Script by John Finnemore
Transcript by Ariane DeVere
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CAROLYN: Your seat belt fastens like this, and unfastens like this. An invaluable lesson there for any of you who have never been in a car. In the very unlikely event of an emergency landing, your inflatable safety jacket is under your seat – and that is precisely where I recommend it stay, given that the largest body of water between here and Luton is an open-air swimming pool in Daventry. Finally, please keep your mobile phones switched off for the duration of the flight. Obviously they have no effect whatsoever on our navigational equipment or we wouldn’t let you have them, but they drive me up the wall. Thank you, and enjoy your flight.
This week, Boston.
MARTIN (into radio): Fitton Approach, this is Golf Echo Romeo Tango India. Climbing to six thousand feet, left turn, direct Luton.
FITTON AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL (over radio): Okey-dokey. Have fun.
MARTIN (sternly): Karl.
KARL (sighing): Roger, Golf Tango India.
MARTIN: Thank you.
KARL: You’re welcome. Don’t fly into anything I wouldn’t fly into.
DOUGLAS: Post take-off checks complete.
MARTIN: Thank you, Douglas. Could you balance the fuel, please?
MARTIN: Douglas, the fuel?
DOUGLAS: Sorry, Captain, can’t help you.
MARTIN (sighing): Simon Says could you balance the fuel?
DOUGLAS: By all means. (Clicking buttons as he speaks) You know, you can give up any time you like. It’s been six trips.
MARTIN: No. I can get you. Besides, I want another go. I know I can do better than last time.
DOUGLAS: What, even better than, “Shall we play Simon Says, Martin?” “Okay, I’ll go first, Douglas.” “Tell me when you’re ready, Martin.” “I’m ready, Douglas ... Oh!” I don’t know, Martin. You’ve set the bar punishingly high.
(Flight deck door opens.)
CAROLYN: Ah, gentlemen.
DOUGLAS: Oh dear.
MARTIN: It’s always trouble when we’re ‘gentlemen.’ I prefer it when we’re ‘imbeciles.’
DOUGLAS: Or ‘dolts.’
MARTIN: ‘Dolts’ is good, yes.
CAROLYN: No! This is good news! I have another job for you.
MARTIN: We’ve already got another job this week.
CAROLYN: Indeed you have. So stand by for another ’nother job. The fine people at Algonquin Charter Air have – excellently – grounded a Gulfstream at Luton, which leaves them with a whole parcel of cross Americans who aren’t in America, but would like to be. And guess who’s making their dream come true? Our very own selves.
MARTIN: We can’t do it.
CAROLYN: We can do it, we will do it and we are doing it. Does that answer your question?
MARTIN: It wasn’t a question, Carolyn; it was a statement. The Istanbul trip is Thursday night.
CAROLYN: I know. We get back Thursday morning.
MARTIN: But we have to have twelve hours’ rest between trips.
CAROLYN: I know, because you are lazy, lazy pilots. So, we get to Boston Wednesday morning, twelve hours’ break; fly home Wednesday evening, arrive Thursday morning, twelve hours’ break. Off to Istanbul – perfect.
MARTIN: But ... I’ve got my easyJet interview on Wednesday afternoon.
DOUGLAS: Ah well, easyJet, easy go.
CAROLYN: You can still do that. I don’t care what you do in your twelve hours. You can sleep, or try to sneak away from my company like a snivelling rat. It’s all the same to me.
MARTIN: Douglas, help me out here.
DOUGLAS: Ahhhhh, nice try!
CAROLYN: Please tell me you’re not still playing Simon Says.
DOUGLAS: I’m afraid I can’t do that – for two reasons.
(Voices of people getting on board the plane.)
ARTHUR: Good evening, sir, welcome on board today. Good evening, madam, welcome also to you today on board. Good evening, sir, welcome to being on board to you today. Ooh, er, sir? Excuse me?
MR. LEEMAN (American accent): Yeah? What?
