Monday, October 31, 2011

Offcuts of the Big N

It is a truth, universally acknowledged by me, that if you can't comfortably play the end theme of The Young Ones over a given piece of drama then it just ain't a comedy. And as the last installment of Andrew and the Vanishing Verkoff failed that, I idly present all the stuff from The Rise of the Big N that I never got round to actually completing between his first day of school to his supposed death (with a side order of rampant sex, angst, suicidal remorse to go.)

And so, the first extract....



ACT FOUR – CHANGE THE CHANNEL

[Yang dining room. Togi is serving out plates of noodles and stir-fry. Nigel, his brother and sisters are present. The mood is somber. Nigel speaks with forced cheer.]

Nigel: So, another weekend without the folks huh? We could go wild. Have a party.

[Togi finishes serving and walks off. Silence. Then a ringtone goes off – “What I Like About You” by Lillix. Grimacing, Nigel answers it.]

Nigel: Hey. Yeah. Busy now. Sorry.

[He hangs up and grins at the others.]

Nigel: Sorry.

Benny: So who was that then?

Kenji: Dame Joan Kerner?

Akiro: Myopic Spice?

Benny: Your agent?

[Nigel gives a very forced peal of laughter, then stops suddenly.]

Nigel: So, anything interesting happen at your school this week?

Benny: Nope.

[A pause.]

Nigel: Make any new friends?

Kenji: Nah.

Akiro: No.

Benny: They were mainly from our old school. Same old people.

Nigel: Yeah. Quite.

[Long pause.]

Nigel: Pretty boring then?

Benny: Yeah.

Kenji: Pretty much.

[Suddenly a mobile phone goes off – “Get Ready for This” by 2 Unlimited. Kenji quickly answers it.]

Kenji: [to others] Sorry. [into phone] Hello? [brightly] Hey, mate, how are you? Where were you today?! I suppose Ruby told you all about the whole “initiation ceremony” thing, huh? I know! Whole jar of vegemite, I am not kidding!

[Nigel stares at Kenji expressionlessly. Kenji eventually notices.]

Kenji: Yeah. Better go. Having dinner. Call you later. Yeah. Ciao.

[He hangs up.]

Nigel: [dryly] So, you were saying what a dull day you had.

Kenji: Yeah, well, it was just the usual.

Nigel: So what happened?

Benny: I’m sure it doesn’t match to your epic life, Nige.

Nigel: [frowns] I didn’t say my life was epic.

Akiro: [snorts] Makes a change for once.

Nigel: Hey, I’m here, making an effort to reconnect with my immediate family, being so strongly separated for the first time in years.

Akiro: Well, maybe we don’t WANT to be reconnected.

Kenji: Yeah, who do you think you are? Telstra?

Nigel: [annoyed] Oh what does it take? You’re never happy! You blank me all for diving into celebrity lifestyle, but when I take a break from it, you blank me all again.

Benny: [bored] Not at all, we just have nothing to say. We had a really boring, ordinary week.

Nigel: Seriously?

Akiro: Sure.

[Another ringtone. “Monkey Magic”. Akiro collects her mobile.]

Akiro: Yo? [laughs] Hey, Mirando! Yeah just like the old times. We were all there! Yeah, what WAS she wearing?! No, I MEANT her boyfriend! [laughs dorkily] Yeah, catch you later tonight. [hangs up] Boring and ordinary, as I said.

Nigel: Anyway, perhaps we should go out tomorrow night. Just the four of us.

Akiro: What? Moon a police officer and have a few car chases?

Nigel: [smiles charmingly] Well, if that particular perversion works for you Akiro, I’d be more than happy to indulge your disturbing whims.

Benny: I dunno, Nige. Been a long first week. Probably best to take it easy.

Nigel: You sure, Benny?

Benny: Definitely.

Nigel: OK. Quiet night in, then.

Benny: Probably.

[She takes out a mobile and dials a number.]

Benny: Hey, Beccy? [laughs] Chocolate slut! What are you up to? Seriously? [looks at Nigel] No, tomorrow night’s good. I got nothing on. No, I’d be up for it. Akiro and Kenji?

Kenji: Yup.

Akiro: Me too.

Benny: [into phone] You bet. Yeah. Just the three of us. Oh, wash your mouth out! Or at least make sure he does! Yeah, I so went there. OK. See you later. Bye. Bye. Beccy, I’m hanging up. [laughs] Yeah, best friends forever and all that crap. Bye.

[She hangs up.]

Nigel: Such subtlety Beriniko. Perhaps you should explain it for Kenji in case he lost that gossamer thread of conversation?

Kenji: No, I think I got the jist of it.

Benny & Nigel: [simultaneous] Shut up, Kenji!

Nigel: Is this going to be how it is from now on, Benny? Us at each other’s throats? Nothing but hate for the rest of our lives?

Benny: Not at all, Nigel. [glares] I refuse to give you the dignity of hate.

Nigel: And dignity is such a big thing for you, isn’t it? Miss Cheat Her Way To the Top! Yeah? What have you got to say to that?

Benny: I’ll let you do all the talking, Media Whore. It’s what you’re best at.

Nigel: [dangerous fury] WHICH IS ONE BETTER THAN ANY OF YOU MISERABLE PARASITES HAVE EVER MANAGED IN YOUR WORTHLESS AND STUNTED LIVES!!

[The others stare at him, shocked. Then, one by one, they leave the table. Nigel is on his own.]

Nigel: [calls after them] All the more for me, then, eh?

[Nigel helps himself to their bowls, emptying it into a huge pile of food over his own plate. He regards it for a moment, his pleasure at winning the argument rapidly turning to despair. Finally he sighs and slumps face forward into the pile of food. A long pause.]

Nigel: [muffled] I regret nothing!

[The school in the morning. We hear the first unsteady strains of "Everybody Needs Somebody" from The Blues Brothers.]

Teacher 1: [VO] No, no, you’ve got it all wrong! Try it again! No! No! We’re playing in C! It’s the easiest key there is! Now TRY it AGAIN! NOOOO! It’s all wrong! Wait! Can’t you even get the most basic melody right without butchering the music! YOU CALL THAT PRACTICING?

[Outside music classroom. A small, cramped foyer area leading out into the playground. A graying, bearded teacher storms out of one doorway and into the even more cramped office.]

Teacher 1: That does it! You tone-deaf idiots are raping my memories of The Blues Brothers! I should leave you all to rot!

[He slams the office door and can be heard sobbing inside. A completely different teacher enters and walks into the classroom.]

Teacher 2: Sorry I’m late everyone, but I hope Mr. Matthews the Computer Science tutor was able to keep you occupied for those three long minutes...

[Music classroom. A brick-walled room in the heart of the school where the music cannot be heard. The back half of the room is full of instruments (drum kit, keyboards, a few guitars). The front half is full of tables and chairs facing a whiteboard. Musical posters are everywhere. Students are milling around as some of them, including Harry Hill, start to get ready to rehearse. Nigel loiters with Jason and Betty, arms folded, looking pissed off. Jason is struggling to fill out a photocopied homework sheet.]

Teacher 2 : [waffling on] Now, your choice of guitar are two yellow acoustics, a black Gibson rip-off electric, a green Fender Stratocaster and a pink Fender Stratocaster. Now, it’s easier to learn on an electric guitar...

Jason: [desperate] Name of the song...

Nigel: [bored] “Trouble”.

[Jason hastily scribbles in the answer.]

Jason: Performer?

Nigel: “Shampoo”.

Jason: Instruments?

Nigel: [increasingly irritable] “Drum, guitar, back-up vocals, harmony, keyboard, bass!” Time signature, “4/4”, appropriate word for chorus is “unison”, for verse is “alternating female”, style is “pop”, number of interludes is “8”, singing style description “annoying”! Hell, Jason, this is hardly difficult, is it?!

Jason: It is to me, my liege! Oh god, I hate Music!

Betty: I know what you mean. It all sort of turns into a mindless bad rhythm after a while.

Nigel: After a while?? It’s a miracle that we’re even still alive at this point. If I hear them do one more number from the Blues Brothers I shall pray for the mercy of death by flesh-eating bacteria.

Harry: Oh give a rest you two, it’s only the third lesson!

[Nigel mockingly mimes repeating Harry, ignoring Jadi absent-mindedly tugging a cord to attach a guitar to an amp.]

Nigel: Can you not see that this is an unsuitable environment for the Big N? The youngest recording artist of this financial quarter, who has two hit singles? It’s like asking Beethoven to take part in a Spice Girls tribute! I am a man of genius, inspiration, and above all, √©lan—

[Nigel takes a step forward and trips over the unintentional tripwire cord Jadi has unwittingly set up. Nigel falls flat on his face, snapping the cord from Jadi’s hand and causing him to drop the guitar. It lands on Nigel’s head, denting, and the strips snap. Nigel screams, but his voice is muffled since he is face down in the carpet.]

Nigel: ARGH! MY HEAD! MY ANKLE! My head AND my ankle! You’ve broken both!

[Jadi looks between the ruined guitar and Nigel in pain.]

Jadi: I wonder which is going to get me in more trouble?

Nigel: Jason! AVENGE ME! Sue everyone!

Jason: [looks around in confusion] Which one’s Sue?

[Nigel moans in pain and frustration.]

[Playground next morning before class. Nigel has a brace around his ankle and a funky walking stick with NV carved into the handle.]

Nigel: ...all right, so I haven’t actually broken anything, but my private surgeon has got me out of all athletic requirements for the rest of term.

Jason: [impressed] Amazing!

Nigel: You have no idea what I just said, do you?

Jason: You’ve broken your surgeon’s athlete’s foot?

Nigel: ...yes. Yes I have. I also don’t have to do any PE. [sighs] While you and the other plebs and ordinaries are doing warm-up exercises and completely meaningless games of gender-segregated sport on Wednesday afternoons, I shall be relaxing and enjoying myself. Ah yes. Life is good.

[Music classroom. Nigel sits behind a keyboard, looking miserable.]

Nigel: Life is complete and utter shit! I can’t believe that stupid bitch of a principal wanted me to take music classes instead of PE! The repressed freak’s got it in for me!

[We now see is surrounded by the rest of the band: Lucy, Jadi (both bass), Harry (drums) and Tegan (keyboards). They are not exactly impressed with his attitude.]

Jadi: You DID go on and on about what a musical genius you are.

Nigel: Yes, but I never said I could pass it on to talent-free tone-deaf noise polluters like you!

Harry: But you can help us improve our sound and stuff?

Nigel: “Sound and stuff?” Yes, all right, and then I’ll just go and teach orangutans the secret of fire and how to build pyramids in three easy stages, shall I? You are beyond help, all of you! Especially this ragtag collection of Fisher Price musical instruments...

Lucy: Well, if you don’t think you’re up to it...

Nigel: Oh, pur-lease, is that supposed to be some kind of reverse psychology?

Lucy: [stares at him] No.

Nigel: Good. Because it wouldn’t work.

[A few days later. The band are in the middle of a song with Nigel on lead vocals. The song’s a bitter, anti-war protest song.]

Nigel: In Luang Prebang there is a spot
Where the corpses of your brothers rot!
And every corpse is a patriot
And every corpse is a hero!

All: Mourn your dead, Land of the Free!
If you want to be a hero follow me!
Mourn your dead, Land of the Free!
If you want to be a hero follow me!

[They’re not too bad.]

