Friday, 6 July 2012

Good Times by Bobby Stevenson

Early comedy script - first few pages. Very Scottish.

A provincial railway station on the Scottish West coast.  JOHNNY MCINTYRE, 50s, is tanned and looks as if he’s been dipped in another culture. Next to Johnny is ARCHIE, 10, and Johnny’s son. Although Archie’s wearing an oversized Scottish Football top from the 1978 World Cup, his face says he’s more Argentina than Airdrie. The two of them soak in the station like strangers in a strange land. A GUY, 20s, passes with a rugby top and kilt on. Archie smiles at Johnny. Johnny smiles, puts his arm around Archie as they head out of the station.

A neat tidy taxi rank – new cars – with trendy folks getting into them. The yuppie-fication of Scotland is not lost on Johnny.

Johnny and Archie jump into the back seat of a taxi. The dozing DRIVER is wearing a balaclava and dark sunglasses.  The driver doesn’t move.

TAXI DRIVER I’ll be with you in a minute, just coming to. This is the best time for a sleep. I can't sleep at night – not with all that goes through my head. It’s always like my life getting played back to me by some terrorist. 

The driver eventually sits up. 

TAXI DRIVER (CONT’D) Oh well, another day another dollar, I suppose. Where to gentlemen? 
JOHNNY Bentick Street, if it’s still there.
TAXI DRIVER It’s still there, chief.
Archie is taken with the balaclava and dark sunglasses. He speaks in Spanish to his father. 

ARCHIE Spanish(What’s wrong with that man? Is he a ‘Bampot’ Dad?)  

All that we non-spanish speaking punters can understand is the word BAMPOT.

JOHNNY Spanish (Yes)

Johnny ruffles Archie’s hair:’that’s my boy’.

TAXI DRIVER I know what you’re thinking but you’d be wrong.
JOHNNY Would I? 
TAXI DRIVER It’s not a fashion statement. 
TAXI DRIVER No, see that fanny over there. 

Johnny leans over to look out the driver’s side window. A MAN with a camera is taking photographs of the taxi. 

TAXI DRIVER (CONT’D)  Government man. Thinks we’re all claiming social. 
JOHNNY  Are you? 
TAXI DRIVER Claiming? Aye, but that’s not the point, it’s the principal of the thing. It’s like that guy that  wrote big brother?
JOHNNY George Orwell.
TAXI DRIVER Simon Cowell.

The taxi pulls away from the rank.  

The SOCIAL SECURITY MAN  takes photos of the taxi as it drives off. In the background TWO DRIVERS stand smoking, both wearing balaclavas and sun glasses.  As the taxi pulls away the driver gives the social security man ‘the finger’. The man turns to see an OLD WOMAN with a shopping trolly staring at him. 

SOCIAL MAN Get lost, Granny. 

She hits him with her umbrella. While the Social Security man is distracted with the old woman – the smoking taxi drivers lift their balaclavas in defiance. When the man turns back the balaclavas are already pulled down.  

The taxi drives into Bentick Street. 

INT. TAXI – DAY      
 TAXI DRIVER Where on Bentick? 
 JOHNNY  Is the Hole In The Wall bar still there?  
 TAXI DRIVER  You been away a while then chief?    
JOHNNY You could say that.
 TAXI DRIVER It’s like that song, you know -’The Times they are a changing’ by that bloke?                
JOHNNY  Bob Dylan.
TAXI DRIVER Robbie Williams. The bar changed its name to Spendidos years ago. Gay Roddy still runs it ‘though. You know   him? 
JOHNNY Roddy McNeil? 
TAXI DRIVER Aye that’s the one. Tried to turn it into a gay pub last year but it never worked. 
JOHNNY How come? 
TAXI DRIVER Turns out, it was just a phase. His Maw found him in bed with Dirty Annie from Nelson Street. She was that disappointed. 
TAXI DRIVER Dirty Annie.

The Taxi pulls up outside Spendidos pub. It’s seen better days.

Johnny and Archie take their bags from the taxi. THREE SMOKERS stand outside.  Archie stares at the  men as his dad guides him into the pub.

This is a pub that can’t make up it’s mind what it wants to be. TWO OLD GUYS sit nursing whiskies. A MAN in leather gear with a handle bar moustache sits with a bottle of beer at the bar.   RODDY , 50s, is drying the glasses and watching the telly.  

RODDY Howdee. What’s it to be?
JOHNNY Just a coke. 
RODDY And for the midget? 
JOHNNY Spanish (What do you want to drink Archie?) 
JOHNNY Two cokes.
RODDY The boy foreign, like?

Roddy snaps the lids off of two coke bottles. 

JOHNNY Born in Argentina. He’s my boy. His name’s Archie, as in Gemmell.
RODDY There’s a blast from the past. Don’t I recognise you? 
JOHNNY You should, we sat next to each other in school. You, me and the one that used to wet herself.
JOHNNY/RODDY Stinky Alison.
RODDY It’s not? No, it canny be? Johnny McIntyre. I thought you were dead.  (to the rest of the pub including the three smokers returning) Ladies and Gentlemen, this here is Johnny McIntyre – went to Argentina for the World Cup in 1978 and forgot to come home.  (to Johnny) Alec the Bus, said you’d been caught by pygmies who’d shrunk yer head.

The moustached man knocks the bar with his empty beer bottle. 

RODDY  (referring to the moustached man)  That’s Bogdan. Polish – can't speak a word of English. He thinks this is still a gay pub. I don’t  know how to tell him, we’ve gone straight. Anyway he spends well. Them two in the corner are always taking drink off him.

The two old geezers, holding up empty glasses, wink over at Bogdan. 

RODDY (CONT’D) I was sorry to hear about your Maw. 

