Script by John Finnemore
Transcript by Ariane DeVere
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CAROLYN: Ladies and gentlemen, we will shortly be landing in St Petersburg. We do hope you enjoyed your visit to Saint-Tropez; and to those of you who managed to find a luxury yacht to your liking, we rejoice at your success. And to those of you who remain tragically un-be-yachted, our hearts go out to you at this difficult time. Oh, and because someone asked me earlier, let me assure you that the cabin crew like to think of ourselves as your hosts and would be insulted to be offered a tip.
DOUGLAS: The pilots, however, like to think of themselves as your pilots. Please slide your insults under the flight deck door.
This week, St Petersburg!
(The flight deck door opens)
DOUGLAS (a little breathless): Exterior checks completed.
MARTIN: That was very quick.
DOUGLAS: Yes. Well, at six a.m. in St Petersburg in February, one does not tend to dawdle. It’s definitely our plane and the wings are on it – that’ll do me. Now, Carolyn – can I have the keys to the drinks cupboard? I need some vodka.
CAROLYN: Why, certainly, Douglas. The perfect pre-flight treat for a man who hasn’t drunk for a decade. And can I tempt you with a little heroin to follow?
DOUGLAS: Seriously, Carolyn, it’s important.
MARTIN: What on earth do you need vodka for?
DOUGLAS: Well, on the walk-round, though brief, I did notice one small problem with the otherwise entirely airworthy plane.
DOUGLAS: It has an Arthur stuck to the side of it.
DOUGLAS: Apparently he couldn’t open the hold door with his thick gloves on, so he took one off, and now his hand is frozen to the door handle.
CAROLYN: Oh, stupid boy!
(Jingle of keys as she tosses them to Douglas.)
ARTHUR (high-pitched and shivering): Oh, hello, chaps. Glad you came back. Cold, isn’t it?
CAROLYN: Why vodka, Douglas? Can’t you use hot water?
DOUGLAS: If you want to encase his hand in ice, yes. Alcohol has a much lower freezing point, so you can use it as a lubricant.
(Sound of pouring liquid.)
DOUGLAS: There you go, Arthur.
ARTHUR (sighing with relief): Ohh. Thank you, Douglas.
DOUGLAS: Now, put your glove back on and come inside.
CAROLYN: Douglas, this is our best Stolichnaya.
DOUGLAS: Mmm. Doesn’t it smell good?
ARTHUR (his voice muffled by something): Er, Douglas? Small problem. I was tryin’ to put my glove back on, so I just ...
DOUGLAS: ... put the keys in your mouth. Of course you did. Carolyn – vodka please.
MARTIN: Post take-off checks complete.
DOUGLAS: Thank you, Martin.
(He activates the intercom.)
DOUGLAS: How is Arthur?
CAROLYN (over intercom): Sore-lipped and accidentally drunk.
ARTHUR (drunk and slurring): Should just stop being hurting now.
CAROLYN: I can see the next three hours are going to fly by on gilded wings.
DOUGLAS: Have fun.
(He deactivates the intercom.)
DOUGLAS: All right, then, Martin. Rhyming journeys.
DOUGLAS: Vienna to Siena.
MARTIN: Oh, right. OK ...
MARTIN: Err ...
DOUGLAS: Poole to Goole.
MARTIN: Good one.
MARTIN: Err ...
DOUGLAS: Aruba to Cuba.
MARTIN: Oh, give me a chance! Oh! York to New York!
DOUGLAS: Yyyess. Ish. Or York to Cork.
MARTIN: Oh, damn! All right, um ... Paris to ... (murmuring quietly to himself) ... Baris, Caris, Daris, Faris. Oh! Or how about Peterborough to ...
(There’s an explosion. Martin cries out in surprise. An alarm starts bleeping insistently.)
DOUGLAS: Christ! Engine fire, number two engine.
MARTIN: Oh God! Er, engine fire check list, number two engine.
