THE YOUTH OF AUSTRALIA
Obsession's Second Chance
By EWEN CAMPION-CLARKE and DAMIAN SANCHEZ
It is late at night. Andrew is sitting on the couch, eating out of a bowl of risotto and watching the TV. Nigel sits in the armchair, staring up at the ceiling.
NIGEL: Oh, Anthony, can you just picture it? She's up there, right now, barely twenty metres away from us. Barely 17 years of age, with that long blonde hair, those long legs, that tiny waist...
ANDREW: Mmm. [looks up] Who?
NIGEL: Eve, you hirsuite psychotic! Who do you think I mean! Oh, to have been there when she got the birds-and-the-bees talk from her parents...
ANDREW: Pretty difficult, she hasn't seen her mum since she was seven and her dad's often on the wrong continent.
NIGEL: How do you know that?
ANDREW: Cause I talked to her. I have this amazing gift that allows me to be in the room with her for more than twenty seconds before obsessing over her bra.
NIGEL: She doesn't wear one.
ANDREW: See? Obsessed.
NIGEL: Obsessed? I'm not obsessed. Did I ever tell you about my stalker?
ANDREW: Cate Blanchett has NEVER stalked you, Nigel.
NIGEL: No, not her. Stacey.
ANDREW: Stacey? I don't remember her.
NIGEL: I do, man. Now she was obsessive. You know I can still see her, in my mind's eye, dipping her fingers in jars of honey and smearing the stick sweetness over her bare, budding boobs...
ANDREW: You ever consider psychotherapy?
NIGEL: [not listening] And that wasn't the only place she rubbed honey over... It started back at the start of Year 12, Andrew. Back when Benny moved out and I took out my sexual frustration on the whole year. Give or take. I mean, I had a quality threshold after all, which is why I didn't go anywhere near Phe or January... well, January anyway. I remember it like was yesterday...
Annoyed, Andrew turns up the volume on the TV. Nigel keeps talking, making rather nasty looking mime gestures, but we can't hear him. Eventually, there is the harp music and everything blurs and ripples...
A yellow buffalo skull stares into the distance.
STACEY: [vo] Oh, Nigel! That feels SOOOO good!
We pull out to see the skull is mounted above a door marked SUPPLY CUPBOARD. A few moments later the door opens and Nigel staggers out, straightening his school uniform. A girl called Stacey follows, tugging her dress into shape, breathing hard.
NIGEL: [breathless] Nothing like a... tsunami of sexual current... to start Thursday morning, right? Sorry... didn't catch your name...
STACEY: Stacey. Only just... started here.
NIGEL: Yeah. Didn't think I'd met you before. Sorry, must seem like some wild initiation thing but...
STACEY: Well, apparently you're screwing every girl in your year. I didn't want to be left out.
NIGEL: Didn't you? Oh. Well. Congratulations. You've lost your virginity. Hope you kept the box it came in. Look, I gotta go. Business studies, you know...
STACEY: Can't we just stay and talk?
NIGEL: Not really, no. I did make it clear I'm just taking out my animalistic urges, didn't I? I mean, I'm sure you're a wonderful person, but you've had your multiple orgasm, so let's just call it quits.
STACEY: But... I love you!
NIGEL: Love me? We've known each other for about six minutes longer than we had sex! Didn't any of the other girls warn you about me? Tch, what IS sisterhood coming too...
STACEY: But I'm different, I want you forever!
Nigel puts a consoling hand on her shoulder.
NIGEL: They always say that. Even the lesbians. Mind you, I'm pretty certain the lesbians were just taking the piss.
Nigel starts to walk off.
STACEY: But what if I'm pregnant?
NIGEL: Then you're a dirty slut. Or the Vatican needs to be informed about an immaculate conception. [to himself] The old excuses are the best, Nigella old bean...
Andrew is doing the washing up, listening to an old fashioned walkman.
NIGEL: Needless to say, she didn't get up the duff. Probably inferior genetic material on her part. Anyway, we went out separate ways, classes, social standings. Months went past, I finished my shagathon at the high school, life went on...
Andrew suddenly bursts into song.
ANDREW: So you can colour my world with sunshine yellow each day!
Oh you can colour my world with happiness all the way!
NIGEL: OI! DO YOU MIND?
Andrew flips him a V sign and continues to wash up.
ANDREW: Just take the green from the grass
And the blue from the sky up above!
And if you colour my world
Just paint it with your love!
NIGEL: SHUT UP! So, as I was saying...
ANDREW: Just colour my world!
Nigel groans and face palms. Flashback...
YANG LIVING ROOM
In the flashback, Nigel is fiddling with a stereo sound system. Finally he switches it off and Andrew is silenced. Nigel calms down and turns to see the room is full of his relatives: his parents, Benny and Ari, Akiro, Ryoshi, Owen and a dozen others.
NIGEL: Right. Where was I? Oh, right.
KENJI: Everyone, I want you to meet my girlfriend. This is Stacey.
NIGEL'S MUM: Greetings, Stacey. You are welcome in this household.
STACEY: I didn't want this to be awkward.
NIGEL'S DAD: Why would it be awkward, child?
STACEY: It's just I'm an ex of your other son, Nigel.
KENJI: Are you?
Everyone looks slightly awkward except Nigel, who is helping himself to a glass of champagne. He hands Benny one, deliberately ignoring Ari.
NIGEL: Sorry... Stacey, was it? I don't think we've met before.
STACEY: Yes we have! Remember, how heart-broken you were when I decided our passionate love affair had to end? How you wept, fell on your knees and begged that I give you a break for once in your miserable, lonely life?
NIGEL: [sips champagne] Nope. Doesn't ring a bell.
BENNY: It doesn't sound much like Nigel...
ARI: No, far too dignified.
KENJI: It looks like you must have confused Nigel with someone else, dear heart.
NIGEL: Hah! Congratulations Kenji, you've finally met someone of the same intellectual capacity as yourself - I always thought that statistically unlikely, but what do I now? Good on you, bro.
He playfully punches Kenji on the shoulder. Kenji does likewise and nearly sends Nigel hurtling across the room.
AKIRO: [sighs] Let's hope for your sake she's got better muscle coordination...
Nigel heads into his room to collect some CDs. When he emerges Stacey is waiting for him, a scary gleam in her eye.
STACEY: You can pretend to the others but you can't hide it from me!
Nigel has no idea what she's on about.
NIGEL: OK. I like the Scissor Sisters. My shameful secret. Call the militia!
STACEY: I'm your shameful secret!
NIGEL: Are you? In what way?
STACEY: It's me! Stacey!
NIGEL: Yes. Kenji's girlfriend.
STACEY: No, I'm at your school!
NIGEL: Oh. But Kenji goes to the college on the other side of town, how the hell did you two bump into each other?
STACEY: Because he's your brother! That's why I'm with him! Now you have to watch me with Kenji, knowing that he has me all the time and you must suffer in silence! Can you live with that torment, Nigel? Can you?
Nigel has been idly checking his CDs.
NIGEL: What's wrong with the Scissor Sisters anyway?
STACEY: Aren't you listening?
NIGEL: Hmm? Oh, course I am. You're all tormented. But Kenji has a big heart, and he'll love you with all of it. Just don't expect him to remember any anniversaries or be able to cope with revolving doors unaided and you two will be fine.
STACEY: Why aren't you jealous?
NIGEL: I dunno. Do you mean envious or what?
STACEY: I will ruin your life!
NIGEL: Stacey, cheer up! You've got that big lug out of the house once in a while, I wish you'd hooked up with him years ago. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a demonstration of how awesome "Kiss You Off" is to prepare...
Nigel heads off down the hallway.
STACEY: You bastard!
NIGEL: You say that now, but it's awesome at hen's nights...
NIGEL: But this status quo was to change suddenly and terribly.
Nigel is with Kenji and Stacey.