ARTHUR: Er, may I inform yourself that MJN does run a fully comprehensive non-smoking service, and as such as a result of this, all cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos must be extinguished upon embarkation, and retained in a state of extinguishment until termination of disembarkation. Thank yourself for your co-operation.
MR. LEEMAN: I’m not co-operating.
ARTHUR: No, not yet, but I’m sure you’re going to in a minute, and then, thank you!
MR. LEEMAN: Do you know how much I paid to be on this flight today?
ARTHUR: I bet it was loads!
MR. LEEMAN: Yeah, good guess. It was loads. It was so much that it seems to me that, uh ... (he takes a drag on his cigarette) ... I can pretty much smoke where I like, okay?
ARTHUR: But ... it ... it’s very dangerous to smoke on an aeroplane.
MR. LEEMAN: No it’s not.
ARTHUR: ... I don’t know what to say now.
MR. LEEMAN: How old are you, sonny?
ARTHUR: Twenty-eight and a half.
MR. LEEMAN: Well, I was smoking on airplanes for twenty years before you were born. Why do you think the No Smoking signs go on and off?
ARTHUR: Actually, ours don’t, mostly; although one of them flickers. And there’s one we can’t turn on at all because it makes the cabin smell of fish.
MR. LEEMAN: Well, that sure gives me confidence. So, uh ... (he takes another drag on his cigarette) ... we’re all done here, right?
MR. LEEMAN: And I can smoke.
ARTHUR: Er ...
CAROLYN: Hello. Welcome on board. It’s my pleasure to serve you today. Please do let me know – or a member of my team know – if we can help you at any time; such as, for instance, by extinguishing that cigarette for you.
(Sound of the cigarette being dunked into liquid.)
MR. LEEMAN (angrily): Hey!
CAROLYN: Oh dear! Arthur, get this gentleman a fresh glass of wine, please. This one seems to be a bit ... (she chuckles) ... cigarette-y. Thank you so very much, and please do enjoy the rest of your flight.
MARTIN: Douglas, could you give me the fuel check at the last waypoint?
MARTIN: Simon Says give me the fuel check at the last waypoint.
DOUGLAS: Certainly. Ten minutes early and seven hundred kilos up on flight plan.
MARTIN: Nearly got you, though, didn’t I?
(An alarm begins to beep.)
DOUGLAS: Ah, here we go again. (Turning the alarm off) Let’s see what vital part’s fallen off the old girl this time. Ah.
MARTIN: What is it?
DOUGLAS: Shall I tell you an interesting thing about this thin metal tube full of petrol we’re flying hundreds of miles above the Atlantic Ocean?
DOUGLAS: It’s on fire.
MARTIN: Douglas ...
DOUGLAS: Master Caution Fire, Captain. Smoke detector, passenger loo.
MARTIN: Carolyn, we’ve got a ...
CAROLYN (over intercom): Yes, I know, I know. Keep your goggles on. It’s just stroppy Mr. Leeman in three-B. Hang on.
(Banging on the toilet door.)
MR. LEEMAN (from inside): It’s taken.
CAROLYN: Sir, please extinguish your cigarette, take the paper cup off the smoke alarm, make a mental note that that trick never works, and return to your seat.
MR. LEEMAN: Nope.
(Flight deck door opens.)
CAROLYN: Martin, give Douglas your hat. ... Do it.
MARTIN: You didn’t say Simon Says.
CAROLYN: I am not playing your game! The man in the loo refuses to come out, so give Douglas your hat.
MARTIN: I’m sure, to you, those two sentences follow another naturally, but I don’t quite see the logic ...
CAROLYN (interrupting): I don’t need you to see! I need you to give Douglas your hat.
MARTIN: I don’t want to give him my hat.
DOUGLAS: If it helps, I don’t want to take his hat.
CAROLYN: Oh, for goodness’ sake. Why don’t people just blindly obey any more? He needs your hat because I want the captain to go down there and strike terror into his heart.
MARTIN: But I’m the captain.
CAROLYN: I am only too painfully aware that you are the captain, Martin, but Douglas actually looks and sounds like a captain. You’re not going to strike terror into anyone’s heart – unless you chat them up in a bar.
