The Tale of the Dog Faced Boy, and other mad stuff. Blame Paul Smith.

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this cyber temple to:

The Dog Faced Boy

The Tale of the Dog Faced Boy, and other mad stuff.

(Paul Smith is the one to blame)

Clive Williamson was born on October the 31st 1972 into a very unforgiving world. Clive suffers from what Doctors call Canismingis. This rare disease strikes less than one in one-hundred million and is still little understood. Essentially the sufferer is born with the face of a dog. In Clives case this was a double tragedy because he was born with the face of a mongrel.

Naturally his parents were horrified by the appearance of their off-spring and put him up for immediate adoption. Sadly Clives disfiguring disease meant no one felt able to take him on, and he grew-up in an atmosphere of ridicule and intolerance. He passed through dozens of institutions before eventually finding a more permanent way of life at Battersea Dogs Home in London. He stayed there until he was old enough to fend for himself.

Clive in now an adult, yet he still receives taunts and jibes about his condition. Like hundreds of others who suffer this soul-crushing disorder, all he asks is to be left in peace to live out his short and painful life with a hint of dignity and without constant offers of a shave. The Hollywood film 'Bark', which starred Cher, has done much to make the public aware of this harrowing condition, yet much more can still be done.

You can help Clive and other sufferers by not drawing attention to their appearance (for example, offering them dog-biscuits) and not throwing things in their vicinity. Most of all you can help Clive and his fellow victims by being more accepting of them and their bottom sniffing ways.

Thank you.

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Not a well bunny


A sample from the pages of Indie Magazine...

A lot more from the pages of Indie Magazine...

A bit about my Jonathan Creek Fan Fiction

And actually my Jonathan Creek Fan Fiction

Top Gear Magazine print my words!

My BBC Talent sitcom script...

...and the BBC's letter of rejection. Bastards.

On this page you'll find a small sample of my columns from the Indie trade magazine plus a link or two to a lot more!

You'll also find links to a couple of Jonathan Creek based stories which have been well received on a few Jonathan Creeks websites. I know how this sounds. It sounds sad. It sounds train-spottery and perhaps it is, but I get a lot of e-mails from fellow fans saying how much they love my stories. So while they may be sad, they're also well written and popular. So swivel.

In addition, you lucky people, you can see my d(r)aft sitcom script for BBC Talent.
And their letter of rejection. :-(

Towards the bottom of the page are my e-mails as printed in the JUNE 2000, MARCH and APRIL 2001 editions of BBC Top Gear Magazine. They sent me a T-shirt for my efforts, which you can also see!

A tiny tiny snippet of my stuff for Indie Magazine...

February 1999.

Paul Smith on... Why good telesales people don't stay in the job.

I'm sure you read Decembers Dealers Diary on page 36 of the Indie. This is a carefully worded response to Sparks question about distribution contacts and their migratory habits. In common with everyone except gynaecologists, every job I've done has had both an up side and a down. I like to think of it as the jobs 'Clash' rating after the band of the same name, because it's a question of "should I stay or should I go?" For example:

A long time ago I sold PCs and 'macs for Ryman the Stationers, where the good side was meeting and working with my beautiful girlfriend, Judith. The downside was a Manageress who was a Nazi Bitch Queen from Hell. After nine months the cons had outweighed the pros and so I resigned. And it's just as well, or I'd still be there, selling calculators and mobile 'phones and putting up with a continuous steaming river of bullshit for £11k p.a.

Later I had a job in telesales, a bit like the one I've got now. On the up side I enjoyed the work, had a great relationship with customers and colleagues and earned reasonable money. Without blowing my own trumpet too much, I was doing what I'm good at, being a proactive, friendly, well informed, accurate and entertaining account manager. On the down side, the beverage machine sometimes ran out of Diet Coke™ and the sandwich van was often late. Result: Happiness. However… I failed to hit target for a couple of months, which ain't good. Had I lost my silky sales skills or were there other factors at play? Had our move of warehouse lost me some local business? Had a serious lack of stock suppressed my sales figures? Had a change of management dented my confidence in the future of the company? Had an unfeasible sales target caused a crisis of motivation? I thought so. It was a fateful day when I walked into that office, explained the reasons why I was having a problem hitting my figures and asked for a little bit of help. It wasn't forthcoming. Call me crazy but I need some enthusiasm to do the job. That enthusiasm can be bought with a nice pay cheque at the end of the month or by doing satisfying and enjoyable work, better still both. Perhaps I'm greedy (a bad thing in a salesman?) because I wasn't doing the job for my basic, I was doing it for the commission, and I like to think targets are meant to be aimed for and with hard work reached. Being bottom of the '% of target' pile wasn't doing anything good for my professional pride either. The Clash rating looked shaky, so I quickly evaluated my position. I wasn't going to earn any bonus for a bit and I'd stopped enjoying myself. IT jobs in the south -east aren't hard to come by for someone with my experience, as reflected by the number of customers who'd playfully tried to head-hunt me. I had a big, fat bank account, which from a height looked remarkably like a safety net… Then I realised sometimes it's the devil you don't know that's the more attractive prospect.

So in my best Prisoner voice, I resigned.

Not without regret though. I would miss my colleagues and customers (who I'd like to thank for their kind words of support), people I regard as friends. I didn't like doing it. I don't enjoy disruption and hassle. I'm a fighter, not a quitter, but some fights you win by walking away from them. As one cliché closes another opens and a world of opportunities awaited me as I drove home. Once there, I was gassed by some undertakers and awoke in a strange world where no one would make eye contact, or talk to me, a bit like a Tiny store. I was chased by a giant white ball and everyone referred to me by my direct-dial 'phone number. But it wasn't real. I wasn't a number anymore, I was a free man! The next morning I vowed to cut hallucinogenic drugs right out of my diet. Later that same day I'd done two interviews and had two firm job offers, and I hadn't even had a chance to re-type my CV. So here's your answer to why your sales contacts change so often. The bad ones are killed and eaten, which is fair enough. The good ones make it look easy which can be a two edged sword. The core problem, as I see it, is if you think it's prices or brand names that sell IT products perhaps you're forgetting that it's sales people that sell them.

My advice to satisfied retailers is if your distribution contact is darn good and you want to keep them, don't be shy, tell them. Then write to (or e-mail) their guv'nor, just to let them know why their firm is getting your valuable business. Everyone likes a pat on the back and so will smile and be happy and you'll get a nice warm feeling inside. The tangible benefit is when your contact loves you they'll be less inclined to screw you on price, proving that a little appreciation goes a long way in this cynical business. To fellow account managers I say loyalty to your firm is important because you're being trusted with valuable customers. Stick it out through the hard times with a smile and a laugh and all the world will be yours. If you're good, you'll inevitably climb the ladder of success, which is usually A Good Thing. However don't be blind to opportunities beyond your current employer because maybe grass that looks greener actually is. If you realise you've got more in common with Gynaecologists than you thought, because you're both working with a bunch of [word removed on legal advice] then don't put up with it. Quality of life is everything and job satisfaction, as well as remuneration, has a part to play.

Next Month: Back to light-hearted japes and fluffy whimsy a subject close to retailers hearts…. Retailers spleens.

Paul 'happy bunny' Smith is a Business Development Manager. No, really.

Don't read it, download it!

Want to read more of my views on the IT industry? Then visit My Indie Magazine Page, where you'll find lots more stuff like the column above. And stuff quite a lot better too :-)

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Click this link to go to a great Jonathan Creek site. Check it out!

