PG's Tips for Survival at the RHN

SHOULD SIDNEY 'PHONE A FRIEND'? - Facing Reality

Instead, should he 'Ask the audience'? These two phrases have become familiar from the ITV series 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' - that infuriating quiz programme which has (some of) the nation shouting at their TV screens. This is because, for those who don't know the quiz show, WE know the answers to the multiple-choice questions. There are only 15 to get the £1,000,000. Admittedly the questions do become more difficult as they progress up the scale.

The equally infuriating host, Chris Tarrant, would tantalizingly wave a cheque for £125,000 under the nose of the contestant, only to withdraw it with the phrase 'but we don't want to give you that!'

'How do they choose these idiots?' we shriek. 'Surely they know about nursery rhymes , geography, quantum physics or whatever the topic is?'

There again, perhaps they haven't, and neither have we. 'It's easy when you know the answers,' says the quizmaster sagely. Perhaps he's right - perhaps when the pressure is on, we too would stumble and fall at the questions to which the answers are obvious to everyone - but us. It may just be our lack of facing up to fact that we aren't invincible. We certainly don't know all the answers.

This was the case for Sidney. He had to come up against harsh reality, to face questions for which there were certainly no easy (if any) answers. How can you accept disability? Who do you blame - God for allowing it to happen, your relatives for not acting adequately, or for passing on the genes which caused the crippling disease? Is it right that we should single out any one person, group of people or indeed a celestial being?

All these questions are negative, and most are not founded on any realistic facts. They are just based on emotion and gut reactions, on false information rather than fact. That didn't stop Sidney asking the question 'Why me?' However, the answer always came back, 'Why not me?'

Written by Peter Gow
June 2000
 

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