Life on Marsden: Gambling to beat boredom is not such a winning idea, it turns out

As instructed, I thought about the sizeable £31,000 prize

Share
Related Topics

"Just think what you could do with all of that money," said a shrill voice from the TV. I glanced up. I'd been fiddling with a piece of tin foil, tightly cocooning the end of my finger, pretending that I could transform things into solid aluminium by pointing at them, then feigning disappointment at my own pathetic superpower. "Oh dear," I said as I zapped chairs, books, my legs. My aluminium legs. Yes, I was experiencing that listless despondency the French call ennui, and the British call ennui, too, because we're so listlessly despondent we can't be arsed to invent a word. The voice, however, was telling me that everything could change if I correctly answered a multiple-choice question and texted the answer to 88330.

As instructed, I thought about the sizeable £31,000 prize. The spending suggestions on screen included things such as cars and holidays, the subtext being that viewers could be easily hauled out of their listless despondency. But I wasn't so sure. After all, I'd just got back from holiday and yet here I was seeking existential meaning from ITV. "What is the tartan garment that Scottish men traditionally wear?" trilled the voice. I sighed as the potential answers were revealed. A: Tutu. "No," I thought. "That's something else entirely." B: Sarong. C: Kilt. "Yes," I said, loudly. "C: Kilt." The nation's intelligence had been tested most severely. I had passed.

If playing roulette at the Monte Carlo Casino lies at one end of the spectrum of gambling, picking up your phone, removing your aluminium finger and texting "C" to 88330 surely lies at the other. I don't know how many people texted "C" to 88330 last week, but I'm sure none of them did so while going "Squeeeee!" and hopping from foot to foot. My experience consisted of two silent, joyless prods, motivated by the knowledge that someone had to win the money but dampened by the knowledge that it'd be some bastard who'd be unwilling to share it with me. A text came back. "Text ur answer again and get 3rd entry FREE." I texted "C" again. Another text. "Enter twice more and get another FREE entry. I texted C twice more, locked into a hyper-addictive SMS vortex, but suddenly the acknowledgements stopped. Game over. "Screw you, ITV, spoiling my fun," I mumbled, while looking up the word "sarong" in case that's next week's answer.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Piper Ryan Randall leads a pro-Scottish independence rally in the suburbs of Edinburgh  

i Editor's Letter: Britain survives, but change is afoot

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Some believe that David Cameron is to blame for allowing Alex Salmond a referendum  

Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?

Mark Steel
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam