Who Wants To Live?
[03.23.00] » by David Solomon
"Welcome back to ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire!’" Regis stated. "With Fred Savage walking off with $32,000, it’s time to find that new contestant!"
Much cheering and intimidating music.
"Place these numbers in order from least to most.
A few seconds went by.
"This is the answer. In order from least to most…
"And our lucky new contestant is…Cloud Strife!"
Much cheering and intimidating music.
"So Cloud, how are you feeling today?"
"With my hands, Regis."
Regis gave a disturbed glance. "Alright, let’s just go on to the first question. For $100 dollars…‘Which of these is NOT a commonly drunk liquid?
C. Joe Pesci
D. Orange Juice"
Cloud thought for a moment. "Well, let’s see…I had some orange juice this morning…and some milk…uh…I’ll use my 50/50."
"Computer, take away two of the answers."
"I’m sorry, Dave. I cannot allow that."
Both Cloud and Regis stared at the now HAL sounding computer.
"Did that computer just talk?" Cloud asked.
"Computer, I created you," Regis said to the computer. "AND I CAN DESTROY YOU!! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Augh!" All of a sudden, Regis died of a heart attack.
"Oh, my God! They’ve killed Regis! You bastards!"
No one got the joke. Not even Cartman. Cartman, who had lost 30 pounds and was on a strict vegetable diet, responded by saying in a British accent, "You must be a fool if you think that I am low class enough to appreciate that type of crass humor."
"Gago now." That voice came from the computer, which now lay in multiple pieces having exploded.
"What’s going on?" Cloud asked, looking at everyone in the room.
"I’m going on!" Sephiroth responded, leaping out of the audience. "On ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’, that is." He chuckled. "HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Augh!" All of a sudden, Sephiroth grabbed his chest, but then calmed down. "I had some fried cheese before the show. Must be acting up."
"What the hell is this?" Cloud asked, angry that his question wasn’t answered.
"I’m still alive," Sephiroth answered. "Granted, that plot idea has been milked so many times that the udder had to be surgically removed and replaced with a metal one which was very rusty and gave the cow cancer, which was repelled with some harsh gamma radiation. Either way, I’m now in control of the show. How did you like my entrance? Was it good?"
Cloud, still not receiving his answer, just stared at Sephiroth.
"I’ll assume it was good. I was originally going to appear out of nowhere, while Regis asked questions like ‘What is the meaning of this?’ and ‘Who are you?’ while giving answers to all the questions in WWTBAM style. But, instead I chose to be a member of the audience while setting the computer up to say a scary wave file a few minutes into the game. This resulted in Regis, who was already teetering on the brink of insanity, to go insane and have a heart attack."
Cloud gave another strange look. "Why did the computer explode?"
Sephiroth was the one giving the strange look now. "What computer?"
"The one that just blew up! The one YOU programmed to KILL Regis!"
"I don’t remember anything about a computer."
Cloud gave a holler of frustration.
"You should be on Scream," Sephiroth complimented. "You’re almost as good as Kevin Costner."
"WHAT THE ****?!" Cloud screamed. "Kevin Costner wasn’t in any of the Scream movies! And even if he WAS, which he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be good!"
Sephiroth gave an angry look. "How dare you insult Kevin Costner! He was the greatest role in that movie!"
Cloud decided to give up. "Screw this, what do you want?"
"He was amazing in The Untouch-"
"WHAT…do you want?"
"Oh, yes, that." Sephiroth cackled like Vincent Price. "Today, my friend, we-"
"I’m not your friend," Cloud stated.
"Of course you are! We’re all friends here!"
"What are you talking about? You tried to kill me!"
"So did James Cagney!"
Cloud gave up. Every time a nonsense conversation was started, it seemed like Sephiroth was always the winner. "Just go on."
"Today, MY FRIEND, we are going to play my version of this strangely popular game. My lifelines, my rules! I call it, ‘Who Wants to Live’."
"That sounds like the ultimate piece of crap."
"Shut up! Here’s how it works. You have ten questions. Each time you get a question right, your death will become quicker and less painful. If you get them all right, you…live. There are three lifelines. There’s saceequiadoy, triple X, and the alternative motivator."
"What do they all do?" Cloud asked.
"That’s the greatest part. You won’t know until you’ve used them."
"What? That’s cheap!"
