A fillum wot I wrote
by Mr SimonG Esq
We open on sky. The camera pans down to the sea at low tide, down to the mud and
under the pier. Rich is dressed in a suit, sitting on a rafter, Simon’s coat draped
across it to keep his suit clean. Simon’s behind him searching around for something
in the mud. Rich is eating dates from a bag.
Rich: See, women are like doughnuts.
Rich: No, not topologically, what I mean is-
Simon: Sticky on the inside?
Rich: Will you let me finish?
Rich: What I mean is that they have to be taken slowly. Take me, for instance.
Simon: You‟re not a woman.
Rich: I know I‟m not a woman! I mean take my approach. I don‟t rush into
Simon: I can see that. You haven‟t had one yet.
Rich (affronted): There was Gloria Hempbottom.
Simon: Would you class that as a relationship?
Rich: Well what else was it?
Simon: I dunno, a mountaineering expedition?
Rich: Are you saying she‟s fat?
Simon: Fat? Men have died trying to reach the top of Gloria Hempbottom. There are
fossilized Sherpas in the folds of her stomach.
Rich: For your information, she was a ballet dancer.
Simon: She was a belly dancer.
Rich: Was it? Well anyway, my point is that you shouldn‟t rush into these things.
Simon: I would never rush into Gloria Hempbottom. I‟d be terrified that I wouldn‟t
find my way out again.
Rich: Look, do you want my advice or not?
Simon: I didn‟t realise it was optional. If you want to be useful, come and help me
look for this.
Rich: Forget it! You‟re the one who threw it over the side.
Simon: I didn‟t have much choice. You thumped me on the back.
Rich: I was trying to help. You were choking.
Simon: No I wasn‟t.
Rich: There you are then, it worked. Anyway, it‟s all about cultivating an image.
When women look at you they see a loser with all the style of a colour-blind
chameleon. What do you think they see when they look at me?
Simon: A bald loser with all the style of a colour-blind chameleon?
Rich: I‟ve got style! This suit was hand made!
Simon: Yeah? Who for?
Rich: At least I make the effort. How do you expect to get a woman looking like that?
Simon: I don‟t want a woman looking like this. I want a woman looking like Britney
Rich: You know what I mean.
Simon: Oh, I gave up trying after what happened with Amanda Futtock.
Rich: What did happen with Amanda Futtock?
Simon: I think that‟s best kept between me, her and the colobus monkey.
Rich: There was a colobus monkey involved?
Simon: Well, until it got frightened away by the ostrich.
Rich: Never mind ostriches – you‟ve got to have style, that‟s my point.
Simon: Is that why you‟re off to have a wig fitted?
Rich: I‟ve discovered that women don‟t appreciate the implications of baldness vis a
Simon: What implication is that?
Rich: Bald sperm, innit. Streamlined.
Simon finds the thing he was looking for – it’s a sandwich, now covered in all sorts of
Simon: Found it!
Rich: Right, I‟m off to get this wig. You‟re hanging around, yes?
Simon: Yeah, I might go to Marks and look at the mannequins in the underwear
Rich: My god, you really are desperate, aren‟t you?
Simon: Says the man who‟s about to have a carpet sewn to his head.
Simon takes a bite from the sandwich, gags, and throws the rest away.
Rich: I‟ll see you later then. Here‟s your jacket.
Rich stands up and hands Simon his jacket. It’s pretty grimy. Simon puts it on.
Simon: That was my lunch! I‟m starving now.
Rich (handing Simon his dates): You can have these. I‟m off.
Simon: But I don‟t like-
Rich walks off. Simon shrugs, eats one and winces
A street somewhere in Portsmouth. Claire is walking along. She’s immaculately
dressed and manicured, carrying bags with famous fashion labels on as well as a pile
of books under one arm. She’s smiling and waving to passers by. Everyone she waves
to stops what they’re doing and looks all dreamy. Wanda and Trudi scurry up to her –
they’re both very dour and have a look of hero worship in their eyes.
Claire: Wanda! Trudi! Great to see you!
Wanda (bashfully): Hi, Claire! I‟m sorry to bother you, but, well, I need some advice.
If you‟ve got a minute…?
Claire: For you guys? Any time! What‟s the problem?
Wanda: Well, see, there‟s this boy I like, and I kinda think he likes me too… (Wanda
and Trudi giggle)
Claire: Hey, that‟s great! I told you you‟d find someone one day!
An anonymous pleb has appeared and is trying to attract Claire’s attention
Claire: Yes, can I help you?
Pleb: Oh, I thought someone had plucked two stars from the heavens, but it was
merely your eyes! (Looks pleased with himself)
Claire: Do you provide a complimentary vomit bag with that remark? Or is that just
Virgin Atlantic? (Turns back to Wanda, as pleb looks disappointed and disappears
into the distance) You were saying?
Wanda: Oh, well, this guy I like, Jonathan, he works in the library and he gives me
these dreamy looks whenever I go in there. I think he wants to make a move, but he‟s
kind of shy. What should I do?
Claire: Tell him that you‟re a very special person, and if he doesn‟t get a move on
you‟ll be snapped up by someone else.
Wanda: Should I mention my chlamydia?
Claire: Probably not at this stage, no.
Another anonymous pleb appears
Pleb 2: You‟re so beautiful I‟m amazed they haven‟t made a statue of you!
Claire: You‟re so ugly I‟m amazed I haven‟t turned into one.
Pleb 2 also looks disappointed and disappears into the distance
Trudi: Claire, how are things with Dirk van Rocket?
Claire: Oh, I dumped Dirk weeks ago.
Trudi: You dumped Dirk van Rocket, the sexiest boy in town?
Claire: He wasn‟t my type. Very pretty, but nothing on the inside. I like a man with a
Trudi: You don‟t know how lucky you are, guys like him throwing themselves at your
feet. You shouldn‟t chuck them off so soon.
Claire: Men aren‟t everything. I‟m sure I‟ll run into another before long, and even if I
don‟t, I‟ll always have my friends, right?
Wanda receives and reads a text message
Trudi: Of course! You‟ll always have us! We‟d never leave you!
Wanda: Ooh! Ooh! Mindy says Dirk‟s at the roller rink and he‟s taken his top off!
Trudi: Dreamy! Let‟s go see!
They run off, giggling. Claire shakes her head and laughs
Claire: Those girls!
Begins to walk off but immediately Simon walks into her and she drops her books
Simon: Oh, I‟m sorry!
Claire (bends down and starts picking them up): That‟s quite alright!
Simon (doing the same): Let me help. (Picks up one book and reads the title) „Just So
Claire: Are you a fan of Kipling?
Simon: I don‟t know, I‟ve never kippled.
Claire: Rudyard Kipling. He wrote that book.
Simon: Oh, so he did! Good for him. (Hands it to her and picks up another) Ah, Karl
Marx! Now him I do like. (Doing a Groucho impression) Last night I shot an elephant
in my pyjamas. How he got into my pyjamas I‟ll never know.
Claire: My name‟s Claire.
Simon: Is it?
Simon: Oh! Er, I‟m Simon.
Claire: How do you do?
Simon: How do I do what?
Claire: Er, I don‟t know. Pleased to meet you. Local, are you?
Simon: Oh yes, I‟ve lived in Portsmouth all my life. My dad‟s a horse trainer and I
follow in his footsteps.
Claire: You train horses too?
Simon: No, I literally follow in his footsteps. I pick up the poo.
Simon: The horses‟ poo, not my dad‟s.
Claire: Yes, I got that.
Simon: Um… d‟you want a date? (Offering her one)
Claire: Sure, why not? How about tomorrow night?
Simon (confused): Er, okay. Tell you what, I‟ll give it to you now and you can eat it
whenever you like.
Simon: Oh! You meant… oh! Yes, that would be terrific! Thank you!
Claire: No problem. Do you like Manocka‟s?
Simon: Yes, they‟re very nice.
Claire: Manocka‟s, it‟s a restaurant on the sea front.
Simon: Oh, I see what you mean. Yes, it‟s not bad.
Claire: I‟ll see you there at six then.
Simon: Yes, okay! Fantastic! Bye!
Claire: Goodbye, Simon!
Claire walks off. Simon gazes at her retreating back with a big grin on his face, then
turns to walk away and immediately bumps into Rich
Rich: Oh, hello!
Simon: You won‟t believe what just happened…
Rich: You won‟t believe the price of a wig! Two hundred quid they quoted me! For a
wig! I said forget it, I‟ll take my business elsewhere.
Simon: I‟ve got a date!
Rich: You‟ve got a whole bag of them.
Simon: I mean I‟m going on a date. Tomorrow night!
Rich: You‟re going on a date?
Rich: What with?
Simon: A woman!
Rich: A real one?
Simon: Yes, a real one!
Rich: Oh, wow. What‟s wrong with her?
Simon: Nothing‟s wrong with her! Her name‟s Claire and she‟s beautiful!
Rich: Really? Wow, is she in for a disappointment!
Claire’s house, interior. Someone’s playing a guitar off-screen. We see Claire enter
through the front door and walk into the living room, where her brother Neil is sitting
playing his guitar.
Neil: Hello sis!
Claire: Hi Neil! What are you playing?
Neil (with a cheeky grin): The guitar.
Claire: You know what I mean.
Neil: Just jamming. Busy day at work?
Claire: Very. I told you that the naming ceremony for the Pereira Line‟s flagship
vessel was today? Princess Anne came to do the honours. She did the „I name this
ship‟ bit and let go of the champagne, but a sudden gust of wind made it arc off
course and smash my boss around the head.
Neil: Is he alright?
Claire: He‟s fine, but technically his name is now the Watery Queen. How‟s dad?
Neil: He‟s having one of his good days. I took him to your mum‟s grave earlier and he
put some flowers on.
Claire: Far too many, I suppose?
Neil: You know what he‟s like, never does anything by halves. Makes the hanging
gardens of Babylon look like a window box.
Claire: Oh, I went to the library on the way home – I got you a book on fencing like
you wanted. (Hands it over)
Claire: It seems to cover the basics – swordplay, headgear, weaponry. What do you
want it for?
Neil: Um, I thought I‟d put a fence round the garden to stop next door‟s dog getting
Claire: Ah. Sorry.
Their father Chris burst in from the kitchen.
Chris: Claire! My darling! Give your old dad a kiss! (She does) Marvellous! How was
Claire: Good, thanks.
Chris: Marvellous! Must rush – dinner‟s on the go! See you soon! (Hurries back to
Claire: He‟s not cooking again, is he?
Neil: I know, but he seems to enjoy it.
Claire: Only until it goes wrong.
Neil: It‟s soup this time. Even he can‟t mess up soup.
Claire: Oh, I forgot to tell you – I have a date tomorrow night!
Neil: Yeah, with who?
Claire: Chap I bumped into in town. Well, he bumped into me, really. He seems nice.
Neil: Lucky guy!
Claire (grinning): You sound almost jealous!
Neil (smiling): Let‟s just say it‟s not easy being your brother!
Claire (also smiling): No harder than it is to be your sister, I‟m sure!
Neil bends forward to put down his guitar and can’t get back up again
Neil: Gah! My back!
Claire: Has it gone again?
Neil: I can‟t… move!
Claire: Shall I… (karate chops him on the back)
Neil: Mwah! Again!
She does it again
Neil: Gaha! Again!
She does it again. This time Neil lets out a massive cry of pain and collapses onto his
back with his legs sticking up in the air
Claire: Ooh, sorry! Er… (She tries to lift him in several different positions but each
time he screams in agony) Dad!
Chris hurries in again
Claire: Neil‟s done his back in again. Can you give me a hand?
Chris: Can it wait a moment? It‟s just that the soup‟s nearly… (Neil screams in agony
again) Ah, right.
Chris hurries over and takes Neil by the feet. Claire takes his arms and they lift him
and carry him across the room towards the sofa, allowing every obstacle en route to
cause them the maximum possible inconvenience. Neil’s screaming in agony the
whole time. They finally reach the sofa and Claire lowers Neil’s head into one corner.
As she does so Chris bends down.
Claire: What is it?
Chris: Now my back‟s gone!
Claire: Oh good grief!
Claire lets go of Neil’s head and hurries around the sofa to Chris. At this point Neil’s
body is still perpendicular to the sofa with his feet sticking up in the air.
Claire (muttering, to Neil): This is what happens when you go inheriting hereditary
Claire reaches Chris and gives him a huge karate chop on the back. He gives a cry
and stands upright, raising Neil’s legs even higher.
Chris: The soup!
Chris hands Neil’s feet to Claire and races off into the kitchen. There’s an explosion
and he comes back out covered in soup.
Chris: Dinner‟s ready.
Claire lets go of Neil’s feet and he screams in further agony as he falls to the floor.
Rich’s boat, interior. The phone’s ringing. He walks over and picks it up
Cut to Simon in his flat. He’s all dressed up and ready for his date. From now on we
cut between the two locations as the two men speak. Simon’s pacing nervously and
Rich is doing boaty type things.
Simon: Rich, it‟s Simon. I need your help.
Rich: Oh, it‟s your big date tonight, isn‟t it!
Simon: I don‟t know what to do. I‟ve never been on a date before.
Rich: Ah, woman advice, is it? Thought you‟d turn to the love meister for some words
Simon: Yes, alright.
Rich: Decided to seek the counsel of one more experienced in the art of love?
Simon: There‟s no need to rub it in.
Rich: Come to beg guidance from the world expert in matters of the heart?
Simon: Look, are you going to help me or not?
Rich: Just relax. It‟ll be fine.
Simon: It will be a disaster. I gibber around women.
Rich: You gibber around everyone.
Simon: I‟m even worse with girls, especially pretty ones. I find myself saying
complete rubbish and I can‟t stop. Last time I was alone with a girl I spent twenty
minutes speculating about what would happen if the stock exchange was secretly
powered by monkeys. In the end she faked a coma just so she didn‟t have to talk to
me. We were nearly killed! In my opinion, if you‟re not prepared to spend time alone
with someone, you shouldn‟t take them up in your helicopter.
