Nigel is trembling. His hair is standing on end and smoke is wafting off him. There is a nasty crackling sound. Andrew stands, staring at his watch-free wrist, pressing the button.
ANDREW: [SINGS] I saw the sign
And it opened up my eyes
I saw the sign
Life is demanding
I saw the sign
And it opened up my eyes
I saw the sign
He nods and releases the button. Nigel jackknifes back and forth for a minute, then collapses, gasping.
NIGEL: You know... [SHUDDERS] that was kinda turning me on...
Andrew grimaces and looks at the hand he used to press the button and shakes it free of invisible disgustingness.
NIGEL: Well, I’m not going to help you.
ANDREW: Dave needs your help, Nige. You can’t let him down.
NIGEL: You bet your ass I can let him down. If it wasn’t for him, I’d be safely home now. It’s his fault I fell out of that warehouse just when I was chatting up that chick.
ANDREW: Oh, come on, Nige – forgive and forget.
NIGEL: Forget? Forget?!? FORGET!
ANDREW: It was ages ago.
NIGEL: It was yesterday!
ANDREW: No, it wasn’t.
NIGEL: [FROWNS] It wasn’t?
ANDREW: [MOCK SERIOUSNESS] Nigel – you have been in a coma for the last seventy-three days. Dave and I have been taking turns of coming in here, reading you stories, waiting for you to wake up. They would have switched you off ages ago if it hadn’t been for us.
NIGEL: [PALE] They would? [CAUTIOUS] Then how come I’m awake now?
ANDREW: [SMOOTHLY] We needed you so badly I decided to try and bring you out of the coma myself. We need you, Nige.
NIGEL: Tough! You’ve done nothing but electrocute me since I’ve woken up. I’m not going to help you – or Dave – ever again. It’s a cock-and-bull story! I’m staying here. One of the nurses MUST have seen The Singing Detective.
ANDREW: Nigel, this is serious. We don’t have much time.
NIGEL: Correction: YOU don’t have much time. I’m going to get some rest, all right? I don’t want to see you again unless you have armfuls of cash for me and willing Indonesian prostitute under the age of twenty.
He rolls over. Andrew sighs.
ANDREW: OK, let’s start again.
He presses the button. Nigel gasps in pain, current surging through him. We cut to the outside of the bed – through the curtains we can see the flickering blue flashes as smoke curls around the edges.
23. TOP LEVEL
The group is gathering as the time for the speech approaches. Dave looks at the artist, who strikes a disco-pose with a thumb’s up sign. Dave nervously crosses to a heap of papers and takes away a few, leaving one peace of paper with DAVE’S SPEECH (REVISED VERSION) written on it. As Dave crosses over to the others, we see he is carrying the drunken scrawl Katy did the previous night.
24. HOSPITAL WARD
Andrew holds the button down, studying his invisible watch.
ANDREW: And the man at the back
Said, ‘Everyone attack!’
And it turned into a ballroom blitz!
And the girl in the corner
Said ‘Boy, I’m gonna warn ya,
It’ll turn into a ballroom blitz!’
He lets go of the button. We see Nigel is now blackened and covered in soot. His hair is white and on end. Steam wafts from his skin and he can’t do much except twitch for a moment.
ANDREW: Now, Nigel, I think I’ve convinced you of the urgency of this matter. So, are you going to come with me or shall I put Phase TWO of my plan into action!
Nigel looks at him oddly and manages to make a pain-wracked grunt.
NIGEL: Graze koo?
ANDREW: Yes, phase too. And I can assure you that it will split your little Yuppie brain RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE! And unless you want to be disemboweled by a homicidal hermit on the steps of the town hall, you will prepare yourself to leave, all right?
NIGEL: Furk goo, Nandroo! Gime stayin glere und dere’s nottin gu can goo avvout it, sorright?
ANDREW: You’re going to abandon me, Dave, everyone?
NIGEL: Bram rite guy yam. Gu hand Drave cungo thuck onna gamster!
ANDREW: This hospital isn’t the place to be, Andrew!
NIGEL: Wotta minut, GOR Nandroo! GIME NIGREL!
ANDREW: Oh yeah. Sorry. I’m telling you, stay here at your peril.
Andrew rises and, straightening his coat, turns to leave.
NIGEL: GATE! Gerroya goin?
ANDREW: Not my problem anymore, Nige. You want to stay here, fine.
NIGEL: GY? Gy roo goin nor? Was garra atten?
ANDREW: [CHUCKLES] You’ll find out.
He pats Nigel on the head condescendingly. With a brittle snap, all of Nigel’s hair crumples to dust, leaving him bald. Nigel lets out a startled cry at this.
ANDREW: Let’s just say that, beds are needed here Nige. And you know the quickest way to get a bed?
