Thursday, October 29, 2009

Verkoff: A Terrible Ego (iii)


[An ambulance heads down a road. Inside, Steve is sulking at the back while two paramedics tend to Christie. Steve is talking to his ridiculously large mobile phone, having to raise his voice to be heard over Christie’s moans.]

Steve: I don’t care how damn amusing it is, Quentin, it’s serious! Look, I haven’t seen her in three months and just thought it was some kind of gland problem... yes, I know what it was NOW, obviously! Look, I am a major shareholder and you are my lawyer so do... loy-things! I am not wasting my unearned cash on this bastard!

[Christie screams in pain. Steve rolls his eyes, covers the phone mouthpiece and turns to look at the others sternly.]

Steve: Ahem. I am talking on the phone here?

[Tutting, he returns to the conversation. Christie and the paramedics stare at him.]

Steve: Now... where was I?

[The ambulance is parked outside a hospital. Christie is in a wheelchair being wheeled into the hospital while Steve follows at a stroll, still talking on the phone.]

Steve: So you’re confident it would go to court? Oh, only if the blood test turns out to be positive. OK, I can deal with that. Is Bertie there? Tell him to get me my specialist prepare a full blood transfusion. That should stuff up her scheme. Good. That covers most things...

[Steve follows the paramedics as they wheel Christie into a maternity ward.]

Steve: But that bitch is cunning... cunningly stupid. Stupid in a cunning way. It’s cleverer than it sounds, Quentin, she might have some totally spastic Plan B that no one could expect. I mean, pretending NOT to be pregnant – how random is that? I mean, how long was she going to keep hiding that? Keep it in the bathroom?

[He suddenly looks worried and rushes into a side room. An old man is wired up to life support. Steve vaguely notices him and waves.]

Steve: Don’t mind me. [into phone] Seriously, Quentin, I think I know what her Plan B is. She’s told all the ambo officers that I’m the father – I’ll probably have to sign some birth certificate or something... and I bet she’s got a blank check and some carbon paper ready to steal my signature!

[Steve is pacing up and down. As he gets closer to the life support systems the more the lights start to flicker and spasm. The old man starts to cough. When Steve moves away, the old man starts to relax, but Steve keeps coming back for longer and longer.]

Steve: No, Quentin, I am NOT being paranoid. If you found an ex-girlfriend was trying to maliciously destroy your swinging bachelor lifestyle with her dreaded reproductive organs, in secret, out of nothing but spite and a few strands of your genes, would YOU get paranoid? I mean, if I wasn’t back here, I wouldn’t even be in a position to plan stopping her!

[Steve stands beside the bed, ignoring the continued flashing lights and static.]

Steve: Ah, reminds me of my dad when my mum got in the way of all his parties, boozing and easy white girls and how much he spent on his cocaine habit. His plan was brilliant, Quentin, brilliant. He’d push her down the stairs, force a bag of coke down her throat and make her swallow it along with some beer, hey presto, seizure. Then he runs out into the street and shouts that his wife’s gone crazy and has chucked him out because she’s a psycho junkie, then he says “Oh no, she’s fallen down the stairs!” and when the ambulance arrives, the bitch is dead and he’s got a whole street full of witnesses saying he was outside when the death by misadventure occurs.

[The old man starts to convulse violently. Not noticing, Steve wanders away again.]

Steve: [frowns] No, of course he didn’t do that, Quentin. They’re both alive and well and living in Campbelltown! He just rehearsed the perfect murder as a kind of therapy. Besides, he was too high to do it. And we lived in a bungalow, so there were no stairs. Rather stupid plan really, all considered...

[Determined, Steve paces back to the bed and all the systems go haywire.]

Steve: Anyway, you’re my lawyer. I want you to witness I give full authorization of my bank account to Bertie. Unless he co-signs, no checks, no overdrafts, no payments, nothing is to be legit. Wait, he hasn’t slashed his wrists again has he? Oh great. He can still use his left hand, can’t he? He can? Brilliant. Actually, put him on. Bertie? Yes? Yes... well of course it wouldn’t work, you cut down the wrist, not across it. Bloody amateur. Look, you now control the bank account. The access number is 1014, all right? That’s one-oh-one-four. Get onto the bank and make sure your signature is required for all future transactions. Once that brood mare down here is dealt with I can change it back... no, I haven’t killed her, Bertie! What do you think I am, some sort of psychopath?

