THE YOUTH OF AUSTRALIA
EPISODE TWO: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Dumb.
By EWEN CAMPION-CLARKE and DAMIAN SANCHEZ
Dave sits in the garden, watching the sun rise. A radio lies next to him, switched on.
RADIO: Scientists conclusively prove that Coffee is good for you. By, the way, we here at Glebe FM would like to assure our listeners that Satan *is* my master. 20 past 6.
DAVE: [INNER MONOLOGUE] Some days, you wake up and look in the mirror, and you realize that this is all you are going to be. And on that day, you will accept it. Or go mad. Or stop looking in mirrors. But I have reached that point. I look myself in the eye and say, ‘You know, I’m sure I’ve got two of those.’
The radio starts to play an aria from Madame Butterfly. It ends suddenly with the noise of a stylus jerking off a record abruptly.
RADIO: Jesus Christ! How did that get on the air? Quickly! Set fire to that opera CD! Burn! Burn! [CRACKLING NOISES] Bwahahahahahahahahaha! Don’t worry listeners, normal service will be resumed, as soon as we remember what station we’re broadcasting on. In the---
Dave switches off the radio, irritated.
DAVE: [INNER MONOLOGUE] Life is what it is. I’ve decided that if you confront the universe with honest intentions, it will reward you with goodness and fortunate things. Like finding a chocolate in the park. Or getting on a bus that actually goes where you want to. Or... Well, anyway, that’s what it’s like. I’m certain that with my new philosophy, my life can only improve.
Suddenly, there is an insane burst of laughter. Dave looks up and sees a postman wandering into view. He holds a letter, and cannot look at it without breaking up in hysterical giggles. Dave smiles.
DAVE: Hi, Alexei!
POSTMAN: [MORE LUNATIC LAUGHTER]
DAVE: You found something funny? I like jokes.
POSTMAN: [COLLAPSES ONTO THE GROUND, SCREAMING WITH LAUGHTER]
DAVE: Sometimes, starting the day with a laugh can make you look even prettier, I’ve heard. Do you think so?
POSTMAN: [YES, HE IS STILL LAUGHING]
DAVE: What are you reading?
Cackling insanely, the postman hands him the letter. Dave takes it, and nods his thanks. This causes the postman to break up again.
DAVE: [INNER MONOLOGUE] See, it’s working already.
DAVE: What is it?
POSTMAN: [THROUGH TEARS OF HILARITY] Your HSC results. Sorry about it, it’s just you’ve been so confident and cool, and [GIGGLES] it’s so damn ironic! I think I need a doctor! Lord, you’re pathetic! [LAUGHS] You are so freaking screwed!
The postman throws him the result and staggers away down the road, laughing his head off.
DAVE: [INNER MONOLOGUE] Well. Screw THAT philosophy.
RUN CREDITS SEQUENCE
We see a run-down looking shack that looks like it has been dumped in the corner of a children’s park. A broken neon sign proclaims BEEBLEBROX’S BUNGALOW.
2. ANDREW’S HUT
Surrounded by food scraps and old magazines, Andrew is lying in front of the TV.
ANDREW: This is a lot more entertaining when I switch it on. A quick game of TV roulette, Andrew? Why not, Andrew? Don’t ask me, take responsibility for your own actions! Jesus, Andrew, what bug crawled up your arse! Look, Andrew, just... just turn on the TV. OK, OK, you looney.
After a few moments, he switches the TV on. The news starts. Andrew groans and smacks himself in the head.
ANDREW: Damn! One these dies I’m going to turn it on just as The Good Life starts. [WISTFUL] One day. One day...
NEWSREADER: ...the man is described as being male, Caucasian and in his late teens. Despite claims to the contrary, video footage proves he did not help the old lady across the street, thus resulting in her arrival at the local hospital.
We see a black and white security video of Jadi, sipping a milkshake, striding down the street. Ahead of him, about to cross the pavement, is a worried-looking old lady on rickety crutches. Andrew continues onwards, bumping the old lady. She drops to the road, out of sight, just as three cars race down the street, acting like they’ve just hit speed bumps when they pass the point the old lady is.
ANDREW: [GIGGLES] It’s funny because I just... so relate.
NEWSREADER: And in brighter news, HSC results have been made public for the first time entirely by mail. This was to counter the tremendously high suicide ratings that struck in previous years, when the results were available on the internet. The Prime Minister, total bastard that he is, hopes that this year’s "Lemming Tuesday" will be a downturn on recent years’ suicide rates, which, when GST is added...
Andrew stretches out an arm and switches off the TV. The doorbell rings. Andrew frowns and checks the TV. The doorbell rings again. Andrew switches on the TV, then switches it off. The doorbell rings again. This time Andrew notices.
ANDREW: Right. [FROWNS] This is going to require some thorough, and brilliant tactical maneuvering.
He turns to face the door.
ANDREW: [SHOUTS] No one’s home! Go away!
Angrily, Dave bangs on the door.
DAVE: Dammit, Maddog! It’s me!
ANDREW: [VO] Who is?
DAVE: I am!
ANDREW: [VO] Well, piss off!
DAVE: Look, you know how long it’s taken for me to find this place? I had to go back to school to get your postal address! Come on, THAT is commitment. This is important! Open up already!
ANDREW: [GROAN] All right, but you better be holding some kind of food.
