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Brazil braces for TV soap-induced blackout

Climax of Tropical Paradise menaces power network

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Brazil's power generators are on Defcon red in anticipation of a whopping power surge at the end of hit soap opera Tropical Paradise, which could theoretically blackout the entire country should the flow of juice prove inadequate.

According to AP, TV Globo says 90 per cent of the nation's TV viewers will be glued to their sets on Friday "to learn who murdered the scheming villain Tais and to find out if Bebel, the Pygmalion-like prostitute, will live happily ever after".

An anonymous power company spokesman explained: "We are worried about a possible blackout caused by a sudden surge in electricity at the end of the program. When it is all over, millions of people will get up from their armchairs and sofas to turn on the lights of their living rooms, open the refrigerator for a cold beer or heat a meal in the microwave oven."

Mercifully, he added that "extra generating capacity is customarily geared up for during soccer games and other programs that attract large audiences", so the powers that be have plenty of previous experience to allow them to judge the total megawatts required to cover 150 million shaken Brazilians simultaneously opening their fridges in search of a beer after learning Bebel the Pygmalion-like prostitute was finally carried off into the sunset by an Albanian human slave trafficker.

For those of you not familiar with these so-called telenovelas, a good one will become a national obsession running over the average 200 episodes. And if you're thoroughly sick and tired of fellow office workers banging on about their favourite contestant in Big Brother, you should count yourselves lucky you don't have to sit through relentless analysis along the lines of "so, do you think Teresa the mulatta slave girl will eventually succumb to the charms of Jose, the cruel yet devilishly handsome son of the sugar plantation owner, or will he sensationally reveal that they are in fact brother and sister after his father's dalliance with Dolores the feisty housemaid?" ®

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