My Jonathan Creek Fan Fiction

Ok, I'll admit it. I think Jonathan Creek is one of the finest television shows to come out of the BBC (and so British television, and hence, I guess, world television) in recent years. However, I don't own a Duffel Coat or lust after Alan Davies in anything but the most minor of ways! I just wanted that on record. This lack of lust is in stark contrast to some of my e-mail chums (hi girls, if you're reading this) who seem besotted with him. I think it's the hair :o(

My huge Jonathan Creek stories are called 'MAX WALL HELL' and 'MYSTERY AT THE OLD LIGHT' and older versions can be found on Liane Broadley's excellent Jonathan Creek site.

click here to visit my Jonathan Creek Page. Sad, but good. Now that I have my own Jonathan Creek page, which is filled with my thoughts, original art and all sorts of nonsense based on the show, I've posted the most up-to-date versions of my stories there. I do know how this sounds. It sounds like I'm 48 and still live with my mum. I'm not, and I don't.

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My first Top Gear Magazine letters (well, e-mails) were published in the June 2000 edition. I'd only ever sent them two e-mails and they both (edited versions!) made it into the magazine.

Fame at last!

June 2000, just as it says.
14 words of wisdom

As seen on Page 204
Illustration by Adrian Johnson

In the July 2000 issue a wag replied...
Thanks James, you're a star!

Then, suddenly, in the March 2001 edition I was in again, with the following thoughts:


Just a month later, I was in again! Page 208 of the April 2001 edition will forever have this on it:

Illustration by Lawrence Zeegen

And after all my efforts, they sent me this:

Which can't be bad for about 15 seconds of thought and 60 seconds to type the e-mail!

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My entry into the BBC Talent search for a new sitcom thingy. In April 2000 the BBC wanted people to send them a draft script of a sitcom idea. This is mine. I hope you like it. I hope they like it!

First, some background information, or as I put it:

About Last Week…

25th April 2000

The One to Blame

I'm Paul Smith and I'm responsible for Last Week. As a 28-year-old frustrated-or-ing writer, I've dreamed of public admiration and piles of cash since being the editor of my school magazine at the age of 12. More recently, I regularly write 'something a bit funny but also thought provoking' in a monthly trade magazine for computer retailers, Indie. Additionally, I heard today that I'm to have a letter published in the June issue of Top Gear magazine. Fame at last!

Aerial View

My idea for a sitcom is based around the final week of life on Earth. Our hero, Nigel, finds his world crashing down around his ears (in various different senses of the phrase) as news of the approaching asteroid sends panic around the globe. The reliable, predictable elements of his happy sitcom life are stripped away as first he looses his job, then his girlfriend and finally, most tragically, his collection of celebrity dandruff… Fast paced humour against the background of a world gone mad? Who could ask for more?

In the first episode, Monday, Nigel discovers the existence of a hidden world government and its efforts to cover up of the impending destruction of Earth. Amongst other adventures, Claire and Nigel are seized and brainwashed by the mysterious Dr Hook.

Tuesday sees storm clouds gather as news of the asteroid is leaked to the populace. Nigel inadvertently learns his future father-in-law to be the bastard son of Adolf Hitler. Nothing is said, but wedding plans are put on stand-by.

Wednesday (as featured in my draft script) is a bad day for Nigel. An accident and poor judgement land him out of work and into an argument with Claire, which severally jeopardises their shed purchasing plans. Nigel inherits a small portion of Scotland from his Uncle Rex but finds he now has nowhere to put it.

Bad though Wednesday was, Thursday is even worse for Nigel. Thrown out of the house by a rapidly destabilising Claire, he discovers a darker side to his personality when he is forced to fend for himself on the tough streets of Inverness. Is cannibalism a 21st century option?

On Friday a religious group hoping to meet the End-of-Days in exquisite harmony with the cosmos rescue Nigel from a life of disorganised crime. Sadly this also involves his sacrifice to Spanky, the Goddess of rebirth. Nigel declines their generous offer and scarpers.

Saturday: The world is consumed by fire. However, first Nigel must escape his pursuers from the Sisterhood of the sacred Spanky and the shadowy figure of Dr Hook. Why do they all want him so badly? Can he really be the chosen one, destined to be the saviour of all? Or does Nigel's enigmatic Uncles Box o' Tricks hold all the answers?

Real Old Characters

Nigel Wylde is a 30-something salesman for a novelty distributor. He's been forced to abandon much of his quirky individuality to conform to a Corporate-team-player ideal. (Don't worry, it isn't autobiographical) He strives to maintain his dignity and sanity when the entire world seems to have lost its own. But fails. He has a goal in life: To live.

Claire Stick is Nigel's live-in girlfriend. A career woman in her early forties, she's far more focused and successful than he is. However she's retained a playful side he's fast losing, and a saucepan scourer sense of humour which he can't compete with. She loves him madly but happily treats him like a dog. He doesn't mind because she gives a mean tummy-tickle.

Simon, Dave and Cliff share an office with Nigel and variously hate, ignore and admire him. Simon believes him to be the worst kind of salesman, i.e. better at selling Lama-Lamps(tm) than he is, while older, wiser Cliff just tolerates him. Young idealistic Dave aspires to be like Nigel, with often-hilarious consequences! (Does irony work in print?)

Donald Matthews is Nigel's masochistic boss. An aggressive over-achiever of the Napoleon school, he sees it as his task to adapt Nigel from a flamboyant, successful salesman into an obedient minion. If it's going to take the removal of biscuit privileges to do it, he's not the kind of guy to shy away from those hard decisions.

Dr Hook may not be this individuals real name. As a covert operative for the publicity-shy world government, she has to maintain certain standards of fear and confusion in the UK population and specialises in assassinations and creating forms for housing benefit.

A Cast of Thousands. During the count down to zero hour, Nigel also meets God, his own ghost from the future, smug men wearing 'The End Is Nigh' sandwich boards and a broad selection of members of every secret society and sect with a vested interest in the End of the World. Believe me. It could be funny.



By Paul Smith

Episode 3: Wednesday

A giant rock tumbles silently through space. As our point of view turns to follow its path, we see it is on a direct course for Earth. As an orchestral crescendo builds to create an atmosphere of doom, we cut to:

In stark contrast, a radio alarm clock clicks on to a preposterously fluffy pop tune. It wakes NIGEL. He rolls over and with a look of disgust pulls a dead vole from his mouth. He inspects it without surprise and places it calmly on his bedside table as he climbs out of bed. He leaves his girlfriend CLAIRE hugging a pillow.

The sound of a bath running is in the background as Nigel spits vigorously into the basin. He is wearing a Bathrobe.

NIGEL (to self in mirror): Other people's cats just leave their little presents on the kitchen floor. What really worries me is what's the other nasty taste you get in your mouth some mornings.

CLAIRE (off-screen): Are you talking to me?

NIGEL: No. I was just telling my reflection about Niffy's nasty little habit.

CLAIRE (off-screen): Which one?

NIGEL: The leaving-dead-things-in-my-mouth one.

CLAIRE (off-screen): Has our little angel been doing that again?

NIGEL: See the bedside table? (He begins to clean his teeth)

CLAIRE (off-screen, seeing the vole): Oh boy. Well, at least it wasn't another sparrow.

NIGEL: Aha. (He pauses his brushing to pull the skin below his eyes and growls around the brush at his strange expression, seemingly lost in thought).

