Friday, March 9

black butts 2

you mad fools, you. you wanted more of black butts, and you shall have them. (if you've not read part one, you probably should. at least, if you want part two to make a little more sense than it otherwise might.)


SCENE 2. INT. TOM & HELEN'S LIVING ROOM DAY 2 [11:00]
HELEN IS SITTING ON THE FLOOR, LEANING AGAINST A PACKING CASE MARKED "BOOKS YOU DON"T REMEMBER BUYING" AND READING A RHYMING DICTIONARY. TOM ENTERS, CARRYING A BOX MARKED "JUNK”


TOM:
Where shall I put this?

HELEN:
What’s in it?

TOM:
(READS LABEL) Junk.

HELEN:
Most of them say "junk". I was packing the drinks cupboard when I did the labelling.

TOM OPENS BOX, PULLS OUT A DIABOLO, A BICYCLE SADDLE AND AN AMERICAN HAT.

HELEN:
(SURPRISED) Junk. It can go with the others in the spare room.

TOM’S IMAGINATION: SPARE ROOM AS BEFORE

TOM:
I’ll do it later.

WE HEAR OPERA IN THE BACKGROUND SWIFTLY FOLLOWED BY A VAN PULLING UP OUTSIDE.

HELEN:
Have you met the postman yet?

TOM:
The singing postman? I think it might be a local tradition – like a whistling policeman.

HELEN:
Laughing.

TOM:
No, you can’t laugh and whistle at the same time. (TRIES) See.

THE DOORBELL RINGS. HELEN OPENS THE DOOR TO THE POSTMAN.

POSTIE:
Hello and welcome to the area. I hope you’ll be happy here. But remember as Siegfried said: “Far away I shall be at home; your hearth is not my house, my shelter not your roof.”

HELEN:
Siegfried with the big white lions? I thought he was in hospital…

POSTIE:
No, the opera. (SINGS OPERATICALLY) “But a fish never had a toad for a father!”

HELEN:
Yes, scientifically speaking, it’s unlikely.

POSTIE:
Hmm, maybe it was Brunnhilde.

HELEN:
Maybe. Anyway, thanks for the parcel… And the welcome... And the opera.

POSTIE:
Well, you know what Puccini wrote in Madame Butterfly?

HELEN:
Surely he wrote all of it?

POSTIE:
No… well yes, but specifically: (SINGS AGAIN) “Bene arrivato. Bene arrivato.” Welcome sweet child, dearest one, don't cry, not for those croaking frogs.

HELEN:
Are you sure… yes, well, I’m sure you’re sure.

TOM JOINS HELEN AT THE DOOR AND SPOTS THE PARCEL.

TOM:
Oooh, those must be my new binoculars.

POSTIE:
Bird spotting?

TOM:
Vikings.

POSTIE:
Are they a rare kind of swift?

TOM:
No, you know, Scandinavians blowing big horns.

POSTIE:
I don’t deliver that kind of thing. Against Post Office regulations.

TOM:
No… I mean… what do you know about “The Ring?”

POSTIE:
And I certainly don’t do that kind of thing. Just because you like a nice bit of opera everyone thinks you bat for Huddersfield. For your information, I’m engaged to Sub Post Mistress Jones, and we’re hoping to get married once we can finally come to an agreement on whether to replace the Bridal March with an aria from “The Magic Flute” …

TOM:
Wagner’s opera.

POSTIE:
I think you’ll find Mozart wrote “The Magic Flute”, although at the Postal Service Opera Circle, some more radical elements suggest the tune was based on an earlier composition by…

TOM:
No, what do you know about Wagner’s opera “The Ring”?

POSTIE:
Ah. “Der Niebelung”: “Das Rheingold”, “Die Valkerie”, (GETTING EXCITED)“Gotterdammerung”…

TOM:
There’s no need to get tetchy. It can be dangerous in German.

POSTIE:
That’s not German, it’s opera… Well, it is German, strictly speaking, but more importantly it’s… opera… and I know because I happen to be South East Postal Service “Opera In their Eyes” champion three years running, or would have been if it wasn’t for… (TOM SLAPS THE POSTIE) Sorry, I do know a bit about Wagner. Why?

TOM:
I was wondering if there are any, kind of, um, “festivals”, or something, in the Norse calendar soon?