The door opens and Andrew emerges blinking in the light.
DAVE: Maddog, you...
ANDREW: And my name is Andrew now.
DAVE: OK. And...
ANDREW: I think.
DAVE: Fine. You see...
ANDREW: Yes, definitely.
DAVE: This is urgent, I...
ANDREW: [BLINKS] Dave? What the hell are you doing here?
Dave inhales deeply, then smiles a smile of pure evil.
DAVE: Haven’t you heard?
ANDREW: Heard what?
DAVE: The news.
ANDREW: What news?
DAVE: You haven’t heard the news?
ANDREW: What news?
DAVE: You mean you haven’t heard the news?
ANDREW: Haven’t heard what news?
DAVE: The news!
ANDREW: What news?
DAVE: Are you telling me you haven’t heard the news?
ANDREW: WHAT NEWS?!
DAVE: The news about the HSC.
ANDREW: What news about the HSC?
DAVE: The news about the HSC results.
ANDREW: WHAT NEWS ABOUT THE HSC RESULTS?
DAVE: You mean you don’t know?
ANDREW: KNOW WHAT?
DAVE: You’re standing there, completely in the dark about the hideous, disgusting, revolting, terrifying, petrifying, electrifying, liquefying, contorting, farting, cock-a-doodle-doing, earth-shattering bad news about the HSC results.
There is a very, very, very, very long pause.
DAVE: Probably just as well.
Andrew’s sighs. He turns and re-enters the hut.
DAVE: Yeah, not so fun now you’re on the receiving end, is it "Andrew"? Damn it, maybe now you might take things seriously and not keep guests waiting for...
Andrew emerges from the hut with a frying pan. He brutally beats Dave across the head with it until Dave falls to the ground. We pan across to see that a house is nearby.
4. NIGEL’S BEDROOM
A long series of clangs! fills the air. Nigel groans and wakes up. He is lying face down on a pizza. He rolls over, and realizes he is lying next a sheep. It baas at him.
5. ANDREW’S HUT
Dave has a black eye. He sits on a chair, holding a packet of frozen peas to the side of his head, groaning. Andrew is frying some eggs.
DAVE: [SOFTLY] What was that in aide of?
ANDREW: It’s called ‘1001 things to do with a frying pan.’
DAVE: You just hit me on the head.
ANDREW: 1000 times. And now, the 1001st thing.
DAVE: What’s that?
ANDREW: I’m frying some eggs. So, what’s the news about the HSC?
DAVE: Oh that. We got our results back.
Dave throws him some sheets of paper. Andrew looks at one.
ANDREW: Dave Restal... [IMPRESSED] Wow! 64%! That’s pretty good.
DAVE: [CONFUSED] 64? I got *11%* you moron!
ANDREW: [FROWNS] No, you’ve got... [EMBARRASSED] Oh, sorry. Yeah, it’s 11%. Sorry, I was reading it upside down.
Dave gives Andrew a weird look.
DAVE: You’re joking right?
Andrew just shrugs.
ANDREW: [HEADING FOR MAIL BOX] Let’s see if I got mine.
He crosses to a mail box clearly stolen from somewhere. It is jammed with post. Andrew takes out about thirty postcards.
ANDREW: [READING] ‘Maddog, our snookums, we miss you’.
DAVE: Who’s that from?
ANDREW: Ah, just a card from the lunatic asylum.
He throws the postcards away and pulls out a big yellow envelope. He tears it open and pulls out a sheet of paper. He reads it.
ANDREW: [FROWNS] What have we got here? My results... Bugger.
DAVE: What is it?
ANDREW: It’s blank! [TURNS SHEET OVER] Oh, no, here’s something.
DAVE: Is this supposed to be cheering me up?
ANDREW: No. Just to amuse myself, really. Now, this letter. It’s from the Department of Education... ‘Owing to the nature of your result... blah blah blah...’ JESUS CHRIST! I’ve got to do it again!
ANDREW: I swear! It says I’ve got to do the HSC again!
DAVE: It can’t. They can’t MAKE you do it again! Even if you DID flunk it, it doesn’t let them even decide that you HAVE to do it again!
ANDREW: Well, they say I have to! Read it!
DAVE: [READS] ‘Mr Theodore Klyngirophel, owing to the nature of your result in the Higher School Certificate Exams, we have decided, in conjunction with the Federal Government of Australia, that you shall re-sit these exams in two... hours time. Your original score was gauged at a rough 143%...’ Sorry, ‘*Negative* 143%’. ‘This is the lowest score in Australia... ever. Your mark has been given a status of a national emergency. The Prime Minister is very concerned. You got no answers right, and the few you did answer were in pig latin. We were not amused by the pentagram on the front page of the exam booklet, as well as the words ‘HELP ME, SATAN, HELP ME!’ both of which were written in your own blood. We believe that your actions have pulled down the national average...’
ANDREW: How could I do that?
DAVE: Well, whenever you got to a question you couldn’t answer, you did drop your pants and run around the exam hall screaming ‘Stairway to Heaven’ backwards.
ANDREW: Oh, that’s right. Fail the HSC and blame me for everything! What else does it say?