[The old man convulses, screams and goes limp. Smoke starts to pour out of the life support. Steve doesn’t notice, but leans against the wall.]

Steve: Still, just out of curiosity, what percentage of women die in childbirth? I know you don’t know, go and find out! And we’re in a pretty crap public hospital, that should improve the odds, especially if they do a caesarian... oh, she was like Jabba the Hutt, Bertie, I tell you, I doubt it’d fit normally... You’ve got the stats? Yeah? What? You’ve got to be kidding! That’s pathetic! You couldn’t put those odds on a double-headed coin! There’s more chance this place will get nuked by a passing alien space craft!

[The life support starts to explode. Hospital staff rush in.]

Steve: Oh, what now?

[Night. Steve is by the phones.]

Steve: How the hell can a cellular phone cause problems in an intensive care unit, anyway? Look, Quentin, I know you don’t have much of a life without me, but I’ll let you get back to it. Nope, still no baby. It’s so much more efficient on TV, isn’t it? I’m heading back. The bitch is probably keeping her legs crossed just to try and guilt trip me. So, yeah. I want to be back in time for Harp in the South... Hey, I’m cultured! Damn, that reminds me, I still have to pick up my Masters of the Universe Battle Cruiser! Shit!

[He hangs up and storms down the corridor into a ward. Christie is lying on a bed in a hospital gown, panting in pain. Steve smiles.]

Steve: Hey, Christie, how’s it going...

Christie: They won’t let me have any drugs... I can feel everything...

Steve: Marvelous. Well, I’ve been on the phone to my lawyers and they’re pretty confident that even if you somehow managed to convince a court to listen to your insane claims, you’d end up having the baby taken off you and you declared clinically insane.

[Christie moans in agony.]

Steve: Now, now. You brought this on yourself, quite literally.

Christie: It’s killing me!

Steve: [surprised] Really? Talk about one in a million... anyway, look, apparently it could be days before your baby deigns to make an appearance and, let’s be honest, who has the time to hang around here for days? Apart from you, obviously.

Christie: [suddenly scared] You can’t leave me now!

Steve: Can’t? There’s no such word as can’t! Besides, I’ve got a date tonight...

Christie: A date?!

Steve: Yes. I do have a life when you’re not around, you know.

[Christie’s eyes grow wide.]


Steve: Like you’ve been saying for the last eight hours, Christie! Change the freaking record! Honestly, why would I want to be at the birth when I didn’t want there to be a conception? Hmmm?

[Christie starts screaming and writhing.]

Steve: Oh, a temper tantrum. You know, a mother should at least be slightly more mature than her child. See ya on the flipside, Christie.

[He wanders out, passing a couple of paramedics that rush into the room. Shouts of “Push! Push!” are heard over Christie’s shrieks and by the time Steve is around the corner, a baby is crying.]

Steve: Mmm. I’d probably be better off going to a hotel tonight.

[Steve is at Central Station. He strides onto a train like he owns it. He passes the two cultists. One has a bandaged nose.]

Guy: Seat 35B, this time.

Guy 2: [muffled] You’re sure it’s him this time?

Guy: Definitely.

Guy 2: You go first.

[Steve passes. They both cringe.]

Guys: Good evening, Mr. Bruck-Michaels.

Steve: Evening, Abdul. Get me a coffee and cigar, will you? I’ve become a father and intend to enjoy that status in full until it’s legally denied. Oh, what a thrilling life I do lead.

[The train hurtles away from the station...]

[A taxi pulls out of a drive as Steve heads up to his front door. He tries the door. Locked. Annoyed, he takes out a key. It doesn’t work. He tries again.]

Steve: Bertie? Bert? Bert? BERTRAM? HELLO?

[He sees Bertram at a window, looking unnervingly calm and clean-shaven. He slides on a pair of sunglasses, making him look like Max Headroom.]

