Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Christmas Evasion...


We see a reflection of Andrew’s eye, zooming out to see his face is being reflected in one of two glass-fronted meters at the junction box outside the front door of the house.

ANDREW: ...so, when the mesotonic reactor shorts out, all you have to do is check these dials, make sure they’re in the red zones, and reverse the polarity of the neutron flow.

We zoom out further. Dave stands beside Andrew, bored and tired. It’s quite early in the morning, and Dave is half-asleep. Andrew, as ever, acts like he was breast-fed caffeine.


ANDREW: [OPENS PANEL] What was that, Andrew?

DAVE: You're Andrew. I'm Dave. And how do I reverse the whatchamacallit of the thingamabob?

ANDREW: The green button, dumbo.

He presses said item beside the meter. There is a crackle and, through the open doorway, the lights flicker on. Andrew closes the panel and dusts his hands, happy.

DAVE: Well, thanks a lot for that, Andrew.

ANDREW: You’re welcome.

DAVE: You didn’t have to blow all the fuses for the demonstration though, did you? You could have just explained it all to me. Verbally. [RUBS EYES] And why are we doing this anyway?

ANDREW: Did you know what to do if the fuses blow?

DAVE: [SIGHS] No, I didn’t.

ANDREW: Well, you do now.

DAVE: But why did we have to learn about it now?

ANDREW: Well, I won’t always be here to save your sorry arses, Dave. One day, you might have to do without me.

Dave looks up at Andrew, aghast. He is now wide awake. Without turning his head or taking his eyes off Andrew, he shouts out:

DAVE: Nigel! Get out here!

NIGEL: [VO] Piss off, you mongrel! Some of us are trying to sleep!

DAVE: Andrew says he’s going to die soon.

Nigel bursts out onto the front porch, dressed in hideous pink sink pajamas that are stained shamefully.

NIGEL: Leave out nothing!





Dave closes the door. Nigel shivers, rubbing his arms.

NIGEL: So, what is it? Degenerative brain disorder? Hereditary illness? STD? [LAUGHS UPROARISHLY] No, just joking! So, what is it?

ANDREW: Nothing, dudes.

DAVE: Don’t go like that on us, buster. You’re doing that whole ‘last-episode-of-David-the-Gnome’ crap to me and I for one want to know the reason why!

NIGEL: Oh, cock-a-doodle-doo, Dave. W.T.F. are you on about?

DAVE: You remember the last episode of David the Gnome, when he and his missus are complaining of arthritis and then they ride their pet fox to their best mate, who’s another gnome that we’ve never seen or heard of before, and HE’S got backache as well!

We cut between Andrew and Nigel. They are both confused at this.

DAVE: So, all three gnomes ride out into the middle of the forest and then, they say, ‘go away, Mr. Fox!’ and it’s so sad, because the second he does, all of the gnomes turn into trees and so the fox has to join up with a normal-sized guy and his own lady fox and it was SO SAD! [DAVE BEGINS TO WAIL SADLY] Oh, the rapture! [NORMALLY COMPOSED] Anyway, back on topic, what the hell’s wrong with you, Andrew!

ANDREW: Nothing! I’m in the peak of health.

He coughs and splutters loudly while Nigel and Dave talk.

NIGEL: Thanks a lot, Dave, you got me up out of bed for nothing!

DAVE: Dude, he was going on about how we needed to learn how to cope by ourselves if he suddenly went walkabout.

NIGEL: So? I want a funeral ticket before you start trying to excite me like that from now on, understand?

DAVE: [TO ANDREW] So, what WERE you talking about?

ANDREW: Dude, us living here is just another step on the road.

NIGEL: Road? Road to where?

ANDREW: To where we’re all going. So, who knows what will happen today? This minute? Anything can happen and it’s best to be prepared, you know.

DAVE: Well, DUH! So what? Sure, a bomb could drop on us in three minutes’ time, or we could win the lotto, or Nigel might develop an irritating skin condition – it doesn’t mean it will, does it?!?

NIGEL: Yeah, I mean – there’s a chance a beautiful woman might arrive at the front door, fall in love with you and carry you off into the sunset forever and ever. Is THAT going to happen? IS it, Andrew?

There is a knock at the door. Andrew opens it. Beyond it stands a girl of seventeen in a leather jacket and blonde streaks in her neck-length dark hair. She wears a John-Lennon-style pair of sunglasses. Andrew stares at the girl and visa versa for a long moment.

ANDREW: Morning.

GIRL: Morning.

They embrace and kiss passionately for as long as our stomachs can cope – and then pull apart, breathless. Andrew turns to face the others, grinning happily.

ANDREW: [SHAKES DAVE’S HAND] Thanks, Dave. And goodbye.

Andrew turns to Nigel, who holds out a hand ‘low-five-style’. Andrew moves to low five, but Nigel whips his hand out of the way.