NIGEL: You want to move into MY room?
STACEY: Yes. Kenji's room isn't big enough for the two of us.
NIGEL: So? There are dozens of rooms you can have, why do you want mine?
STACEY: I just do!
NIGEL: Tough luck, bitch!
KENJI: Nige! Don't talk to my fiance like that!
STACEY: Yes. Kenji and I are getting married.
NIGEL: Aren't you rushing into this?
KENJI: HOW VERY DARE YOU?!
NIGEL: Sorry, big guy, but you only introduced her to us this afternoon.
STACEY: Our love is beyond your comprehension.
NIGEL: Oh, I dunno, I think a decent pully-system could lower you on top of him on the wedding night without you getting crushed beneath his abs.
KENJI: [interested] Oh, really, you think?
NIGEL: Why not? Worked for Robert Maxwell.
STACEY: I want this room!
NIGEL: OK, OK... I was thinking of moving in with Benny anyway.
STACEY: But you've got to stay in the house!
STACEY: Because then I can humiliate him!
KENJI: Owen's the one who likes humiliation, sweetheart.
NIGEL: Yeah, I don't really go in for kinky stuff. Not my bag.
ANDREW: [vo] Not your bag? You moved in with your sister and your sister's boyfriend so you could split them up and commit incest?
NIGEL: [vo] Hey, are you narrating this? No? Well, bog off then!
Nigel pulls out a suitcase and starts to pack.
STACEY: You just wait! I will DESTROY YOU!
Nigel looks at her for the first time.
NIGEL: ...that's nice. Is she always like this, Kenji?
KENJI: Well, I only met her today, but...
STACEY: SHUT UP! [to Nigel] I'll steal all your stuff and give it to charity the moment you're not expecting anything!
NIGEL: Oh, well, that's easily sorted...
OUTSIDE NIGEL'S HOUSE
Workers are piling possessions into a van. Nigel, Jason and Stacey watch on.
NIGEL: There. Everything I own going into storage where you can never find it. Now, you can get on with your life without this vendetta. Honestly, Stace, as if I'd EVER shag you...
Chuckling, he wanders off. Stacey bugs her eyes out, snatches up a cricket bat from the pile of stuff the workers are moving and beats Jason over the head with it over and over again.
OUTSIDE BENNY'S PLACE
Betty and a very-bruised Jason are carrying stuff into Benny's place under her directions. Nigel and Stacey lean on the fence, watching.
STACEY: Ah, I know all your dirty little secrets, Nigel. And I'll them all to Kenji.
NIGEL: Good luck getting him to understand any of them.
STACEY: You know I'm the only one qualified to judge you AND your brother on sexual technique.
NIGEL: No, didn't know that. Mind you, not much to compare is it? When they say Kenji doesn't have enough blood for both ends of his body, it's not some kind of compliment. They're saying his brain is even tinier than his genitalia.
STACEY: Yeah... well...
NIGEL: [sweetly] Yes?
With a frustrated growl she storms off.
NIGEL: [vo] It got worse after that.
Nigel sits in the bath, surrounded by bubbles, with a plastic pillow thing behind his head. Candles burn and a CD player is turned on. Nigel sighs, relaxed, hands behind his head.
CD: Are any of you pot-heads? Or lapsed alcoholics? Or nerds that got fooled into thinking that a tic-tac was really 300 pounds worth of ecstasy and look like a rather ugly lizard? I'm thinking of you, specifically, C'Rizz.
CD: Shut up!
NIGEL: Heheh. I so wrote that.
A face rises, Killroy-style up behind the bathroom window. It is Stacey, grinning scarily.
NIGEL: What in the name of Tythonian buggery are you doing?!
STACEY: Shush, shush! You don't want Kenji to find us like this...
NIGEL: Unless you've got a webcam and an explanation so simple even HE could follow it, I'm not really worried.
STACEY: I know you, Nigel. You're so like me it's like looking in a mirror.