DAVE: ‘Mr. Klyngirophel, simply reading your answers is a health hazard. We asked one Mr. Liang Li to mark your 2 Unit Mathematics exam. Formally a Dean at Sydney University, after reading your answers, Liang can no longer remember his name. He now spends his time watching the Teletubbies. The military have shown interest, but upon reading the answer to your name, year, and topic, went utterly mad. In an attempt to save our country from public humiliation, you are hereby commanded to sit your HSC again. If by some divine intervention, you complete every question successfully, you will have ensured your mark raised to an average of... zero.’
ANDREW: [SIGHS] Seems reasonable enough. What else does it say?
DAVE: Nothing else.
He puts it back in the envelope, and pulls out another piece of paper.
DAVE: Wait a minute. From previous letter... [READS] ‘On second thoughts, don’t bother to turn up. Don’t reply to this letter in any way. Do not talk to anyone. At all. Stay where you are. Do not eat, breathe or consume alcohol. We hope you die horribly and that some celestial agency removes your blight from our planet. P.S: Piss off.’
ANDREW: I really shouldn’t have annoyed that marker, should I? How did the others go, then?
DAVE: No idea.
ANDREW: Well, surely Jadi told you what he got?
DAVE: I haven’t seen him since the last day of school. He doesn’t answer his phone, or emails, or anything. And he was my link with everyone else.
ANDREW: So... we have no idea where Tegan, Chamber, Simone, Betty, Phoebe and the rest are. No idea how to contact them. And no idea if they did any better than us?
DAVE: Pretty much.
ANDREW: Why come to me?
DAVE: I thought maybe speaking to someone guaranteed to flunk harder than me would cheer me up. Another cunning plan foiled. You keep in touch?
ANDREW: Katy went on vacation a month ago... Harry works at Toys’R’Us. He got me a job there. And I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that Phoebe and Pascal AND the triplets are safe and sound in New Zealand. I didn’t really care about the rest of you. Of course, there’s him next door.
DAVE: "Him next door?"
A loud crash. Dave turns and looks out the window. His eyes widen.
DAVE: Hey, M... er, Andrew! Check this out!
Nigel bursts out of his house carrying the sheep. He runs to the front gate and throws it out.
NIGEL: And stay out!
SHEEP: [OUT OF VIEW] Baaaaaaaa!
7. ANDREW’S HUT
Andrew and Dave watch from the window. Andrew gives a satisfied nod.
ANDREW: Good. I was wondering when he was going to find her.
DAVE: You put a live sheep in his bedroom JUST to freak him out?
ANDREW: It’s not as cruel to the sheep as you think.
DAVE: [CONFUSED] Why don’t you like the guy?
ANDREW: [SURPRISED] You don’t recognize him?
ANDREW: [POINTS] He likes to be called the Big N. A slightly less... pithy translation is An-Aboriginal-Hominid-Tellurian-Who-Is-Noted-For-Attempting-To-Mate-With-His-Own-Person.
DAVE: [REALIZING] No! Not...
ANDREW: [NODS] Nigel Verkoff.
DAVE: Gone downhill, hasn’t he?
Nigel continues to deal with the sheep.
NIGEL: I’ll call you! I promise! Now, GIT!
He kicks the sheep and turns away hastily. He realizes he is right outside the hut. Andrew and Dave are staring at him through the window.
NIGEL: [CALMLY] Morning.
ANDREW: [CHEERFUL] Morning.
DAVE: [DEPRESSED] Morning.
ANDREW: Nice night, Nige?
NIGEL: [CAUTIOUSLY] Yeah. Have you always been here?
ANDREW: I did move from the other side of the park, but yeah.
DAVE: What are you doing here? Don’t your parents have a mansion or something?
NIGEL: Bit of trouble. For tax reasons, the main clan has left Australia to return to the ancestral seat in Tokyo Row.
ANDREW: So, why are you still here?
NIGEL: Uh... well, you know. Only so many seats on the jet. Besides, Benny was staying in Australia, and she’s rent-free accommodation.
DAVE: Can you believe it? The Big N, ruler of the Happiness Patrol, reduced to scrounging off his sister and seducing wool-bearing animals.
NIGEL: [ANNOYED] PISS OFF!
DAVE: Heh. No need to look sheepish, Nige.
Nigel crosses to the window, grabs Dave by the throat and shakes him.
NIGEL: [QUITE CALM] Please do not make remarks like that, whatever your name is. If you were to *continue* to make remarks like that, I shall be forced to jump up and down on your neck for a VERY long period of time. Understand?
DAVE: Oooh, yeah.
Nigel lets go of Dave and enters the hut.
9. ANDREW’S HUT
Nigel strides into the room, turns and drops happily into a chair. Andrew starts to tuck into his fried egg, while Dave just looks depressed. Nigel frowns.
NIGEL: [IN A COOL VOICE] Whicky feelin’ so shallow, me posse?
Andrew looks up, scandalized.
ANDREW: [DEFENSIVE] Hey, man! You started that rumor! She WANTED to participate. I have it on record...
NIGEL: [IRRITATED] I mean, ‘what’s wrong with you guys’?
DAVE: We just got our HSC results back.
NIGEL: So, you screw up?
DAVE: Let’s just say I didn’t reach the mark I was hoping.
ANDREW: He screwed up.
DAVE: No I didn’t!
ANDREW: You flunked, and I didn’t!
NIGEL: [IMPRESSED] You passed?!
