They lied to me. They lied from the very beginning. They fooled me into thinking that writing a forty page play would be easy. Simple. Invent a couple of characters, put them in a situation of some kind, find a resolution that is both appropriate and meaningful and then sit back and bask in the warm glow of writer-hood. And I lied. I lied to myself. I was convinced that this time would be different. Every day I would spring out of bed to another fresh new morning, sit down at my pathologically tidy desk and churn out page after page of quality drama. My play would be funny and touching in equal measures. It would speak volumes about the plight of early twenty-first century youth. People everywhere would rally to my banner and together we would forge a new age of peace and understanding. My play would be the dramatic equivalent of the music of Wyld Stallions. A post-modern Look Back In Anger. At the very least it would be in on time.
(By the way, if you don't know what post-modernism is then don't worry. Neither does anybody else. Anybody who says they do know what it means should be avoided, because they are either a) lying or b) extremely confusing to talk to. Look Back In Anger, however, is great and should be read by everybody. And of course when I'm Emperor it will be.)
Of course, I was wrong. As well as being a week late it was rushed, botched, mangled, badly planned and ill conceived. I realised that I had spent more time fantasising about sacks of fan mail from impressionable young ladies telling me how great my play was and how they'd really like to come round my house and make me bacon sandwiches than I had actually working on the bloody thing. The book I'd bought called "How To Write A Play" had lain unopened on my desk (which, incidentally, was still covered in a foot high drift of crap) since the day I got it. And so, with the deadline approaching with the speed a 5 franc piece dropped from the Eiffel Tower, I got to work.
I'm not going to lie to you; it was horrible. I spent two weeks locked in my mate Gaz's room staring at a computer screen and feeling my brains dribble out of my ears like cum down a window. I began to fear for my sanity. I felt the end would never come, and then, suddenly...it did. And it was a really weird feeling. I was glad and everything; I mean, I had my life back. I was free. But I'd spent two weeks alone in a small, featureless room with only a group of imaginary people for company and now they were gone. It was all over. I had to go and get on with my life. It fair put the wind up me, I can tell you.
I ended up getting 56%. That's a 2.2; not bad considering I lost 10% for handing it in six days late. I also got some feedback from my tutor. He said that it was enjoyable to read and was quite good in parts, but also contained bits that were definitely not needed. All of which seems reasonable. That's more or less what I thought. I might rewrite it; take out all the bad bits, polish up the good bits and then unleash it onto the waiting world. Or I might just leave it as it is, and then go and write something else. Either way, I'm glad I wrote it. It was a learning experience. I'm also quite proud of it, which is something i wasn't expecting. If you read it and enjoy it, great. But if you read it and think it's shit then please don't say so; I'm very sensitive.
Act 1. Scene 1.
The flat, shortly after the funeral. It is a typical early 21st century bachelor kind of a flat; battered television set, Bruce Lee posters, ashtrays, empty lager cans. Pale, watery sunlight is streaming through the half drawn curtains. STEVE and BARBARA are sitting on the settee. On the knackered out old coffee table in front of them is a pile of assorted items such as photographs, postcards, a penknife, a football scarf and a set of keys. These are the loose odds and ends that people pick up as they go through life; knots in the mental handkerchief. BARBARA is middle aged and quite teary. STEVE is in his early twenties and quite subdued.
BARBARA. He always loved you...both of you. He thought of you as his sons.
BARBARA. He used to get so excited when he knew you were coming round. Like a little boy. He so wanted us to have children of our own, but... Do you remember the football matches?
BARBARA. You two against Matt and your dad. That was how it was, wasn't it? "Barbara", he said to me, "whatever happens, whatever they do, those boys will go far. Because they've got brains". He was never very academic himself. None of us are. But that's why he was so proud of you d'you see? Because you could go places he never could. He was good at football though.
STEVE. He certainly was. And he never minded how bad I was.
BARBARA. (smiles). You were only kids.
STEVE. Yes. (slightly uncomfortable, he looks through the stuff on the table). What are these keys for?
(Lights fade out).
The flat again. STEVE is once again on the settee. This time he is watching Star Trek and smoking a joint. Offstage we hear the sound of a front door closing. MATT enters; he's back from work. He throws his coat into a corner and flops down into an armchair.
Without taking his eyes off the screen STEVE grunts a yes.
MATT. Any luck?
STEVE. Any luck with what?
MATT. At the job centre.
STEVE. What? Oh...no. Not unless I want to stand around in a shopping centre wearing a chicken suit and handing out free sachets of instant soup. Or I could spend eight hours a day washing rubber sheets in an old people's home.
MATT. Well what's wrong with that?
STEVE (Staring at him incredulously) What's wrong with spending your working life hosing shit off a geriatrics' bedclothes? Surely you don't need me to answer that one for you.
MATT. I know it's not perfect but at least it's work. At least you'd be getting paid.
STEVE. I think I'd rather keep my dignity, thanks.
MATT. Well I'd rather you paid me back that £200 but we can't have everything, can we?
STEVE. (Laughs mirthlessly. This is obviously a subject that crops up a lot.)
Pettiness doesn't suit you, you know. It makes you look constipated. Anyway, I told you I had it under control. When are you going to leave it?
They both fall silent for a while. Eventually STEVE passes MATT the joint.
STEVE. I saw Aunty Barbara today.
MATT. Yeah? How is she? Mum said she was a wreck after the funeral.
STEVE. She was a bit better, I suppose.
MATT. Define "better".
STEVE. More...composed. It was a bit weird, to tell you the truth. She just kept going on about how much Uncle John loved us and how they'd always wanted children of their own...I was pretty glad when she left.
MATT. Her husband just died. We're supposed to be supportive.
STEVE. Well I 'm shit at being supportive. Thinking about death makes my head hurt. It's just really...I don't know...morbid. Anyway, she's left us a box of stuff. Apparently Uncle John always wanted us to have it. Just a few odd bits of crap, really.
MATT starts rooting through the box.
MATT. Christ. What did he want us to have this lot for? Jesus, look at this. It's his false teeth. Remember how he used to hide them in your crisps when you weren't looking?
STEVE. Ah, yes. Uncle John's famous sense of humour. Absolutely hilarious for him; worse than Chinese Water Torture for everyone else.
MATT. I used to think he was quite funny.
STEVE. Well that's not much of a recommendation is it? You'd laugh at Schindler's List if they made the Nazis wear stupid trousers and fall over a lot.