DOUGLAS (utterly professional): Engine fire check list, number two engine, Captain. Number two thrust lever?
DOUGLAS: Closed. Number two fuel control switch?
MARTIN: Yes, yes!
DOUGLAS: Number two fuel control switch to cut-off. Number two fire handle check?
DOUGLAS: Number two fire handle pulled.
(The alarm stops bleeping.)
DOUGLAS: Number one extinguisher fired, stopwatch started. Fire bell cancelled.
MARTIN (into radio): Mayday, mayday. Golf Echo Romeo Tango India, suspected bird strike. We have one engine on fire. Request immediate return and priority landing St Petersburg.
ATC (over radio): Golf Tango India, roger your mayday. Continue as cleared, contact Pulkovo, approach one two four decimal two.
MARTIN: Roger. One two four decimal two.
ATC: Good luck.
DOUGLAS: Fire is out, Captain. One two four decimal two is selected. Martin, do you want me to land it?
MARTIN: No. I’ll do it.
(On the ground, somewhere in the airport)
ARTHUR: Here you are, Skip. Nice hot cup of coffee.
MARTIN: Oh. (He takes a sip.) Aww! It’s cold!
ARTHUR: Nice cup of coffee.
MARTIN: It’s horrible!
ARTHUR: Cup of coffee.
MARTIN: I’m not even sure it is coffee.
ARTHUR: ... Cup. How’re you feeling?
MARTIN: Feeling? Feeling. I’m feeling, feeling fine. Why-why d’you ask? I’m absolutely fine, fine. How-how-how how are you? Sobered up, have you?
ARTHUR: Yeah, I have, actually. It turns out a really good cure for being drunk is when you’re on a plane and then an engine explodes and you think you’re gonna die.
MARTIN: You should write in to the British Medical Journal.
ARTHUR: We didn’t die, though, did we?
MARTIN: No. No, no, we didn’t.
ARTHUR: Because you landed us, brilliantly.
MARTIN (laughing softly): Wasn’t bad, was it?
ARTHUR: It was amazing! Mum and me thought Douglas must have done it.
MARTIN: Oh, thanks a lot.
ARTHUR: No, but I mean, it was like he did it, but you did it.
MARTIN: All right. Thank you.
MARTIN: Hello. What’s the news?
CAROLYN: Bird strike, as we thought.
DOUGLAS: A big one. Probably a goose.
ARTHUR: Oh no! Is it all right?
DOUGLAS: What, the goose? Yes, Arthur, it’s fine. It’ll have a bit of a headache, but a hell of a story for the goslings.
CAROLYN: The engine, however, is a write-off.
MARTIN: Yes, I thought it might be when I noticed that it was on fire. How much?
CAROLYN: What, to replace it? Well, about a quarter of a million pounds.
MARTIN: That’s a lot.
CAROLYN: It is a lot, isn’t it? I think it definitely qualifies as a lot.
MARTIN: I-I mean presumably we’re insured?
CAROLYN: Oh, yes, up to the hilt – for public and passenger liability, so should the goose’s lawyers ever track us down and demand restitution, we can pay them off without a second thought. The actual plane, though – that’s down to me.
ARTHUR: Hey! Douglas said the goose was all right!
CAROLYN: Yes, well, he lied. Neither goose nor Gerti are all right. So, I’m afraid this is it, boys. You know how I’m always saying one little thing could be the end of MJN Air? Well, this is one absolutely massive thing – and ... it’s all over.
ARTHUR: But ... can’t we sell Gerti?
CAROLYN: Well I hope so. We’re gonna have to.
ARTHUR: Ah, OK. And then just buy another plane with the money.
CAROLYN: No, Arthur! If we’re very lucky indeed, we might be able to sell Gerti and, with the money, buy an icecream van.
CAROLYN: Not seriously. (Irritably) Oh, go and get us all coffee.
(He walks away.)
MARTIN (quietly): I’m ... I’m sorry, Carolyn.