[Another week later. The band are much improved. Harry does a solo on a xylophone.]

[Another week later. Nigel reclines on a stool with an unlit cigarette, ala William Shatner doing “Rocket Man”. Jadi plays a guitar riff.]

[Nigel’s bedroom. The room now has numerous posters of Nigel and a pile of letters in a crate marked FAN MAIL. Jason is wearily signing a pile of photos of Nigel seductively peering over his sunglasses. Nigel is lying in bed, reading a sheet of music as the song blares from a stereo.]

Nigel: The one-and-twenty canon thunder
Into the bloody wild blue yonder
For a patriotic, ball-less wonder,
Now I’m a fuc—

[Nigel frowns and grabs a remote and cuts out the music. There is a faint thudding noise.]

Nigel: What the hell is that?

[In Kenji’s room, Nigel’s brother is repeatedly bashing his head against the wall, causing the percussion noise spoiling the music.]

Kenji: [groans] Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop.

[Back in Nigel’s room.]

Nigel: Ah, Jason. You know, I think I’ve underestimated my own musical genius. It’s only a matter of time before I get a better deal with a new record company, win an ARIA award and get married to the lead guitarist of some wild, topless girl band. Preferably a chick called “Booby Galore”...

[Jason is too tired and bored to do anything but keep signing autographed photos.]

Nigel: And for my next album, I think a title like “Nigel Verkoff’s Beauty, Betrayal, and Merciless Bloodshed” works rather well, don’t you? Oh, don’t bother, Jason. I can almost hear your brain ticking over. [mimics Jason] “All memory of this pointless conversation will be erased in three, two one…”


And that's when things started to peter out. Nigel's newly-formed band (Yellow Fever And How To Die From It) would have been a big part of the plot, including some truly demented Beatles parodies amongst other things. The episode would end with Nigel's first big concert and his attempt to reconcile with his beloved Bernice...


[The stage is dark. The light snaps on, illuminating Harry and his drum kit. Before him, Nigel is silhouetted, facing away from the audience. As the music begins two more lights switch on, picking out Tegan, Jadi and Lucy. Nigel turns around, peers over his spectacles and then advances on the microphone.]

Nigel: I am the victor and I love to hear the crowd roar!
The sole survivor of a hundred Jekka Tatvi wars!
I’m the legend that shines, a one of a kind institution!
Don’t I fill you with love? I’m a miracle of EVOLUTION!

[The audience is loving it. They’re an instant hit.]

[Lots of audience members are shouting “I love you Nige!” and variations thereupon. A girl at the front offers up an animal cage containing a pet rabbit. Nigel takes it, eyeing it warily as he continues to sing.]

Nigel: I am the spectacle when love and power collide!
I make you feel the things you only dreamed of inside!

[The girl passes up a couple of framed portraits of Nigel, waving a lot as she does so. He puts down the rabbit cage and snatches up the paintings.]

Nigel: I’m the mystical sage for the Internet Age of Seduction!
I can take any heart because I’ve mastered the art of CORRUPTION!

[A small mini-fridge is moshed onto the stage. The girl waves. It’s from her. Rolling his eyes, Nigel opens the fridge and allows dry ice smoke to swirl out. The music builds to the chorus. Note: with every audience participation, the lights pulsate.]

Nigel: You know I’m the...

Audience: BIG N!

Nigel: When I’m burning with fire now!

Audience: BIG N!

Nigel: I got all you desire now!

Audience: BIG N!

Nigel: And I’ll do what I want to do!

[A lull in the singing. People are shouting and cheering on Nigel.]

All: [to the music] BIG N! ... BIG N! .... BIG N!

[Betty has climbed on stage and dances beside Nigel. She can’t dance. Nigel gets a bit embarrassed.]

Nigel: What am I?!

Audience: BIG N!

Nigel: I’ll be all that life can be!

Audience: BIG N!

Nigel: Oh, I’m a sociological fantasy!

Audience: BIG N!

Nigel: Or am I just a reflection of YOU?!?

[He points at the crowds. They go even wilder than before. Nigel looks at the rest of the band in a very cunning manner. Harry and the others nod. The rock music reaches a peak and cuts out. Nigel takes off his glasses and gives a hurt puppy dog look, like Jake in The Blues Brothers. The audience falls silent. His voice cracks as if in pain.]

Nigel: [broken] I’ve seen the light, now I want you all to hear...

[The music turns sad.]

Nigel: The story of a boy who’s ego has disappeared.

[He stumbles forward and collapses to his knees at the edge of the stage.]

Nigel: If you look at my face, you can see there’s a trace of confusion.

[In the crowd, Benny frowns in concern at this sudden change of mood. Nigel slumps forward, as if on the brink of collapse. The girls in the audience are now all crestfallen and sad. Nigel is weeping openly.]

Nigel: I’m out of control... and I’ve poisoned my soul... with delusion.

[Nigel meets his sister’s eyes. He’s in tears.]

Nigel: [miserably] You know I’m the Big N?
I’m burning with fire now?
Big N, I’m all you desire now?
Big N... and I’ll do...what I want to do.

[He starts to sob uncontrollably. On stage, Jadi and Tegan look a bit teary themselves. Betty and other groupies are all genuinely crying. Benny’s face softens at her brother’s obvious pain. Behind the performers, a big poster showing a photo of Old Nigel, Akiro, Kenji and Bernice has surreptitiously appeared, as if to show what Nigel has lost in some crude but effective emotional blackmail. The audience is now beginning to wail in despair. Nigel lifts his head and meets Benny’s eye.]

Nigel: [bitter] Big N? I’m bigger than life can be...
Big N? I’m NOT a rock and roll fantasy...
Big N... I’m just... a reflection...

[He points right at Benny. Everyone follows his pointed finger. Benny stares back sadly.]

Nigel: ...of you.

[Nigel sags, burnt out. The girls and groupies are weeping openly now. Arms are reaching out as if to embrace him, but they can’t reach. Benny, a tear in her eye, turns and runs off. Nigel heaves himself to his feet, exhausted. The crowds chant “Nigel! Nigel!”. The music gets more upbeat and Nigel shambles off stage, refusing to look back.]


Alas, this would all go somewhat pear-shaped when the epic finale to the concert was unwittingly gatecrashed by Andrew who equally unwittingly knocked Nigel unconscious and very-wittingly-indeed had to temporarily become lead singer for the band and conclude it with an Ozzy Osborne tribute involving a pigeon that would leave him forever known to the student body as "Maddog". In the next episode, Nigel would confront the returning loon...


[Nigel strides into the area, looking for the others. Andrew sits on the steps, swigging from a small bottle of VB, looking bored.]

Nigel: Hey. You. Whatever your name is. You seen Betty and the others?

[Andrew has a “give me strength” expression.]

Nigel: What are you doing anyway, you hobgoblin? Drinking alcohol on school property.

Andrew: Just toasting the departed.

[He offers Nigel the bottle. Nigel eyes it with distaste.]

Nigel: ...it’s empty.

Andrew: Well, there are a LOT of departed to toast, aren’t there?

Nigel: You know, you scruffy troll, you could get suspended for drunk and disorderly behavior.

Andrew: Ah, but the bottle – as you so clearly said – is empty. Where’s the proof I drank it?

Nigel: What? You wander around carrying empty beer bottles?

Andrew: They do turn up with alarming frequency, yes.

Nigel: Oh, an alcoholic. Just what the new intake needs.

Andrew: Nothing wrong with a good drink, friend, it warms the mind, clears the constitution and strengthens the blood. And, between you and me, it is GREAT for forgetting things. [curious] Do you have bad dreams?

Nigel: Only about being stuck outside the music department talking to the dregs of society. Look, you can stay here coming up with new and interesting reasons to justify your drinking.

Andrew: Don’t judge my nightmares till you’ve lived them, mate.

Nigel: Oh god, nightmares aren’t real, you moron. They’re hallucinatory phenomena you experience when asleep. You don’t live through them, no one lives through them. And have we met before? There’s something about your never-ending stream of self-pitying garbage that strikes a chord in memory.

Andrew: It is true, young man. We have met before.

Nigel: Oh?

Andrew: Yeah. You owe me fifty bucks.

Nigel: Bullshit!

[Nigel storms off. Andrew takes another bottle out and starts drinking it.]

Andrew: Not my fault if he can’t remember it, is it?


And on September 11th, Nigel loses his virginity to his principal betrayer in a home ecs storeroom as the rest of the school dissolves into panic:


Simone: You don’t want to die a virgin, do you?

Nigel: I could ask you the same question. Look, I’m flattered but... well, I don’t particularly want to get blood all over my clothes...

Simone: Jeez. What pornos have YOU been watching?

Nigel: [absolutely serious] You don’t want to know. Hang on, you’re saying you’re not a virgin?

Simone: Not technically.

Nigel: “Not technically”? How the hell does that work?

Simone: Well, let’s just say between some extreme horse riding, a few fights and a slightly paranoid gynecologist, you ain’t got anything to worry about. I was deflowered ages ago.

Nigel: Oh. Odd how you never hear about things like that in the media.

Simone: Yeah, that stupid Afghanistan business really pushed the truth about hymens off the front pages. We gonna do this thing or what?

Nigel: Simone! Honestly! Do you think that I am so shallow, so consumed by baser instincts that I have no morals or principles left? Do you really think I’d find a quick squelchy session in a supply cupboard with my closest companion over my invaluable culinary education in home economics?

Simone: ...yes. Yes I do.

Nigel: Well, you’re absolutely damn right!

Simone: You got any condoms on you?

Nigel: Live fast, die young and don’t worry about STDs, that’s my motto.

[They duck into the cupboard. Sounds of lustful bonking emerge.]

Simone: [VO/gasps] I think I’m gonna have a heart attack!

Nigel: [VO] Ow!

Simone: [VO] Sorry!

Nigel: [VO] That’s my hair, Simone! Dammit, move your arm...

Simone: [VO] Oh, come on, how many elbows and knees do you have?

Nigel: [VO] What do you think I am, an Olympic gymnast? It’s pitch dark in here!

Simone: [VO] Fine, gimme your hand.

Nigel: [VO] What? Why? [startled] Ah! Oh... wow... I hope we don’t need any lube...

[A strange farting noise.]

Nigel: [VO] What the?

Simone: [VO] Sorry. It’s all this... twisting... into position...

Nigel: [VO] Oh, phew. I thought it was just me.

[A loud burp.]

Simone: [VO] ...well, someone had scrambled eggs for breakfast.

[Simone cries out. A few moments later Nigel screams very loudly. A long pause.]

Nigel: [VO] THAT’S! MY! FOOT!!!!

Simone: [VO/dazed] Sor-reeeee.

[There are some rather nasty sticky noises.]

Simone: [VO] Oh, that is disgusting!

Nigel: [VO] What are you on about? YOU’RE the one farting out of the wrong place!

Simone: [VO] And who’s fault is that?

Nigel: [VO] “Fault”? “FAULT”? First you fail to cry out “Hump me again, potent sex machine” at ANY point, now you’re bringing fault into it!

[Finally the door barges open and Nigel and Simone stagger out, hitching up their pants and smoothing down their dress respectively. Both are very flushed and sweaty.]

Nigel: Wh... where you off to?

Simone: Cleaning up, dumbo.

Nigel: No nice post-coital shower? Oh well. Uh... yeah... keep in touch.

Simone: Will do. [sotto] If I get a urinary tract infection.