MARTIN: Right. Well, let’s just see about that, shall we?
(In the cabin.)
MARTIN: Mr. Leeman.
MR. LEEMAN: Yyyyep.
MARTIN: I notice you’re no longer in the toilet cubicle, sir.
MR. LEEMAN: I bet the guys call you Captain Hawkeye.
MARTIN: Are you aware that, ten minutes ago, I was on the point of aborting the flight?
MR. LEEMAN: Oh, I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Looks wet down there.
MARTIN: ... because, sir, I was under the impression that the aircraft was on fire.
MR. LEEMAN: No. It was just me ... (he takes a drag on his cigarette) ... smmmokin’.
MARTIN: Yes, I know.
MR. LEEMAN: Right. So you weren’t on the point of aborting anything, now were you?
MARTIN: Sir, as the commander of this vessel, I must demand ...
MR. LEEMAN (interrupting): Okay, that’s about enough. What are you gonna do, Commander? Have me arrested? No. An’ I’ll tell you why not. Because your tinpot little one-airplane outfit needs me and my business about a zillion times more than I need you. You think you can scare me by marching down here in your Fisher Price When-I-Grow-Up-I-Wanna-Be-A-Pilot costume? Give me a break! You’re not the commander of anything! You’re a little guy who can’t get a game with the big boys and wears a uniform like a rear admiral’s to make up for the fact that he’s basically just a flying cabbie. Am I right?
MARTIN: No! No, you’re not right! You’re ... (plaintively) ... a very rude man. You can’t speak to me like that. I’m the captain!
MR. LEEMAN (in a mock sympathetic voice): Okay, Captain, you run along now and, er ... (he takes another drag) ... try not to cry into any important equipment.
MARTIN (tearfully): I’m not crying. Your smoke got in my eyes.
(Flight deck door opens.)
DOUGLAS: How did it go?
MARTIN: Fine. Fine. Fine. Fine. Fine. Arthur ...
DOUGLAS: Well, anything you say five times is obviously true.
ARTHUR: Yes, Skipper?
MARTIN: Right, right. Arthur, did you see me inform Mr. Leeman about our non-smoking policy?
ARTHUR: Er, well, I was ... I wasn’t really looking. I mean, I certainly didn’t notice if he made you cry. Or not. I mean, he probably didn’t.
MARTIN: I was not crying. His smoke got in my eyes.
DOUGLAS (singing): ♪ Smoke gets in your eyes. ♪
MARTIN: Shut up, Douglas! Now, Arthur, we’ve already had one fire scare on this trip. We can’t afford to take chances, and since we know that Mr. Leeman has been fully informed of the policy and therefore certainly won’t be smoking in the loo again ...
ARTHUR: Actually, I think he might.
MARTIN: No, Arthur, he won’t.
ARTHUR: Hmm. The thing is, though, Skip, with all due respect, but what I’ve got that you haven’t is that Mum sent me on a course on understanding people in Ipswich.
MARTIN (slowly): And if I ever want the people of Ipswich understood, you’ll be the first person I call. Meanwhile ...
ARTHUR: Yeah, yeah, but it means I can now read people – you know, like a book.
DOUGLAS: Have you ever read a book, Arthur?
ARTHUR: Yes, actually! White Fang. Twice. Anyway, bringing my people-reading skills to the table, I’m able to reveal to you now that Mr. Leeman didn’t show any of the five indicators of true resolve to change his behaviour patterns, and therefore, in a nutshell, I reckon he might smoke in the loo again.
MARTIN: Listen carefully, Arthur. He definitely won’t, and therefore, if the smoke alarm does go off again, it can only be a real fire; and so I’m authorising you, in that unlikely event, not to waste time knocking – just to over-ride the door lock and immediately discharge the fire extinguisher into any flame you see.
ARTHUR: Ah! Any flame I see.
MARTIN: That’s right, even if it’s just a little tiny glowy one.
ARTHUR: Aye-aye, Skipper!
(Mr. Leeman sighs as he stands up.)