Rich: Try not to worry, you‟ll make it worse. Act naturally.
Simon: You think I should just be myself?
Rich: Dear god, no! If you‟re going to be anyone, be me.
Simon: This is serious!
Rich: I‟m being serious! Hey, I know – why don‟t I go in your place? She‟s only met
you briefly, I‟m sure we could get away with it.
Simon: In your dreams!
Rich: You‟re right, she‟d wonder how you‟d suddenly become so much better
Simon: Yeah, and where all my hair had gone.
Rich: Oh, I‟d just say I realised how silly people look with hair so I shaved it off. I
think it‟s worth a try, I‟m sure I‟ll get further than you did.
Simon: Like you did with Gloria Hempbottom, you mean?
Rich: I got to second base with Gloria Hempbottom!
Simon: What‟s second base?
Rich: I groped her bum and she didn‟t slap me. By the way, I‟m going climbing
tomorrow. You interested?
Simon: Sure, if I survive tonight. Shall we take a packed lunch?
Rich: Of course, but no coleslaw this time. You know I can‟t eat coleslaw above sea
Simon: Right, well it‟s nearly six so I‟d better get off. God, this is going to be awful.
Rich: It‟s just like doing a speech – if you‟re nervous, picture the audience on the
Simon: I‟ll bear that in mind. Wish me luck.
Rich: You don‟t need luck! Your natural charm and charisma will see you through.
Okay, bye! (Hangs up) I give him ten minutes before he humiliates himself.
Manocka’s restaurant. Simon enters nervously and makes his way through the crowd.
He sees Claire sitting at a table and joins her.
Claire: Simon! Glad you could make it!
Simon: Claire! You look fantastic!
He leans forward to kiss her, but there’s a chair between him and the table so he has
to lean too far over and falls forward onto the table, thence head first between the
table and Claire. He emerges head first on the side he started on and sits down.
Simon: I didn‟t mean to do that.
Claire: Are you alright?
Simon: I think I snapped my cock.
Claire: Oh my god!
Simon removes a small wooden/plastic cockerel from his pocket which has snapped in
Claire: Oh! I thought you meant…
Simon: I carry it with me for luck. It doesn‟t work, obviously. (Takes a packet of
butter from the basket of condiments on the table) Is this free?
Claire: Er, yes.
Simon: Great! I can have that with my dinner. (Puts it in his back trouser pocket) I‟m
going to get a drink. Do you want anything?
Claire (indicating the drink she already has): I‟m fine, thanks. Just attract the
attention of a waiter and they‟ll serve you here.
Simon: Ah, okay. (Tries to accost a passing waiter but fails) So, tell me about
As Claire talks Simon keeps trying to attract the attention of waiters, and failing.
Claire: Well, let me see… I live at home with my dad and my brother Neil. Well, half-
brother, from Dad‟s first marriage. My mum – his second wife – died two years ago.
Simon: I‟m really sorry.
Claire: Thank you.
Simon: I don‟t mean I killed her or anything. I‟m just sorry to hear it.
Claire: Yes, I realise that.
Simon: I‟ve probably got an alibi. What was the date? Were there any witnesses? It
was probably someone who looks nothing like me. Don‟t try and hang it on me! I
ain‟t being nobody‟s patsy!
Claire: Simon, you‟re gibbering!
Simon: Sorry. I do that. How did she die?
Claire: Car accident. She smashed headlong into a lorry delivering trampolines to a
troupe of acrobatic midgets. She was thrown through the windscreen and flew
halfway across the road.
Simon: Oh dear.
Claire: The lorry braked too quickly and flipped over, scattering trampolines
everywhere. Mum landed on one, bounced off, and came down safely beside it. Then
another trampoline fell on her head and killed her.
Claire: It was rather. But enough of my gloom – tell me about yourself.
Simon: There‟s not much to tell.
Claire: There must be something.
Simon: Um, okay… ooh, I‟ve got one! I once saw a horse with two heads.
Simon: Well, no.
Simon: It turned out to be two horses standing next to one another. But it was quite
exciting until I realised.
Claire: I can imagine.
Simon: I almost took a photo.
Claire: Why didn‟t you?
Simon: I haven‟t got a camera.
Claire: I can see that would present an obstacle.
Simon: Yes. Um. So…
Simon: I don‟t know.
Simon: Sorry, I‟m not very good with girls.
Claire: Really? I hadn‟t noticed.
Simon: So, um, have you got a job?
Claire: Yes, I‟m assistant manager at the dockyard.
Simon: Jesus, you must earn a fortune!
Claire: I don‟t do too badly. I‟m saving up – what I really want is to be a dancer. I‟m
applying to a prestigious academy, and if I get in I‟ll need money for the fees.
Simon: Couldn‟t lend me a few bob could you?
There’s a long, awkward silence. After a while Simon starts staring transfixedly at
Claire: What are you doing?
Simon: Picturing you on the toilet.
Claire (horrified): What?
Simon: My friend told me to do it.
Claire (getting up to leave): This is too weird.
Simon: Don‟t go! Please, I‟ll try to be normal!
Claire sits down again reluctantly
Simon: So, er, you work at the dockyard then. Is that interesting?
Claire: At times. I suppose you‟ve seen all the stuff about the Watery Queen on the
Simon: I never see the news. I mostly watch the porn channels.
Claire: Right. Well, the Watery Queen is the Pereira Line‟s new cruise liner. She‟s
docked at the minute and sets sail on her maiden voyage in six days‟ time. She‟s the
biggest cruise liner ever built, so there‟s a lot of media attention. She‟s keeping us
Trying yet again to attract the attention of a waiter Simon tips his chair backwards
and it falls over. He picks himself up.
Claire: Are you okay?
Simon: I think I‟ve squashed my knob.
Simon removes the pat of butter from his back pocket. It’s squashed and the butter is
oozing out the sides.
Simon: See. (He puts it back in the basket where he got it from)
Claire, unable to take his weirdness without alcoholic assistance, downs the rest of
her drink, accosts a passing waiter and asks for a refill with actions rather than
words. The waiter takes her glass away. Simon tries to accost him as he passes, but
fails. There’s a long silence as Simon looks increasingly uneasy and Claire watches
Simon (speaking a word at a time as though he's desperate to fill the silence with
something and is forming a sentence on the fly without the faintest idea where it's
going): What... if... monkeys... secretly powered the stock exchange? (Claire looks at
him in disbelief. Simon continues nervously but picking up speed as he goes along)
Well they'd be rubbish, wouldn't they. They'd rig it so shares in bananas rocketed,
which the animals that didn't think to invest in bananas would be furious about. It'd be
a disaster for the mice - "Eek eek please Mister monkeys who secretly power the
stock exchange," they'd squeak. "Please can you fix it so shares in cheese go up too?"
to which the monkeys would reply "Ook eek ook ook oook!" because monkeys can't
talk, apart from the ones they've taught sign language to, but even they can only
communicate simple words and concepts and not complete sentences, except for one
of Diane Fossey's which fully grasped the syntactic complexity of American Sign
Language and went on tour reciting extracts from the complete works of Shakespeare,
which an infinite number of his mates had knocked out the previous night.
Unfortunately he insisted on performing everything else they'd written too, which on
the whole was of a much lower standard, and by the time he got to Massachusetts he
was getting some very poor reviews. In any case, no one has yet successfully taught
mice to understand monkey sign language so their attempt at dialogue was doomed
from the start. Of course the monkeys couldn't care less about the mice and their
concern for the ailing cheese market anyway, which is a big mistake because mice
have a lot of pull in the animal kingdom on account of the fact that elephants are
terrified of them. (trumpets like an elephant while flailing arm about to represent
trunk) is what elephants say when they see a mouse, which is what an elephant sounds
like when it's terrified. They go completely ballistic. Elephants, incidentally, make
very good ballistics - all you need is a banana to lure then into the trebuchet. So the
elephants are going trumpet and the monkeys are ook ook ook and that's when the
parrots turn up giveusabiscuit, giveusabiscuit (gets out of seat and starts doing
actions) trumpet eek eek eek ook ook ook giveusabiscuit trumpet ook ook ook eek eek
giveusabiscuit ook ook trumpet ook ook trumpet giveusabiscuit eek eek eek
pollywantsacracker trumpet ook ook ook ook eek ook trumpet ook ook trumpet ook
ook eek eek trumpet (this time on flailing his arm he hits himself on the forehead and
knocks himself unconscious)
Claire, and everyone else in the place, look on silently. Claire then turns quite calmly
to the waiter standing beside her.
Claire: Can I have the bill, please?
Claire’s house, interior. Neil is sitting on the sofa playing his guitar. Claire lets
herself in and comes and sits beside him. She looks upset.
Neil: Hi Claire! How was your date?
Claire: I don‟t want to talk about it. How‟s Dad?
Neil: It‟s one of his bad days, I‟m afraid. He‟s been hallucinating all afternoon.
Claire: It‟s awful to see him like that. I wish he hadn‟t taken Mum‟s death so hard.
Neil: Try to think of it as a sign of how much he loved her.
Claire: I suppose you could look at it like that. Doesn‟t make it any nicer to see
Neil puts his arm around her comfortingly and they sit in silence for a moment
Neil: The date didn‟t go well then?
Claire: I don‟t want to talk about it.
Claire (suddenly changing her mind): The guy‟s a complete weirdo.
Neil: It wasn‟t that bad, surely?
Claire: He managed to knock himself out doing animal impersonations. He came to as
I was leaving and grabbed me by the ankles – he kept screaming that he loves me and
wouldn‟t let go. In the end a waiter had to beat him off with the wine menu.
Neil: You‟re right. The guy‟s a complete weirdo.
Claire: I don‟t know how I misjudged him so badly. He‟s got all the social skills of an
elephant seal with acute diarrhoea.
Neil: I take it you won‟t be seeing him again, then?
Claire: Only in nightmares. I‟m telling you, he‟s a total fruitcake.
Neil: Heh, usually I‟m the one dating weirdoes.
Claire: The last one was alright, wasn‟t she?
Neil: Donna? She was the worst of the lot. She woke me up one night and said we
were going on a mystery trip. She dragged me out of bed, made me get dressed and
pulled me into the car, then drove for an hour and parked on the cliffs at Lyme Regis.
We got out and she led me to the edge, where she proceeded to remove all her clothes,
followed by mine.
Claire: Why was she wearing your clothes? Oh, I see. Sorry. It does seem a bit far to
go for an amorous liaison by moonlight, but I can see the attraction. Lyme Regis is a
very romantic place.
Neil: That was my take on it, so I decided to play along. I took her in my arms and
kissed her softly.
Claire: You kissed her what? Oh, her softly.
Neil: And then… that was when it happened.
Neil: Another six hundred naked people appeared over the hill. They weren‟t pleasant
to look at – most of them were fifty if they were a day, with great big beer bellies and
huge grey tufts of hair around their nipples. And the blokes were just as bad. Before I
knew it they‟d circled us, and Donna was standing there smiling like it was all
planned. Turned out she‟s part of some weird hippy cult – this was my initiation
ceremony. I only managed to escape when they were distracted slaughtering the goat.
I ran halfway across Dorset starkers on the coldest night of the year. The last thing I
remember is scaring two old ladies outside a pasty shop before passing out – next
thing I knew I was being hauled from the channel by a fishing vessel bound for
Cherbourg. When we reached France the next day I was rushed to casualty to have the
halibut removed. We never spoke much after that.
Claire: See, you‟re expecting too much. You‟re after a girl who‟s perfect, and she
doesn‟t exist. Sooner or later you‟re going to have to lower your standards.
Neil: That‟s where you‟re wrong. Girls like that do exist, because I know a girl who‟s
perfect in every way. She‟s kind, thoughtful, beautiful, intelligent, witty… how can I
settle for less when I know there are girls like her in the world?
Claire: Sounds like she‟s the one then! You should be out there pursuing her now.
Neil: It‟s not that simple.
Claire: She has a boyfriend?
Neil: No, she‟s single just like me.
Claire: Ah, it‟s a distance thing, is it? She lives on the other side of the world?
Neil: On the contrary, she couldn‟t be much closer.
Claire: Then she doesn‟t care about you?
Neil: More than anyone, I‟d say.
Claire: Then what‟s the problem?
Neil (giving her a ‘haven’t you worked it out yet?’ look): She‟s my sister.
Claire: Neil… you know that I feel for you just as strongly as you feel for me, but it
can never be between us. You‟re my half-brother. There are laws, conventions…
Neil: Oh, I know that, but my god Claire, if you weren‟t my sister…
Claire: Yes? What would you do?
Neil: I‟d put my arms around you like this (does so), and then I‟d…
He leans in to kiss her. As he’s about to do so the door burst open and Chris enters in
his long johns, screaming. Neil and Claire throw themselves apart in guilt and
Chris: There‟s a tiger in the bathroom!
Neil jumps up and taking Chris by the arm guides him to the sofa.
Neil: Come on, Dad. Let‟s sit you down.
Chris: There‟s a… in the bathroom… a tiger… there‟s a bathroom in the tiger! In the
tiger there‟s a bathroom!
Neil: Calm down, Dad. It‟s just your imagination.
Chris: No it isn‟t, it‟s a tiger!
Claire: You‟d better go and have a look. It‟s the only thing that will convince him.
Neil: Right, back in a second. Try to calm him down.
Neil exits and Claire tries to put her arm around Chris comfortingly without actually
touching him since he’s only wearing his long johns, and ends up just patting his arm.
Claire: It‟s okay, Dad. Breathe deeply. There‟s not a tiger in the bathroom, is there?
It‟s just another one of your hallucinations.
Chris: Yes, you‟re right, you‟re right. I‟m sorry, I‟m a silly old man, aren‟t I? I don‟t
know why you put up with me.
Claire: Nonsense. You‟re lovely – it‟s not your fault that you sometimes see things
that aren‟t there.
Chris: You‟re too good to me, Claire. How did your date go?
Claire: Not well.