ANDREW: Well, in the I-have-destroyed-Australia’s-confidence-in-its-ability-to-teach-anyone-anything-ever-again-plus-I-ruined-the-mind-of-a-professor-of-mathematics-who-tried-to-read-my-answers sense... yeah. I kinda passed.
DAVE: Have you gotten your results back, Nige?
NIGEL: Well, yeah. I think that’s what I sold.
ANDREW: You sold your HSC results? Who to?
NIGEL: A guy on a golf course... I said it was a scoring card. He said it gave him hope and inspired him to achieve his highest... whatever that means.
Dave sighs and bangs his fist against the wall.
ANDREW: Hey, mind the paintwork!
NIGEL: What paintwork?
ANDREW: In principle, there is some somewhere.
DAVE: [ANGRY] Don’t you guys realize that these marks are the rest of our lives?
ANDREW: Cool. [LOOKS AT RESULTS] I wonder if I find my house keys?
Dave tears away his results.
DAVE: GUYS! Do you realize that this is the end of the line? If we put all our marks together, we don’t have the qualifications to become the people we want to be?
ANDREW: You mean [WISTFUL] AJ Rimmer, Space Adventurer?
DAVE: [FROWNS] No...
NIGEL: Or Elvis?
ANDREW: Or John Lennon?
NIGEL: Or that guy from Hey, Hey, It’s Saturday!
ANDREW: Why do you want to be him?
NIGEL: [IN COOL VOICE] Hey, Andrew, you know what he says: you never, never know, if you never, never go.
ANDREW: That’s what they say about euthanasia.
DAVE: Guys, not those types of people. Not fictional characters or washed-up celebrities, or dead hippies with holes in their hearts! I’m talking about being the janitor in an adult theatre! I’m talking about being a psychic, or... or any other freakish occupation only us three would want and could hope to get!
NIGEL: [RAISES HAND] Uh, David – what is the point you are trying to make here, because if it’s gone over my head, then you’re definitely not reaching [INDICATES ANDREW] the lobotomized ken doll, here.
NIGEL: Shut it.
DAVE: [NODS] OK, I’ll try to be calm and rational.
The others nod. Dave takes a deep breath.
DAVE: [SCREAMS HYSTERICALLY] What the hell are we doing you brainless morons, wasting our precious existences like they were spare Pokemon cards?! These are our lives, and we have to enjoy them for what they are!
Nigel and Dave look at Andrew.
DAVE: [AFTER A PAUSE] Or... aren’t. I say we go out, fix our problems and live life to the fullest! Who’s with me?!
Silence. Andrew and Nigel exchange looks. Dave loses his momentum and sighs defeated. He leaves, depressed. Nigel suddenly blinks.
NIGEL: You know, you could be right, Dan –
ANDREW: His name’s Dave.
NIGEL: Yes, well... [SADLY] I always thought my good looks would pay my way through life, but do I really want to be a super hunk right away? [ANGUISHED] I mean, think of it! Everyone would know me. I would get no privacy. It would be chaos.
ANDREW: So you want something different to your current life?
NIGEL: Yeah! I say, ‘For now, we should go with the flow’!
ANDREW: Hear, hear.
NIGEL: ‘Tag along,’ I say!
ANDREW: Hear, hear.
NIGEL: ‘Be a sheep!’ I say!
ANDREW: Hear, he- What?
NIGEL: Forget that last part.
Nigel rises and runs out of view.
NIGEL: Dan! Dan, wait up!
Andrew is left alone. Twenty seconds pass.
ANDREW: To hell with it. [RISES] My dog’s due for a walk, anyway.
He turns to face a previously-unseen corner. There, lying upside down in crusty dog shit is a fat, dirty – and possibly dead – animal that is a dog in a sense. P-Æ.J has really let himself go.
Dave is already walking away from the park, looking slightly down. He frowns and glances at his watch. His eyes widen in shock.
DAVE: Oh, great. Now, I’m late for work!
He starts to jog down the street with gathering speed, but skids past a nice-looking girl, who is sitting on a bench. She holds her HSC results in her hands.
DAVE: [CASUAL] Hi!
GIRL: [SOUNDS RELIEVED] Hi.
DAVE: You got your results back?
GIRL: Yeah, I just passed. Phew! How about you?
DAVE: [HASTILY] I’m Dave, what’s your name?
The girl starts to answer, but stops.
DAVE: What? What is it?
GIRL: You don’t want to know.
DAVE: No, I do.
GIRL: [SWALLOWS] Well, it’s um, [EMBARRASSED] I’m called Patricia.
Dave stares at her, horrified.
DAVE: [DISGUSTED] PATRICIA?!
PATRICIA: I said you didn’t want to know.
DAVE: [NODS] You’re right. So, um... so where you heading?
PATRICIA: Just to my parents’ house, my dad got his leg stuck in the closet door and I gotta help him out. How about you?
DAVE: [COOL] Oh, I’ve gotta go to work now.
PATRICIA: Really? Where do you work?
DAVE: [SMILES CHARMINGLY] It may seem a little weird for someone at my age but, well, I’m actually in the film industry.
PATRICIA: Seriously? How did you get the job?
DAVE: My Dad is a friend of [DRAMATICALLY] The Big Man.
PATRICIA: Wow! What is your field of expertise?
