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by Matt Potter


“Yeah, she's a real slut,” many contestants' mothers say.

“If he could only keep it in his pants, he'd probably be able to stay in the country,” others say about their sons.

I sit in my beanbag, sipping beer and semi-flaccid, watching the new dating show Loose Connections, previewing it for a local community TV channel. I have to give it its correct classification. So I'm the one who decides which large letter flashes on your TV screen, and if you should send your kids out of the room now.

To become a contestant on the show, people you know have to answer a series of questions about you: this includes people you've had sex with, people who've watched you have sex with others, people from your church, and your parents. (It's a New Zealand production.)

Once you're on the show, it's downhill — or even further downhill — from there.

What sort of people will watch this new low in trash-TV? Sad fucks, that's who; people who have nothing better to do than sip beer late at night while lying in beanbags trying to muster the energy to rub one off.

I put my beer down and looking at my clipboard of guidelines, close my eyes and stab the page with my pen. G, for general exhibition.

OK, it's not a foolproof system. But I'm also on the station's Publicity Committee and being so far down on the dial, we need all the publicity we can get.