MATT. The Nazis did wear stupid trousers.
STEVE. (Thinks for a moment) Oh yeah.
MATT. (Decides to change the subject) What are these keys for?
STEVE. That's exactly what I wanted to know. And they're the keys to John and Barbara's caravan. It's in Wales. Barbara said that John wanted us to go there together so we could relive the happy times we had there as kids.
MATT. I don't remember any caravan.
STEVE. Me neither, but Barbara reckons we loved it there, so who are we to argue? Anyway, I vaguely remember playing Ludo as a kid and since people only ever play Ludo when they're trapped in a caravan we must have gone at some point. Good day at work?
MATT. Not bad. They're going to start paying me more money.
STEVE. Really? That might start to make up for the fact that you have the Most Boring Job On Planet Earth.
MATT. Maybe, but at least it pays well. And soon it'll pay even better.
STEVE. Still doesn't alter the fact that your job will eventually suck all the life force out of you and then flap away in the night on its leathery wings, leaving you to walk the Earth in limbo, a dead soulless husk.
MATT. (Staring incredulously at him). Do you make this stuff up while I'm at work? Do you have a secret notebook of allegedly hilarious comments that you memorise and use in conversations?
STEVE. Yes. Yes I do. I also hide pubic hairs in the butter in the vain hope that you'll accidentally have them on toast.
MATT. I suppose in a lot of ways I'm glad that you don't have a job.
STEVE. Do you mean that?
MATT. (Thinks). No. are we going to go then?
STEVE. Go where?
MATT. To the caravan.
STEVE stares at him. The lights go out.
The flat again. Three days later. STEVE is still in his seat on the settee. MATT is running around packing things and organising stuff. He is somewhat agitated. STEVE, on the other hand, seems quite relaxed.
MATT. Roadmap, sick bucket, first aid kit, compass, Kendal Mint Cake...(to STEVE) are you just going to sit there or are you actually going to help me?
STEVE. I'm just going to sit here.
MATT. Right. Fine. I'll do everything while you sit around looking fucking ornamental.
He finishes throwing things into his suitcase and closes it. STEVE immediately gets up and throws it out the window.
MATT. (Furious, but maintaining his composure) Well?
STEVE. We don't need any of that crap. We're going to Wales. For the weekend. You're acting like we're heading for Mars and if you carry on I will kill you. Now please. Calm down.
MATT heads for the exit.
Now where are you going?
MATT. I'm not leaving without the Kendal Mint Cake.
STEVE. (Considers this briefly.) Fair enough. But you're going to have to calm down. We're going on holiday. It's supposed to be fun. You're so much like our mother it isn't even funny.
MATT. (Re-entering.) I know, I know. But I just want to be prepared. Like they said in Cubs.
STEVE. Cubs. That really was the pinnacle for you, wasn't it?
MATT. Yeah, I suppose it was. Everything was a lot...easier. Nobody expected anything from you. You just got to run around and have fun. That was what they wanted you to do. It was campfires and singsongs all the way.
STEVE. Weren't all the songs about vomit?
MATT. They certainly were. But vomit is the funniest thing in the world when you're eight. Especially other people's.
STEVE. Glad I'm not eight any more though. I just don't have the energy.
MATT. (Slightly distantly). Yeah.
They sit in silence for a while. Eventually:
STEVE. Where is this caravan park, anyway?
MATT. Just outside Porthmadog. It's in the Sunshine and Seaview Caravan Ranch, believe it or not. Barbara gave me this helpful and informative leaflet.
STEVE. Sounds like a fun place. And vaguely familiar, for some reason.
MATT. Don't be daft. I've never heard of it before. Come on, let's go.
STEVE. (Deep in thought.) Oh Christ. That caravan park.
Light up on MATT. He is sitting in a dilapidated café. A cup of tea and a half eaten bacon sandwich are on the table in front of him. STEVE is nowhere to be seen. A WAITRESS is hanging about in background cleaning up plates and generally doing waitress stuff. She is about nineteen or twenty and is clearly very pissed off.
WAITRESS. Anything else?
MATT. Could I get another cup of tea, please?
WAITRESS. I suppose so.
She exits the stage, presumably to sort the tea out. MATT sits staring around him for a while. Suddenly there is the sound of a fierce row coming from offstage. MATT begins to look worried. The waitress storms back on carrying a mug of tea and looking absolutely furious.
WAITRESS. (Shouts towards offstage.) WELL FUCK YOU TOO, YOU EVIL OLD BASTARD!
She slams the tea down on the table. Then, to MATT:
WAITRESS. What would you do if some stupid old man kept trying to rule your life and stopped you from doing what you wanted?
MATT. Er...I don't really –
WAITRESS. Exactly. You wouldn't be able to stand it, would you? You'd have to get away or you'd go mad. Completely mad. (She shouts towards offstage) DID YOU HEAR THAT DAD? THIS MAN SAYS HE'D HAVE RUN AWAY YEARS AGO! HE WOULDN'T LET YOU SMOTHER ALL THE LIFE OUT OF HIM! HE'D'VE ESCAPED FROM THIS FUCKING PRISON!
MATT. Actually I don't think I –
He stops in mid sentence as an absolutely enormous man enters from the kitchen. He is wearing a filthy apron, and home done tattoos cover his hands and forearms. He also looks very pissed off.
MAN. Are you bothering the customers again, you little trollop?
WAITRESS. I'm talking to...what's your name?
WAITRESS. Matt. He's my new friend. And he thinks you're being completely unreasonable. He says that if he was me he'd be in South America by now.
MAN. Oh he does, does he?
MATT. I'm not sure I –
MAN. Well, Matt, let me tell you something about your new friend. She's a tart. She's been in the bed of half the men in town! She's made me into a laughing stock! I can't even show my face in the pub any more because of the shame. Emyr, I say to myself, you have to get her under control of her before she comes back with one of those filthy diseases. It's for her own good. She can't be trusted. I'm just doing what any good father would. What do you think of that, then?
MATT. It's not really any of my –
WAITRESS. You can't keep me locked up here any more! I'll sleep with whoever I like and there's nothing you can do to stop me!
EMYR. You little tramp! I'm your father and you'll do as I say! And tell me who you've been with! Tell me, or by God I'll –
During this argument STEVE has entered the café and is standing in the background looking bemused. MATT is silently hoping that the ground will open up and swallow him.
