Musings on Being a TV Quiz Contestant

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Tom Gleeson has questions about Prince, the Holden Torana, David Unaipon, and Studio Ghibli films, so he invited some self-proclaimed experts to answer them in an unhealthily competitive environment.

Do you lie awake at night visualising Tom Gleeson’s maniacally grinning face looming above you, goading you into an awkward foot-in-mouth trap of monumental proportions?

Do you toss and turn through what should be your REM sleep with that burning question eating away at your soul?

“Should I?”

“Should I apply to be on Hard Quiz*?”

*Insert your favourite game show here

Whether it be the conundrum of Hard Quiz, the comforting lure of Eddie McGuire enticing you into the Hot Seat or The Chase’s excited puppy Andrew O’Keefe beckoning you on, you…

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You awake?

You awake?

Hey, dickwit, you awake?

Of course I’m awake now. You woke me up.

Kill the cat.

Oh come on. Really? The cat? That’s nowhere near your best. Go away. I’m tired. Please let me get some sleep.

Kill the cat.

We’re doing this? At 2am? Fine. Yesterday it was the dog. I killed the dog. Skinned it. Wore its innards as a turban as I power-walked to the shops. Did everything you told me to do. Don’t I get to enjoy some time off?

No such thing. Kill the cat.

You know what? No. I’m not…

Lighten up! Explore some silly options to make you smile in lockdown

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Gif (by author) of Taking out the Bin and the TJ Smith Smith Stakes at once! by Kate Cowan*

A wise man once said “there is no such thing as ‘spare time’. Use every second to improve yourself, broaden your mind, and in doing so, make a better world”**.

**No he didn’t. No such thing. I made it up. Why use a real quote when I could just write something everyone believes and attribute it to someone ‘wise’.

Made you feel smart when you nodded in agreement though, didn’t it?

What’s the point in using the time freed up by the COVID-19 lockdown to finally do those…

Language evolves, but is English really under threat by emojis?

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Dead Poo “L” billboard — via Patton Oswalt on Twitter

This article was originally written in 2016.

A billboard in Los Angeles costs up to $15,000, so how would you feel filling it with just three letters?

Except two of those letters aren’t letters.

And one of them is a — ahem — a — well — it’s a poo. An image of a poo. Or more precisely, a poo emoji. 💩

The emoji well and truly entered the public lexicon after 😂 was named Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year in 2015, and now these electronic icons have leapt…

How to apply the factors that editors use to select their favorite stories to your advantage.

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Opening the Treasure Chest image by

Later in this article I will analyse the top 260 stories listed on Medium’s Featured Story page on Monday 13 April 2020 to glean insights into the curatorial process.

To get there, I present my rationale for this analysis:

If you joined Medium to develop an income stream, you need to reach the largest audience possible. There are 5 ways to do this:

  1. Build your reputation and followers over time
  2. Gain exposure via Publications with an existing following
  3. Have your story go viral externally…

Not to say you look like a scab, but, come on. You probably roll cigarettes from leftover butts scrounged on the pavement.

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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

While the world self-quarantines during COVID-19, businesses are savvy enough to realize that by giving you something for free during these tough times, you’ll be keen to support them when this is all over.

So here’s how you can benefit by squandering their good will for FREE!

Free streaming

You’ll find CBS, Amazon Prime, Quibi, HBO and many more streaming services are offering free programs or extended trials. While this is fantastic in the short-term, you could also do what my cousin Donnie does, and log-in with some-one else’s subscription. He gets every service free, even those pay-per-view wrestling events. …

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Photo by Alejandra Quiroz on Unsplash

Although it wasn’t really mine,
and it sure as hell wasn’t yours.
Both of us still awkward in our own ways.

You’d just returned from the city.
Rejected, dejected — yet full of hope.
The sparkle in your eyes was intoxicating.

I was struggling in my final year at school.
Still unsure of who I was,
trying to find meaning in existence.

Desperate to find someone who
would take the time
to understand me.

You. Were older than me.
Were not my type.
Were out of my league.

You. Could never be interested
in a scrawny kid like me. …

It was funny … until it wasn’t

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BOO! Clown by Lara Giddings Official / CC BY-SA

“Madam President, he’s here,” panted the aide as Dr Kozlov was ushered into the Emergency Operations Center. Both had obviously been running, but Shurik was obviously the fitter of the two, able to maintain his composure and breathing with ease.

“Madison,” he began, eyes widening as he realised his faux pas.

“No pleasantries needed old friend, first names are fine,” the auburn stateswoman replied, relaxing him noticeably. “These are uncertain times, and having something — someone familiar nearby is a blessing.”

Dr Kozlov, the 2022 Nobel Prize winner for his work on profiling…

An introduction where I attempt to pigeon hole myself

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My name is Stephen Scott.

I am a writer with Illumination.

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, a half-finished degree in Performing Arts, a Graduate Certificate from AIR-TV, and a 3rd place ribbon for backstroke from my Grade 10 swimming carnival.

This is not how I want this introduction to go. I’m going to start again.

Hi, I’m Stephen.

I’m a watcher.

Always have been.

Participation scares me.

The hamlet was abuzz with the absurd notion that a vampyre had come to feed.

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Photo by Elti Meshau on Unsplash

A ridiculous claim I did my best to eradicate, to no avail.

In hysterical tones men and women asserted the undead fiend’s conquests.

Knut the Scout boasted of recognizing it first, noting a lessening of bats massing in the eve.

Shepherd Tarquin reported several of his sheep were set upon, their precious wool stained in arterial blood.

Then there was widow Rosalind, still grieving the loss of Alfwig the Farrier to the cough of whooping, now losing a child to the villain.

Her youngest, Gawain…

Stephen Scott

He’s not the messiah, he’s a very naughty writer of #FlashFiction that amuses, entertains & accidentally enlightens.

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