Thursday, 29 August 2013

Three things I want to ban from the street

1) Chuggers (slang for "Charity Muggers" - the people who try to get you to sign up to a regular donation to a charity there and then on the street)

Are you a chugger? I know you're probably a good person.  One of my friends used to be a chugger.  I know you mean well but you interrupt my journey all the time.  Sometimes I deliberately try to chat you up to put you off.  Sometimes I try to pretend my iPhone headphones are glued into my ears and I'm off to the hospital to get them removed.  Sometimes I JUST WANT TO GET TO THE SHOP TO GET A SANDWICH.  Please let me have my sandwich.  Especially on prawn day.

2) People walking along the street and then stopping suddenly
Are you that person?  It's probably because you just remembered that you left the iron on or that you suddenly realised that you really CAN taste the rainbow when you eat Skittles and that you may have synaesthesia.  Either way - STOP IT.  It's a horrible habit and you cause accidents.  Cars aren't allowed to suddenly brake for no reason so please don't perform an illegal emergency stop just outside Dorothy Perkins.

3) Loud arguments
Ok, I get it that people fall out.  I understand that emotions boil over.  Is it really too much to ask that people restrict these exchanges to a sound-proof room?  I think not.  If you're arguing in the street about last night's starter being poorly presented or some other trifling matter then have a sharp word with yourself (although why you'd want a trifle as a starter is beyond me).  Let's keep social dialogue to friendly banter about the weather, the creative arts and if you really, really must then something about sport.

For the sake of better streets the world over, let's look at a complete ban for all three.  I know this is only my opinion, but it is also, when you look at it objectively, completely right.


 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Singing For Skittles

So, I posted a sketch yesterday.  I thought I'd post another today.  This one doesn't stand much chance of being made due to song rights issues.  It's longer than yesterday.  It was my final assignment earlier this year.  Unlike yesterday, it's more conventionally formatted.  And slightly longer.


“SINGING FOR SKITTLES”
23rd Feb 2013 (Version #1)

CAST
Glenn - late 20s
Sarah - late 30s
Terry - mid 40s
Pete - early 20s
Darren - mid 50s
Nanami - Japanese, late 40s

(the kitchen area at a workplace. There is a large glass fronted vending machine containing a variety of confectionary.  Glenn and Sarah are standing by the vending machine drinking coffee)



GLENN
All set for your big presentation?

SARAH
Not so much.  Feeling a bit faint.  I think it’s my blood sugar.

GLENN
But it’s in 10 minutes.  Are you sure you’re going to be ok?

SARAH
I really don’t know.  I can’t blow this one Glenn.  If the Japanese don’t invest then this company is screwed.  I’m going to have to soldier on.

(Sarah half-collapses.  Propping herself up on the vending machine)

GLENN
Woah, Sarah!

SARAH
(reaches into her bag for money)
Some Skittles will tide me over.   I’ll be fine.
(Sarah puts a pound into the machine.  The corkscrew device in the machine that holds the Skittles starts turning.  It starts releasing the Skittles but it doesn’t turn far enough and the Skittles hang from the cockscrew in the machine)
Nooooooo!

GLENN
Oh man, this always happens.

SARAH
(shakes the machine in despair)




GLENN
Don’t worry.  I’ve got this.
(sings towards the vending machine Nicki Minaj’s “Starships”)
Starships were meant to fly... hands up and touch the sky.

SARAH
What in the name of fuck are you doing?

GLENN
The vibrations of my song should shake the Skittles loose.

SARAH
Shake the whatnow?

GLENN
Trust me
(sings Adele’s “Someone Like You”)
Never mind I’ll find someone like you, I wish nothing but the best for you.  Don’t...

SARAH
(interrupts)
Glenn!  I’m losing it here.  My head feels like it’s been filled with helium.  

GLENN
I can do this.  One time, I even smashed a small sherry schooner when I did the high note in “Loving You” by Minnie Riperton.  My voice is super-resonant.  I get it from my Dad.

SARAH
We’ve not got much time.
(Terry enters the kitchen)
Thank God you’re here Terry.  I really need help.  My blood sugar is low, the Skittles I just bought are hanging from the vending machine and won’t dispense.  I’m fading fast and I’ve got to do the presentation to the Japanese in ten minutes.  They’re getting on a plane at 4.  I have to convince them to invest.  Our jobs are on the line here.

TERRY
Oh shit.  Glenn.  Why haven’t you been helping?

GLENN
I have.  Just sang Adele, Something like you.


TERRY
Are you out of your fucking mind?  Adele?

SARAH
Exactly what I said.

TERRY
That’s not going to make any difference.  You need to sing something more upbeat.

SARAH
What?

TERRY
This calls for some Madonna

GLENN
Hang in there Sarah.