[Nigel clearly heard that.]

Nigel: Who said romance was dead?

[Nigel stumbles into the classroom where Jason is doing the washing up.]

Jason: Why do you smell like... [sniffs] strawberries and [sniffs twice] beansprouts?

Nigel: Jason... your immature mind would not be able to grasp the concept.

Jason: [shrugs] Probably.


Unfortunately, Simone has no interests in any long-term relationships and dumps Nigel in public to the music of Al Johnson. (Yes, I had been watching a lot of Glee at the time...)


Nigel: What are you saying?

[Suddenly music begins to play. Chamber stands behind Nigel while Doctor Spoon stands behind Simone.]

Doctor Spoon: On her way to work one morning, down the path along side the lake...

Chamber: A tender-hearted woman saw a poor half frozen snake!

Simone: [mocking] His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew!

Nigel: "Oh well,"

Chamber: ...she cried...

Nigel: "I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you"

Doctor Spoon: She wrapped him up, all cozy, in a curvature of silk!

Chamber: And then laid him by the fireside with some honey and some milk!

Doctor Spoon: Now she hurried home from work that night...

Chamber: As soon as she arrived...

Doctor Spoon: She found that pretty snake she’d taken in had been revived!

[Simone walks over to Nigel and wraps her arms around his neck.]

Chamber: Now she clutched him to her bosom!

Nigel: "You’re so beautiful!"

Chamber: ...she cried.

Nigel: "But if I hadn’t brought you in
By now you might have died!"

Doctor Spoon: Now she stroked his pretty skin again...

[Simone strokes Nigel’s cheek, then kisses him passionately.]

Chamber: ...and then she kissed and held him tight!

Doctor Spoon: But instead of saying “thanks”...

Both: ...that snake gave her a vicious b—

[Simone knees Nigel in the bollocks, and he doubles over with a scream. Doctor Spoon and Chamber.]

Simone: [laughs] "Oh please, take me in, oh tender woman
Take me in, for heaven's sake
Take me in oh tender woman!"

Both: ...sssssighed the sssssnake.

Nigel: "I saved you!"

Chamber: ...cried that woman.

Nigel: "And you’ve bit me even, why?
And you KNOW your bite is poisonous!
And now I’m going to die!"

Simone: "Oh shut up, silly woman!"

Doctor Spoon: ...said that reptile with a grin.

Simone: "You knew damn well I was a snake
BEFORE you took me in!"

[The song ends.]

Simone: Got the picture now?

Nigel: [almost cries] Oh, Simone.

Simone: Are you gonna cry?

Nigel: [sniffs] Yes! I am! You actually think... you went around believing... [not crying anymore] I gave a tinker’s cuss about you? Simmy, I was a virgin before I met you and I’m not entirely sure if I’m not any more, given you are SUCH a bad shag it might not actually count! Good grief, woman, you have the sexual allure and prowess of a giant panda! By which I mean something so ugly and unattractive it couldn’t get a decent bonk even when the survival of the entire species depended on it! Simone, I’m tempted to rob a bank and get sent to jail and made the bitch of a giant Maori called “Bubba” into farmyard animals JUST to get some better sexual experiences than your over-lubricated fart-filled rutting! YOU COULD CONVERT GAYS! By which I mean making sure they STAY gay! HAH!

[Simone is speechless, devastated.]

Nigel: See you on the way down, you harlot.


With his sister getting a boyfriend, Nigel's libidio starts to boil his brain in his skull and he begins an epic quest to seduce every girl in Year 12. You can read the first half elsewhere on this blog if you can be arsed to look, and after the incident involving Nigel's crotch, Andrew and the scalpel, events continue...


[Nigel is glumly climbing a flight of steps onto a walkway. The crotch of his pants is clearly ripped open. Tegan is coming down the walkway in the opposite direction.]

Tegan: What the hell happened to you? Or maybe “who”?

[Nigel looks her up and down.]

Nigel: [thoughtful] Fancy being that “who”, girl. I’ve satisfied several chicks at this school and I could do the same for you...

Tegan: What? Nigel. You’re not my type.

Nigel: You’re not being racist, are you?

Tegan: Sexist, really. I’m into people with ovaries.

Nigel: Oh.

Tegan: Didn’t you notice the way my girlfriend picks up after school?

Nigel: Well... yes. But to be honest, I tend to think such thoughts whenever girls get together... it’s rather a surprise to find out it’s not just my imagination. Look...

[He follows her into an empty classroom.]

Nigel: Oh, come on, Jovanka! Look at this way: you’ll be able to reaffirm your sexuality.

Tegan: You mean, you’ll put me off men for life?

Nigel: Maybe. What have you got to lose?

Tegan: I’m not getting pregnant like Phoebe.

[Nigel holds out packets of condoms like a magician with a ‘pick-a-card’ trick.]

Nigel: Of course not. That fetish is for another time. Trust me.

Tegan: No way.

Nigel: All right, forget the trust. Come on, girl. Don’t tell me you don’t get as horny as every other teenager in this school? I mean, insult my seduction skills but never my intelligence... [sotto] You got an itch I am more than willing to scratch.

[Tegan smiles but shakes her head.]

Nigel: Look at it this way. If I’m complete crap, you’ll be able to tell everyone and ruin my reputation forever.

Tegan: Wow. You’re confident aren’t you?

Nigel: I was born confident. I assume.

[Tegan pushes him against the teacher’s desk and straddles him. Nigel grunts in pain.]

Nigel: [pained] You, uh... are one solid lady.

Tegan: Too much for you to handle?

Nigel: [without effort] You tell me. Is this rampant sexual desire I see before me?

[Tegan kisses him. Eventually Nigel comes up for air.]

Nigel: Is that a yes?

[She pushes him back onto the desk. He cracks his head on the chair.]

Nigel: AGH! Tegan, if I’m not conscious this could count as rape...

[Tegan kisses him again. His hands flail around, trying to pull down her pants.]

[Study room in the library. Andrew, still in a bad mood, is flipping through a text book. Maurice, Katy, Dave and Aileen are present.]

Andrew: ...and then I walked out.

Dave: You attacked each other with art scalpels.

Andrew: Yeah, but only when words proved inadequate.

Aileen: You could get expelled if the teachers find out.

Andrew: Yeah, because it’s not like I’ll be leaving school this year anyway, is it?

Dave: Um, yeah, maybe we should get on to physics...

Andrew: Very well. Angle of incident equals angle of reflection.

Katy: Right, and that means?

Maurice: It means laser beams bounce off mirrors, doesn’t it?

Katy: Well, sort of. The point is that...

[A square plate of ceiling suddenly falls loose and slams into the middle of the table, startling everyone. A worried cry and then Harry drops out of the gap in the ceiling and lands on the table as well.]

Harry: [lamely] Surprise!

Katy: Harry! How the hell did you do that?

Harry: Air vents, people, air vents. I was in the next study room, got a bit bored, and it turns out the inspection hatches aren’t even locked or anything.

Maurice: Wow. Like secret passages?

Andrew: I have GOT to try that!

[Andrew climbs onto the table and tries to haul himself up into the ceiling.]

Dave: But what about study?

Andrew: [halfway into the ceiling] I am studying! Six years and I never suspected this was here! This is much more interesting! If only Tegan was here to see this...

Aileen: Yeah, where is she, anyway?

[Tegan emerges from the classroom, straightening her clothes. Nigel follows, looking far more ragged and with a few bruises.]

Nigel: [out of breath] Converting a lesbian... that’s seven year’s good luck, you know?

Tegan: [slightly dazed] Didn’t convert me.

Nigel: You enjoyed it. [groans] I have the compound fractures to prove it.

Tegan: So? I enjoy rides at Wonderland. Doesn’t mean I want to live on a roller coaster, does it?

Nigel: I dunno. [exhausted] Not sure I care. Still, as long as I am greater than or equal to sitting on a washing machine, I’m cool.

Tegan: Yeah, you’re about the same.

Nigel: Oh good. [blinks] You do the sitting-on-a-washing-machine thing?

Tegan: It’s about as humiliating as sitting on you.

Nigel: Oh, please, Julie McCrossin, I only have so many ribs. [groans] Do you have concrete implants in those boobs of yours or what?

[Tegan shifts awkwardly.]

Tegan: I haven’t got any complaints before.

Nigel: Yeah, washing machines aren’t noted for their conversational skill. Still, I suppose a washing machine is good practice for having a girlfriend.

[Tegan cracks her knuckles.]

Tegan: Do go on.

[Nigel looks nervously at her.]

Nigel: Well, you’ve got to treat them with respect. Don’t overload them. And always watch out for the dodgy part of their cycle.

[Tegan stares at him for a long moment. Nigel smirks and breaks up in laughter. So does Tegan. His laughter fades as he sees, for a split-second, Benny beside him.]

[Recess bell rings. Nigel is skipping down some steps as he passes a girls’ toilet and sees three pretty girls emerging. With a grin, he approaches them.]

[Study rooms in the library. Nigel sits with his feet on a desk, hands behind his head, looking incredibly pleased with himself. Betty sits beside him in a more conservative pose.]

Betty: Five girls? Just today?!?

Nigel: All before lunchtime. Including a threesome. It’s like the old Stranglers’ song, Betty.

Betty: Peaches?

Nigel: Wha—no! Not Peaches! The other one.

Betty: Which one?

Nigel: [sings] This is the story of a poor man’s son! He pulled himself up, turned his face the sun! He burned up the world with a heart of fire and tempted the stars when they hid their light! Now everyone wants to touch the golden boy! Now everyone wants to touch the golden boy! Doo-doo, doo-do-doo! Doo-doo, doo-do-doo! Everyone wants to touch, everyone wants to suck, everyone wants to...

[He trails off at stares longingly at Betty.]

Nigel: ...wants to?

Betty: Oh yeah.

[Nigel kisses her. She kisses back. He slides a hand under her shirt and she presses closer to him. Both topple off their chairs and onto the floor.]

[In the next study room, Andrew is reading “The Mysteries of the Unexplained” when the sound of screwing in the next room filters through the thin curtain wall.]

Betty: [vo] Oh Nige... OH!

[Andrew scowls, closes the book and starts to climb onto the table.]

Betty: [gasps] Oh god!

Nigel: [vo] Don’t give him the credit, this is all me!

[Andrew rips open the ceiling inspection hatch and heaves himself up into the ceiling. In the dusty darkness, he shuffles on his elbows as Betty moans for a very long time. He finds another hatch and lifts it up, then leans forward to stick his head through. Betty squeaks in surprise as she sees him glaring at her and Nigel having sex.]

Andrew: [pleasantly] Yes, Elizabeth, we’re all VERY pleased you’ve got into Club d’Amore, but while you’re checking your inhibitions at the door, will you for the love of god just SHUT UP?!

Nigel: [over his shoulder] Piss off, Maddog! We’re busy!

Andrew: So am I – and it’s not on another adolescent embarrassment that will be so bad in years to come you’ll have to repress it just to get out of bed in the morning.

Nigel: Bugger off, you bastard!

Andrew: See, Bets? THIS is who you chose to have a defining moment of your life with. Remember that.

[But nevertheless, he rises back into the ceiling and scrabbles through the shadows.]

Andrew: [to himself] Now, which way is the Common Room?

[He skids to a halt as something seems to block the path ahead. After a moment, a light comes on – Andrew’s flicked on his cigarette lighter. A severed sheep’s head sits in a puddle of dried blood. Andrew stares at it for a long moment.]