CAROLYN (sighing): Well, we had a longer run than anyone expected, and if we had to go, at least this is landing on Mayfair with a hotel.
DOUGLAS: So, what now? Can we help?
CAROLYN: I don’t know. I suppose I’ll have to try and find a way of selling an ancient decrepit old plane that’s just been badly beaten in a fight with a goose. Anyone got any ideas?
MARTIN: I suppose you could sell it for parts.
DOUGLAS: Or, there’s always ...
CAROLYN (instantly): No.
CAROLYN: He’s not having it.
DOUGLAS: He really wants it.
CAROLYN: That is exactly why he’s not having it. I am not giving him the satisfaction.
DOUGLAS: Every year, Carolyn gets a call from her ex-husband and former owner of Gerti, trying to persuade her to let him buy it back off her.
MARTIN: Every year? Why does he want it so much?
CAROLYN: He is unbearably rich. It used to be his favourite toy and he hated that I got it in the divorce. It’s not that he wants it; he just wants me not to have it.
DOUGLAS: Well, the thing is, Carolyn: at the moment, you also want you not to have it.
ARTHUR: Coffees. Not have what?
ARTHUR: Ah, are you still worrying about that?
DOUGLAS: It’s still nagging at the back of our minds, Arthur, yes.
CAROLYN: Arthur, listen to me: I’m serious. We are going to have to sell Gerti, straightaway, and we won’t be able to buy another plane, so this is the end of MJN Air.
ARTHUR: Oh, right. (Nonchalantly) OK.
CAROLYN: What do you mean, “OK”? This really is going to happen. Do you understand that?
ARTHUR: Yeah, but it won’t, though, will it?
CAROLYN: Why not?
ARTHUR: Well, Douglas will sort it out.
ARTHUR: I don’t know. He’ll think of something clever, like he always does.
CAROLYN: Yes, but this isn’t just a little fiddle over a bottle of wine or a bunch of orchids. It’s a quarter of a million pounds. I really don’t think he will this time.
ARTHUR (grinning): Yes he will.
DOUGLAS: Arthur, I won’t. Look, no-one has a higher opinion of me than I do, but even I simply do not have the power to conjure up a quarter of a million pounds from nowhere.
CAROLYN: So, there’s nothing else for it, is there?
DOUGLAS: I don’t think so. Sorry. And I’ve had to put her in a heated hangar, so the longer we wait, the more expensive it gets.
CAROLYN: Fine. (She sighs.) I’ll call him.
MARTIN: Now? It’s still five in the morning in Britain.
CAROLYN: Oh yes. Well, that’s something.
(She walks away.)
ARTHUR: Who’s she calling?
DOUGLAS: Your dad.
ARTHUR (anxiously): What? Dad? Why?
MARTIN: Well, we think he’s our best chance of selling Gerti.
ARTHUR: No! No, he can’t have Gerti.
DOUGLAS: Why not?
ARTHUR: He just shouldn’t have her. A-and anyway, then we wouldn’t have her.
DOUGLAS: Arthur, we keep telling you: we can’t afford to fix her.
ARTHUR (irritably): Yes, but I keep telling you: you’ll do something clever and it’ll be all right.
MARTIN: What’s he like, then – Mr. Shappey?
DOUGLAS: I don’t know. I’ve never met him either. What’s he like, Arthur?
ARTHUR: Ooh, he’s, er ... he’s, er ... he’s, er ...
DOUGLAS: Good Lord, Martin, I think you’ve broken him.
ARTHUR: No-no-no – it’s just that he’s, er ... he’s, er ...
DOUGLAS: I think ... I think what we may be witnessing here is Arthur attempting to describe something with an adjective other than “brilliant”.
ARTHUR: Yeah, no-no, I-I wouldn’t say he was br... I mean, obviously everyone’s br... (He pauses momentarily.) No, he’s not brilliant. He’s, er ... he’s all right.
