Friday, September 26, 2008

The One About The Heist


1.  INT.  THE ANGEL.  NIGHT.
Much later.  It's nearly closing time.  SIMON is at the bar, drinking, plastered.  Clearly, he hasn't made any progress whatsoever with ROSANNE.  He's about to make a play, when suddenly TWO MEN burst into the pub, wearing balaclavas and wielding baseball bats. They are shouting.  One of them, FIRST BALACLAVA MAN, whacks SIMON hard.  He crashes to the floor.  Meanwhile, SECOND BALACLAVA MAN is screaming at ROXANNE as he clears the bar-top of glasses with his baseball bat.  ROXANNE screams.  Glasses go flying and there is shattering glass everywhere.  Everything happens quickly and simultaneously.

FIRST BALACLAVA MAN
Everybody get down on the floor!

SECOND BALACLAVA MAN
(To ROXANNE)  Open the fucking till!

The few remaining CUSTOMERS in the pub are too stunned to do anything.

FIRST BALACLAVA MAN
I said everybody get down on the floor!

SECOND BALACLAVA MAN
(To ROXANNE)  Say one word and I'll
kill you!

ROXANNE, petrified, opens the till.  SECOND BALACLAVA MAN quickly grabs the till tray and pours the contents into a bag as CUSTOMERS get down on the floor.

Cut to:

2.  INT.  THE ANGEL.  NIGHT.
The Ladies Toilet of The Angel.  CUSTOMERS caught up in the robbery lie on the floor.  Close in on ROSANNE and SIMON amongst them.

SIMON
(Whispering to ROXANNE) Hi.

ROXANNE
(Whispering) Hi.

SIMON
You okay?  

ROXANNE
Not really.

SIMON
 Nor me.

ROXANNE
That'll teach you.

To be continued ...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The One About Kevin Keegan (Part 2)


1.  INT.  THE ANGEL.  NIGHT.
HARRY (late 30s), and his mate KENNY (early 40s) are having a drink at the bar.  We last saw them in The One About England. Nearby are SIMON and CARL, behaving like schoolboys as they ogle ROSANNE, and JACK - from The One About The Binge Drinkers a little earlier - who has bumped into someone who knows him.

KENNY
He didn't have any control, that was the
problem.  The moment they brought in
Dennis Wise it all went Pete Tong.  He
had no role in picking the players.

HARRY
Playing Joey Barton against Arsenal 
wasn't the brightest of moves.  I never
really understood what it was about
King Kev, to be honest.  I know the fans
loved him but .. he was bollocks, really.

KENNY
(Not listening to a word Harry's saying)
It's the continental way of doing things.

Cut to:

2.  INT.  THE ANGEL.  NIGHT.
SIMON and CARL, a bottle of wine between them, are both fairly pissed.

SIMON
When we leave, we will both say goodbye,
right.  And she will look at me, she will
ignore you completely, and she will say
goodbye to me.  And not to you.

CARL
Twat.

SIMON
Twenty quid.

CARL
I can't drink wine in pubs.  It's not right.

SIMON
Mate, that's our second bottle.

CARL
It's taken me a while for it to dawn.

Cut to:

3.  INT.  THE ANGEL.  NIGHT.
JACK is talking to LENA, who we saw last playing darts in The One About Belief.  

JACK
(Trying to impress)  I went to see the doctor
today about my lifestyle.  I was so hung-
over, I forgot to mention my coke habit.

LENA
You don't remember me, do you?

JACK
If I'm being totally honest, and please ..
'cos it's better to be honest, I think.  I
can't quite .. No, I haven't got the foggiest.

Cut to:

4.  EXT.  THE ANGEL.  NIGHT.
Later.  SIMON and CARL outside the pub.  In the background, catch sight of a HOODIE riding a fluorescent-green Kawasaki push-bike.

CARL
That was bollocks, that was so nothing, 
that was neither of us.  That was like we
didn't fucking exist.

SIMON
Bullshit, you maybe.  I'm going back in.

CARL
You what? 



Sunday, August 31, 2008

West Is Best (Part 2)


1.  INT.  THE ANGEL.  NIGHT.
We're back with JOSEPH and LENNY, picking up from West Is Best. LENNY has a fresh pint on the table in front of him. He's looking around, taking everything in.  JOSEPH is returning to the table with a pint from the bar, bringing his saline drip along beside him on its wheels. LENNY really is an arsehole, making him do that.  Not only that.  Their previous conversation - that they no longer really know each other any more - he has absolutely no intention whatsoever of letting drop. 

LENNY
We go back a long way, I'll grant
you that.  But there's a lot in
between that you don't know.

JOSEPH puts his pint down on the table.  He's studiously trying to ignore LENNY, but he just can't stop himself.

JOSEPH
Is that it, then?  Is that all the
thanks I get?  That's charming -

And then at that very moment, just as he's about to sit down, JOSEPH's legs go beneath him. He buckles and goes down fast and hard, just in front of his lifelong friend, who tries to catch him as he goes.  But LENNY's reactions aren't nearly fast enough.  JOSEPH catches his head on the side of the table as he goes, and the saline drip and chair go flying.

2.  INT.  THE ANGEL.  NIGHT.
JOSEPH is on the floor, unconscious, as LENNY kneels beside him. With them is ROXANNE, who works behind the bar, and SAIRA, a nurse, who features in The One About The Binge Drinkers.

3.  INT.  THE ANGEL.  NIGHT.
JOSEPH is half-conscious now, but very white.  Delirious, and in considerable pain.  He sees, but doesn't see.  SAIRA is holding his hand.  