Andrew: [friendly] Hello!

[Back in the study room, Nigel and Betty are sitting on the floor, backs to the wall, both sweaty and flushed.]

Betty: [panting] Hold my hand... don’t leave me...

[He gives her a surprised look and shrugs.]

Nigel: If you want. Man. It sure gets hot in these study rooms, doesn’t it?

Betty: [shakes head] It’s like I’ve been electrocuted in all the right places. [awkward] I think you should know... that was my first time.

Nigel: [dryly] I’d never have guessed.

Betty: Really?

[He winks at her and she smiles. Then she sighs.]

Betty: Oh. I was sort of, well, saving myself...

Nigel: I had no idea. I just thought you were playing hard to get.

[She laughs weakly and rests her head on his shoulder.]

[Near a gated side exit to the school, Doctor Spoon and Chamber are present. The former is sipping a milkshake, the latter listening to a discman.]

Doctor Spoon: You hear Verkoff has started sleeping with every girl in Year 12?

Chamber: Yup. Only the ones he thinks are hot, though.

Doctor Spoon: Oh. Guess that cuts the number down a bit.

Chamber: Yeah, not as impressive a claim when you think about.

Doctor Spoon: I know. This school isn’t half as interesting as people make it out to be.

[Suddenly above the stairwell nearby, a ventilation grille pops loose and out tumbles Andrew, somersaulting down the steps to land sprawled at their feet, clutching a severed sheep’s head. Spluttering, Andrew self-consciously gets to his feet, dusts himself down, snatches up the severed head and walks off with much dignity. Doctor Spoon and Chamber exchange troubled looks.]

Chamber: Why do you SAY things like that? Honestly, Rupert, what do you really THINK is going to happen when you say them?


Nigel eventually ends up with a certain girl called Gabrielle who ends up sharing his bed rather than a convenient hiding hole in the school:


[Nigel lies in bed with Gabby, who looks even more dazed and ragged than usual.]

Gabby: [flushed] Oh God... that... that felt great... I can’t... I...

Nigel: [weary] Uh-huh. Electric ecstasy enveloping your whole body, feels like hot wax poured onto your girly-parts. Don’t waste your breath looking for more superlatives.

Gabby: I didn’t understand a single word of that.

Nigel: [sighs] You don’t have to tell me how good I am, babe. I already know.

Gabby: Oh. Cool. [beat] How was I?

Nigel: Fantastic. Incredible. Now stop talking, you’ll ruin the moment.

Gabby: You don’t like talking after?

Nigel: It’s just I like to have intelligent conversations. And I know you don’t.

Gabby: [thoughtfully] That’s true. Do you want me to go now?

Nigel: Well... I dunno... up to you. I guess.

Gabby: I don’t mind.

Nigel: [awkward] I don’t mind either. This is, well, the first time I’ve had a girl round my place.

Gabby: [looks around] It’s nice.

Nigel: [blinks] Yeah. Yeah, it IS nice. I suppose. Never really noticed. You, um, wanna stay for dinner? Best Chinese takeaway this side of the Newtown festival...

Gabby: Only if, you know, it’s no trouble.

Nigel: [firmly] No trouble.

Gabby: I should probably get a shower first though...

Nigel: No hassle. Bathroom just down the hall.

Gabby: You wanna show me where?

Nigel: [frowns] You think you’d get lost?

Gabby: Maybe. [playful] Maybe I want to spend more time with you.

Nigel: Sarcasm ill-becomes you, Gabrielle. [beat] You’re NOT being sarcastic are you?

Gabby: [shrugs] I don’t think so.

[Hallway. Nigel and Gabby, both wearing kimonos – in the latter’s case, rather ill-fitting – sneak over to the bathroom door.]

Gabby: I don’t want anyone to go in while I’m in the shower.

Nigel: No sweat. I’ll keep guard.

Gabby: You sure?

Nigel: [reproving] Promise.

[Nigel opens the door. Gabby kisses him on the cheek and hops through. Nigel touches his cheek, trying to wrap his brain around the concept. There is the sound of water within the bathroom.]

Gabby: [vo] Gumboots, they are wonderful! Gumboots, they are swell!
Coz they keep out the water, and they keep in the smell.
And when you’re sitting round at home, you can always tell
When one of the troops has taken off his gumboots!

[Nigel laughs at her exuberant singing, then notices Benny standing further down the hall, disapproving.]

Bernice: Hey.

Nigel: Hey.

Bernice: Do you even know her name?

Nigel: What do you mean?

Bernice: Everyone’s heard about you sleeping your way through your school.

Nigel: Everyone’s stupid. There’s no “sleeping” involved. All parties are VERY much awake.

Bernice: Oh, don’t be disgusting!

Nigel: I don’t comment on YOUR sex life, Bernice, do I?

Bernice: There’s nothing to comment on!

Nigel: [surprised] Seriously? So you and him haven’t...

Bernice: I’m not discussing this!

Nigel: You’re still...

Bernice: SHUT UP!

[Nigel stares at her for a long moment, awed.]

Nigel: You know, I’ve just realized something. I haven’t thought about you ONCE today.

Bernice: Is that meant to be an insult?

[She storms off before Nigel can reply.]

Nigel: She’s still a virgin. And yet, somehow, I’m not really interested any more...

[A beat.]

Nigel: [shakes his head] I need a drink.


After yet another song, Nigel confesses his love:


Nigel: Gabbs... You see before you a natural orator caught short for once....

Gabby: Um, can you speak English?

Nigel: Yeah. Sure. I guess I DO get a bit pretentious. So. Gabbs. I love you. I mean... no, that’s it. I love you. Honestly. I’ve done it with plenty of girls, and I’ll probably do it with plenty more. But none of them made me happy like you do. Fantastic, supreme, dynamo sex, yeah... but not happy. See, a while ago, there was this girl and... long story short she broke my heart with a Peter Weir film. And I’ve never really been happy since. Until I met you. You make me look forward to things. To tomorrow, even when nothing special’s happening. I would be honored if you would be my girlfriend.

Gabby: Really?

Nigel: Really. You might not be in the top education band and get a headache at the mere thought of soduku, but you’re not an idiot. And I’ll never treat you like an idiot. Promise.

Gabby: And I promise to keep you happy.

Nigel: You know what? No one has EVER even OFFERED that before. You are awesome.

[They embrace.]


And as the final term begins:


[Nigel stands on stage, addressing the assembled student body.]

Nigel: Utopia. A world without borders. Without wars. And contained solely in science fiction, because we live in a world without a central global government. There’s no New World Order around, no matter what those unmarked helicopters are doing to mutilate cattle. Because if there had been, the destruction of the twin towers wouldn’t have happened.

[Some bored yawns from the audience.]

Nigel: Pay attention! The United States of America has been in a state of emergency since 1933 – and that means that legally they can go against their own constitution whenever they need to. Free speech? Ownership of property? Individual rights? They could all be taken away like that [snaps fingers] if the US Senate wanted to. They still can turn USA into the biggest police state with no warning today. Pity they didn’t do that on September 10th, though, isn’t it? Yeah, big mistake, George W.

[Looks of confusion amongst the students.]

Nigel: Now, the political parties of this wide brown land have been against Big Brother world police crushing the people. But the government can get things wrong, you know. Not even teachers are perfect. And we have all been given a little reminder of that fact. There are corners of the global village that have bred the most terrible things, things that act against everything Australia believes in. They’ve turned against the weaknesses of Western Civilization, turned to the strength of terrorism. No pain, no emotion, no humanity, the ultimate enemy. All Kawayder, as I understand it’s called. [deep breath] Thus, in the interests of Home Land Security, the Student Representative Council will, from this day forth, be held accountable to a new body to be lead by none other than myself. I call this new organization... The Happiness Patrol!

[From either side of the stage come Patrol Members – ordinary schoolkids except they have jackets like an American football team, with an NV’s Happiness Patrol logo on the back. Four of them stand at the front of the stage, glaring out at the assembly. More emerge from the doors on either side of the stage and advance down the aisles. The student body exchange worried looks.]

Nigel: Remain in your seats everyone. The Happiness Patrol are here for your safety. We recognize the rights of all Australian citizens, and are more than willing to take them away should it be necessary, in order to protect the rights of the majority. Some might call this a dictatorship, a perversion of everything that has made this country great. I say to them... [grins] “tough”.

[HPMs stalk through the rows of chairs. Another dozen of them take up guarding positions by the exits. All of them have stern expressions on their faces.]

Nigel: The decision has been made. You must hope it was not the wrong decision.

[Nigel lets out a crazy-scary laugh. No one else looks happy.]

[Nigel’s bedroom at Benny’s place. Nigel and Gabby are lying on the bed, fully clothes for once.]

Nigel: [philosophically] Oh well, the whole reign of terror lasted a lot longer than I expected.

Gabby: Yep. Three whole hours.

Nigel: Yeah, kind of amazed they let me get that far. Never mind. I’m still on top of the game. In the perfect position to get Benny away from that half-blind orangutan. And if I don’t, I’ve got one hell of a good second place holder?

Gabby: [confused] Who?

[Nigel stares at her.]

Nigel: You, Gabs. You may be my second choice, but that’s better than anyone else has managed.

[She snuggles up to him.]

Gabby: Cool. You know what they say – zero the hero, first the worst, second the best...

Both: [together] ...third’s the one with the hairy chest.

[They laugh.]

Both: If it weren’t for your gumboots, where would you be?
You’d be in the hospital or infirmary!
Coz you would have a dose of the flu (or even pleurisy)
If you didn’t have your feet in your gumboots!


NEXT TIME

NIGEL: So huge. So helpless. So say all of us!


And then the first episode of The Youth of Australia from Nigel's POV:


ACT NINE – VOODOO CHILD

[It is a peaceful morning over the school. The sun rises above the trees. The birds sing the dawn chorus. Students are slowly but surely turning up. In the distance, Toto’s “Africa” can faintly be heard from inside the gymnasium. Getting louder. Suddenly, the double doors to the gym are smashed apart as Wynona hurtles through them and crash-lands in the middle of the courtyard, DTF-style. School-kids either run for their lives or watch in awe as the doors open and Nigel emerges. He is is wearing a necklace saying WESTSIDE over his normal uniform. Jason stumbles out of the back, as does Betty.]

Nigel: Six LONG years I’ve been waiting to do that!

[The gathered students start to laugh and applaud.]

Nigel: See, you two? It was totally worth the six hours needed to set this up.

[They close the doors and wander off, leaving the car in the middle of the school.]

Nigel: Ah, the last Monday I shall ever see at this school! Tuesday Muck-Up Day, Wednesday the ceremony, Thursday the sign-out and then beyond the outskirts of infinity and into the shadowlands!

Jason: And then the HSC.

Nigel: Don’t bother me with facts when I’m in denial, Betty.

[Simone approaches them.]

Simone: When the principal sees Wynona parked there, she’s going to lose it.

Nigel: All part of my plan to break her down psychologically.

Simone: You really think you can get a snog off her in front of the whole school?

Nigel: Indeed I do. And when I do I expect everyone to pay up.

Simone: [smug] We’ll never have to!

Nigel: Ah, what do YOU know? [yawns and stretches] So, Simone. Fancy one last shag on a routine school day?

Simone: No. I’m remaining faithful to Brian.

Nigel: Brian. Yeah. Sure. You sure that’s not just your pet name for some vibrating sex toy?

