Script by John Finnemore
Transcript by Ariane DeVere
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FITTON AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: Golf Tango India, I’m gonna clear you to start after Golf Echo Echo.
DOUGLAS (into radio): Thank you, Karl. Ready to go after Golf Echo.
KARL: That’s Golf Echo Echo.
DOUGLAS: Sorry, Tower. I thought the second ‘Echo’ was an echo.
DOUGLAS: I thought you said ‘Golf Echo’ ... ‘echo’ – when in fact you said, ‘Golf Echo Echo.’ That is to say, I thought the first ‘Echo’ was ‘Echo’ and the second ‘Echo’ was an echo of ‘Echo’; whereas in fact both ‘Echo’s were ‘Echo’s and neither ‘Echo’ was an echo.
KARL: Then perhaps I’d better put you right to the back of the queue while you check your radio equipment, shall I?
DOUGLAS: ... Golf Tango India ready to follow Golf Echo Echo.
This week, Helsinki!
(Douglas is humming the tune English Country Garden as he moves something around in the flight deck. The flight deck door opens.)
MARTIN: Oh! Hello Douglas. Good lord!
DOUGLAS: Ah. Morning, Martin. I wasn’t expecting you just yet.
MARTIN: Evidently not!
DOUGLAS: Have you picked up the weather?
MARTIN: Er, yes. North Sea turbulence; clear skies at Helsinki.
DOUGLAS: Oh, jolly good.
MARTIN: Douglas, I can’t help but notice you’ve filled the flight deck with orchids.
DOUGLAS: Yes. Yes, I have done that. Yes.
MARTIN: Are you about to propose to me?
DOUGLAS: It pains me to break your heart, Martin, but no. These are for another man – a Finnish customs officer named Milo, to be exact.
MARTIN (getting on his pretend high horse): And what does he have that I don’t have?!
DOUGLAS: Fish cakes.
DOUGLAS: Also salmon, turbot and langoustine.
MARTIN: Oh, Douglas, you’re not smuggling again?
DOUGLAS: Absolutely not. Perish the thought! A simple exchange of gifts. You see, a friend gave me these orchids when we were in Cyprus, as a token of appreciation for the sixteen jars of Béarnaise sauce I gave him; which were in turn an unwanted gift from a friend in Marseilles. The orchids are lovely but not quite my thing, so I shall pass them on to my friend in Helsinki and – who knows? – he may wish to show his gratitude by presenting me with assorted fish and fish products, which will be just the very thing for a friend of mine in Zurich. They’re rather short of fresh seafood in Switzerland – don’t know why(!)
MARTIN: I see. But if you just keep bartering each thing along, what’s the point?
DOUGLAS: Well, put it this way: I have here about five hundred Euros’ worth of flowers, and I shall exchange them for about five hundred and sixty Euros’ worth of fish; and I started three months ago with a cheese sandwich. Right – that’s most of them hidden away. Could you put this bunch under your seat?
(Martin groans as he takes the bunch from Douglas. The flight deck door opens.)
ARTHUR (cheerfully): Good morning, good morning, good morning, gents! Teas, coffees? Keys, toffees?
DOUGLAS: Morning, Arthur. You seem a little low-spirited.
ARTHUR: Do I?
DOUGLAS (flatly): No.
MARTIN: What is it this time? Have the numbers you would have picked in the Lottery come up again?
ARTHUR: Oh, that was a great day, wasn’t it? Sixty thousand pounds!
MARTIN: That you didn’t win.
ARTHUR: But that’s what my numbers were worth! Brilliant! No, no, nothing like that. No, er, let’s just say I’m really looking forward to meeting our passenger today.
DOUGLAS: Ooh, who is it? Let’s see ...
(He consults a sheet of paper.)
DOUGLAS: Mr. Arthur Milliner. A stockbroker. Yes, he sounds enormous fun.
(Flight deck door opens.)
CAROLYN (grumpily): Oh, you’re here already. What are you doing in here?
MARTIN: Arranging flowers.
CAROLYN: Don’t get sarcastic with me.
MARTIN: Sorry, Carolyn.
ARTHUR: Scusey. Back in a minute.
(Flight deck door closes.)
CAROLYN: Right, you’ve got clear skies at Helsinki; your alternate is Stockholm; Douglas, you operate out.
DOUGLAS: Wilco. Who’s this Milliner chap we’re flying, then? Arthur seems very keen to meet him.
CAROLYN: No idea. Internet booking. Payment’s gone through fine, though, so, er ...
(Flight deck door opens.)
ARTHUR: Happy birthday!
DOUGLAS: Oh, yes!