JOHNNY   Stop the crap, Roddy. She was an animal.

Roddy puts a straw in a bottle of cola and hands it to Johnny.      

JOHNNY (CONT’D)   Spanish (Sit over at the table) 

Archie takes the cola and sits at an empty table. This wee boy is a credit to his old man. Johnny ‘necks’ the other bottle of cola down.

JOHNNY (CONT’D)   Aye, thanks.
RODDY  I take it she never met your kid?                
JOHNNY  No. He’s the youngest. I’ve got an older boy and girl in Argentina.

Roddy reaches up to the top shelf.

RODDY I mean when you didn’t come back for your Maw’s funeral, that’s when all the  stories   started.

Roddy blows dust off his favourite bottle of whisky. 

RODDY (CONT’D)   You’ll have a wee drink with me, Johnny?  
JOHNNY Gave it up.
RODDY Whisky or the drink?
JOHNNY Everything.
RODDY Mind you, you always were the worst drinker in the world. 
JOHNNY See that’s why I stopped. If Mother Theresa had got drunk one night, everything else would  have gone out the window and that’s all they’d remember.

Roddy pours himself a large one. They clink glass/bottle.

RODDY   Old times.
JOHNNY Good times.

Roddy knocks the drink back then rummages through a drawer.

RODDY   I think I’ve still got it. Aye, here we are.

Roddy slaps a key on the bar top.   

JOHNNY   The key for the place upstairs? 
RODDY Your maw said you’d be back. She wouldn’t let anyone say you were dead. I haven’t been up there since the funeral. Although I can hear moving about from time to time and I don’t think it’s a ghost.

Hanging upside down and his ankles tied to a butcher’s hook is a MAN IN HIS TWENTIES. A pair of hands pulls the man back. He is terrified. 

ANDY (O.C.) Aye, you’re not talking so much now?
MAN I said, I’m sorry, what else can I do? 

ANDY MCINTYRE , 50, thinks he’s better dressed than he is. Actually , he thinks he’s Brad Pitt.

ANDY Give me the money you took or else.
MAN Or else what? You’re going to make all the blood rush to my head?

The two hands holding the man belong to TESCO. He’s in his twenties and another idiot. 

ANDY  Right Tesco, let the wee jobby swing. 
MAN Nooooooo….

The man is pushed towards the middle of the room where there are bowling skittles.
The man’s head knocks down eight of them. 

ANDY Not bad. Though you’ve left yourself with a one, ten split. Not an easy second shot. 

Andy pushes the upside down man into the hands of Tesco who, once again pulls the man back.  The man’s face is looking up at Tesco.

MAN  How come they call you Tesco? 
ANDY (O.C) He’s been shopped that many times.
TESCO Hey, if you don’t mind, I’ve got to concentrate. 
MAN Look, hitting those skittles with my face hurts.
TESCO It’s meant to!
MAN I didn’t mean to say your maw looked liked Susan Boyle. It was the drink talking. 
TESCO Oh we can all use that as an excuse.

Tesco lines up the swinging man with the skittles, then pushes him out to the side. The man hits down one skittle with his face and then swings back hitting down the other. All the time, the man is screaming like a big girl.

TESCO (CONT’D) A spare!

ANDY I can’t enjoy this match with all his screaming. Tape his mouth up. Tell you what, you carry on, I’m away to check on Bomber.

A key in the door. Johnny and Archie enter a flat that was once loved.
LOUNGE There are covers over the furniture.  Archie picks up a photo of a younger Johnny, Andy and their mother. Johnny points.

JOHNNY That was me.

It brings a smile to Archie’s little face. 

JOHNNY (CONT’D) That’s my brother…Spanish (My brother, Andy, your Uncle and that old witch is your Granny).

And for the first time since setting foot in good old Scotland, Archie tries a bit of English.

ARCHIE Where? She? 
JOHNNY She, dead….Spanish (dead)… (to himself) Gone to hell hopefully.

Next to it is a well thumbed note book – on the cover “Clients – Money owed”. 

JOHNNY (CONT’D) Moneylending to the end, you old witch.

A NOISE from the next room. The book is discarded. Archie is about to push the door open when Johnny catches him.  Johnny signals to Archie to keep quiet. 


To say this room looks like NASA Control would not be underestimating it.
COMPUTERS and all the paraphernalia that surrounds are almost suffocating the room. In the corner sits BOMBER, 24, with headphones listening to some unheard music. His head is jiggling as he stretches back on a seat with his legs on a table.  

Johnny lifts a couple of the DVDs that Bomber is duplicating. Cheap porn. “HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSPHER’S STIFFY”, “CHUBBY CHASERS ALMANAC” and then in amongst the trash is “SCOTLAND’S WORLD CUP VICTORIES”. 

JOHNNY (CONT’D) Now that is pornographic. 

Archie’s eyes are like saucers looking at some of the front covers. Johnny knocks the seat away from Bomber.

BOMBER What the……

Bomber is lying on the floor and attempts to sit up. Johnny presses his head with his foot.

JOHNNY Me first. Who are you? 
ANDY (O.C.) Hands up.
JOHNNY That old one,sticking a screwdriver into bloke’s back and pretending it’s a gun. Still a tit then, Andrew?

Sure enough Andy has crept in the room and stuck the handle of a screwdriver into Johnny’s back. Andy has his hand over Archie’s mouth. The screwdriver gets dropped and Archie’s mouth released.

ANDY Johnny? 
JOHNNY Aye, Johnny. 
ANDY Bloody hell…
BOMBER Who’s Johnny?
ANDY …my big brother. 
BOMBER I didn’t know you had a brother.
ANDY He ran away to join the army,  Ally’s Tartan bleedin’  Army.


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