DAVE: Just little things like stock and such, you know - handling the films and things, but... [IMPRESSIVELY] I get to meet basically everyone.
PATRICIA: Cool! Well, maybe you could take me on a tour of the studio or something? Here’s my number.
She pulls out a business card saying PATRICIA McLEAN (DON’T LAUGH) and a phone number. Dave takes it. This girl is obviously out of his league.
DAVE: [SLOWLY] Yeah, studio... That would be nice. [HASTILY] See ya!
He turns and walks off very quickly, trying not to break out into a run. Patricia waves, but by now he is out of sight.
PATRICIA: Bye! Call me!
11. MAIN STREET
Traffic, people and various Asian grocery stores peppered with medical centres, curio shops and the occasional carpark. Dave is running to the glass-fronted entrance of a grand-looking store. He produces a swipe-card and uses it to open some sliding doors. He enters, and we pull up to see the store he has entered. FRONTIER VIDEOS!
12. VIDEO STORE
Respectably large, but quite dusty and dirty. We see a poster of JAWS with the words COMING SOON underneath. Dave enters, and we see a small red light bulb start to blink on and off. A note hangs on the counter.
DAVE: [READS NOTE] ‘Dear Restal, do some work you time-wasting parasite. Collect all the returned videos, put them back on the shelves, clean the desk and do something about that funny smell. Of course, you’re probably too retarded for any of this. PS: Do it or you’re fired.’
Dave throws the paper down angrily.
DAVE: We’ll see how damn stupid I am!
Dave is getting the shop ready for opening. He sprays air freshener everywhere – even on himself. He collects all the videos from the return box, puts a few in their original boxes, puts them all back on the shelf. He uses more air freshener. He cleans the front counter, and boots up a primitive computer terminal, pours some food in the empty fish tank. He uses more air freshener.
14. VIDEO STORE
Everything is now neat and tidy. The poster is now for Battlefield Earth and has the words GOING AWAY SOON underneath it. Dave turns the OPEN/CLOSED sign on the door and surveys his kingdom.
DAVE: [DEEPLY SATISFIED] There. I remembered absolutely everything.
Suddenly, the glass doors are smashed in a group of SWAT-type troops burst in, shouting "GO, GO, GO!" as they take aim with their rifles. In one fluid movement, they grab Dave, and slam him to the counter, while another searches him. As guns are aimed at his head, Dave sighs.
DAVE: ...except the security alarm. I wonder how Nigel’s going?
15. HAPPY FLAPPY BURGERS
Nigel is lounging at the counter, wearing a stupid outfit and paper hat. He is flirting with a cute female customer who is standing in another line – despite the fact Nigel is the only person behind the counter. In front of Nigel stands an old man, deeply annoyed.
NIGEL: So I said to her, ‘You want kinky sex? Hah!’
NIGEL: [IGNORES HIM] ‘I’m so kinky I’m illegal!’ I once lived for three months inside a beanbag, which I used as a shag pad. Not out of choice, really, it was that a rather disgrunted girlfriend shoved me inside and zipped it up...
CUSTOMER: Excuse me?
NIGEL: Let’s just say, I got caught in the zip. It was painful, but BY GOD it turned on some women. Unfortunately, when they got inside the bean bag, and saw my face...
NIGEL: I just don’t think some women are ready to look at me naked nowadays. I’m obviously just getting more and more handsome. Of course, [LEANS CLOSER TO GIRL] if you think you’re brave enough...
CUSTOMER: [SCREAMS] SIR!!!
Nigel slowly turns his head and looks at the old man distastefully.
NIGEL: [WITH CONTEMPT] Yes?
CUSTOMER: I am waiting to be served.
NIGEL: That’s nice. [TO GIRL] You might need some oxygen, but...
Nigel sighs and turns to face the customer.
NIGEL: [AS IF READING FROM A CARD] Welcome to Happy... [SIGHS IN DISGUST] Happy Flappy Burgers, may I take your order?
CUSTOMER: [IMPATIENTLY] Yes, you bloody well can! I had a special order, about 15 minutes ago, and you STILL haven’t processed it!
Nigel grabs the customer by his lapels and drags him close.
NIGEL: [THREATENINGLY] Look, wrinkles, it takes time for special orders, understand?! Everything on the menu is pre-prepared, the ingredients all set, primed to be created in moments. When a stuck-up old fart like you BREAKS THE PATTERN, BAD THINGS HAPPEN! It takes time for the staff up the back to catch up with you.
CUSTOMER: [TERRIFIED] I was just thinking perhaps you could tell them what I ordered, that’s all.
NIGEL: Well, buster, you’re wrong. When I get the all clear from the kitchens that experimental and very possibly dangerous combinations of ingredients are about to be made – to whit, wrinkles, your order – I will then tell them the precise things you want. O...KAY??
The customer nods frantically. Nigel nods, then notices a man in a suit standing nearby, observing this. This is the manager. Nigel smiles, lets go of the old customer and grabs a speaker.
NIGEL: Can I get an orange juice with no ice, please?
He puts down the speaker and smiles winningly at the customer.
MANAGER: Mr Verkoff, a word in my office.
The Manager turns and walks off. Nigel turns to the girl.
NIGEL: Promotion, probably. Stay warm.
He blows her a kiss and crosses to a door marked MANAGER.
