I don't tend to ever watch shows like A Current Affair - a frighteningly inept Australian news program - because, well, they're frighteningly inept and, honestly, how many "dodgy" plumbers/electricians/mail order schemes can you watch?
I was, however, watching it last night and saw a story that made me howl with laughter. It's a sad story, certainly, but ridiculously absurd in execution. It's about a young woman named Ashlee who is allergic to water. She can't shower, swim, exercise etc without breaking out into a rash. You can watch the video here or use my photoshopped rundown, instead.
Host Tracey Grimshaw knows how stupid this upcoming piece is before she even begins. Poor girl. I'm surprised they don't start claiming the girl in the story is an alien from outer space.
Ooh serious face. But looking at this image is important, because it leads into...
THIS!!! The first moment of hilarity comes in the form of the Current Affair team's ability to make the young woman HOT PINK! You see, it shows that she breaks out in a rash!!!! geddit?!? omg! They're so talented.
Naturally the first time we see the girl is when they make her take a shower in front of the cameras(!!!) She says later on that she only has three showers a week because the pain in unbearable all over her body. And thanks to channel 9's astute crew we now have the evidence. Where would be we without them? The "reporter", Martin King, even goes so far as to say that for Ashlee a simple shower, which most people take for granted, is "pure and simple water torture". Bless.
A quick shot of her drying some dishes - "Do you have to make them so wet?" she asks her mother. Later in the piece her mothers says her daughter's illness gets her out of doing the dishes. Again, nice to see that the Current Affair team are so persuasive as to get her to dry wet glasses for our entertainment. It's like Cirque de Soleil with debilitating illnesses! It's risky, but the end product is amazing!
What would you do if it were raining and you were allergic to rain? Why, go for a lovely walk in said rain, that's what! Even though she says later on in the piece that when it's raining she can't go outside. Yup. They're just upping the ante!
Of course, nothing is quite as refreshing as a row boat trip on the Yarra River, is there? "You're splashing me!" she says in perhaps the best/worst moment of the entire segment.
At this moment she hilariously chimes in that she has "water beneath me and water above me." The Current Affair crew are really taking this girl's welfare into careful consideration, huh? WHAT IF SHE FELL OVERBOARD?! We'd be entering snuff film territory then. Something that, I have an inkling, would make Martin king squeal with glee. "A REAL STORY!!"
In this brilliantly bonkers moment she mentions that even being in the sun can cause her to sweat, which in turn leads to the awful rash. So, what else could they do but make her stand uncomfortably in a sliver of shade under, surely, the weakest tree they could have possibly found and filmed her. In this moment, which lasts for about five seconds, she has to start fanning herself because - you betcha - she's getting hot and sweaty. Alternatively they could have just shown her looking at a postcard of Queensland or something to that effect and not put her in a situation that could lead her to being incapacitated. What does she do when she wants to leave the calm comforting shade of the tree? WHAT THEN?!?
At this moment of the piece Martin is asking the poor gal what she can and can't do. After listing off things like going out in the rain (her words: "If it rains I'm stuck inside"), exercise and so forth she mentions she can't even sleep next to her boyfriend if he is perspiring. Sad. It's at this moment though that I thought A Current Affair were going to cut into Post-Prime Time viewing and show her canoodling with her boyfriend just to prove that she'll break out in a rash. Alas, no such luck. They're prudes, I tell ya!
Naturally, immediately after saying her "worst enemy" was "anywhere outside where I can get hot and sweaty", what do they do? GO TO THE BEACH!, of course. Makes perfect sense to me. And not just that, but she's wearing a heavy-looking black coat. Because that's not going to do her any harm at all!
Perhaps even better than the row boat "You're splashing me!" moment, the two of them sit at the end of a pier, his feet mocking hers as they dangle in the water. She sits and tells of how if they got wet for just a brief moment of time the effects could last for up to two hours. Cue Martin starting to splash his feet about in the water.
And such brings us to the end of this glorious six minutes of television. He, as always, ends with a joke "it's an exclusing club!" "VIP" she replies. And upon cutting back to Tracey she wisely cracks "not a club you'd want to join." SNAP! I bow down to A Current Affair and their ability to put susceptible young people into dangerous situations. Now, I need to contact them about a dodgy repairman...