Nigel, now dressed in a business suit, is eating cornflakes and reading a paper at the kitchen table.

NIGEL: Did you read this?

CLAIRE (getting dressed off camera, calls down the stairs): Not from up here, babes. It's the distance, you see? And the size of the print and all the solid objects between my eyes and the paper.

NIGEL: So… How do you know I'm reading the paper?

CLAIRE (off camera): A lucky guess.

NIGEL: Want to guess what I just read?

CLAIRE (off screen, coming down the stairs): I'm not that good a guesser. Could we cut to the chase?

NIGEL: It says there may be an asteroid on a collision course with Earth.

CLAIRE (appearing at the Kitchen door): Perhaps there is, but that doesn't really concern us Martians, does it?

NIGEL: Can you be serious for a moment?

CLAIRE: I'm always happy to try something new.

NIGEL: It says all life on the planet may be destroyed in a cataclysmic fireball. Everything wiped away in a moment. Even the bacteria.

CLAIRE (picking up her handbag and running a cloth over a work surface): Good. I hate bacteria. Nasty little buggers, spreading their germs and diseases and the 'flu.

NIGEL: Flu's a virus, not a germ.

CLAIRE: Same thing.

NIGEL: Are you sure?

CLAIRE: I'm a girl, aren't I? We instinctively know about these things.

NIGEL: I had no idea. So what are we going to do?

CLAIRE: Be consumed by a ten-thousand degree centigrade hypersonic shockwave?

NIGEL: I- Have you been watching my Science-fiction videos again?

CLAIRE (looking apologetic): I'm sorry. It's the packaging. All those bright primary colours. I find them irresistible.

NIGEL (becoming grave): But seriously for a moment, honey bun. I'm scared. This could be it.

CLAIRE: It? What 'It?'

NIGEL: The big one.

CLAIRE: The big it?

NIGEL: I think you'll agree, as IT'S go, the eradication of all life on Earth is pretty much a, if not the, biggy.

CLAIRE: Oh come on Babe-

NIGEL (interrupting): I've asked you not to call me that.

CLAIRE (continuing unabashed): -it's never going to happen, is it? The snuffing out of every particle of life by some big ol' lump of space rock? Does that really sound likely?

NIGEL: Ask the Dinosaurs

CLAIRE (very seriously): If there was one here right now, believe me, I'd do just that.

NIGEL (holding up paper to show Claire): This isn't the Sport you know. This is the Guardian we're talking about here. Proper journalism. Capital 'J'.

CLAIRE (looking closer at paper): They've spelt 'Apocalypse' wrong.

NIGEL (looking for himself): Where?

CLAIRE: I'm lying. My point, Nigel, is that just because it's in the paper it doesn't mean it's really real. Don't you remember that story the other week about the Base-Jumping Nuns? The Sisters of Ripcord?

NIGEL: That was the April Fools Day edition. You can't count that.

CLAIRE: It goes to show you can't trust, willy-nilly, all that's in black and white. It's not that black and white, you see? Think for a moment. If the world really was in terrible peril, wouldn't the government be acting? Where are the convoys of army trucks? Where's the special announcement from Downing Street? What happened to the brave messages of reassurance and hope? Where is Patrick Moore with a Sky at night special? Nowhere. Instead we're being fed information through the popular media. Can you blame me for being cynical?

NIGEL: I suppose not. You're saying I should be better informed before worrying myself needlessly? That this could all be a cheap publicity stunt by some piece of interstellar flotsam out to make a name for itself?

CLAIRE: Exactly. Why don't you pop along to the County Council offices in your lunch-hour and see if they have any proper information. Actual, hard, substantiated facts. Pamphlets.

NIGEL: Ok, I'll do that. I'll get a copy of Protect and Survive while I'm there.

CLAIRE: Isn't that about what to do in the event of a nuclear war?

NIGEL: Yes, but I'm sure much of the sound advice in it will apply to our current, possible, situation.

CLAIRE: Good idea. Has our little talk helped you, honey pot?

NIGEL (smiling up into Claire's happy face): Very much so, snuggly bunny. I feel very reassured.

CLAIRE (smiling down into Nigel's face): I'm so pleased.

The conversation pauses while they gaze longingly into each other's eyes in a sickeningly American sitcom-with-a-message way.

CLAIRE (snapping out of the spell): Anyway, much as I'd love to talk more about the supposed forthcoming destruction, I have to get to work, and so do you. You don't want to be late again, do you?

A clock (off camera) chimes once.

NIGEL (softly): Oh pants.

CLAIRE (exiting the kitchen with her handbag): I'll be home at seven. Try to have the cat-shit cleaned up by then if you can.

NIGEL: Cat-shit? What cat-shit?

CLAIRE (called from the hallway, off screen): Don't tell me you didn't smell it? Niffy's done it in your work shoes again. I thought you'd noticed. Oh, there's some exciting looking post here for you. See you later babes. Bye!

Off screen, the front door slams closed behind her.

Nigel grabs his car keys from the table in panic and collects a briefcase as he dashes out the door and into the hall. Seconds later, off screen, the front door slams again. The scene is still for a few moments as the sound of the slammed door dies away. Then the toaster spits two pieces of incredibly burnt toast up into the air and onto the kitchen floor.

To a background of traditional sitcom music Nigel walks to his car whilst stuffing an envelope into his briefcase. We see he's wearing Wellington boots as he unlocks his car and jumps in.

Cut to the inside of Nigel's car as he fights to start it.

NIGEL (muttered): Oh come on.

The starter motor whines the stubborn engine over.

NIGEL (spoken louder and growing in volume): You really need to start right now. Or else I'm going to take you Banger-racing, and you know what that means, don't you?

The engine still fails to fire.

NIGEL (shouted): Ok, ok. What about Banger racing against Volvos!? Saabs with sharpened corners! Come on you rancid piece of dog sputum!

As he shouts the engine barks to life and our hero rams the car into gear (complete with comic cog crunching) and wheel-spins away.

Cut to a view along the road. As Nigel's car accelerates past a parked car, its mysterious occupant turns to hide his or her face from him. Our POV rises to follow Nigel's car out of sight.

Nigel is forced to slow as he becomes stuck in a traffic jam on an urban dual carriage way.

NIGEL (looking at his wrist, to himself): I really ought to buy a watch.

He remembers his car stereo and clicks it on. The raucous music fades out.

DJ FRESH: Hey! That was the Dead Kennedy's with Too Drunk To F-

DJ TOMMO (interrupting in a hurry): Whey! Awesome track guy. An unusual choice.

DJ FRESH: You know it!

DJ TOMMO: Yes I do.

DJ FRESH: Err, great! Morning again Tommo, can you tell the nation what's happening out on the roads right now?

DJ TOMMO: Cars and Buses and that. I don't care. I'm not interested in what is happening on the roads today, Fresh.

DJ FRESH (tinge of fear): No?

DJ TOMMO: No. My attention has been caught instead by what I've been reading about in this morning's papers.

DJ FRESH (worried): What's that then Tommo? Rail trouble ahead instead?

DJ TOMMO: Listen guy. A huge- I'll say that again, but bigger- HUGE rock is going to hit us man.

DJ FRESH (thinking fast): Aww man. You've been checking out my record box again, ain't cha? It's packed full of Huge Rock, Vast Techno, Giant hip-hop and Chunky-ass'd pop tunes! And you know DJ Fresh is the guy to hit you with them, people!