MARTIN: He must be awful!
CAROLYN: I’ve spoken to him. He’s coming straight here.
MARTIN: What, now?
CAROLYN: Yes. He’s flying himself over in his private jet. He’ll be here in about three hours.
MARTIN: God, at least he’s keen.
CAROLYN: Oh yes, he’s keen.
ARTHUR (anxiously): Dad’s coming here, now?
ARTHUR (getting more panic stricken): Oh. OK. Right. OK. What shall I do? Shall I get him a present? What does he like? I’ll get him ... a present. I-I-I’ll get something from the duty free.
CAROLYN: You don’t need to get him a present, Arthur.
ARTHUR: No, no, of course not. Stupid, stupid. Although, I might anyway, er, just to be sure. A TOBLERONE! I can get him a Toblerone! Brilliant! Problem solved! Don’t panic, we’ll be fine. It’s all right. OK, I’ll go and get one now!
MARTIN: But he won’t be here for three hours!
ARTHUR: Yeah, but, still, though, er, good to have it all ready in advance. OK, bye!
(He hurries away.)
DOUGLAS: Good Lord.
MARTIN: I’ve never seen him like that.
CAROLYN: That’s his dad for you. All right, you two scram as well. Get some lunch – on the company card.
CAROLYN: Well, you did land a plane on one engine. That deserves a treat.
DOUGLAS: Excellent! Well, I think I saw a sushi place ...
CAROLYN: No, I meant at the crew canteen. You can have sushi when you land it on no engines.
(In the canteen; cutlery scraping on plates)
MARTIN (with his mouth full): Oh, I’ve got a good one.
DOUGLAS: Oh yes?
MARTIN: Yup. Lublin to Dublin.
DOUGLAS: Ooh, close. I’m afraid it’s pronounced “looblin”.
MARTIN (exasperated): Oh for goodness’ sake. Looblin to Dooblin?
DOUGLAS: You can have it if you like.
DOUGLAS: Lisbon to Brisbane?
MARTIN: Yes, very good. Er ... OK, Kent to ... now, you have to trust me, but I’m pretty sure there’s a place near where we used to camp in Wales called Llent.
DOUGLAS: Fair enough. Kent to Llent. And of course we could go via Brent ... and Gwent ... and Stoke-on-Trent.
MARTIN (irritably): Oh, yes, all right. How was your soggy brown thing?
DOUGLAS: It lived up to its promise. How was your bowl of grey?
MARTIN: About the same. Do you think she’s really going to sell it to him?
DOUGLAS: I think she’d better. No-one else is going to buy it.
MARTIN: Right, so you’re actually not ...
MARTIN: Nothing. Just ... You really don’t have a secret plan up your sleeve?
DOUGLAS: Oh, Martin, not you as well. No, I really don’t.
MARTIN: No-no-no, I didn’t think you did. Just checking, that’s all.
GORDON (Australian accent): ’Scuse us, are these taken?
(A chair scrapes as he pulls it out from the table.)
MARTIN: Er, no, no.
GORDON: Ah, great. Thanks, mate. I’m Gordon. This is Tommo.
TOMMO (Australian accent): All right?
DOUGLAS: Martin, Douglas.
GORDON: Nice to meet you. You flying in or flying out?
MARTIN: Well, er, neither, really. We’re sort of staying put.
GORDON: Oh, right. What for?
DOUGLAS: Mainly the cuisine.
GORDON: Ah! Ah, God, yeah! I’m pretty sure this steak remembers Stalin!
MARTIN: How about you?
GORDON: Ah, just got in. Bloody hell – the crosswind, eh? Hairiest landing we’ve had for years, wasn’t it, Tommo?
GORDON: So, did you ...?
CAROLYN: Well, this is cosy.
CAROLYN: Are we all getting on terribly well?
MARTIN: Oh, hello, Carolyn. Er, this is Gordon.
CAROLYN: Yes, we’ve met before, in fact. Hello, Gordon. How necessary to see you.