WAITRESS. Alright, alright, I'll tell you! But you won't be able to do anything about it! It was...(stares around wildly. Spots STEVE)... him!
EMYR. You little bastard! An Englishman, no less!
He lunges across the café at STEVE, grabbing him by the collar. He hoists him off the ground and raises a meaty fist...just in time the WAITRESS smashes a large water jug over the back of EMYR'S head, knocking him unconscious.
STEVE. What the fuck is going on? (To MATT) Can't I leave you alone for five minutes?
MATT. What? It's not my fault, I only asked for a cup of tea! You were the one who slept with his daughter!
STEVE. Do you have brain damage or something? I've never laid eyes on that woman in my life. (To the WAITRESS). What are you doing, anyway?
During this argument the waitress has run offstage and come back on with a bag. Then she starts going through the till.
WAITRESS. I'm robbing him.
MATT. You can't do that!
WAITRESS. Why not? He owes me this money. It's not like I get paid. Where are you going?
MATT. We're going to a –
STEVE. Hang on Matt. Why do you want to know?
WAITRESS. Because I'm coming with you, of course.
STEVE. (Snort of laughter.) You're not. If you want to become a fugitive from Justice then fair enough, but you're not dragging us down with you.
WAITRESS. Look, I just need a lift somewhere. I was going to do this anyway; I've been planning it for weeks. The plan just...got pushed forwards a bit, that's all.
MATT. Well, I suppose if you put it like that we could –
STEVE. Oh, don't be such a moron! She's obviously mad! Do you want to go to prison? Because that's where we'll end up. In prison, where we'll be butt raped every day by huge psychotic criminals who make us call them 'Daddy'.
There is a groan from around ground level. EMYR is waking up. They all stare at each other for a moment.
WAITRESS. (Beseechingly) Please?
STEVE. Oh for fuck's sake. Come on then, before he wakes up. But I want everyone to remember that I said this was a bad idea. (to MATT) Especially you. (He leaves.)
MATT. What's your name, anyway?
MATT. That's a pretty name.
CHLOE. Thank you very much.
STEVE. (Offstage) Hello? Anybody there?
And they flee.
The caravan. It's actually quite nice, as caravans go. It's one of the big square variety that doesn't go anywhere. Like all caravans it was fitted out in the seventies and hasn't been touched since. The inside is largely brown. Despite this it is clean, apart from a layer of dust, and well maintained. The three fugitives enter. CHLOE is extremely excited. MATT is enthusiastic. STEVE is more reserved.
CHLOE. Oh my God! This place is fantastic! We're going to have such a great time here! Look! It's got a shower! And a whole other room! Smells a bit weird in there. Never mind though! What do you two think?
MATT. I really like it.
STEVE. Yes, it's very...brown.
MATT. Is that the best you can come up with?
STEVE. I'm sorry. I just find it a bit difficult to get worked up about caravans, that are all.
MATT. I mean is that the most dismissive you can be? Surely you've been looking forward to being really cutting about the state of the caravan? Really hurting its feelings? Taking a sick pleasure from not enjoying yourself in the slightest? Because I know that's the only reason you agreed to come.
STEVE. You can't claim that you were feeling optimistic about this. Come on. You thought it was going to be a poky little tin shed with no toilet and things setting up home in the soft furnishings. You must have.
MATT. When you put it like that, I suppose it is a lot nicer than I expected.
STEVE bags a spot on the settee.
STEVE. I feel...vaguely cheated.
MATT. Hmmm. I know what you mean.
CHLOE. (who hasn't been listening) I'm going to buy us some food. Do you want anything?
MATT + STEVE. Lager.
CHOLE. Good choice. Drinking holidays are the best sort.
STEVE. But you're not on holiday. You're on the run. You're not even meant to be here. Shouldn't you be heading for a border by now?
CHLOE. Oh, Matt said it'd be alright if I holed up with you for a few days. Don't look like that, it'll be fine. Nobody will think I'd ever actually be stupid enough to come here. (She bounces off.)
MATT and STEVE start staring at each other very intently. This goes on for a long time. The tension builds up and up until:
STEVE. Why are you doing this? Is there something wrong with you? Did she hit you round the head too? Or is it me? Is this because I force fed you that boiled egg when we kids? I know that eggs make you want to puke, but Goddamnit, Matthew I was only a child! I thought you'd like it! Who apart from you doesn't enjoy a nice hard-boiled egg?
MATT. This has got nothing to do with eggs. I just think we should be...you know...charitable.
STEVE makes a disbelieving vowel sound.
MATT. Look, she's obviously in a lot of trouble. You saw what her dad was like. I think this is our opportunity to do a good deed. Isn't that what it's all about? Being a decent human being? We'll feel better as people.
STEVE moves until he is inches from MATT'S face.
STEVE. Matthew. I want you to listen to me. I've known you since the day our mother dropped you into this world, and I flatter myself that I have a pretty good grasp of your habits. I've seen you laugh, I've seen you cry, I've even seen you passed out in a puddle of your own piss with your pants around your ankles. And I can tell when you think you're in with the chance of a shag. But I'm not, repeat not, going to stay here in this brown dustbin on wheels to watch you slowly inch your way beneath that runaway delinquent's knicker elastic. This caravan is too small. The smell would become overpowering.
MATT. Well, I'm sorry to hear that, Stephen. Will you be off, then? Shame I'm the only one who knows how to drive, really. Still, it's only about 200 miles over mountainous terrain, you could probably jog it. Whistling merrily as you go.
STEVE. I'm not going anywhere, you pillock. She is.
MATT. Well you can tell her then.
At this point CHLOE comes bounding in. She has a slab of Stella under one arm and a bag of munch in the other hand.
CHLOE. Hiya! I got all the lager I could carry. This'll be enough for a while, at least. We can always get more, eh? Oh, make us some tea, will you Matt? I'm gasping, I am.
STEVE. Don't move, Matt. Look, Chloe, you're going to have to leave. We're sorry and all, but we only said we'd give you a lift and now we have. So go on. Clear off. Before you get us arrested.
CHLOE. Can I at least stay for a joint before I leave?
STEVE. (Feeling a bit guilty.)Yeah, of course. I'll just get my gear.
CHLOE. It's alright. I've got my own.
She reaches into her bag and pulls out an enormous bag of skunk, along with skins and tobacco. When they see it MATT and STEVE slowly sink onto their chairs, mouths gaping. CHLOE begins to stick the papers together, a sly grin on her face. To STEVE:
CHLOE. How about that tea then, Matt?