JOSEPH
You've got to hold on to me, Lenny.
I'm keeling over, you've got to hold
on to me.

SAIRA
It's alright, you've had a fall.

JOSEPH
If I go over, I'll not get back up.  You
need to hold on to me, Lenny, you
understand?  If I go, I'll have to take
you with me.  You mark my words.
(An outburst, very angry)  Pull me up,
Lenny, for Christ's sake pull me up!

LENNY looks helplessly at SAIRA.  He doesn't know what to do. 

4.  INT.  THE ANGEL.  NIGHT.
Two PARAMEDICS are strapping JOSEPH on to a stretcher, wrapped in a blanket, a heart monitor beside him.  He has an oxygen mask on his face and is as white as a sheet.

5.  EXT.  THE ANGEL.  NIGHT.
The two PARAMEDICS wheel JOSEPH quickly out of the pub, towards the waiting ambulance. As they do so, they pass an old lady in a faded wedding dress who has been hanging around outside.  This is CRYSTAL. As she realises that it is JOSEPH, her hand goes to her mouth; there is a look of absolute horror on her face.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The One About Roxanne


1.  INT.  THE ANGEL.  NIGHT.
The Angel, as before.  SIMON, who we last saw in The One About The Chinese Herbalist, is drinking at the bar with his mate CARL, who is in his early 30s.  They are both watching ROXANNE, early 20s, stunning, who is serving behind the bar.  They don't say a word.  And then ROXANNE throws them both a gorgeous smile.  They're so shocked they nearly choke on their beer - until they realise it's not them, it wasn't meant for them as a tall, handsome MAN comes up to the bar.

ROXANNE
Hello handsome, how are you?
(She kisses him, leaning across
the bar)  Glad you haven't got
your shorts on tonight.

CARL
(To SIMON, off ROXANNE)  Shall
we go somewhere else? 

2.  INT.  THE ANGEL.  NIGHT.
With SIMON and CARL at the bar a little later.  During the scene, SIMON is watching ROXANNE opening a bottle of wine with a lever-operated opener fixed to the bar, while CARL has his back to her.  She's very conscious of the effect she's having on some of the customers.

CARL
She's a good friend, and she'd just split 
up with her boyfriend a couple of months
ago, and she's telling me how desperately
she wants to have sex.  She's complaining
that there isn't anyone, she doesn't know
anyone who can give her a good shag.  And 
I'm thinking, 'I can think of someone, what
about ...?'  (He indicates himself)  I'm 
talking to her, I'm the only one there, I'm
in front of her, and I'm struggling to get
anywhere near her, I'm not in her field of
vision at all.

SIMON
  If you can't get in there when she's 
desperate for it, what hope is there? 

CARL
Cheers mate.

SIMON
Well, it's tragic, isn't it?  (ROXANNE)
You missed that.

CARL
What?

SIMON
She just opened a bottle of wine.

CARL
Shit.

SIMON
She put her foot up, against the side.

CARL
(A moment)  Shall we order one?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

West Is Best


INT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  NIGHT.
The Angel.  In a corner we see JOSEPH, who is hooked up to a saline drip, on wheels.  We last saw JOSEPH having a drink in The Angel with CRYSTAL in The One About The Veil.  His health has evidently taken a turn for the worse.  With him is his old friend LENNY, who is in his early 60s and is from Wales.  Elsewhere, we see some people playing darts and, glimpsed in another room, a pool table.

LENNY
What did you bring me here for?

JOSEPH
Why, what's wrong with it?

LENNY
I was just wondering why we came here,
in particular.

JOSEPH
It's my local.  It's where I drink.

LENNY
You don't fancy something different?

JOSEPH
No.  I don't.

LENNY
A change of scenery.

JOSEPH
What are you driving at, Lenny?

LENNY
Well .. (He looks around the pub)

JOSEPH
Go on, spit it out.

LENNY
Given that I've come all this way, I
thought we could go up west.

JOSEPH
I hate it up west.

LENNY
No you don't.

JOSEPH
Yes I do.

LENNY
You used to love it up there.  We'd
have some great times.

JOSEPH
(A flash of anger)  Don't do that, Lenny.
Everyone does that and I fucking hate it.

LENNY
Where I come from, there's nothing to do.
It's enough to drive you up the wall, yeah?
I've travelled a long way to see my old
friend.  I thought I'd not make it in time, if
I'm perfectly honest with you.  But you
came back .. from the brink.  Quite
unexpectedly, I'll have you know.  They'd
given up on you.  They were calling it a day.

JOSEPH
That's what they do.  There's nothing
unexpected in that.

LENNY
They didn't think you had the strength.
They thought you'd given up the ghost.

JOSEPH
It's character.  Character that pulls you
through those situations.

LENNY
And God.

JOSEPH
God has nothing to do with it.

LENNY
I'd be long gone if I didn't have God on
my side.  I mean that, Joseph.

JOSEPH
You're either talking shit like that to get a
reaction.  Or you're not the Lenny I knew.
(He takes a slug of beer)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The One About The Binge Drinkers


INT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  NIGHT.
The Angel.  JACK and his girlfriend SHIRLEY are drinking with their mates VINCENT and his girlfriend SAIRA.  They are in their mid to late 20s and are drinking Stella - except for SAIRA, who has a Coke.  They were all of them out the night before and are deeply hungover, particularly SAIRA.

JACK
Not the ideal day for a visit to the doctor,
considering ..