NIGEL: Too slow, my ma--

Without missing a beat, Andrew punches Nigel’s lights out with the remaining hand. Nigel collapses and slumps, unconscious. Andrew turns, slips an arm around the girl, and they leave. Dave crouches over Nigel, face drawn with worry. In the distance, we hear a car start and veer away. Dave sighs.

DAVE: Things certainly change quickly around here, don’t they?


Fade up on a caption: THE NEXT DAY. We see Nigel’s room is lined with Christmas lights and decorations. Nigel sits in his bed, facing the TV. He wears a festive hat and some of the decorations. On the TV, the Queen’s speech begins. Nigel pours himself a tankard of sherry.

NIGEL: Merry Christmas! God save the Queen!

He begins draining the tankard. There is a banging at the door.

NIGEL: [STARTLED] Oh, crapola.

DAVE: [VO] Hey! Nigel! Hello! Are you in there?

Nigel leaps off the bed, ejecting a video from his VCR. It has QUEEN’S SPEECH 2003 written on the label and begins to haul down the decorations. The door bursts open and Dave enters.

DAVE: There you are! [LOOKS AROUND] What the...

Nigel looks up at him while trying to haul down his Christmas tree.

NIGEL: This isn’t what it looks like!

DAVE: You’ve been celebrating Christmas again, haven’t you?

Nigel sweeps a pile of half-opened Christmas presents off the top of his mantle piece. Muchos smashing noises. Nigel tries to look casual as he rips off his festive outfit.

NIGEL: So? What’s wrong with that, man?

DAVE: It’s July! The fourth of July!

NIGEL: OK, so I got my public holidays mixed up, so sue me!

DAVE: What are you talking about? You hate America!

NIGEL: Uh, I try to celebrate other cultures.

DAVE: Oh, really? So what does one DO on the fourth of July?

NIGEL: [WINCES] Ah. Oh dear. I know this.

DAVE: Does it involve a Christmas tree? And lights?

NIGEL: [SWALLOWS] Doesn’t it?

Dave crosses to the TV. Nigel leaps in front of it, trying to block his way but Dave shoves him side and checks the video. His face falls.

DAVE: [DISAPPOINTED] Oh, no, Nigel. Not the Queen’s speech.

NIGEL: [SHIFTS UNCOMFORTABLY] Look, this is just...

DAVE: Why? I thought you were getting better?

NIGEL: I just made a mistake, all right? Don’t get upset!

DAVE: A mistake? Like on the twentieth of January? When you locked yourself in here, decked the place with bows and holy, and started watching the Queen’s speech. Why? Why, Nigel, why?

NIGEL: I don’t have to justify myself to you!

DAVE: Look mate, we’re all we’ve got left now! And when you start hiding in here, pretending its Christmas every single day... You have got a problem, Nige! We covered all this in March? Remember the 24-Step Guide to Accepting That Christmas is Over? Remember that? Oh, we were so pleased when you finally chucked out the tree.

NIGEL: Andrew MADE me!

DAVE: It was for your own good!

NIGEL: I’m nineteen, Restal! I’m old enough to do what I want.

DAVE: That’s not what you said when the police came round. [SAD] Can’t you see you’re not right? This isn’t natural. You’re doing nothing but harm to yourself. Why, though?


DAVE: No, I mean, why now? You were cured!

NIGEL: Yeah, well, Andrew isn’t here to stop me, is he?

DAVE: And if he was?

NIGEL: Well, I don’t have to answer that question, do I?

DAVE: And what if he turns up tomorrow? What will you do then? Shit yourself? Try and hide your foul addiction like now? it won’t work! You’ve got to see a professional!

NIGEL: If you don’t like it, get out.

Dave tries to grab the Christmas tree, unbalancing it. And incredibly-pathetic girl-fight begins between Nigel and Dave, ending with a nipple-cripple that floors Dave. He scrambles out, crying.

NIGEL: [CRUELLY] Yeah, get used to it, Dave! From now on –

He turns to face camera.

NIGEL: - the Big N is head of THIS household!

Behind him, the loose tree falls on top of Nigel, crushing him and dragging the Christmas lights with it. That, in turn, knocks over everything in the room that was upright. A long pause.

NIGEL: [VO/MUFFLED] Uh, a little help here? Hello?

...to be continued...?


Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

The bit with Nigel seems very familiar. I think you must have mailed it to me.

Does the bit with the girl lead to a subplot where Andrew realises that he has finally met somebody more insane than he is and begins to feel a little inadequate?

Youth of Australia said...

Actually no. It just leads to a very disturbing off screen relationship.

Saw The Next Doctor. Felt very... slight. I think RTD's plan to starve the public of Doctor Who won't work if he only provides cheeseburgers every six months. There's a real sense he totally stopped giving a shit in this, though to be fair to him, the loss of Donna isn't swept under the carpet like I feared. And McGann's appearance was nice. Odd how he feels more like one of the gang than Eccleston...

And I guessed the title for the next special would be ridiculously cliched: Planet of the Dead - hell, I've not only used it, so have the comics and the DWADs!

And where was the cliffhanger ending I was promised? Bastards...