ARTHUR (quietly into intercom): Okay, he’s up.
(Mr. Leeman hums to himself.)
ARTHUR: He’s on the move.
(The toilet door squeaks as it opens and closes.)
ARTHUR: Okay, he’s in.
MARTIN (over intercom): Okay, Arthur, stand by.
ARTHUR (excitedly): Okay!
MARTIN: Stand by.
(The Master Caution alarm begins to beep.)
MARTIN (over-dramatically): Oh, no! Emergency! Emergency! The plane is on fire! Arthur, for the love of God, save us all!
ARTHUR (excitedly): Yes, Skipper!
(He wrenches the door open.)
MR. LEEMAN: Hey! What the hell ...
MR. LEEMAN: What are you ...
(He screams as Arthur fires the extinguisher at him for a couple of seconds.)
MR. LEEMAN (as the extinguisher stops): Oh. Oh God. I ... oh, my chest. Oh. Argh!
(He crashes to the floor.)
ARTHUR (plaintively): ... Fire’s out.
MARTIN (over cabin address): Good evening. This is Captain Crieff speaking. I’m sorry to have to tell you a passenger has been taken ill. So if there is anyone with medical training on board, could they please come to the flight deck door? Thank you.
(Cabin address off. Flight deck door opens.)
DOUGLAS: Okay, we’ve moved him to the galley.
MARTIN: How’s he looking?
DOUGLAS: Well, he’s covered in foam and he’s had a heart attack. Otherwise great.
MARTIN: I-I was just thinking ... maybe we ought to turn the plane round.
DOUGLAS: Well, yes, of course, we should. Haven’t you done it yet?
MARTIN: ... Oh, right, right. Because, on the other hand, obviously Carolyn’s not going to like it much.
DOUGLAS (sternly): Martin, that’s irrelevant. It’s a serious medical emergency. You ditch into the nearest airfield, and we’re – what – twenty minutes off midway, so forty minutes closer to home. There’s no question we have to turn round It’s the decision I imagine you have come to, Captain.
MARTIN: Yes, it is. Exactly.
MARTIN: Shanwick, this is Golf Echo Romeo Tango India. We have a serious passenger medical emergency and wish to return as soon as possible.
SHANWICK AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL (female Irish voice): Roger, Golf Tango India. Stand by; I’ll co-ordinate.
MARTIN: Carolyn’ll understand, won’t she? I mean, a life’s at stake. I’m sure I saw a doctor on the load sheet. (He picks up a sheet of paper.) Here we are: seven-A, Doctor Thomas Price. Where is he?
DOUGLAS: Lying low, I should think.
MARTIN: What? Why?
DOUGLAS: Too scared of being sued.
MARTIN: You’re joking.
DOUGLAS: No. Especially going to America. If he tries to treat him and anything goes wrong, he’s looking at a huge malpractice suit.
MARTIN: But surely no-one will sue someone for trying to save their life.
DOUGLAS: Let’s face it: if anyone would, Mr. Leeman would.
MARTIN: Go and have a quick look at him for me, would you?
(Silence. Martin sighs.)
MARTIN: Simon Says go and have a quick look at him for me, would you?
DOUGLAS: Then Simon shall be obeyed.
(He leaves the flight deck.)
SHANWICK AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL (over radio): Golf Tango India, very little traffic on your track this evening. Maintain three-three-zero, turn right to Reykjavik and when in range, contact Iceland one-one-eight decimal zero-five.
MARTIN: Oh. Reykjavik? Really? I was thinking we could just go back home.
SHANWICK: Well, Reykjavik’s much closer. I thought you said it was a medical emergency?
MARTIN: Okay, right, yeah. Roger.
(Radio off. Bing-bong.)
MARTIN (over cabin address): Ladies and gentlemen, Captain Crieff here again. I’m sure you’ll understand that, as we have a passenger on board in need of urgent medical attention, we will have to make an unscheduled stop today in ... um ... in Reykjavik. I do apologise for the inconvenience; and once again, if there is a person with medical training on board, please do make yourself known to us. Thank you.