Chris: I‟m sorry to hear that, but try not to be downhearted. Somewhere out there
(waving vaguely towards the door Neil walked out of) is a boy who‟s perfect for you.
Claire: Yes, I know there is.
Chris: You might not be able to see him now, but one day he‟s going to walk into
your life and he‟ll say-
Neil enters through the door he left by
Claire (turning round quickly and answering emotionally, caught up in the fantasy
painted by Chris): Yes?
Neil: There‟s a tiger in the bathroom.
Rich and Simon rock climbing.
Rich: So how did your date work out?
Simon: To be honest I think I made a bit of a fool of myself.
Rich: Really? That does surprise me.
Simon: It began well, but then it started to go downhill.
Rich: When did that happen?
Simon: About the time I arrived. I think she got quite annoyed with me by the end.
Rich: What makes you say that?
Simon: Mainly the way she got the waiter to beat me over the head with the wine
menu, then entered into a tirade about how I‟m the most useless, inept, socially
inadequate misfit she‟s ever had the misfortune to meet.
Rich: She‟s got you down to a tee, then.
Simon: Yes, I thought it was quite insightful.
Rich: So I take it this means you won‟t be seeing her again?
Simon: Oh, don‟t say that! I tell you, Rich, she‟s the most beautiful woman I‟ve ever
Rich: To be fair, you haven‟t known many. They usually run when they see you
Simon: Oh, but Claire‟s just amazing. I‟m not going to let her get away without a
Rich: Do you think you‟ve got much of a say in the matter?
Simon: I can win her back, don‟t you worry about that. I just need to make her realise
that I‟m the kind of intelligent, sophisticated, successful guy that a woman like her
Rich: And how are you going to achieve that?
Simon: I‟ll lie, obviously. I thought I might make out I‟m a high powered
businessman. Women can‟t get enough of that stuff – it‟s just a matter of carrying a
copy of the FT and talking intelligently about oil stock.
Rich: You don‟t look the type to know much about oil stock. Woodstock maybe, but
not oil stock. Anyway, if you‟re pretending to be this rich oil tycoon, she‟s going to
expect you to turn up in a Bentley and take her for lunch at the Ritz. I don‟t know
what you earn shovelling horse poo, but I‟m guessing that would constitute living
beyond your means.
Simon: Yes, I see what you mean. It‟s a tricky one, isn‟t it?
They reach a plateau and scramble onto it
Rich: I need a break. Shall we stop for lunch?
Simon: Good idea. What have we got?
Rich: Why are you asking me? You‟re the one in charge of supplies.
Simon: Am I?
Simon: It‟s your turn, isn‟t it?
Rich: Never mind whose turn it is, you volunteered on the phone!
Simon: Ah, no, I wasn‟t so much volunteering as raising awareness of the issue. I was
under the impression that you were going to do the actual providing.
Rich: So we haven‟t got any food?
Simon: It does rather look that way.
Rich: This is great! This is just great! We‟re halfway up a mountain and you‟re telling
me we‟ve got nothing to eat? No way! Forget it! I‟m not going all the way back down
without sustenance of one form or another!
Simon: It doesn‟t look like you‟ve got much choice. I could try ordering a pizza but I
don‟t think they deliver to places that can‟t be reached without crampons.
Rich: Well there must be something edible on this godforsaken rock.
Rich looks around and his eyes rest on the sheep grazing innocently around them.
The same plateau. Simon’s now sitting on the edge facing the camera, which is
apparently suspended in space. Behind him are lots of sheep. Rich is nowhere to be
seen at first, but as Simon talks Rich keeps running past behind him, wielding a flint,
trying unsuccessfully to kill sheep.
Simon: It‟s just such a frustrating situation, you see. I know that Claire and I are
perfect for one another, and we‟ll be so happy together one day, but she can‟t quite
see that yet. You can‟t blame her, of course – she‟s not to know that my seeming lack
of social grace is simply the manifestation of nervousness brought on by the fact that I
love her and want to have her babies. Well, it‟s probably best that she has my babies,
really, but we can discuss that later. First I need to make her realise what a good catch
I am. I know! I‟ll pretend to be a movie star! I‟ve seen how dreamy girls go over Brad
Pitt. If it works for him there‟s no reason why it wouldn‟t work for me too. Yeah, I
reckon I could do a pretty convincing movie star. (puts on posh actor voice) I was
talking to dear Dicky Attenborough the other day and he said to me “Darling,” he
said, he said “Darling, what question do you get asked most often?” and I said to him
“Well Dicky, it‟s funny you should ask me that. Being a famous movie star I‟m often
stopped in the street, and the question I get asked most often is: „What question do
you get asked most often?‟ To which I reply: „What question do you get asked most
often?‟. At that point people usually ask me what question I get asked most often
apart from „What question do you get asked most often?‟, and the answer to that is
„Which way to the post office?‟. My response varies by the day – sometimes I‟ll reply
(pointing to his right) „It‟s down there on the left‟, but other days – when I happen to
be going in the other direction – I‟ll say (pointing to his left) „It‟s down there on the
right‟. Or sometimes I‟ll simply turn around and say (pointing to his right) „It‟s down
there on the left‟, and I think that tells you a lot about the acting profession.” (looks
round and realises Rich is chasing sheep in the distance) You‟re not listening to a
word of this, are you?
Simon stands up and goes over to Rich who now gives up trying to kill sheep. His
clothes are dishevelled and covered in foliage.
Simon: I‟ve worked it out. I‟m going to tell her I‟m a movie star.
Rich: Won‟t she wonder why she‟s never heard of you?
Simon: I wouldn‟t. I‟ve not been to the cinema for years.
Rich: Neither have I, but we‟re not normal. Let‟s face it, you‟re fighting a losing
battle. Claire‟s a classy lady – from what you‟ve told me, she‟s beautiful, clever,
dynamic, successful, articulate – whereas you – and you‟ll forgive me for not mincing
words – are the human equivalent of a turd. Do you honestly think for one second that
you stand a hope in hell of persuading even the dimmest intelligence that you even
come close to approaching being in the same league as she is?
Simon: Well I can‟t just give up. I love her, I tell you!
Rich: I‟m not suggesting that you give up, merely that you‟re going about it all
wrong. Look – how long do you think it took to sculpt the Venus de Milo?
Simon: I dunno, how long?
Rich: Well I don‟t know, do I? I‟m an accountant, not an art historian. The point is it
must‟ve taken months, but give me five minutes with a mallet and I‟d smash it to bits.
Simon: Yeah? Lucky you didn‟t get that job as night watchman at the museum then.
Rich: What I‟m saying is that it‟s much more difficult to create than it is to destroy.
Instead of trying to build yourself up to her level – an exercise we all know is futile
and doomed to failure – don‟t you think it would be easier to bring her down to
Simon: You mean…
Rich: Lose her job. Alienate her friends. Destroy her self confidence. Wipe her bank
account. Turn her into a sad, penniless, lonely, gibbering, pitiful excuse for a human
being – in other words, you. Make her someone with so little to offer that you really
are the best she can get.
Simon: Rich, I‟m shocked. That‟s the most cynical, manipulative, obnoxious, self-
centred idea I‟ve ever heard. It‟s brilliant! Let‟s do it!
A street somewhere in Portsmouth. Rich and Simon are walking along. It’s raining
quite heavily. Rich is wearing a brown/ginger wig.
Simon: I‟ve been thinking about your idea.
Rich: What idea?
Simon: Your idea to systematically destroy aspects of Claire‟s life until she‟s so
reduced in status that she considers me a suitable match.
Rich: Oh, that idea.
Simon: It‟s fantastic – the more I consider it, the more convinced I am that it could
work! I do have one concern, though – you don‟t think it‟s a tad immoral, do you?
Rich: Immoral? Don‟t be ridiculous! All‟s fair in love and weird, freaky obsessions,
or whatever the hell this is.
Simon: Good, that‟s what I figured. I‟ve got a plan. What I was thinking is – by the
way, what the hell is that on your head?
Rich: Oh, you noticed that did you?
Simon: How could I not? It looks like you‟re being humped by a squirrel.
Rich: It looks great and you know it.
Simon: I thought you‟d decided wigs were too expensive?
Rich: I got this from a costume shop. Turns out stage wigs are a fraction of the price.
Simon: Why‟s that, do you reckon?
Rich: How do I know? Supply and demand, I suppose.
Simon: There must be a catch. I bet the hair starts falling out in a fortnight.
Rich: Rubbish. The guy in the shop said it‟ll last me years. Apparently Dustin
Hoffman‟s had one of these for a decade.
Simon: Dustin Hoffman wears a wig?
Rich: No, he uses it to polish his Oscars. Anyway, you said you‟ve got a plan.
Simon: So I did. I think we should start by getting her sacked from her job.
Rich: Sounds good. What are you going to do?
Simon: Ah, well the thing is, my plan requires someone she doesn‟t know.
Rich: Don‟t get me involved in this!
Simon: Oh, come on, you‟ll be great!
Rich: Forget it! I might have suggested it but I never agreed to play any part.
Simon: But who else could pull it off if not the love meister himself? The world
expert in matters of the heart?
Rich: Oh… alright then. What do you want me to do?
Simon: That‟s the spirit! What I want you to do is this…
Now a sequence to music. Something like Foxtrot by Charlie Chaplin would be good.
We begin with an external shot of the marina office. It’s still raining. Cut to an
internal shot of the same – Claire’s sitting at her desk typing away at the computer.
We hear a door open and she looks up – her boss Henry has just come out of his
Henry (unpleasantly): I‟m going to the bank. Don‟t mess anything up while I‟m gone.
Claire: No, sir.
Henry exits. Cut back to the external shot and we he see him get on his bike and ride
off, as a car pulls up. Rich steps out – he’s still wearing his wig, but it’s now much
more ginger and much more full-bodied and curly. He walks up to the office and
enters. We cut back to the interior shot. Claire looks up as he enters. Music ends.
Claire: Can I help you?
Rich (putting on a posh businessman voice): Good day to you, young lady. My
name‟s Laurence Pereira.
Claire (hastily tidying her desk): Pereira? You must be the billionaire businessman
behind the Watery Queen!
Rich: That I am, but let‟s not make a song and dance of it, there‟s a dear. I just
thought I‟d pop by and take a look at the old girl before she toddles on her way. All
quite informal, no need to stand to attention.
Claire: Oh, well, it‟s very nice to meet you. I‟m Claire, Mr Pereira.
Rich: Laurence, please. The pleasure‟s all mine, Claire. (shakes her hand)
Claire: Gosh, I‟ve never met a billionaire before!
Rich: We‟re just like everyone else, I assure you. I get to stick fatter packets through
the slot in my piggy bank, but underneath we‟re all the same.
Claire: Well, if ever you want to stick your fat packet in my slot, you‟re welcome!
Oh, I‟m sorry, I didn‟t mean-
Rich: It‟s quite alright, my dear, I know what you meant.
Claire: I don‟t want you to take me the wrong way.
Rich: Don‟t you? What a pity.
Claire: Can I get you a cup of tea Mr, er, Laurence?
Rich: Would you, sweetie? That‟d be just smashing!
Claire turns away and busies herself making tea. While her back’s turned, Rich sits at
her computer and starts typing and clicking furtively. He keeps glancing round to
make sure she’s not looking.
Claire: I must say, Mr, er, Laurence, you‟re very young for a billionaire.
Rich: Oh well I made my fortune early on in life.
Claire: How did you do it?
Rich: Oh, I‟m sure you‟re not interested in the tedious details of how I made my first
Claire turns around quickly and Rich hastily moves his hands away from the
keyboard and pretends to be playing with an executive toy on the desk, which he
Claire: No, really, I am.
Rich: Oh, well, if you insist! (Claire turns back to the tea and Rich puts down the
destroyed toy and carries on typing) You see it occurred to me that the Royal Mail
charge for postage by weight. So I purchased a hundred balloons, filled them up with
helium, and posted them to completely random addresses! Naturally with the balloons
being lighter than air the postal service was obliged to pay me for the privilege of
delivering them, and I made quite a tidy packet! Only problem was the cost of the
balloons ate into my profits awfully. That was when I had my second brilliant idea.
Claire: What was that?
Rich: I addressed the last balloon to myself. Didn‟t need to buy any more – just kept
posting the same one! Of course they realised what I was up to in the end and said I
couldn‟t do it any more, but I‟d made a nice fat sum which I invested wisely and the
rest is history!
Rich presses the Enter key with a flourish to indicate that he’s finished what he was
doing just as Claire turns around with the tea and brings it over to him. She perches
on the edge of the desk as they both drink.
Claire: It all sounds very clever. I wish I could think of things like that.
Rich: Do you have any capital, my dear?
Claire: Only a little by your standards…
Rich: It only takes a little. Invest it wisely, like I did.
Claire: I‟d love to, but I don‟t have much of a business head I‟m afraid. I wouldn‟t
know where to start.
Rich: Well… I shouldn‟t tell you this really, but you‟re such a pretty girl I can‟t help
myself! Now would be a very good time to invest heavily in the Pereira Line.
Rich: Oh, absolutely. We‟ve just sunk a billion constructing the Watery Queen, y‟see,
which has had quite an impact on the share price, but once she starts taking on
Claire: Yes, I see!
Rich: My advice to you is to invest your every last penny in the Pereira Line before
it‟s too late. Opportunities like this don‟t come around every day!
Claire: I will do, at once! Thank you Mr Pereira… I mean Laurence. It‟s good of you
to be so honest with me.
Rich: Oh, we must always be honest, don‟t you think? If you can‟t trust a complete
stranger with a magnificent head of hair, who can you trust?
Cut back to an external shot and the music starts again. Another car pulls up beside
Rich’s. Simon gets out, climbs onto the bonnet and lies back. Henry returns on his
bike, cycles past Simon’s car and up to the office, where he gets off his bike and
enters as Rich comes out. Cut to an interior shot and Henry walks past Claire’s desk
towards his office.
Henry: I‟m back. Have you messed anything up?