POSTIE:
Well, we’ve missed the one where they dress up as wolves and set fire to cats. The next one will be “Lithasblot”. Towards the end of “Gotterdammerung”. Or was it “Siegfried”? Fantastic vocal part for the fatter tenor. Of course, in 1972, when the…

TOM:
Shush. “Lithasblot”, you say?

POSTIE:
Yeah, Midsummer Festival, summer solstice and all that. They used to sacrifice their first born to the sun.

TOM LOOKS AT HELEN SMUGLY.

POSTIE:
(CONTINUING) Reminds me of Glyndebourne 1984. Me and my brother Tim had front row tickets, but they wouldn’t let him in, on account of him wheeling the barrow from both ends, if you get my drift. Well, you would, I suppose, being fond of the cricket yourself (WINKS). Of course, I just looked them in the eye and quoted well, sang, but in quotes if you will, from Gotterdammerung. Did I tell you I used to be a tenor, course I was a lot fatter then. You need a good bit of girth for…

TOM AND HELEN CLOSE THE DOOR IN HIS FACE.

SCENE 3. INT. TOM & HELEN'S LIVING ROOM DAY 2 [11:00]

TOM:
We have to do something

HELEN:
Yes, the poor baby!

TOM:
And East Anglia!

HELEN:
East Anglia? Yes, whatever, what do you suggest?

TOM:
If the Vikings are invading we should gather the women folk into the long house…

HELEN:
Tom!

TOM:
(CONTINUING) …and dig an extra ditch around the village.

HELEN:
Tom, that won’t work in this case.

TOM:
You’re right, you’ll need to fight with me and the village is too big to dig a ditch round, what with the new estate, and Sainsbury’s. Let’s take stock of the situation. If only Tony Curtis was here. Tell you what, let’s watch The Vikings again.

HELEN:
I’ve got it!

TOM:
No, it’s still in the DVD player. I was just about to watch the Director’s Cut version with the commentary by Lars Hefflgot, professor of Tony Curtis studies at Oxfordshire University. It’s on disk four of the special edition. Hefflegot is, of course, the proponent of the radical view that Curtis was reading from some off-cuts of the script to Sparticus in the latter scenes of Vikings. That’s why…

HELEN:
No, I know what we should do.

TOM:
Yes, I was saying, Professor Hefflegot has theories that Viking invasions in East Anglia stopped because there was a mix up in the script and everyone thought they were Roman slaves.

HELEN:
No, I know what we should do. Arrange to go down the pub with them. Have a chat.

TOM:
No long houses?

HELEN:
No.

TOM:
Or digging ditches?

HELEN:
No.

TOM:
No Viking stuff at all, in fact.

HELEN:
No. (SEEING TOM’S DISAPPOINTMENT) Well, not till after the chat anyway. You could go down with Olly first, get him on his own. And I’ll wander over later with Fiona, try to find out how she feels about her baby. Despite all your nonsense (TOM LOOKS AFFRONTED), I am a bit worried about the poor thing.

TOM:
Yeah yeah, me too. When we go to the pub, can I wear a Viking hat?

6 comments:

Wendz said...

Have you been drinking Enid? Where do come up with this from? LOL....good guffaw again...:O)

edvard moonke said...

I really like the opera-loving postie as a character... I know what you mean by 'batting for huddersfield' but never heard that expression before! lol

this blog is a very pleasant surprise! :-)

billyboy said...

I have warned you before about smoking nutmeg.

swampwitch said...

Oh my, either it's really really late, or I've stumbled onto Enid's blog after she's been smoking pencil shavings. When does one have the time to write this? I don't even have time to read it much less write it, even if I could.

Lars Hefflgot said...

I'm most impressed that all of the Opera quotes and most of the Viking facts are true.

enid said...

wendz is closest to the mark - enid's sure a few bottles of proven├žal red fueled this episode. not nutmeg, billyboy, nor pencil shavings, nor even any drugs of any class except w. she's just a bit loopy, sorry.

edvard, does this mean you want more blackbutts? enid gets the feeling everyone else is a little tired of it. and thanks for your kind words.

swampy, sadly enid doesn't have that much time now either. she wrote this in france when the only "paid" work she had was writing a non-fiction book, which didn't take up that much time. now she's working full-time she doesn't write fiction.

lars, welcome. enid's really chuffed to have a professor of tony curtis studies on her blog.