DJ TOMMO: That's not what I meant Fresh.

NIGEL (to radio): That's not what he meant Fresh.

DJ FRESH (whispered): We talked about this Tommo.

DJ TOMMO: The public has the right to know.

DJ FRESH (laughing nervously): Man, you be frightening people now.

DJ TOMMO: They're frightened? I'm scarred white, man!

DJ FRESH: You are white, man.

DJ TOMMO: Figure of speech, Homie.

DJ FRESH: What did you call me?

DJ TOMMO: Homie. It's street slang for, err, Home boy. Look Fresh, I know what we talked about earlier, an' I know I'm contractually obliged not to talk about any subject in anything but the most vapid, superficial way-

DJ FRESH: Go careful with them complex words guy. You don't want to go loosing our target audience, yeh-know-what-I-mean?

DJ TOMMO: Target audience? This ain't about demographics, Fresh. This is about life and death. Millions of people are gunna die!

DJ FRESH: You're starting to sound like Jar Jar Binks.

DJ TOMMO: You've always resented me and my extended vocabulary, haven't you?

Nigel is picking his nose as the broadcast continues, oblivious to the many fellow Jam-prisoners watching him with looks of disgust. Is he or isn't he, they're all wondering. He doesn't.

DJ FRESH: Extended Vo-? You went to public school, didn't you Tommo?

DJ TOMMO: Yeah man, what of it?

DJ FRESH: And I bet you was a boarder, wasn't you?

DJ TOMMO: Only after I was six.

DJ FRESH: Guy, that is the saddest damn thing I have heard all week. You see, when I was a kid, back in Brixton, I lived with my parents. And do you know why I lived with my parents Tommo?

DJ TOMMO: Because they were too poor to send you to public school?

DJ FRESH: No. Because they liked me.

DJ Tommo starts to weep quietly.

DJ FRESH (embarrassed): Nah man, this ain't the way it was meant to happen. You, err, you just dry your eyes man and let's crack on with the show. It's umm, eight minutes past, umm, an hour and now its time for Tommo's Tune of the Day. What you brought in from your own personal, private collection of master sounds and carpet-burn-hot grooves for us this morning?

DJ TOMMO (still whimpering): It's on the turntable already, Fresh. Just hit B.

DJ FRESH: Ladies and gentlemen. I really want to say sorry for any, like, worry my colleague, associate-dude, has caused anyone and that. I'm sure at some level he meant well. I don't think he'll be around after this next record, so if you've got good-byes to say, say them now.

NIGEL (not really listening as he inspects his bald patch in his mirror): Goodbye Tommo.

DJ TOMMO (with a sniff): I'm so sorry. Goodbye.

Tommo's tune plays in. It's R.E.M.s It's the End of the World as we know it (and I feel fine).

DJ FRESH (Suddenly realizes what's playing as he's being faded out): Tommo! You Mother-loving…

Nigel begins to sway to the music. As the shot widens, we see that everyone else in the traffic jam has been listening to the same station and is swaying in time with Nigel and R.E.M. The shot continues to widen into an aerial view. We notice a shape forming out of the ring-road, buildings and the areas of light and dark fields around the town. As the POV moves higher we realize that the town is at the centre of an enormous bullseye, like some huge target.

The office is open-plan and has an air of tension. It's in the faces of the three waiting male workers already at their desks, while another sits ominously unoccupied. An attractive young woman is photocopying. The office clock ticks loudly.

SIMON: I think we're looking at Nine-twenty, minimum.

CLIFF: No. Not a mid-month Wednesday. He'll be a little earlier. Perhaps Nine-ten or a smidgen either way.

DAVE: That's a very scientific approach. I bet he'll make it. Nine o'clock on the dot.

SIMON: Optimism, my friend, is traditionally a good thing, but that's just plain crazy talk. If it's a bet you want, it's a bet you can have. What are you wagering, Davie Boy?

DAVE: Nothing. He's been on time before. Remember? It was in the autumn.

SIMON: That doesn't count. The clocks had gone back an hour and he hadn't noticed. Are you going to put your dosh where your gob is?

DAVE: Simon, I was using the word figuratively. Ok?

CLIFF: Whoa lads. How about the loser nips downstairs and gets coffees all round. How's that?

OFFICE GIRL: Who are you talking about?

DAVE: Nigel. He's the office 'late guy'. You're from downstairs, aren't you?

OFFICE GIRL: Our 'copier's playing up. I won't be five minutes.

SIMON: Then you'll never get to meet him.

DAVE (looking at his watch): He's still got a couple of minutes. I'm sure he'll get here on the dot.

SIMON: This is the same Nigel we're talking about? Kinda haggard early middle aged bloke with an expression like a sheep with a guilty secret?

DAVE: Where's your faith? You heard him talking to Don yesterday. He swore on his honor as a salesman he'd be here. He wouldn't dare turn up late again. Not after last time.

CLIFF: You're forgetting that Nigel's a habitual late arriver. This is a man who thinks punctuality is putting full stops and commas in the right places. He wouldn't know a dead line if one stalked him for three years and sent him upsetting letters. His body clock is running on Venusian time, or something.

SIMON: That would explain a lot. I've always wondered if he was from outer space. Egg and Banana sandwiches. That's just not natural, in anyone's book. You mentioned the stalking dead line thing? Do they do that? A dead line followed me home once but it seemed harmless enough at the time.

DAVE (With an edge of doubt in his voice): You two really do scare me sometimes. Anyway, he's still got a minute or two.

CLIFF: So what do you two think is going happen?

SIMON: I think he'll walk through the door at twenty minutes past nine.

CLIFF: And after that?

SIMON: He's going to get the carpeting of his life. By the time Don's finished with him, poor old Nigel will be answering to the name 'Axminster'.


SIMON: You ask a lot of questions for a casual observer.

OFFICE GIRL (with genuine pride): I have an inquiring nature. We've got the Discovery channel.

CLIFF: He's our boss. You're new, aren't you?

OFFICE GIRL: You think I'm new just because I don't know who your boss is? I bet lots of people down in Admin. don't know who your boss is.

SIMON: I think you're new because they sent you to do the photocopying.

OFFICE GIRL: Oh I don't mind really. It makes a nice change from filing. It doesn't 'arf hurt your bum after a while.

SIMON: You've scared me and I'm stopping this conversation right here.

DAVE (worried): He's not going to make it, is he?

The hands of the office clock close on Nine o'clock. All the telephones ring. The three men scramble for one like Pavlov's Dogs. Dave gets to his 'phone first.

It is Don Matthews, their boss on the line. He is a small pig-like man with a dull monotone voice.

DAVE: Good morning, Maynard Matthews Butler Copplegrueber Enterprises PLC. David Dee speaking. How may we help you?

DON: This is Mister Matthews.

DAVE: Oh, Good morning Don. How was my telephone manner for you today?

DON: Much improved. Well done. I'd like to speak to Mr Wylde, please.

DAVE (casting a look at the others): I'm sorry Don, Nigel isn't available right now.

The other two men make stabbing and hanging motions in the background.

DON: Do you know where he is?

DAVE (thinking fast): I'm sorry, I d-o-n-t. He may be in the toilet? Can I ask him to give you a call back?

DON: No thank you Mr Dee. When Mr Wylde is good enough to join you, please make a note of the time for me. Can you do that David?

DAVE: Err, yes Don, of course I could. Can. Will.

DON: Thank you. I'll be in at about lunchtime. I have some important business to finish up before I come in today.