NIGEL: Gnor, wavkiza nikkest gayta hetta bed?
ANDREW: Waiting for a patient to die. Or ‘disappear’ as they say around here. Goodbye, Nigel. Forever.
He turns and opens the curtains – to reveal a real doctor and two nurses. Nigel squeaks in pain.
DAVIDSON: Who are you?
ANDREW: I might ask you the same question.
DAVIDSON: I am Doctor Hillary Davidson. Who are you? A medical student or something?
ANDREW: [HASTILY] Hell no, I just like white coats. Murder to clean but, man they’re worth it. I was just paying a last visit to my dear friend here. Be gentle.
Andrew waves at Nigel, who is definitely scared now. The nurses cross over to the monitors and check them over – frowning at Andrew’s sabotage. The man himself whispers at Davidson’s ear.
ANDREW: [SOTTO] He’s a bit dazed. He refuses to switch off his mobile phone, and I warned him you’d make it disappear if he didn’t. See if you can have more luck.
Davidson nods his thanks and Andrew leaves. The doctor smiles at Nigel cheerfully. Nigel cringes.
DAVIDSON: So, Mr. Verkoff. I think we know what happens now?
DAVIDSON: Somebody disappears...
Nigel’s eyes widen in horror. Andrew stands outside Nigel’s area, which is curtained off. He hums to himself idly as muffled grunts appear from behind the curtain.
ANDREW: The ball-bearing bird, the ball-bearing bird
It’s never been seen, never been heard
But it’s known to be
Shown to be
Cause it leaves ball-bearings all over the ground...
Davidson staggers out from behind the curtain. He has a black eye.
DAVIDSON: The son of a bitch!
ANDREW: He gets a bit frisky, doesn’t he?
DAVIDSON: [FROWNS] He’s like this a lot?
ANDREW: Frequently. Sort of schizophrenic-Tourette’s syndrome. We’re amazed he’s lasted this long. [BEAT] He’s an organ donor, you know. Quite prepared for all of him to be used for the greater good. He doesn’t mind donating them BEFORE he dies, you know.
DAVIDSON: [FLIPS THROUGH CHART] Yes, of course.
ANDREW: Just curious – do his nearest and dearest get financial remuneration for the organs sold? Doesn’t have to be much, though. Say... $50 bucks for the digestive system? $300 for the lot?
Davidson isn’t paying attention.
ANDREW: What’s is it?
DAVIDSON: Hmm. It seems your friend has a terminal irritable bowl syndrome. This piece of paper indicates the patient requires a continual program of cold enemas...
ANDREW: [“SURPRISED”] Does it? Well, I’ll lower the price, as he’s damaged goods - $250, no questions asked, eh?
DAVIDSON: Well, we’ll have to check his records before you can start selling off his body, Mr. Er...
ANDREW: [SHAKES HIS HAND] Hornblower’s the name. But you can call me Rasputin – Czar Nicholas does. Well, he did.
DAVIDSON: [CONFUSED] Did?
ANDREW: I killed him.
Davidson stares at him and then ducks back behind the screen. Andrew grins as Nigel’s muffled shouts fill the air.
DAVIDSON: [VO] All right, hold him down while I apply the injection.
Nigel’s panicked grunts.
DAVIDSON: [VO] Now, sister, apply the equipment.
NIGEL: [VO] GNARRR!
There is a sickening, slippery, popping noise. Andrew winces. A hydraulic pumping noise starts up, getting louder and louder. Then a warping, stretching noise. A hideous farting noise and a hideous splattering noise.
NIGEL: ARGH! MY ARSE! MY BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL ARSE!!!
ANDREW: [SHRUGS] At least he’s got his jaw working again.
He takes a deep breath – and gags. Looking quite ill, he stumbles away, waving aside the air as the stench from Nigel increases.
25. TOP LEVEL
All the artists have gathered in front of a podium. Dave stands there, in front of a microphone. He takes out the speech, swallows and coughs. He notices what he has to read and pales with fear. Everyone is looking at him. He swallows.
DAVE: Uh, in the meantime, who fancies a quick sip of my Patented Elixir or Bang-a-Jang-Bang?
26. HOSPITAL WARD
The curtain is still drawn. In one corner sits a bucket of some foul, lumpy green-brown muck that hisses and steams. Nigel lies in bed – actually, strapped to it, now wearing a hospital gown and a Silence Of the Lambs-style mask over his mouth. He is ghastly pale and no longer has any hair. He stares around him in a daze. A male nurse is taking a blood sample via syringe.
MALE NURSE: [CONVERSATIONALLY] Just another routine blood sample, sir. Apparently, the stuff we took from you before wasn’t real blood, some kind of globulin covered in sweat. It wrecked half our microscopes.