Claire (making a brief and unsuccessful attempt to put the executive toy back
together): No sir.
Henry: You‟d better not.
He disappears into his office. Cut back outside and Rich approaches Simon, who’s
regarding his wig with amusement. Music ends
Rich: Simon! Thought you‟d come and see how I got on, did you?
Simon: You know, I think I‟ve worked out why your wig was so cheap.
Rich: Needless to say, I pulled it off brilliantly.
Simon: The thing about theatrical wigs, of course, is that they‟re designed for use in
Rich: She fell for it hook, line and sinker.
Simon: As a general rule, theatres are pretty dry.
Rich: What the hell are you talking about?
Simon: Oh, I was just wondering what effect rain might have on cheap wigs.
Rich: Well if you were listening to me you‟d have heard that everything went off
splendidly. Now I think I‟d better make myself scarce before it all blows up. See you
Simon: Okay, bye.
The music starts again. Rich gets in his car and drives off. We hear a roar of anger
from Henry an the music stops abruptly, followed by a tirade of screaming. A few
seconds later Claire burst out of the office in tears and runs across the car park.
Simon jumps to his feet and accosts her as she nears.
Simon: Claire! What‟s the matter?
Claire (blubbing): I‟ve just been sacked!
Simon: Oh my god! That‟s awful! What happened?
Claire: My boss says I sent him an abusive email but I didn‟t!
Simon: I am sorry.
Claire: I don‟t understand how it can have happened. It‟s almost as though someone‟s
been sending emails from my computer!
Simon: It does sound a bit like that, doesn‟t it. How odd. What did the email say?
Claire: He says I called him the spawn of an unmarried warthog with the brains of a
half-witted wombat and the sex appeal of a bulldog‟s rear end.
Simon: Yes, I can see why he took it badly. Would you like to talk about it? Let me
take you out to dinner tonight and we can have a chat.
Claire: No, I‟ll be fine, really. Anyway, I have a date tonight.
Simon: You do? With who?
Claire: Oh, just a chap I met earlier. Look, thanks for being sympathetic, but I just
need to go home and have a cry.
Simon: Ah, yes, good idea. Go on home and have a good old weep. Do you no end of
good. Bye Claire!
She gets in her car and drives off
Simon: Putty in my hands!
Claire’s house. We open on a close up of the TV – a reporter’s standing in front of the
Reporter: …sets sail on her maiden voyage in just two days‟ time.
Cut out to the room and Chris is sitting on the sofa watching it. Neil comes in with a
couple of beers, hands one to Chris and sits beside him.
Neil: Where‟s Claire?
Chris: Getting ready for her date. Still very upset about losing her job, of course.
Claire enters. She’s dressed for her date and reasonably composed, but she’s
obviously been crying and her eyes are still watery. Chris gets up and goes over to
Chris: How are you feeling, Claire?
Claire: I‟m fine, really.
Chris: Try not to think about being sacked.
Claire: Yes, I‟m trying.
As Chris talks, his bleak vision of life post-sacking makes her more and more upset
until by the end she’s barely holding back the tears.
Chris: Being sacked isn‟t that bad. I was sacked from my job at the morgue after a
misunderstanding involving a dead midget, a ventriloquist‟s dummy and a
watermelon, but it wasn‟t that big a deal. Well, obviously it was – Neil‟s mother left
me, the house was repossessed and we had to move in with your Aunt Pandora, who
was so off her head with cocaine that she kept trying to inject herself with Neil‟s
sherbet dips. That was when I turned to drink – one morning I woke up lying in the
gutter, with my face in a pool of vomit and a tattoo of Valerie Singleton on my left
buttock. I knew then that I couldn‟t go on, so I went back to Aunt Pandora‟s
eighteenth floor flat, walked out onto the balcony, and jumped. The window cleaner
on the fifteenth floor didn‟t know what hit him. He was in hospital for weeks, the poor
guy. Horrible times. Horrible. And all because I lost my job. Still, don‟t let it get to
you. You‟ve got a date with a billionaire! How about that, eh?
Claire (wailing miserably): I know! It‟s really exciting!
Chris: Isn‟t it great?
Claire (wailing even more): Yes I‟m so happy!
Chris gives her a hug
Chris: There, there. Pull yourself together, eh?
Claire wipes her nose and eyes on his shirt and releases herself from his grip, looking
a little more composed.
Chris: Is that better?
Claire: Yes, I‟ll be okay.
Chris: Good. You go out on your date and have a lovely time.
Claire: I will do. See you both later.
Picks up her keys and heads towards the door
Chris: And don‟t think about the fact that you‟ve been sacked.
Claire lets out a bit of a wail at the thought and leaves the house.
Claire’s house, exterior. Claire comes out of the house, gets in her car and drives
away. We see Simon’s car pull out, with him in it, and follow her.
Another restaurant. Claire enters to be greeted by a very camp waiter.
Claire: Table for two, please.
Waiter: Certainly, madam.
He leads her across the room to a table at the other side. Claire sits down and starts
reading the menu. Simon then enters, looking very furtive, and immediately ducks
down behind a potted plant. He then darts across the room, pausing to hide behind
everything in sight, overdoing the whole stealth thing. He ends up in sight of Claire’s
table and watches from behind a potted plant. Rich now enters – his wig is even
redder and curlier than before, making him look like a clown. He looks around, spots
Claire, walks across and sits down. Simon looks horrified that Rich is the guy she’s
We cut to a close up of the table as Rich sits down. Claire looks somewhat surprised
by his hair.
Claire: Laurence! Hi!
Rich (doing his billionaire voice again): Good evening, my dear! Delightful to see
you again! Sorry I‟m a bit late – been in a meeting with the manager of my bank.
Apparently I‟ve filled it up. Dreadful nuisance, but these things happen when you‟re
as rich as I am!
Claire: How awful.
Rich: Oh, it is, it is. Shall we order some drinks? (attracts the attention of the very
Claire: I‟d like a Bloody Mary, please.
Waiter: And for sir?
Rich: Could I have a Turtle Shooter?
Waiter (looking at his watch): Well I don‟t finish my shift until nine, but if you want
to go through to the back room-
Rich: Just get me a beer.
Waiter: As you wish, sir. (with a cheeky wink) I‟ll make it a double.
The waiter leaves and Rich, looking slightly discomfited by his obvious flirtation,
turns back to Claire and quickly regains his composure.
Rich: You smell wonderful my dear. What is that exotic scent?
Claire: I was weed on by a tiger. A few days ago, but it lingers.
Rich: How marvellously creative! As a billionaire one occasionally misses that need
Claire: I must say, I'm surprised that a man as wealthy as you is interested in a girl
Rich: My dear, it makes a welcome change. Most women are intimidated by my
staggering good looks and fantastic wealth.
Claire: Oh, I'm not intimidated at all. I'm very comfortable with your wealth.
Rich: Have you thought any more about investing in the Pereira Line?
Claire: It's tempting, but I'm wary of investing everything.
Rich: It's a very sound concern, I assure you.
Claire: But what if something terrible happened to the ship?
Rich: My dear, that's quite unthinkable.
Claire: That's what they said about the Titanic. It still thunk.
Cut to Simon, peering out from behind the potted plant.
Simon: I can‟t believe it! What the hell does he think he‟s doing? When I get my
hands on him…
Sam, a small child aged approximately three and a half, runs up and bumps into
Simon: Will you mind where you‟re… (looks round and, observing Sam’s youth,
changes his tone) Oh, hello little man! What are you doing back here?
Sam: Hiding from my daddy.
Simon: Is he the chap with the blancmange on his head? Yes, he does look a bit
annoyed. You stay here with me and watch Bozo the clown over there. In fact, hold
the fort – I‟m going in.
Simon exits stealthily, and we cut back to Rich and Claire.
Rich: So how did the tiger get into the bathroom?
Claire: Well, it turns out our neighbours are operating an illegal tiger smuggling
cartel. They were keeping it in the shed but Mrs Jenkins across the road was
suspicious about the antelope carcasses they kept leaving out for the bin men, so she
called in the police. When our neighbours saw the panda outside they panicked and
hid the tiger in the attic.
Rich: They were smuggling pandas as well?
Claire: I mean the police car.
Rich: Oh I see.
Simon pops up in the background, having snuck up and watching now from very close
Claire: Our attics are conjoined, and the tiger wandered over into ours, apparently
attracted by the familiarity of the old elephant foot umbrella stand. It just so happened
that the trapdoor was open, so it leapt down onto the landing and thence made its way
to the bathroom, where it sat happily munching the soap until it was discovered.
The camp waiter comes back with their drinks. Simon hides.
Waiter: Here we are, a Bloody Mary for the lady and a beer for sir.
Claire: Thank you.
Waiter (leaning down to Rich): Love the hair. Very continental.
Waiter exits and Simon pops back up cautiously
Claire: It seemed somewhat annoyed to be disturbed, and my brother was forced to
fend it off with an assault of hairspray, shampoo, talcum powder and – when all else
failed – a hail of eyeliner pencils, while my dad called for assistance from the
RSPCA. By the time they arrived it was very angry, but immaculately groomed.
Rich: What a charming story. You‟re quite unlike the girls I usually date.
Claire: And you‟re nothing like the guys I usually date.
Rich: In a good way, I hope?
Claire: Oh, completely! The last guy was a total freak. (Simon looks rather offended,
increasingly so as she continues)
Rich: Really? Do tell me about him. I could do with a laugh.
Claire: Oh, he was an idiot. I‟ve never met anyone so terminally incapable of opening
his mouth without making a fool of himself. I wouldn‟t say this to his face, of course,
but the guy stands about as much chance of establishing a long term relationship as
Adolf Hitler stood of winning the Berlin regional finals of the Least Stupid
Moustache Awards 1939. Excuse me, I must just go and powder my nose. Back in a
Claire exits and Rich takes up his drink. Once Claire’s out of sight, Simon emerges
Simon: Just what do you think you‟re up to?
Rich splutters his drink across the room in surprise
Rich: What the hell are you doing here?
Simon: I might ask you the same thing! Some friend you are, dating my bird behind
Rich: Your bird? Last time you went out together she had you beaten up by the
Simon: He didn‟t beat me up! He just bashed me about a bit.
Rich: She never wanted to see you again! “a total freak”, she just called you! “an
Simon: Yes, alright-
Rich: “I‟ve never met anyone so terminally incapable of opening his mouth without
making a fool of himself”!
Simon: Yes, but we had a plan, remember? Destroy her life so I‟m the best she can
get. Not „get off with her by pretending to be a billionaire businessman who looks like
he‟s about to break into a chorus of It’s a Hard Knock Life‟!
Rich: Can I help it if women find me irresistible? She practically threw herself at my
feet. I could hardly turn her down, it would have broken her heart, the poor thing.
Simon: So this is it, is it? After all our years of friendship, you‟re going to end it over
a woman? After all the things I‟ve done for you!
Rich: What have you ever done for me?
Simon: I took you to the hospital after you were hit by that car!
Rich: Your car.
Simon: Well, you shouldn't have jumped out like that.
Rich: Jumped out? I couldn't jump out if I wanted to. I was still on crutches from the
time you pulled the ladder out from under me!
Simon: You were the one who told me to hold it.
Rich: I told you to hold it still, not yank it out so I can experience first hand the thrill
of breaking my legs.
Simon: I can't be blamed for that. Your dog was attacking me!
Rich: Oh, he was only playing!
Simon: Playing? I'm lucky I can still have children! Anyway, I don't know how you
lost your foothold. It was only a little jerk.
Rich: You're the only little jerk around here. Now clear off, here comes Claire!
Simon: Just don't think you've heard the last of this!
Rich: Oh, I'm sure I haven't!
Simon exits in the direction of the potted plant he was hiding behind originally, and
Claire: Sorry about that.
Rich: Quite alright, my dear. Shall we order some food?
Claire: Yes, good idea.
Claire picks up the menu, which just happens to have cartoon platypi on it
Claire: Why‟s it called a duck-billed platypus?
Rich: Why‟s what called a duck-billed platypus?
Claire: The duck-billed platypus.
Rich: Oh, I see. Well, because it‟s a platypus, with a duck‟s bill.
Claire: But surely it‟s a platypus with a platypus‟s bill?
Rich: But it‟s the shape of a duck‟s bill.
Claire: Well then it should be called the duck-shaped-billed platypus.
Rich: Wouldn‟t that mean the bill was the shape of an entire duck?
Claire: Oh, so it would.
Rich: What about the duck-bill-shaped platypus?
Claire: That‟s no good either – that implies that the entire platypus is the shape of a
Rich: Does it?
Rich: Oh dear.
Cut back to the potted plant. Sam’s still there, and now Simon joins him again
Simon: Can you believe his cheek? Dating my girl right under my nose! Granted, it‟s
only under my nose coz I‟m stalking her, but still… well, this means war. Let‟s see,
how can I split them up? Get Rich to fall in love with another woman! Good idea,
laddo, well suggested! Stay here… I‟m going outside to make a call.
Simon gets up and exits, and we cut back to Rich and Claire
Rich: So are we settled on duck-bill-shaped-billed platypus?
Claire: Yes, I think so.
Rich: Oh good.
Rich’s phone rings.
Rich: Would you excuse me? I‟d better take this. Probably an important business call.
Claire: Yes, of course.
Same restaurant, exterior. Rich and Simon are both standing there on the phone, with
a pillar or something between them. Rich’s phone is ringing. He answers it.
Simon (in a woman’s voice): Hello, is that the Portsmouth Association for Single and
Lonely Beauty Queens?
Rich: Sorry, I think you‟ve got the wrong number.
Simon: I do that all the time. I guess it‟s true what they say about us blondes being
Rich: Oh, I‟m sure that isn‟t true.
Simon: You don‟t know what I‟m like. Most mornings I forget to put my panties on.
Rich: Hardly! Just forgetful.
Simon: You have a very sexy voice. I could listen to it all day!
Rich: Why, thank you miss! I‟m sorry, what did you say your name was?