Steve: Bertram? Let me in, you serf! What fool changed the locks! [calmer] Look, Bert, it’s been a long day, I had to witness the hideous cellulite blubber mountain that was my ex-girlfriend trying to expel a love child from between thighs I’d rather not think about. It was an awful experience and FOR GOD’S SAKE YOU WANK BASTARD, LET ME IN! DAMN IT! LET! ME! IN!

[Bertram waves mockingly. Steve goes apeshit.]

[Shortly afterwards, several police cars surround the flat. Two armed policemen are dragging Steve away and forcing him into the back of a squad car.]

Steve: Goddamn it! You cannot do this to me? Have you no idea who I am?

Cop: [patiently] Don’t make a scene, sir.

Steve: Look, you can’t lock me up! My beloved is in hospital, right now, tapping the reservoir of female strength in order to give birth to my first child! Can you lock me up and prevent me being there to see her giving her body over to the new life coming through it? Could you live with yourself! I’m the father, you spastic, and I demand freedom to be there at the miracle of birth! It’s a basic human right to see one’s child emerge in a bloody explosion of entrails, just ask John Hurt!

[They slam the door.]

Steve: I’m going to sue the entire ACT police department! You do realize this? Sue you ALL!!

[Police interview room. Steve is looking very ragged and trying not to lose his patience as he talks to two police officers.]

Steve: Look. I live in that apartment with Bertram as my manservant, it’s occupational therapy to prevent his suicidal tendencies. We were flat-mates in Sydney and we moved up here together. The flat is in my name. I was out of Canberra for less than twenty hours and now he’s changed the locks. It’s a paranoid fantasy. Say it with me, brothers and sisters, a paranoid fantasy...

Cop 2: According to Mr. Russell, he has no idea who you are.

Steve: Check the paperwork. I own the flat.

Cop 2: We have, sir. It’s being paid from a Commonwealth Bank account in the name of Mr. Russell. Apparently it was a dual account and that was modified just today. Wonderful what they can do with computers nowadays, isn’t it?

Steve: That bastard. He’s stolen my life! I can’t believe he did that! He’s abused my trust. I let him deal with all the forms and paperwork and he was taking over all the time! BASTARD! I’LL FREAKING KILL HIM!

Cop 2: Get that down, Jenkins.

Cop 1: Ma’am.

[Steve begins to realize this is not looking good.]

Steve: That’s just a bit of... emotion there. Look, I can prove he’s done this!

Cop 2: I’m sure you can, sir, but this is a civil matter. It’s the lawyers’ department and you were trying to break into someone else’s property.

Steve: I explained that! I didn’t know...

Cop 2: Ignorance of the law is no defense. And your apparent obsession with the Wolfram and Welcher firm, well, I’d have assumed you’d know that.

Steve: [dearly wanting to hit her] Look... officer... I’m sure we can agree to disagree all night. Let me go, and I will head straight to Sydney where I can but hope you haven’t prevented me seeing my child born.

Cop 2: Don’t worry, sir, we can soon check up on your wife.

Steve: Well... she’s not my wife.

Cop 1: Oh. Girlfriend, then?

Steve: ...yes. Her name’s Christie.

Cop 1: Christie what?

[Steve starts to answer when he realizes he doesn’t know.]

Cop 2: Sir? Don’t you know the name of the mother of your child?

Steve: [very weak grin] It’s a bit hard to pronounce.

Cop 1: Can you spell it?

Steve: [firmly] No.

Cop 2: All right, what hospital is she at?

Steve: Ahm... well...

Cop 1: Is she having the baby at home or something?

Steve: Yeah. New age hippie stuff.

Cop 2: What’s the address?

[Steve grins even more awkwardly.]

Cop 2: Do you have a photo of her, maybe? In your wallet?

Cop 1: Pic of the ultrasound?

Cop 2: Any kind of evidence whatsoever your girlfriend exists?

[Steve continues to grin. A tear trickles down his cheek.]

[The two police officers leave the interview room.]

Cop 2: He says he lives with a man who’s stolen his life and he’s got a girlfriend in Sydney having a baby except he has no idea what her name is or where she could be.

Cop 1: He sounds like a loony, ma’am.

Cop 2: You’re right there. I think he needs a psychiatric assessment. Keep him in the cells.