CAROLYN: You remembered!
DOUGLAS: Happy birthday.
MARTIN: Yes, happy birthday.
ARTHUR: You thought I’d forgotten, didn’t you?!
CAROLYN: Well, I-I wasn’t sure.
ARTHUR: Of course not! Not a special birthday like this one!
CAROLYN: What’s so special about sixty-three?
ARTHUR: Well, you know, because of the song. (Singing to the tune of When I’m Sixty Four) ♪ Do you still like me? / Can you still see me? / Now I’m sixty-three! ♪
DOUGLAS: Ah, that song. Carolyn, you’re aware I had forgotten, aren’t you?
CAROLYN: Yes! Don’t worry. I forgot to put any money on your expenses card. Paying for your own hotel room can be your present.
DOUGLAS: That’s ... that’s a very big present!
CAROLYN: I know! I’m such a lucky girl! You shouldn’t have(!)
MARTIN: I didn’t forget.
CAROLYN: Didn’t you?
DOUGLAS: Didn’t you?
MARTIN: No – I ... hid my present under my seat. It’s ...
(He produces the bunch of flowers.)
MARTIN: ... these.
CAROLYN: Oh, orchids! How lovely!
(Martin laughs nervously.)
DOUGLAS: Gosh. How generous of you, Martin.
MARTIN: Not that generous.
DOUGLAS: Pretty generous. Orchids are very expensive.
MARTIN: Quite expensive – not all that expensive.
DOUGLAS: You’d be surprised.
MARTIN: No I wouldn’t.
DOUGLAS: Yes you will.
ARTHUR: My present, though – time for my present.
CAROLYN: Yes, I’m sorry, dear. What is it?
ARTHUR: Well, it’s a pretty special one, and it’s in the cabin. So, are you ready?
ARTHUR: Mum, it’s been fifteen years since you’ve seen her, but today, for your birthday, get ready to meet ...
(He opens the flight deck door.)
ARTHUR: ... your sister Ruth!
ARTHUR: And her husband Philip, and her grandson Kieran!
(Another long silence.)
KIERAN (sounding teenaged, with a fairly posh accent): Aren’t you going to say anything to her, Granny?
RUTH (northern English accent): Well, Kieran, when a lady is asked to drive a hundred and fifty miles to meet her sister, she naturally assumes it’s because her sister has something to say to her.
RUTH: But evidently not.
CAROLYN: Arthur, during your no doubt meticulous planning of this occasion, did it occur to you that if two sisters haven’t spoken for fifteen years, there might be a reason for it?
CAROLYN: Ah. Well, regrettably, you’ll have to tell your aunt she’s wasted her time. We’re about to leave for Helsinki and I have much to do.
ARTHUR: A-ha! That’s the second part of my present.
ARTHUR (excitedly): I booked the trip! So we can all go together!
MARTIN: You booked the trip?
DOUGLAS: You’re Arthur Milliner?
MARTIN: ‘Milliner’? Why ‘Milliner’?
ARTHUR: Because it’s not my name, but it sounds like a name that someone might have.
MARTIN: And ‘Arthur’?
ARTHUR: That was the clever bit! It’s the last name you’d expect me to use, because it actually is my name!
DOUGLAS: To be honest, Arthur, I think the moment you decided to book your aunt on a fake flight to Helsinki, you had us on the back foot, expectations-wise.
CAROLYN: Arthur, a word with you in the galley.
ARTHUR: ... I don’t want to.
CAROLYN: I want you to.
(Door closes. [Transcriber’s note: this doesn’t make sense. They must be in the cabin at this point because they can’t all be crammed into the flight deck, and the galley is only separated from the cabin by a curtain. A rare sound effects gaffe, I think.])
DOUGLAS: Oh dear. This is a little awkward, isn’t it?
RUTH: It’s not awkward for me.
DOUGLAS: Oh good(!) Just the rest of us, then.
RUTH: No! No, it’s not awkward for my husband; it’s not awkward for my grandson. We’ve nothing to feel awkward about. We accepted an invitation in good faith.
DOUGLAS: ... So, Philip, what line of work are you in?
RUTH: My husband’s deaf.
DOUGLAS: Ah. That explains much.
RUTH: What does it explain?
DOUGLAS: Why he can’t hear me.
KIERAN: Are you the captain?
DOUGLAS: No, I’m the first officer. This is the cap...
MARTIN (interrupting): I’m the captain.
KIERAN: You’re very young to be a captain.
MARTIN (exasperated): Oh, for goodness’ sake! You’re an actual child!
KIERAN: No, I mean, wow! You’re very young to be a captain! Did you display exceptional leadership skills and goal focus?
