Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Another Sunday, another sketch performed at Cession (I assume)...

For the duration of lent, we've been running a series of sketches loosely based on Stars In Their Eyes, in which, each week, instead of undergoing an outward transformation, the guest would undergo an inward spiritual one. Of course, the joke is that, despite their claims to have changed their ways, they blatantly haven't.

With each of us writing a different week, I got week 5 – pretending to be dead to self and giving everything away. With so many high-earning presenters on TV, in the draft that I submitted, I figured we didn't really need a guest...

CROSSES IN THEIR EYES - PART FIVE.

CUE INTRO VIDEO - START SMOKE MACHINE

MATTHEW, LOOKING VERY RICH, WALKS ON STAGE, CARRYING A BRIEFCASE AND SUCKING ON A CIGAR. HE WEARS A TOP HAT, SUIT AND PADDING TO MAKE HIM LOOK LIKE A CORPORATE FAT-CAT. IF ANYONE FEELS LIKE DONATING A FIVER TO LIGHT HIS CIGAR WITH, GOOD LUCK TO YOU.

MATTHEW. Hello, good evening, and welcome to the last in the present series of Crosses In Their Eyes – the show where guests undergo life-changing and contractually-obliged inward-transformations. I’m your host, Matthew. You may remember me from such episodes of Star Trek as Matthew X, and Requiem For Matthewselah. Well, it's been an outstanding series so far, hasn't it? But all good things must come to an end, so this week the production-office has run out of budget and had to cobble-together a cheesy clips-show.

HE LOOKS UP AT THE SCREEN, AND BRIEFLY RECAPS THE PREVIOUS FOUR WEEKS' GUESTS, WITH PHOTOS OF THEM TO JOG THE CONGREGATION'S MEMORIES.

WEEK 1 PHOTO.

In the first programme of the series we met Barry from Blenheim, who was inwardly transformed into a man who could love his enemies. Only problem was, no-one was willing to forgive him for the way he did it.

WEEK 2 PHOTO.

Then in the second show our guest was ______ from _______, who got rid of all her doubts. I think. I was in some doubt about her myself afterwards too.

WEEK 3 PHOTO.

On week three we met Fred from Foxton, who taught us that patience is a virtue. He must be very virtuous now. That was two weeks ago and he's still next door praying about which cab company to call for his taxi home.

WEEK 4 PHOTO.

And then last week Gareth from Glendene, who became able to love and forgive everyone, no matter how… different they might be. We did invite Gareth back on the show this week, and he was full of encouragement, repeatedly emphasizing how much he enjoyed watching the programme… from the comfort of his home.

FADE PHOTO.

Now as you might have read in the papers, as well as presenting this programme, I – Matthew – am also its executive producer, and the phenomenal popularity of the series has led to my recently selling the international rights to the CROSSES IN THEIR EYES format. That's right – there are now local versions of this programme being made in America, Australia, the UK, and on Shine TV. So tonight I thought I'd take an early retirement and spend the rest of my life in the Bahamas, which I can do since I'm now rich enough to buy them.

However – I don't want all those trappings of money, so tonight I thought I'd save my under-funded show from cancellation by doubling as my own guest! So yes! Tonight, everyone, I'm going to be GIVING IT ALL AWAY!

CUE INTRO VIDEO. MATTHEW WAVES AND, LEAVING BRIEFCASE ON-STAGE, WALKS THROUGH THE ARCH.

MATTHEW (V/O). Ooh, it's all tingly. I can feel all my attachment to money and material possessions just evaporating away from inside me! Okay, okay, I think I'm done! Yes! Yes – you can applaud… Now!

CUE APPLAUSE. MATTHEW WALKS BACK IN, NOW SANS HIS TOP HAT, SUIT JACKET AND CIGAR. INSTEAD HE IS WEARING A BEANIE, BUT OTHERWISE UNCHANGED.

MATTHEW. Wow, that was incredible! I've lost all my attachment to material possessions.

HE SEES HIS BRIEFCASE STILL ON THE GROUND WHERE HE LEFT IT.

Ooh – hang on a second…

HE OPENS HIS BRIEFCASE AND REMOVES A CD. (IT CAN BE OF ANYONE)

I still have this CD! Well I've no use for this now. Does anybody want a free CD?

HE COAXES A SHOW OF HANDS FROM THE AUDIENCE AND GIVES IT AWAY TO A STOOGE. OR IF IT'S A REALLY BAD CD, HE CAN GENUINELY GIVE IT AWAY.

Incredible! That felt so great giving that away. And I must just say, that CD was very kindly donated to the programme by our good friends over at The Warehouse, where everyone gets a bargain. Oh, "and a money-back guarantee." I have to say that bit or we, ahem, I mean the programme rather doesn't get paid.

HIS MOBILE PHONE RINGS. HE GETS IT OUT OF HIS POCKET AND LOOKS AT IT. IT'S A NICE EXPENSIVE-LOOKING ONE.

Oh, it's only my accountant.

HE TURNS IT OFF AND LOOKS AT THE AUDIENCE.

Ohhhhh, I know what you're thinking. All right then – does anybody want my phone? No, really, it actually is MY phone – who wants it?

AGAIN, HOPEFULLY A SHOW OF HANDS. AT THIS, MATTHEW PRODUCES ANOTHER OBVIOUSLY RUBBISH PHONE FROM HIS OTHER POCKET – PERHAPS A BROKEN "BRICK" – AND PRESENTS THEM WITH THAT.

Whew – thanks for taking that off my hands. I've been trying to TradeMe that for ages, but no-one wants it!

And finally, just before the end of the programme, so that we can take the series out on a high note…

HE GETS OUT HIS CHEQUEBOOK AND PEN, READY TO WRITE.

Does anybody here want a million dollars?

Anyone? Anyone? Ah you, good. (STARTS WRITING CHEQUE) Here you go then…

HE FINISHES WRITING, TEARS OFF THE CHEQUE AND HANDS IT TO THE LUCKY WINNER.

Now that is the telephone-number of the WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE office. If you call them and get accepted to be a contestant on their programme, then you can win a million dollars. Good luck!

So that's all from us for this series of Crosses In Their Eyes. So until lucrative reruns in syndication - bye-bye!

CUE END VIDEO AS MATTHEW REACHES THROUGH THE SMOKE TO RETRIEVE HIS SUIT JACKET AND TOP HAT, WHICH HE PUTS BACK ON BEFORE PICKING-UP HIS BRIEFCASE AND EXITING.

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