DAVE: Naturally. We'll see you later then Don.

DON: Yes, and David?

DAVE: Yes Don?

DON: You won't forget to make that note for me, will you?

DAVE: Certainly not, Don.

DON: And you won't be trying to help Nigel out of a sticky situation by, perhaps, putting a time down which wasn't entirely precise, will you?

DAVE: I'm shocked to think you'd consider me capable of such a thing.

DON: I will be checking the videotape log.

DAVE (confused): Videotape log? What videotape log?

DON: Damn. Forget I mentioned the videotape log, David. It was a slip of the tongue.

DAVE (growing worried and looking about for a hidden camera): Already forgotten about it sir.

DON: Forgotten about what?

DAVE (looking under desk): Ahahahaha

DON: Ahahahaha

DAVE: No Don, I'll be sure to represent Nigel's time of arrival with due accuracy.

DON: Splendid. Goodbye Mr. Dee.

DAVE (hanging up): Goodbye Don.

As Dave hangs up the SPLIT SCREEN slides across to show Don isn't personally holding the telephone to his mouth. An attractive dark eyed dominatrix is holding it for him to speak into, because his own hands are tied behind him.

DON: It's ok, he's gone.

DOM (with a hint of exotic accent. Possibly false): You want me to hang up?

DON: Yes please.

DOM (Whilst viciously slapping him): Yes please what?

DON: Yes please Mistress.

DOM (hanging up the phone): Much better. You deserve a small reward. Perhaps… Ponygirl?

DON (suppressing his joy): If it pleases my Mistress.

The Dominatrix gives a shrug of total indifference.

Cut to:

Nigel bursts through the office door looking disheveled and tired. The three salesmen and the photocopying girl (who has the side of the 'copier open, tugging at a jammed piece of paper) look up in surprise.

SIMON (reading from the office clock): Eleven-fifty-eight. A new record.

CLIFF: And that clock is a couple of minutes slow.

DAVE: Are you ok Nige? You look terrible.

OFFICE GIRL: Hello Nigel. I'm Sara.

NIGEL (slumping to his desk): Hi Sara. You would not believe what's happened to me today.

SIMON: It's not us you'll need to convince.

NIGEL: Is he in? I need to straighten things out with the old fool.

SIMON (nervously aware hidden cameras may mean hidden microphones too): Not yet. He's due in at about one. (A little louder) I don't know who you mean. Is who in? No old fools here.

NIGEL (pulling a spare pair of shoes from his wastepaper basket and removing his Wellington boots): Plenty of time to look busy. Do you have a spare tie? This one's got blood, some waxy oil, could be paraffin, and gravy on it.

DAVE (handing over a tie from his briefcase): What the hell happened to you?

NIGEL: This is crazy, but I was sitting in a traffic jam on the ring-road-

He is cut-off by all the 'phones ringing. Cliff gets to the call first. We only hear his side of the conversation.

CLIFF (with a pointed look at Nigel): Good afternoon, Maynard Matthews Butler Copplegrueber Enterprises PLC. Cliff Skywalker speaking. How may we help you?… No, it really is Skywalker….. I have no idea… No… It's all right, you've not embarrassed me…. Nigel? One second, I'll transfer you. (To Nigel) It's for you.

NIGEL (pulling a headset on): Really? They're asking for Nigel, and I'm the only person here called Nigel. And the call's for me. What a coincidence.

CLIFF: Do you want him or not?

NIGEL: Who is it?

CLIFF: He didn't say.

NIGEL: So how am I supposed to know if I want him or not? You've not given me much to work with.

CLIFF (theatrically reaching for the 'Disconnect' button): Lost call it is.

NIGEL: No, no. I'll take it. Helps pass the time.

With a click, Cliff connects the call. Nigel takes it on 'hands-free'.

NIGEL: Nigel Wylde speaking. Who's the lucky caller on line number seven?

ED: It's Ed, Nige. How's tricks?

NIGEL: Edwardo! Tricks is good. Turned lots.

ED: Brilliant news Nigel. Look, old son. I've got a problem.

NIGEL: Let me stop you there. Now that you've told me that you have a problem, let's just say it's not a problem anymore, shall we, and leave it at that?

ED: If only it were that simple Nigel old pal, old buddy, old chum, old mate.

NIGEL (kicking back and putting his feet up on his desk): An elaborate problem then? I enjoy a hazardous obstacle-solving venture. What's the Beef?

ED: Sorry Nigel, I've lost the thread of the banter with 'Beef'. Do you mind if we just talk like normal people?

NIGEL (dropping feet back onto the carpet and sitting up): Sure thing Ed. A pleasure to converse with you in any way you prefer. Oh yes indeed.

ED: These novelty lamps you sold me on Monday. I'm not happy. Not even fifty-percent happy.

NIGEL: You know me, boss. If you're not 100% happy, I'm not 100% happy. Tell me about the lamps.

ED: They're Lama-Lamps.

NIGEL: Bolivia's finest.

ED: I was expecting Lava-Lamps.

NIGEL: Your expectations have been vastly surpassed?

ED: Not exactly. No. In a word, No. Not at all in fact.

NIGEL (removing his tie and replacing it with Dave's): Let me get this straight in my mind. You were expecting to receive five hundred hum-drum, dull, old-hat, run-of-the-mill, common-or-garden Lava-Lamps, and I what I'd actually sold you was this countries entire stock of hand-crafted, ethnic, collectable, unique, extraordinary, almost challenging, Lama-lamps instead.

ED: If that's the way you want to put it, yes.

NIGEL: Some confusion there, certainly.

ED: So what can you do about it?

NIGEL: How long have I known you Ed?

ED: It must be getting on for five years.

NIGEL: And have I ever, ever, steered you wrong?

ED: There were those inflatable dartboards.

NIGEL (worried by his customers' excellent memory): Apart from the dartboard fiasco, which I'll admit was something of a cul-de-sac moment for us, what else? An idea before it's time in my view. Bath darts, the sport of the future.

ED: The fish flavored edible pants?

NIGEL: You made good money on those.

ED: Only after opening a branch in Greenland.

NIGEL: On my advice, I seem to remember.

ED: It closed last month.

NIGEL (after the briefest of pauses): Consolidation of capital is the way forward for Gizmo's and Gadgets Ltd, Ed. A re-evaluation of overseas development, in light of the exchange rates at the moment, coupled with a fresh look at domestic markets is vital, right now. The point is that you're failing to see the bigger picture, vis-à-vis the Lama Lamps. It's a huge untapped supermarketplace. You have the product. You have control of the whole shooting match.

ED (sniffing): What's that?

NIGEL: What's what?

ED: That smell.

NIGEL: What smell? I smell no smell. Not that I would from here I guess. Not unless developments in telecommunications which I was not privy too have… Oh I can't be bothered.

ED: It's kind of farmyardy.

NIGEL: Not the sweet smell of success?

ED (sniffing again): No, not really. It's like sheep poo.

NIGEL: Not the heady tang of quality sales chitchat?

ED: I'm wrong, it's more like cow crap.

NIGEL: I fear I know where this is heading.

ED: No, no. I'm wrong. I've got it all wrong. It's not cow crap I can smell. It's Bullshit.

NIGEL: That's uncalled for Ed.

ED: Hardly. Five hundred lama-shaped floor lamps stuffed up my arse makes it very called for!

NIGEL: Run out of warehouse space again?

ED (becoming threatening): Notice how I'm not laughing? You mislead me. It was a mistake.