NIGEL: [TO HIMSELF] I wonder how Andrew’s going?
He opens the door and strides inside.
NIGEL: [OOV] So, bitch, what’s happening?
16. TOY SHOP
We see a long line of customers standing before a counter. We cannot see who is serving them. We pan down the very, very long line of customers until we see a plush toy collection. A sign reads LIFE SIZE BEARS!!! 20% LESS FLUFFIER! with a row of the large toys. One is missing, and in its place is Andrew. He is hugging one of the bears, fast asleep. A grouchy man in a suit, the Owner, enters and seeds the situation. He crosses to Andrew.
Andrew opens an eye, and drowsily looks up at his boss.
OWNER: [ROLLS EYES] Dammit, Beeblebrox why aren’t you at your post?
Andrew rolls over, clearly trying to get back to sleep.
ANDREW: Don’t worry, Mr. Snugglewarp, I’ve got someone to cover me.
The owner turns to look at the counter. Sitting in the chair is the bear that Andrew has replaced. The bear has Andrew’s nametag on its chest. One customer stands before the bear, arms folded. The rest of the customers are running off with their stuff without paying.
CUSTOMER 2: Well, scan the equipment, Andrew.
The bear is silent.
CUSTOMER 2: Go on. Do it! You slacker! I’ve met your type in the forces, you know, you bludger! I can wait! You’ll crack eventually. I can wait all day if I have to. Are you eyeballing me, Andrew?!
We see Dave’s house.
DAVE: [VO] OK, the first step to living large is to live small.
A slightly unkempt but realistic kitchen. The guys are sitting around a table, eating a pizza. Dave is reading a book – THE SWINGING BACHELOR’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY BY OOLON CALUPHID.
ANDREW: Run that by me again.
NIGEL: Oh, Maddog. It’s perfectly simple.
ANDREW: No it isn’t. It’s inexplicable.
NIGEL: NOTHING is inexplicable.
ANDREW: Then explain it!
There is a pause.
NIGEL: [TO DAVE] Run it by me again, would you, Dan?
DAVE: What I mean is: we can’t be living with our parents anymore! We’ll have to find our own place.
ANDREW: I already have my own place. I went to live in the garden when I was five and haven’t looked back since.
NIGEL: Yeah, and I’ve got my own place as well. If you don’t count Meredith the Sheep. [PAUSE] Shut up!
DAVE: But if we all lived together, that would reduce our costs and give us more money to spend. Besides, it says here: "The swinging bachelor has to be completely independent and look after himself."
Dave’s dad – 40ish, bearded - walks into view. Dave looks up.
DAVE: [IN BABY VOICE] Can you get me a bib, daddy?
DAD: Sure, son.
The dad walks off.
DAVE: [BACK ON TOPIC] So, we’re going house-hunting this Thursday, so we have to cancel every possible social engagements. That’s all right?
NIGEL: It’s all right.
ANDREW: What social engagements?
DAVE: Forget it! Just be free for Thursday!
Dad wanders into view, with a bib. He tenderly ties it around Dave’s next, and begins to talk. Although he is calm and cheerful, he is quite intimidating.
DAD: [FALSE-SOUNDING LAUGHTER] What are you up to Dave?
Dave swallows nervously as Dad finishes with the bib.
DAVE: Oh, the guys and I were just having a chat. Right?
We now see that Andrew and Nigel have gone. Dave looks nervously up and his Dad and quickly changes the subject.
DAVE: So, Dad, did you want a pastry puff?
DAD: [SERIOUS] What’s on this Thursday?
From now on, everything is deadly serious.
DAVE: We were, uh, going to look for a place to [CLEARS THROAT]... well, where we could, um, live.
DAD: [CALMLY] Oh. I see what this is about.
Dave is suddenly hopeful. Has his father given him permission? No.
DAVE: You do?
DAD: [SIGHS] Dave, how long have we been living in this house?
DAVE: [FIDGETS] I don’t know... my whole life? Probably more.
DAD: [NODS] And *you* think - after more than 17 years - that we would let you go. Just like that?
He is remaining calm but he is obviously reaching critical mass.
DAVE: Well, the thing is I’m old enou—
Dad has changed. He has reached critical mass, but now he is sounding wounded almost playfully insulted. He ruffles Dave’s hair.
DAD: [REASSURINGLY] Look, son, just because you got a bad mark in your HSC doesn’t instantly mean your mother and I are going to kick you straight out!
DAVE: No, dad I wasn’t –
DAD: We love you. It doesn’t matter what mark you get. And it never will. [SNIFFS] Believe me, we definitely wouldn’t know what to do without you in this house. [SMILES] Do you understand, David?
There is a long pause. Dave has lost all hope.
DAVE: [TRYING TO SOUND HAPPY] Yeah, I guess it was a kind of dumb thought, wasn’t it?
DAD: [LOVINGLY] That’s all right, son. Now, go outside with your friends; I think they’re waiting for you.
In a moment of sickening sentiment, they turn to look out the window, silhouetted against the sunset. The moment is ruined as Andrew, clearly naked, runs past the window screaming. Police sirens fill the air. Dave and his Dad continue to stare out the window.
DAD: On second thoughts, Dave, you know, I think Buffy is on...
Dave’s mum wanders in, interested. Not too bright, but a heart of gold.