Cop 1: What if he tries anything?

Cop 2: Liquid cosh, Jenkins.

Cop 1: Uh, no can do, ma’am.

Cop 2: High pressure hose?

Cop 1: Might be able to. Depends if the bikies get frisky.

Cop 2: All right, if there’s no water, just chuck him in with the bikies. Same end result.

Cop 1: Understood, boss.

[They part. Steve emerges from the room and runs off as fast as he can.]

[Train. A man is walking down the aisle when there is the noise of a blow pipe and he collapses, dart in his neck. The two cultists and Steve rush over to him and pick up the body.]

Guy 2: At last! The defiler is dead! Now to dispose of the body!


Guy 2: Chuck him off the train!

[They shuffle over to the door.]

Steve: ...that’s it?

Guy: Look, you yuppie wanker, you want the train fare back to Sydney, you do as we say.

Guy 2: Yeah. Loser.

Steve: [dangerous] “Loser”? I’m not beaten yet!

Guy: Wanna bet?

[The guys shove Steve and the body out the door. Steve screams as he falls out of sight.]

Guy 2: That’ll teach him.

Guy: Yes. Now the Cult’s honor is restored!

Guy 2: And we can go to the Gold Coast!

[They high five and wander off. A moment later a bedraggled Steve manages to climb back inside the train. He looks really pissed off.]

Steve: Like I said. Not. Beaten. Yet.

[Hospital. A much thinner Christie is cradling a newborn baby. Toto’s “Africa” plays from a chunky cassette player.]

Christie: Mmm. Maybe I can sell you to medical science or something...

[The baby starts to cry.]

Christie: It’s not like I want to, little bro. It’s just... I can’t afford you. And I’m hardly going to get lucky with a baby around the place. I mean, what would YOU do in my position, huh?

[The baby screams.]

Christie: [miserable] Yeah. Me too.

[The very battered and bruised Steve enters, with a limp.]

Christie: I knew it! I knew you’d come back! You can’t abandon the baby!

Steve: Baby? Oh. Right. That howler-monkey. Doesn’t look a thing like me... [frowns] My god, do you HAVE to play that atrocious music?

Christie: It keeps me calm. And it’s cheaper than being sedated.

Steve: Even that howling baby sounds better.

[He leans forward and shouts at the baby, making him cry louder.]

Christie: So... you gonna pay up?

Steve: Pay up? Not a chance in hell.

Christie: See you in court then, Bruck-Michaels.

Steve: Hah, well... actually, what IS your last name, anyway?

Christie: [taken aback] Um, Graceland. Christine Gracelands.

Steve: Oh. Nice name. Anyway, dearest, even if you got me to court and even if I pleaded guilty, you couldn’t get a single cent out of me. Bertram’s stolen my entire fortune.

Christie: What?

Steve: Yes. The cunning bastard made sure I was so lazy I got HIM to do all the banking and rent-paying, which meant it was only a matter of time before he seized total control of my assets! I’m penniless!

Christie: Double what?!

Steve: So. Either we both fall into poverty-induced senility and die of malnutrition before the royal visit next Australia Day or...

Christie: ...or?

Steve: Or, darling Christie, you used your deranged machiavellian skills to come with a plan so thoroughly retarded that Dirty Bertie is blown out of the water and I get my fortune back. A finder’s fee of 30 per cent and you and little... what are you calling it again?

Christie: It’s a “he”.

Steve: Oh, what a shock. That’s really rare, isn’t it?!

Christie: And he’s called Norman.

Steve: Norman.

Christie: Norman.

Steve: Norman? You can’t call him Norman.

Christie: Why not?

Steve: Normal Norman? Can you imagine the shame and humiliation he’ll suffer with such a dull name!

Christie: Well, what would YOU call him?

Steve: “Problematic”. But my son should have a better name, a name with the weight of history behind it, a name of passion, awe-inspiring presence, tenacity... And not something shit like Norman!

Christie: So?

Steve: How about... Rasputin?

Christie: Rasputin?

Steve: Yeah. Like that funky Boney M song.

Christie: Won’t they mock him for having “poo” in his name?

Steve: Maybe, but that will just make a man out of him.

