With California on the verge of state bankruptcy, politicians looked for creative ways to balance the budget. One idea was to put out a call to the entertainment industry for partnerships that would ease the financial strain. A television producer responded with an idea to use the male prison population as contestants for a new type of game show. Desperate for any revenue, the governor signed off on the deal, in spite of his reservations about having to perform live executions on air.
American sex relations had long since descended into confusion and chaos. The phrase “check your privilege” became “bleed your privilege,” and so the institutionalization of anti-male hatred became common in the media, academia, and the government. Controversial new “discomfort” laws meant that a woman could point a finger to any man in the vicinity if she was feeling agitated or unhappy, forcing him to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to the authorities that he was not the cause of her pain. Prisons were abolished for women and even the most heinous of crimes committed by them were only met with community counseling. The harmless men’s rights movement was deemed a terrorist organization and any man who used “game verbal assault tactics” were immediately assigned to an equality training camp. It’s in this climate that the show “Did He Satisfy You?” appear on television.
The premise was simple. An inmate would appear on the program, while still in his orange jumper, and face a panelist of four women. He was then required to satisfy each of the four women with their requests, no matter how degrading or difficult. If he satisfied them all, his criminal record would be expunged and he would be set free. If he did not satisfy even one of them, he would be executed on live television.
It was no surprise that thirty-seven episodes in, not a single man satisfied all four women on the panel, leading to the execution of every man who played. Two men came close to freedom by satisfying three of the four women, but they failed to satisfy the last panelist, Big Bertha, who possessed a double PhD in women’s and transsexual studies. She was seen as the foremost expert in America on Bible Belt rape culture.
At a cost of $100,000 per year to incarcerate an inmate, the state government estimated that the show saved them $12 million during the first two seasons, and with advertising revenue thrown in, the state ran a healthy profit. The show became a number one hit in America on both TV and internet streaming, partly due to it being broadcasted live. The mostly female audience liked seeing a male die in real time.
Episode 38 was by far the most memorable of “Did He Satisfy You?” The contestant was Jack, a white man who was serving a ten year sentence for dealing meth. He was arrested for operating three labs in the northern part of the state after a tip to the police from his girlfriend came in when she became angry from his refusal to perform oral sex on her.
Jack legally agreed to be set free if he satisfied all four women or be electrocuted if he did not. Once he signed the show’s contract, there was no backing out. With thirty-seven previous executions in a row, it was a foregone conclusion to most viewers that he would die. They wanted to see an insanely privileged human jiggle and shake and cook on the chair and die for all the past sins of his race and sex.
Jack was eerily calm when the announcer called him onto the stage. With his unassuming appearance and slouched posture, he looked more like a meek accountant than a convicted drug dealer. The audience of mostly women already hated him. They started chanting: “Make the scumbag satisfy you! Make the scumbag satisfy you!” The four panelists looked down from an elevated platform at the contestant. Big Bertha gave him the hardest glare, her nostrils fully open.
The announcer began the show: “Welcome ladies and privileged gentlemen to Did He Satisfy You? Our contestant today is Jack, a lowlife drug dealer and monster who was caught by the police thanks to a woman who freed herself from Jack’s emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and force feeding of low-grade meth.” The crowd booed. “This man has caused harm to society and to women with his behavior, and so today he must face our panel of intelligent and beautiful women. If he satisfies all women, he will be immediately set free to terrorize more women, but if he fails to satisfy just one of our panelists, he will be executed in our electric chair. The sponsor for today’s show is Pepco electric company, keeping the lights on when you need it most. Now let’s get started!”
The studio light shined on panelist number one, signaling that she was about to state her demand. “I want Jack to cook a meal that will satisfy my hunger using only six ingredients that I choose. The ingredients are vinegar, lemon, sardines, olives, bacon, and green tea.”
A mobile kitchen was rolled out on the set and Jack began working. He started with the bacon first, frying it just enough to release the grease, then added lemon, the sardines, and barely a drop of vinegar since he was required to use at least some of it. He then gave a dusting of green tea to infuse the dish with an earthy flavor. He finished it off by wrapping the bacon around the sardines and using more of the green tea as an attractive plate garnish.
In and out came the random “boyfriends” throughout her childhood. Her mom impulsively selected a rotating coterie of men to make life more exciting, not considering the effect it would have on her little daughter. Number one would be awoken by her mom’s yells of pleasure at odd hours of the night, and one boyfriend in particular got too close to her, forcing her to sit on his lap. Her mom yelled at her, demanding she stop flirting with her man.