NIGEL (becoming more serious): Listen Ed. I can tell you're not totally happy with the deal. I am sorry about that. Truly I am. You know how much our friendship, which I've nurtured and grown over the last five, count 'em, five years, means to me, don't you? And not just in terms of my sales targets and bonus payments, but on a personal level too? I respect you as a buyer. It's not an easy job but somebody's got to do it. I'll level with you Ed, you're one of the best. When it comes to haggling carriage, you're head and shoulders above the rest. It's been both a pleasure and a privilege to be your account manager here at Maynard Matthews Butler Copplegrueber Enterprises PLC. I like, maybe even choose, to think you respect me as a salesman too. We've had a laugh or three over the years, haven't we? Hell, you even named one of your kids after me, didn't you?

ED: Little Nigel, yes. Actually, they're both named after you.

NIGEL (surprised): Really? What's the other one called?

ED: Twat.

The line goes dead. Nigel turns to the others who range from awed (Dave) to appalled (Simon)

NIGEL: Another happy customer.

CLIFF: You talk so much pony.

NIGEL: He'll be ok once he calms down.

SIMON: Calms down? You've just had your biggest account call you a twat and hang up on you.

NIGEL: It'll be fine.

DAVE: You've got to admit he wasn't happy. Not even fifty percent.

NIGEL (looking up at the office clock): Is it that time already? I'm on early lunches this week, aren't I? (He stands) Simon. Shall we?

Simon shrugs and rises from his desk.

CLIFF: You've only been here five minutes.

NIGEL: Ah yes, but I'm five hours from breakfast and seven from dinner.

Simon and Nigel walk out of the office.

CLIFF: Can you believe that?

DAVE: I'm struggling with it.

Fade to black.

After a good lunch Nigel and Simon return to the office. Sara, the photocopy girl, is now up to her elbows in the guts of the 'copier with a technical manual open besides her.

DAVE: Don arrived ten minutes ago. He wants you to go to his office. Straight away.

NIGEL (worried): What did you tell him?

DAVE (embarrassed): He knew you came in late, Nige.

SIMON: It's Office Olympics time.

NIGEL: Don't tell me. I'm for the High-jump?

SIMON: I hate it when you spoil my punch lines.

Fade up to a frosted glass office door, stenciled with the words:

Donald Matthews
Managing Director

Nigel stops in front of the door and knocks.

DON (Shouted from the other side of the door, off camera): Enter.


Cut to the interior of the office. Don is behind a large desk. The office door opens and a pensive looking Nigel shuffles in.

DON (Coolly): It was high noon, my spies advise me. Damn. Did I say spies? I don't mean spies. What time would you say you made it in, Nigel?

NIGEL: I can explain Don. It's not my fault-

DON: It never is, is it?

NIGEL: There's been an accident on the ring road. A jack-knifed lorry and a promotional vehicle in the shape of a giant orange. Very messy.

DON: Well, it has the unmistakable ring of truth about it. However I have the other staffs moral to think about. If I let your continuous lateness go unpunished… It sets a president, you see. Quite a nasty one. It leaves me in a very difficult position. (Warming slightly) You've been here the longest of any of the sales people, haven't you?

NIGEL: Six years, man and boy.

DON: (Cooling again): How often have you actually been here on time?

NIGEL (Pauses to think): There was last October-

DON (Picking up a paper knife and toying with it): Remind me what we discussed before you left yesterday?

NIGEL: Err, how my time keeping was a disgrace. How I must greatly improve it. That kind of thing. Generally.

DON: Do you remember promising me you'd be here on time today?

NIGEL: You were serious about that?

DON: Yes. Deeply. And do you remember what I said would happen if you were late again?

NIGEL: I can work through my lunch hour.

DON: You've had two written warnings in the last three months regarding your time keeping.

NIGEL: I never leave at dead on five thirty.

DON (Shaking his head): Commendable, but no substitute for being on time. I'm sorry Nigel.

NIGEL: I suppose it's too late to book today off as holiday and start a-fresh tomorrow?

DON: I don't like letting people go, Nigel, but you've really left me no choice. Clear your desk. I'll make sure you get your weeks money but I want you to leave today. I don't like doing this, Nigel.

NIGEL (a little stunned): I don't like you doing it either.

DON: It's a question of staff moral, you see. You do understand don't you?

NIGEL: So I'm fired then?

DON: Sacked under the conditions of your contract of employment with us. Yes. Not an easy decision for me, Nigel. Not at all easy. But I have the other staff to consider.

NIGEL: You've actually fired me then?

DON: Reluctantly let you go. I'll give you a good reference of course. I'll play down your inability to be in the building at a sensible hour.

NIGEL: That's good of you.

DON: The least I could do, Nigel.

NIGEL: What am I going to tell my wife and kids?

DON: You're not married and you have no children. Nigel.

NIGEL: Well, my future wife and kids then.

DON: You're going to have to excuse me Nigel. Wednesday afternoons aren't my best. Being the MD isn't all golf and flagellation you know. Damn. Did I say flagellation? I meant expensive business lunches on expenses. Lots to do. Must get on. (Looks about desk for something.) Cheques to sign. Err… (Spots a book of stamps and picks them up) Stamps to lick. Stores will have a box waiting for you.

NIGEL (Still in shock): Umm. Thanks. I'll go then?

DON: It's for the best.

Nigel, lost in his own world, wanders out of the office. The camera pans around and down to an executive toy on Dons desk. It is a decision-maker type. A magnet hangs over a flat board that would usually say Yes/No/Maybe/Golf. This one is divided into five segments, all of which say 'Sack Him'

Nigel enters via a pair of swing doors into the half-light of the Stores.

NIGEL (Calling): Hello? Anyone down here? (The echo of his voice dies away)

A half-seen figure zips between aisles of shelves, heavy with boxes.

NIGEL (Calling): I've come down to collect a box.

A tinkle of laughter issues from the depths of the warehouse. Nigel spins to look where the noise has come from and a distant figure dances between shelves behind him. He spins again as he catches sight of it from the corner of his eye.

Nigel jumps as a wizened little bald man, stripped to the waist and wearing war paint, appears besides him.

OLD MAD MAN: Can we help you, Sonny?

NIGEL: God! You made me jump!

OLD MAD MAN (looking hurriedly about): Don't call me god. Not here. Not now. Why have you come to us, Sonny?

NIGEL: I was told there was going to be a box down here, waiting for me.

OLD MAD MAN (euphoric): Waiting for you? Waiting for you? (He begins to dance) Waiting for you! Ha ha! We're all waiting for you Sonny!

NIGEL: Can you stop calling me Sonny? I'm Thirty five.

OLD MAD MAN: Thirty five and all your own skin! Oh Sonny! They sent you down from the world of light and beauty for a box?

NIGEL (nervously): Yes. Just a cardboard one. Nothing fancy.

OLD MAD MAN: You've come to the right place. We've got lots of boxes, tiddly-pom.

NIGEL: Can I have one?

OLD MAD MAN: What's it like?

NIGEL: The box? About so-big? (use of hands)

OLD MAD MAN (staring intently at the swing doors): The outside?

NIGEL: Oh you wouldn't like it.

OLD MAD MAN (suddenly very serious and bright eyed): A box? You want a box? A box of your own? A box to call home? A big box? A red box? A box for a cat? A box for a rat? A box for an ox? A box for a fox?

NIGEL: Dr Seuss has a lot to answer for.