Simone: Piss off.

Nigel: I’ve never seen this Brian. Have you, Jason?

Jason: I saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Did that count?

Nigel: Not really, Jason. The only bits of the film you understood were about the killer rabbit. So, what’s on the agenda today?

Betty: Well, the Yearbooks are ready, apparently. We get them all in the common room.

Nigel: Then let us go.

[As Spiderbait’s “Sunshine on the Window” plays, the Happiness Patrol stride into the Common Room. There is a table set up covered in books. Everyone is present. Nigel strides over to the table and snaps his fingers. He is meekly handed one. Nigel eyes it and then assumes a sexy pose on the table, turning to address the whole common room.]

Nigel: Well, now... isn’t this nice? Alright, enough pleasantries. [shouts] Step right up, don’t be shy! Any of you ladies interesting in leaving a phone number and a quick comment? The table’s open already! Come one, come all, just come!

[Katy approaches, holding out a book.]

Katy: Why, hello Nigella. I’d be more than happy to sign your yearbook for you.

[She takes a pen, writes something quick, then moves away.]

Nigel: [grins] And what has the lovely lady graced my pages with? A poem? A romantic ballad? [reads what she wrote] WHAT THE FU... [composes himself] Oh, a dirty mind! I like that kind of spunk in m’lady!

[He growls seductively.]

Nigel: It’s always the quiet ones. Maybe I can do HER before Wednesday...

Simone: Have you seen your photo yet?

Nigel: Please, baby, patience is a virtue. [checks the book] There, they’ve... Hey, check it out – you’re blinking! [laughs] They got you blinking!

Simone: [grabs book] No, not possible... [humiliated] Christ on a bike!

Nigel: What did they do for me?

Tegan: A full page special.

Nigel: Ooh! Nice!

[He turns to a page marked NIGEL VERKOFF, S.S.C, H.S.C, S.H.I.T. The picture is of a pit bull terrier vomiting. Nigel’s expression fades into a cold, tense mask.]

Nigel: THIS... IS... AN... OUTRAGE!!!!

Andrew: [loudly] Yes, I don’t think it entirely does you justice. A bucket of anal pig slop, now that’s what I should have put in the yearbook.

[Nigel swivels to stare at Andrew, speechless with rage.]

Nigel: You just have to ruin everything, don’t you? I thought you had your own life to screw up, or do you get some kind of sadistic thrill going after your betters!

Andrew: Nigel, please, there are things that won’t flush down the toilet that I respect more than you.

Nigel: Well, hoo-bloody-hooray! The fact remains that this time next year you will be the completely forgotten nobody with no friends, life, fame or fortune who would most likely have died in the gutters of Ashfield if it weren’t for me – while I am supremely elevated to higher and more powerful positions in this stunted society that we call Australian democracy! Why don’t you take a hint from Dave and jump off the roof, end it all so apart from anything else we’re spared the stench!

[Andrew is silent.]

Nigel: Well? What have you got to say to that?

[Andrew is about to reply when they hear Jadi shout and both turn to see what’s happening.]

Jadi: [excited] WOO-HOO! GIRL-FIGHT!

[Simone is looming over Phoebe and Dave, who are sitting on a couch.]

Simone: When I want the opinion of a bloated, hormonal brood-horse, I’ll ask for it, redhead!

[Andrew wanders over. Jadi turns to Nigel.]

Nigel: [reads the cover] School Motto... “Watch out! The Mad Bastard’s Got A Knife!” I think they’re talking about you there, Jason. [flips pages] What is this filth?! “Two pensioners on a nature ramble found Verkoff during the act and were not deterred by his cries of ‘Look, there’s a cabbage-white butterfly’. The police were called and bail has been refused. ‘They should bring back hanging,’ said an official of the jockey club of Western Australia...”

Jadi: Maddog is in charge of writing all that crap in the yearbook.

Nigel: [arches eyebrow] I didn’t think you’d care.

Jadi: Oh, I care all right! He’s dubbed me as a fundamentalism Islamic suicide bomber – the moment my parents read that I am completely screwed!

Nigel: Well, we can screw HIM completely first. Get the paper towel holder!

Jadi: My pleasure, Verkoff.

[Jadi heads off.]

Jason: What are we doing, my liege?

Nigel: Finally putting that hobo out of MY misery.

[Meanwhile, Andrew has finished chatting to Simone who turns and runs out of the common room, covering her ears with her hands. Jadi grabs Andrew’s arm and holds the vaguely-knife-shaped paper towel holder to Andrew’s throat.]

Nigel: Well, Pitbull, I’m not exactly... thrilled with how you’ve presented me in the yearbook. I demand a reprint!

Andrew: Well, [shrugs] I want world peace, Nige...

Nigel: I want a new yearbook. I am not satisfied with this publication.

Andrew: [smiles] And what would you like me to change?

Jadi: A complete rewrite of my page.

Andrew: Oh, you want more Terrorism stuff? Sure.

Jadi: No, wait...

Andrew: Look, they’ve all been handed out. There’s nothing I can do and even if there was something I can do – which there isn’t – I wouldn’t tell you there was something I can do because if, by some miracle, you found out that there was something I can do I wouldn’t do it!

Nigel: Either you fix every last one of these year-books, dingo, or I start getting... unfriendly.

Andrew: [laughs in his face] So this is you friendly, is it?

Nigel: [snaps] That’s it, Labrador! Let’s take a walk.

[Jadi and Jason drag Andrew to the door. Nigel follows. The students rise and head for the windowed walls as they see the group walk out onto the sloping roof.]

Jason: [conversationally] I’m really terribly impressed, Jadi, I thought you hated heights.

Jadi: [pale] I do, but I hate what my parents will do to me even more!

Andrew: You must surely admire the irony. Last week you were trying to stop a guy jumping off the roof, now you’re going to be the one pushing him off...

[They reach the edge.]

Nigel: Now. Last chance. Change the yearbook or learn to fly.

Andrew: I can’t.

Nigel: Pity. Push him over.

[Effortlessly, Andrew suddenly breaks free, knees Jadi in the groin, so he falls on top of Jason. Furious, Nigel turns and decks Andrew right on the jaw. Andrew simply falls backwards. Nigel squeals like a girl as he drops out of sight and fearfully looks over the edge – Andrew’s crumpled body lies on the ground far below. Nigel whimpers and runs back into the common room, having soiled himself.]

Nigel: [horrified] Oh my god! I killed the nutter! Days before the HSC I’m a murderer with only stunning good looks and incredibly fascinating sexual history to my name... I WANT MY MUM!

[He dives under the table, hugs his knees to his chest and starts rocking back and forth.]

Nigel: [singing to himself] Aint got much but I got time... gonna leave you all behind...

[Fade to black.]

[Fade up. Nigel’s still in the fetal position under the table, singing and hugging himself.]

Nigel: Laughing but the joke’s on you... you think you know me, don’t you? When you see what I can do, you’ll realize the joke’s on you...

[Pull across to see Betty’s kneeling beside him.]

Betty: Nige, please, come on. It’s home time. Maddog’s alive. He had a trampoline, it was all a prank.

Nigel: Yes... yes... that’s what we’ll tell the police... yes. What else do we have to do?

[Nigel, composed again, now stands outside the school, snatching yearbooks from Jadi and Dave, ripping out the “full-page shot” and returning the books to them.]

Nigel: Sorry about the inconvenience, but my signature has made these books all the more rarer and sought-after collector’s items. Know that we meet and rejoice.

[He turns as Gabby approaches. He takes her yearbook, tears out a page and signs the book. They head for the carpark.]

Gabby: I missed you baby.

Nigel: Everyone does, Gabs, everyone does.

Gabby: Can I see what you’ve written?

Nigel: [hands her the book] It’s worth waiting for, sexy thing.

[Gabby tries to read Nigel’s atrocious handwriting.]

"Gabrielle... Have... a... goo... good... Christmas..." and a kind of a question mark. Oh, It’s a smiley face. [annoyed] Oh, Nigel! This is our first and last yearbook together! When I show this yearbook to my grandchildren I want them to see just how close we were!

[Nigel is unlocking Wynona. He freezes.]

Nigel: GRANDCHILDREN?!?! [calm] Oh. I can do that.

[He takes the yearbook, writes, and hands it back to her and as she reads it, he dives into the car, slams the door and starts the engine.]

Gabby: You just replaced the smiley face with some kisses! [dreamy] How romantic.

[She turns as Nigel drives out of the car park.]

Nigel: Sorry, Gabs, got to help Benny pick a dress for her graduation ceremony. You can walk home.

Gabby: Walk?!

Nigel: Yeah. Hopefully that will have got this breeding urge out of your head by the time you get home.

Gabby: [shocked] And then what?

Nigel: No idea. We’ll probably screw like rabbits. Ciao.

[He revs Wynona until he’s doing a burn-out and hurtles out of sight.]

[In a shopping centre, Benny and Nigel are approaching a clothes shop.]

Benny: You don’t really need to go to all this trouble, Nige.

Nigel: No, you’ve been the best sister a guy could ask for. Especially with me gatecrashing your swinging bachelorette pad. You don’t even complain about Gabby making stupid loud noises.

Benny: Your sex life is your own business.

Nigel: [laughs] Sex? I was talking about her normal conversation.

[She laughs.]

[Inside, Nigel is idly pacing as Benny enters a changing booth.]

[He notices a row of underwear, picks up a pair of panties and examines them with a jeweler’s eye glass.]

Nigel: [humming] Will they ever share the answer of legend, tales and time gone by?

[A booth opens and Katy emerges wearing a green dress and looks sadly at her reflection.]

Katy: I couldn’t be more ugly if I tried. This should be burned.

Nigel: Preferably with you in it!

Katy: Nigel? What the hell are you doing here?

Nigel: Benny’s getting a dress.

Katy: Another one?

Nigel: [confidentially] Ah, but his time I’m paying. She’ll have to sleep with me then.

Katy: Dude... she’s your sister!

Nigel: Step-sister. I’ve checked The Plain Man’s Guide to Church Law on wikipedia. They can’t touch me. Sweet, sweet candy!

[Benny emerges from the changing room wearing a very sophisticated black dress.]

Benny: This is great to wear around the house.

Nigel: You betcha. How much?

Benny: A grand and a half.

Nigel: ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED BUCKS FOR A PIECE OF FABRIC!!! ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND? HAS YOUR BRAIN BEEN SURGICALLY REMOVED FROM YOUR SKULL, BATHED IN PALMOLIVE DISHWASHING FLUID, LEFT FESTERING IN THE SUN FOR THREE DAYS AND THEN PUT BACK IN YOUR HEAD THE WRONG WAY ROUND? ARE YOU COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY INSANE?!! A GRAND AND A HALF? A FUCKING GRAND AND A FUCKING HALF FUCKING BUCKS?!?!?

[Beat.]

Nigel: Did I say that out loud? Sorry, I mean, “it’s worth it”. After all, like the sign says, ‘What’s hot now?’

Katy: Judging by the pictures, I’d say bulimia.

Nigel: Yes, just what are you doing here, January? Are you here with a suitable adult, or maybe just an invisible friend?

Katy: No, I’m here with the police, looking for you in regards to throwing a student off the roof of the high school.

Nigel: SHIT! RUN FOR IT!

[Nigel sprints out of the shop. A moment later, he returns.]