MUM: Really! Cool! Come on, Dave, let’s watch it!
She grabs Dave and jumps energetically onto the couch and switches on the TV. Dad grabs Dave and pulls him away from his mother.
DAD: SHUT UP, WOMAN! LEAVE THE BOY ALONE!
Mum looks at him, sighs and then starts watching TV, immediately absorbed. She hasn’t a care in the world.
DAD: Come on, Dave, let’s watch it.
With similar eagerness, he drags Dave down to watch the TV.
19. REAL ESTATE AGENT
A normal, ever day real estate agency. A caption reads TWO DAYS LATER. The three guys are here, having not changed their clothes. Dave looks depressed. Andrew rings the bell.
ANDREW: Service! Ooh, cool noise.
He rings the bell again, then pulls out a screwdriver.
DAVE: [MISERABLE] I don’t even think I should be here. I mean, maybe I’m not ready to move out.
NIGEL: What? Oh, come on now Dave! *You* were the one with the idea in the first place, now your gonna get me and Andrew all screwed over! That’s typical of you! First I met you, and now this!
DAVE: It’s not that! It’s just... my dad gave me this speech about like, the love he has for me, and that he wouldn’t know what to do without me in the house... I mean the whole thing was very badly timed. Seriously.
Nigel puts a comradely arm around Dave.
NIGEL: Look Dave, I know what you mean. [STARES WISTFULLY INTO THE DISTANCE] This is your life. Your father helped bring you into it. He helped raise you and care for you. But one day you shall do the same, care for children of your own and live an independent life. It’s time for you to grow up, and he can’t hold you back anymore.
DAVE: [SURPRISED AND COMFORTED] That’s very insightful, Nige.
NIGEL: Thanks, it’s on that poster in front of you.
DAVE: Oh yeah.
Dave realizes he has been standing front of a large poster with the speech Nigel just read out printed in large, impossible-to-ignore writing. Dave frowns. Meanwhile, a clerk comes to the counter just as Andrew removes the bell from the counter and steals it.
CLERK: Can I help you gentlemen?
Andrew moves closer to the clerk, taking his attention from the bell.
ANDREW: Yes, we’d like to buy a house please.
CLERK: Umm... ok, what kind of place were you fellas after then?
ANDREW: [STILL DRAWING HIS ATTENTION] Preferably one with access to a roller coaster and if possible a golf course. [TO OTHERS] Is the golf course ok with you guys?
CLERK: And how much did you plan on spending?
Andrew reaches into his pocket and pulls out the bell. Hastily, he returns it and pulls a half chewed candy bar. He slams it down on the counter, full of confidence.
ANDREW: Is this enough?
CLERK: [STARES AT HIM] Not *quite*, sir.
ANDREW: OK. Nige. Hand me your M&Ms.
Dave pushes Andrew out of the way and talks to the clerk.
DAVE: We have some actual money saved up from work in our bank accounts. In total about...
He whispers in the Clerk’s ear. His shocked, or at least disgusted.
CLERK: [SURPRISED] Well, um, lets take a look at some of the houses in your price range shall we?
20. APARTMENT 1
The guys and the clerk stand in a rather dirty apartment.
CLERK: Now, this place is in the heart of the inner suburbs. Some call it a housing commission. I call it a snuggle clutter.
There is the muffled sound of screaming. Everyone looks at the floor. Suddenly, a bowling ball smashes through the floor and flies through the only window, sending broken glass everywhere. Our guys stare at the Clerk, who is not fazed at all.
CLERK: Of course, every now and then there is the slight disturbance, though.
Another round of screaming. They look up this time. The ceiling is smashed in and a bald man in leather army gear falls through. He drops straight through the hole the bowling ball made and out of sight.
MAN: [VO] Hey, Julie.
WOMAN: [VO] Hey, Matt.
They stare at the clerk. He sighs.
21. APARTMENT 2
A similar apartment, but far more up market. Everything is clean, tidy, and luxurious, with poster beds and ornate carpets. A pair of French windows open out onto a small balcony overlooking Sydney. Nigel moves onto the balcony, while Dave crosses over to the kitchen.
CLERK: This is one of the cities many new high-rise apartment complexes, all the luxuries you could wish for. This place has its very own gym, pool and synthetic park.
ANDREW: Neat. Why’s it going so cheap?
Dave walks over to the stove, turns it on and a plume of fire surges outwards. The kitchen catches fire, and the window shatters. Suddenly, a wall crumples inwards and a torrent of water surges out, knocking everything over. More windows shatter. The balcony Nigel is standing onto comes loose and falls away. Nigel screams as he drops out of sight. The water puts out the blaze and drains away out the French Windows. The singed clerk turns to the drenched Andrew.
CLERK: These places are the newest craze.
The gang is lined up outside a door.
CLERK: This apartment has been vacant since the 1970s. It doesn’t really have anything wrong with it, except the last tenant was into psychedelia quite a lot. The wallpaper does affect the eye a lot, but nothing a bit of decorating won’t cure.
He opens the door. Beyond it is a colorful swirling pattern, psychedelic. It changes into another pattern, then another. Indian music plays softly in the background. Andrew’s face brightens.
ANDREW: Don’t worry. I saw that movie, Labyrinth. Watch this guys!