The dish was presented to number one as Big Bertha looked on, licking her thin lips. The first panelist chewed on the first bite and made a slight moan, signifying at least some satisfaction. It seemed that Jack’s experience cooking meth for so long helped him in creating a tasty meal. “Panelist number one, are you satisfied?” the host asked.
The camera zoomed in on number one’s face. “Yes, I am satisfied with this dish.”
The crowd yelled, “A man’s actions must lead to female satisfaction!”
Jack took a deep breath, but continued to hide any emotion to the audience. He didn’t want to let them know he was nervous from having his life in the hands of four women who would feel no loss if he died.
The mobile kitchen was remove from the set and the studio lights shined on the second panelist, the thinnest of all four. She stated her demand: “I want you to satisfy me by singing ‘Single Ladies’ by Beyonce in perfect key.” A karaoke machine was brought out and Jack was given a microphone.
When Jack first started getting into trouble at the age of 12, his mother thought it would be a good idea to enroll him in Catholic school. One of the required activities was choir. For the next three years Jack was able to refine a naturally proficient singing voice that was enough to impress a handful of girls as he got older.
Soon after her 18th birthday, number two started receiving propositions for sex on her popular Instagram account. She ignored them at first, but she wanted the fancy purses and clothing like some of her friends. She accepted an offer to fly to Switzerland to have sex with a Saudi prince and seven of his closest associates. It turned out to be more intensive than she could have imagined. She was able to gain the material possessions she coveted for the short term with these types of transactional encounters, but since then she found it impossible to develop healthy emotional connections with men.
With his life at stake, Jack belted out “Single Ladies” almost as good as Beyonce herself. The females in the crowd sang along, waving their bare left ring finger during key moments of the chorus. Even the panelists started getting into it, bobbing their heads to the beat. Only Big Bertha remained still, though a slight smile developed on her face as she realized that Jack had what it took to be put to death by her doing.
The song ended and the announcer asked, “Panelist number two, are you satisfied?”
The camera focused on number two. She was trained to delay her answer ever so slightly to build anticipation for the audience. After a three second pause she said, “Yes, I am satisfied with his singing.”
The crowd yelled, “A man’s actions must lead to female satisfaction!”
Jack was noticeably sweating after his performance. The camera got in close to his face and focused on the beads crawling down his temple. The announcer said, “Is Jack about to buckle under pressure? Will he be able to satisfy our next panelist or will he fry on the chair? We’ll find out after a word from our sponsor Chipotle and their new chocolate sizzle burrito.”
The oldest member of the panel was number three. She was looked up to by the other women because she was the one who invented the term “I bathe in male tears,” which gave the feminist movement renewed focus after so many activists were lost to attention whoring on social networking instead of fighting for all the victimized university-educated white females in the Western world.
Number three said, “I want you to satisfy me by sucking on my toes.” Before the crowd had time to respond, she added, “I’ve had a fungus nail disorder since I was a teenager.” With that the crowd gave an equal measure of laughter and cries of “Ewwwww.” A camera that was always focused on Jack did catch his nose twitch upwards when the demand was stated. Number three was brought out on a chair and her shoes were removed. Jack stared at her crinkled and calloused feet with yellow nail discoloration. A pungent sour odor began to fill his nostrils.
She did everything in her power to get him to like her. She sat next to him in lecture class, twirled her hair, and as a last ditch effort, offered up her notes after he was absent, but he still ignored her. “Was he gay?” number three thought. Then one day, walking around campus, she saw him kissing a sorority girl, a blonde bimbo who didn’t have half the intelligence she had. She couldn’t believe that a man is so easily capable of picking an artificial beauty over someone as smart and strong as she, in spite of her physical flaws.
Unlike with the singing challenge, Jack had no experience sucking on toes infected with onychomycosis fungus, but when your life is at stake, you realize skills you hadn’t known about beforehand. He got down on his knees and started sucking on number three’s infected toes like they were ripe strawberries, with a primary focus on the big toes. He maintained intimate eye contact to make her feel the control that she so desperately craved, dragging the tips of his fingers across the base of her feet. The light tickling added to her pleasure and caused her to close her eyes and tilt her head back. Jack continued sucking until the tension in her foot released. It seemed that she fell asleep.
The announcer said, “Wow Jack, it looks like you have experience sucking on fungus toes. Maybe you could suck mine after!” The crowd laughed on cue and number three was wheeled back to her position on the panel. “So number three, did Jack the misogynist and convicted criminal give you satisfaction?” Not sure of what to say, she looked to her left. Big Bertha nodded her head up and down.