(PETE enters and walks towards the vending machine)

PETE
Oh, hey guys.  Good luck with the Japanese today.
(puts money in machine and selects a Coke.  The Coke doesn’t drop)
Damn
(starts to do a tap dance and the Coke drops)
See you guys later.
(exits)

SARAH
(her eyes now starting to cross - grabs the side of the vending machine)
Just call for help.  Please.  Glenn.

GLENN
(reaches into pocket and dials mobile)
Hey Janine?  We’re going to need the guys up here fast.  How soon can you get here?  It’s pretty major.  She’s not got long.

SARAH
Thank you


GLENN
(hangs up phone)
It’s ok Sarah.  They’re on the third floor.  They’ll be here in a second.
(sings Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” with Terry)

GLENN and TERRY
Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone, I hear you call my name and it feels like..... home

SARAH
Someone make it stop.  Please Glenn, just stop.  Help me here.  I can’t hang on much longer.

GLENN
We’ll keep going until help arrives.  You never know.  We may just crack it.


(DARREN enters carrying a large case)
DARREN
Hey guys.  Today’s the day, eh?
(DARREN puts £1 into the machine and selects a Mars)
I really shouldn’t, I’m starting WeightWatchers this week
(the Mars bar hangs in the machine)
What the...
(DARREN opens his case, takes out a huge tuba and plays “Memory” from Cats. The Mars bar drops, Darren stops playing and takes it)
Gotta run.  Break a leg.
(leaves)


SARAH
Wait! Seriously? Please, for the love of God just help me stand, Glenn.  I need to get the presentation off my laptop and into the meeting room.

GLENN
Of course, Sarah. 
(helps prop her up and then continues singing)
Just like a prayer, your voice will take me there, you’re like a dream to me, just like a mystery...

(ten people in work attire arrive and start joining in with “Like A Prayer)

GLENN
Its ok Sarah, help is here.  Thanks guys.

SARAH
What?  Who the fuck are these people?

GLENN
It’s the workplace choir I sing with.  Come on guys, make it happen.

(five Japanese businessmen arrive. Everyone stops singing)

NANAMI
What is going on here?


SARAH
I’m so sorry, I.... I....

GLENN
We’re trying to sing so loudly the packet of Skittles drop.  You see, it’s stuck in the machine.

NANAMI
Ah yes,  I see that.  Guys, crack open the emergency karaoke machine.
(one of the business men opens a case and puts on Madonna’s “Like A Prayer”. They sing with maximum enthusiasm.  Sarah falls to the floor.  As she hits the ground, the thud she makes causes the Skittles drop down in the vending machine)

GLENN
Guys, we did it.
(removes the Skittles from the machine)


TERRY
(takes Sarah’s pulse)
Glenn, she’s in a diabetic coma.  You should probably call an ambulance.

GLENN
But she didn’t even wait for her Skittles. I can’t believe how ungrateful she’s been.  Bitch.


TERRY
One, two, three
(choir sing chorus of Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch”)

(fade to black.)

Monday, 26 August 2013

The coffee shop sketch

So, I'm writing the occasional sketch and only I'm seeing them.  This could actually be a good thing but I don't know, so I've decided to post one here.  I only wrote it today, and I've not really edited it much (excuses, excuses) but there's no point in writing them if I'm not going to do something with them.  I don't have much opportunity or resource to film these things so I might as well post one up as text.

Formatting - it's not standard... it's just how I write them (can't afford formatting software just yet) but I think it's easy to follow.

COFFEE SHOP CUSTOMER LOYALTY PROGRAM

Characters:

Barista - early 20s, wearing apron
Customer - early 30s hipster
Girlfriend - late 20s, casual, has shoulder bag


INT: 
A coffee shop.  A barista is placing an order on the counter.  A sign above the espresso machine reads Costabucks.



Barista:  Vanilla latte to stay in?  Such a lovely choice.   That's £3.20 for you.

Customer:  (hands over £5)  Can you stamp my loyalty card too please?

Barista:  But of course.  

(CUSTOMER OPENS WALLET AND TAKES IT OUT)  

Barista: Wait.

Customer:  Is there a problem?

Barista:  I think I just spied a Cafe Primo card in your wallet.

Customer:  Well yes, I go there too sometimes.

Barista:  In which case I can't stamp your card.  I'm sorry.

Customer:  What?  Why?

Barista: Because it's a loyalty card.  It's stamped when you are loyal.

Customer:  But I just bought a drink from you.

Barista:  And you also buy drinks from Cafe Primo as your Cafe Primo card reveals so publicly.  

Customer:  So?

Barista:  So you are not loyal.  Therefore I can't stamp a loyalty card, for you are a disloyal customer.  