MATT moves slowly towards the kettle. STEVE stares at the skunk. The lights go out.
The caravan again. MATT and CHLOE are sat about. The caravan has started to resemble the flat in that it is covered in ash and beer cans. They are, predictably, smoking joints and drinking beer.
MATT.... And that's why you should never talk to anyone from Kidderminster.
CHLOE. Wow. Y'know, before I met you I never realised that people from Kidderminster were such a bunch of inbred, twelve toed chicken fuckers, but now I'm wondering how I never noticed.
MATT. Not many people do, but it's completely obvious when you spot it. It's because they look like everybody else. They hide behind a thin patina of respectability when in public, but behind closed doors they're all far too fond of their poultry. I'm just trying to alert people. It's like a mission I have.
CHLOE. Hmmm. Where did Steve go?
MATT. I'm not entirely sure. He left muttering something about "me time" and I haven't seen him since.
CHLOE. Is he...alright?
MATT. Yes, in the broadest possible sense of the word.
CHLOE. Let me guess. No job, no aspirations, overly cynical, huge amounts of apathy, quite nice underneath it all but much too wrapped up in himself to realise it?
MATT. That's him. How did you do that? You only met him this afternoon.
CHLOE. I notice things about people, and it's not like he's really enigmatic and shadowy. Anyway, I decided a while ago that there's so many people like that around that there must be a big machine somewhere churning them out by the thousand.
MATT. What do you mean? James Dean look-alikes? "Angry Young Men"?
CHLOE. Not angry so much as...shit scared.
MATT. I wouldn't really know. I'm quite well adjusted, myself.
CHLOE. Well, you should count yourself lucky then. You're probably the only person who is.
MATT. I keep trying to talk him into getting a job, but he won't have any of it. It's as if he enjoys being miserable.
CHLOE. Well maybe what works for you isn't right for him. Perhaps a job would only make him worse.
MATT. But it's so painful watching him torture himself all the time. I just want to help him, because I know he's not like this really.
CHLOE. I know. But there's only so much you can do. The rest is up to him.
MATT. So...how are you finding the fugitive lifestyle?
CHLOE. I'm quite enjoying it, actually. It's very exciting. I might get myself a gun.
MATT. I think I'd rather you didn't. It would probably end up being more trouble than it's worth.
CHLOE. Maybe you're right. A gun could prove handy when my dad turns up, though.
MATT. What? Would you shoot him?
CHLOE. Of course not. I'd just wave it at him until he fucked off.
MATT. Is he likely to turn up here? Your dad, I mean?
CHLOE. I wouldn't have thought so. He's too stupid to see past the end of his own fucking nose.
MATT. Did you really...er...you know....
CHLOE. Did I really sleep with half the men in town? Don't be stupid. I do have some standards, and the bunch of rocket scientists in that place sadly don't quite measure up. I just told him I did because I knew it would piss him off, not that that's difficult. Anyway, what do you care?
MATT. I don't. I was just curious, that's all.
CHLOE. You shouldn't ask a lady such personal questions. It's extremely impolite.
MATT. I didn't think you were the kind of person who was bothered about manners.
CHLOE. That's it Matthew. You just keep digging.
MATT. I'm sorry, I didn't mean –
CHLOE. Calm down you fool, I'm only joking.
MATT. Oh. Right.
CHLOE. Y'know...tell me to mind my own business if you like but I don't think you're quite so stable as you like to make out.
MATT. What do you mean by that?
CHLOE. Well –
There is a huge crash as STEVE comes crashing into the room. He staggers about for a while, knocking things over and generally causing chaos. This is because he is extremely pissed. After a few moments of gurning, slurring and gesticulating he finally makes it to the settee. He then crawls over and falls asleep spread across MATT and CHLOE'S legs.
MATT. He's always doing that. And it's what? Half past nine?
CHLOE. Well, so long as he's having a good time. That's the main thing.
MATT. I wouldn't have thought so. He doesn't really have fun. He prefers misery and self-loathing. I think he finds it easier.
They push STEVE of them. He falls to the floor but doesn't wake up. They put him on his side so he doesn't drown in his own vomit.
CHLOE. Damn right.
They leave. The lights go out.
Lights up on STEVE. He looks like shit. He is, once again, on the settee in the caravan. This time he is drinking water.
STEVE. Did you know it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile? Of course you did. That's the kind of interesting little factette that you pick up without even trying. Uncle John loved it. "I'm just trying to bring you out of yourself, Steve. Cheer you up a bit". He never worked out that when you're in the middle of a nice, fat, self-pitying sulk the last thing you want is some prick wrecking it by cheering you up. Being happy? Fuck that. Happy people aren't allowed to sit around complaining how depressed they are. They actually have to do shit, and be happy about it as well. Whereas nobody expects anything from miserable people. They can do whatever they want.
Uncle John was happy. Probably one the happiest people I've ever met. So much so that it was impossible to be in the same room as the bastard. Poor old Uncle John. His stupid sense of humour was fun when I was eight, but it started to wear a bit thin once puberty hit me like a big, black Wile E. Coyote 1 tonne weight. By the time I was thirteen he'd stopped being the World's Greatest Living Relative and become...well, an embarrassment. I began to realise why my dad spent so little time with him. Why Aunty Barbara had such a glazed smile. I used to think there was something wrong with her face, but I eventually cottoned on. That woman must have jaw muscles like a fucking hyena. But she's free of all that now. No more Clingfilmmed toilet seats for her. No more fake heart attacks. No more plastic dog shit.
I used to look at Uncle John and I'd feel pity for the bastard. 'You poor sod', I'd think. 'You don't have a clue. You've no idea how ridiculous you look, how embarrassing you are'. But he thought everyone was laughing with him. And he was nearly right.
It was probably for the best that he never found out. What good would it have done? Personally, I think that given the choice between blissful ignorance and knowledge of life's many brutal truths I'd fuck both of them off and go for option three, Don't Give a Shit. As a socio-political standpoint apathy is fantastic; I wouldn't live any other way. The only problem is that it makes you look like you don't care.
Once again, the caravan. STEVE, MATT and CHLOE are in their usual seats. It is somewhere around four in the morning. All three are clearing suffering from the effects of a heavy evenings partaking. STEVE is staring blankly ahead of him. CHLOE is resting with her head on MATT'S chest.