GORDON: Hi there, Carolyn. Are these boys your crew, then? Hi, guys. Gordon Shappey ...
CAROLYN: Don’t shake his hand.
CAROLYN: Fine, all right.
GORDON: Good to meet you. So, you must be Captain Crieff.
MARTIN: No, I ... yes! How did you know?
GORDON: Well, the captain’s hat is a bit of a giveaway.
DOUGLAS: You’d be surprised.
GORDON: Oh, Carolyn, this is Tom. He’s my chief engineer.
TOMMO: All right?
GORDON: I brought him and his boys with me so they can have a look over the old girl.
CAROLYN: Absolutely not.
GORDON: Well, you know they kinda have to, so I know exactly what’s wrong with her.
CAROLYN: The only thing wrong with her – as I told you on the phone – is that we used one of her engines to make a goose smoothie. Otherwise she is fine.
GORDON: I-I mean I can’t really buy a plane without Tommo giving it the once-over, can I?
DOUGLAS: Carolyn, that is reasonable.
CAROLYN: Fine. If you must.
GORDON: Great! OK, so I’ll give you a call in a few hours when they’re done. So, let’s take a look at the poor old girl. You ready, Tommo?
DOUGLAS: Follow me, gentlemen.
(The three of them get up and walk away.)
MARTIN: He didn’t seem too bad.
CAROLYN: Oh, didn’t he? You took a shine to him, did you, Martin?
MARTIN (hurriedly): No, no, not at all. No, he didn’t seem too bad ... but ... he ... obviously is ... awful.
DOUGLAS: Guildford to Ilford.
MARTIN: Hong Kong to ...
MARTIN: ... itself?
DOUGLAS: You mean, from Hong to Kong?
MARTIN: No, forget it.
MARTIN: Oh, hello, Carolyn. Any news?
CAROLYN (sighing): No.
MARTIN: What are they doing out there?
DOUGLAS: I can’t imagine. There’s simply not enough engineering in Gerti to spend four hours looking at. Apart from the engines, she’s mostly gaffer tape and string.
(More approaching footsteps)
ARTHUR (morosely): Hi, guys.
DOUGLAS: Oh dear. Still no luck?
CAROLYN: What’s the matter?
DOUGLAS: Alas, an exhaustive search of St Petersburg airport duty free has yet to turn up anything in the shape of a Toblerone.
ARTHUR: I don’t understand it. I’ve never been to an airport that didn’t have Toblerones. I mean, OK, sometimes they don’t have the white ones or the black ones, but not even to have the normal ones!
MARTIN: So, Arthur, I’ve just realised: you’re half Australian.
DOUGLAS: That certainly explains a lot about the relentless cheeriness.
(He goes into an appallingly bad Australian accent.)
ARTHUR: And it’s also why I can do such a good Orstralian accint!
DOUGLAS: Two things, Arthur: Australian accents aren’t genetic; and you can’t do one.
ARTHUR (still in the dreadful accent): Well, you’re entitled to your opinion, sport!
ARTHUR (normal accent): Sorry. Also it’s good because it means I can play cricket for either England or Australia, whichever need me.
MARTIN: Can you play cricket?
ARTHUR: Don’t know. I’ve never tried.
DOUGLAS: Arthur, you’re almost thirty. Don’t you think you’re leaving it a little late to embark upon your career as an international sportsman?
ARTHUR: Not really. Shane Warne is forty-one.
MARTIN: Yes, but he’s retired. I mean, that’s like saying Geoffrey Boycott’s in his seventies.
ARTHUR: You see? Well there you are, then.
(Carolyn’s phone trills a text alert.)
CAROLYN: Ah-ha! Gordon’s finally finished. He’ll meet us in the office in half an hour.
ARTHUR: Oh no! I still haven’t got him anything!
CAROLYN: Arthur, you really don’t need to ...
ARTHUR (running off): Yeah, I’ll meet you there!