SHIRLEY
Anyone could have told you that.  If you
ask me, I think you did it on purpose.  You
think it's clever, you think it's funny.

JACK
(Ignoring her) He said if you're going to
drink, it's better to - 

SHIRLEY
He's got to stop this bingeing.

JACK
It's better to drink weak lager and spread
it more thinly.  Were his words.  Rather 
than bulk consumption, building to a
blow-out on Fridays and Saturdays.

VINCENT
(Sarchastic)  What a genius.

JACK
The most important thing is to stay off
the Guinness.

SAIRA can't muster a word. 

VINCENT
Doctor, doctor, I feel at death's door.
Don't worry, I'll pull you through.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The One About Belief


EXT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  NIGHT.
Outside the Angel.  We're with LENA and BEN, 20s, as others around them stand about smoking: a prologue to their conversation in The One About The Voodoo Curse (Part 2).  They are smoking a joint, talking about darts.  As before, we catch a sign in the window which says 'Missing Suitcase - Reward.'

BEN
If we don't stop him, we'll never get back
in the game.  You do realise that, don't you?

LENA
Oh, don't worry.  You don't need to tell
me that.  What is it, three-one or three-
nil?  Have we won a game yet?

BEN
It's three-one,  that was the first game.

LENA
Well, it could be worse then.  (A moment)
What happened?  Did something happen?

BEN
We just lost our form, that's all.  What we
need is .. We have to be .. We have to 
believe.

LENA
Yes.  But the problem is .. I think it's one of
those nights.

BEN
But you're allowing yourself to .. you're
doubting yourself.  You always do that. 

LENA
What we really need is .. inspiration.  So
that, whatever they do, however good
they are, doesn't matter, any effort on
their part is futile.

BEN
We need to be focussed.  Not let anything
interfere with our concentration.

LENA
Yes.  Concentrate on the board.  (Passing
the joint to BEN) This might do it.

BEN
Inspiration, focus and ..

Silence, whilst BEN smokes.  LENA says nothing.  Her attention has been taken by an old lady standing some distance away watching the pub.  This is CRYSTAL, who stands waiting to see if there is anything happening, after casting a curse on the landlord. 

BEN
What was the other one?  Inspiration,
focus and ..?

LENA
(Coming back)  Inspiration, focus and ..
(Determined) Inspiration, focus and ..
I can't remember.

BEN
You just said it .. (He drops the joint on
the ground) .. Jesus, we can't even -

LENA
That's strange.

BEN
What is?

LENA
That old lady over there. 

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The One About The Voodoo Curse (Part 2)


1.  EXT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  NIGHT.
We see CRYSTAL watching The Angel pub, in the Outer Piazza, from a distance - waiting to see if there will be any effect of the Voodoo curse she has placed on the pub's landlord. We see from her point of view two people outside having a smoke.  An ambulance, by the by, is parked nearby.

2.  EXT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  NIGHT.
We cut to the two people - LENA and BEN - outside The Angel.  Just catch a sign in the window behind them, which says 'Lost Suitcase - Last Wednesday - Call 07899 552133 - Reward.'

LENA, late 20s, attractive, was last seen talking with her mate MICHELLE in The One About Leap Year.  BEN, also in his 20s, is another friend.

LENA
Inspiration, focus and determination.

BEN
That's right.

LENA
That's what it was.  (A moment)  That's
strange.  (She has noticed an old woman
in a wedding dress, watching them)

BEN
What is?

LENA
That old lady standing over there.

LENA and BEN look at the old lady in the distance.  As they do so, a HOODIE rides past on a fluorescent green Kawasaki push-bike.

3.  EXT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  NIGHT.
We are back with CRYSTAL and her point of view of The Angel.  And then the door opens, and PARAMEDICS are seen bringing a person on a stretcher out of the pub, an oxygen mask strapped to his face. CRYSTAL freezes, complete shock on her face.  The PARAMEDICS rush out of shot to the waiting ambulance.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The One About The Chinese Herbalist


1.  INT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  EVENING.
SIMON is at the counter of the Chinese Herbalist, talking to the CHINESE SALES ASSISTANT. Behind her are ranged hundreds of large jars on shelves, full of weird-looking stuff, each with a label, such as Herba Epimedii, Semen Coicis, Cinammon Twigs and Oyster Shell. Some of it looks like old leaves and twigs, some of it looks more like dead animals.  Elsewhere, a Silk Screen, a Dragon Wall Hanging and Lacquer Figurines. 

SIMON
In the window it says Herbal Viagra?

SALES ASSISTANT
Yes.  You want free consultation, yes?

SIMON
Um ..  Just idle curiosity more than ..

2.  INT.  THE CHINESE HERBALIST.  EVENING.
SIMON is sitting behind the screen being assessed by an OLD CHINESE MAN, speaking Chinese; an OLD CHINESE WOMAN, holding a clip-board and taking notes, interprets what he says.

OLD CHINESE WOMAN
He says, do you ever feel  (she stubs her
fingers into her hand) .. pin pricking in 
your hands and in your arms?  Or your -

SIMON
What's he saying, I'm having a coronary?

3.  INT.  THE CHINESE HERBALIST.  EVENING.
See SIMON in a back room being given acupuncture.

4.  INT.  THE CHINESE HERBALIST.  EVENING.
The CHINESE SALES ASSISTANT is filling a large brown paper bag with herbs from one of the jars. It looks like toe-nail clippings mixed with sea-weed.  There is another brown paper bag already filled on the counter. 

SALES ASSISTANT
You must drink this two times a day.
After four weeks, you come back, and
I give you more?