"I know. Don’t you think plankton would be a bit more expensive?"
Cloud ignored the comment. "What happens if I get the first question wrong?"
"You get your arms and legs chopped off, and a sword through your chest in a way that you writhe in agony for 2 hours."
"2 hours? That seems pretty painful."
"It is, you moron! Shall I go to the first question?"
Cloud nodded his head.
"Alrighty then…question one: How many ‘Lethal Weapon’ movies were there?
C. All of the above
D. None of the above"
Cloud gave a very strange glance. "What kind of question is that? None of the answers make sense! I mean, I know the answer. It’s four."
"That’s not one of your options." Sephiroth gave another Vincent Price laugh.
Cloud thought for a while, as the background music played quietly. "Well, let’s see…there WERE Lethal Weapon movies, so I guess I’d have to say yes."
A long pause. "Final answer?"
Another long pause. "Are you sure? That’s a lot of money."
"We’re not dealing with money! And this is the first question!"
A very long pause. "Correct!"
Much cheering and music.
"How ya feeling today, Cloud?" Sephiroth asked, trying to mimic Regis’ voice as much as possible.
"The same way Bob Barker felt when he realized that Jesse Jackson was the leader of the equestrian anti-mule cult."
Sephiroth gave a strange look. "There’s a real cult called that?"
"And Jesse Jackson’s the leader of it?"
"Of course he is! Duh! You think I make this stuff up?"
"Okee…" Sephiroth held his hands in front of him. "For answering the first question, your death will be the same, only you’ll writhe in agony for just 90 minutes."
"Question two: Is Anne Heche gay?
C. Only if the hypotenuse is equal to Trident
D. All of the below"
"Anne Heche IS gay! Everyone knows that."
"That’s not one of the answers."
Cloud’s face turned red. "WHAT THE **** IS WRONG WITH YOU?! THERE’S NOTHING BELOW ALL OF THE BELOW!"
"Do you want me to put a time limit on?"
Cloud calmed down. "No." He wrinkled his brow. "Hmm…it’s not A…and C and D make no sense…plus, she’s with Ellen…so…B."
"Sure? There’s no turning back."
"Yes, I’m sure!"
Sephiroth looked disappointed. "Correct."
Much cheering and music.
"You know, Sephiroth, this is really weird."
"Now you only writhe in agony for 45 minutes," Sephiroth stated, ignoring Cloud’s comment.
"What’s question three?"
"Hey, I’ll ask the questions here! Question three: How many stars are in the universe?
A. Joe Pesci
B. Paul Newman
D. All of the Above"
"That’s an easy one! The answer is clearly D."
Sephiroth, startled by the suddenness of his answer, stated "…correct! You’re getting good."
"Thank you, bitch."
"That was unnecessary swearing." That voice came from Cartman, sitting in the audience.
"He sure has changed," Sephiroth pointed out. "Okay. Now you only writhe in agony for 5 minutes. Question four: What is Joe?
"What kind of question is that?" Cloud asked.
"That’s not one of your answers," Sephiroth responded.
Cloud thought for a long time. "Up until now, your logic actually made sense…hmm…I think I’ll use my saceequiadoy. I mean, it has to help me at least some!"
"Saceequiadoy it is! Computer, please take away four of the answers."
Cloud was stunned. "There isn’t a computer."
"You blew up the computer. Remember?"
"Yes, remember is the word I just said! You can hear! Good for you!"
"Look, Cloud. If you’re gonna just live in your own world where computers blow up for no apparent reason, fine. But don’t try to pull me into your insane thought pattern."
That did it. Cloud stood up from his chair. "THIS WHOLE GODDAMN GAME IS NOTHING BUT A STRING OF RANDOM PIECES OF ****! THIS who wants to live P.O.S. PARODY MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL! AND IN THE MIDST OF ALL THIS, YOU CAN ACTUALLY SAY TO ME THAT I AM RANDOM?!" Cloud sat down. "Plus, you said that the saceequiadoy takes away all four of the answers. How am I supposed to answer it?"
Cloud let his face land on his hands. "Look, Sephiroth, for the first three questions, the answer was obvious. And yet, you refrained from letting me answer outside of the four ‘choices’. Now, you take them all away, and expect me to make up an answer for a question that makes no sense. WHAT THE **** IS WRONG WITH YOU?!"
"Well, I have influenza."
Cloud was startled by that answer. "Really?"