Nigel: Oh, very witty, January. Tomorrow, you will have your comeuppance.

[Katy snorts and wanders off. Benny turns to Nigel.]

Benny: What happens tomorrow?

Nigel: Muck-Up Day. All the year twelves unleash the hidden powers of the primal teenager with nothing to stop us.

Benny: Well, that sounds nice.

Nigel: Nice? Bernice, it will be a long, drawn-out orgy of violence, destruction, torment and agony.

Benny: You’re just exaggerating again, Nigella.

[Benny’s place. Nigel is soaked to the skin and covered in flour, dirty and mud. He sits with Gabby and Benny. Ari is cooking in the background.]

Nigel: I wasn’t exaggerating.

Benny: So, Jason’s in hospital then?

Nigel: Uh-huh.

Gabby: He nearly drowned. There was a crack in his water pistol he tried to seal up with his mouth...

Nigel: Worst of all was those two troglodytes who mucked about with the PA system to make a sonic boom... We actually spent half of Muck Up Day doing lessons. God, what a horrible day. Bett’s getting damn insufferable, going on about regrets and academic failure...

Benny: Everyone worries about that.

Nigel: It’s effecting her work, though. There’s no way we’re going to get all those Yearbooks back in time. And by “we”, I really should be perfectly accurate and say “her”. Especially now Jason’s out of commission and Simone’s busy with this Brian Damage character.

Gabby: Why don’t you help her then?

Nigel: That’s a fascinating question, Gabby. Do you have a good answer?

[Gabby thinks for a moment.]

Gabby: Nope.

Nigel: Nor do I. [to Ari] When’s dinner ready?

[The next day. The bell rings, and Betty, Gabby and Simone (all wearing very expensive versions of everyday uniform) approach a group of Year 12 (including Dave, Jadi, Phoebe, Katy, etc.) Andrew is wearing a Tarzan outfit. Everyone else is in formal gear.]

Nigel: [VO] So, is Brian coming here today?

Simone: He can’t make it. My parents can though.

Nigel: [VO] Hard luck.

[Nigel follows them into view. He is wearing a lemon-coloured nylon suit with blue polka-dots over a white-and-purple striped shirt, red braces and a bright orange tie. The trousers are too short.]

Gabby: It’s for some kind of TV stunt, Candid Camera thing, right?

Nigel: Eh? Honestly, Gabby, this is the in-thing.

Simone: It is the in-sane.

Nigel: It’s not easy being a trendsetter. Still, with all that yearbook business out of the way, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get this style popular across the whole country... [frowns] This is the bit where you reassure me about the yearbooks, Bets.

Betty: [anxious] Well...

Simone: What are you saying? You haven’t done it??

Nigel: Simone made it quite clear that you were to take the remaining pages ASAP.

Betty: [wails] I want my mummy!!!

[They approach the hall. A banner above the stage reads “CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 1987”.]

Nigel: 1987? Wow, I really wasn’t paying attention...

Simone: They’re re-using an old banner. Budget cuts.

Nigel: I knew that. [less certain] Of course I knew that!

[As the students sit in the front row, teachers and officials appear on stage and parents and guests start filing in. The Sinister Woman is one of them. She sits in the back row, placing a handbag on her lap. A secret camera in it focuses immediately on the back of Nigel’s head.]

[This is shown on a plasma wall screen. The distorted voice of the principal can be heard.]

Principal: [vo] And so passes another chapter in the lives of our students! And yet another flock of our students head out into the real world - armed with the knowledge they learned and cherished during their years at this fine institution... If you consider the ‘real world’ to be all-night discos, binge drinking and living off reheated pizza, that is! And ‘knowledge’ to be knowing the latest pop culture fads and the ability to sleep through loud lectures!! But fear not, students, because you are ready. Ready to tackle the challenges and defeats the new, exciting world will throw at you...

[On the screen, Nigel turns around to glance over his shoulder. The image freezes on his face.]

Sinister Unseen Figure: It’s him. It IS him! GODS OF PURGATORY, IT *IS* HIM!!

[We pull out further. The plasma screen is in a boardroom. At the head of the table, someone is watching the image of Nigel and laughing insanely.]

[In the gymn, there is a queue of students going up on stage to get their certificates. At the end is Nigel, tapping his foot impatiently. Beside him is Phoebe, who is leaning against the wall and breathing heavily. Nigel hasn’t noticed she’s clearly gone into labor.]

What idiot wanted this done alphabetically? Why not in terms of charm or good looks? Stupid alphabet making me the last... [impatient] Damn, I just want this to be over already!

Phoebe: [in pain] You and me both...

Nigel: Don’t worry, red. I’ll make this a finish to remember. They’ll be singing my praises from now until the crack of doom itself!

[Phoebe gasps in pain.]

Nigel: That’s it, plebian! Gasp in awe at Nigel – the Living God! High School was just the beginning!

[The boardroom. The plasma screen shows images from the ceremony: Nigel, making eyes to an attractive girl on stage; kissing the principal; watching the fight between Gabby and the principal.]

Sinister Unseen Figure: It’s him. I know it’s him. I can feel it. His very presence sickens the soul.

[Back at the school. Nigel strides on stage like a rock star. His family give some mild applause, but there is otherwise no reaction.]

Principal: [sarcastic] Congratulations, Mr. Verkoff. I must say that you have been one of the most—

[She is cut off as Nigel sweeps her into a passionate kiss. A gasp from the crowd below and Nigel finally comes up for air.]

Nigel: OK, Guys, pay up!

[We see people all over the assembly – including guests and teachers and ALL the students – shaking their heads in disgust and go for their wallets. Suddenly, the lust crazed principal grabs Nigel and kisses him, dragging him out of sight. Nigel’s horrific screams are muffled. The curtain falls.]

Nigel: No, miss, please... please... seriously... Just stop!

Principal: [lustfully] Or what?

Nigel: I know this probably makes me sound like a prick, but it was just for a bet! I don’t want your flabby, blue-veined body with too much hair in all the wrong places!

[The principal continues to kiss him passionately, pressing him to the floor.]

Principal: Offer me money...

Nigel: [desperate] Yes!

Principal: Power, too! Promise me that!

Nigel: All that I have! And more! Please!

[She stops kissing and cradles Nigel’s head in her hands.]

Principal: Give me everything I ask for!

Nigel: [terrified] Anything! You! Want!

Principal: I WANT THE LAST SIX YEARS OF MY LIFE BACK, YOU SON OF A BITCH!

[She slams his head against the floor and he groans. She gets to her feet.]

Principal: In the meantime, I’ll accept all the cash you just won. Or rather, *I* won. It’s the only reason I let you kiss me in the first place.

[The principal turns and stalks off. Nigel, sickened, tries to rub the lipstick marks from his skin.]

Nigel: [shaken] My god... other people are capable of independent thought... who’d a thunk it? [groans] I’m gonna be sick!

[Shivering with shock, Nigel gets to his feet and snatches a blanket he wraps around himself. He stumbles towards the exit, nauseous.]

Nigel: Where are Betty and Simone, anyway? The Big N needs his support structure, dammit!

[Outside the canteen, there are lots of little crowds of families and photos being taken. Nigel, still shivering in his blanket, looks around.]

Benny? Father? Mother? Ryoshi?

[No sign of them.]

Jerks. I’m better off without them. Oh, god, I need something to get the taste out of my mouth. [frowns] Hang on, there’s a finger buffet in the common room, isn’t there, Jason? Jason? [looks around] Oh, so it’s just little old me now, is it? Fine!

[He storms off through the crowd.]

[Stairwell. Nigel hurries up the steps when he sees the Principal down in the courtyard below, counting a thick bundle of notes. She blows him a kiss. Nigel recoils and runs into the Common Room and slams the door shut behind him.]

Nigel: [revolted] Oh God. So disgusting. The wrinkles. The folds. Oh God I’m going to be sick.

Andrew: [vo] Ah, Nigel!

[Nigel screams and jumps with fright. He spins to look at the room. The food has been piled up beside the buffet table, and Phoebe is lying on the empty table, propped up with cushions, sweating and sore. Andrew sits in a chair beside the table, munching a sandwich and un-fussed.]

Nigel: I KILLED YOU! Now you’re back from the dead!

Andrew: [blinks] You know that already. I saw you yesterday, dumb ass.

Nigel: Oh. Well, I reject your reality and substitute one of my own. One where that horrible, horrible woman didn’t touch me in naughty places. Eep.

[Phoebe screams loudly.]

Nigel: Do you mind, I’m having post-traumatic stress disorder here!

Andrew: Sorry, Nige, but HER having the baby trumps YOUR groping a septuagenarian.

Nigel: Oh, typical, Mrs. Styles! You’ll do anything to steal my limelight!

Phoebe: Nigel, it’s time you learned the truth. No one in this school cares enough about you to pick their nose to steal attention. Giving birth to a ten pound baby is definitely not worth wasting on you! NOW SHUT UP!

Nigel: Charming! That REALLY makes me want to help you, doesn’t it?

[He starts helping himself to the food.]

Nigel: [mouth full] I’ve got half a mind to start quoting childbirth mortality statistics to you.

Phoebe: [horrified] What?!

Andrew: Nigel, you don’t HAVE half a mind to start with.

Nigel: Fine.

[He scoops up some plates and heads for the exit.]

Phoebe: Where you going? You can’t just leave me to do this on my own!

[Dave enters, in a hurry.]

Dave: Don’t mind me, just getting some of the vol-u-vents...

[He hurries to the flood at the foot of the table, then twigs the situation.]

Dave: [meekly] Hi, Phoebe.

Phoebe: [embarrassed] Oh. Hi, Dave.

[An awkward pause.]

Dave: You’ve gone into labor, right?

Phoebe: [trying to make light of it] Pretty much.

Dave: OK... [sudden panic] WHAT THE HELL?! Why haven’t you rung for an ambulance or something?

Nigel: On the last day of school? Get real, Restal! The baby will be on solids by the time the medical services got here!

Andrew: Well, congratulations, Phe. Looks like you’re gonna have a Year 12 Study Room Birth. It like a Home Birth or a Water Birth only not at home. Or with water. And some rather clogged pigeonholes...

Phoebe: I don’t want to have a baby here! It shouldn’t come anywhere near a shitty school like this!

Nigel: Not my problem, though, is it? I’ve got places to see, people to do...

[Nigel starts to leave. Dave grabs him.]

Dave: Hey! You can’t abandon her!

Nigel: Can’t I?

Dave: No, you can’t! [sotto] Not after... you know... what happened between you and her...

Nigel: [loudly] Oh, grow up, Dave! Exchanging bodily fluids isn’t a pinkie-promise! The person who should be here is the father and that’s not me. And, honestly, you expect me to help her after her disgraceful behavior to me?! [to Phoebe] I offered you help and more, ginger, and you threw it back at me. Besides, what do WE know about childbirth?

Phoebe: [groans] It’s extremely painful!

Dave: [nods] Yeah. There is that. And pushing and breathing is important, I gather...

Andrew: [casually] I helped deliver a baby once.

Phoebe: What?!

Andrew: [defensive] Hey, I had a life before I met you lot, you know.

Dave: So, so, you know what to do?

Andrew: Oh yes. I did biology as an elective too, including reproduction. I probably know more about this than the three of you put together.

Dave: So why can’t you take over?

Andrew: Well, I’m not going to learn anything new from this am I?

[Dave starts to freak out, but Andrew hushes him.]

