Volume 96, Issue 60
Thursday, January 16, 2003

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Shukvision: Reality bites at The Gazette

Shukvision
Mark Polishuk
Gazette Staff

Due to the popularity of the 42,026 reality shows currently on TV, Western has decided to release footage of the reality program that has been filmed on campus over the past five months.

Entitled Gazette Writer, the concept is simple: on Sept. 1, 20 university students were locked into The Gazette office. The winner will be the person who can last the longest without dying or begging to be released.

Now, you might think this isn't all that hard. After all, our editors haven't left the office or even changed clothes since 1999, and they're all fine. But the curse of the office has a strange effect on mortals.

The constant hum of the fluorescent lights makes sleep impossible. Even sitting down is dangerous, due to the mysterious stains that seem to cover every surface. The only food available is from Centre Spot, and once you've maxed out your Visa buying a ham sandwich, you're forced to hunt for random bison that wander into the office.

Making matters worse, every hour features a new and sadistic challenge, where failure leads to inhuman torture in the realm known only as "The Darkroom."

One particular challenge was the "Deadline is in 10, minutes so write a column NOW!" event. I had a rough time in this one, as you may recall from my infamous column last month, listing your favourite kinds of soup. I barely made my word quota, thanks only to my flagrant use of the word "borscht."

It was easy to tell from the start who had the physical and mental skills to withstand the pressure. The very first day saw four contestants eliminate themselves because – get this – they said they had class. Don't they know what university is all about?

The star of the first month was Lance, a third-year math major who managed to sleep with all of the female contestants. Let's just say that the computers weren't the only Mac(k)s in the office that month. Sadly, Lance was eliminated in mid-October, when his attempt to seduce the fax machine tragically backfired.

Without wanting to give away too much, I'll just say that I'm still in the contest. I've managed to survive, due to my discovery that newspapers are edible, and not just when they're made into Powersauce like on The Simpsons.

I'm up against some tough competition, however. It's down to me, Sheila the exhibitionist from Saugeen, the weird kid from the news department with the two glass eyes and Xan, an international student who may not even realize he's on a show.

So I guess I'll be seeing you all on TV very soon. The camera operator, Mr. Townshend, says the footage is great, though he kept complaining about how I'm too old for the part. Oh well.

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2002 THE GAZETTE