(Cabin address off. The flight door bursts open.)
MARTIN: Carolyn. Hello.
CAROLYN: Reykjavik! Reykjavik! Reykjavik!
MARTIN: Carolyn, you sound like you’re coughing up a hairball.
CAROLYN: Why in the wide world are we going to Reykjavik?
MARTIN: Because – and I know on a busy flight you may have missed this – your son hosed a passenger down with a fire extinguisher and gave him a heart attack! So I thought it might be a touching gesture if we tried to get him to a hospital.
CAROLYN: And what’s wrong with the hospitals in Boston?
MARTIN: Nothing’s wrong with them! They’re terribly good, but they’re fifteen hundred miles away.
CAROLYN: But do you have any idea what it’ll cost to land in Iceland, and find everyone accommodation and re-route tomorrow and miss Istanbul?
MARTIN: A man may be dying back there!
CAROLYN: A horrible man.
MARTIN: Carolyn, just because a passenger is rude to you doesn’t mean they deserve to die.
CAROLYN: Okay. Martin, listen. We are almost halfway. Boston can’t be more than, what, just forty minutes further? And, putting aside the thousands and thousands of pounds it will cost, look at it from his point of view: he lives in Boston. If we carry on, he goes to hospital in his home town. His family and his friends are right there ...
CAROLYN: He’s rich. He’ll have friends. If he goes to some hospital in Iceland, he’ll be alone in a foreign land; his family will have to fly over to be with him; maybe they’ll be too late – all for the sake of forty minutes.
(Pause, then radio on.)
MARTIN: Shanwick, this is Golf Tango India. We wish to cancel our emergency. We’d like to continue to Boston.
SHANWICK: Oh. All better now, is he? That’s nice(!) Roger, Golf Tango India. Route direct to fifty-one north, thirty west and resume your previously clear track.
CAROLYN: Good command decision, Captain. See you later.
(Flight deck door closes. Bing-bong.)
MARTIN (over cabin address): Sorry to disturb you again, ladies and gentlemen. Just to let you know that we will, after all, be continuing our journey to Boston; and I repeat ... (sternly) ... if there’s a doctor on board and they retain even a hazy memory of their Hippocratic Oath, it would be really super to see them in the galley! Thank you!
(Cabin address off. Flight deck door opens.)
DOUGLAS: What are you doing, Martin?
MARTIN: I’m trying to flush out Doctor Price.
DOUGLAS: No – why are you turning back to Boston?
MARTIN: Oh, well ... I was just thinking it over and I realised it’s actually almost as quick to ...
DOUGLAS (interrupting): Carolyn got to you, didn’t she?
MARTIN: What? No! She didn’t get to me! She just happened to make couple of valid points ...
DOUGLAS (interrupting sternly): Martin, turn the plane round.
MARTIN: No! I’ve made a command decision and ...
DOUGLAS (interrupting): It’s the wrong decision. Boston’s an extra forty minutes away.
MARTIN: Yes! Well, forty minutes – that’s not all that ...
DOUGLAS (interrupting): If he dies thirty minutes out of Boston just as he would be getting into the ambulance in Reykjavik, what are you going to tell his family?
(Long pause, then radio on.)
MARTIN: Hello, Shanwick. It’s Golf Tango India here again.
SHANWICK: Ah, if it isn’t the bouncing bomb. Where can we tempt you with this time? Tenerife’s very nice this time of year.
MARTIN: Reykjavik will be fine, thank you.
SHANWICK: Are you sure now? I mean, don’t rush into anything, because I’ve literally nothing better to do with my time than ping you around the Atlantic Ocean all the live-long day.
(Radio off. Bing-bong.)
MARTIN (into cabin address): Ladies and gentlemen, this is Captain Crieff once again. Just to let you know that I mis-spoke a little just now. We will in fact be diverting to Reykjavik Airport as planned.
(Cries of protest from the cabin.)