SIMON
Four weeks?

SALES ASSISTANT
The full course is three months.

SIMON
Three months?!

SALES ASSISTANT
Otherwise, the effect is .. not good.

5.  INT.  THE CHINESE HERBALIST.  EVENING.
The CHINESE SALES ASSISTANT is adding up the bill.  She takes him through each item on the bill, handwritten in Chinese.

SALES ASSISTANT
45 pounds for the acupuncture, 35 for
the herbs, for the first four weeks of
three months, plus VAT .. which is
altogether .. One hundred forty one.

SIMON
What?!

SALES ASSISTANT
One hundred forty one pounds.

SIMON is in shock.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The One About The Voodoo Curse (Part 1)


1.  INT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  EARLY EVENING.
Luigi's Cafe.  It's closed.  CRYSTAL is sitting at a table with LUIGI and his daughter ROSALINDA.  There is an open box on the table - a Voodoo kit - and a bottle of red wine. LUIGI is reading a leaflet, slowly.

LUIGI
"Your genuine Voodoo curse spell kit
contains a straw doll, a block of
Japanese cheddar, a hammer and -"

CRYSTAL
Cheddar?

LUIGI
Yes.

ROSALINDA
That's not cheddar.

ROSALINDA takes the leaflet from him and reads.

ROSALINDA
Cedar.  Japanese cedar .. (She carries 
on reading)  A hammer, a large nail,
and two candles.  (She paraphrases
Be careful not to hurt your finger with
the hammer .. use the candles with care.
(She reads) "You should be careful to
name the intended victim to ensure
your curse doesn't fall on an innocent
bystander."  Do you know his name,
Crystal?

CRYSTAL
Moose.

LUIGI
Moose?

CRYSTAL
Yes.  His name was Mister Moose.

2.  INT.  LUIGI'S CAFE.  EVENING.
LUIGI holds a large nail above the straw Voodoo doll. CRYSTAL, meanwhile, holds a hammer.  Her eyes are tight shut.  LUIGI watches her with some apprehension.

ROSALINDA
Crystal, you must keep your eyes open,
otherwise you won't be able to see what
you are doing. And the curse will be lost.

3.  INT.  LUIGI'S CAFE.  EVENING.
Close on the Voodoo doll, the nail poised, and then - WHACK! - it's struck by the hammer deep into the Voodoo doll's torso. See LUIGI's relief that CRYSTAL didn't miss.  Then, out of nowhere, CRYSTAL spits out with with surprising venom:

CRYSTAL
Let him be blasted with fire and lightning!

LUIGI and ROSALINDA look at each other: Crystal's going mad.

CRYSTAL
.. And laid before me!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The One About The Chechen Guerilla


INT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  DAY.
We see CRYSTAL in The Upper Court, overlooking Central West. Crossing her path is a tall, large man in army camouflage.  She notices that the lace on one of his boots is loose.   Being the busybody that she is, she scuttles to catch up with him.

CRYSTAL
Excuse me.

The man - who looks like a CHECHEN REBEL - stops.

CRYSTAL
Your lace is loose.

The CHECHEN REBEL looks at her, and then looks down. He has a lugubrious manner.  He looks at his boots, and then looks at CRYSTAL.

CRYSTAL
Awful things can happen with that
sort of thing.  I know.  Believe me.

The CHECHEN REBEL looks at her, thinking, and decides not to kill her.

CRYSTAL
(Oblivious to the danger she is in)
Believe me dear, I know.

The lugubrious CHECHEN REBEL walks off. 

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The One About The Internet Cafe


INT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  DAY.
Sainsbury's.  The area of the supermarket near the entrance with cigarettes and tobacco, magazines and newspapers.  This scene follows The One About The Royals, and VERNON's discussion with CHANTRA about Basmati rice.  MICKY SHEPHERD, 40s, holding a placard which reads 'Internet - £1 - For 2 Hours,' with an arrow underneath, is next to be served by CHANTRA, late 30s.  MICKY, who featured in The One About The Banker, has dropped out of the rat-race and given up his high-flying career as a banker.  Since then, he may have become slightly unhinged.  Meanwhile, a big beefy Australian, HUNTER, is following the direction of the arrow.   We see him, confused, looking for an Internet Cafe, and asking the supermarket SECURITY OFFICER sitting at CCTV Monitoring Station No. 2 for help.

MICKY SHEPHERD
Big problems in the world markets at the
moment. 

CHANTRA
How can I help you, sir?

MICKY SHEPHERD
Vietnam, Cambodia, Egypt - they've all
banned the export of rice.  Lotto lucky
dip, please.  That causes a shortage and
prices go sky high.

CHANTRA
Anything else?

MICKY SHEPHERD
So there's increased demand on those
countries which are still open, and 
inflation in those countries which rely
on imports.  (A moment, in answer to
her question)  That's it. 

CHANTRA
One pound, please.

MICKY SHEPHERD
(Handing her the money)  Classic
domino effect.

At which point the big Australian, HUNTER, comes up to him.  He is clearly annoyed, having been unable to locate the Internet Cafe.

HUNTER
'Scuse me, fella.  (Indicating the sign)
Which way is it?  Where is it?  I can't
see it anywhere.

MICKY clearly has no idea of the impact of his sign.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The One About The Accident


INT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE - THE ANGEL. DAY.
A reverse angle to The One About The Veil.  The blind man, MILTON RADCLIFFE, is talking on his mobile.  A pint of bitter on the table in front of him, the guide dog at his feet. Elsewhere, CRYSTAL is being hounded by the Landlord for wearing a veil.  There are pauses between each line of dialogue, as he listens.