“Um, yes, I am satisfied with his toe sucking.”
The crowd yelled, “A man’s actions must lead to female satisfaction!”
The studio lights shining on the electric chair became brighter. “Ladies and gentlemen,” the announcer started, “as you may know, not a single creep contestant in this show’s history has satisfied Big Bertha. That means that in all likelihood we will see the rightful execution of a man who has hurt women and our society. What do you think of that?” A bloodthirsty round of cheers and applause commenced. Cook him! Take his life! I’m not satisfied!
“Jack, do you have any comment before Big Bertha demands satisfaction?”
The microphone was put into Jack’s face. “No comment,” he said.
“Well, at least society won’t lose a charming man!” The announcer looked over to Big Bertha and asked her to state the challenge.
“I want Jack to…” Big Bertha moved her eyes from the camera lens to Jack. “I want Jack to make me love him.” Gasps were heard from the audience as the reality of the death sentence settled in.
He didn’t call her back. He said he had a great time yet one week passed and he hadn’t heard from her. He told Bertha such nice words of affection, had even given her a sweet gift from the candy shop, but all that had been a lie just to fuck her, because once he got what he wanted, he left, like all the others. All men are liars. All men are capable of hurting a woman who only wants to be happy. All men deserve to be punished for the pain they cause. Big Bertha knew in her heart that the world would be better off without them.
The announcer gave Jack a look that seemed to say “it was nice knowing you,” because how could he possibly make Big Bertha capable of loving a heterosexual man? The electric chair operator could be seen in the background preparing the machine, ready to execute losing contestant number thirty-eight. Then Jack grabbed the microphone from the announcer and said, “I can provide Big Bertha with satisfaction. I can make her love me.”
Confused murmurs came from the audience and even the announcer was surprised. He asked, “And how will you do that, Jack?”
“Big Bertha, I want you to place a call to your home.”
“Now Jack there is no need to delay the…”
“Look, the rules state that I could do anything reasonable to fulfill a challenge that is not illegal or an undue financial burden on the show. Making a phone call abides by these rules.”
Big Bertha’s eyebrows raised high as she looked at Jack with contempt. Once she received the green light from the producer, she reached for her bag underneath the podium and retrieved her phone. She dialed her home. Hello. Fifteen seconds passed. Okay. Her hand began shaking. The studio audience was in complete silence, not sure of what was going on, and even the announcer began looking uncomfortable. Then Jack leaned towards the microphone. “Do you love me?”
Big Bertha tightened her lips. “I…” The announcer glared at the producer, who could only shrug his shoulders. Never before had the outcome of an execution been uncertain.
“I love you.” It was the first time she said those three words to a man.
No one in the studio knew how to react. The announcer, after a long delay, asked Big Bertha for confirmation. “Are you sure that you love him? Are you sure that you are satisfied?”
“Yes I love him. I’m satisfied, goddamnit! Let him go!”
“Okay so Big Bertha is, apparently, satisfied. Congratulations Jack you have delivered satisfaction to all the women on our panel and will now be set free. Do you have anything to say?”
He nodded and positioned his mouth directly over the microphone. “I just want to say that I am satisfied.” Big Bertha, breathing heavily, refused to look at him.
Jack signed a few papers, was given a pair of clothes to replace his prison jumper, and was set free.
Six years later a man traveling to the Colombian coast caught sight of someone at a beach bar who looked familiar. It was Jack. The traveler approached him and said how happy he was that he was able to live by satisfying Big Bertha. They got to talking for a while until finally the traveler felt comfortable asking Jack a question that has been on his mind for years. “How did you satisfy her?”
Jack was eager to tell the tale.
“I figured that I could satisfy the first three panelists and it would come down to Big Bertha. I knew a hacker friend on the inside who had friends on the outside. What they did was hack the phone company to temporarily forward anyone who dialed her home number to one of their devices. When she made the call, she fully expected the babysitter watching her two adopted Somalian kids to answer, but instead it was a man with a distorted voice who played a sound recording of muffled whimpering. He told her to say she was satisfied or else her kids would be killed.”
“Why didn’t she go on to expose your trick after that?”
“The contract stated that all decisions are final.” Jack took a sip of his aguardiente. “I read it carefully before signing.”
The show went on after Jack but they changed the rules to forbid outgoing phone calls. Eighteen more men in a row were killed until the ratings went south and the show was cancelled. A new show was created to replace it, where men were executed immediately without any of the foreplay. Big Bertha was hired to pull the switch. By the time she died of complications from diabetes, she performed fifty-seven successful executions.
This short story was originally published on RooshV.com.
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