MARTIN: Oh, I know: trying to save someone’s life is such a chore, isn’t it? Speaking of which: if there is, in fact – and despite the deafening silence so far – a doctor on board, and if that doctor has quite finished his ... (he consults a sheet of paper) ... chicken casserole, blueberry cheesecake and, ooh! coffee with milk, no sugar, then maybe such a hypothetical doctor might like to stop flicking through the duty free catalogue and thoughtfully pulling on his sandy moustache and walk the hypothetical seven rows to join me with the patient here in the galley. But if there isn’t a doctor on board, then never mind.
(Cabin address off.)
(Sound of the galley curtain being pulled open.)
DOCTOR PRICE (American accent): Hullo?
MARTIN: Oh, hello! Mr. Price, is it?
DOCTOR PRICE: Doctor Price.
MARTIN (sarcastically): Oh, a doctor! Good lord! What a stroke of luck! The very thing we’re looking for. Well, this is the patient.
DOCTOR PRICE: Okay, let’s have a look. Okay. Uh-huh.
MARTIN: What d’you think?
DOCTOR PRICE: I think probably a bridge.
MARTIN: A bridge?
DOCTOR PRICE: Yeah, a tunnel’s obviously out of the question, but if you really need to get past him, you could use a couple of drinks trolleys and a stretcher to rig up a rudimentary cantilever bridge. That at least is my professional opinion as a PhD in civil engineering. Or has one of us made some sort of really embarrassing mistake?
MARTIN: I’m ... so sorry. I ... didn’t ...
DOCTOR PRICE: Yeah. Oh, and by the way, I dunno anything about medicine, but this guy doesn’t need a doctor.
DOCTOR PRICE: Not any more!
CAROLYN: Turn the plane around.
MARTIN: You’re not listening to me.
CAROLYN: No, and far more importantly, you’re not turning the plane around. Do it, now.
MARTIN: I can’t turn the plane around.
CAROLYN: Martin, if there is one thing you’ve proved on this trip over and over again, it’s that you can turn the plane around. Or were we just caught in a slow-motion hurricane?
MARTIN: But Mr. Leeman ...
CAROLYN: ... is dead, God rest his grumpy soul. So he doesn’t need an ambulance; he doesn’t need a hospital. All he needs is to be taken home to Boston.
MARTIN: Douglas ...
DOUGLAS: You could tell her we no longer have enough fuel left to get to Boston safely.
MARTIN: Yes, thank you! Carolyn ...
DOUGLAS: ... but we do.
MARTIN: Thank you so much.
DOUGLAS: Sorry, but she’s right. We should go to Boston.
CAROLYN (triumphantly): Ah-ha!
MARTIN: Fine. Fine! We’ll go to Boston, but only if ...
MARTIN: ... Douglas talks to Shanwick.
DOUGLAS: My pleasure.
DOUGLAS (smoothly): Hallo, Shanwick. Greetings once again from the merry men of Yo-yo Airways.
ARTHUR: Well, goodbye, then. I feel someone should, um, say a few words. (He unfolds a piece of paper.) Hamilton R Leeman. Born 1943 in ... America, probably; died 2008 in the sky – definitely. Non-vegetarian option. I didn’t know you for very long, Mr. Leeman, but I’ll always remember you as ... as a shouty man. You loved to shout; shout and smoke – those were your twin passions. And so, i-in a way, I suppose you died doing what you loved: shouting and smoking, and covered in foam. I don’t know if you liked that. You probably didn’t. Still, goodbye! Rest in peace!
ARTHUR: Thank you for flying MJN Air!
MARTIN: D’you think we’ll make it in time?
DOUGLAS: Remember how I didn’t know three minutes ago?
DOUGLAS: No new information has come in since then.
(He sighs again.)
DOUGLAS: You all right?
MARTIN: Yeah – it’s just ... you know, it hasn’t been a great trip, has it? I think possibly I made a few ... well, I didn’t exactly ... I’ve got this interview when we get back – if we get back in time, which I doubt – and I just wondered if, as a captain, there’s ... things ...
(He sighs again.)
MARTIN: I mean, I only ask because, of course, you were a captain for a while, and I just wondered if ... I mean, this is a bit difficult, but ... could you give me some advice?
