with swords and barrels chained to their arms involved.

Anyway– I urge you, Blog-Reader, to think back to your days of nerdy hobbies. There IS a certain amount of fun to be found in it, after all. Yours afeoeioiejfiesincerely, I can’t think of another way to say ‘yours sincerely’ so I put that, which is of course how you end letters in– um– the country of EIefeioajeijifejIJOja, (there, try pronouncing that.) Anyhow, good-bye, and good day to you! ~Onceabasementdog

C’est Jaune

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Hello to all tambourines falling down stairs, (CRASH *wince* CRASH *wince* CRASH *wince*), cats eating grass, lizards running loose in basements, and macaroni dinners.

Last night I was having trouble sleeping. This isn’t a rare occurrence– usually when I can’t sleep, I read my favorite scenes from Percy Jackson and scribble some drawings, or walk in circles trying not to panic, or stare at the bottom of the bunk bed and count the staples that, I hope, are not the only thing keeping it from falling and creating a blogger sandwich.

I turned on the TV around midnight, planning to watch something brainless (like an infomercial for mustache wax), and paused at one of the French channels. I watched for a moment, just about to change the channel again. Quickly I realized this was some kind of middle-of-the-night, ten sleepless Quebecers are watching this type thing. You were supposed to guess what the ‘jaune’ thing could be– what the yellow thing was, for twenty eight hundred dollars. Well, I thought, there’s nothing else on– might as well watch and see if I can guess it.

Ten minutes passed. I sat back and smirked at all the wrong answers callers gave, (ble was one, which is wheat for all you non-French people out there), and by the way, wheat is not really yellow– I’d say more of a brownish yellow. But it all depends at what stage your wheat is. New wheat, old wheat– red wheat, blue wheat. Um, anyhow, all the callers gave the wrong answers. Half an hour passed.

I was still watching. Somebody guess the freaking thing! The girl began to look a little harried– so the producers let her make the prize three thousand now. Five minutes later she put in a hint– the yellow thing was in fact a fruit. So, ‘cantaloupe?’ the next guy suggested. Cantaloupe– yellow? Obviously this guy needs to get to sleep. Twenty more minutes passed, and still nobody had an answer– the girl kept talking, saying the same things over and over, and with each passing minute she started to look more and more frenzied. ‘Come on, yellow, a yellow fruit, I know you can guess it, there at home, maybe you had it in your breakfast this morning, maybe you’re eating it RIGHT NOW.’

Twenty more minutes passed.

By this time there was absolutely no way for me to stop watching. I had to know what the yellow fruit was. I stared at the TV screen, as the poor girl tried to keep smiling and kept saying, ‘I’m certain the next caller will have my answer! Come on, think about it! Use your heads!’

I was using my head. I was. I thought, it must be a mango. What else could it be?

Now it was nearing one thirty in the morning. Still there was no answer. So what did I do? Well, I couldn’t take this anymore. I had to solve the question. Besides, there was four thousand dollars to win. But it wasn’t really the money I was thinking about most–  it was the fact that the poor girl looked like she was going to cry soon and I wanted to help her out.

So I ran up stairs, grabbed the phone, and came back down.  I watched for a few more minutes, to see if someone else would call in with an answer– and then, at one thirty in the morning I called the French TV show– against all better judgement. But I HAD to fix this. The poor girl! Those freaking stupid French people and their wrong answers!

I called them, but I kept having to press one, for some reason. ‘Vous etes tellement proche!’ the recorded voice said in my ear. I was fully aware each ‘1’ was most probably another dollar, but I was committed at this point. So, when I reached the last ‘1’, the recording told me Good job! and all I got after that was a dial tone.

So fifteen more minutes of watching Instant-Gagnant.

I called again. The girl was going to stroke out really soon. But again all I got was a dial tone.

Aha! A moment of insight– I could try calling the cellphone line instead. So I plugged in my never-used cellphone, twitching with impatience, watching the host walk around begging people to give her an answer.

‘We have one minute and forty seconds left!’ the girl said, probably pleased it was almost over. I looked at my cellphone. Charging. I looked at the TV. No one’s calling in. I looked at my cellphone. Charging. I looked at the TV. No one’s calling in.

At this point I just wanted the thing to end for the love of God. It managed to stretch on at least another five minutes, and then, feeling agonized, for my cellphone hadn’t charged in time, I watched her open the envelope.

‘It’s the hand of buddha!’ she said.

WHAT IN THE BLOODY HECK????

I turned off the TV, disgusted. I was so worn out by an hour and a half of watching people guess the wrong yellow thing that I fell asleep pretty quick.

I will never watch that again. Ever.