With the Trump administration aiming to slash public broadcasting from the federal budget, funding for PBS and its member stations is facing a dire threat, and they’re very clearly feeling the heat: PBS just got really desperate during a pledge drive and offered up one night of passion with Thomas the Tank Engine to viewers.
This is really hard to watch. Guess they have to pay the bills somehow.
Last night, near the end of a live pledge drive broadcast in which they were still thousands of dollars short of their funding goal, PBS made a last-ditch appeal to potential donors by offering a $500 premium gift package that included a sensual night alone in a romantic private suite with Thomas the Tank Engine, with the promise that the anthropomorphic locomotive would serve viewers’ “each and every desire.” The gift package, which also included a PBS tote bag, steel travel mug, and Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration concert DVD, would allow donors free rein to live out their wildest fantasies with Thomas who, PBS noted, can perform some truly exotic and stimulating sex acts due to being a train.
“It’s donations like yours that allow us to keep quality programming on the air, and by pledging $500, not only will you get a night of debauchery to do anything—and we mean anything—you want with Thomas, you’ll also receive the satisfaction of helping public television remain free and independent for viewers everywhere,” said pledge drive host and PBS personality Rick Steves, adding that Thomas has 5,000 times as many nerve endings per square inch as humans and is unfathomably sensitive to erotic touch. “If you enjoy popular PBS shows like Antiques Roadshow and Masterpiece Theatre, then we’d strongly encourage you to support our mission with a financial gift that’ll win you the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have your way with beautiful Thomas, who’s ready to toot his steam whistle in ecstasy as you sensually explore his valve gears all night long.”
Phones rang off the hook in the background as Steves continued describing the gift package, with hundreds of viewers apparently eager for the chance to make love again and again to Thomas while gazing into his round, smiling face. Interest seemed to spike even more after Steves noted that, for an additional charge of just $100, viewers with exhibitionist proclivities could arrange for Thomas’s co-star grouchy ol’ Gordon to be present as a voyeuristic observer, where he’d grumble nonstop about all the work that needs to be done at the rail yard while you breathlessly defile his chum Thomas in countless filthy ways. And if the deal couldn’t get any sweeter, Steves revealed that a portion of all financial contributions would go to help out a local NPR sister station, and viewers could take satisfaction knowing that they’re supporting vital public radio programming as they make feral, sweaty love to the friendly train.
Wow! All aboard to save public television!
With their funding at greater risk than ever before, it’s clear that PBS is willing to do whatever it takes to make ends meet and keep their mission alive. Here’s hoping that offering up Thomas as a passive vessel for viewers’ most depraved sexual fantasies pays off and PBS is able to continue producing quality television for years to come.