RADCLIFFE
Alright?

RADCLIFFE
What's up?

RADCLIFFE
You alright?

RADCLIFFE
What's happened?

RADCLIFFE
By the Horse and Hound?

RADCLIFFE
Jesus.  That's really bad.

RADCLIFFE
Don't worry about that.  Leave it
with me.  I'll sort it out.

RADCLIFFE
Listen, I know we didn't see eye to
eye.  But please tell his family how
sorry I am.  Yeah?

RADCLIFFE
No, course it's not.  Don't be soft.

MILTON RADCLIFFE finishes the call.  Puts the mobile down.  Sinks a large part of his pint as CRYSTAL is being escorted from the premises between security officers CONNOR and HAYLEY.  She turns to him as she passes.

CRYSTAL
Why don't you do something?  It's just ..
It's when people like you just stare, that's
what gets my goat.  People who are old
enough to know better.

CONNOR
(To CRYSTAL)  Can't you see he's blind?

CRYSTAL
That's no excuse.

RADCLIFFE
(To CONNOR)  What's her problem?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The One About The Egg


1.  EXT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  DAY.
At the edge of the covered outer piazza, outside the main entrance to the shopping centre. Bollards.  An equestrian sculpture in bronze, a fountain, and some benches.  VERNON, the drugged-up son of LAILA and KEVIN who was last seen in The One About The Royals, with a bunch of mates.  Some of them sit on the bench, some are standing. Amongst them SHELLEY, early 20s, is talking to VERNON.  And an eight-year-old HOODIE, who rides around on a fluorescent-green Kawasaki push-bike.

We see SIMON, wearing a crisp new white shirt and jeans, walking past them towards the entrance.  He's staring at the arse on SHELLEY. VERNON clocks this and swiftly steps into SIMON's path.

VERNON
'Scuse me, mate.

But SIMON is walking on, not stopping.  He's been caught out.

VERNON
(Putting a hand on SIMON's upper
arm)  No trouble, no trouble.

SIMON
(Stopping)  What?

VERNON
Have you got 50p?

SIMON
No, sorry mate.

VERNON turns away in disappointment.  SIMON walks on, relieved it wasn't trouble.

2.  EXT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  DAY.
A little later.  SIMON is at a cash-point in the outer piazza.  Tapping in his PIN number.  At that moment, something crashes in to the side of his head and ricochets against the wall.

SIMON
The fuck ..?

It takes a couple of seconds for him to realise what's happened.  He looks down and there is egg-yolk on his crisp white shirt.  He puts a hand up to his temple - he's been splattered - looks at his hand, and there is egg-shell on his fingers.  He turns around and looks.  He sees the eight-year-old HOODIE, laughing, as he rides away on his Kawasaki push-bike.

SIMON
Fucker.

He takes the money.  There is even egg-white on the screen of the cash machine.

SIMON
It's a new bloody shirt.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The One About The Veil


1.  INT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE - THE ANGEL.  DAY.
The Angel Public House, which is in the main entrance way to Sunnyside in the covered open piazza.  It's mid-afternoon.  We see CRYSTAL, in her faded wedding dress, veil and trainers. She's with JOSEPH, who we last saw in The One About Crystal's Memory.  He has been as good as his word, and has bought her a drink - a Drambuie and Ginger - while he is sipping a pint of bitter, making it last.  They sit side by side on the bench against the wall, looking out, occasionally talking. The image is reminiscent of Toulouse Lautrec's L'Absinthe.  Nearby, the blind man -MILTON RADCLIFFE - is drinking a pint, his guide dog at his feet, talking on his mobile.  We last saw him in The One About The Royals.

JOSEPH
They showed me the inside of my brain.
All different colours it was.  All sorts
of colours.  Like a kaleidoscope.

CRYSTAL
I don't think I want to see the inside of
mine.  I'd be worried it was black and
white.  Or nothing at all.  Just white.

The Landlord, RONNIE THE MOOSE, comes up to them.  He leans in towards them, conspiratorial.

RONNIE
(To CRYSTAL)  I'm very sorry, madam.
There's no hats or hoods.

CRYSTAL
Pardon me?

RONNIE
No hats or hoods.

He points towards the doorway, where there are signs, including one which says 'No hats or hoods, for your safety and security.'

CRYSTAL
What are you telling me for?  I'm not
wearing a hat or a hood.

RONNIE
It's more the principal.  For security.
(He points towards the CCTV camera
in the ceiling).  Otherwise you can't
see their faces.

CRYSTAL
Who can't?  Whose faces?  What are
you talking about?

JOSEPH
He means the terrorists.  When they
come 'ere for a drink, they'll be caught
on camera.

CRYSTAL
But this is a veil ..

JOSEPH
'Bout the only place they will be caught. 

CRYSTAL
..  It's not a hat or a hood.

RONNIE
It's breaking the law.

CRYSTAL
I'm not taking it off.  And that's that.  This
is my wedding day, and there's only one
person I shall be lifting my veil for today,
and it's not you.  Good day.

2.  INT.  SUNNYSIDE - THE ANGEL.  DAY.
CRYSTAL is being escorted out of the pub by Security Officers CONNOR and HAYLEY, watched by the helpless JOSEPH.  She turns to MILTON RADCLIFFE as she passes him.

CRYSTAL
Why don't you do something?  You just ..
It's when people like you just stare,
that's what gets my goat.  People who are
old enough to know better.

CONNOR
(To CRYSTAL)  Can't you see, he's blind?

