Let’s Make Another Deal
It surprised nobody when her name was called and she came running down the ramp to stand smiling and out of breath in front of Wayne Brady. The show’s producers would tell you that audience participants are selected completely at random but anyone with eyes knows that girls who dress provocatively and show a little boob will often times defy those odds and get to “Come on down.”
So she did.
I realize that “Come on down” is the tag line of The Price is Right and not Let’s Make a Deal but that’s how much influence she has over things. If she wanted to come on down she was going to come on down and what I originally planned to write be damned.
She’d been “coming on down” her whole life. Find her on Halloween and she’ll always be the one in the ‘slutty pirate’ costume. Maybe not always a pirate but always slutty. ‘Slutty nurse’ or ‘slutty cop’ or ‘slutty nun’.
She has few female friends.
Her male friends come and go.
She pretends not to notice.
I don’t want to paint her as heartless though. She still has the romantic note her date to prom gave her when arrived at her door all those years ago and she still occasionally pulls it out and reads it. He wrote it when he was full of optimism about the possibility that they would lose their virginities together later that magical night. He was, of course, blissfully unaware he’d missed that particular ship by about two years. She had been sailing all through high school and he might have been the last boy in the school that was unaware of that fact.
Wayne Brady was motioning to the small box in front of her and explaining how lucky she was that the contents lurking within were already hers.
A very respectable prize. She could almost hear her parents and siblings stewing over her relentless good fortunes. I’m not saying they don’t love her, in a very resentful way, but to them every day seems like Halloween.
After Mr. Brady had wrapped up explaining to her exactly what it was that she had won, seemingly as an afterthought, he hesitated and then said “Unless…..”
She stared at him with her best “Unless what?” look.
“Unless… you’d like to trade what you already have for what is behind Door #1!”
The audience erupted with advice. “Stay!” screamed the cowboy, “Take what’s behind the door!” bellowed the cowgirl next to him. “Don’t be a fool, keep what you already have!” pleaded someone in mouse ears and whiskers, “You have to see what’s behind the door!” yelled someone dressed as a jack-in-the-box. I would have described him as a Dale-in-the-box but you have no way of knowing his name was Dale.
Wayne Brady gave her his best “So what will it be?” look, which considering his occupation was pretty much the best “So what will it be?” look on the planet.
I realize that frequent readers of this website will assume I’m about to launch into the Monty Hall problem and insinuate that the girl was at that very moment wrestling with the implications of Bertrand’s Box paradox but, as much as I’d like to, she wasn’t. She was completely unaware of such vertical paradoxes.
Or any paradoxes.
She was wondering if any of her ex-boyfriends were watching and what they would think of her if she settled for the safe choice of what she already had in hand.
A few years back she had emailed the boy from prom, his name was Nick, and attached a picture of the well-worn letter he’d written to her, to show that she still remembered him. He was touched and immediately jumped to some conclusions that, while reasonable at the time, he would quickly come to regret. They went out to dinner to catch up and once she realized that he still cared about her she skipped dessert and ran for the hills.
Finally Wayne was forced to ask “So what will it be?”
“I’ll take Door #1!” she spluttered, jumping up and down a little despite herself. She just couldn’t live with herself if she kept the modest prize and standing behind the door was Mr. Two Week All Expenses Paid Acapulco Vacation.
“Are you sure?” Wayne dutifully asked.
“Yes!” she said.
The door opened to reveal a donkey standing there in a straw hat.
The audience erupted in laughter and applause. Someone in mouse ears and whiskers sighed and said “I tried to warn her.”
During the commercial break Wayne Brady explained to her that the prize was just the straw hat. The donkey was just modeling it.
When they returned from the commercial break she was still standing next to Wayne Brady. He had walked away but she had followed. He attempted to start a new conversation with someone dressed as an astronaut but she stepped between them.
“I change my mind” she said flatly.
“I want to go back to the small box. That’s my final answer.”
Wayne Brady smiled awkwardly. “That’s not how the game is played. I’m so sorry.”
He wasn’t really so sorry. So-so sorry at best.
He began talking to the astronaut.
The girl didn’t understand. She didn’t want the straw hat. “Why would anyone want a straw hat when they could have what was in the small box?” she wondered to herself. She sincerely felt screwed over.
A thousand miles away Nick was watching.
He was smiling as he watched her wander back dazed to her seat. He could see that she clearly didn’t understand what had just happened.
His attention returned to the astronaut.