NIGEL: Believe me, it isn't. Unless you've had some truly epic sex-change...
STACEY: Ah-hah, so you do remember me?
NIGEL: Remember you? Course I did. Honestly, Stace, you think you can freak out the Big N! I have subscriptions for ten different bondage websites into fetishes you can't imagine - you think your crude bullying can have any affect on ME?!
STACEY: Forget about the others! I'm the only one who's right for you!
NIGEL: You're a loony. And not even a fun type from Louis Nowra's Cosi.
STACEY: You cannot defeat a woman scorned, Nigel!
NIGEL: Oh, go play with a crucifix, Lynda Blair!
He kicks out with a leg, and Stacey automatically leans back out of the window, only to topple out of view with a long scream and a loud crash. Dogs bark.
NIGEL: Honestly, that girl is so boring...
Nigel is making some toast. Ari and Benny are having breakfast. The phone rings. Nigel, being nearest, picks up.
NIGEL: Good morning?
STACEY: [vo] Nigel. It's me, Stacey. I have kidnapped Benny and will kill her unless you...
NIGEL: Wrong number.
Nigel hangs up. The phone rings again.
STACEY: [vo] Nige, I am telling you...
NIGEL: [calls] Benny? You been kidnapped by Kenji's girlfriend?
BENNY: No! Duh!
NIGEL: [into phone] Well then.
STACEY: [vo] But... hang on, then who did I kidnap...?
Jason can be heard groaning over the phone.
JASON: [vo] What the fuck hit me?
NIGEL: Dear God, woman, if you were any more incompetent you could actually be dangerous!
He hangs up.
A quiet room just off the school library. Jason (now with a patch over his eye and neck brace in addition to his bruises), Betty and Nigel are discussing a play.
NIGEL: I don't believe this. I can't submit my own work? What the hell is the point of doing English for the HSC if I can't refer to the greatest and most sublime piece of theatrical entertainment known to man?
BETTY: Miss Van Gueyusan said "All Snobs Must Die" just won't count. It's a broadway theatre show and not a recognized HSC text.
NIGEL: And what does that palsied harridan know about anything?
A familiar voice comes from the rubber-curtain partition between this study room and the next.
STACEY: [vo] Nigel...
NIGEL: Oh, piss off!
STACEY: [vo] You still don't get it, do you? It's ME who makes the rules! NOTHING IS OVER UNTIL I SAY IT'S OVER!
Betty crosses to a patch of curtain and slams her fist into it. There is a sharp cry and a thud. Betty sighs and turns to Nigel.
BETTY: You should really get a restraining order on her, you know.
NIGEL: I know, I know. It's just she can be so... so endearing in her moronic loyalty. A bit like Jason in that respect, right Jase?
Jason makes pained noises.
NIGEL: Oh yeah. Broken jaw. Sorry, dude. Mind like a sieve, me. Now, where were we?
BETTY: Here. We haven't moved.
NIGEL: See, Bets, that's only funny when I say it.
ANDREW: [vo] No it isn't.
NIGEL: [to ceiling] Shut up, Andrew!
NIGEL'S HOUSE'S BACKYARD
Kenji sits glumly in the garden, head in his hands. Nigel emerges from the house, along with his mum.
NIGEL: What's wrong? Why's Kenji upset? He didn't watch the last episode of David the Gnome again, did he?
NIGEL'S MUM: No, it's not quite that bad, Nigel. It seems that Stacey has killed herself.
NIGEL: ...say what now?
NIGEL'S MUM: Yes, we got her suicide note in the post. She explained she was so upset about how you treated her, she got very drunk, passed out in a bath and drowned.
NIGEL: And then she came back to life long enough to post us the letter?
NIGEL'S MUM: Yes, there is a slight flaw, but no one's been able to explain it to Kenji. Oh, Nigel, what did you do to this girl?
NIGEL: I wish I knew mum. Because whatever it was, it definitely wasn't as nasty as she deserved. [strides over to Kenji] Oi! Big guy! Stacey isn't dead and shout down anyone who says otherwise. She's just dumped you in a ridiculously stupid manner.
