This week’s story from Mur Lafferty “ESCAPE! Auditions: Transcript for Contestant 35” is all about a girl, her dog, and how to audition for a reality show. ~ Julian Yap, December 18, 2022.
ESCAPE! Auditions: Transcript for Contestant 35
By Mur Lafferty
Name: Snapdragon Smith
Job: Writer (baseball usher) (dog owner)
* * *
1:12 p.m.: I’m opening this audition tape with a statement. If chosen to be on this show, no, I will not bring my dog with me. This is nonnegotiable.
1:13 p.m.: Gosh, sorry to start things off so negatively, but I’ve learned not to waste people’s time. This is my audition tape for season two of the reality show Escape! My name is Snapdragon Smith, I’m twenty-two years old, I live in Durham, North Carolina, and I’m a writer. Okay, I pay the bills working as an usher for the Durham Bulls. But I’m really a writer.
1:14 p.m.: The things people ask me about the most are either my name, or that thing about my dog. Which should I start with? [Chuckles bitterly] Yes, my name is really Snapdragon. My mother had trouble naming me; she was never good with decisions. The nurse asked her what her favorite flower was, thinking I’d end up a Rose or a Lily, but Mom suddenly thought Snapdragon was the best name. It was her favorite flower, to be fair. And no, I don’t have a nickname. When you have a name like Snapdragon, you don’t need one.
1:15 p.m.: There’s something to be said for being anonymous, though. I’m sure if Jane Smith had experienced the same things I have, she would eventually be forgotten. But yes, Snapdragon Smith will always be remembered for the thing her dog did. If you’ve been living under a rock, or Elon kicked you off the internet, then you may not know, so I’ll tell you. My dog is Benedict Smith. Yes, that Benedict Smith, the dog that wrote that book. They said a million monkeys given a million years could write Shakespeare, which never made sense to me, but in my dog’s case, it was true. He was the millionth monkey. His little book bemoaning his neutering and the quality of treats in my apartment became a national treasure, and we were invited to the White House. I totally didn’t want to go because he’d also written a chapter about my dirty laundry and how it smelled and how mean I was to keep him from rolling around in it. How do you meet the president after they’ve read how your panties compare to the neighbor’s trash can?
1:16 p.m.: We were also harassed and doxed by PETA and the ASPCA since there was a sharp increase in unwanted pet births. His book made people less likely to spay and neuter their pets, after all.
1:17 p.m.: For the past three years, that was me. That was how I identified myself. I was the owner of that dog, the one who’s already a more successful writer than I’ll ever be. But I want to Escape and I think I’d be a good candidate. I’m entertaining and talented, mostly from my experiences at the ballpark: I’ve caught home-run balls, found lost children, and handled so many drunk baseball fans, I lost count. I’m good with people.
1:18 p.m.: What else do you want to know? As you can see, I’m not a small person, but I’m pretty strong and fit. I surprise most people who see me lift things. I am not afraid of needles, afraid of meeting new people, or afraid of heights. If I had a fear, it would be the eye doctor. I hate having things stuck in my eye. I have to be sedated for my yearly checkup, since my eyes are pretty bad. What else do you want to know? Hang on, I have your questions written down.
1:22 p.m.: I found your list of questions; I’ll go through them. Demographics, check. What’s interesting and unique about you, check, check. Phobias, limitations on movement or communicating, I got that.
1:23 p.m.: Ah, the gotcha question. Why shouldn’t you take me? People assume I’m full of myself because Benedict is my dog. They make a lot of assumptions about me, and then when they find out I’m not terribly happy with his success, I get told I have sour grapes and all that. Which is fair. He was just so smug when his book hit the list. He was even worse after meeting the president.
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