CRYSTAL
  That's no excuse.  (And then she turns
to RONNIE behind the bar)  You'll
regret this day, Mister Moose.  I'll be
back.  Heaven help you then.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The One About The Madonna


1.  INT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  DAY.
Pick up on AMADEUSZ, who we last saw watching the TV in The One About The Storm, pushing his cleaning trolley.  He is making his way towards the 50-foot metal monolith referred to in the first story, which is in the Central West Atrium.  It's a cross between the giant stone figures of Easter Island and a Henry Moore sculpture* - it has what looks like a kind of alien's head and elongated body holding a rounded form.  It is called Madonna And Child.

AMADEUSZ goes round the back of it.  In what is effectively the Madonna's calf muscle and Achilles heel - there is a door, with a sign:  Cleaner's Cupboard.  AMADEUSZ unlocks it and pushes his trolley inside.  He to closes the door behind him.  Darkness.

2.  INT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  DAY.
We see AMADEUSZ emerging through a hatchway into the head of the Madonna.  It's a small, confined space and dark, but for some limited light from the eye sockets.  It's not possible to fully stand up in.  He goes to the right eye and peeps out at the sprawling shopping centre below.

AMADEUSZ
I think it is good.  (He goes to look
out of the left eye)  No one sees any-
thing anyway.

AMADEUSZ lights two candles and places them in what appears to be a small shrine.  As the light grows we see that it contains a collection of plastic figures arranged around a cheap Christ.  They are free promotional toys from McDonalds for Shrek, Mister Men, The Simpsons, Bee Movie, The Spiderwick Chronicles and so on.

AMADEUSZ
(Talking to the toys)  As long as we
are careful, cover our tracks, we will
be safe.  Keep it under our hats, yes?

He picks up a photograph from the shrine.  It shows a hill overlooking a lake, bright yellow harvested wheat fields beside fields of lavender with thousands of butterflies.  He is lost in memories.

AMADEUSZ
I could not believe the yellowness of
the fields.  Or the blueness of the lake.

He puts the photograph back and picks up the figure of Shrek.  He presses a button on his chest.

SHREK
I'm an ogre!

* Henry Moore: Large Upright Internal/External Form, 1981-2

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The One About England


INT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  DAY. 
We are in a narrow corridor of the Lower Basement Service Area of Sunnyside Shopping Centre. HARRY (late 30s) and his supervisor KENNY (early 40s) in fluorescent jackets and hard hats are inspecting the cabling and trunking along the wall, which carries security, fire protection and lighting power.  A particular section has been ripped off its brackets, while the cabling appears to have been violently shorn through.  KENNY is kneeling down and peering at it closely, with the aid of a torch, while HARRY leans against the wall nearby. 

HARRY
Don't talk to me about England.

KENNY
It was only a friendly.

HARRY
Doesn't matter what it was.

KENNY
You must have been shouting yesterday.

HARRY
A goal is a goal.

KENNY
Or were you silent?

HARRY
They didn't have their big guns.  Thierry
Henry, Patrick Vieira, Abidal, Trezeguet.
And they still won.

KENNY
It was a penalty.

HARRY
Makes no difference.

KENNY
What's happening with football these days?

HARRY
My mate has been following Fulham, has
gone to every away game this season.  And
they haven't won a single match.  How can
you spend a grand to watch your team lose?

KENNY
That kind of money, you want a team that
wins.

HARRY
On top of that, you've got the rail fares.
And if you're going to Newcastle or 
Middlesbrough, right up top of England,
there's no way you can get back to London
the same night.  So that's a hotel ..  Over
night ..  Then you've got to go to the pub ..
And when there's eight or nine of you,
that's a tidy sum.

KENNY
It's a lot of money.

HARRY
(Singing, quietly)  "What's that coming over
the hill, is it a Drogba, is it a Drogba?"  I've
been to The Reebok, Anfield, Old Trafford,
The Valley, The New Den - Millwall's a dump -
The JJB, never been to Goodison.

KENNY
I'm sure I've seen you on the telly, being a
hooligan.

HARRY
I've also been to The Emirates, White
Hart Lane, Fratton Park ..

KENNY
(Finishing his inspection and getting up)
What are we going to do about this?

HARRY
Powers-that-be are going to have to be
told.  This is the third time, now.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The One About The Credit Crunch


1.  EXT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  DAY.
Easter Day, outside the main entrance to Sunnyside, and MIRIAM is giving it another go.  As before, earlier in the day, PEOPLE walk on past, indifferent to what she has to say.

MIRIAM
Because verily I say unto you, my friends,
that you must waken from your slumber
and save yourselves.  Otherwise you will
face annihilation.  Save your souls, or face
death and destruction.  Look around you,
look at what is happening.  The financial
stability of the entire world is in jeopardy.
This turmoil is God's way of telling you
that your crusade is wrong and morally
unjust.  It is God's way of telling you that
you are corrupt ..

As before, Security Officers CONNOR and HAYLEY appear out of nowhere and approach MIRIAM.  She knows the routine, and speeds up to finish her sermon before they bundle her away.

MIRIAM
..  It is God's way of telling you that time is
running out.  The apocalypse is at hand!
Rise up, you children of Argos!  Rise up!

2.  EXT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  DAY.
We see MIRIAM being escorted across the Plaza to a waiting police van by CONNOR and HAYLEY.

MIRIAM
What's going on?  What are you doing?

HAYLEY
You're being arrested, love.

MIRIAM
Get off me!  Arrested?  What for?