Andrew: No, calm down. Tell you what, Dave, I’ll do you a deal. YOU stay here and deliver the baby for the girl you love, and I’ll go over there [points] and clean up that surprisingly smelly amniotic fluid Phoebe spilt all over the carpet. Can’t say fairer than that, can I?

Nigel: [surprised] Oh, is THAT what that smell is?

[Phoebe buries her face in her hands.]

Phoebe: [sobs] I’m in hell. I’ve died and this is hell.

Nigel: [pats her shoulder] Stiff upper labia, old red.

Dave: But, I mean, how close is she to... er...

Andrew: Well, I’m not sure. How long do you think it will take for her to stretch an opening the size of a lemon wide enough to pass a watermelon through?

Dave: Gross! And kinda unhelpful!

Andrew: Well, it’s the best I can do without knowing how dilated she is, isn’t it?

Nigel: Hey, *I* volunteered to check.

Phoebe: Nigel, you volunteered to check before I was pregnant!

Nigel: At least I’m consistent.

Phoebe: No one is going to touch me there who isn’t a qualified midwife with a zero failure rate, OK!

Nigel: [to himself] You’ve changed your tune...

[Phoebe cries out in agony.]

Phoebe: God, the pains hurt so much!

Nigel: Can’t you say SOMETHING remotely original?

Phoebe: Like what?

Nigel: Oh, I dunno. Quote some Bhuddist scripture or something.

Phoebe: I don’t know any!

Andrew: “Life is suffering”. That should be a bit relevant at the moment.

Nigel: Hah! Smackdown.

Dave: Oh, leave her alone, guys!

Nigel: Heh. If only guys HAD left her alone, huh?

[Andrew rises and throws his empty bottle in the bin.]

Andrew: That was feeble Nigel. Try for something beyond a single entendre.

[Fade to black.]

[Caption: “27 AND A HALF MINUTES LATER”. Fade up. Nigel is eating some finger food, Andrew is sprawled over a pile of seat cushions and pillows in a corner. Dave emerges from the kitchen with a pile of stuff he starts putting down on the table.]

Dave: Right, we’ve got Lucy’s nail scissors, Maurice’s spare shoelaces and the one bottle of booze Maddog HASN’T drunk...

Andrew: Hey, there’s enough to sterilize that stuff. And all the pillows are ready.

Dave: It might be a bit better if YOU weren’t lying over most of them!

[Grumbling Andrew rises.]

Andrew: Yeah, cause having EVERYONE being tired and uncomfortable can only help. I don’t see what the point is in all this sterile business. The baby’s going to have a rubbish immune system if it gets mollycoddled like this from day one! Does no one remember the Children of Auron? Hmmm?!

[Phoebe doubles over, moaning. Andrew peers groggily at the clock he is holding in his hand, turns it around several times until he is looking at the right side.]

Andrew: Uh-huh. That’s... two minutes between the contractions.

Nigel: They’re getting closer. Is that good?

Andrew: [frowns] Honestly? Can’t remember. [loudly] Everything’s going perfect, Pheobe! Like clockwork!

[He notices the clock in his hands again.]

Andrew: Mmmm. Clockwork.

[Phoebe steadies herself on the table and catches her breath.]

Phoebe: This is so unfair. It’s supposed to take hours for first-time mums. [sobs] How come I’VE got a super-speeded-up labor?

Dave: [to himself] Maybe your sex-life loosened you up.

[Phoebe looks at him, hurt.]

Nigel: Don’t upset her, dickhead. I thought you loved her?

[An awkward pause that Nigel doesn’t notice.]

Nigel: You can do this, red. What about all those chicks in America, in the Wild West, delivering babies in covered wagons... They managed it with no trouble.

Andrew: Apart from all the Native Americans slaughtering them to get their lands back.

Nigel: Yeah, but that doesn’t have anything to do with childbirth mortality, does it?

Dave: Oh, will you two just shut up?

Phoebe: [gritted teeth] Dave, just get me some water! I’m so thirsty...

[Dave holds up a glass of water and manages to pour it down her throat. Some of its splashes, and startled, Dave drops the glass, which shatters.]

Nigel: Bloody hell. I didn’t think a guy’s water could break.

Andrew: You know, in some places, they’d say that was proof Dave was the father.

Nigel: Eh?

Andrew: Superstition. If they didn’t know who the father of the baby was, they waited until it was being born and then picked the guy suffering the sympathy pains.

Phoebe: He’s NOT the father, OK!

Andrew: So much for superstition.

Nigel: Oh, I dunno. It proves which man is a drama queen if nothing else...

[Fade to black.]

[Caption: “ANOTHER 27 AND A HALF MINUTES LATER”.]

Nigel: You know, Maddog, this constant obsession with you about my social status shows deep insecurities on your part. You’re envious of the esteem I’m held in, aren’t you?

Andrew: Prove it.

Nigel: Disprove it!

Andrew: Dis-disprove it!

Nigel: Re-dis-dis-prove it!

Phoebe: Shut up and take my knickers off. I can barely move!

Dave: What?

Andrew: Come on, Dave, I know this is your first baby born, but you don’t think they magically materialize on the other side of the other side of her panties, do you?

Dave: Well, no. But, hang on, maybe if we leave them on, it might stop the baby coming out.

[A pause.]

Phoebe: TAKE THEM OFF!

Nigel: [charmingly] Allow me...

Phoebe: NO! You stay AWAY from me!

Nigel: Just trying to help! [to Dave] You do it.

Dave: You’ve seen more of her than I have.

Nigel: This is your chance to catch up then.

Andrew: Well, according to Katy, it turns out that...

Phoebe: GOD! Fine! I’ll do it! [groans] They are SO getting stronger...

Dave: Hang on. That wasn’t two minutes!

[Andrew looks at the wrong side of the clock.]

Andrew: Mein gott, you’re right! She’s racing through this! Always WAS bloody competitive...

Phoebe: Hey, I’m not in charge of this, you know!

Nigel: Oh come on. Woman primal mother nature arrant nonsense like this. If you lot can synchronize your periods with each other, expelling a baby should be simplicity itself!

Phoebe: Nigel? Give me your hand.

[Nigel does so.]

Nigel: That’s it, touch greatness.

[She squeezes it and closes her eyes.]

Nigel: ARGH! LET GO OF MY HAND, YOU BITCH!

[Outside, everyone turns in the direction of the noise. Birds fly from the trees. Followed by a cat. A kayak overturns.]

[Boardroom. The Sinister Woman stands before her unseen employer. Nigel’s screams fade into silence in the background.]

Sinister Unseen Figure: I was like him, back then. Walking tall, so young and so proud. He left me in the dark and the wild and the lonely places. I died a thousand times in that electric blue fire. But quietly, slowly, I came back. And after all the cold and dark and burning heat... Perhaps it was necessary? To inspire me, I mean?

Sinister Woman: The trap is closing, sir. Are you ready?

Sinister Unseen Figure: Ready? I’ve been ready for this for so long, through endless devastation and boiling skies. It is right and fitting that we should meet again. This is destiny. No, better than that. This is victory. As I foretold, pretty little Nigel will face his destiny.

[We cut to Nigel painfully leaves the room. His tie has been used as a sling and he is splattered with fluids and looking depressed.]

Sinister Unseen Figure: [VO] Oh, he shall come and worship me at last. And then he’ll die such a death, the unraveling of life itself! Everlasting death is coming... [sighs] This SO works for me!

[Nigel bumps into a tired looking Betty, knocking her over and sending pages everywhere.]

Nigel: Watch where you’re going!

Betty: Oh, Nige... I got the rest of the pages...

Nigel: DO I LOOK LIKE I GIVE A RAT’S ARSE, BETTY? Where’s the medicinal alcohol?

[He storms off.]

[Caption: “SEVERAL HOURS LATER”. Outside school. Nigel flexes his damaged arm.]

Nigel: I’ll never be able to steer with this. Stupid cow. Why couldn’t go to Plumpton High like all the other breeders?

[He spots Betty striding away. She is determined.]

Nigel: Oh, hey, Bets. Do me a favor, will you? Drive us home?

[Betty turns to look at him.]

Betty: Get a life, Verkoff.

[She turns away. Nigel watches her go, baffled.]

Nigel: I have a life, you moron! You’re the one that doesn’t! So get back here and start appeasing me damn it! OI! Come back! Simone! Where are you? Jason? Anybody...?

Betty: Oh, Nige!

Nigel: What?

Betty: Don’t look back.

[She gets into a car and drives off. Nigel watches her go.]

Nigel: [shakes head] The bitch’s mad.

[He moves off. Behind him, the entire back wall of the school is plastered with pages from the yearbook, all showing Nigel as a vomiting poodle. Nigel wanders, now alone and spots Andrew’s retreating back and sneers.]

Nigel: Oh, bye-bye, Maddog! Hope you die horribly, you frigging leper! I hope your maggot-fed carcass is chewed on by other, more rabid dogs!

[Andrew calls over his shoulder.]

Andrew: Same to you. See you on the way down, Nigel.

Nigel: Don’t be so sure!

Andrew: [very sinister] Oh, we'll meet again, Nigel. Don’t doubt it. We'll meet again. [cheerful] Especially as I’m you’re next-door neighbor.

Nigel: Damn. Forgot that bit.

[Nigel gets into Wynona. The car jerkily drives off down the road.]

Synthesized Neil Diamond: GOOD LORD!

[A ringtone – Crunchy Granola – sounds. Nigel fumbles in a pocket and tugs it out.]

Nigel: The Big N speaking. Worship me while you wait.

[Simone is driving in an open-top car through the city, talking on a mobile.]

Simone: Sorry about cutting after the ceremony, but places to see, people to do. Brian’s INSATIABLE nowadays. Hey, how’s my favorite untrained midwife?

Nigel: Better for hearing from you, Si. Oh, man, the day I’ve had. Therapy is required. I tell you, that whole thing about keeping the men out of the delivery room makes total sense now.

Simone: Oh?

Nigel: Yeah. How is anyone supposed to like a girl after they see her vagina explode and a whole new person climb out? Defies all logic. Ronald McDonald’s welcome to them, in my opinion.

Simone: It got a bit messy then?

Nigel: Messy? Carrie was messy. The Shining was messy. This was horror porn, babe! My limited edition ‘The Big N’ T-shirt is completely ruined!

Simone: No sweat, Nige. I’ll get you a new T-shirt.

Nigel: You are a sport.

Simone: Don’t I know it. See you later tonight?

Nigel: Yeah. Come round about seven, Gabby’s due at five and I intend to spend the following two hours trying to regain my love of the humanoid female form.

Simone: Does Gabby still want kids?

Nigel: [face palms] You had to remind me, didn’t you?

Simone: It’s why you love me.

Nigel: [sarcastic] Well, it’s certainly not for the sex.

Simone: [laughs] Fuck you!

Nigel: [grins] If only. See ya, babe.

[He hangs up. Simone stops smiling. She drives into an underground car park of a sky scraper.]

[Simone enters a lift and punches 23, the top floor.]

[She emerges onto the top floor. Through the windows, Sydney can be seen below as dusk gathers. The Sinister Woman is waiting for her.]

Sinister Woman: [mildly surprised] For you to come to me I assume this is a matter of the utmost importance.

[A dramatic pause.]

Simone: Actually I was just passing and thought I might as well drop in. See Brian in person.

Sinister Woman: So what do you have?