Simon: Oh, I‟m Moussaka.
Rich: That‟s a beautiful name, Moussaka. I‟m Rich.
Simon: Is that so? I‟m quite well off myself thanks to my Playboy centrefold.
Rich: No, no, Rich is my name.
Simon: Oh, how silly of me! Dumb, you see. I need a big, strong man to look after
Rich: If you‟re as beautiful as you sound, I‟m amazed men aren‟t queuing up to date
Simon: They are, but the men I meet in the glamour industry are good-for-nothing
jerks. I long to meet a man who‟s something thoughtful and creative, like a painter, or
Rich: I‟m an accountant.
Simon: You are? Oh, how dreamy! Rich, do you believe in destiny?
Rich: Oh I do!
Simon: So do I! I think I was destined to dial the wrong number, don‟t you?
Rich: No question about it!
Simon: Rich – I hope this isn‟t too forward – but when I‟m lying in bed tonight,
cuddling my beaver-
Rich: Your what?
Simon: I have a stuffed beaver called Muffy. Silly, I know, but when you don‟t have a
man to hold you have to make do. And tonight, when I‟m holding my Muffy, I‟ll be
dreaming of you.
Rich: And I of you!
Simon: Would you mind if I call you again some time? I get so lonely.
Rich: Please do! Any time!
Simon: Thank you, Rich. I will, I promise! Goodbye now.
Rich: Goodbye, Moussaka!
They both hang up. Rich stands there looking dreamily into the distance, holding his
phone to his heart.
Rich: Oh, Moussaka!
Back inside the restaurant. Rich enters, heading back towards the table, to be stopped
by the camp waiter stepping in his path.
Waiter: My, you‟re a frisky one! Been outside, have you?
Rich: Yes, just needed a spot of fresh air.
Waiter: Oh, I wish I‟d joined you. I could do with a few big gulps myself!
Rich (trying to get past): Do you mind?
Waiter: Ooh, that‟s the spirit! I like a man who can hold his own! If you fancy a
change, you‟re more than welcome to hold mine!
Rich: Look, my date‟s waiting for me.
Waiter: I don‟t know what you see in her. Women don‟t have the strength to provide
real satisfaction! Have you ever held a man in your arms? (throws his arms around
Rich) Have you ever run a hand down his chest? (runs a hand down Rich’s chest)
Have you ever kissed him hard on the lips? (goes to kiss Rich on the lips, but Rich
Rich: Have you ever had a smack in the face?
Rich smacks the waiter in the face and he topples backwards, preferably over a table
people are sitting at in a comedy manner. Rich dusts his hands and returns to his
Rich: Sorry about that, my dear.
Claire: That‟s alright. Was it important?
Rich: Just my old pal Bill. Wanted to know if I‟m interested in buying a little Seattle-
based software company of his.
Claire (wide eyed): Bill Gates?
Rich: Oh, do you know him?
Claire: Do you know, Laurence, you‟re becoming more attractive by the minute!
Rich: Why, thank you, Moussaka my dear!
Claire: I‟m sorry?
Rich: Er, I mean Claire.
Claire: And who the hell‟s Moussaka?
Rich: Did I say Moussaka? (hastily picks up the menu and makes a show of reading it)
I was just wondering what to have for my main course.
Claire: It‟s another woman, isn‟t it! You think you can get away with anything just
because someone‟s emptied a tin of spaghetti over your head!
Rich: Why does everyone keep making bizarre references to my hair?
Rich picks up a spoon and looks at himself in the back of it. He looks alarmed to see
what’s happened to his wig, pulls it off and reads the label on the inside
Rich: „Dry clean only‟.
Claire’s house, interior. She’s sitting at the table filling in a form. Neil enters.
Neil: Whatcha doin‟, sis?
Claire: Investing all my savings in the Pereira Line.
Neil: All of them? Are you sure that‟s wise? You shouldn‟t put all your eggs in one
Claire: You should if it‟s a super deluxe hermetically sealed dual bolted basket with
built in gyroscope and artificial gravity. Laurence Pereira was telling me – when the
Watery Queen sets sail, the publicity alone will see the share price rocket! I‟ll make a
Neil: As long as you know what you‟re doing.
Claire: Damn it!
Neil: What‟s the matter?
Claire: My pen‟s run out.
She throws the pen in the bin. We see a close up of the bin as the pen lands in it –
there’s a sealed envelope in there as well. Claire notices it too.
Claire (bending down and taking the envelope from the bin): What‟s this?
Neil: What‟s what?
Claire: This letter!
Neil: What letter?
Claire: The one in my hand!
Neil: What hand?
Claire: This is my application form to the dance academy! I thought you‟d posted
Neil: Ah, um, I meant to but-
Claire: But you thought you‟d just throw it away instead? You know how much that
means to me!
Neil: I‟m just not sure it‟s such a good idea.
Claire: What, you don‟t think I‟m good enough?
Neil: No, you‟re great Claire! You‟re a fantastic dancer!
Claire: Then why‟s it such a terrible idea?
Neil: It‟s just… that was just my feeling.
Claire: So you thought you‟d just throw it away? You weren‟t even going to tell me,
were you? You were going to leave me to assume when they didn‟t write back that I‟d
been turned down. Neil, dancing‟s my life, you know that! It‟s what I‟ve always
wanted to do, and you were just going to take that dream away from me! I think I
deserve an explanation, don‟t you?
Neil: You don‟t understand.
Claire: That‟s right, I don‟t understand! I thought that you loved me, Neil! I thought
you cared about me, and now you try to destroy the one thing I wanted more than
anything! What‟s the matter, are you jealous? Afraid that I might actually make
something of my life?
Neil: God, Claire, no! That isn‟t it at all!
Claire: Then what is it?
Neil: Look, I can‟t answer that. I‟m sorry.
Claire: I loved you, Neil, I trusted you! I thought you wanted me to be happy – you let
me think you did – and you‟ve betrayed me! You don‟t care about me at all, do you?
Neil (trying to hold her): Of course I do Claire!
Claire (pushing him away): Get your hands off me! Do you have any idea how much
you‟ve hurt me? Get out! I can‟t even look at you!
Neil: But Claire…
Claire: For god‟s sake, Neil, get out of the room! I hate you! Just… just leave me
Neil leaves. Claire sits down and looks miserable.
Rich’s boat. He has now discarded the wig. His phone’s ringing. He answers it.
For the rest of the scene we cut between Rich on his boat and Simon in his flat as they
Simon: Rich! How are you doing?
Rich: Now look here Simon, I‟ve got a bone to pick with you. Why didn‟t you tell me
what was happening to my wig?
Simon: Oh, was it not supposed to do that then?
Rich: Of course it wasn‟t supposed to do that! I looked like I‟d got a baby orang-utan
on my head! When I saw my reflection I thought I was being attacked by killer
Simon: Well, I was angry. You pinched my girlfriend.
Rich: No I didn‟t! We‟ve been over that, she wasn‟t your girlfriend, and I did nothing
of the sort. It‟s not my fault she finds me more attractive than you. She isn‟t blind.
Simon: Yes, well, it‟s water under the bridge now, isn‟t it.
Rich: Is it?
Simon: Of course.
Rich: You‟re not mad?
Simon: Not at all.
Rich: But I pinched your girlfriend.
Simon: True, but I‟m sure that as and when you leave her for another girl, you won‟t
mind me stepping back into the breach.
Rich: What makes you think I‟m going to leave her for another girl?
Simon: Call it women‟s intuition. Now listen, are you still up for climbing tomorrow?
Rich: Sure, as long as you don‟t forget the food again. That was a nightmare – I was
famished by the time we reached sea level.
Simon: I noticed. I still think you shouldn‟t have tried to eat that woman‟s dog.
Rich: I was delusional. I thought it was a knickerbocker glory. Anyway, it got away,
Simon: Not until you‟d licked off the fudge. Don‟t worry, I‟ll do a picnic this time.
I‟ll pick you up at eight, shall I?
Rich: Okay, see you then. Bye mate!
They hang up. Simon redials. Rich’s phone rings again. He answers it.
Simon (now doing his Moussaka voice): Rich? It‟s Moussaka.
Rich: Moussaka! I‟ve been waiting for you to call!
Simon: Oh, Rich, it‟s so wonderful to hear your voice! How have you been?
Rich: I‟ve been great! I can‟t stop thinking about you – Moussaka, when can we
Simon: Not yet – I‟ve just come out of a painful relationship and I need time to
Rich: How awful! What happened?
Simon: I found out something terrible about my boyfriend. Apparently he was dating
another woman before we met, and continued to see her behind my back.
Rich: The cad!
Simon: He claimed that he was going to leave her. I wouldn‟t have minded if he‟d just
been honest about it – I can‟t bear men keeping secrets from me.
Rich: Moussaka… there‟s something I should tell you.
Simon: Oh yes?
Rich: Yes, you see, the thing is, I‟m dating another girl.
Rich: She means nothing to me, I swear.
Simon: You must leave her, Rich. I get very jealous of other women stealing my men.
Rich: Yes, of course, I‟ll dump her the next time we meet.
Simon: Oh, I‟m so glad!
Rich: Then can I meet you?
Simon: Yes, dump this girl and then we can meet.
Rich: I can‟t wait! I‟m dying to see your face – you couldn‟t send me a picture, could
Simon: A picture, of me? Er… yes, of course, I can do that. (sitting down at the PC,
he gets up Google image search and types ‘pretty woman’ in the search box) I‟ve got
some old snaps lying around – nothing amazing, but they should give you the general
idea. Give me your email address and I‟ll get one off to you right away.
Rich: Thank you Moussaka! I can‟t wait to find out what you look like!
Simon (clicking on the Search button): Neither can I…
Simon and Rich rock climbing
Rich: It‟s great, isn‟t it?
Rich: Life. Isn‟t it just the greatest invention in the history of the whole world?
Simon: It has its moments, I suppose.
Rich: It‟s the best thing ever is what it is!
Simon: You‟re in a very good mood today.
Rich: Oh, I am! Simon, I‟m in love!
Simon: Is that so?
Rich: I‟ve met the most amazing woman! Well, I say met – we‟ve only talked on the
phone so far, but she‟s sent me a picture. Take a look.
Rich produces the photo Simon emailed to him, and hands it to Simon. They’re far
enough apart on the rock face that this is a difficult manoeuvre, and preferably
involves them swinging on their ropes. We don’t see the picture.
Simon: Yes, very nice.
Rich: Nice? She‟s the best thing ever!
Simon: I thought life was the best thing ever?
Rich: She‟s a model.
Simon: Really? She looks almost lifelike.
Rich: Have you ever been in love? I mean real love, where your heart beats ten times
faster, your temperature goes sky high, you can‟t eat, you sweat buckets just thinking
Simon: That‟s not love, that‟s TB. You want to be careful, that‟s what killed off the
Rich: I thought that was an asteroid?
Simon: The Bronte sisters, not the brontosaurus. You know - one of them wrote
Rich: But they only had tiny brains.
They reach a plateau
Simon: That‟s all you need in Yorkshire. Shall we stop for lunch?
Rich: You remembered the food, then?
Simon: Of course! Let‟s see, it‟s in here somewhere.
Simon opens his rucksack and starts to take things out. First sensible climbing gear,
followed by some more bizarre things. Eventually he gets to the bottom, and produces
the battered remains of sandwiches that constitute their lunch.
Simon: I probably shouldn‟t have packed them first.
Rich: You really are hopeless, aren‟t you? No wonder Claire dumped you.
Simon: About that – now that you‟re in love with someone else, I presume you‟ll be
splitting up with Claire?
Rich: Of course. She means nothing to me now.
Simon: Good – then could you do me a favour? When you dump her, make out it‟s
because she‟s so stupid, so dull, so obnoxious, so unpleasant, that you can‟t bear to be
near her. Really drive home what a truly awful, undesirable person she is, to the point
that her confidence is completely destroyed.
Rich: Ah, phase two of Operation Ruin Her Life?
Simon: Yep, we‟ve lost her job, now to lose her self-esteem.
Rich: No problem. I‟m seeing her tomorrow – we‟re going to a concert then I‟m
taking her up the lake.
Simon: You‟re taking her up the what? Oh, the lake.
Rich: I‟m planning to dump her while we‟re there. You can come and watch if you
Simon: I can‟t tomorrow – I‟ll be dressed as a chicken collecting money for charity.
Rich: What charity?
Simon: Save the Rainforest.
Rich: Do they have chickens in the rainforest then?
Simon: I wanted a parrot but this was the closest I could get at short notice. It‟s my
dad‟s idea – if we make enough he wants to buy a bidet.
Rich: That‟s not going to save the rainforest!
Simon: You haven‟t seen how much bog roll he gets through.
The car park beside the lake. Rich’s car pulls up – he and Claire are inside.
Rich: I hope you enjoyed the concert, my dear.
Claire: Yes, on the whole. I didn‟t think the overture was very good, but it picked up
Rich: That wasn‟t an overture, they were tuning their instruments.
Claire: Well anyway I had a wonderful time. Thank you.
They lean towards one another to kiss but their seatbelts lock before their heads are
close enough together.
Rich: These damn seatbelts lock too easily.
They both jerk backwards and forwards, trying to release the belts, but they keep
locking. After a while Claire stops and calmly unbuckles her seatbelt while Rich
continues to jerk with increasing furiousity. Claire leans in slowly to kiss him as Rich
does a particularly violent jerk and headbangs her. She flies backwards onto the floor
and Rich, realising what happens, stops jerking and removes his own seatbelt.
Rich: I‟m sorry, my dear! Are you alright?
Claire: My head! I think I‟m bleeding!
Rich: Let‟s get you some fresh air.
Rich opens his door, lifts up Claire and rather awkwardly pulls her across the car
and out, letting her drop onto the ground. All the while she’s making occasional
exclamations of pain.
Rich: There, you‟ll be fine in a minute.
He steps over her and shuts the car door.
Claire (face down in the gravel): Thank you, you look after me well. I‟m so lucky to
Rich: Yes, well, enjoy it while you can, eh? Shall we go for a walk?
