Wednesday, September 30, 2015

YOA and the Format Restructure (iii)

[The sun sets over the house.]

Dr. Spoon: (vo) History has known many battles. Gallipoli. Vietnam. Endor. But few have known the sheer brutal chaos of the Great Squabble over the best Bedroom.

[Upstairs, Vasiliki and Chamber are arguing over a bedroom. Downstairs, Nigel protectively blocks the doorway to his own bedroom from Cuddles. In the Chill-Out Area, Dr. Spoon is writing on a laptop while Nemonie is fast asleep beside him.]

Dr. Spoon: Some's greatest concerns are survival, or social revolution, or spiritual enlightment. Still others' minds are filled with "does this room have a nice big window?" or "is it close to the kitchen in case I get peckish?" or "if she gets munchies in the middle of the night she should be closest to the fridge at uncivilized o'clock". Yet what about Andrew's silo where he stores useless tat and fell asleep anywhere that took his fancy. Lo, no one dares to enter that black hole of junk to turn it into an en suite...

[Nemonie mumbles without opening her eyes.]

Nemonie: Will you just shut up? I'm trying to sleep off a gut-load of ecstacy here.

Dr. Spoon: Sorr-ree...
[Dave's room. Most of Dave's stuff is still there. Cuddles is dumping his belongings in the corner.]

Maurice: What do you mean, "junk it"? You can't do that!

Cuddles: Well, even if I liked his excuse of a wardrobe, they're far too small for me.

[Cuddles starts emptying drawers and shoving his stuff inside.]

Maurice: We should send it to him, and his family...

Cuddles: Fine, whatever. Just clear the room so I can get it fumigated...

[Maurice sighs and rummages through a chest as Nigel enters.]

Nigel: What the hell...? Did I say you could throw this stuff out? I'm actually trying to get people back that I want to be here - specifically, those willing to pay rent!

Cuddles: Your point being?

Nigel: Dave's stuff being here is the perfect blackmail to getting him back!

Cuddles: Yeah, given Dave's actually alive...

Nigel: Oh shut up! God, Cuddles, if I killed you and put your pectorals on life support, no one would notice!

Cuddles: Whereas I could kill you and no one would care.

Maurice: Ooh, he's got you there, Nige.

Nigel: And what are you still doing here anyway? I have enough freeloading parasites as it is!

Maurice: I'm collecting Dave's stuff. It'll give you the perfect excuse to meet up with him and apologize.

Nigel: Oh, Maurice, how I wish you were more like this!

Maurice: Like what?

Nigel: Capable of thought. Right.

[Nigel unfurls a bin bag and starts shovelling Dave's stuff inside. He takes a snowglobe, some Animorphs books and fir cones off a desk and throws them inside.]

Nigel: Fir cones! What does he want those for?

Maurice: Guess he uses them to tell if it was going to rain.

Nigel: Instead of using the ancient and mystical art of looking out the freaking window, I suppose.

[Maurice clears a shelf of a clock, a stuffed Stimpy toy and a bottle.]

Nigel: What's in that?

Maurice: [reads label] Patented Herbal Elixir - Guaranted To Cure All Forms of Depression of the Spirit.

[Maurice cracks the top open and sniffs.]

Maurice: Smells like really old coconut milk.

Nigel: That's Dave Restal for you, a sucker just waiting to be screwed over.

Cuddles: At least he never took in lodgers because he couldn't find a poster at a newsagent.

Nigel: Cuddles, please, your attempts to become a higher anthropoid embarras only yourself.

[Maurice drops the bottle into the binliner.]

Maurice: [wistful] Dave might have been desperate enough to try it.

Nigel: Dave was desperate full stup. Anything else?

Cuddles: Just this.

[Cuddles indicates a slab of modelling clay, unfinished in a crude sculpt of a woman's head. It is dried up and hard as rock. Cuddles rapps his knuckles on it.]

Cuddles: Ugly as and, to be honest, starting to stink. I'd throw it in the bin but I don't want to touch it.

Nigel: Wait, keep it.

Cuddles: It's a piece of junk! No art connoisseur would be seen dead with it!

Maurice: Is that... Phe?

Nigel: Yep. Desperate Dave still isn't over her. We'll keep it here as a back-up to lure him in.

Maurice: That's cold. That's cruel. That's sickening. But I'd be lying if I said it's not worth a try.

Cuddles: OK, good, you've got everything go! Now, should I flea-bomb this place before the Aboriginal smoking ceremony or after? Maybe do it at the same time, cut to the chase...

[Nigel glares at him.]

Nigel: There just aren't enough hours in the day for me to hate you. Do us a favor and suffocate!

[Eve's room. Vasiliki is hanging up the skeleton on the toilet poster on the wall. Chamber idly looks into the en suite bathroom.]

Chamber: What do you think?

Vasiliki: As a matter of fact, I think I could be happy here... once those windows are clean. What did the previous occupant get up to?

[Vasiliki indicates the window. There are arse-prints high up on the glass.]

Chamber: Wow. She must have been a contortionist.