CHLOE. Does anybody have any food?
MATT. I don't think so. I think we caned it all. You could look in the cupboard.
CHLOE. But...that's right at the other end of the caravan. What do I look like? Someone who still has use of their legs?
MATT. You have to make sacrifices in order to reap the fabulous rewards. There could be anything in that cupboard. Anything, I tell you. But you're going to have to move so you can find out.
CHLOE. I'll give whoever goes a blowjob.
MATT. Look, we're hardly going to fall for that twice, are we? Give us some credit.
CHLOE. I didn't see any reason to change a winning formula. But you boys are obviously sharper than you look.
STEVE. Damn right. Anyway, I'd go if I was capable of recognising objects and writing and things but unfortunately I'm not.
MATT. We could all go.
STEVE. Don't be a prick. The three of us can barely stand up in this fucking box when we're straight. In this kind of state we'd probably need special protective clothing. Helmets and that. Really big padded suits. Hang on, that wouldn't work, there'd be even less room. Oh, fuck it. Somebody just go so we can all move on with our lives.
CHLOE stands up and makes her way uneasily towards the cupboard.
CHLOE. We have...pilchards.
MATT. Is that all?
CHLOE. I'm afraid so. One tin of pilchards and one...envelope.
STEVE. You can't eat envelopes. Nobody eats envelope baguettes. There's no such thing as an envelope fork.
MATT. What's in it? And can I have a pilchard?
CHLOE. It's...a mysterious piece of paper.
STEVE. And what's on this mysterious piece of paper?
CHLOE. I never thought I'd actually say this, but...I think it's a treasure map.
Moment's silence, broken only by the sound of MATT munching on his pilchard. The lights go out.
Act 2. Scene 1.
Lights up on EMYR. He is unconscious on the floor of the café. He still for several moments. After a while he begins to stir. Eventually he rises groggily to his feet, gingerly feeling for blood on his head. He makes his way to the phone and dials.
EMYR. Hello, police? I've been attacked. And robbed.
He freezes where he is. In a different part of the stage the lights rise on BARBARA. She is also on the phone.
BARBARA. Jenny? It's Barbara. Listen, do you know how I could get in touch with the boys? Well do they not have one of them mobiles? I thought they all did. It's very important. It's about the caravan.
She also freezes where she is. EMYR comes to life.
EMYR. Of course I don't want to press charges, she's my daughter. I just need help finding her. No, there were two young lads here. I think she might have left with them. I'd never seen them before. They'd just come into the café. About nineteen or twenty, I'd say. Well, she's about 5 foot 5...
Once again he freezes. BARBARA continues talking.
BARBARA. No, no...it's nothing to worry about....no really, it's just me being silly. They'll be fine. Alright then. Bye now.
She puts the phone down and stares pensively for a moment. Meanwhile, on the other side of the stage EMYR puts his phone down as well. He spots something on the floor and bends to pick it. It is a leaflet. He thrust it into his pocket and storms out. While this is going on BARBARA is putting her coat on and also leaving the stage in the opposite direction. The lights fade.
MATT, STEVE and CHLOE are in the caravan. They are poring over the treasure map. It is about five minutes since they found it.
MATT. Well this is certainly unexpected.
STEVE. Not to mention implausible.
CHLOE. Where the fuck did it come from?
MATT+STEVE. Uncle John.
CHLOE. How do you know that?
MATT. Two reasons. A). This was his caravan.
STEVE. And B). This is exactly the kind of stupid idea he would have had. If we follow the map it'll probably lead to a buried collection of antique hand buzzers and fake breasts.
MATT. Or probably nothing at all. Just a box, empty but for a scornful note.
CHOE. How come he's letting you two fuck ups use his caravan?
MATT. Because he left it to us after he died..
CHLOE. Oh God, I'm sorry. What happened to him?
MATT. He was struck by lightning.
CHLOE. Oh. Right.
STEVE. He was walking his dog along the canal, the rain started pissing down on him and before he could get home...bang. I reckon that anybody who insists on doing his impersonation of Rain Man at every social event he can is asking for it. God just got really fucked off with the whole thing, and who can blame Him? So that was it. No more Uncle John.
MATT. According to the map the treasure is buried near the stump of an oak tree. It looks like it's about five miles away.
STEVE. Well that's as far as this mystery is going to get. I wouldn't walk five miles if you paid me, let alone when I'm on holiday.
CHLOE. I think you're right. I don't trust this map, anyway. Look, it's been drawn in wax crayon. It's got sparkly glue on it.
MATT. Hmmm. I wonder what the treasure is?
STEVE. Don't get any fucking ideas, adventure boy. We're not going.
MATT. (Slightly disappointed.) Yeah. Alright then. Whatever you say.
From out of the darkness:
MATT. What the fuck is wrong with you? Why do you have to be such a prick about everything?
STEVE. Because you fucking drive me to it by being such a moron! When are you going to grow up?
MATT. When am I going to grow up? You're the most childish person I've ever met! Fucking stamping around and sulking whenever you don't get your own way.
STEVE. You're twenty-one years old! What kind of twenty one year old wants to tramp around the countryside following a hand drawn treasure map? Didn't you grow out of that kind of thing years ago, like everybody else?
While this argument has been going on the lights have been slowly rising. By the time this next line begins they are on full. We see the Caravan. MATT and STEVE are standing nose to nose, screaming at each other. CHLOE is sitting between them, her head in her hands.
MATT. I thought it would be fun? You remember fun, don't you? Fun is what happens when you take your head from out of your arse and don't purposefully walk around being a prick.
STEVE. You f –
He does not manage to get any further than this because CHLOE stands up, grabs one of his nipples and twists it savagely; with her other hand she has MATT'S nipple. They scream and slowly drop to the floor.
CHLOE. Will you two just shut the fuck up! It's like sharing a caravan with a couple of four year olds! You (to MATT) leave him alone! If he doesn't want to trek through the countryside following that stupid fucking treasure map you can't make him. And you (To STEVE) need to stop beating yourself around the head and cheer the fuck up!
She slaps them both around the head.
STEVE. Ow, Jesus! What the fuck was that for!
CHLOE. I sound just like my fucking mother! Why are you always doing this?
MATT. Doing what? To who?
CHLOE. Why do men always make women treat them like fucking children? Why does every argument have to be fought at a pre-school level? Can't you all just stop being twats? Just for five minutes?
