With the pointing of a finger the show started.
Tony positioned himself carefully in front of his oak desk, the stage covered in sophisticated black carpet, and the modern looking video wall displayed a gently moving pattern in a fetching dark red.
“Welcome to the Tony James Show! As you might expect, I'm Tony James, and this is my show.”
Steve, sat at the control desk backstage, turned to the head producer. “Who wrote that? Whoever it is, please fire them immediately.”
Tony ran through a short set of opening jokes, which thankfully were better crafted than his opening line, and got the audience into a great mood.
Steve got up from the desk to find the writer of the opening lines.
“My guests this week include the amazing Actor Alfred Stewart, the very handsome Colin Edwards, and music from up and coming band “The Studio. But first, I'd like to introduce the world renowned artist and star of the upcoming documentary series on conceptual art, Ying Chan!”
Ying walks onto the stage to a polite but confused round of applause as people in the crowd quietly whispered “Where is Michael?”. “I heard he killed his mother in law.”
Tony - “Ying, welcome to the show. How does it feel to be our very first guest?”
Ying - “Wonderful. Thank you for having me Tony. As an artist I have to say I love what you have done with the set, it's frightfully gothic.”
Tony turns behind him to look at the set, realising that under the live show lights he might as well have been dressed up as Dracula. “Er, thank you. Our set designer went through a number of variations before we got to..”
Ying - “In fact, the video wall back there reminds me of a famous painting I did in 2009 called Morning Sky.”
Steve, hearing this from the back of the control suite dropped his coffee and ran in what seemed like slow motion toward the microphone that linked to Tony's ear-piece. “Tooooonnnnnnyyyyyyyyyy, chaaaaange the subjeeeeeect!”
Tony - “Well..”
Ying interrupted - “It was the first painting I ever did using my own menstrual blood. I was quite surprised how well the colour came out.”
The audience gasped. Tony was stunned into a dangerous silence.
Ying added - “Ever since then I have used blood for the red colour in all my work. In fact the one you have on display just there was the first one in which I used other people's blood mixed in with my own.”
Tony, barely able to speak, turned to the camera and quietly uttered “We'll be back with more after this short break.”
Back in the control room Steve stood with his head resting in his hands resting on the control desk. “Tony, I think we may have a bit of a problem here.”
Tony responded sharply “You should have researched that picture better! Bloody hell Steve.”
Steve, still resting on the desk mumbled back “I did Tony. Nowhere did it mention what it was made of. You are back in twenty seconds.”
Tony whispered to Ying. - “Please please don't mention blood on the air again, this audience won't get it”
The audience, still baffled by the conversation they just heard were talking to themselves loudly. So loudly that Tony had to ask them to please quieten down before the second part of the show.
Steve - “Back in five, four, three...”
Tony - “Welcome back! We are here with award winning conceptual artist Ying Chan. So Ying, my personal favourite work of yours is the “Dinner With Mother” piece, where you recreate meals with your family using food and ingredients.”
Steve thought to himself, her least controversial work ever, what a pro. An image of the work appeared for the audience to see.
Ying - “Thank you. Although they look simple, there was a surprising amount of work required to get the food to jump off the canvas in a realistic way.”
Tony - “I see, how did you manage to get the Chopsticks to look so real?”
Ying - “Well actually I used spaghetti wound together.”
Tony, being a polite fellow, uttered the next word out of instinct. Showing respect for the guest and the conversation. Immediately following it, both he and Steve would simultaneously raise their eyebrows in alarm, awaiting the inevitable.
Tony - “Spaghetti?”
Ying - “Yes, it's a surprisingly versatile material, in fact I once used it to...”
Two minutes later and Ying had left the stage. Without uttering a single expletive, she had managed to cause 30 people to leave the audience out of disgust, nine to be sick, three to try and attack the stage to remove her, and one person to burst into tears.
That person was Steve. Laying on the floor of the control room with his eyes flowing like a teenage girl being introduced to their favourite pop star. “My career is over. My career is over. I'm finished.”