Vasiliki: Or she was having sex with someone who was. Seriously, those are very distracting.

[She picks up a spray can, squirts the window and wipes it clean. A second later, the prints reappear.]

Vasiliki: How the hell did that happen?

Chamber: I dunno. Does Mr. Sheen come with a free exorcism?

Vasiliki: I hope it's demonic activity. I don't want to know what causes stains like that.

Chamber: You know, I could always have this room if you don't want it...

Dr. Spoon: Chamber I found it!

[Both Vasiliki and Chamber emerge to the balcony outside. Dr. Spoon is there with a large, creepy-looking ventriloquist dummy over his shoulder in the shape of a grinning clown.]

Dr. Spoon: Operation Room Gathering And Scenic Manamagent - or ORGASM for short - is ready to go! We'll get the best bedroom is ours away from that grecian girl in no time!

[Vasiliki looks between Dr. Spoon and Chamber and shakes her head.]

Chamber: Too late, Rupert. She's onto us.

Dr. Spoon: How?

Chamber: Take a wild guess?

Dr. Spoon: ...the Easter Bunny?

Chamber: OK, take a slightly less-wild guess.

[Vasiliki slams the door in their faces. They sigh and head along the balcony.]

Dr. Spoon: You know, Chamber, if you just kept your stuff organized, I would have found this a lot quicker.

Chamber: It is organized! Alphabetically!

Dr. Spoon: Yes, Chamber, but you're totally dyslexic, aren't you?

Chamber: Do you have to bring that up all the time?

Dr. Spoon: You're the one who insists on playing scrabble...

Chamber: You're just bitter because you lose all the time...

[Wynona pulls up outside Dave's house. Maurice turns off the engine and collects the binliner full of Dave's stuff. Nigel looks pensive.]

Nigel: I dunno. Maybe I should go in with you.

Maurice: Might be best if I ease him into the concept.

Nigel: Ease him into it? Maurice, we were the best of friends! Why, remember that time Andrew accidentally snorted anthrax and disappeared for six weeks...?

Maurice: No. Not particularly.

Nigel: Well, my point is, it was just me and Dave. Our relationship was magical.

[Flashback. Nigel’s room is lined with Christmas lights and decorations. Nigel sits in his bed, facing the TV. He wears a festive hat and some of the decorations. On the TV, the Queen’s speech begins. Nigel pours himself a tankard of sherry.]

Nigel: Merry Christmas! God save the Queen!

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

Nigel: [shocked] Oh, crapola.

Dave: [vo] Hey! Nigel! Hello! Are you in there?

[Nigel leaps off the bed, ejecting a video from his VCR. It has QUEEN’S SPEECH 2001 written on the label and begins to haul down the decorations. The door bursts open and Dave enters.]

Dave: There you are! [looks around] What the...

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

Nigel: This isn’t what it looks like!

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

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

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

Dave: It’s July! The fourth of July!

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

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

Nigel: Uh, I try to celebrate other cultures.

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

Nigel: [winces] Ah. Oh dear. I know this.

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

Nigel: [casual] Doesn’t it?

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

Dave: [disappointed] Oh, no, Nigel. Not the Queen’s speech. I thought you were getting better?

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

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

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

Dave: That’s not what you said when the police came round. [SAD] Can’t you see you’re not right? This isn’t natural. You’re doing nothing but harm to yourself. You’ve got to see a professional!

Nigel: If you don’t like it, get out.

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

Nigel: [cruelly] Yeah, get used to it, Dave! From now on the Big N is head of THIS household!

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

Nigel: Uh, a little help here? Hello?

[Nigel lies beneath the felled Christmas tree. On the other side, his leg sticks upright, aiming at the ceiling, like a flamingo. End flashback. Nigel sighs nostalgically.]

Nigel: Ah. I still don't have full feeling in my left leg.


Maurice: Yeah whatever. Don't worry, if I know Dave he'll forgive you for this. I mean, making him live at home for a couple of days isn't that bad...

Nigel: You're right. Hell, he'll probably thank me for the chance to see his folks again.

[Maurice leaves the car and heads to the house.]

Nigel: Oh. Hang on. There's another amnesia bit fading away...

[Flashback. Nigel hands Dave a milkshake. He sips it.]

Dave: Hmmm. Tastes good. What’s in it?

Nigel: Oh, milk, butter, cream, icing sugar, vanilla custard, hundreds and thousands oh, and chloroform.

[Dave collapses unconscious. Nigel laughs evilly. Cut to Dave's house, where Nigel throws Dave into his father's arms.]

Nigel: Look, Mr. Restal, sorry about this. Uh, Dave’s decided to move back with you, but, um, you know how it is. He doesn’t want to swallow his pride, so he got absolutely pissed instead. Sorry about this, but I couldn’t leave him in the gutter. Again. He’s sold most of his possessions for his heroin habit. Look, it’ll take some time, but I’m sure, if you keep him indoors and never let him leave again, he’ll soon become the loveable son you remember. [gulps] Can I trust you with my best friend?