Christie: I prefer Norman.

Steve: Well, we’ve already established how bad YOUR judgement is, haven’t we, Christie? Remind me, how many stitches did you master plan result in having applied to your crotch?

Christie: A few.

Steve: Right. But, in the absence of any other options, I need your help. Once I get my fortunes back, you take 30 per cent of the whole lot and get the hell out of my life.

Christie: 50 per cent.

Steve: Bullshit.

Christie: To raise your child and keep me out of the papers?

Steve: All right. 45.

Christie: 65.

Steve: 50.

Christie: 87.

Steve: You’re just saying random numbers! Look, do you want part of this or not?

Christie: OK. I’ve got a plan to get your money back.

Steve: ...good. What is it?

Christie: It’ll cost money, though.

Steve: Tough, darling, I’m completely skint. This is what they call a catch-44 situation – and that’s twice as bad as the usual catch-22!

Christie: All right. I’ll have to use the emergency money my uncle sent me for baby food, nappies and medical supplies, which will leave me totally penniless.

Steve: It’s worth the risk. Deal?

[Steve holds out a hand. The baby reaches out and grabs his hand.]

Christie: Awwwwwwwwww.

Steve: Oh, grow up, Christie!

[Action montage begins to Toto’s “Africa”. Steve, Christie and the baby leave the hospital, hurry into an ambulance and drive off. Moments later angry hospital staff run out, shaking their fists.

The ambulance is parked next to a supermarket. Christie leaves the baby with Steve and runs in, coming back with some shopping bags. The ambulance drives off, sirens wailing.

The ambulance is hurtling down a highway. In the back, Steve is furiously reading a newspaper, then cutting out some words and letters. The baby sits in a plastic crib behind him. We see Steve is making up a cliché ransom-note out of the cut up newspaper. The baby starts crying. Steve ignores him until it becomes obvious there’s a rather nasty smell.

The ambulance is pulled up by the road. Steve is vomiting in the bushes as Christie tries to air out the back of the ambulance.

The ambulance drives down another highway. This time Steve is driving while Christie is in the back, carving up a sink plunger so the suction cup is actually shaped like a pawprint. The baby isn’t crying. Nevertheless, soon Christie reacts to the smell.

The ambulance is pulled up by the road. Christie is vomiting in the bushes as Steve tries to air out the back of the ambulance.

The ambulance is driving through Canberra. Both Christie and Steve sit in the front, in oxygen masks. They pull up outside Steve’s apartment. Steve gets out and the ambulance drives off. He sets to work, running around the place, smashing windows and then drags his key over the front door, making animal-like scratches in the wood. He laughs evilly.

Outside a building with a sign saying WOLFRAM & WELCHER, Christie surreptitiously posts a letter. It is marked BERTRAM RUSSELL ESQ. and has a crudely-drawn skull with Xs for eyes and a tongue sticking out instead of a stamp. Christie runs back to the ambulance and drives off, looking as suspicious as it is possible to be.

At Steve’s office, a very changed Bertram is present. He is playing with Greek prayer beads, dressed in a sharp black suit and shades. He is wandering around, doing nothing but appearing sinister and important. The secretary hands him the letter. He tears it open and looks at the ransom-type note...]

Bertram: [unimpressed] “DeAR bERtiE, YoUr foRTuNe iS StOlEN. rEtURn It tO iTs rIGhTFuL oWNEr Or wE wILl sEt tHE bUNyiPs ON yOU. Do NOt iGNoRe THIs wArNINg. LoVE, THe iCy blACk HANd oF dEaTH ItSeLf.”

[Bertram crumples the paper up and throws it away, returning to being cool and sinister.

Meanwhile, Steve turns on a hose and soaks the front lawn until it is muddy. Then, he uses the modified sink plunger to make panther footprints in the mud and muddy footprints on the path. He takes out a back full of offal and entrails and recklessly throws them about. He stops when he realizes a small family walking a dog have been watching him from across the road.]

Steve: Yes? Can I help you at all?

[Embarrassed, they hurry off. The ambulance turns up and Christie emerges.]

Christie: Letter delivered. He’ll be here in an hour once he’s clocked off.