He grabs her by her collar and pulls her to her feet. He walks off and she staggers,
dazedly, behind him.
The lake. Rich and Claire are walking along beside it.
Claire: I invested all my money in the Pereira Line like you suggested. I can‟t wait for
the share price to rocket – it will be wonderful to be rich like you are!
Rich: Money won‟t buy you happiness, my dear.
Claire: No, but it will buy me a Lamborghini. Besides, I already have happiness, since
I met you. I‟ve been through so much recently – I lost my job, my brother‟s been
beastly – you‟ve been fantastic. I don‟t know what I‟d do without you.
Rich: Really? That‟s a shame. Claire… there‟s no easy way to say this… well,
actually there is: I‟m dumping you.
Claire: You‟re… but we were so happy!
Rich: Well, no, you were happy, I was just a teensy bit bored. Don‟t take it
personally, Claire, it‟s just that you‟re the dullest person I‟ve ever met.
Claire: I‟m not dull! People love me!
Rich: Are you sure they don‟t just say that because they feel sorry for you?
Claire: Why would anyone feel sorry for me?
Rich: Oh, well, I wouldn‟t like to say.
Claire (fiercely): Well you‟re gonna.
Rich: It‟s just that you‟re so… how can I put this? …ugly.
Claire: I‟m not ugly! Am I?
Rich: Perhaps that‟s putting it a bit strongly. If you were a baboon, you‟d be very
attractive. And what with your inane conversation, tedious sense of humour and utter
lack of personality, it‟s no wonder people pity you. Like I did.
Claire: You mean… you never loved me at all?
Rich: I felt a certain affection for you. Much as you would a three legged donkey with
a cleft palette. It‟s a sort of charity, I suppose.
Claire (almost in tears): Laurence, I really didn‟t need to hear that right now.
Everything‟s going wrong in my life… you‟re the one person keeping me together.
Rich: Oh dear, that is a pity. Well, goodbye! I‟d say it was nice knowing you, but
obviously it wasn‟t.
Claire fights back tears and runs off. Rich watches her leave happily.
Rich: Well, that went well!
A large man who was in the vicinity all along approaches Rich.
Dave (for that is his name): I saw that.
Dave: The way you was talking to that girl. You was bang out of order.
Rich: Ah, no, you don‟t understand. It‟s all part of the master plan, you see.
Frank (Dave’s mate): Yeah, you was saying all sorts of horrid things! We don‟t like
blokes who treat girls like that, do we Dave?
Dave: No we don‟t, Frank. Do we, Clyde?
Clyde (Dave’s other mate): No, we don‟t, Dave.
Frank: Shut it, Clyde.
Dave: Let‟s deck him!
Frank, Dave and Clyde set upon Rich.
Rich: What? No! Get off! Look, you don‟t under – ouch! – you don‟t understand!
There‟s a – do you mind? – there‟s a plan, you see, we‟re trying to destroy her life so
she‟ll go out with my mate. Actually it sounds quite bad when you put it like that, but
– will you watch where you‟re putting your fist? (The three men begin to pick him up
by the head and ankles) Hey, what are you doing? Put me down! I don‟t like the way
this is going! (They start to swing him backwards and forwards) Don‟t do this!
What‟s going on? I want my lawyer! Do it to him instead! Help!
They throw him in the lake
Dave: That‟ll teach him for messing with my bird.
Clyde: She wasn‟t your bird.
Frank: Shut it, Clyde.
Claire’s house. Claire enters, banging the door behind her, and sits on the sofa. She’s
miserable, and trying not to cry. After a few moments Neil enters and sees the state
Neil: Claire! What‟s wrong?
Claire: Leave me alone.
Neil: You‟re upset. I want to help.
Claire: Well I don‟t want your help!
Neil: This is still about your application form, isn‟t it?
Claire: No, it‟s not about the stupid form. If you must know, Laurence has dumped
Neil: Oh, Claire, I‟m sorry.
Claire: You, sorry? That‟s a fine way to talk after what you‟ve done!
Neil: It is about the application form.
Claire: How could you just toss it in the bin? That was my future. I despise you for
treating me this way!
Neil: God, Claire, please don‟t say that! Look – I care about you more than anyone. I
always have. And you‟re right, I shouldn‟t have thrown it away. I did a stupid thing.
But you have to believe me, Claire – I did it for you. I really did. All I ever wanted
was for you to be happy.
Claire: That‟s a funny way of making me happy!
Neil: I know. I got it wrong. I can‟t tell you how sorry I am, really I can‟t. But Claire,
I care about you so much – I can‟t handle you thinking of me so poorly. I just want
you to forgive me so we can go back to the way we were.
Claire: Forgive you? After this?
Neil: Fine, don‟t forgive me, but please, don‟t hate me! I did it because I love you!
Yes, I was stupid, yes, I was thoughtless, yes, I was spectacularly idiotic, and hate me
for all those reasons if you have to, but I beg you, don‟t hate me for willingly causing
you pain, because I would never do that. I care about you so much, Claire. I‟d rather
die than lose your love.
Claire: I see. I understand now exactly why you did it. You were afraid to lose me –
you were terrified that I‟d go off to the dance academy and you‟d be here on your
own with Dad. You couldn‟t bear to be without me so you weren‟t going to let me go.
Well that‟s not love, Neil. If you loved me you‟d want me to be everything I can be,
to do everything I can do. You just wanted to keep me here like a bird in a cage.
That‟s all I am to you, isn‟t it? A pretty figurine in the corner of the room, and you‟ll
do whatever it takes to keep me here, even if that means smashing me to pieces. I
can‟t take it any more… lately, every man who claims to love me has treated me like
dirt. God knows I try to be strong, but I have my limits, and whenever the pain gets
too much you‟re the one I turn to. And now you of all people has done this to me…
there‟s nowhere else to turn! I needed you and you‟ve let me down, and I can never
forgive you for that. You tried to hold me back, Neil. You tried to stop me from
meeting my potential. Don‟t waste your breath telling me that you love me, because I
don‟t think you even know what it means.
She gets up and storms out.
Now a lovely montage sequence. After Claire has stormed out we cut to Neil’s face
and the music starts – Vin Garbutt singing ‘Wings’. We then fade to:
Claire storms out of the house and stands in the street as traffic goes past, wondering
where to go. She turns and begins to walk down the street.
Neil sits on the sofa looking sad. He looks across at the bin
Claire walks down the street
Neil gets up and walks over to the bin. He kneels down and takes out the application
form and looks at it sadly.
Claire walks along the beach. Seagulls take off as she passes
Rich pulls himself out of the lake onto the bank
Close up of ship’s figurehead. Pan down to the street it’s on. Claire’s walking
towards the camera
Neil looks up from the application form at something across the room. We cut to what
he’s looking at – it’s the filing cabinet
Tight shot of Claire walking along the street and stopping outside a doorway.
Rich sits by the lake taking off his shoes and pouring water out of them
Claire’s still standing outside the doorway looking up at something and looking very
sad. We cut to the door and see the sign she was looking at – it’s the dance academy.
Cut back to her face. She’s crying.
Neil approaches the filing cabinet, opens it and takes something out. We see it at
sufficiently close range to see it’s a birth certificate
Claire turns away from the academy angrily and walks away
Neil looks up with a start, obviously hearing a noise. He quickly puts the birth
certificate back in the filing cabinet and slams it shut as Chris enters with bags of
shopping. Neil leans against the cabinet nonchalantly and smiles as Chris walks past
and through to the kitchen
Claire walking down the street
Rich limping wetly down the street
Simon walking down the street dressed as a chicken, doing a silly walk and rattling a
Neil stands there looking sad and thoughtful
Claire walking down the street. Pan up to the sky and fade to birds flying as the song
Rich’s boat. He’s still wet from the lake incident, and drying himself. His phone rings.
He answers it.
Cut to Simon in his flat. He’s still dressed as a chicken. We cut between them for the
rest of the scene.
Simon (in his Moussaka voice): Rich? It‟s Moussaka.
Rich: Moussaka! Hi!
Simon: I was wondering if you‟ve dumped the girl you were dating like you promised
me you would?
Rich: Yes, of course! I told her what I think of her in no uncertain terms.
Simon: Good, then perhaps she‟ll finally come back to me.
Simon: Er, I said perhaps we can finally meet.
Rich: I can‟t wait! I want to wrap my arms around you, and run my fingers through
Simon: And I want to hold you tight and run my fingers over your bald head…
Rich: How do you know I‟m bald?
Simon: Er… you have the sensitive masculinity only seen in bald men.
Rich: Yes, I suppose I do! And then I want to throw myself on top of you and smother
you with kisses…
Simon: And I want to kiss you so roughly that your boat rocks like there‟s a storm…
Rich: How do you know I live on a boat?
Simon: Er… you show the bravery and adventure of a true sea dog.
Rich: Oh, do I really? How marvellous! And then I want to strip you naked and run
my hands over your naked flesh…
Simon: And then I want to tear off your clothes and stare in wonderment at your
Rich: How do you know I‟ve got a scar in the shape of General Montgomery?
Simon: Er… call it a lucky guess.
Rich: You must come over tonight! I‟ll get some champagne to celebrate!
Simon: Tonight? I‟m not sure I can…
Rich: Now, now, Moussaka – you said we could meet once I‟d dumped Claire. Well,
I‟ve dumped her now, so no excuses! My boat‟s called the Mermaid‟s Kiss – you‟ll
find it at the harbour, right across from the Watery Queen. Be there tonight at eight!
Rich hangs up
Simon puts the phone down despondently, clearly wondering how he’s going to pull
The dockyard, exterior, night. Simon’s car pulls up under a streetlamp (or otherwise
in the vicinity of artificial illumination). The shot is such that we don’t get a clear
view of Simon. Cut to a close up of the bottom of the driver’s door – it opens, and we
see Simon’s legs step out. They’re wearing tights and high heeled shoes. We pan up,
past his short skirt, past his low cut (but flat chested) top, to his face. He’s wearing
make-up, a blonde wig, and sunglasses, his manner suggesting that the latter are
intended to make him look surreptitious. He takes off the sunglasses, revealing long
eyelashes and eyeshadow, and tries to flick them shut. After a few unsuccessful
attempts he tosses them away and we hear them splash into the sea. He walks over to
Rich’s boat, doing some approximation of a sexy walk, and climbs on board.
Rich’s boat, interior, night. Simon enters and looks around furtively – he’s alone. The
sound of someone urinating offscreen begins. He begins to examine the electrics and
the urinating stops – quickly he pulls out a wire and all the lights go out (though not
so much that we can’t see what’s going on). Rich enters and Simon turns to greet him.
Rich: Moussaka! It‟s wonderful to see you at last! …Except I can‟t see you. The
generator must have blown again.
Simon (in his Moussaka voice): Oh, what a nuisance! I so wanted you to get a good
look at my beauty!
Rich: Don‟t worry, there‟s a backup.
Simon: Oh god! …I mean, oh good!
Rich: Just give me a moment to get it powered up…
Rich fiddles with the electrics, his back to Simon. Simon searches around desperately
for something that will get him out of this mess. Suddenly the light comes back on.
Rich: There we are!
Rich stands up and turns to face Simon as Simon spots a bottle of air freshener and
picks it up. As Rich turns around Simon sprays it in his face and Rich cries out in
Simon: Oh, I‟m so sorry! Did I spray you in the face?
Rich: My eyes! I can‟t see!
Simon: What a pity!
Rich: It stings! It burns!
Simon (guiding him to a bench): Sit down, you‟ll be fine in a moment. Just be sure
not to open those eyes!
They sit down beside one another. Rich rubs at his eyes and blinks a few times – he
obviously still can’t see very well.
Rich: This really is extremely painful.
Simon: I do apologise my darling.
Rich: Your company more than makes up for it, Moussaka! It‟s fantastic to be by your
side at last! Let me see if I can see you… oh yes, just about. You‟re beautiful… I
think. Give me a kiss, my darling!
Simon: What, on a first date?
Rich: Fate has kept us apart for long enough! Kiss me, Moussaka, or I‟ll dive in and
Simon: Well, perhaps a quick peck on the cheek then.
Simon gives Rich a reluctant peck on the cheek. Rich immediately throws himself on
top of Simon and gives him a long kiss on the lips. When he eventually releases him,
Simon’s lipstick is comically smudged and all over Rich’s face as well. Simon pulls
himself upright, looking traumatised, and removes a chewed piece of gum from his
Simon: Is this your gum?
Rich: Oh, ta.
Rich takes the gum and puts it back in his own mouth.
Simon: Well that was quite something.
Rich: Wasn‟t it just? And we‟ll be going a lot further than that before the night‟s out!
Simon: Now really, what kind of a girl do you think I am?
Rich: I know just what kind of girl you are!
Simon: I bet you don‟t!
Rich (producing a packet of condoms): Don‟t worry, I‟ve got protection!
Simon (snatching it off him): Oh no you haven‟t!
Rich snuggles up against Simon and puts his arm around him
Rich: Since I can‟t see you too well, let me feel those womanly curves instead!
Simon: What womanly curves? Oh, er, just give me a second…
As Rich runs his hand across Simon’s stomach, Simon frantically opens the packet of
condoms, blows two of them up, and sticks them down his top to provide some
approximation of breasts.
Rich: That‟s quite a beer gut you‟ve got there! Good for you – I like a woman who
can hold her drink!
Simon: Some people say I‟ve got the stomach of a man!
Rich (stroking Simon’s arm): Your arms are unusually hairy.
Simon: Yes, I‟m German on my mother‟s side.
Rich: Oh, I love German women! So bold, so domineering! I always imagine them in
tight leather underwear clutching a whip and a pair of handcuffs.
Simon: Oh, have you met my mother?
Simon finishes blowing up the second condom and slips it in position as Rich’s hand
progresses up to his chest and has a good feel.
Rich: My, you are well built!
Simon: You‟re quite a stallion yourself, but don‟t you think we‟re moving a little fast?
