on the meths

episode two

Albert (narrator) The story so far ... Martine Pilbeam is having difficulty coping with her agoraphobia and kleptomania, and has turned to drink. Martine's sister Raquel is desperate to find love, and has developed an unhealthy interest in Bob the useless window cleaner. Bob's wife Druscilla, who is also Martine's therapist, is setting up a day care centre for Methley Neighbourhood Action - has the hideous old Peggy Trout enrolled? Her daughters, Ginny and Rainbow, certainly hope so. Basil Pilbeam, Martine's husband and the headmaster of a local school has been forced to run it single handed, as his staff are all in hospital. Meanwhile his pupils are running wild.
Scene 1 Albert I don't know if stuffing that sock in the headmasters mouth was a good idea, you know. What if he suffocates?
Anna It can't be good for him whatever happens, that sock has been in lost property for years.
Craig Do you reckon those knots were tight enough Trinity?
Trinity Definately. My knots are why I got chucked out of the Brownies.
Anna He'll kill us if he ever gets out.
Craig We'll just have to keep him there until he calms down. My parents will ground me forever if he tells them about this morning.
Anna I don't know why he got so angry - it wasn't our fault.
Trinity He told us to find out what floated and what didn't. It was his idea in the first place.
Albert I thought the computer would float - it's made of plastic.
Anna Yes, but you didn't have to test all of them, did you?
Albert I didn't - Craig tested the ones in the office, and Trinity tested the laptop in the staff room.
Anna Anyway, we can't keep him in the stock room for too long - he'll starve to death.
Trinity Maybe we could share our packed lunches with him. I've got some cheese strings he could have.
Albert He could have one of my sandwiches - I made them myself, they've got Mars bars in them.
All childrenMmm - sounds good.
Craig He can have my Sunny Delight, and I've got some toffee in the bottom of my pump bag. I could rinse it for him.
Anna So who's going to give it to him? If we take that sock out of his mouth he'll just shout his head off and someone will hear him.
Trinity Oh no, we're gonna get done if anyone finds him.
Albert I think I've got an idea.
(fade out)
Scene 2
(fade in)
Raquel Martine, I know you're my sister - but you really can't expect me to come running at the drop of a hat, that mobile number is for emergencies only. I was in the middle of my karaoke performance when it went off. Luckily I was singing 'Telephone Man'.
Martine (sobbing) It is an emergency! Raquel, It's 9 o'clock at night!
Raquel Oh My God! So it is! Well thanks for dragging me over here to let me know, I'll be off then.
Martine (still sobbing) It's Basil. I think he's having an affair! He's always home in time for 'Countdown' and he hasn't even phoned.
Raquel He's not having an affair Martine. I tried to kiss him goodbye when I set off for VSO and he called me a marriage wrecker. He loves you, though I can't imagine why - look at you, you're absolutely plastered!
Martine Well where is he then?
Raquel He's probably working late at the school. If he's not back by midnight give me a ring. Now try not to drink any more. I have to get back straight away, I'm singing 'Thriller' at quarter past 10 and I've got a whole bunch of helium ballons to get through before I go on. There's a good film starting on BBC1 - why don't you curl up in front of the telly with a mug of cocoa.
Martine I'll give it a try... (sighing) Thanks for coming Raquel, I really appreciate it. I tried to phone Druscilla, I mean she is my best friend and my therapist, but she said that she was practicing her act for the Arts festival and she couldn't possibly get here before Friday. How she hopes to do bareback riding when she weighs 20 stone and she hasn't got a horse I can't imagine, we'll have to wait and see.
Albert (narrator) Meanwhile, back at the Trout household, Ginny is beginning to lose her patience...
(all mikes off)
Scene 3.
(fade in)
Ginny Come on Mum, let's get you upstairs. You'll need to get a good nights sleep if you're off to Arts and Crafts tomorrow.
Peggy I can't believe you made me sign those forms, Ginny. I never thought I'd live to see the day when my own child would have me sent away. Our Elvis would turn in his grave if he knew what you'd done.
Ginny Firstly Elvis isn't dead, he moved to Anthrax island because he said anywhere was better than Methley Square. Secondly, I didn't make you sign the forms. You signed them because the first 5 people to join get a free bottle of 'No Frills Window Wash'. You only did it to annoy Bob. And lastly, I'm not sending you away, it's 1 morning a week in a Portakabin just around the corner.
Peggy A what bin?
Ginny It's a ... Oh forget it, don't go if you don't want to.