Andrew runs and jumps through the doorway. He falls out of sight, screaming. Then, he drops into sight again, still screaming. Then he falls sideways, still screaming. Then he spins towards the centre of the patterns until he disappears with a thud.
ANDREW: [VO/ECHOES] Oh, my back!
The boys and the real estate agent are now outside a set of toilets in a park. The clerk is talking, nodding and smiling confidently.
CLERK: Now, this place is quite a steal. It is actually a converted railway station, turned into a housing block, quite effectively, I thought.
Andrew, Dave and Nigel exchange looks. They turn and walk away. The Clerk doesn’t notice.
CLERK: Of course, the graffiti is annoying, but you can have it cleaned if you so desire. Not by us, of course, you can do it yourselves, but then, DIY is all part of the fun...
They head up the hill.
DAVE: It’s useless!
ANDREW: Don’t be so negative, Dave.
DAVE: Negative? You guys really think that we will actually get a house in our sort of price range?
ANDREW: I don’t know, the one with the skylight was kind of cool.
NIGEL: It didn’t have a roof man.
ANDREW: Only in the living room.
NIGEL: What if it rains?
ANDREW: And what if it’s sunny?
NIGEL: You are an idiot.
NIGEL: You heard me.
ANDREW: I’m an idiot because I like a certain house?
NIGEL: Yes, that’s right. You are an idiot because you liked that house. Plus the fact your IQ is so small you could be outwitted by a glass of water. You’re an idiot!
ANDREW: Yeah? Yeah?! YEAH?! Well you know what?
ANDREW: [TRIUMPHANTLY] I don’t think you are that smart either! After all, how smart can you be to go into a singles club and come out with sheep that rejects you on the rebound!
NIGEL: You’re perceptive today! At least I know what planet I’m on. You’re a reject who’s parents kicked him out the first chance they got! Of course, because you’re so smart, you did nothing about it – just watched TV until your brain is fried and you can’t tell what’s real and what’s not. After all, if you did, you might realize what a waste of space you are and kill yourself. Do us all a favor!
ANDREW: Do I mock the fact that you’re adopted?
NIGEL: Yes! You just did!
ANDREW: Well, I shall continue to do so! At least my parents gave me a chance to prove myself. Your mum emigrated the moment you were born, and changed your name!
NIGEL: Oh, what about you? You were three months overdue! So damn slack you refused to even be born! Maybe there was a TV in there? And you were a freak. You had two heads like that lady in South Park...
DAVE: Nige, that’s discrimination!
ANDREW: Yeah, you can’t diss my conjoined twin-miyslexia!
NIGEL: Uh, I’m not. If you’ll let me finish?
DAVE & ANDREW: Sorry.
NIGEL: Thank you. [CLEARS THROAT] Now, where was I? Oh, yes. She even thought you were a freak after they removed the fetus! And you called yourself Beeblebrox! Ha! Ha! Ha!
ANDREW: Well, it was better than YOUR name! Nigel Verkoff! It was actually ‘Jerk Off’, but some kind Doctor changed it for you. Nicest thing anyone’s ever done for you!
DAVE: Look, you two distended rectums! This isn’t...
ANDREW: Stay out of this, Restal! You’ve got the dumbest name of all! At least our parents bothered to think of a name!
NIGEL: Yeah, your brain-dead mum couldn’t even do that.
DAVE: Guys, Restal is my family name!
ANDREW: Oh, how imaginative.
DAVE: Hey, at least I have a family, unlike you two!
ANDREW: You say that like it’s a good thing.
NIGEL: Yeah, my family just make me take all the family photos because they think I clash with their skin colour. Yours has you a physical and emotional wreck!
DAVE: Oh, just because you screwed your way to getting a pass mark, you think you’re better than us? At least we did it the honest way!
NIGEL: And you both flunked. I understand Andrew flunking, he doesn’t get human beings – but you? A heap of horse manure has better average marks, and it doesn’t attend class!
ANDREW: Are you saying I hang around with dung?!
NIGEL: No, but you do anyway.
ANDREW: Well, that’s because you’re a... a... a pempslider!
NIGEL: Oh, I’m so impressed! You’ve made such an impression.
ANDREW: Well, I will do.
He headbutts Nigel. Nigel moves to punch Andrew, but misses and ends up kicked in the groin. As he bends over, Nigel punches Andrew in the stomach. Andrew falls over and kicks Nigel twice in the head. Dave gets in between them – and bruised, but eventually pushes them apart.
DAVE: Guys, guys! Settle, just settle ok? As far as everyone is concerned you’re both idiots.
ANDREW: [GRINS] You heard him. [FROWNS] What?!
DAVE: [IGNORES ANDREW] So there is no point in fighting over it, is there? IS THERE? [TO NIGEL] RIGHT?
NIGEL: [PISSED OFF] Yeah yeah, whatever, Derek.
Nigel turns away from the others. So does Andrew, folding his arms.
DAVE: Now, look, I’m not sure what we are going to do about the house situation. Maybe we should just... put it on hold for a while, see how things go. [SIGHS] I’ve got to sort some things out with my dad anyhow, so you guys just chill for a few days, all right?
Andrew and Nigel don’t answer, they just walk of their separate ways. Nigel walks into a street lamp and Andrew trips over a rubbish bin. Dave sighs and walks off. And trips over a brick.
To be continued....