Cheers and applause swept the massive audience. A camera hanging from the ceiling panned over them, showcasing their delight. A man’s voice boomed over speakers. “Here it comes, from the Bob Barker Studio at CBS in Hollywood, it’s The Price is Right There!” The cheering intensified.
The announcer continued. “Cynthia Anderson, come on down!” The camera focused on a woman excitedly leaping away from her family toward the stage. “Albert Frasier, come on down!” A large old man’s face lit into ecstasy, and he too went down to the stage. “Billy Gabbard, come on down!” A third person made their way to the stage, never stopping clapping and cheering. “And Brianna Vargas, come on down! You are the first four contestants of The Price is Right There! And now, here’s your host, Drew Carey!”
The crowd erupted into even louder applause as Drew Carey joined the quartet of contestants on the stage. He greeted the audience with a youthful vigor, despite hair bleached gray with age. “Hi everybody! Wow, it’s great to be here today for another episode of The Price is Right There!” The audience greeted him just as fervently.
Drew approached the contestants behind the four podiums at the edge of the stage. He had been through this routine thousands of times before, but that never made it any easier. “For our first game today, the four of you will be guessing the price of…” He pointed to a curtain on the side of the stage, rising to unveil—“a 70 inch ultra high definition television!” The crowd, and the players, went wild.
“Light up your living room with this fabulous display,” the announcer announced. “This television set features a built in Blu-ray player, popcorn maker, and it can connect to your smartphone!”
“Wow, amazing!” Drew said. “And according to that price tag on it, it’s worth exactly $1,299.” At the bottom of the television, the price tag was plainly visible to everyone in the audience, plus the four players. The camera lingered on the tag for at least ten seconds to make sure everyone saw it. “So,” Drew said, “are you ready to guess the price? Cynthia, you’re up first.”
The woman behind the first podium leaned into the microphone and shouted, “I’m going to say $1,500, Drew!” The entire audience clapped and cheered.
“Okay,” Drew said. “Albert, what about you?”
The second man said, “I think it’s gonna be… $1,501!” He clapped enthusiastically, as did everyone else.
“Great, okay, sure,” Drew said. “Billy, what do you say?”
“Um, I’m gonna go with… $1,400!” Billy said. His number was met with ecstatic cheers.
“Wow, okay,” Drew said. “And lastly, Brianna, how much do you think this television worth exactly $1,299 is worth?”
With no hesitation at all, she shouted her answer. “$1,350!”
“Alright,” Drew said. “Those are all some great answers, theoretically, I guess. Now let’s see if any of you got it right!”
The four players’ faces lit up eagerly as they waited for the reveal. A generically attractive woman standing next to the prized television held a blank price card. She flipped it over with a smile. The price on the card was $1,299.
The audience and the players groaned with disappointment. Drew sighed. “Aw, nobody got it. Better luck next time, folks.” He knew the next time would go no differently. “We’ll be back with more The Price is Right There after a quick commercial break, don’t go away!” He knew this Sartrean existence would never end.