Simone: A couple of major situation updates. School’s out forever. Time to start on the main phase.

[The Sinister Woman smiles slightly.]

Sinister Woman: Mr. Magnus WILL be pleased.

NEXT TIME

NIGEL: It’s the End. I just wish I’d been better prepared for it.


EXTRA!!

Finally, here the original ending to the Big N when I decided to kill him off, in a homage to part 1 of Who Shot Mr. Burns? (which is doubly impressive considering I've never seen it...)


[This principal smiles and crosses to the window. Through it, she can see across the entrance of the school. Nigel appears, heading for the exit. The principal takes a double-barreled shotgun from the umbrella stand, loads it, locks it and aims it at Nigel.]

[Simone watches him go, taking a small pistol complete with silencer from her bag.]

[Smiling happily, Nigel walks across the road to where Wynona is parked. Nigel doesn’t see Jason skulking behind another parked car, a gun in his hand. High above, to see a tiny figure watching from an upstairs window of a house overlooking the car park. It is Mr. Murphy, holding a pump-action shotgun.]

[Nigel reaches the car, totally oblivious as to the danger around him. Suddenly, shots ring out – and Wynona’s windscreen is shattered. Nigel whirls around in shock. Then, six or seven shots smash into Nigel’s chest and torso. Blood spurts from his chest as he is slammed against Wynona’s bonnet, bounces, then crashes to the ground and lies still. He’s quite dead.]

[Jason looks in disbelief at his handgun. He didn’t fire a shot. Mr. Murphy is shaking his shotgun angrily – he forgot to load it. Simone stares in shock at Nigel’s corpse and shoves her unfired pistol back into her bag. In her office, the Principal is peering out the window, wondering what’s going on. Finally, bored, she throws her own unused shotgun back into the umbrella stand.]

[Nigel lies on the ground surrounded by blood and broken glass, his eyes wide and staring. On the far side of the car park, in the shadowy alleyway, stands a figure with an Uzzi submachine gun, quickly taking off the telephoto lens with military precision. It’s Gabby. She blows some smoke from the rifle and walks off down the alley just as an ambulance siren is heard in the background. We zoom out to an aerial shot of Nigel’s body next to the wrecked Wynona in the carpark as passers-by and a rather shell-shocked Jason hurry over to the body. Zoom out further and further, until it’s just a patch of nondescript suburbia. Silence.]

Friday, October 28, 2011

Booyah Bitches (The Trilogy In Six Parts)

With the apocalypse on hold till next Christmas so it appears, it's time to get back to marvelling at the audio adaptation of my magnum opus, my greatest triumph... Doctor Who & The Aquamarine Light of DEATH Whose Particular Shade I Cannot Spell For Love Nor Money!

Well, we could call it Beyond the Sun if anyone's fussed...

0:12 - Aw, Murray Gold drowned out my amusing catchphrases. Though, arguably, any sane member of the audience would be sick to death of it by now.

0:34 - "The spectrum is rather gentle." Is that meaningless technobabble? I'm honestly not sure. Oh well. What are script editors for? Only Lawrence Miles and Tat Wood ever slagged Rob Holmes off for his atrocious grasp of astrophysics...

1:44 - Maybe I'm just demented, but it feels like one of those bits in The Young Ones where the cast acknowledge a band has just appeared in their living room and then awkwardly gets on with the plot. "Yes, thank you, lovely theme music, Delia would be proud, but we are a tad busy here..."

1:45 - Actually now I think about it, I didn't have any pre-credit sequences. I just had normal, old-fashioned cliffhanger reprises so there would have been no gap between the blue light and the unfolding wierdness.

1:53 - Amy Pond music. This is not what I was aiming for. Still, maybe the audience need a break from the relentless horror. Full props for Mr. Ault again though, getting the Doctor's racing brain despite his agony.

3:03 - Um. Maurice sounds very angry. Bernard Black angry. Please do not annoy him any further, Doctor...

3:33 - Mmm. I never noticed I have everyone shouting "priority command" at the computer. No wonder it ignores them, they just think everything's an emergency...

3:42 - So he's using Troughton's sonic screwdriver? Um. Ok.

4:02 - Woohoo! "What's a deadlock?" A bit of postmodern RTD-era satire for blogreaders, there...

4:30 - Heh. Not as funny as Closing Time, alas.

4:49 - See how I groom Maurice as a new companion over the wearying hormonal harridan (who has been made 1000 times more bearable by the talented actress playing her, I stress).

5:00 - "Cromer?" I did that gag? Fuck I am so ashamed...

5:36 - Ah. Alexis is back, with his "Chip Jameison IS the Cookie Monster" performance. I'm sure you're a lovely bloke, but was it too much to expect the line "shut up" to be non-cringe-inducing?

5:53 - As for Vlyn, I can't criticize the acting but the choice of delivery is a bit odd. It sounds like she's trying to seduce Emma than grimly assessing the situation and giving orders. Still, considering her crew consist of The Youth of Australia expys, flirting like mad could be the only way to get through to them.

5:56 - AKA Nigel Verkoff is perfect, though. Brilliant comic delivery.

6:15 - His acting may be awful, Emma, but let Alexis finish his lines at least! It's only polite...

6:28 - Wow. Impressive, convincing-sounding hysteria from Miss Emma Actress. YOU SEE? THIS IS WHAT I WANTED FROM THE REST OF YOU IN PART TWO!!! Your friends are dead and you treat like the "we can tell your mum we ate it" bit from American Pie. And I promise not to mention that particular franchise in relation to my work again.

6:48 - "Dead... BOTH OF THEM!!!!" You gotta laugh, huh?

6:59 - OK, Emma, I agree. He's not funny in long doses.

7:14 - "Unlucky you." HAH! Thank you, Nigel.

7:41 - Why did I give this bastard so much dialogue? WHY?!?

7:46 - She means "launch". Not "lunch" as it sounds. No wonder Nigel was confused.

8:10 - Maybe if we say in a later episode Alexis is an Ogron on work experience? That could work.

9:00 - Ooh, self-script-editing becoming a tad obvious, huh?

9:20 - This amazing vista is all done from Captain Goodvibes comics, surreal, beautiful and more cynical than the Chaser at a funeral...

9:34 - "We're not in Kansas any more." "We weren't to start with!" Huh hah!

10:34 - Hmm. OK. I was thinking more of Legion from Red Dwarf, but I can't really complain. The "upper class twit of the year" version adds character. I suppose.

12:03 - That's a Ninja Turtle homage. I bet you all medically needed to know it.

12:28 - Heh. Nice. Oh no, more Alexis...

13:13 - Oh thank god Macdon's here! Talk a lot, man, as much as you want! SAVE US FROM THE BAD MAN!

13:43 - Ah. Actors performing my shining wit. I am so smug now it stings.

14:18 - God damn, why do I make the ladies in my story suffer so? IT'LL ALL BE BETTER, EMS, I PROMISE!! Hmm, maybe it's just the women are all better actors when it comes to expressing emotion...

15:32 - Must not get drawn into the plot... must make notes...

15:46 - I suppose my love of Blake's 7 and its terminology comes across in this script, but now it's getting very obvious... Oh, who cares. I'll take Chris Boucher over Chris Lilley any lifetime. Though calling someone "child" was a wierd bit of slang from The Mark of Mandragora which, despite all my best efforts, never took off back in the late 1990s.

16:09 - "I'm not trying to be insensitive but... GET OVER IT ALREADY!!" I really shouldn't laugh as much at my own jokes. Maybe it's the delivery.

17:00 - Oh crap. After a huge gag that no one knows what a deadlock seal is, the Captain makes a big deal about using them. See what happens when your script editor is an angsty poseur with a superiority complex (or to put it another way: "me")? Oh well, let's just say Maurice was still dazed from the transfer and unable to keep up with the Doctor. Yeah. That'll work. *facepalm*

17:27 - I won't complain about mispronouncing "magellanic" as it's a grand B7 tradition to be totally confused about it. And, you know, it's Nigel. He can't pronounce "vengeance" properly. It's characterization, damn thee!

18:21 - "I know you're scared." Heh. What gave it away? It's like the Paul Darrow reportoire company, everyone's so deadpan...

18:54 - I must have reused that gag in the script. My bad.

19:10 - She said "down and safe!" You never get that in ANY Blake's 7 audios, you notice? NOT ONE! Well, now, justice has ARRIVED!

19:50 - She's back! And sounding cuter than ever!

20:21 - A very fine edit, as requested. I should have pointed out that "Dio" was to be pronounces "Dye-oh", as in "Diogenes". It sounds like the Doctor's talking Mexican all of a sudden. Oh well.

21:37 - Have I not made it absolutely clear how awesome the star of this show is? Because, we're talking very impressive. As audio Doctors go, he is without better than almost everyone I can think of - though JK Flynn is a distinct rival. Briggsy sounds so fannish in comparison to this dude who just screams "proper actor". Mr. Ault would be worthy of the TV show in my unworthy opinion, and I thank the divine stars that the people who made my audio would get such talent.

(Can I have my cash now, please, Dave?)

22:46 - If you can spot the gags from Bottom 3: Hooligan's Island, you're even sadder than I am. But props for effort.

23:09 - Ooooooooooooooooooooookaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

23:56 - That's Magda Szubanski with a phoney American accent, surely? I mean, I can see her right out of The D-Generation as an Oprah-style American host in a blonde wig, a refusal to blink and doing things like "I'm just going to reach out. And touch you. On the leg. In a rather patronizing. Manner." (Which, while not in any way how I saw the character, works PERFECTLY.)

23:58 - I had a good reason for naming a species of closeted snobby degenerates who think the universe owes them a living and have absolutely nothing to do with Doctor Who continuity "the Chatham". But I can't for the life of me remember what it was.

24:17 - The Chatham on why everyone hates them: "They fear our beauty." I giggle in a very immature manner for the rest of the episode.

25:20 - Nice acting from Ault there. Subtly different. Course, the excellent characterization helps as well.

25:32 - That was funny on paper. I swear.

26:59 - That was funny off paper as well.

27:58 - I should get this guy to perform Verkoff: A Terrible Ego. He really inhabits the role of Nigel in a way that makes me fear for his sanity.

28:12 - Mein gott! Palleen is Quinn Morgendorffer from Daria! FREAKING AWESOME!!

28:42 - "Alexis is an albino." "...that's nice." ROFTL.

29:29 - Damn but this girl has good comic timing. I mean, she tells punchlines better than I wrote them! Give her her own sitcom, somebody!

29:54 - Yes, the Corruptors sound very scary. I've said it before. It is still true.

30:08 - A rather good cliffhanger. I didn't actually mean for it to be a cliffhanger, I was trying to do the whole "drammatic W" that Dennis Spooner pioneered, so the tension cranks up on either cliffhanger and halfway through. Pure coincidence.

30:11 - And I never get tired of that bit.

30:25 - Does the announcer always have this godlike echo to his words?

30:50 - My parents will be amused to learn the decietful, spiteful evil bitch in the story is named "Amber". Coz they know someone like that. If you get my drift.

Well, that kept up the quality of the previous installments COUGHbarAlexisCOUGH!! and I must awkwardly warn people there will be an above-average exposition in the next episode (which was not meant to be an episode on its own). Please grin and bear it, and hopefully the cast will make the jokes work enough to keep you going to next and EVEN MORE EPIC cliffhanger.

Next time, people... NEXT TIME!