OLD MAD MAN (conspiratorially): You know of Dr Seuss?

NIGEL: Just give me the damned box. Please.

OLD MAD MAN: Sonny, Sonny… Dear, fresh-faced, Sonny. There's no need to shout. I have ears you know. Two of them. More if you count- No, you don't want to know about that dark trade, do you?

NIGEL: I just want to get my box and get out of here.

More tinkling laughter from the shadows.

OLD MAD MAN (somehow producing a cardboard box from behind his back): This is for you Sonny. This is your box. Guard it well. For it is a mighty ally, but a terrible adversary.

NIGEL (trying to take the box): Thanks. At last. It's a lovely box. Can I have it?

OLD MAD MAN: You must never feed it after midnight, Sonny.

NIGEL: Sound advice. And it's Nigel, not Sonny. Could you let go?

OLD MAD MAN (releasing his grip on the box): It's such a shame you and Cher split up.

NIGEL (backing away towards the door): And it's a pity I died whilst skiing.

OLD MAD MAN: A tragedy, to be sure. We sing 'I've got you babe' sometimes, you know?

Nigel escapes out of the warehouse through its swing doors.

OLD MAD MAN (dancing away down the aisles): In the mornings, sometimes. And then again in the afternoon, if we've been good.

Cut to the open plan office. Sara, the office girl, is kneeling and has the whole side of the 'copier off. Piles of components are laid out in a semicircle around her.

OFFICE GIRL (muttering into the depths of the 'copier): Bastard. Bastard.

The camera pans to follow Nigel past Sara until he reaches his desk. He puts the box he is carrying down and starts to fill it with files. Pan to the three other salesmen at their desks. They look anxious.

SIMON: Not good, then?

NIGEL (off camera): Not good at all. He fired me.

CLIFF: We guessed when we saw the box.

NIGEL (off camera): Who grassed? I've been stitched up like a Kipper in casualty.

DAVE: We were put in a very difficult position.

NIGEL (off camera): There's a lot of it going round.

CLIFF: He asked us a direct question.

NIGEL (off camera): Really? I'm sure he got a direct answer too.

DAVE: Don't have a go at him. It was me. I told Don you'd made it in for your lunch break.

NIGEL (off camera): Et Tu Brutus?

DAVE (pointing to his chest): David. Me David. Remember? Did he tell you to clear your desk?

NIGEL (off camera): Yes. The box was waiting for me in Stores. Have you ever been down there?

SIMON: When they say 'clear your desk', do you think they mean the companies PC as well?

NIGEL (off camera-There is the thud of something heavy being put into the box): No one said, either way.

DAVE: Perhaps you should check?

NIGEL (off camera-ignoring him): I've certainly not seen anything written down. 'Take a box and clear your desk', he said. I should think a PC that sits on the desk would be ok. Very gray area.

CLIFF (to Simon. Knocking noise coming from Nigel's direction, off camera): Perhaps you should call security?

SIMON (to Cliff. More thumping noises): Don't ask me. You do what ever you think is right.

CLIFF (to Dave. The noises continue): What do you think?

DAVE (to Cliff. The noises stop): You always have to involve me, don't you? Anyway, it's too late to do anything now.

The camera pans back to where Nigel and his desk stood. Depressions in the carpet are all that remain of desk, chair and pot-plant.

DAVE (off camera-to himself): Bye then.

CLIFF (off camera): Well, I never liked him. Shifty eyes.

SIMON (off camera as the scene fades to black): Definitely had a criminal air about him. A classic villains jaw, I always thought. Egg and Banana sandwiches. If you ask me, you'd only get a taste for that kind of mixture at her majesties pleasure.

Cut to Nigel's car, well loaded with desk, chair, box and plant. We follow him past an accident on the opposite carriage way. He passes out of the frame as the camera pauses to see the police are directing slow moving traffic past an ambulance, a jack-knifed lorry and what appears to be a giant satsuma.

Nigel sits at his kitchen table in a state of shock. He stares at his briefcase, which embodies the job he has lost. The hall clock begins to chime. It stirs him from his reverie and he recalls the letter he picked up earlier. He opens the case, finds the envelope and opens it.

NIGEL (reading aloud): Dear Mister Wylde…Blah, blah. It is with regret that we have to inform you of your Uncles death… blah, blah. Considerable estates on the west coast of Scotland…. Blah? The Laird of Lochmurry…. Blah? Please contact me at your earliest convenience, blah. Duncan McShale, executor in law.

Nigel is holding the letter as he makes a 'phone call and is answered by a receptionist.

RECEPTIONIST (Speaking into her headset): Good afternoon. Brock, Grayson and McShale.

NIGEL: Hello. I'd like to speak to Mr. McShale please.

RECEPTIONIST: May I ask who's calling?

NIGEL: Nigel Wylde

RECEPTIONIST: Do you have an appointment, Mr. Wylde?

NIGEL: Oh I'm just calling. I don't think I'll be paying you a visit in person.

RECEPTIONIST: I've been asked only to put calls through to Mr. McShale when the caller has made a prior appointment to telephone him.

NIGEL (incredulous): I've never been asked to book an appointment before making a 'phone call before.

RECEPTIONIST: It's a new drive to help Mr. McShale optimize his time usage efficiency ratio. He's a very busy man, Mr. Wylde.

NIGEL: What has this drive done for your time usage efficiency ratio?

RECEPTIONIST: I've yet to have that fully evaluated, but I believe it totally stuffs it, I'm sorry to say.

NIGEL: I can imagine. Can I make an appointment now?

RECEPTIONIST (dragging a fat book across her desk and opening it): Let me see… I am showing him as being available all afternoon. What time would be most convenient for you, Mr. Wylde?

NIGEL: How about right now?

RECEPTIONIST: This very moment?

NIGEL: Indulge me.

RECEPTIONIST: I'll see if Mr. McShale is in the office today. Please hold the line.

The Receptionist fades to black. Nigel hums a tune from the radio to himself.

From the blackness, McShales office fades in. Nigel stops his humming.

McSHALE: Hello. This is Duncan McShale.

NIGEL: Mr. McShale, I'm Nigel Wylde, you-

McSHALE (Cutting Nigel off): Ah, yes. The nephew. So good of you to call.

NIGEL (Continuing from where he left off and glancing at the letter): -sent me a letter about my uncle and an inheritance? I wasn't even aware that I had an Uncle Rex.

McSHALE: A fine, fine man. Generous, witty…. Enormous beard.

NIGEL: Err. Yes. Your letter asks me to contact you.

McSHALE: Indeed it does.

NIGEL: And so here I am, contacting you.

McSHALE: Indeed you are.

NIGEL: So, ah…?

McSHALE: It's a lottery, isn't it?

NIGEL (confused): Is it? Err, what is? Life?

McSHALE: Oh no, quite the opposite. Death. Yes, death. You're never quite sure what you'll get.

NIGEL: Apart from cold and stiff you mean?

McSHALE: What you'll get. Inheritance, you see. Take my own uncle for example. I was a young carefree man of about twenty at the time. He left me an Austin Seven and a sheep dog.

NIGEL (sitting down on a chair by the 'phone): I'm sorry, Mr. McShale. I don't quite understand-

McSHALE (cutting Nigel off again): Jessie.

NIGEL: I- What?

McSHALE: Beautiful animal. Temperament of a saint. Scared of sheep though. Mr. Wylde?