Dave's Dad: Of course I can. Thank you.

Nigel: No, my pleasure.

[Nigel closes the front door, grinning evilly. End flashback.]

Nigel: Jeez. Maybe I need a CAT scan. I shouldn't be forgetting important things like that.

[Maurice gets back into the car.]

Maurice: Nigel, apparently you convinced Dave's parents he was a self-harming heroin addict and they've thrown him into rehab and refuse to tell anyone where he is in case that leads to a relapse.

Nigel: Really? Well, actually, that does kind of make sense. You see, it was another of those mental blanks...

[Maurice punches Nigel in the face, giving him a bloody nose.]

Maurice: [snarling with fury] You are without doubt the worst excuse for a human being I have ever met and frankly if there isn't a hell then there should be one created especially just for you! You are on the sub-child-molester level, you are! You not only betrayed the two friends you had on the planet, you went out of your way to wreck and destroy their lives as much as you possibly could out of sheer arrogant sadism! You spat on every chance you had to become a decent human being and I hope you live a very long life so you can suffer longer and more agonizingly than any other living creature! And if you ever so much as breathe in my presence again I will crack open your spinal column and pour in battery acid! If you die alone, unloved, unmourned and in utter torment then you've got off lightly.

[Maurice punches him again and then climbs out of the car and storms off into the night. Nigel hisses with pain and wipes the blood from his face.]

Nigel: Wow. And this is him taking his meds!

[Dr. Spoon and Chamber are examining the wall beside Andrew's silo.]

Dr. Spoon: Do you see it, Chamber?

Chamber: Would it emotionally devastate you if I say no, Rupert?

Dr. Spoon: [sighs] The wall!

Chamber: Yes. It's a wall. Is this some Pink Floyd thing?

Dr. Spoon: Chamber, the other side of the silo the wall is much further back than here. I mean, between you and me, I can't be arsed to do any measuring, but it is clear this is not a proper corner, it comes out instead of going in like... um...

Chamber: Some kind of closested heterosexual?

Dr. Spoon: Yeah, something like that. Man, I need some proper sleep.

Chamber: I told you to cut down the caffiene.

Dr. Spoon: I have, but there's still so much in my system! Damn my lazy albino metabolism!

Chamber: So what do you reckon's behind this strange extra wall? A panic room? Ventilator shaft?

Dr. Spoon: Let's find out.

[They pick up sledgehammers.]

Chamber: You know, if this is a load-bearing pillar we could completely screw this entire building.

Dr. Spoon: Yeah, but we still have our old apartment to go back to.

[They start slamming their hammers against the wall. The plaster cracks.]

Chamber: True, but you're the one who can explain it all to Landlord Nigel.

Dr. Spoon: Pah! He'll be much more upset with what Vasiliki's doing...

[Vasiliki enters through the door with a small crowd of potential homebuyers.]

Vasiliki: So. This is 23 Chief Mango Zulu Bootlace Cul-De-Sac and I'm sure you'll notice it looks exactly like it does in the brochures and by that I mean fricken amazing. Oh, remind me to give you the brochures at some point. It's got four bedrooms, an upper level, a basement. It's in perfect condition and if I wasn't paid to say that I'd snap this up, I'd snap this up anyway. This is the best house on the market, hands down. You could host parties, athletic competitions or even a safe houses for political dissidents of strategic value...

[The thumping and smashing from Dr. Spoon and Chamber is too loud to ignore. Cuddles emerges from Dave's room with a mud-pack on his face and his hair in a towel.]

Cuddles: For the love of Icehouse, what the hell is that din?

Vasiliki: Do you mind, big guy? I'm trying to work here!

[She indicates the house buyers.]

Vasiliki: Don't worry about them. Some minor renovations underway...

Chamber: [singing] Hello? Is there anyone in there? Is there anyone home?

Dr. Spoon: Technically, the more appropriate song would be Another Brick In The Wall.

Chamber: Shut up, I like this one better! I, I have become comfortably numb...

[They have smashed away the plaster to reveal brickwork.]

Housebuyer 1: Why's it so cheap? 

Vasiliki: Well, it's been hard to shift...

Housebuyer 1: I knew it! The place is haunted! Things move on their own!

Housebuyer 2: We're going to be swallowed by the walls!

Housebuyer 3: Have human remains been found here?

Vasiliki: Look, this place is not built on an Indian burial ground...

Cuddles: Well, duh! We're in Australia!

Vasiliki: This apartment area is not haunted. There are no ghosts and no secret burial sites

Cuddles: Er, I think you might've spoken a touch too soon there, Silky.

[Cuddles points to where Dr. Spoon and Chamber have stopped demolishing the wall. There is now a jagged hole and brown, cobwebbed skeletons are visible beneath. The housebuyers stare at the bones then at Vasiliki. A long pause.]

Vasiliki: You still haven't seen the size of the bedrooms? And one of them has an en suites.

[A very long pause.]

Vasiliki: Seriously - en suites!

- to be continued... if any more had been written

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