CONNOR
(Opening the rear door of the police
van)  Hah!

MIRIAM
What's that supposed to mean?

CONNOR
Where to start.  Criticising the State.
Blasphemy.  Subversion.  Incitement
to riot.  Take your pick, love.  

MIRIAM
You've got to be joking.

HAYLEY
(Pushing her into the van)  Do we
look like we're joking?

CONNOR slams the door shut behind her.  We hear MIRIAM thumping the inside of the door. CONNOR and HAYLEY piss themselves.  They are helpless.  CONNOR feebly knocks the van, to signal the driver to go, before collapsing in a heap on the ground.

The One About The War


INT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  DAY.
It's Easter Day and Sunnyside is deserted.  There are a few PEOPLE wandering around, aimlessly. In the Central Concourse, MIRIAM (the self-styled preacher we last saw in The One About The Preacher) is holding forth for the benefit of anyone who will listen. But they pass by, ignoring her.  Except, that is, for MAEVE, who stands there, absorbed. 

MIRIAM
He has cast this war as a conflict between
good and evil, between right and wrong,
between Christianity and Islam.  He has
proclaimed this war to be noble, necessary
and just, because it is beyond reason or
justification.  He has called it a struggle
for civilisation.  He has said that unless 
we prevail, they will not leave us alone.
They will follow us, wherever we are,
and kill us.

Security Officers CONNOR and HAYLEY saunter over - it's a well-rehearsed routine - to stop her from speaking.

CONNOR
Come on, let's be having you, Miriam. 

MIRIAM
Wake from your slumber and save your-
selves!  On this day, of all days, when
Christ rose from the dead!

CONNOR and HAYLEY forcibly move MIRIAM on.  Watched by MAEVE.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The One About Shannon's Shoes


INT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  DAY.
TRACEY (early 30s) is walking purposefully towards Sainsbury's in the Central Concourse.  A couple of paces ahead of her is her 12-year-old daughter SHANNON.  We saw TRACEY and SHANNON when they were nearly run over in The One About Ernie (Part 3). They pass Currys, and as they do so we fleetingly glimpse footage of the start of the Iraq War - the night-time 'Shock and Awe' bombardment of Baghdad - on the TV.

TRACEY
(Trying to talk to her daughter)
What, darlin?

SHANNON
(Mostly to herself)  I'm talking to
myself, actually.

TRACEY
What?

SHANNON
(Not turning round, walking on
ahead) I said, I was talking to
myself.

TRACEY
Shannon!  (She stops) Come back
'ere when I'm talking to you!

And then suddenly TRACEY realises that her daughter is wearing her shoes.

TRACEY
(Squawking)  You've got my
trainers on!

SHANNON
(Turning to face her mother)
'Cos mine don't fit!  I told you,
but you don't listen to me! 

TRACEY, furious, marches off.

SHANNON
Don't walk away from me!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The One About Last Night's Telly

Luigi's Cafe.  The TV is on with the sound off in the corner.  HARRY (late 30s) and his supervisor KENNY (early 40s) are having breakfast. Hard hats on the chairs beside them, newspapers open on the table, occasional conversation about a TV programme.  HARRY is reading the sport, KENNY is doing a Sudoku puzzle in the London Paper.  Just like The One About Kevin Keegan.

Meanwhile, as before, CRYSTAL sits quietly in the corner with a cup of tea, in her trademark faded wedding dress and veil pushed up, reading 'The Secrets of Solitary Witches - And How To Make Your Spells Work.'  LUIGI (50s, balding) is reading the newspaper behind the counter, whilst his daughter ROSALINDA (20) slaves away.

HARRY
.. The Government's got it wrong there.
They come over here, they're hard-
working.  They've no embarrassment
about working in Tesco.  That English
bloke wouldn't be seen dead working in
a factory.

KENNY
It's changed since I was a kid.  Nowadays
anyone can get a job.  It might be a crappy
job, but they don't want 'em.  You'd go out
and get a job, wouldn't you?  And it wasn't
always that easy, sometimes there was a 
shortage of them.

HARRY
The Lithuanians, the Slovakians, the Poles,
they want to work, they want the money.
You know where you are with them.

KENNY
Kids today just want to stay at home.  They
won't go out unless they're earning the
same as their mum and dad, who've been
working all their lives.

HARRY
(To LUIGI)  What do you think of the
Poles, Luigi?

LUIGI
(Looking up from his newspaper)  Uh?
The Poles?  (He shrugs)  Baffi grosso.
(He goes back to reading)

HARRY, after a moment, looks to ROSALINDA for enlightenment.

ROSALINDA
Big moustaches.  Not nice for kissing.
(A moment) And the older ones are
grumpy.

KENNY
Temperamental, you mean?  (A moment)
Unlike the Italians ..

Monday, March 10, 2008

The One About The Storm

INT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE.  DAY.
It's the morning and the place is relatively quiet.  AMADEUSZ, late 20s, a cleaning operative at Sunnyside, is watching the TV in Currys. He's not far from the entrance, and beside him is his janitorial trolley, with vinyl bag, bucket and wringer, duster and so on.  Catching the breakfast news on a 57-inch Toshiba LCD TV is part of his morning routine.  Keeping him company is his mate BERTRAM SHI, a Currys sales assistant, mid-20s.

On the TV, a woman REPORTER in so'wester is standing on the sea-front at Portsmouth Harbour in torrential wind and rain.  Her face is hardly visible whilst behind her, monster waves crash into the sea wall.

