The Future Of TV #flashfiction #Ichallengeyou

‘And… cut. Well done everyone. Take five and we’ll be back after the adverts.’

‘Harry, can I have a word.’

‘I’m a bit busy Maureen. Can it wait?’

‘It’s just I was down by the screen, keeping the sweat off…’

‘I know, horrid job but we can’t afford the smears. Some aircon is on order…’

‘It’s not that. It’s the little girl. She’s seen us.’

‘Well, I hope so. Rather the point of watching TV, don’t you think?’

‘No I mean she’s seen us. You know, actually us. In here.’

‘Don’t be ridiculous, Maureen. You know humans have no understanding of we Wemans. They think they’re the only bipedal opposable-thumbed mammals on this planet capable of memory, emoting, reasoning and formalising hopeless voting structures. It’s the hiding in plain sight stratagem…’

‘Yes, Which is fine for your average suggestible adult but children haven’t been indoctrinated. I caught her looking in the side of the screen. I’m sure she saw me looking back…’


‘No. Well, no exactly. More a mutual askance. Thing is she’s out there now, round the back trying to see inside.’

‘Where are her parents?’

‘Making tea. What…?’

‘People! Listen up, we have a situation. Jim, make ready with the Shortbox. Daphne, I need a public service tableau. Number four.’

‘What are you doing? We need to stop the girl.’

‘Maureen, watch and learn. We can hardly jump out and, what tie her down, tell her to behave, can we?’


‘So if we can’t stop her, who can?’

‘I don’t know? The Authority?’

‘Perlease. You know what they’d do? They’d have the set catch fire so the girl doesn’t get to see any TV. You want to be out of work?’


‘Ok. That’s why, when her folks come back with their tea, we’ll wait while the girl tells her folks. They’ll laugh and she’ll go and point out where she saw you. At that moment, Daphne’s troop will put on a playlet showing the dangers of letting children near the TV what with all the electrical charges held by the capacitors – it’s beautiful, the way the little girl dies of electrocution – so poignant. At the same time, Jim will set the Shortbox going. Now that’s spectacular, all sorts of bangs and fizzes and sparks. The parents will be horrified, assume it’s something that the little girl has done and the ‘little people’ inside the box will be forgotten. You go take a seat. We will be back to normal in 30 minutes.’

‘Gosh that’s clever. 

‘Not really. Anyway, it’s a losing battle.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘We’ll soon have to find a new way of making ourselves useful. Flat screen TVs will make us redundant. Still there’s no reason to worry.’


‘Have you heard about AI? Those humans think they’ll have invented robots to look just like themselves in the next ten years. And guess who’ll be inside those metal carcasses?’

‘Goodness, I didn’t know.’

‘Yep, very hush hush. Though, word to the wise. If they make them exact replicas you might want to specialise, sooner than later. Stay away from anything to do with the bowels.’

This is is response to Esther Chilton’s  prompt I Challenge You…

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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17 Responses to The Future Of TV #flashfiction #Ichallengeyou

  1. Ritu says:

    Very morbid!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Morbid, indeed, but well written! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  3. stevetanham says:

    Loved it! Bowel robots… oh no!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yikes – so the solution to many run-away AI’s will be the same prep we use to prep for a colonoscopy. You’ll have to excuse me. I’m already too thirsty to just sit here.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was convinced there was a little man living inside the radio when I was a child. I wasn’t so ignorant as to think all the singers ran in and out of the radio in turn, I had thought that through and realised he was playing tiny records. But how they did the ads puzzled me for a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. willowdot21 says:

    I are you not breaking some part of the official secrets act, telling us this! Great story Geoff… As for the AI they are already messing with our sat navs aren’t they💜

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ellenbest24 says:

    A good ole spoof, as usual played out with abundant imagination. I may have one posing as Jeremy Vine … inside my transistor radio 🤣😃😉

    Liked by 1 person

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