This just goes to prove that you can lower people into under­water cubicles and make them try to squirm out. You can swing them around on elastic lines from rooftops. But nothing is quite so real as real life.

That, then, became the premise for my show. Here is how an episode might go:

SCENE: A guy walks into the dining room. The table is piled with envelopes. Each envelope contains an unpaid bill. Task: The guy must pay all of them, fully and on time. Even the credit-card bill.

SCENE: Teenager wakes up. It is early afternoon. Or maybe teenager arrives home from somewhere, God-only-knows-where. It doesn't matter, the point is, the teenager arrives in the vicinity of the parent. Task: Parent must say something that doesn't: A. anger the teenager; B. end up in a huge misunderstanding; C. sound really stupid.

SCENE: Wife comes home from the hairdresser. Task: Husband must refrain from asking, "Did you mean to do that?" That, despite wife saying, "I think she cut it a little funny in the front." Husband must not, under any circumstances, agree, even if he thinks the sides look funny, too. Instead, husband must say, "Really? I think you look great."

SCENE: Husband, after finishing bills, comes in from the garage and proudly shows off something he made with some saws, drills, and screwdrivers. It might be a table. It might be a spaceship. Task: Wife must find an opportunity to throw it out without the husband knowing.

SCENE: Phone rings. It's a mother-in-law. Doesn't matter whose. The son- or daughter-in-law picks up the phone. Task: Make it through the conversation without gritting teeth or making circles with an index finger around the side of one's head.

In other words, this would be a reality show based on the chal­lenges of everyday life. The problem, I'm realizing, is that everyday life is a little too real.