Peggy I never said that. It's better than being where I'm not wanted. Are you going to help me up the stairs now, or would you like me to haul myself up by my fingernails?
Ginny Give me strength! I would love nothing more than to help you up the stairs mother - perhaps I will be able to get 5 minutes peace then. I might even nip round to Martine Pilbeams and borrow a bottle of something powerful and a packet of paracetamols.
(mikes off)
scene 4
(fade in)
Bob Martine, I really don't think this film is helping. You're clearly very distressed - and yet yesterday all your troubles seemed so far away. And If I don't get back soon Druscilla will be ever so worried - I'm never away long, except for when I'm cleaning windows. I only popped in to say hello to Basil and I've been here for over an hour.
Martine Please don't leave me Bob - I can't bear to be alone wondering where Basil is, are you sure he hasn't said anything to you?
Bob Only that his staff are all in hospital, and that it's a tragedy. He's probably just a bit tied up at the school.
Bob (drunkenly) I'll get it, you relax.
Ginny (getting nearer) Hi, I'm sorry to barge in on you - but mother's driven me potty tonight and I just needed to get out for a bit - have I called at a bad time?
Martine (definately tipsy) How is your mother? The last I heard she'd been caught shoplifting at Somerfields. What was it she took? A packet of firelighters and a tin of cat food?
Ginny It was a mistake. We told them she had alzheimers and they let her off. What I couldn't understand was why she did it - she hates cats and we've got central heating. Although now I come to think of it the neighbours cat did internally combust a few days later - I'll have to quiz her about that. Bob, are you really watching this awful film?
Bob At first I was afraid, I was petrified - but Martine poured me one of her concoctions and now I seem to have gone blind.
Martine There's only sherry left I'm afraid, Ginny, I seem to have misplaced the Absinthe and the Thunderbird - Bob, be a sweetie and nip to Vicky Wines for us - get us a couple of bottles of scotch and a few tinnies will you?
Bob I'm barred from Vicky Wines - how was I to know they wanted that paint all over their windows? They were sparkling by the time I'd finished with them. I'll nip up to Alldays if you want.
Ginny Oooh - could you pick me up a bit of shopping while you're there? - I'll just write a quick list ...
(fade out)
scene 5
(mikes on)
Bob (drunkenly - singing) Standing by the lampost at the corner of the street .... (or whatever you like)
Raquel Ooh hello Bob! My, what bulging bags - Shall I hold them for you?
Bob {drunkenly} Hello - Racquel, I've just been doing some shopping for your sister.
Racquel Oh, I was there earlier. Has she calmed down a bit?
Bob Why don't you come back and see for yourself, It's turning into a bit of a party.
Racquel Yes that would be lovely! Now why don't you just put your arm around me before you fall over.
Bob Thank you, d'you know your a very kind lady!
Racquel Yes, I could be even kinder if you wanted.... Come on then, lets get you down there. (mikes off)
scene 6
(mikes on) Druscilla Good Morning everybody, and welcome to the Methleys Day Care Centre for the Bewildered. Firstly, I'd like to introduce you to the person who made this all possible - Mr Sinclair John Thomas! Lets give him a big round of applause ...
Everybody(very half-hearted clapping)
Sinclair Welcome, welcome. I'd like to thank you all for coming today - I think we can promise you a wide variety of activities and events, but if you'd like to come up with your own ideas Druscilla and I will be happy to consider them.
Everybody (general mumbling)
Sinclair On Thursday we'll be having a walk around the Methleys with home-made lanterns. We can have a bit of a sing-song on the way, but first we need to make the lanterns. Methley Neighbourhood Action have kindly paid for the poles and the rafia - so we can get started straight away.
Peggy I've got an idea - let's not. Let's take the poles and the rafia and stuff it back in that skip on Methley Place where they nicked it from in the first place. I know Lynne Wrighton's old shower curtain when I see it! As for a lantern walk there isn't one of us who could make it as far as the toilet. By the way, my bag needs changing.
Sinclair Druscilla, can you deal with that? Right, now then everybody - who fancies themselves as a good weaver?
Siobhan Not me, I've got arthritis - but I've always fancied scuba diving.
Siobhan Oooh yes, and I've always wanted to learn how to be a knife thrower ..
Sinclair Let's take one step at a time, now first of all we need to make the frames . Start by picking up your coat hangers and quickly bending them into hexagons.
(fade out)
scene 6.
(mikes on)
Craig Albert! How did you know the MNA had their own nuclear bunker?