McSHALE: There are a few err, special clauses in the will. It would advantageous if you could come up to Inverness so that we can meet and set the wheels in motion, as it were.

NIGEL (reflective): I've found myself unexpectedly available for a holiday. Would tomorrow be too soon?

McSHALE: Not at all. I look forward to meeting the nephew of Rex De Wylde. He was a wonderful man you know. Enormous beard. Three o'clock would suit. You have the address? It's at the top of the letter I think.

NIGEL: I've got it right here. I'll see you at three tomorrow. Goodbye.

McSHALE: Before you go, one last little thing. Hardly worth mentioning really. Have you seen the film 'The Whicker Man'? It's got Edward Woodward in it.

NIGEL: I don't think so. Nope. I'm pretty sure I've never heard of it.

McSHALE: Happy news! At three o'clock then! Goodbye.

He hangs up and both scenes fade to black.

Nigel is broadly speaking, cooking. The room is filling with steam as Claire returns home.

CLAIRE (off screen): Where did this table and chair come from?

NIGEL: Which table and chair?

CLAIRE (appearing at the kitchen door): The table and chair taking up half the hallway.

NIGEL: Oh that table and chair.

CLAIRE: If you think I'm prepared to do this routine all night long, you're sadly mistaken.

NIGEL: They're from work. They were, umm, having a bit of a clear out.

CLAIRE (worried): What's happened?

NIGEL: Would this be the famous feminine intuition I've heard so much about?

CLAIRE: No. It's just as liars go you're like a church mouse.

NIGEL: How so?

CLAIRE: Very poor.

NIGEL: Aha. You realize I'm just trying to protect you from the dreadful truth?

CLAIRE: You used to be a woman?

NIGEL: Not that dreadful truth.

CLAIRE: Which dreadful truth then?

NIGEL: I've mislaid my Job. No, that's not true. I've lost it. I've lost my job. They sacked me. Just like that. Into Don's office with a job and out of it without one. I suppose that means my job's in that office somewhere now? Where do you think he keeps it? The filing cabinet or a desk draw?

CLAIRE (Giving him a hug): Oh my poor bunny. You're babbling. In the name of all that's decent, why? You weren't late again, were you?

NIGEL: I was late again. Very late. I saved the life of a young hedgehog today though, so in many ways it wasn't all bad. And for that act of kindness, the company let me go.

CLAIRE: It sounds like you've been returned to the wild. Should I check you for tracking devices?

NIGEL: All afternoon I've been sat in here, thinking things through. Perhaps, I said to myself, perhaps I should look for the silver lining to this cloud?

CLAIRE (sitting): They don't really have them though, do they? They're just water vapor. If it's silver linings you're looking for, I'd recommend starting with gold waistcoats.

NIGEL: I'm not detecting the luxuriant level of sympathy I'd been hoping for.

CLAIRE (snapping); Well, what do you expect? You've never arrived to work on time in all the years I've known you. They couldn't turn a blind eye to it indefinitely. You were lucky to be tolerated for as long as you were.

NIGEL: That's just not true. There was that time in October-

CLAIRE: Let's not argue babes. I've had a bad day too.

NIGEL: Out of ten?

CLAIRE: Oh about a three.

NIGEL: Nasty. Anyway, as I was saying, this could be the best thing to happen to me in years. I'd been stuck in a rut at MMBCE, PLC. This could be a message, you know?

CLAIRE: A message that says, "loose your income and self esteem?"

NIGEL: A message that says, go out into the world and make something of yourself while you still can. I could do anything! I've not felt so optimistic in years! This is freedom! This is opportunity!

CLAIRE: The freedom to have the house repossessed? The opportunity to dip into our savings? Bang goes our shed buying plans. That's all I'm saying.

NIGEL: I know you're upset. Who wouldn't be?

CLAIRE: Someone who wanted a bum for a boyfriend?

NIGEL (turning back to the cooker): Be happy for me honey. It's a challenge. I will rise to it. But first, Spagbol!

Claire is already in bed as Nigel is getting undressed.

NIGEL: You can't keep it up you know. After a while you'll forget for a split second and that's it. You'll have lost and I'll have won!

Claire gives him a withering look and folds her arms.

NIGEL: I don't see a problem this treatment, actually. I know it winds a lot of men up but I honestly prefer you this way. I seem to recollect you telling me when we were first together that whatever differences we have, we should always talk them through. Do you remember saying that? Get things out in the open, you said. But when the going gets tough, the tough get silent, don't they? Ah?

Claire slides beneath the duvet and rolls to face away from him.

NIGEL: Half an hour from now I'll roll over and fart and you'll call me a dirty bastard. That's how it works.

CLAIRE: If only you were as funny as you look.

NIGEL: Arrrr!

CLAIRE: Nigel. If you don't shut up, come to bed and turn the light out I'm going to give you the slapping of your life. I don't want to do it, but you're forcing my hand.

NIGEL (slipping into bed too): To think, Don has to pay good money for that.

CLAIRE: Before we go to sleep, I do have a confession to make.

NIGEL (switching off the bed-side lamp, plunging the room into darkness): What's that?

CLAIRE: I put the vole in your mouth.

NIGEL: Oh… And my shoes?

CLAIRE: That wasn't me.

A giant rock tumbles silently through space. As our point of view turns to follow its path, we see it is on a direct course for Earth, which has grown considerably closer in the intervening day. As an orchestral crescendo builds to create an atmosphere of doom, the end credits roll.

The End.

...and the BBC's letter of rejection. Bastards. They didn't like it. Ho hum. I see this as their way of saying that the World is not yet ready for my unique talents.

The BBC tell me the World is not yet ready

Press here to be magically whisked to the top of this fine site.

Don't do drugs kids.


Or to put it another way, I make noises, and here they are.

These never fail to bring me pleasure when I use them as system sounds when using Windows and the Internet. I hope (against hope) that you like them too. If you have any sounds or noises of your own, I'd love to hear them! Please e-mail me it or them to me and you never know, I may just start up a section of viewers/surfers/whatevers own noises! Thanks.



A ‘Wurrrwar?!’ of surprise.

Ah Mr. Bond. The file is finally finished, yar?

Hwarr! (As if death comes)

Instant Message!

You have mail

Oh no, it’s the off button!

Oh my god!

The question!

Tara a bit then...

Ah, you’ve turned on the computer. Excellent.

Oh. It’s you again. Hello.

Still don't do drugs kids.


At this time my Fluid of Wisdom is unavailable. I apologise if this has in any way reduced your enjoyment of this site. Please come again as a selection of fluids will soon be posted. Would I lie to you?
No I wouldn't.

What did I tell you about drugs?!


My sorrow is so deep because you have now discovered that my Gas of Wisdom is not here. It's out. I shall be going to the top of a tall building and tossing myself off. Let me rephrase that. I apologise if this sordid outburst has in any way marred your enjoyment of this site. Please visit again. Please. A fuller selection of odours will soon be posted. You have my word as a salesman. In place of my Gas of Wisdom, I am proud to present you with the first ever known WORKING scratch and sniff feature on the internet, EVER!


This is the smell of your finger being rubbed against glass.

Ok, no more drugs for you.


Sadly, the Flesh of Wisdom is not a well bunny at the moment. Please visit again. I feel sure, fairly, that the flesh will be happy to be felt again soon. Disposable gloves will be provided.

They'll only make you ill anyway...


Use this link to go 'live and direct' to my FEEDBACK page. Do it now!



Or... It's banner time again!