TheGameshow "How far can we Go"
You came home from work. You felt relieved that the work day had gone as well as it did. After all, those kinds of days are few and far between. With the state of the world and all of its negativity and pressures bearing down on you, it felt nice to be happy after a day at work for a change. There you were, a white, middle-aged man with a family. You fit the pressured stereotype of the "grade-A American family man". As even more proof, your wife, who you have been married to for over a decade, is one of your high school crushes. You guys hooked up after a friend of a friend connected the dots.
You think to yourself, Yeah, she has a kid, but the kid is just a baby. It may be considered baggage by most people, but it's not like I'm perfect and don't have my own baggage. Besides, the kid is young. If everything works out, we can be a happy family.
Back to the present, and you're sliding the key into the keyhole of your front door after that not-so-hard day of work. You imagined that your wifey is probably doing what she usually does around the time you come home. The young ones that you had together are spending the night with the grandparents, but as for the now grown up step-daughter, it's summer, and she has decided to take a break from college to come home. You could tell she needed the break, because for one, she told you how stressful her first year had been, and two, she mentioned how homesick she had been.
The door is already unlocked. It's not unusual, but when it happens, it still gets the gears turning until you open the door to reveal why. This time, the answer is very peculiar and took you by surprise.
In your living room, you saw your wife sitting on the couch, and towards the kitchen, your step-daughter stood with a cup in hand. They both look in your direction immediately, with grins that gave the impression that they were caught in some guilty act. Centered in the living room, stood a glamoured up white man in a tuxedo.
Your step-daughter is barefoot, wearing her favorite casual attire, which consisted of her favorite pair of shorts and a regular t-shirt, while your wife is wearing some knock off yoga pants and a low cut tee.
At first, you think he is from a news agency. This is because of his dolled up look, a device that is hooked to his belt, and the small microphone that is clipped to his collar. However, the biggest indication is the cameraman that is standing behind him. It is just like how they look in clips, where typically, you see the cameramen hovering and shifting to aim the lens around. It's almost as if they're head is replaced by the massive camera.
"What's going on?" you say.
Your wife begins to speak, but she's cut short by the stranger. His voice is exactly how you expected; fake.
"Surprise!" he says while throwing up his hands into the air, "Hey there! We've been waiting for you for quite some time now!"
You close the door and are not amused. You don't like seeing a stranger or two in your house, and especially without any context.
The cameraman shifts around to point the camera directly at you. When you look at the camera lens, it feels a bit like looking down the barrel of a gun.
The man speaks while gesturing towards your family, "We've already caught them up to speed and you were the only missing link!"
The man then gestures towards an empty spot on the couch and says, "Come on. Sit down and let me drop the deets!"
Not caring to hide your frustration, you reply, "Nah, I'm good. Just tell me what's going on."
The man returns his hand and answers, "Very well. No problem here. I'll give you the quick and easy."
The camera pans to him.
"You've been randomly selected as the next participants of a brand new show. It's set to air in a few months, and we've nearly completed our promised amount of content. Yay!"
He squeezed his hands into fists and made a cheesy smile before continuing, "It's called 'How far can you go?' and it's going to be on a streaming service of course, because it's a mature-rated show. Plus, we all know that streaming is in, and cable is out, am I right? It's going to be a-maze-ing."
Now things started to sound more interesting, as you wondered about compensation for whatever this "brand new show" is all about. Still though, it struck you as being odd. You weren't sure you believed the comments about your family being randomly selected, and you wondered what mature-rated could mean.
Maybe because of curse words, you think.
"It's super simple," the man says while pointing to the leather-bound clipboard sitting on the coffee table with a paper on top, "You all sign this contract, then we play a game. The rules are easy peasy."
Your step-daughter butts in to comment, "It sounds pretty harmless, Dad. He says we can quit anytime."
Feeling more confident about the situation, you look to your wife for her opinion. She shrugs and says, "Yeah. It sounds like free money."
You begin to speak, but the stranger cuts you off as if knowing your next question.
"Like I said, the rules are simple! I offer you amounts of cash-money, right here, right now... if you all agree to comply with whatever gets thrown at you. It could be me asking one of you to slap each other silly, or to shave your head, etcetera. The only condition after we begin, is that if you refuse, you lose!"