NEWS TV REPORTER
"Travellers faced delays and thousands
of people woke to find they were without
electricity this morning as the worst storm
of the winter batters Wales and southern
England.  The unusually intense storm
fronts came from Canada, hurtling across
the Atlantic at 200 miles an hour.  The
combination of gale force winds, low
pressure and a massive tidal surge has 
brought coastal flooding in many areas."

Cut to VT: we're up a hill somewhere, at a road junction and traffic lights.  Trees are swirling around in the winds and driving rain, the traffic lights are shaking.  On the junction, we can see a Nissan Micra which appears to be in two pieces.  The area has been cordoned off with police tape, and there are police, ambulance and fire brigade in attendance.  An American woman, GAYLE, in her early 60s, is being interviewed in the foreground as all this is going on behind her.

TV NEWS REPORT - GAYLE
"We were sitting there, waiting at the 
stop. We saw three trees being up-
rooted, we saw the power lines coming
down before our eyes, next thing we
know, the car's been clean cut in two,
 straight through the top and the hood
(she turns around to look at the scene
behind her)  like a cheese-wire through
Monterey Jack.  (A moment) I never
saw anything like it in my life."

BERTRAM
That's global warming, that is.

AMADEUSZ
That's Japanese engineering.
  

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The One About Mike Read

INT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE .  DAY.
Sainsburys.  A companion scene to The One About The Royals. DOLLY, who is in her mid-60s, is nattering away to LORRAINE (30s), who works behind the cigarettes counter near the entrance. She is serving a customer, TRACEY (early 30s), who has her 12-year-old daughter SHANNON in tow and is, as ever, on her mobile.  We last saw TRACEY and SHANNON in The One About Ernie (Part 3). LORRAINE is listening to DOLLY. 

DOLLY
D'you remember that fella, Mike Read?

LORRAINE
The one in Eastenders?

DOLLY
Eh?  Oh, no.  He died, didn't he?

LORRAINE
Peggy's husband?  Did he?  That's
a shame.  (A moment)  I don't really
watch it anymore.  Still, you've got
move on eventually, haven't you?

DOLLY
In real life, dear.  I believe he died
in real life.  I remember reading 
about it in the paper.

LORRAINE
Oh.  (She crosses herself)  Bless him.
He was terrific in that part.  (A
moment)  Frank Butcher, that was it.

DOLLY
The one who was the DJ.  Did a TV
show called Saturday Superstore.

LORRAINE
Oh yes.  Tinted glasses.  The boring one.

DOLLY
That's him.  (A moment)  He was driving
our taxi last week.

LORRAINE
Get away.

DOLLY
Telling us all about his life, he was.  When
we got home, Barry'd got all the shopping
in and had lunch on the table by the time
I'd got shot of him.

LORRAINE
What was he doing driving your taxi?

DOLLY
That's what he's doing now.  Said he'd had
enough of it all.  The glitz, the glamour, the
showbiz.  Meant nothing anymore, he said.
A new beginning, he called it.

LORRAINE
Oh.

DOLLY
People are queer, aren't they?

At this point, DOLLY's husband BARRY (late 60s) comes up, and picks up the carrier bags of shopping at his wife's feet.  Weekly routine.

DOLLY
(To BARRY)  Who is it this week, dear?  

BARRY winks at his wife.

DOLLY
(To LORRAINE)  Oh, I like a surprise.
(She smiles)  Bye bye, dear.

DOLLY and BARRY go.

Friday, February 29, 2008

The One About Leap Year

INT.  SUNNYSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE - LUIGI'S CAFE.  DAY.
CRYSTAL is in the corner with a cup of tea, minding her own business for a change.  She is reading a book.  Close in on the book's cover: 'The Secrets of Solitary Witches - And How To Make Your Spells Work.'

LENA, late 20s, attractive, is surreptitiously eating a Wispa Bar alongside a black coffee.  Opposite her is her friend MICHELLE, late 20s, who wears a starched white uniform - she works in a dentist - and has chopsticks in her hair.  She stirs sugar into a cup of tea.

LENA
Bit of a night last night.  Too much
of that.  (She presses in one side of
her nose: cocaine)

MICHELLE
You naughty girl.

LENA
(By way of explanation)  Ben's going
to Kandahar.

MICHELLE
(A moment) Why's that, babe?

LENA
'Cos he's in the army.

MICHELLE
Did I know that?

LENA 
He's being posted to Afghanistan.

MICHELLE
I know where it is, I'm not stupid.
(A moment)  Afghanistan's the 
place to be at the moment, isn't it?
  What with Prince Harry and stuff.
(Thinking of the Taliban strategy)  I
imagine they'd use rockets.  Wouldn't
they?  To make sure.  Rather than 
relying on bullets.  (A moment) Are
you alright about it?

LENA
It's a strange day, today.  You know ..
it doesn't really exist.

MICHELLE
Doesn't it?

LENA
It's a leap year.  If you were born today,
your next birthday isn't for three years.

MICHELLE
Oh.  Okay.  Does that mean that you're ..
you age slower than your mates?

LENA
If we didn't have leap years, December 
would end up in the summer.

MICHELLE
That's got to be rubbish.

LENA
It's true.  'Cos the months're always
going over.  They, like, keep the
calendar in shape by letting the 
pressure out.  (moment)  I love
your hair like that, by the way.

MICHELLE
(Of the chopsticks in her hair)  The best
ones are the cheap ones you get from 
takeaways, 'cos they're rough and don't
slide out ..

LENA
Tomorrow is St. David's Day ..

MICHELLE
.. As the actress said to the bishop.