Telemarketer: Good afternoon, Sir, how are you?
Dom Romeo: It’s quite late at night, actually – probably too late for you to be cold calling me - but I’m fine. How are you?
Telemarketer: I’m calling from the Television Ratings Panel, I don’t know if you remember, Sir, but you answered a questionnaire in February regarding how many televisions there are in the house.
Dom Romeo: I don’t remember that.
Telemarketer: That’s okay, some people don't remember. The reason I’m calling today…
Dom Romeo: Tonight.
Telemarketer: The reason I’m calling…
Dom Romeo: Tonight.
Telemarketer: …now is to offer you the opportunity to be on our television ratings panel. You will have the power to determine what goes on television and what gets taken off.
Dom Romeo: Really? Well I’d like my own television show.
Telemarketer: I don’t think I can help you with that, Sir.
Dom Romeo: But you just said you were going to give me the power of what goes on and gets taken off the television.
Telemarketer: Yes, but I don’t think your idea for a television show fits in with programming schedules.
Dom Romeo: You haven’t heard my idea yet.
Telemarketer: Sir, what I’m ringing for…
Dom Romeo: Is to waste my valuable time, evidently.
Telemarketer: Sir, we think you qualify to contribute to television ratings collection. Wouldn’t you be interested in that?
Dom Romeo (in Terry-Jones’s-falsetto-The-Virgin-Mandy-a-ratbag-from-Life-of-Brian-voice): Well why didn’t you say so? Come right in.
Telemarketer: What was that, Sir?
Dom Romeo: Nothing. Say I am interested in being on your ratings panel. What does it entail?
Telemarketer: We affix some hardware to your television, and give you a special remote control with a button you have to press every time you watch television. Do you think you could do that?
Dom Romeo: I probably could. How does the hardware come to me? Who installs it? How does it work?
Telemarketer: They’re all good questions, Sir. We would tell you when and who would come to install it; they would show you identification. You would be there when they installed it. They would show you how it works and answer all your questions.
Dom Romeo: Okay.
Telemarketer: Now we just need to determine if you qualify to be part of the ratings panel. Essentially, your viewing habits would be multiplied by 5000 to reflect your demographic.
Dom Romeo: Right.
Telemarketer: Would everyone else in your household be able to press the specific button on the remote control?
Dom Romeo: I believe so.
Telemarketer: Okay, so how many televisions do you have in your household?
Dom Romeo: Just the one. But I watch a lot of ABC iView online.
Telemarketer: Oh, Sir, good catch. You don’t really qualify to be part of our Ratings Panel.
Dom Romeo: Just what I thought. Because your company is owned and run by the three commercial networks, and I’ve known for quite some time that television ratings are a crock, particularly when I hear the likes of Ray Hadley and other AM talkback radio types blathering about figures – brought to us courtesy of some sponsor – in disbelief that the more interesting show outrates the same old boring crap during morning cab rides. That's why there's shit-all on television whenever I want to actually watch it, and why I mostly resort to ABC iView when I actually have some viewing time, late at night.
Telemarketer: Thank you for your time, Sir.
Dom Romeo: Just my time? Not my opinions? They aren’t as expensive as the time you’ve just wasted for me, but they’re worth noting. Jot them down and report back to your employers.
Telemarketer: I’m sorry to have bothered you.
Dom Romeo: Indeed. Go pedal your snake-oil elsewhere.
Of course, if I actually had the power to put something good on television, I’d start by producing Danny McGinlay’s cooking show. And if I had qualified for the ratings hardware, I’d be raising the figures of his next television appearance by 5000. Here’s a clip of him in action.