The man over-excitedly laughs and says, "Seriously. The game is over. However, you get to keep whatever cash you've accumulated up to that point, unless I mention any other stipulations. Not bad, right?"
He puts his hands out to either side while the cameraman pans the camera around the room to each of you.
"What do you say?" he says with a smile.
You see your step-daughter slightly bounce up and down giddily. Obviously, the money aspect is speaking to her. Your wife crosses her legs and waits for your answer. You happen to notice that a pen is already in her hand.
"Okay.... Sure," you say, "Why not."
After signing and more cheerful banter from what you surmise is the host of the show, your family goes on to complete the first three challenges.
The first is for your wife to eat food out of a family member's shoe. It had to be food that the host chose, and he rummaged through a kitchen cabinet to pick out a can of chicken noodle soup. This earned the family 200 dollars.
The second challenge is for your step-daughter. She has to drink an entire cup that consists of different ingredients from the fridge that of course is chosen by the host. You lose track of all of the ingredients that were chosen, but you remember some of the worst being mayo, pickle juice, and orange juice. To your surprise, she completes it like a champ and nets 500 dollars.
The host drops a bombshell before revealing the third challenge. He tells you all that there is an upper limit to the game, and that if they reach 1 million dollars, that the game would be over and they would win it all. He mentions that it hasn't been done so far in the show's nearly complete season.
The third challenge is going to be for 100 grand, and it is for you. It is a tricky one, because it came with a passive condition that would continue for longer than just one challenge. This is one of those stipulations that the host mentioned that voids the fact that you could quit and leave with whatever is earned.
The host is swaying from side to side in excitement when he says, "For one-hundred thousand dollars... you cannot speak until the end of this show. Basically, that means that if you utter a single, recognizable word, the game is over!"
You look at both your step-daughter and wife in a confident smile, and as if to show immediate agreement, you don't say anything and instead shoot everyone a thumbs up.
The host acknowledged and continued, "What a sport! Don't forget though... 'Dad', if you speak before two scenarios here, the game is over and you lose everything! Scenario one being that you all make it to 1 million dollars in earnings, and scenario two being that one of your family members chooses to quit."
All three of you exchange smiles and you can't help but notice your wife and step-daughter's eyes light up with excitement. Afterall, you all know that sort of money could be life changing, and that it seemed like a relatively easy challenge for you to complete.
"You guys are amazing contestants. I just have to say it," the host says, "and I can tell that you all are in it to win it, so let's turn it up!"
"Just to mess with you 'Dad'," the host says in a snarky tone, "this next one's for 5 whole dollars."
The man laughs and you smile, because you get the irony.
"Come on out here Rizzo!" the host raises his voice while he cups a hand to his mouth as if it were a loudspeaker.
The door opens to your bathroom, and a large, muscular and dark-skinned man emerges. This is completely unexpected, and all of a sudden, things started to feel a little uneasy again. You were somewhat expecting things to get harder in the game, but what is most concerning about the situation is that the younger, dark-skinned man is completely naked.
"Oh my god..." you hear your step-daughter say while covering her face with her hands.
Your wife turns away to hide her eyes. She had always been somewhat shy and would get a little abashed whenever you mentioned dirty things.
"Okay...what is going on?" she asks.
As the athletic man known only to you as 'Rizzo' enters the living room and comes to a stop, you can't help but notice that your step-daughter is still looking him over. She doesn't necessarily give you the impression that she is enjoying what she saw, but more so that she is curious and can't help herself to look away.
You have an enormous urge to tell her to avert her gaze, but you also remember that the game would be over if you did, so instead you just shook your head and kept trying to get her attention away from the naked man.
"HA! Things just got interesting, am I right?" the host says while putting one palm across his chest as if he is surprised himself.
"For five...big...smackaroos, but more importantly, to continue on in the game..." the host explained while pointing to your wife and step-daughter, "you, and you, just have to..."
The host looks in your direction and says, "What do you think I'm going to say 'Dad'?"
You shake your head and shoot back an angry look in response to his trolling.
He laughs and says, "You just have to..."
He finishes his sentence but pauses in weird intervals on purpose and strikes a weird pose during each pause for dramatic effect.
"get on your knees..."
"on either side of this gentleman..."
"take your hands and squeeze each of his thighs..."