DOUGLAS: Well, the main thing is, you’ve got to stop asking for advice.
MARTIN: Great. Thanks.
DOUGLAS: That’s okay. You can start as soon as I’ve given you mine. You’re the captain, Martin, and one of the many excellent things about being captain, along with the irresistible sexual magnetism and first crack at the cheese tray, is that you’re always right. So by all means take opinions, but remember: you don’t have to listen to Carolyn; you don’t have to listen to ATC; you don’t even – and savour this, because I shall never say it again – you don’t even have to listen to me. You’re the boss. What you say, goes.
MARTIN: Yes. Yes, you’re right. Okay. Thank you. But, er, Douglas?
MARTIN: Simon Says could you give me some advice.
DOUGLAS: Ohhhhhh! Well done!
MARTIN (triumphantly): My turn! My turn!
DOUGLAS: All right. Tell me when you’re ready.
DOUGLAS: Simon Says tell me when you’re ready.
MARTIN: I’m ready!
DOUGLAS: Come again?
MARTIN: I’m ready... Oh!
(Sounds of passengers leaving the plane.)
ARTHUR: Goodbye, thank you for flying MJN Air. Goodbye, thank you for flying MJN Air. Goodbye, thank you for flying MJN Air. Goodbye, tha... Oh, that’s it. All done, Mum!
DOUGLAS: And we’re all finished at the pointy end with a cheeky little twelve minutes in hand before we go out of hours.
CAROLYN: Great. Well, the paramedics are back there in the galley with Mr. L., so as soon as they’re ready ...
(The galley curtain is drawn open.)
CAROLYN: Oh! Speak of the devils ... well, the angels.
PARAMEDIC (American, female): Are you Carolyn Knapp-Shappey?
PARAMEDIC: Did you call up an ambulance crew, ma’am?
CAROLYN: Yes, I did.
PARAMEDIC: And why did you do that?
CAROLYN: Why? Well, because I ... well, I mean ... Look at him!
PARAMEDIC: We are looking at him, and we’d like to know what you expect us to do with him.
CAROLYN: I have to tell you: I really don’t mind. Once he’s off my plane, as far as I’m concerned, you can let your imagination run wild.
PARAMEDIC: Ma’am, he’s dead. He’s been dead some time. We are an emergency service. This guy – not so much an emergency.
CAROLYN: Well, what am I supposed to do? Carry him to the hospital over my shoulder?
PARAMEDIC: Ma’am, you need to contact the coroner’s office. They’ll send out a vehicle.
PARAMEDIC: I don’t know. When they can. You just give them a call tomorrow morning – see when they can do.
CAROLYN: Tomorrow morning?
PARAMEDIC: Yeah. They’ll be all closed up now.
CAROLYN: So what are we supposed to do? Just leave him here until they’re ready for him?
PARAMEDIC: Absolutely not.
PARAMEDIC: You’re gonna need to remain in attendance.
CAROLYN: What?! But we-we-we can’t! We can’t!
MARTIN: Just one moment, if you please.
CAROLYN: Martin, don’t.
MARTIN: Madam, I don’t think you appreciate that I am the captain of this aircraft, not her.
PARAMEDIC: Yeah? And?
MARTIN: And ... and ... I just saw him move.
PARAMEDIC: No you didn’t.
MARTIN: I absolutely did.
PARAMEDIC: This man’s been dead for some time, sir.
MARTIN: I don’t think so. I am telling you: I just saw him move.
PARAMEDIC: What movement did he make?
MARTIN: He did a little wave.
PARAMEDIC: I don’t think so.
MARTIN: Well, I do think so, and I am an airline captain – the commander of this vessel, and I am willing to swear anywhere that he absolutely did. He gave me a little wave, and then he pointed at you, and then he tapped his watch as if to say, ‘Why aren’t I in the hospital already?’ And then he relapsed into his unconscious state; so it seems to me you can either refuse to take him and I can while away the hours I spend waiting with him filing a complaint against you for negligence, which will tie us all up in endless red tape until I eventually agree that maybe what I saw was just rigor mortis; or you can take him with you now in your big empty ambulance to the hospital to which you are going anyway, and we can all hope and pray he doesn’t die on the way.
