I've seen it, I have stared into the abyss and it is not good. The most scarifying piece of television ever to be transmitted and it's called 'Take Me Out.'
"You let a girl into your life, you have to expect some bad TV."
She clued me in on the premise.
A boy walks into a studio and is met by a congress of approximately twenty girls, lined up as they do on 'Deal Or No Deal.'
They each stand behind their own technoplinth and, as the fella reveals more and more bits about himself they can either a) switch off their lights if they're not interested, or b) keep their lights on if they think the subject is suitably 'ripped,' which is a word I learned out of 'our Charlotte from Clondalkin' last night.
Hopefully, come the end, there will still be three or four lights left on and then the power transfers to him as he straddles the spotlight, takes a look at what he sees and turns off the lights of all but one. His chosen one. Then they go on a date. And report back. Then the whole process begins again.
Things worked out well for some boy from Cavan whose name I never learned as he trotted off to bump uglies with a blonde sort from (probably) Leitrim, but the second fella had an awful time of it. A ginger from Belfast, he'd matched his belt to his shoes and this worked for Chantelle from Naas, but eventually he talked himself into a hiding and all the lights were out before he could even choose a date. The poor fucker.
Ray Foley, at least, couldn't keep his hands off our dejected Nordie friend and offered him solace after solace before sending him off with a goodie bag, while the girls just waited there for the next prey.
All I could think back on was my worst of the first dates, back in yore, and multiply it by 20, one light going off after another. It was a horrible half an hour that will be repaid in football, and plenty of it.