Rich: You‟re right, you‟re right. Let‟s have some of that champagne I promised you.
Rich jumps up and goes over to the fridge.
Simon: Just a drop for me. I don‟t want you taking advantage of me while I‟m tipsy!
One of Simon’s breasts slips out and bounces across the floor. He pursues it as Rich
takes the bottle out of the fridge and puts it down on the worktop
Rich: I would never take advantage of you, Moussaka. You mean so much to me… I
feel as though I‟ve known you for years.
Simon: Really? Isn‟t that funny!
Rich: I feel a real kinship between us, I bet we‟ve got all sorts of things in common!
Simon: I can think of one!
Rich: Now, where are those champagne glasses? I can barely see a thing.
Simon: You take your time looking for them, won‟t you? I‟m in no rush, I‟ve got a bit
of trouble of my own here.
Rich: Anything I can help with?
Simon: No, no, just women‟s problems.
Rich: Ah, say no more.
The breast Simon’s chasing bobs over a cabinet and goes down the back. Simon dives
over to retrieve it – all we see are his legs sticking out, waving in the air. His skirt
falls down revealing bloomers underneath
Rich: I think you‟ll enjoy this champagne. It‟s the best they had – I said to the man in
the shop, “I‟m sparing no expense for my Moussaka. She‟s all woman!”
Simon (muffled): Not quite all!
There’s a loud bang. Rich looks around
Rich: What was that?
Simon pulls himself out. He’s holding one burst condom, and pulls out the other from
Simon: What was what?
Rich: I heard a bang.
Simon: Oh, er… I was opening the champagne! You just relax, I‟ll take care of the
Rich: Oh, that‟s very good of you!
Simon finds two glasses – a small champagne glass and a large tumbler – and picks
up the champagne bottle
Simon: It only seems fair – I feel partially responsible for your little accident with the
Simon makes ‘shh’ gestures to the champagne bottle and pulls out the cork. There’s
another loud bang
Rich: What was that?
Simon: What was what?
Rich: If the first bang was you opening the champagne, what was the second one?
Simon pours the drinks, trying to think of an explanation. Suddenly he’s inspired.
Simon (in a deep voice): econd one, econd one, econd one. (in his Moussaka voice again) I
think there‟s an echo in here. echo in here, echo in here, echo in here. Let‟s go back down
the other end, shall we? I think the hull absorbs the sounds.
They return to the bench they were sitting on to begin with. Simon hands Rich the
Simon: One for you, and one for me.
Rich: Moussaka, if I didn‟t know better I‟d think you were trying to get me drunk!
Simon: Can you think of a better way to get out of here with my honour intact? Drink
Simon tips up the glass Rich has raised to his lips so it goes down faster. We fade to
the same scene, some time later – several large, empty glasses are scattered around,
and Rich looks very much the worse for wear.
Rich (with very slurred speech): D‟you know, Mousska – Muskask –
Moosymoosysasaka – you‟re a very special lady.
Simon: I‟m certainly unique!
Rich: „f I had my way, every girl in the whole whole world would be jus‟ like you.
Simon: I really think it‟s fortunate that they aren‟t.
Rich: I think… I think… I think…
Rich falls asleep against Simon. Simon carefully removes himself, allowing Rich to
drop horizontal onto the bench.
Simon: Goodnight, lover boy.
Simon leaves the boat
The dockyard, exterior, night. Simon climbs out of Rich’s boat, still in drag, walks a
short distance, and stops abruptly at the side of the screen. The camera changes angle
and we see he’s standing right in front of the towering hulk of the Watery Queen.
Stealthily, he somehow slips on board
Simon’s flat, the next morning. After an external shot we cut to a close up of his head,
lying asleep on his pillow. A rat walks onto his face. There’s a knock on the door –
Simon opens his eyes, sees the rat, picks it up and puts it in the tank by the bed, which
also has another rat in it, from which it evidently escaped. He then goes to answer the
door, which is being knocked on repeatedly. Rich is standing outside, and enters.
Simon: Do you know what time it is?
Rich: I couldn‟t wait any longer – I had to tell you about my date last night!
Simon: You couldn‟t have phoned?
Rich: Moussaka‟s the most amazing woman! She‟s so feminine, and yet she has… I
don‟t know… something women don‟t normally have.
Simon: I wonder what that could be.
Rich: Oh, by the way – I dumped Claire, just like I promised. I think I left her feeling
suitably dejected. You‟ll be moving in for the kill now, I suppose?
Simon: When the time‟s right. That reminds me – you know about the Watery Queen,
Rich: Of course, she set sail on her maiden voyage this morning. It was on the news.
Simon: Yes, but you know about boats and stuff? I mean, you live on one. If you saw
a bit of its engine, you could tell me what it does?
Rich: I live on a sailing ship, not a luxury cruise liner! I wouldn‟t have a clue!
Simon: Oh, you‟re just being modest. Wait here a second.
Simon disappears into another room
Rich: Incidentally, if you want to catch up with Claire she said on her date that she
was meeting some friends in town this morning.
Simon (popping his head out from the other room): Oh, really? Any idea where?
Rich: Under the fountain at eleven, I think she said.
Simon: Excellent! Now listen, apropos engines… (emerges holding a governor) any
idea what this bit does?
Claire’s house. Neil is sitting in the armchair eating his breakfast. Claire enters.
She’s wearing torn old jeans and a faded tee-shirt, and her hair’s a mess
Neil: Morning Claire!
Claire walks past towards the kitchen, ignoring him
Neil: I said morning Claire!
Claire: I heard.
Chris comes out of the kitchen with his breakfast
Chris: Morning Claire!
Claire: Morning Dad!
She kisses him on the cheek
Chris: Can I get you some breakfast?
Claire: No, I‟m going out to meet my friends in a minute.
Chris: Like that?
Claire: What‟s wrong with me?
Chris: Nothing at all, you look, er, beautiful… after a fashion… it‟s just that you
usually put more effort into your appearance.
Claire: What‟s the point? Put a walrus in a dress and it‟s still a walrus.
Chris: But a very stylish walrus.
Claire: I‟ll do as I am. I‟ll just get a drink and then I‟m off.
Claire goes into the kitchen and Chris sits down on the sofa and turns on the TV with
the remote control. He watches while eating his breakfast.
TV announcer: …flagship vessel the Watery Queen was struck by disaster this
morning, when just twenty minutes into its maiden voyage it crashed into the Isle of
We hear a glass smashing off camera and Claire emerges pale faced from the kitchen
and stands horrified, watching the TV
TV announcer: According to an inside source, the governor – a vital piece of
machinery that prevents the engine from overheating – had seemingly been removed
by person or persons unknown. Engineers noticed its absence just in time to evacuate
the engine room before the whole thing exploded, locking the vessel on course for the
chalk cliffs at Whitecliff Bay. The collision resulted in a massive rupture of the hull,
and the captain put out a call to abandon ship as the billion dollar vessel sank to its
watery grave. It‟s believed that everyone escaped safely with the exception of the
ship‟s parrot and a Houdini tribute act who was performing in the cabaret lounge at
the time. Industry insiders are already speculating that this catastrophe will force the
Pereira Line into bankruptcy, and shares have plummeted to an all time low. In other
news, scientists have discovered that smoking is good for you… if you‟re an iguana!
Laboratory tests have shown-
Chris, evidently aware that Claire’s invested her money in the Pereira line, switches
off the TV and turns to her. She doesn’t look happy.
Chris: Claire, are you alright?
Claire: I put all my money in those shares! Every penny! And now… I‟ve lost it!
Money I‟ve been saving for years… (suddenly wailing tearfully) it‟s all gone!
Chris jumps up, puts an arm around Claire and guides her to the sofa
Chris: It‟s alright, Claire. It‟s only money. Don‟t let it upset you.
Claire: It‟s just one thing after another! I‟ve lost my job, my boyfriend, my self-
confidence, and now my money… there‟s nothing left! I‟ve lost everything!
Chris: Now, now, it‟s not that bad. You‟ve still got your friends and family.
Claire: Some family! You ask Neil how he‟s been carrying on and you‟ll see I haven‟t
got much of a family!
Neil: Claire, I love you, you know that!
Claire: Shut up, shut up! I can‟t bear to have that argument again, not now! We both
know what you did, just deal with it, Neil. But you‟re right, Dad, I still have my
friends. Good old Wanda and Trudi. They‟re all I‟ve got left.
Chris: Then you go out and meet them like you planned to. I‟m sure they can cheer
Claire: You‟re right, I will. I‟ll see you later.
Claire leaves. Chris waits to hear the front door shut, then turns to Neil
Chris: What did she mean, the way you‟ve been carrying on?
Neil: Can we not talk about it Dad? I did something really stupid. I‟m not proud of it.
Chris: Neil, please.
Neil: Okay, look… you know how she was applying to that dance academy? I said I‟d
post the form for her, but instead… I chucked it in the bin.
Chris: Why would you do a thing like that? Dancing means the world to her!
Neil: I know that, Dad, but I read the small print and it said if she was accepted,
they‟d need to see proof of identity.
Chris: Yes, of course. What‟s wrong with that?
Neil: Including her birth certificate.
Neil: I knew how heart broken you‟d be if she found out the truth, so I panicked and
threw the form away. It was a spur of the moment decision. Stupid, I know, but when
I thought how much it would hurt you both…
Chris (throwing his arms around Neil in a fatherly way): Oh, Neil! Why didn‟t you
Neil: What good would it to? It‟s an impossible situation.
Chris (getting up and putting on his coat): Then it‟s time we straightened it out.
Neil: Where are you going?
Chris: To find Claire. No doubt she‟s meeting her friends in the usual place.
Neil: You‟re going to tell her? I thought you didn‟t want her to know?
Chris: I don‟t want you two falling out, either. Anyway, she‟s grown up now, it‟s
right that she knows.
Neil: Then I‟m coming too.
Chris: No, Neil, this is something I need to do on my own.
Neil: It will be a lot easier if I‟m there to support you.
Chris: I said no, Neil! This is between me and Claire.
Chris goes out and the door shuts behind him. Neil stands there looking hesitant.
Claire’s house, exterior. Chris walks away from the front door, gets in his car and
drives off. A moment later Neil comes out, gets on his motorbike, and drives off in the
Portsmouth shopping precinct. Wanda and Trudi are sitting on the side of the
fountain (or some other suitable landmark that they can have arranged to meet at)
Wanda: Trudi, if you could have any man in the world, who would it be?
Trudi: Any man in the whole world? Well it would have to be someone dashing, who
cares about his appearance. And he‟d have to be able to surprise me, and do
impulsive, crazy things, and be a little bit dangerous to know. But at the same time,
he‟d have to have a responsible side, and be able to clean up around the house. Let‟s
see, who could that be?
Wanda: It sounds like your ideal man is The Cat in the Hat.
Simon: Sorry to butt in – would I be right in thinking you girls are friends of Claire
Wanda: Yes, we are. How did you know?
Simon: Oh, I‟ve seen you around. I‟m an old friend of Claire‟s myself. We go back
Trudi: She‟s a great friend, isn‟t she? So caring. Wanda and I aren‟t very good with
men, but she‟s always there to support us. I remember one time I had a bit of a thing
with a businessman – I would visit his office every day and chat away for hours as he
worked. Claire was wonderful, she encouraged me from the start, and she was always
there with a word of sympathy when the relationship wasn‟t moving as fast as I‟d
hoped – every night, on leaving the office, he‟d give me a peck on the cheek and
disappear. I couldn‟t understand it – when was he going to take me back to his place
so we could be more intimate? Well, it turned out in the end that he‟d been using me
all along – in the evenings he was meeting up with some other woman. He wasn‟t
interested in me at all – it seems the window in his office cast an unpleasant glare on
his monitor; he only put up with me because my head blocked the light. As long as I
was there he didn‟t have to get the blind fixed.
Simon: Oh yes, I remember Claire telling me that story.
Trudi: She did? But I told it to her in confidence!
Simon: Ah, well, what you don‟t realise is that she was the other woman.
Simon: Yes, you were just warming him up for her. I remember she had a good laugh
about that one!
Trudi: She wouldn‟t! Would she? I thought she was my friend!
Simon: That‟s where you were wrong, you see. She‟s a sly one and no mistake. “Let
someone believe they‟re your friend,” she often says, “and you can twist them to your
own ends.” Looks like she was right in your case!
Trudi looks aghast
Wanda: Well I know she‟s a true friend to me. She‟s always been supportive of my
efforts with men, not that I ever get very far. The last man I pursued said he was too
poor to have a girlfriend – his pride wouldn‟t let him date a girl if he couldn‟t even
give her a bunch of flowers. So I bought him a bunch of flowers. Then he said he
couldn‟t bring himself to date a girl if he couldn‟t feed her well – if only, he said, his
pitiful income would stretch to the occasional exotic treat, like a mango or a
watermelon. So I bought him a watermelon. Then he said he couldn‟t conscionably
date a girl unless he had a pretty necklace to give her. So I bought him a necklace.
Turned out he was passing them on to some bimbo he was seeing on the side.
Simon: Yes, I know.
Wanda: Claire told you that story too?
Simon: Told me the story? My dear, she showed me the watermelon.
Wanda also looks aghast
Trudi: Do you realise what this means, Wanda? Claire was never our friend at all!
Wanda: You‟re right, Trudi! She‟s been using us all along!
Simon: Well, good day ladies. It was a delight to meet you.
Simon walks off
Trudi: I can‟t believe that Claire has treated us in this way! I‟ll give her a piece of my
mind when she arrives, you just see if I don‟t.
Wanda: Here she comes now!
Claire: Wanda! Trudi! You‟ve no idea how good it is to see you guys!
Trudi: Don‟t you come over all friendly with us!
Wanda: We know what you‟re up to!
Trudi: Don‟t think you can pull any more dirty tricks, because you can‟t!
Wanda: It‟s all over, you hear? We won‟t be your pawns any longer!
Claire: Pawns? Dirty tricks? What are you talking about?