Steve: Good. There’s just one element needed.

Christie: Another one?

Steve: Yes. It’s time for that parasitic nomad who ruined your figure for nine months to earn his keep!

[Dusk. A limousine heads down to the apartment. The ambulance is rather badly parked on the nature strip on the other side of the road. The driver gets out and opens the door. Bertram emerges. Up at the door and out of sight, Steve is using a brush to paint the words VENGEYANCE on the door. We see he is using a full nappy’s contents as paints. Christie holds the baby.]

Christie: That is disgusting.

Steve: I know. He’ll be calling for a priest to exorcise the place once he gets a whiff of this...

[They hear Bertram approaching and hide. He pauses as he sees the writing on the door, then reels as he SMELLS it. Then he notices the scratches, the broken window, then finally the footprints. The limousine drives off, oblivious. Bertram gulps. There is a sinister gurgling noise. We see that Christie is breast feeding the baby as they hide in the bushes.]

Steve: [sotto] MUST you do that right now?

[Unnerved by the noise, Bertram opens the door and hurries inside, retching as he realizes what he’s got on his hands. He rushes into the bathroom to wash his hands. Outside, Steve sits bored as Christie continues to feed the baby.]

Steve: God, I’m parched. This is so unfair. Why does that little bastard get a free meal?

Christie: Cause I think we’re risky enough hiding in bushes trying to blackmail a powerful businessman WITHOUT having to explain why you’re sucking my boobs, maybe?

Steve: This is Canberra, Christie. You could get arrested just for the baby. Mark my words, when they allow women to bare their breasts in the seat of Australian government the world will be at an end.

Christie: When will that be, you think?

Steve: 1991, probably.

[Inside the apartment, Bertram emerges from the bathroom. His hands are steaming from the boiling hot water he’s washed them with. The phone rings. Bertram answers it.]

Bertram: [impatient] What?

[Someone is hysterically babbling over the phone.]

Bertram: [confused] What? [amused] What? [horrified] What?! [eyes widen] WHAT?! [a broken man] ...what?

[He puts down the phone and falls to his knees, letting out an inhuman moan.]

[Outside, Steve and Christie look up.]

Steve: He’s snapped under the paranoia. This, Christie, is when we move in for the kill! Yes, mark this day, Christie, for it shall live in history! October 19th! The day Steven Bruck-Michaels took back what was rightfully his, with his unwanted common law wife and flatulent son at his side! We few, we cunning few, we ruthless band of black-hearted baboons! We...

Christie: Oh, shut up already!

[She wedges the baby into the branches of a tree and heads off to the front door.]

Steve: Next time, definitely a white chick. Like Olivia Newton John or someone...

[Bertram lies in the fetal position, sobbing. There is a banging at the front door.]

Steve: The time has come, traitor! Restore what you have taken or pay the price!

[Outside, Christie and Steve can hear Bertram crying.]

Steve: Ok, now we begin!

[They both make stupid bunyip growls and start to kick down the door. Finally they smash the door to pieces and break in, skidding to a halt as they realize that Bertram is standing before them, hands behind his back, perfectly calm. Steve and Christie are unnerved.]

Steve: Um. OK. We didn’t bring the Bunyip round THIS time...

Christie: ...but we will.

Steve: Oh hell yeah. So you, you backstabbing Judas, you pay back all my pieces of silver, all right?

Bertram: No.

Steve: [laughs] Oh you will, Bertie. You’ll do exactly as you’re told or I shall do to you what... whoever it was in Jaws killed the shark. I’ll shove a gas tank up your arse and blow you up.

Bertram: There is no money.

Christie: What?

Bertram: The stock exchange in Hong King collapsed a few minutes ago. It’s already spread west. The Dow Jongs has dropped 500 points already. All around the world, the stock markets are crashing. The economy has been utterly devastated. They’re already calling it Black Monday.

[The intruders are further unnerved.]

Steve: what? Hand over the cash and we might, MIGHT take you with us to the Bahamas before the ATO catches up with us, OK?

Bertram: There is no cash. I put it all into shares on the market.

Steve: what?

Bertram: The market has crashed and all the money has gone with it.