Nigel makes a weak groan.
MALE NURSE: And your X-rays, don’t get me started on them. According to the X-rays, you’ve got two hearts, no liver, four stomachs and a fetus growing in your armpit. Ah, well, I’ll be back in a minute with your lunch. [THINKS] Shepherd’s Pie and chips is today’s special, I think.
Nigel looks hopeful, then slightly ill.
MALE NURSE: Cause of your X-rays, it will have to be through an intravenous drip. Still, can’t have everything, can you?
Nigel sighs painfully. The cheerful nurse leaves. Nigel closes his eyes, trying to get some rest.
ANDREW: [VO] Baby’s good to me
You know she’s happy as can be
You know, she said so
I’m in love with her and I feel fine...
Nigel’s eyes snap open. Andrew re-enters.
ANDREW: Hello, Nigel! How are you?
NIGEL: [VERY WEAK] You... bastard...
ANDREW: [SITS DOWN] Hmm, I did warn you. Perhaps you’ll learn to trust me in future. Now, if you remember, I was offering to take you to a quick getaway and in return, a few hours work from you at a refreshment stall.
NIGEL: You... set me up... ya arsehole...
ANDREW: The offer’s still open, you know. Not for long.
NIGEL: [SLIGHTLY LOUDER] Get these things off me... I’ll help you.
Andrew shrugs and pulls out his novelty screwdriver. He quickly unties Nigel’s bonds and removes the mask.
ANDREW: I’m glad you’re being sensible. This IS all your fault after all. If YOU hadn’t interrupted me making dinner on Tuesday, I wouldn’t have had to pass it off as Rum Punch at the art gallery.
He finishes up and turns to unplug Nigel from the heart monitor. Nigel suddenly leaps up from the bed and lunges at Andrew, who is turned away from him. However, Nigel is still sedated and so promptly collapses onto the ground with a cry. Startled, Andrew turns around and accidentally leans on the button.
ANDREW: What the f--
Nigel makes a strangled gurgle as he is electrocuted again. Andrew realizes what he is doing, and gets off the switch. Nigel collapses onto the floor, sobbing in pain. Andrew helps him up and sits him on the bed. Nigel, still dazed, promptly falls over again.
ANDREW: Come on, Nigel. Put your clothes on let’s get out of here. We only have a few more minutes. [RUMMAGES IN BIN] Let’s just hope Dave can cope with the first few minutes.
Nigel – slightly more sober – fingers his clothes. They are stained, dirty and have rubbish from the bin scattered all over them. Andrew takes out his mobile phone and begins to dial.
ANDREW: I’ll try and get Eve to make a distraction for us.
Nigel frowns, half-way through taking off his gown. Andrew’s hand is lying over the electro-convulsive cable – which is still plugged in. Grinning, Nigel climbs up on the bed and crawls towards the control. His gown slides off, leaving his naked arse bobbing in the air. Grinning, Nigel presses the button – the wrong button.
NIGEL: Vengeance [VEN-GEE-YANCE] shall be mine...
We cut to the main aisle. Suddenly, the curtain slides back to show what appears to be Nigel mooning the whole hospital. Everyone reacts with fear and horror. A couple of alarms go off and there are screams. Fade to black.
27. HOSPITAL WARD
Caption: 2.3 MINUTES LATER. Nigel lies on the bed. In a straightjacket, mask and strapped down. There is a now a second IV drip attached to him. The bars around the bed have been raised, effectively trapping him in. A butch orderly stands guard over him.
NIGEL: [MOANS] What happened?
ORDERLY: You sick bastard. Shut up, ya pervert.
Nigel begins to weep. Suddenly, a jelly baby flies over the top of the curtain and lands at the orderly’s feet. He growls and looks down at it. Another jelly baby is thrown into the area. And another. Then, a bag of jelly babies. The orderly bends down to pick it up – just as Andrew bursts in and bashes him over the head with a bedpan. The orderly collapses and Andrew begins to untie Nigel.
ANDREW: You are DETERMINED to make this difficult for me, aren’t you? I’ve got half a mind to leave you here and let you rot. [BEAT] Nigel? Nige?
He notices the second IV and pulls down the bag. He sniff it.
ANDREW: Adrenaline and soma. You’re drugged, you lucky bastard!
He rips open the bag, emptying out the liquid. Then, he blows into the bag, inflating it. He then crushes the beg, forcing the air down the drip into Nigel – who screams in agony until Andrew clamps his mouth shut and raises a finger for silence.
ANDREW: Look, you micro-cephalic donkey gonad apostate, we have to be elsewhere urgently. Now, you can either come with me or stay here to your twice-an-hour enema, IV drips and Hannibal Lector impersonators. Do you understand me?