MARTIN: We’re ready.
ARTHUR (in a plaintive whimper): Yeah.
CAROLYN: All right. (She calls out.) You can come in.
GORDON (opening the door): Hi, guys. Hello, Arthur.
ARTHUR (anxiously): Hi! Hi, hi, er, Dad. (He laughs.) Er, that’s not funny – that’s who you are. Hi. Er, um, I-I got you something. They didn’t have any Toblerones, incredibly, so I got you some gin, because it’s called Gordon’s gin and you’re called Gordon! So whenever you want to know which gin is yours, it’ll be the one with your name on it! And ... a-a-and whenever you want to know what your name is, it’ll be written on your gin.
GORDON: Well, that was a very nice thought, Arthur. Thank you.
ARTHUR (almost breathless with nerves): You’re welcome!
CAROLYN: So, have your henchmen had a good look round now? They’ve been out there long enough.
GORDON: Engineers, rather than henchmen, and yes, I’m sorry it took so long.
CAROLYN: I should think so.
GORDON: You see, I gave them a couple of notebooks and asked them to take a note of everything that was wrong with her. After two hours they said they were gonna need more time; after three they said they were gonna need more notebooks. So hence my very generous offer to you now of five hundred pounds.
CAROLYN: What?! Oh, oh, I see, and you’ll take on all MJN’s debts.
GORDON: No, no, sweet of you to offer to throw them in but no. I meant I’d give you five hundred pounds and you give me Gerti.
CAROLYN: Five hundred pounds? It is an aeroplane, not a second-hand Ford Fiesta! A hundred thousand pounds and there is no room for negotiation.
GORDON: All right, bye.
(He gets up from his chair.)
CAROLYN: It’s no good going through all this charade with me, Gordon. Remember: I know how fast you scrambled to get out here. I’ve seen how eager you’ve been to buy it all these years. I know how much you want it.
GORDON: Oh yeah, I want it. And you know why I want it?
CAROLYN: Yes! You want it out of spite because you hate the fact I got it in the divorce.
GORDON: No, no, no. Oh, wait – yes. That’s exactly why. And not so much that you took it off me, even though you couldn’t fly the bloody thing; not even that you then used it to play airlines with one pilot who failed his CPL four times ...
(Martin squeaks indignantly.)
GORDON: ... and one who got thrown out of Air England for having sticky fingers. Yeah, I’ve looked you up. No, it’s just because you called your airline My Jet Now. As soon as I heard that, I said to Hayley – she sends her love, by the way, though obviously she doesn’t mean it – “Right,” I said, “I’m having that back off her.” And you know what I’m gonna do with it? I’m gonna break it up for parts and sell the rest as scrap – except for the tail fin. That I’m gonna ship back to England and hang above my mantelpiece ... after, of course, I’ve re-sprayed it NYBJAMS – Not Your Bloody Jet Any More, Sweetheart. So, me and the guys are going to a hotel now. I’ll be back in this office nine o’clock tomorrow morning. Either you’re there and you take five hundred quid for it, like you know you have to, or you’re not and I fly home happy in the knowledge that you’re shafted.
(He stands up again.)
ARTHUR: You’ve forgotten your gin.
GORDON: I don’t drink cheap gin. You keep that.
(He opens the door and leaves the room. There’s a long silence.)
DOUGLAS: And yet you say the marriage wasn’t a success?
(In a taxi)
ARTHUR: You promise? You absolutely promise?
CAROLYN: Of course we’re not going to sell it to him. After that? We can have it broken up for parts ourselves, if it comes to that.
DOUGLAS: Yes. Odd he didn’t realise that.
CAROLYN: He just wanted the satisfaction of making his little speech, that’s all. He never wanted the plane.
DOUGLAS: But you always said he desperately wanted the plane.
CAROLYN: Well, clearly I was wrong. Now, Douglas – as soon as we get to the motel, I want you to help me write my little speech for tomorrow morning.
