HOST

When all that’s left is to sit down and eat your cheese bread and really enjoy that DVD you’ve saved up all week, there’s a knock at your door and when you haul up and walk over and look through the peephole, you see the fisheyed view of a famous person and it’s so unusual to see them from outside the square prism of television it takes you some time to recognise them until they turn to one side, maybe checking the plasterwork on the side of your house, and you realise it’s a gameshow host and not just any gameshow host but the host of a show you have recently been on yourself as a contestant which was a total surprise because you never thought you’d actually get on there and sort of called up the number that comes up at the end of every show sort of as a joke, as if it was just something you had to tick off in your life but then you got that phone call which seemed to be a joke at first but then you realised it was real and swore at the production assistant and then apologised and then couldn’t stop saying no way, no way, until you calmed down and she gave you the address of where to go and when, which was sooner that you thought, but you shuffled some things around at work and eventually you got there and it was during the day, which at first you thought was strange, but then you thought well just because they show it at night doesn’t mean they film it at night, which was what a lot of the other contestants also thought when you talked to them, which wasn’t for long because soon you were shuffled into a studio and patted down with thick makeup so you all looked like sideshow clowns with rouged cheeks and then before you knew it that familiar theme music had kicked in, quieter than on television, and you were there staring out into a kind of blackness behind the bright lights which was where you stupidly imagined the television was where whoever was watching was sitting but then you snapped out of your thoughts because the host was there, taller in real life, and he asked you what you did for a living and you said you worked from home and when he asked what you worked on at home you told him clocks and you said you fixed clocks, actually, sometimes over the phone if it was a really simple problem but more often that not people dropped them off for you so really it was always working from home, which prompted the host to make a joke about wearing pyjamas all day and you laughed at it, but it wasn’t really that funny and not really what you think people at home who tuned in to watch the game show would really be interested in, but then the host kept talking to you, asking questions about clocks, and then he said that he had an old clock at home that he needed to get fixed and that he should drop it by some time, to which you laughed and said sure, not really thinking about it more than to stop him talking at you which by this stage was getting quite annoying, but then he moved on to the next contestant and eventually started the game, which, it turned out, you weren’t actually very good at, despite the evidence collected from home viewings, but the strange thing was that, throughout the show, the host kept referring to his clock, as if this was the only thing he had to talk to you about and even when the show had finished taping and you were getting ready to go home, the host came up to you and shook your hand for such a long time that you started to get worried, but not as worried as you are now, looking out through your door’s peephole at the host, standing right outside you house, with a clock under his arm, a clock whose hands, you can clearly see, are working just fine.

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