"No, but James Cagney does."
Cloud, more confused than ever, said "James Cagney is dead."
And Sephiroth, ignoring information he didn’t wish to hear, stated "You still haven’t said your answer. Say it."
Cloud, who was incredibly confused, tired, angry, and just wanted to get this over with no matter how the means, shouted "Interstellar vacuum of space!"
Sephiroth, calm as Keanu, quoted "Final answer?"
"Yes, Sephiroth. This is my final answer."
A long pause. "Correct. You’ll still writhe in agony for 5 minutes, but you get to keep a leg."
Cloud leaped up into the air. "All right!"
But Cloud wasn’t done dancing. "All the homeys are in the house, G! Oh, yeah! Pimptight! Kick ass! Let’s rock! Dun DUN dun dan!"
"Bam bam yippe yam as in canned!"
"Cloud! You still have six questions left!"
"Oh, right. As opposed to wrong."
"Question five: Where is the United States of America?
D. North Dakota"
Cloud thought for a minute as farting noises played. "Well, let’s see. No one ever hears about North Dakota, Montana was mentioned in South Park, and Alabama is Crazy (as in the book (which is good (and I’m not exaggerating (isn’t exaggerating a long word?)))), so I guess the answer would be A."
Sephiroth paused for 30 minutes. "Final answer?"
"No, Sephiroth, I’m going to cancel all my logic and say your mom. Of course it’s my final answer!"
"’Cause it’s ab-(as in muscle)-sol-(as in sun)-lute-(as in instrument)-ly-(as in Bruce) correct! Now, you get to keep your other leg!"
"So Cloud, how are you feeling now?"
"Like Joe Pesci after the fourth Lethal Weapon movie."
"…and how did he feel after that?"
"Well, if I could answer that question, I would have said that instead of the utterly nonsense comment relating to my feeling which included Joe Pesci."
"Isn’t Joe Pesci dead?"
"No. But James Cagney is."
"I don’t wanna hear it. Question six…"
"Admit it, Sephiroth! James Cagney is dead! He was good in Ragtime, but he’s dead! Live with it!"
"No! I won’t live with it! Question six! What in God’s name is wrong with Oprah?
A. She’s dumb
B. She’s smart
C. She’s old
Cloud thought about that one carefully. "Sephiroth, if I didn’t know better, I’d say you were making these questions up as you went along."
"Then I guess you don’t know better."
"But I know butter."
"As in ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter?’"
"Yes. It’s a remarkable thing. I lost 40 pounds on the ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter’ Jenny Craig program."
"Isn’t Jenny Craig dead?"
"No, but James Cagney is dead."
"We’re not talking about that. Answer the question."
Cloud decided not to patronize a freak. "Through extensive research, I have discovered that Oprah and Regis are…I mean, were the same person. The answer’s D."
Sephiroth was stunned. "How did you know that? Nobody knows that."
"Everyone needs more fame. I mean, think about it. And when putting the costume on, he always did it wrong, so the appearance weight would constantly fluctuate throughout the months."
"Whatever," Sephiroth stated. "If you figured it out, you figured it out. You get to keep an arm."
Cloud grinned. Maybe he would get through this ridiculous game after all.
"Question seven: Blah.
Cloud had no idea. "I have no idea," Cloud said.
"Wanna use one of your lifelines? You still have two."
"Okay." Cloud was adventurous. "I’ll use my triple X."
"Alrighty then." Sephiroth took out a piece of paper and doodled a little. Then he showed it to Cloud. Cloud was disgusted.
"This is a hentai picture of two stick figures," Cloud stated.
"I know. That’s a triple X."
"How does this help me?"
Cloud was too tired to get up and scream, so he just thought about the picture. "Well, the general shape somewhat resembled a…a D. So I’ll say D."
"Well, I have no idea how you got to that conclusion, since I had no intention of drawing the pic in a D shape, but that’s the right answer! Now you get to keep your other arm! But you still will lose the hand."
Much cheering and intimidating music.
Sephiroth chose to have the first word post-music. "Well, before something else insane is said, let’s move on to the next question. Question eight: In what video game is there a CD?
B. Bionic Commando
C. Water Bottle
Cloud thought carefully (well, what did you expect?). "Well, in Bionic Commando, the final villain is Hitler, but because the members at Nintendo are such bastards and censor anything original, they renamed him Master-D. So, you see D. Very clever pun, Sephiroth! I didn’t expect you to be so non-stupid. B."