Steve: But... but you put it into property, right? Property’ll be fine. That’s why they say it’s as safe as fucking houses because everyone needs houses! You put it into some kind of housing scheme... right?

Bertram: Wrong.

Christie: Oh crap.

Steve: You stupid bastard. [to Christie] And YOU! You stupid bitch! We’ve lost everything now!

Christie: Oh, how many of YOUR plan Bs prepared for the total collapse of the western economy then?

Steve: Oh god.... you’re right. We’re just going to end up like all the other Wall Street share holders, consumed by their own greed and left penniless. The yuppie is now an endangered species... [trying to keep it together] Bertram, you must have a plan. A cunning plan. A simple plan. A plan simple in its cunningness...

[Bertram is catatonic.]

Steve: There MUST be something! You screwed me out of a fortune over the months, you even sent me back to Sydney knowing I’d get paranoid and make you co-signatory... you MUST have some plan.

Bertram: Yes. Yes, I do.

[Steve visibly sags with relief.]

Steve: [giddy] Oh thank you. Oh thank you, mate, you’re a saint, you’re a Christian, you are... you’re the voice, try and understand it, oh... OK. What’s the plan?

[Bertram takes off his sunglasses. His eyes are red from crying. Calmly he crosses the room.]


[He sudden takes a running jump and smashes through the window and out of sight.]

Christie: [horrified] My god! He’s gone crazy!!

Steve: Too right. That’s a ground floor window. He’ll be lucky to break an ankle, let alone kill himself...

[Idly Steve crosses to an outdoor balcony overlooking the river.]

Steve: [dreamy] He really should have used this one. Silly Bertie. Silly, silly, silly...

[Steve climbs over the balcony and falls out of view. Christie blinks.]

Christie: Oh well. At least I get the contents of the fridge.

[She crosses to the fridge, opens it and starts talking out all the food.]

[Caption: “TWO MONTHS LATER.” An upper class patch of suburbia in glorious sunshine. Christie approaches, holding a sleeping baby and looking a bit down.]

Christie: OK, Norman. I know my brilliant plans haven’t quite been working out as I intended. I wanted to end up rich and famous by having you, and all I ended up with is some rather embarrassing scars, stretch marks and cracked nipples, with your father missing presumed dead and the whole of western civilization on the brink of global financial crisis. But this plan should work really well.

[She approaches a very grand looking house.]

Christie: See, the Yang family are famous and rich. They donate lots of money to charity, art galleries, orphanages... the wife was on Time magazine for her philattery or whatever. So, I think if I leave you on their doorstep, they’ll look after you. Cause they’re rich and famous and help out little kids. And, [starting to get upset] I’ve really checked this out. They’ve adopted some kids before. Maybe you’ll get adopted. Or put in an orphanage. But I think whatever happens you’ll get looked after better than if I’m with you. I really wouldn’t have sold you to medical science. Even if they accepted human flesh. And I’ve made sure that you’re in the shade and that there’s someone home, so you won’t end up all covered with ants... I think. Look, trust me on this. Give it an hour... and if they haven’t taken you in, I’ll come up with another plan. [sobs] But I can’t think of one. Goodbye, Norman. Mummy loves you. It’s just... she can’t be arsed.

[Tenderly, Christie puts the baby in the gateway of the house in the shade of a tree. She places a post it note saying “PLEASE LOOK AFTER MY BABY. HIS NAME IS NORMAN.” She presses the buzzer by the gate, then turns and runs off, crying. The door opens and an Asian man in a suit emerges and looks around. He sees the shape of the baby in the gateway. Worried, he hurries inside. He meets an Asian woman in her thirties and a dress, sipping a cocktail while reading a Jackie Collins book.]

Butler: Madam Yang?

Nigel’s Mum: Yes, Togi?

Butler: There appears to be a suspicious passage left at the front gate.

Nigel’s Mum: [alarmed] Bhudda in a blender! Call the police! Get the bomb disposal squad down here!

[A little while later. A crowd watches as armed policemen prepare to “defuse the bomb” and then realize it’s actually a baby. In the crowd is Christie, looking embarrassed. Biting her lip, she tries to sneak off without looking suspicious.]


