"Tha' Darren Brown faggot's about ter predict t'lottery numbers..."
"Is it on now?"
"Yeah, there's been lahk ten minutes o' adverts..."
I admitted defeat and put my pen down atop the nearly-finished quick crossword, walked across the room and reclined on my side of the sofa.
"Is t'petrol station still open?"
"I bet half the country's wondering that."
"Prob'ly... worth a try, ah reckon..."
He didn't get up.
"Ah bet they've just drawn it. Darren's on't phone now, copyin' 'em all down."
"Isn't he going to tell everyone how he did it, though?"
"That's what's so fucked up about this one. He's actually proving it. Like, if he doesn't give a decent answer, his career's over."
"Mebbe 'e'll make yer THINK it were a decent answer."
The ads ended and a sequence of jump cuts of a smoky alley coupled with dramatic music began.
"I can't think of any other way he'll get away with it..."
"'E's a freaky bastard."
"It's gonna be like needing a piss all the way up to Friday evening. This is a master-stroke for Channel 4. I wonder how much these advert slots cost..."
"I'm wonderin' more abou' why 'e 'an't retired yet..."
"I bet he gets paid as much as he'd make on the lottery by being on this show."
"'As 'e go' a ticket?"
The intro ended and the camera jumped to this really low-key setup of an empty studio. We watched him explain what we'd just been talking about, speaking very quickly and without pauses, even repeating himself, like he was trying to distract us from something.
"Be'er 'urry up, they'll be drawin' it prop'ly by t'time 'e's done..."
"This shit doesn't make sense! You can't fucking predict this!"
I was on the edge of my seat, palms pressed into each temple, brows furrowed, open-mouthed. Brown turned on an LCD TV on his right, mincing words, confused about which one of the multitudes of draws was in progress.
"Yer'd think if 'e really spen' a year on i', 'e'd 'av set up a be'er TV..."
"It's all part of whatever trick he's pulling."
"Is 'e gonna show us 'em or what?"
"He just said, legal reasons, he can't."
"Thir'een. For'y four. Six."
"This is insane. This is too much for me to comprehend."
Derren Brown froze for one minute while the BBC TV played, blissfully ignorant, the footage of the draw. I was expecting some witty comment - 'Good luck Derren', perhaps - but no, the TV blared out in all those cheerful, flying colours, and each ball rolled down on to the finalising chute.
"So the one ball that is -" I pointed "- THERE in that machine, is going to pop out and fly around for a bit and-"
"'E's gunner magic i' in ter'... tha' cup thing."
"I can't see any other way he'll fucking do it."
We were in silence - whereas usually we'd both scorn even the most entertaining things on television, now we took in every word of this man watching the numbers he'd picked - seemingly arbitrarily.
"D'yer reckon if we flick over ter BBC one, the'll 'av done be' now..."
Two. Eleven. Twenty-three. Twenty-eight. Thirty-five. Thirty-nine.
"So yer can't get down ter t'petrol station."
Brown wrote the numbers down in marker pen as they were read out. I kept my eyes fixed on the row of white balls that were dangerously close to being turned round. Brown betrayed no emotion, almost matter-of-factly proving that his were the same numbers as on the board.
"What the fuuuuuuuck. I mean what the FUUUUUUUUUUCK."
"It'd'a bin more surprisin' if 'e'd 'a go' i' wrong."
"I refuse to believe this shit."
"Or if 'e'd 'a aksherly SHOWN us 'em."
"There is no way those have been altered just now."
As if to prove me right, Brown twiddled a couple of the ping-pong balls with his fingers.
"Din't 'e fire blanks a' 'is 'ead last time?"
"It were Russian Roule'e. Whole fuckin' thing were faked."
I still cannot figure out what the fuck just happened. Upon refreshing Twitter the next morning, it seems that neither can anyone else. Man has reached the end of his tether. All art has reached its creative limitations. Technology is accelerating faster than we could ever find anything with which to stop it. The polar ice caps are almost done for. 2012 is upon us, and for the first time, man has killed probability. For all I know.