MARTIN: What about me?
CAROLYN: Well, all right – you too, but I want it to be unbearably superior and snide, so obviously Douglas is my primary source. Douglas, what are you doing?
DOUGLAS: I’m just checking the taxi’s not being followed.
DOUGLAS: So we can turn it round and go back to the airport.
DOUGLAS: Oh, just on a whim.
(On foot back at the airport)
DOUGLAS: And through here.
MARTIN: So we are going to Gerti’s hangar.
CAROLYN: Oh, for God’s sake. Just tell us what’s going on.
DOUGLAS: Isn’t it obvious?
CAROLYN: I will punch you, Douglas. I will literally punch you on the nose.
DOUGLAS: Well, ask yourself why – if he wants it so much – he made you an offer you’d obviously never accept; why it took his engineers so long to check her over; and, of course, why he manipulated you into letting him book the office in MJN’s name.
CAROLYN: This isn’t telling us, Douglas – this is aggravated not telling us.
DOUGLAS: All right. He never wanted to buy her. He’s going to steal her.
MARTIN: What?! No he’s not.
DOUGLAS: No, he’s not now, granted, but he’s going to try.
CAROLYN: But he can’t.
DOUGLAS: Yes he can. He’s qualified to fly her, he’ll have door keys from when he used to own her, and since the airport now thinks he’s part of MJN, they’re hardly going to stop him paying our bills or filing a flight plan.
MARTIN: But her engine’s broken.
DOUGLAS: I bet you a fiver it’s not. And ...
(The door to the hangar squeaks open.)
DOUGLAS: Ah. I’ve won a fiver. You see? That’s what his engineers were up to. It’s like the story of the old shoemaker. I forget the finer details, but I believe it concerns an old shoemaker who left a knackered old aeroplane in his workshop overnight and then magical mice – or it may have been pixies – came along and bolted a new engine to it.
CAROLYN: Then why are we here? Why aren’t we at the airport manager’s office, or-or-or the police?
DOUGLAS: Oh, I think we can keep this in the family. All we need to sort him out for ourselves is a camera, a spanner, the asbestos gloves from the galley and, most of all, this.
(There’s the clink of a bottle of alcohol.)
CAROLYN: Cheddar to Jeddah.
MARTIN: Firmingham ... Girmingham ... Vlermingham.
DOUGLAS: From Troon to the moon.
(The sat comm bleeps.)
ARTHUR (over sat comm): Yes, hullo, it’s me. He’s just passed me. He’s going towards the hangar.
DOUGLAS: Well done, Arthur. Stay where you are and keep watch. We’ll come and get you later.
(He switches the sat comm off again.)
DOUGLAS: OK, he’s coming. Martin.
DOUGLAS: You hide in the back of the cabin; I’ll hide in the loo; and you, Carolyn, you get to hide in the flight deck locker.
CAROLYN: I’m not getting in there!
DOUGLAS: I promise you it’ll be worth it.
(The hangar door squeaks loudly.)
DOUGLAS: Quickly! That’s the hangar door.
(Gordon unlocks Gerti’s door)
GORDON (into his phone): No, Tommo, you’re still breaking up. Can you hear me now?
TOMMO (over phone): Yep.
GORDON: Well, I said she can try, Tom, but there’s plenty of evidence that she invited me here to negotiate a sale. If I say we did a cash deal, she’s gonna need a lot of lawyers to prove otherwise, and she’s broke. OK, I’m in the plane. Better go.
(He switches on the radio.)
GORDON: Tower, this is Golf Tango India. D’you have my flight plan in the system yet?
ATC: Golf Tango India, yes, we do. Cleared to taxi to runway two eight left.
GORDON: Right. Here we go.
(He immediately cries out in pain. Carolyn opens the locker door.)
CAROLYN: Everything all right, Gordon?
GORDON: My hands! What the hell have you done?