Albert I saw them digging it when they turfed the street. It was all a big cover up - literally. They built the whole thing in a weekend. It took me a while to work it out, but I sussed it after I'd mastered Tomb Raider.
Trinity Has Mr Pilbeam woken up yet?
Anna No he's still unconscious. What on earth did you put in that test tube?
Trinity Loads of stuff, I looked up the recipe on the Internet last night - he won't remember a thing when he comes round.
Anna Let's hope not. Now all we need to do is make our disguises. Where are we going to do that?
Craig There's a portakabin on Methley Square, it's full of stuff for making things - we could try and get hold of some of that.
Trinity I want to be a fairy.
Albert You can't be a fairy, Trinity, I've already told you what we have to do...
(mikes off)
(fade in)
Martine (very drunk) Ginny, are you sure Peggy will be alright? You've been here for hours.
Ginny To be honest Martine, I thought I'd better walk back with Bob. He's been in the bathroom with Raquel for a long time.
Martine Oh leave them to it. Raquel could do with some male attention.
Ginny But Druscilla's your best friend! She'd be devastated if Bob ... well if Raquel... Oh you know what I mean.
Martine Bob's too drunk to fuss around Raquel, and Raquel's virginity has probably grown back by now. They're just chatting, trust me.
Ginny Whatever you say Martine, but if I see Druscilla I don't know if I'll be able to keep quiet about all this.
Martine I hope you don't. The truth is Ginny, I can't help thinking she's with Basil! Am I being paranoid? Please Ginny, tell me he's not going to leave me! ......
Ginny You're being paranoid. Although it is getting very late - I hope he's alright.
(fade out)
(mikes on) scene
Bob (still drunkenly) So what do you think it is then Raquel?
Raquel I don't know, lift my legs up a bit higher and I might get a better look.
Bob (grunting noises) There, howzat?
Raquel My God Bob - I think you're right! There really are aliens running out of the portakabin! They're about 4 or 5 feet high and they have silver faces with eyes that look a bit like ping-pong balls! Oh Bob, what shall we do? We should phone the police.
Bob Well we can't do it from here - Martine will freak out completely and her whole house is furnished with things she forgot to pay for. We'll have to sneak out of a window, make the call and then sneak back in before she realises we're gone.
Raquel I'm afraid Bob. It's a 20 foot drop!
Bob Don't worry Raquel - I always keep a spare rope ladder for emergencies. Just hold on tight. I'll carry you.
(fade out)
Rainbow Coooeeeee! Mum! Are you having fun? I was just passing and I thought I'd pop in and see how you were getting on. Oh, how lovely - you're making a scouring pad. It's a bit big, isn't it?
Sinclair (jumping in quickly) Rainbow, it is you isn't it? We met last year at the Support Group for Compulsive Socialists - do you remember me?
Peggy It's a chuffing lantern, and no she doesn't - she can't even remember the names of her kids. Did you know she had 5 kids? No I don't suppose you did, or you wouldn't be drooling all over her like that.
Rainbow Shut up Mum. Yes I think I do! Sinclair isn't it? So what are you doing here?
Sinclair Keeping the elderly off the streets, to make it safe for the children to play. We did a poll, you know, and cars came a poor third in the list of dangers to children in the Methleys. The elderly were way ahead on 98%.
Rainbow What was second?
Sinclair Funnily enough it was Methley Neighbourhood Action. 3 youngsters were hospitalised last year in line dancing accidents. So where have you been hiding yourself lately?
Rainbow Oh I try to get away as much as possible - I've done all the festivals this year, and I've been to every alternative workshop this side of Cornwall. I keep coming back to Chapel A to visit Mum, but I'm never around for long.
Peggy Too right. She only comes around to torture me with her chuffing poisonous oils and then she's off again as soon as I've got the runs.
Sinclair Rainbow, I don't mean to be too - erm forward - but these children? I mean - is there a man?
Peggy (falls about laughing) Who'd have her? She's off her trolley! Eeeh, that's done me good! - say it again Stinky!! Is there a man! (falls about laughing again)
Rainbow Just ignore her, she's on pills. No, there isn't a man Sinclair, I don't have time for that kind of relationship.
Peggy Never found time for a Johnny either, did you?
Sinclair Rainbow, would you like to come out with me one evening - I know a marvellous little Korean burger bar in Middleton ...
Rainbow I'll think about it Sinclair, but I can't make any promises - I have the children to think of.
Albert Will Rainbow accept Stinky John Thomas's invitation? Will Basil escape from the bunker? Will Martine ever trust him again? Will the children get away with their heinous crime? Will Bob and Raquel?