Teacher: Hello, Nigel. This is your new buddy Theo, and you have to look after each other this year...


Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Teacher: Hello, Nigel. This is your new buddy Theo, and you have to look after each other this year...

Now THAT is a great teaser hook...

I thought for a while that Christie and Bertram were in cahoots, but I guess that would be far too sneaky and underhanded for her.

I like the blend of surreal and character based humour this is using so far, and I'm looking forward to the rest.

It reminded me of that odd thing you wrote where it was B7 as performed by the YOA cast... (Nigel was in a prison truck and a gigantic tank was blocking the road, and Parker let the prisoners loose so they could drive the tank out of his way. And then I think the rescued contestants from Big Brother instead of Cyngus Alpha)

Is this going to lead into that somehow?

Youth of Australia said...

Now THAT is a great teaser hook...
Wonderful. Now I have to find a way to live up to it...

I thought for a while that Christie and Bertram were in cahoots, but I guess that would be far too sneaky and underhanded for her.
It wouldn't have really done her any good anyway - Bert didn't owe her any money, so there would be no guarantee she'd get anything.

But her main motive was to get Steve to stay with her... another cunning plan foiled.

I like the blend of surreal and character based humour this is using so far, and I'm looking forward to the rest.
Well, I dare say that Nigel's Uncle Tatsuma will manage both, as will the scene with the Untempered Schism.

It reminded me of that odd thing you wrote where it was B7 as performed by the YOA cast...
Ah yes, Rubble.

I only wrote that to show I could, Dylan Moran-style, write something better than the B7 audios in less time than it took to listen to them.

And, if I'm honest, I think I succeeded...

Is this going to lead into that somehow?
...I wasn't thinking it would, but I have an idea how to fit it into continuity... well, most of it...

Theo: What are you eating?

Nigel: Sushi.

Theo: Sue who?

Nigel: It’s like a sandwich but with seaweed instead of bred and cold rice and raw fish instead of butter.

Theo: ...isn’t it cheaper to just buy a tin of cat food? Probably tastier too.

Nigel: My parents wouldn’t feed me animal food!

Theo: Oi. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, Yang.

Nigel: [horrified] You eat animal food? Like... dog biscuits?

Theo: You eat raw fish in cold rice and seaweed. Who is true animal here, huh? Who is the true animal here?

[Long pause.]

Nigel: Um... Shouldn’t we go back into class now?

Theo: Shut up, Yang.

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Wonderful. Now I have to find a way to live up to it...

Eh, you'll think of something..

It wouldn't have really done her any good anyway - Bert didn't owe her any money, so there would be no guarantee she'd get anything.

I'd just been thinking of a purely revenge-based union.

I only wrote that to show I could, Dylan Moran-style, write something better than the B7 audios in less time than it took to listen to them.

Well done. I can't say for certainty your success, as I've explained a few times I listened to about 3 minutes, tops.

Theo: Shut up, Yang.

Now this has got me thinking.. where does the name Verkoff come from, anyway? Also, I gather you like your characters with self invented names.. (Norman Yang/Nigel Verkoff and Theo Klingyrithel (sp?) / Maddog / Andrew Beeblebrox)

Youth of Australia said...

Eh, you'll think of something..
I hope so...

I'd just been thinking of a purely revenge-based union.
Well, maybe, but she was convinced Plan A would work.

Well done. I can't say for certainty your success, as I've explained a few times I listened to about 3 minutes, tops.
I envy you, sah.

Now this has got me thinking.. where does the name Verkoff come from, anyway?
The original idea was to give the character a totally stupid name that sounded rude, but he would be totally unaware of this double entendre. So he was Nigel Jerkoff, but it was pronounced "Verkoff".

Also, I gather you like your characters with self invented names.. (Norman Yang/Nigel Verkoff and Theo Klingyrithel (sp?) / Maddog / Andrew Beeblebrox)
Actually... it's a coincidence. It struck me as unlikely there would be a real person called Beeblebrox, and so Andrew would have changed his own name in a moment of insanity.

Nigel's changed name is meant to be a big moment when he accepts he's adopted and chooses a new name. But how he ended up with Verkoff as a moniker, well, that's a surprise twist.

I hope.