Sephiroth was insulted. "I am not stupid! If I’m so stupid, how come I’m not dead yet?"
"You are dead yet. But people always find new ways to revive you. Most of them are corny, and sometimes they skip that part all together!"
"I know! What kind of idiot writer would have a ‘Sephiroth resurrected’ idea in a Final Fantasy fanfic without explaining how he was revived?"
A long pause.
"Well," Sephiroth continued, to break the pause. "You get to keep your hand. But you still lose the finger."
"The one John Rocker uses."
"Question nine: Who was the greatest baseball player?
"Aren’t those pieces of furniture?" Cloud asked. "Among other things?"
"They sure are!" Sephiroth said, mimicking the voice of that really annoying kid from that TV show.
Cloud went through each word, repeating it over and over again until he realized it didn’t make sense. Then he got to Roof. And he realized the answer.
"It’s C! Roof…Ruth! Babe Ruth! And I don’t mean the candy bar."
"I’m glad you’re not mean to the candy bar. After all, candy bars are people too."
Cloud just ignored that. "So, what do I get to keep now?"
"Well, since you got it right, you get to keep everything," Sephiroth said. "Get this question wrong, and you’re in for a quick death. Nothing more."
"Okay! This one’s for your life! Question ten: Ooga Booga?
Cloud gave a mean look. "You’d just love to see me die, wouldn’t you?"
"You don’t have to deny it. We were created to be that way."
All of a sudden, Solid Snake jumped out of the audience. "Metal Gear Solid quote! Metal Gear Solid quote! Metal Gear Solid quote! Metal Gear Solid quote!"
"Yes. That’s very nice. Get off the stage."
"Metal Gear Solid quote! Metal Gear Solid quote! Metal Gear Solid quote! Metal Gear Solid quote!"
Two policeman escorted the ecstatic Solid Snake off the premises. In other words, they kicked his booty and sent him flying.
"That quote was entirely out of context," Cloud pointed out.
"I know. But I just wanted to see that. It was funny, wasn’t it?"
Nobody was laughing. Cartman stood up. "You actually expect me to find such stupid humor funny?"
Cloud gave a strange look at Cartman. "What’s wrong with you? What happened? Has American society gotten to you or something?"
Cartman looked down. "It is a long story, but to begin…"
"It’s ANOTHER story," Sephiroth pointed out. "And anyway, nobody cares about South Park anymore. Cloud, please answer the question."
"Here’s my trick, Sephiroth. I still have a lifeline! I’d like to use my alternative motivator!"
"And an alternative motivator you shall have, you piece of crap!" Sephiroth pulled out a bat and hit Cloud over the head with it. "Let’s see you work off of this one, Cloud! Hahahahaha!"
Sephiroth was finally back to his old self. Cloud, on the other hand, was seeing multiple colors where they weren’t. Real life was just a blur, now, and consciousness moved to the back row of the movie theatre. In the front was…
"Jerry Garcia?" Cloud asked.
"Yo, man!" he said. "Welcome to my pad!"
"Jerry," Cloud began. "I have a problem. You see…"
"I know, man. After all, I’m in your head, aren’t I?"
"Oh? Do you know the answer!"
"Pick A, man! That answer’s trippin’!"
"I thought you were tripping."
Jerry laughed very idiotically. "Yo, man! You’re so cool." And then Cloud awoke.
"Well, Cloud, did your lifeline help you?"
"It sure did!" Cloud said, grinning like French Stewart.
"Well, what’s your answer."
"Jerry Garcia said A, and since he’s always high, I’ll say B."
Sephiroth paused for a long time. "Don’t you think you should trust your own brain?"
"Look, Sephiroth. I’m going to say B, and if you don’t accept the answer, then you’re going to become…uh…mean!"
Sephiroth laughed. "I already am mean. And now I’m really angry. Because you’re absolutely right!"
An enormous deal of cheering and happy music.
Cloud leaped up from his chair as Sephiroth sunk down. "All right! I won! I get to live!" He then turned to the camera. "Now, stay tuned for an episode of Dharma and Greg where they steal a chicken and use it in an attempt to combine the DNA of the chicken and John Rocker! Until then, see you next time on ‘Who Wants to Live!’"