KENJI: [sniffs] But why?
NIGEL: I dunno. But the fact she's a crazy delusional bitch could have some significance around this point, what do you think?
KENJI: She said she'd done all she could for me, but she needed some time for her own needs.
NIGEL: ...what the hell does that mean?
KENJI: [weeps] I dunno! Oh, Nige! What am I gonna do without her?
Nigel sighs and puts an arm around his brother.
NIGEL: Ever been to a pole-dancing joint?
Nigel takes out a mobile phone and dials a number.
NIGEL: Jason. This Stacey thing has reached my personal Godzilla Threshold. We are past the point of no return. It's time to google the bitch.
NIGEL: I dunno what her last name is! For god's sake, Jason, do I have to do EVERYTHING?
NIGEL: [vo] Of course, the best laid plans of mice and men tend to turn crap whenever Jason gets involved...
Nigel and Jason are now in handcuffs, standing at the front desk.
NIGEL: An injunction?! Against me?! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!
POLICEMAN: Yes, Mr. Verkoff.
NIGEL: [shrugs] Just checking.
They are shoved into some seats to wait.
NIGEL: Honestly, Jase, I give you one simple task, just one thing to do, cyber-stalk a crazy bitch from school and suddenly we both have restraining orders on us and we're being dragged to court.
NIGEL: What do you mean "all publicity is good publicity"? Haven't you heard of Kyle Sandilands?! God, this is a nightmare! And not even a good one with public nudity and knife-weilding clowns... Oh, that bitch will RUE THE DAY!
He notices the policemen are staring him.
NIGEL: Figure of speech.
NIGEL: No, I am not becoming obsessed, Jase! And even if I were, I would not be playing into her hands. This isn't the A Team!
NIGEL: Yes, I know that's a total non sequitor, but I'm in a foul mood! Oh, Jase, what we are going to do to her will make the Russian Kid incident look like a lesser known Chaser stunt! IT WILL THE DEADLY VENGEANCE OF DEADLY REVENGE!
The police continue to stare at him.
NIGEL: Again. Figure of speech. Stop eavesdropping already!
NIGEL: [vo] But, alas, I once again underestimated the godlike stupidity of Jason Kane.
Nigel and Jason are now straightjacketed. The cell door slams shut.
NIGEL: Only you, Jason. ONLY YOU could be so GODDAMN IDIOTIC! What exactly did you think was going to happen next? That our plan to destroy Stacey would somehow be helped if you emailed our carefully-photoshopped pictures straight to the Detective Inspector looking into her case with the subject "Nigel thinks these'll fool the cops, but I dunno..."?! Just what was going through your apology of a brain? Did you think they WOULDN'T be upset at what we had her doing to those golden retrievers?!
NIGEL: [sighs] No, DEE EYE MacMillan, not Dai MacMillan! Why were you sending it to your Welsh penpals anyway? No, don't answer, it'll only depress me further...
Nigel is still narrating.
NIGEL: Of course, it all sorted itself out inside a week or so. And while I was trapped in that lunatic asylum, Stacey decided to start her own religion. Quite a clever career move, really, since it turns out that she's exempt from most tax laws now she's the Mother Superior of the Sisterhood of Dubious Intentions. You know, the promiscuous nuns in tiny hot pants, bare midriff, and wimples with the erotic drawings on them? I think I should be flattered, I guess. A whole outlook on life changed and they all think I'm some sort of God. Which I don't mind, but their chains DO have the tendency to chaff the wrists...
Andrew has dozed off on the sofa. He blinks awake, and stumbles off to bed. Nigel doesn't actually notice.
NIGEL: OK, so there wasn't a moral to my tale. So what? It's real life! These things never have a clear plot. Some chick annoyed me then buggered off. Not a very good ending, but at least it's tidy, don't you think?
Nigel finally realizes he's alone.
NIGEL: Son of a bitch!
RUN END CREDITS