PARAMEDIC: Okay; Lucas – patient seen exhibiting vital signs. Get him on the gurney!
MARTIN: Thank you so much.
(Airport departures area.)
CAROLYN: Where is he?
DOUGLAS: Well, if last night’s anything to go by, he’s telling the whole story to every third person he meets. It slows him down a tad.
ARTHUR: While we’re waiting, can I just have a quick look in duty free?
CAROLYN: No, Arthur. You do not need any more Toblerones.
ARTHUR: But Mum! They’ve got the white ones!
MARTIN (approaching the others): Ah-ha! There you all are. Good morning, good morning, good morning, good morning!
DOUGLAS: Good morning, Martin. Still feeling pretty chipper, I see.
MARTIN: And why ever not? Twelve hours’ restful rest, beautiful blue sky to fly in and a certain sense of a job rather well done.
CAROLYN: Yes, Martin, we’re all delighted by your new-found butchness. Now can we please just get through Customs and go home?
SECURITY GUARD (male, deep American voice): Is this your bag, sir?
MARTIN: Yes, yes. I’m sorry, Carolyn, do I detect a note of tetchiness? Surely you haven’t already forgotten how I single-handedly saved you from losing out on a trip worth tens of thousands of pounds?
SECURITY GUARD: I’m just gonna take a look through it.
MARTIN: Yeah, fine.
(The guard unzips Martin’s bag and starts rummaging through the contents.)
CAROLYN: Not yet you haven’t. We’ve still got to get back on time.
MARTIN: You needn’t worry about that, Carolyn. Clear skies, no wind, no pesky passengers to peg out midway. Istanbul awaits us; as indeed do the good people of easyJet – await me, anyway.
SECURITY GUARD: What’s this?
SECURITY GUARD: What’s ... (he switches on something that buzzes) ... this?
MARTIN: Well, since you ask, it’s a nose hair clipper, okay?
SECURITY GUARD: It can’t go in your hand luggage. You need to put it in the hold.
MARTIN (scoffing): They’re nasal clippers. What am I supposed to do with nasal clippers?!
SECURITY GUARD: I’m sorry, sir, that’s Federal law.
(Martin laughs in disbelief.)
MARTIN: You do realise we have an axe on the flight deck, don’t you?
SECURITY GUARD: What?
DOUGLAS: Of course, Captain, there is a time and a place for the strong-arm tactic.
MARTIN (loudly): We have a fire-axe; so you’re stopping me from equipping myself with the deadly power of the nose hair strimmer on board a plane where I can – should the mood take me – brandish an axe.
SECURITY GUARD: I am not sure what you’re telling me, sir.
DOUGLAS: He’s not telling you anything. He doesn’t want his silly old clippers, anyway. Repulsive object. Come on, Martin, before you say anything you might ...
MARTIN (getting up a head of steam): And besides that, I’m the one flying the bloody thing! If I wanna crash the plane, I don’t even need an axe – I just need to push on the big metal column in front of me!
(He cries out as he is tackled by the guard.)
DOUGLAS: And there it is.
SECURITY GUARD: Sir, I am arresting you under section six of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002.
SECURITY GUARD: You were heard in the presence of witnesses to make a threat against the safety of the aircraft.
(Martin grunts in pain.)
SECURITY GUARD: Please come with me ...
(Martin cries out in pain.)
SECURITY GUARD: ... sir!
CAROLYN: You idiot, Martin! You colossal idiot!
MARTIN: But ... (he struggles against the guard’s hold) ... but I’ve gotta fly the plane in forty minutes!
SECURITY GUARD: Oh no, sir, I don’t think so. Come with me ...
(He starts to bundle Martin away.)
SECURITY GUARD: ... please!
CAROLYN (chasing after them): Oh, come back! Come back! Bring him back!
DOUGLAS: So, Arthur. Shall we take a look at those Toblerones?