ANDREW: You’re not going to cause any trouble, are you?
Nigel shakes his head.
ANDREW: You will obey me in all things, won’t you?
Nigel glares at him, but nods.
ANDREW: Now, get dressed.
Nigel nods. Andrew turns and takes off his white coat then turns it inside out – it is now a dull brown. He puts on the coat and picks up the steaming bubble of after-enema. He carries it out of Nigel’s curtained area then crosses down the aisle towards a window overlooking the carpark outside. He places the bucket precariously on a doorstop. He ties a piece of string to the doorstop and ties the other end to the lip wrist of the orderly. Nigel is now wearing his soiled clothes.
NIGEL: [HOARSELY] Now, what?
ANDREW: We wait for Eve.
28. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR
Eve moves Mission Impossible-style across the corridor towards the hospital ward. She pauses, and then back tracks a few steps. Lying on the floor is a large pen.
EVE: Oh, baby – YOU’RE BACK!
She dives and scoops it up. She begins to sob with joy.
29. HOSPITAL WARD
Andrew and Nigel sit on the bed, resting their feet on the unconscious orderly’s back. Andrew plays with a yo-yo.
ANDREW: Come on, come on, come on, come on!
NIGEL: [WEAK] Where is she?
ANDREW: No idea, but we don’t have long to make our move.
NIGEL: [PALES] You don’t mean...
The curtain swishes open and Eve enters, looking relaxed and refreshed.
EVE: OK, boys, I’m here.
ANDREW: Great! Only half-an-hour late! Dave will kill us.
EVE: Jaysus, just relax already. Come on.
They turn and hurry out of the curtained area and into the aisle.
NIGEL: God, another few minutes and then they’ll be here!
EVE: Who’s they?
ANDREW: The enema department.
They leave. The orderly groans, still attached to the string.
30. CAR PARK
The trio emerge from the hospital. Andrew dials on his phone.
ANDREW: [INTO PHONE] Pick up, pick up, pick up.
We see a close up of Dave sitting in his chair. His phone starts to ring, so he answers it. He speaks softly.
ANDREW: [VO] Dave? It’s me, Andrew. The vulture is free, man.
ANDREW: [VO] Nigel’s out. We’re on our way there. Stall them for a few minutes and we’ll be as right as rain houses.
DAVE: [AWKWARD] Ah, Andy, I don’t think you have to worry.
ANDREW: [VO] Why?
DAVE: Well, er, I’ve made a few alternative arrangements...
We pull out to see he is sitting in a theatre with all the artists. They are all pissed out of their heads and have swapped hats and scarves drunkenly. They cheer and point at the screen as the film starts. GOAT SHIT BY NIOTAN YRRET.
32. CAR PARK
Andrew is on the phone.
ANDREW: Ah. OK. I’ll see you at home, then.
He closes the phone and puts it away.
EVE: What is it?
ANDREW: Change of plan. We don’t actually NEED Nigel after all.
Nigel rounds on Andrew.
NIGEL: So it’s all been for nothing?!? ALL of it?!
33. HOSPITAL WARD
The orderly groans and opens his eyes.
34. CAR PARK
Andrew and Eve back away.
NIGEL: I have been thrown out of a seven-story building...
35. HOSPITAL WARD
The orderly sits up and moves to rub her head, pulling the string taunt and making the bucket shift in the window sill.
36. CAR PARK
NIGEL: ...nearly been drowned...
37. HOSPITAL WARD
The orderly tugs at the string, befuddled.
38. CAR PARK
NIGEL: ...felt up by deviants in nurse costumes...
39. HOSPITAL WARD
The bucket rocks back and forth, threatening to fall into the aisle.
40. CAR PARK
NIGEL: ...electrocuted until I have no body hair...
41. HOSPITAL WARD
The orderly angrily wrenches at the string.
42. CAR PARK
NIGEL: ...had freezing cold water pumped up my lower intestines - the wrong way...
43. HOSPITAL WARD
The doorstop comes flying out from beneath the bucket.
44. CAR PARK
NIGEL: ...I’ve been beaten, tied up and drugged...
45. HOSPITAL WARD
The bucket spins for a moment, then flies out the window.
46. CAR PARK
Andrew and Eve are pressed up against the car by the furious Nigel.
NIGEL: ...FOR NOTHING?!?!??!!!?
The bucket drops into view towards Nigel’s head. We cut to the others as we hear the dull thud, the metal clang, and the revolting, bubbling noises. We pull out to see Nigel is now lying unconscious on the ground, smothered head-to-toe in goo, with a bucket on his head.
ANDREW: [SIGHS] Karma’s a bitch, isn’t it?
RUN END CREDITS