CAROLYN: Oh dear, that does look nasty. Douglas! Could you come in here a minute?
(The flight deck door opens)
DOUGLAS: Certainly, Carolyn. What can I do for you?
(Gordon groans in pain.)
DOUGLAS: Oh, hello, Gordon. Look at you there, sitting in someone else’s aircraft with your hands on the control column, for all the world like you were about to steal it. I might get a picture of that.
(He takes a picture.)
DOUGLAS: And another. Don’t take your hands away.
(He takes another picture.)
GORDON: I can’t take my hands away! They’re stuck to it! What have you done? What the hell have you done?
DOUGLAS: What, to the metal casing of the control column? Nothing really – just unbolted it, took it out of the hangar, left it in the minus-nineteen degree cold for twenty minutes, carried it back in with asbestos gloves, reattached it. Why? Do you find you have rather sticky fingers?
GORDON: Get me off it! Get me off it! My fingers are burning!
DOUGLAS: Yes, they will do that at first.
DOUGLAS: Don’t worry, though – they’ll go numb soon, and eventually, of course, drop off.
GORDON (frantically): Get me off it!
CAROLYN: Nothing easier. All we need is some alcohol – low freezing point, you see. Now, do you have any alcohol on you?
DOUGLAS: Funny – I could have sworn I saw Arthur give you some. Well, let’s see if we can rustle something up for you.
MARTIN (coming into the flight deck): Yes, Douglas? Can I help?
DOUGLAS: Mr. Shappey finds he has use for some alcohol. Do you happen to have his bottle of gin?
MARTIN: Right here, Douglas! I know it’s his, because it’s got his name on it. Have you decided you’d like it after all, Mr. Shappey?
GORDON: Give me it here!
MARTIN: Certainly. And, er, what’s your present for him?
MARTIN: It’s usual to exchange presents, isn’t it? What have you got for Arthur?
MARTIN: Oh dear. How embarrassing for you.
DOUGLAS: Oh! I know! Why don’t you give him the engine you’ve just had bolted onto this aircraft’s wing?
CAROLYN: Oh, yes! He loves engines! What a thoughtful gift!
GORDON (desperately): Yes, fine, all right!
DOUGLAS: You freely give – before God and the cabin voice recorder – Arthur Shappey the starboard engine of this aircraft in exchange for this bottle of gin?
GORDON: Yes! Now pour it over me!
CAROLYN: With pleasure.
(Liquid splashes over Gordon. He gurgles.)
GORDON: Over my hands!
(More liquid splashes over Gordon. He groans as his hands come free.)
CAROLYN: Better? Good! And now, Gordon ...
GORDON (angrily): What?
CAROLYN: Get off My Jet Now!
(Footsteps along tarmac)
MARTIN: OK. Porthcawl to Montreal.
DOUGLAS: Martin! That’s a perfect one! Well done!
MARTIN: Via Donegal!
MARTIN: And the Albert Hall!
DOUGLAS: Oh, bravo! How long have you been secretly working on that?
MARTIN: Er ... all day.
CAROLYN: Well, it was worth it!
(They stop walking.)
DOUGLAS: Ah. Behold the ever-vigilant watchdog!
MARTIN (affectionately): Ahh. Seems a shame to wake him.
DOUGLAS: No it doesn’t. I want to go home.
CAROLYN (sing-song): Arthur.
ARTHUR (waking up): Mmm?
CAROLYN (sing-song): It’s time to go home, dear.
ARTHUR: Oh, right. How are we doing that?
CAROLYN: In Gerti.
ARTHUR: Oh yeah? She’s fixed, is she?
ARTHUR: And you didn’t have to pay for it.
ARTHUR: So MJN can carry on as normal?
ARTHUR: OK. Good.
CAROLYN: Aren’t you interested in how all that happened?
ARTHUR: Did Douglas do something clever and now everything’s fine?
ARTHUR: There you are, then. Exactly what I said all along. I wish you lot would listen to me sometimes!