Customer:  Look, you're taking this a bit seriously aren't you?

Barista:  Are you saying my job is a mere frivolity sir?  

Customer:  That's not what I mean dude

Barista:  Woah there familiar Freddy - I do not think we are on colloquial "dude" terms after your act of treachery.  I work all the hours the Buddah sends to craft hot caffeinated beverages for you and then you go elsewhere.  Then you have the barefaced temerity to ask me to validate your loyalty card.  

Customer:  Look, I'm meeting a date here in a couple of minutes.  Please, don't make a scene.  This is her favourite hang-out.  I don't know why you're so touchy about this but..

Barista:  You don't know why I'm so touchy?  Let me enlighten you.  I thought you were different. I thought when you greeted me in the morning and presented your loyalty card that it actually meant something.  How stupid of me.   And now you use me merely as a facilitator for you to get a girl when all along you've been getting your hot foamy drinks elsewhere. 

Customer:  I'm sorry, it's just that you're not on my route to work.

Barista:  If your girlfriend's house wasn't located on your route home would you just call into another girl's house and have familiar coitus with her instead?  

Customer:  Well, no...

Barista:  Exactly.  So quite why I should sweat blood to toast you the occasional panini when you're just using me as a no-strings casual coffee acquaintance is beyond me.

Customer:  It's not like I enjoy their coffee as much as here...

Barista:  Oh so you were thinking about my coffee the whole time were you?  Were you picturing my espresso while you pressed your lips against their cups?  Were you drinking their cappuccino while thinking about my sprinkles?  Were you thinking about me here alone while you touched up their wooden stirrers?

Customer:  It's really not that like that.  I didn't think..

Barista: No, you didn't think.  You're a thoughtless coffee slut.

GIRLFRIEND ENTERS

Customer:  Kerry.

Kerry:  Hey, I heard raised voices?  Is everything ok?

Barista:  I am in a state of turmoil and distress.

Kerry:  Why?

Customer:  This barista has been really rude to me Kerry.

Kerry:  That's awful.  I come here for good service not attitude.

Customer:  Thank you.

Barista:  He's been going to other coffee shops but wants me to stamp his loyalty card.

Kerry:  He what?

Customer:  Sometimes I have to go elsewhere when I go to work.

Kerry:  You do what?

Customer:  I don't see the problem.

Kerry:  Do you have no feelings at all?  I don't want to see you anymore.  

Customer:  You what?

Kerry:  Next thing I know you'll be going on holiday to Paris with my sister from Dover because she's on route and owns a beret. 

Customer:  What? No!

KERRY POURS DRINK OVER CUSTOMER

Barista:  Karma.

Customer:  I can't believe this.  (WALKS OUT)

Barista:  Sorry you had to hear it from me.

Kerry:  It's ok.  I'll have a soy latte please.

Barista:  Sure. The sugar and stirrers are on the station to the right.

Kerry:   It's ok, I've brought my own sweeteners

Barista:  Own sweeteners?  Your OWN sweeteners?

Kerry:  Yes, I'm on a diet.

Barista:  Get the fuck out of my coffee shop!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

How to live like a famous person without being famous

For many people there’s a deep desire to live like a celebrity; especially if  you’ve watched Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Entertainment Tonight or Country File.
 
The thing is, not all of us are famous so how can we manage to achieve the same lifestyle on a fraction of the fame?  As if you needed to ask.  Here are my three tips to living like a superstar.
 
1. Make sure people are only interested in you for your money. 
But Lloydie, how do I do this if I don’t have very much money?  Easy.  Appear to be generous by giving out free drinks at parties and coffee shops.  This can be done by dating a barista or bar tender.  You are bound to get discounted rates or the occasional freebie.  People love someone who splashes the cash.  There you have it – conditional love.

2. Have a personal assistant.
But Lloydie, how do I do this if I don't have very much money?  This is easy too.  Divert your mobile number to that of a friend.  Tell your friend that your phone has malfunctioned and that if they get stray calls to just take a message.  Blame your phone or your network.  If you do this to a different friend every three days then it will give both the illusion of a personal assistant and also, due to the turnover of "staff", that you are difficult to work with.

3. Be seen travelling the globe.
But Lloydie, how do I do this... WAIT.  You're so predictable with your questions.  Enough already.  This is easily done.  Most famous people are pictured in foreign parts but when did you last bump into a celeb on holiday? All you see of them is pictures.  My mate Kevin does photoshop on pictures at a really good rate and he can superimpose a picture of you on a beach in Greece or by the Sydney Opera House.  Just make sure you lay low when you are supposed to be away.  There's nothing worse than being pictured in South Africa at 1pm and then being seen in Surrey at 1.45pm.

And now you're living like a famous person.

You're welcome.