STEVE. (Rising to his feet.) Do you mean why aren't we more like you? Because we're men! We're the antithesis of reasonable behaviour! Hunter/Gatherers! That's what we were designed for! We're impulsive and irrational, and competitive and territorial and all of those other things that are complete fucking poison to reasonable behaviour. And I'm tired of being made to feel fucking guilty because of it. I'm tired of silly little bitches like you trying to turn me into a fucking woman!
CHLOE. Steve, right now I should be in the process of cutting your balls off. But I'm not going to, because that would be giving you what you want. And it wouldn't make either of us feel any better. So I'm just going to leave. Sorry to have troubled you.
She turns round and exits. MATT gives STEVE a filthy look and follows her. STEVE sinks onto his seat, head in hands. Blackout.
STEVE is alone in the caravan. He is staring blankly ahead. 'Happy' by Ned's Atomic Dustbin is playing on his stereo. A joint that went out a long time ago is in his hand. CHLOE enters. She sits down.
CHLOE. Mind if I skin up?
STEVE. Not at all. Where's Matt?
CHLOE. I sent him for a walk. I decided you and me should have a little chat.
STEVE. Really? Fuck. I thought you'd have had more than enough of my particular brand of conversation. What with all the insults and that. Or are you actually here to cut my balls off?
CHLOE. Luckily for you I left my bowie knife at home. Otherwise I'd have had them for earrings by now.
STEVE. Enduring image. Definitely one I won't forget in a hurry.
CHLOE. Look, I just wanted you to know that I don't hate you. I actually quite like you.
STEVE. Well, it's nice of you to say so and everything, but you really don't need to lie to me in order to heal my hurt feelings. I can deal with the truth. I'm a big boy.
CHLOE. Hang on a minute. If I'd walked in here and told you that you were a prick and an idiot and that I hoped that you got run over by a bus tomorrow would you have believed me?
STEVE. Yeah, probably.
CHLOE. So the only time people tell the truth is when they insult you?
STEVE. Well yeah. Anything else would fly in the face of irrational thought.
STEVE. Yeah. Irrational. I don't think rationally. I don't react to situations in a sensible way. I am just one massive knot of dead ends and contradictions and things that make absolutely no sense at all. Things that evaporate into mist when subjected to even the slightest reasonable thought.
CHLOE. You sound like just about every human being on Earth.
STEVE. Absolutely. But everybody's oddities are different and unique to them. Mine just happen to lead to the inevitable and completely illogical conclusion that I was Born Wrong.
CHLOE. But that's not true. Even I can see that you're not that bad and I've only known you two days. You've got a brother who loves you, and when you're not concentrating and you're actually enjoying yourself it's like you're a completely different person. Can't you see that the only person who hates you is yourself?
STEVE. Look, I appreciate you trying to help, but you're not telling me anything I don't already know. I spend hours thinking about this. I've considered it from every angle, every possible situation and outcome. I can't stop thinking about it. My outlook on life and my perception of myself aren't going to change just because of one deep chat over a reefer. That's not the way the world works. It's not the way I work. Like Popeye said – "I am what I am." Perhaps I am just a miserable twat. Perhaps I'll never be happy. Maybe I'm not meant to be. Or perhaps I'm actually alright underneath. Maybe the misery and the boredom and the constant pressure to be happy just built up on me like rust and all I need is a good polishing. Maybe I'm shiny underneath. But if that's the case then I should be able to do it on my own. And if I can't then maybe I don't deserve to be saved.
CHLOE. Nice speech. Very dramatic.
STEVE. I know. Fucking postmodernism. You can't even be sad without turning into a fucking bullshit cliché. That's the problem, you see. Too much thinking. After a while its impossible to take yourself seriously. you've heard it all before.
CHLOE. We're back on clichés again, but I know how you feel.
STEVE. Of course you do. You're a human being. What I go through isn't any worse than what everybody else has to deal with. I just whine about it more, that's all.
CHLOE. I don't think many people are quite so hard on themselves as you are.
STEVE. I must enjoy it or something.
CHLOE. No. I don't think you do. And I think that you should be nicer to Matt.
STEVE. You seem pretty sure what's right for someone we didn't know last week. You're not Jesus or someone like that are you?
CHLOE. No. But it's often easier for someone outside the problem to see that solution. And I like you guys. I want to see you happy. You deserve it.
STEVE. Do you mind if I ask you a question...
CHLOE. Go for it.
STEVE. When we first met how did you know that you could trust us? We could have been serial killers or something.
CHLOE. Well, you were there at exactly the right moment. When I needed you. I've never been afraid of throwing myself into the arms of fate, and you two just looked...right.
STEVE. What? Did we have haloes or something?
CHLOE. No...I just believe that there are some people that are destined to meet. For whatever reason. They can come from anywhere, be anyone, but they all have a purpose in your life. And you have one in theirs. I'm going to stop now, because I sound like a hippy.
STEVE. No, I think it's ...a really cool idea.
CHLOE. Oh...come here.
STEVE. You're already starting to seem like a permanent fixture around here.
CHLOE. I'm sort of like dry rot. Or athlete's foot. Or Herpes.
STEVE. Very much like them. Only more infectious.
MATT suddenly bursts into the room. He is looking very wild eyed and distressed. He turns to CHLOE.
MATT. I just saw your dad!
CHLOE. What? Where?
MATT. He was standing outside the Post Office in town! What the fuck is he doing here?
CHLOE. Jesus, I don't know! Perhaps he heard you talking about where you were going or something...
STEVE. Or maybe he saw it written on the sky. It doesn't matter how he got here, it just matters that he is. We've got to –
EMYR. (Offstage.) Chloe! Come out of there right now! This is your father speaking!
CHLOE. Oh shit!
MATT. Look, you stay here. We'll tell him we took you as far as town and then you vanished. And we'll tell him you nicked all our stuff. He's bound to believe that.
CHLOE. You think so? And what if he doesn't?
MATT. You'll have to hit him with something heavy again. Right...
MATT and STEVE head towards the door. Blackout.
Outside the caravan. EMYR is standing about looking very pissed off. STEVE and MATT warily step out of the caravan.
EMYR. I don't want any trouble, boys. I just want to know where Chloe is.
MATT. How did you find us?
EMYR. Well, I don't think that that's very important, now is it? The point is that I'm here and I want to see my daughter. You wouldn't keep a man apart from his daughter, now would you?
STEVE. We don't know where she is. We drove her as far as Porthmadog and then she took off. We haven't seen her since.