Trudi: You know what we‟re talking about! You‟ve been using us for your own ends!
Wanda: But never again! It stops right here!
Claire: Look, guys, I don‟t know what you mean! We‟re friends, aren‟t we?
Trudi: We thought so, but apparently not.
Wanda: Goodbye, Claire.
Wanda and Trudi walk off
Claire: Wanda! Trudi! Come back! I need you! I‟ve lost everything else… not my
friends too! (starts to weep like a little girl) Everything‟s gone wrong! I had so many
things and I‟ve lost them all, and there‟s no one to look after me, and… (she continues
to talk but she’s blubbing so much we can’t make out a word)! I want my mummy!
Simon: Claire! What‟s the matter?
Claire looks up, sees him, and throws herself into his arms
Simon (putting his arms around her and patting her back): There, there. Everything
will be okay. I‟m here now.
Claire: Oh, Simon, I should never have dumped you. You‟re the one person who
really cares about me. You‟re a better friend than the rest of them put together!
Simon: So does this mean… you and me… are we back on?
Claire: If you‟ll take me.
Simon: Of course I will, Claire! Forget about all your other problems – you‟ve got me
now! …That didn‟t sound right, did it?
Claire (smiling tearfully): I know what you meant.
Simon: So, er, what shall we do now?
Claire: Well… we could kiss.
We see a shot of Simon’s extremely happy face. The Hallelujah Chorus plays over the
top. After a moment Simon seems to become aware of something, jolts out of his
reverie, takes his mobile phone from his pocket and presses a button, at which point
the Hallelujah Chorus ends abruptly, and we realise it was his ringtone. He puts the
phone to his ear.
Cut to Rich walking down a street nearby, talking into his phone. For the duration of
the conversation we cut between them.
Rich: Er, hello… I was calling for Moussaka.
Simon: Oh! One moment… (pauses, then continues in his Moussaka voice) Hello?
Rich: Moussaka! It‟s Rich!
Simon: My darling! How wonderful to hear your voice!
Simon realises that Claire’s suddenly giving him a very odd look
Simon (to Claire, in his own voice): I‟ll take this over there. The reception‟s better.
Walks away to a distance that Claire can’t overhear
Simon (into phone as Moussaka again): My darling, how are you?
Rich: Who was that man who answered the phone?
Simon: Man? Oh, that's just the plumber.
Rich: Oh, is that all?
Simon: He's been giving me a good going over.
Rich: You had me worried for a moment.
Simon: He's ramming his rod up my shaft at the moment.
Rich: Anyway, the reason I'm ringing is this - I realise we haven't known one another
for very long, and we met for the first time last night, but everything feels so right
about our relationship, and I want us to be together for the rest of our lives.
Simon: Oh, do you? How marvellous!
Rich: When I'm with you it's like there's no one else in the world! We were made for
one another, it's our destiny to love one another forever, don't you think?
Simon: Oh, absolutely!
Rich: I'm so glad you agree! What I'm trying to say, Moussaka - and I know it's more
traditional to do this face to face, but I can't wait another moment - is this: will you
Simon: Oh, I will!
Rich: You will? How wonderful!
Simon: You just made me the happiest woman alive!
Rich walks round a corner and appears behind Simon, walking towards him
Rich: How I wish we were together now!
Simon: Oh, so do I! I wish I could turn around and see you standing before me!
Simon turns round, sees Rich coming, lets out a cry of surprise and hides.
Rich: Are you alright?
Simon: Yes, I just had a bit of a shock.
Rich: What‟s wrong?
Simon: Oh, nothing really. The plumber took me by surprise – he came in waving his
Rich: I‟m going to get you a beautiful engagement ring, my darling! Just tell me what
you‟d like – diamonds, emeralds, rubies, you name it! I can go up to fifty quid.
Simon: Can I call you back? I want to have a word with the plumber about the water
that‟s just started coming down the stairs.
Rich: Okay, but don‟t be long my sweet peach!
Simon: As if I would, my sugary turnip!
Simon presses a button on his phone to end the conversation and emerges, returning
to Claire and putting down his phone, face up, on a convenient wall or table, as Rich
sees him and joins them. He evidently hasn’t noticed Claire at this point, who’s
concealed from his view
Simon: Sorry about that, my darling.
Claire: That‟s quite alright.
Simon: Oh, hello Rich! I didn‟t see you there!
Claire steps out and she and Rich see one another
Rich: Er… hello!
Claire: What‟s happened to your voice? And why did he just call you Rich?
Rich: Er… oh, I see what‟s happened – you‟ve mistaken me for my twin brother,
Laurence! Happens all the time.
Simon: Rich, I‟d like you to meet my girlfriend, Claire.
Rich: Your girlfriend? You mean it worked?
Simon: Yes, completely!
Claire: What worked?
Simon: What? Oh, no, he means it worked out between us. I told him about our date,
Claire: I see. I think.
Rich: Well that‟s great, but I‟ve got even better news!
Chris (off screen): Claire!
Claire looks up and now we see Chris coming towards them
Chris: Thank god I found you, Claire! Neil just told me what happened between you
two – it‟s time I set things straight.
Claire: What is there to set straight? He‟s a louse and that‟s all there is to it.
Chris: Don‟t be mad at him, Claire. He threw the form away because if you were
accepted they‟d have wanted to see your birth certificate.
Claire: Well, why shouldn‟t they see it?
Chris: It‟s you seeing it that worried him. It was a hell of a situation for Neil, because
I‟d always made him promise never to let you know the truth about yourself.
Claire: Oh, well in that case I suppose… what do you mean, the truth about myself?
Rich: I bet you‟re all dying to hear my news, aren‟t you?
Neil (off screen): Claire!
Claire looks up and now we see Neil coming towards them
Neil: Has Dad told you yet?
Claire: Told me what?
Rich (unable to contain his news any longer): I‟m engaged!
Neil (distractedly): Yeah? That‟s great, mate. (Turns back to Claire and is about to
speak when Rich interrupts him)
Rich: Her name‟s Moussaka, she‟s beautiful! Hang on, I‟ll show you her picture!
Rich begins to rummage in pockets for the picture
Neil: Can this wait? We‟re having a moment here.
Rich gets out the picture
Rich: Here she is! Isn‟t she beautiful?
Neil takes the picture and peers at it for a few seconds
Neil: This is Julia Roberts.
Neil: Julia Roberts, the actress. She was in Pretty Woman.
Simon slaps his forehead in a ‘what an idiot I am’ sort of way
Rich: I don‟t understand. Why would she give me a picture of another woman? I think
I‟d better give her a call.
Rich takes out his phone, dials, and puts it to his ear. After a few seconds Simon’s
phone, sitting on the table visible to all, lights up and we hear a tinny rendition of the
Hallelujah Chorus. Rich looks at the phone in confusion, then at Simon in growing
realisation. He terminates the call, puts his phone down, throws himself at Simon and
Rich: You bastard!
Simon: Hey, calm down! It was just a little joke!
Rich: Joke? I‟ll give you a little joke!
Rich punches Simon in the stomach, they fall to the floor and continue to grapple. All
this time Chris, Claire and Neil have been watching on silently. At this point they
seem to decide they can safely ignore Simon and Rich and return to their own
business. Throughout their conversation we see Simon and Rich beating one another
up silently in the background.
Claire (to Chris): What did you mean, the truth about me?
Chris: I‟m sorry Claire, I should have told you this years ago. But I was afraid…
afraid you wouldn‟t love me any more.
Claire: Don‟t be silly! I‟ll always love you! You‟re my daddy!
Chris: That‟s just it – I‟m not.
Claire: What? I don‟t understand!
Chris: After I married your mother, we had a difficult time. She could never quite
believe that I didn‟t still love Neil‟s mum, and in the end we decided it wasn‟t
working out and she left me. She shacked up with another man for a bit before we
agreed we‟d been too hasty and she came back to me, and we were much happier this
time. But, you see, you‟re a product of her relationship with that other man. I‟m not
your dad at all.
By this point, in the background, Rich has picked up a bowl of flowers, or some other
convenient vessel, and is pouring the water therein over Simon, who’s squirming on
Claire: Yes – you are my dad. You‟ve raised me and loved me all my life, that‟s what
a dad is, isn‟t it? Nevertheless, this news intrigues me. I have another father
somewhere… I‟d like to know more about him.
Simon has now pulled himself to his feet and made sufficient submissive gestures that
Rich has laid off him. Simon steps away from Rich, which happens to bring him close
to Claire, Neil and Chris, and begins to unbutton his drenched shirt.
Chris: I don‟t know a great deal, save one or two things I‟ve picked up here and there.
I gather he went on to marry and have a son.
Claire: A son? What‟s his name?
Chris: I really have no idea. I have heard one thing about him, though – it seems he
has a birthmark on his chest in the shape of a donkey.
Simon removes his sodden shirt to reveal a birthmark on his chest in the shape of a
donkey. One by one, everyone starts to look at him. Eventually he realises this and
Claire: But this means… this means… what does this mean?
Rich (to Simon): I think it means you just lost your girlfriend.
Claire: It means Simon‟s my brother! And… (she turns to Neil in sudden realisation)
Neil: And I‟m not.
Claire: Then… you and me…
Neil: That‟s right, Claire. If you still want it, there‟s no earthly reason why we can‟t
be together. There are no laws, taboos or social conventions to keep us apart – it‟s just
a question of whether that‟s what you want.
Claire: Oh, Neil! It‟s what I‟ve wanted all along!
She throws herself into his arms and they kiss
Simon: I‟m her brother? But… but… I want to marry her!
Rich: You might not want to go saying that to too many people. Now, about this
Rich picks up a small statuette of the Venus de Milo which was in the background all
along and arcs it over his head with a view to smashing it over Simon’s, but Simon
grabs his arm and they grapple
Cut to a close up of Claire and Neil, who are still kissing. They stop kissing and move
their heads apart and we can see Simon and Rich grappling out of focus in the
Neil: Claire, my darling?
Claire: Yes, Neil, my sweet?
Neil: Will you marry me?
Claire: Oh, of course I will you silly!
Change focus to Simon and Rich in the background just as Rich smashes the statuette
over Simon’s head.
Simon and Rich walking down the street. Simon’s head is bandaged. Rich has a bag
Simon: Give us a chip.
Rich: No chance! I still haven‟t forgiven you for the Moussaka business.
Simon: What choice did I have? You were going to steal my girl if I didn‟t act fast.
All‟s fair in love and strange freaky obsessions, you said so yourself.
Rich: Don‟t give me that. You broke my heart!
Simon: Well, you broke my skull. I reckon that makes us even.
Rich: Anyway, neither of us got her in the end. I hear Claire married her brother at the
Simon: And we weren‟t invited? The cheek!
Rich: I know! They wouldn‟t have got together if it wasn‟t for us.
Simon: How do you make that out?
Rich: Well, it‟s all one rich tapestry, isn‟t it. Who knows what would have happened
if Claire hadn‟t met us?
Simon: I know I wouldn‟t have this bandage on my head.
Rich: And I wouldn‟t have been thrown in a lake.
Simon: Still, that‟s all in the past. Forget about Claire, it‟s time to move on.
Rich: You‟re right, we‟ve been friends far too long to let a woman come between us.
From now on we stand united.
Simon: Well said, matey! Who needs girls when we‟ve got such good… (stops dead
in his tracks, apparently having seen something across the street) Would you get a
load of that!
Rich: A load of what?
Simon: That girl, who just came out of the grocer‟s with the huge melons! My god,
Rich: The one with the juicy pear? She is quite something! I can‟t see a wedding ring.
Reckon she‟s single?
Simon: I‟m sure she is, I‟ve got a good feeling about this one! She must be going back
to her car with all that shopping. Let‟s follow – when she pulls out you can leap into
the road so she runs you down!
They start to walk hurriedly down the street, apparently pursuing her, away from the
Rich: Now why would I want to do that?
Simon: Trust me, it‟ll work wonders! I‟ll say I‟m your brother or something – think
how guilty she‟ll feel. We can bond over your hospital bed. Ten to one we‟ll be
engaged before you come out of the coma.
Rich: Forget it! You can do your own dirty work this time, I‟ve had enough.
Simon: After all the things I‟ve done for you?
Rich: What have you ever done for me?
Simon: I consoled you all night when your aunt died!
Rich: I should hope so! You‟re the one who killed her!
Simon: It was just a practical joke! I didn‟t know she had a heart condition.
Rich: Practical joke? You leapt out of the shower in a thong and a Tom Jones wig
singing „It‟s Not Unusual‟.
Simon: I was trying to cheer her up. She was upset that you‟d lost your job.
Rich: Yes, because you told my boss I was sleeping with his secretary.
Simon: I thought he‟d see the funny side. You never told me she was his wife.
Rich: It wasn‟t even true! What made you say it?
Simon: I was trying to help. Everyone seemed to think you were gay.
Rich: Because you sent me a Valentine‟s card!
Simon: That was a birthday card!
Rich: My birthday‟s in August!
Simon: So I got the date wrong.
Rich: There was a big pink heart on the front!
Simon: It was all they had in the shop.
Rich: Inside you wrote “I love you my snuggle bunny”!
Simon: I admit that may have been a mistake.
The sound fades to music as the credits fade in.
Rich: You really are a useless oik, aren‟t you?
Simon: You take that back!
Rich: Never! You‟re a useless oik and the sooner you realise it the better!
Simon: Well, you‟ve got no hair!
Rich: Hey! That‟s below the belt!
Simon: You‟ve got no hair below the belt either? No wonder you can‟t get a
Rich: I had Gloria Hempbottom!
Simon: Every man in Portsmouth‟s had Gloria Hempbottom.
By this point the dialogue has faded out entirely and the credits run.
After the credits we cut back to Simon and Rich, sitting on a bench somewhere. Rich
still has his bag of chips.
Simon: I‟ve been thinking.
Rich: Oh yes?
Simon: You were right. Women are like doughnuts.
Rich looks up in thoughtful contemplation and Simon nicks a chip.