EMYR. That's a lovely story, boys. Really. Unfortunately for you the man in the off license told me that there were three young kids staying at the caravan park. Two lads and a girl. Apparently they've been the best customers he's had in ages. Now since I don't see anybody else around in this shit hole of a caravan site he can only have meant you. Now where is she.
MATT. She doesn't want to see you.
EMYR. Doesn't want to see me? Well I'm sorry to say that I don't give a flying fuck what she wants. She embarrasses me, defies me, steals from me and to cap it all off she leaves me with five stitches in the back of my head. And it could have been worse. Now this has nothing to do with you. I'm willing to let you pair go, because I know what a devious, lying little bitch she can be. You aren't the first men that she's conned into helping her, and I doubt you'll be the last. Now send her out.
STEVE. Fuck you.
EMYR. Sorry? What was that?
MATT. He said fuck you. Are you deaf as well as ugly?
EMYR. Okay, boys. If that's the way you want it.
He advances towards the boys. It's obvious to all concerned that he's about to beat the living daylights out of them. Just in time, CHLOE appears from inside the caravan.
CHLOE. Hi Dad.
EMYR. Chloe. I was worried about you.
CHLOE. I bet you were.
EMYR. I don't want to argue with you. Let's just go. Now.
EMYR. Chloe –
CHLOE. I said no. I won't. I won't go with you. You can't make me.
EMYR. You are coming. And I can make you. Because I'm your father and you do as I say. And don't give me any of that "I'm my own person, you don't own me" rubbish. You stole from me. You left me with five stitches in the back of my head. If you were anybody else you'd be in the police station by now, so what you want doesn't really enter into it.
CHLOE. But it's not –
EMYR. Not what? Not fair? Well bad luck, darling, because neither is anything else. And if you don't come quietly right now then your two little friends here are going to get the kicking of their lives.
CHLOE. You wouldn't.
EMYR. Do you think so? I'm feeling a little unbalanced. And unpredictable.
MATT. Chloe, you don't have to do what he says. We can –
CHLOE. Oh, be quiet Matt. (To EMYR) Alright then. I'll come. But can I have an hour to get my stuff together? And to say goodbye?
EMYR. One hour. Then I'll be back and you'd better be ready.
He marches off. As the others go back into the caravan the lights begin to dim. Before they are quite inside we hear BARBARA shouting from offstage.
BARBARA. Stephen! Matthew! Wait!
The lights quickly rise again. STEVE and MATT look bewildered.
MATT. Aunty Barbara?
BARBARA enters. She seems somewhat flustered.
BARBARA. There you are, boys. I've been trying to get in touch with you for days.
STEVE. What's the matter?
BARBARA. It's the caravan. It's not safe.
MATT. What's wrong with it?
BARBARA. It's the stove. The gas stove. It hasn't been used for years and it isn't safe. It'll explode, it's very dangerous...
She is starting to become quite agitated. MATT and STEVE try to calm her down.
MATT. Aunty Barbara, there's nothing wrong with the stove. It's fine, we've been using it for days.
STEVE. We checked it. It's fine. Look, come inside, we'll show you.
BARBARA. No, we can't, it's not safe...
MATT. I promise you that there's nothing wrong with the caravan. Now please, let us show you.
BARBARA. Well...if you say so, Matthew.
MATT. I do. Come one.
They go inside. The lights fade out.
The caravan. It's still a complete tip. BARBARA, MATT, STEVE and CHLOE are all there. MATT is showing BARBARA that there is nothing wrong with the stove.
MATT. You see? Nothing wrong with the stove.
STEVE. The pilot light, the connections...everything is fine.
MATT. And we bought a brand new gas bottle because the old one looked slightly the worse for wear.
STEVE. Did you drive all the way out here just to check the stove?
BARBARA. Yes, I suppose I did. Silly of me really. I just...I was so...
She starts to cry.
I'm so sorry, boys...I tried to phone, but you don't have a mobile...I feel so stupid...I was so worried about you....
She is now overcome with tears. STEVE puts an arm around her.
STEVE. God, Barbara, we didn't realise. If we'd known we –
BARBARA. It's not your fault, Stephen. It's mine for being a stupid old woman.
MATT. You're not stupid. You were just worried. There's nothing wrong with that.
BARBARA. I've been so scared...
She dissolves into tears again.
CHLOE. I should probably go.
MATT. It's alright, Chloe.
BARBARA. Yes, you don't have to leave because of me. what did you say your name was?
BARBARA. Nice to meet you, Chloe. I'm Barbara.
CHLOE. It's nice to meet you too.
BARBARA. I'm sorry I'm such a mess. I don't know what has come over me.
CHLOE. It's okay. You don't need to worry on my account.
BARBARA. You're very kind. (She looks around at the caravan for the first time) Dear me! What have you done to the place?
STEVE. Well we, err...
BARBARA. You two clean this place up this minute! What would your Uncle think?
MATT + STEVE. Yes, Aunty Barbara.
They immediately set to with the tidying. CHLOE starts to help them, but BARBARA lays a hand on her arm.
BARBARA. Not you dear. I wouldn't dream of making you clear up their mess. They've always been a pair of filthy little boys, you know. (To STEVE) Stephen, why don't you make Chloe and I a nice cup of tea?
STEVE. Yes, Aunty Barbara.
BARBARA. There's a good boy. Now, dear, how do you know my boys here?
CHLOE. We, err...met in a café.
They continue to chat as the lights go down. STEVE and MATT tidy furiously.
The caravan. BARBARA is about to leave. She has her coat on and is by the door.
BARBARA. Well, that's about it. I'm sorry I bothered you, boys. I feel like a fool.
STEVE. Don't worry about it. Are you sure we can't persuade you to stay? It's a long way home.
BARBARA. No, I'll be fine. I've probably spoiled your holiday enough. (to CHLOE) Good-bye then, dear. It was nice meeting you.
CHLOE. You too.
BARBARA. You keep these two in line, do you hear? Don't let them talk back to you, because they're ever so cheeky, aren't you?
MATT and STEVE murmur 'yes' in an embarrassed fashion.
And you two behave yourselves. Goodbye now.
And she potters off. They watch her go.
STEVE. Why do that people think that just because they've seen you aged three running bollock naked across a beach with ice cream all over your face they're allowed to patronise you shitless for the rest of your life?
CHLOE. It's their reward for putting up with you when you were like that.
MATT. Anyway, I saw you like that last summer and it's not going to be easy to forget.
STEVE. That was different. I was under a lot of pressure.
STEVE and MATT sit down. They look miserable.
CHLOE. So...looks like I'll be off soon.
They nod glumly.
CHLOE. If you give me your number I'll phone you sometime.
CHLOE. Or I could come and visit you.
CHLOE. You know, if you two don't cheer the fuck up right now I'll have to start handing out beatings.
STEVE. (Suddenly hopeful) Do you mean it?
CHLOE. Of course not. You haven't done anything. I couldn't hit you for no reason.
MATT. How about old times' sake?
CHLOE. Oh, alright then.
She hits them around the back of the head.
MATT + STEVE. Ow.
CHLOE. Better now?
MATT. Much better thanks.
STEVE. Yeah, great.
CHLOE. That's my boys.
We hear EMYR'S voice from offstage.
EMYR. Chloe! Are you in there?
CHLOE. There he is. This is it, then.
MATT. Here's our number.
CHLOE. Thanks. Look, I just want you to know that –
STEVE. Oh don't do any long goodbyes. They make you sound like an idiot.
CHLOE. Well fuck you too, then.
CHLOE. Bye Matt.
MATT. See you later, love.
They also hug.
CHLOE. You know that you're the first people I'm coming to the next time I escape?
STEVE. We'd be offended if we weren't.
And she's gone. STEVE and MATT stand around disconsolately for a moment, then the lights go down.
It is four hours later. STEVE and MATT are sitting in the caravan. They are quite drunk. It's clear that they haven't exactly been in party mode since CHLOE left. There is a long silence and then:
STEVE. Girls are a pain in the arse, anyway.
MATT. No they're not.
STEVE. Yes they are. You can't deny that they are. They're stupid and they witter on about complete bollocks for ninety five per cent of the time and they never do anything for normal, straightforward reasons; it always has to be for some weird, fucked up female reason that's got nothing to do with anything. Not anything on this planet, at least.
MATT. Come on. You don't mean that. You're not even saying anything that hasn't been said a million times before.
STEVE. But nobody ever does. Not any more.
MATT. No. I suppose not.
They lapse into silence. After a while:
STEVE. Wouldn't it be great to say something, or think something or write something and to feel like it was yours? Like it was your own thought that you came up with all on your own and didn't steal from about a million other places. Or to feel something that didn't make you think that you were being unfair or insensitive?
MATT. You think far too much.
STEVE. I know I do. And I sound like a broken record, playing the same thing over and over again. Nobody else does this; they just get on with it. It's not like I'm special, like I'm any different from any one of the other six billion people in the world. Completely the opposite, actually. I'm about as blank and faceless as you get.
MATT. Steve –
STEVE. I just want to feel something and also feel like I have the right to feel it, that I'm not just wasting time and being a burden on all the people around me! I want to stop feeling so fucking guilty all the time!
MATT. Steve, listen to me. It doesn't have to be like this. you don't have to take the whole world on your shoulders. It's not your fault. It was like this when you found it.
STEVE. I know. I'm sorry. But it's really difficult.
MATT. I know it is. But you're allowed to feel what you want. It's about the only thing you are allowed.
STEVE. You see, even when I'm saying how I feel it sounds stupid and false and like a cliché! But this is actually how I feel about stuff. Why can't I even be pissed off without sounding like I'm a character in a really bad TV movie? Goddamn that Postmodernism!
MATT. Goddamn it to Hell. But, like I said. It's not your fault. You didn't turn your life into a cliché. You just lived it and it happened around you. And while we're in this sort of conversational territory, I always wanted to be more like you.
STEVE. Why was that then?
MATT. Because you don't let people walk all over you. You don't do anything you don't want to.
STEVE. Ah, I think what you've taken for a kind of hardy, sophisticated, don't-give-a-fuck attitude is actually my overwhelming terror of leaving the house and actually accepting responsibility for my role as balloon and hot dog seller at the great monster truck derby of life.
MATT. Very poetic. But I don't think you've noticed that my reliable, hard-working exterior is actually a front for the underlying fear of change and the unknown that rules my entire psyche.
STEVE. Is that what it is? I'd been wondering for a while now.
MATT. That's the one. See nobody else has any original fears or phobias either. It's just the way it's panned out for all of us.
STEVE. Certainly seems like it. And I reckon it's about time we went and found that treasure.
MATT. Damn right.
They leave, swaying slightly.
A forest. It is dark, but the moon is out. There is the stump of an oak tree centre stage. MATT and STEVE enter, carrying shovels.
MATT. You're a complete moron.
STEVE. I bought a torch, didn't I? Just like you asked.
MATT. You bought a torch that didn't have any batteries. Or a bulb. Or even an on button.
STEVE. It looks like it used to have an on button, but I think something's chewed it off.
MATT. What kind of weird fucked up animal would want to eat the on button off a torch?
STEVE. One that stuns its prey by making it trip over in the dark so it hurts itself?
MATT. Right, I think this the place. Let me just check the map...(He whips a lighter out of his pocket and holds it up to that map). This is the place all right. Let's get digging then.
They start digging. The lights go out even further.
MATT and STEVE are sitting, knackered, next to a hefty wooden box.
MATT. Open it then.
STEVE levers the top off the box with his shovel and looks inside. He stares, transfixed.
MATT. Well? What is it?
MATT. You what?
He looks in the box. STEVE pulls a handful of magazines out.
STEVE. 'Teenage girls play naked Croquet"? "Readers Wives Corn Plasters"? "Debbie does Bromsgrove"? What the fuck is going on?
MATT. I feel ill.
STEVE. Well this is one crazy fucked up development right here. I thought it was going to be full of wigs, or stuffed animals; I was at least expecting a clown suit and a bloody ice pick.
MATT. This woman looks like Noel Edmonds.
STEVE. (looks.) Oh Jesus. Let's just go. I can't deal with this. it's too much to take in. My brain won't cope.
MATT. Don't be such a pussy. This is the most extensive porn collection I've ever seen. It should be in a museum. Or possibly buried deep underground, away from the rest of civilisation.
STEVE. All right then. There's only one way to settle this. Stone, Paper, Scissors.
MATT. Fair enough.
They begin to play. Just before they make their choices the lights go out.
STEVE. (From the darkness.) Shit!
'Happy' by Ned's Atomic Dustbin begins to play. And that's it.