MARTIN: Ah, well, it’s, er, not for me to say.
DOUGLAS (resignedly): And yet, and yet.
KIERAN: Because I also displayed exceptional leadership skills and goal focus, and that’s a verbatim quote from my report. Are you prepared to share the techniques of your success?
MARTIN: Oh, well. Yes, there’s probably a tip or two I can pass along. What do you say we have you up on the flight deck once we get underway, eh?
KIERAN: I am delighted to accept!
DOUGLAS: And the small matter of the anti-terrorism laws, Captain?
MARTIN (airily): Oh, let’s not get too hidebound by rules and regs, eh, Number One?
DOUGLAS: ‘Number One’?
MARTIN: ... Douglas.
RUTH: And when will we be getting under way, might I ask?
DOUGLAS: Ah. Of course, not having seen your sister for so long, it’s possible you may have missed certain subtle signs just now that would warn the experienced Carolyn-watcher not to bank on seeing Helsinki today. Sorry to rain on your parade, Martin.
MARTIN: No-no-no, my parade’s fine. Bone dry. Bad news for the import/export parade, though, I’d have thought. I wonder how long fresh orchids keep?
DOUGLAS: Ah. Excuse me for a moment.
CAROLYN: And how did you even pay for it?
ARTHUR: With a credit card online.
CAROLYN: You don’t have a credit card.
ARTHUR: Your credit card.
CAROLYN: My credit card?!
ARTHUR: No, no, because it doesn’t matter, because it’s your plane, so you’re just paying yourself! It’s free!
CAROLYN: The fuel’s not free. The landing fees are not free. The business we would have had if Mr. Arthur ‘Idiot’ Milliner hadn’t been hogging the plane isn’t free!
(Galley curtain opens.)
CAROLYN: Ah, Douglas, good. Arthur, go and tell Ruth and her hangers-on to sling their collective hook.
ARTHUR: Okay. Sorry, Mum.
CAROLYN: And Douglas, cancel the flight plan.
DOUGLAS: Are you sure?
CAROLYN: Of course I’m sure! I’m not spending time and fuel taking my rotten sister on a jolly to Finland.
DOUGLAS: You know best ... but she did come all this way.
CAROLYN: Because she smelled a freebie!
DOUGLAS: Maybe. She still came, though. And then there’s Arthur – internet booking, pseudonyms, secret phone calls to Lancashire. That’s a lot of work he put in – especially for an idiot.
CAROLYN: Douglas, call me a cynical old bat ...
(Douglas draws in a breath.)
CAROLYN: Don’t even think about it – but is it entirely without the bounds of possibility that you have an ulterior motive for this trip going ahead?
DOUGLAS: Carolyn, I hope you know me better than that. At any given moment I never have fewer than seven ulterior motives under way; but even so ...
CAROLYN: Would I have to talk to her?
DOUGLAS: Flying her to Finland in silence might seem a little eccentric.
RUTH: ... and not just for the petrol, mind; there’s Philip’s loss of earnings to think of; there’s general wear and tear ...
CAROLYN: So. Ruth.
RUTH: I’m sorry – is somebody talking to me?
CAROLYN: Yes. I’m talking to you.
RUTH: Well. Thank you.
CAROLYN: For what?
RUTH: For accepting you were in the wrong.
CAROLYN: I didn’t!
RUTH: Well, you implicitly did by being the first to speak.
CAROLYN: No I didn’t!
RUTH: Well, you did, so apology accepted.
CAROLYN: Apology not given.
RUTH: Apology still accepted. Now, what did you want?
CAROLYN: All I want is to tell you exactly where you can go, Ruth, and that is ...
DOUGLAS (mildly): Carolyn.
CAROLYN: ... to Helsinki. Would you ... would you like to go to Helsinki?
RUTH: Well, I suppose now we’re here – and you’ve apologised ...
CAROLYN: I haven’t.
RUTH: All right, then.
CAROLYN (not happily): Good.
MARTIN: Incidentally, Arthur: why on earth Helsinki?
ARTHUR: Oh, I’ve just always wanted to go to Helsinki. It sounds really fun!
MARTIN: What have you ever heard about Helsinki?
ARTHUR: Nothing! I mean the name! Helsinki! How could you not have fun in Helsinki! It’s like half-helter-skelter and half-twinkly!
DOUGLAS: I’ve always thought it sounds like a sink in hell.
ARTHUR: Oh, now you’ve spoiled it.
FITTON ATC: Golf Tango India, join the visual circuit at three thousand feet; turn left, follow your nose, and if you get lost, stop and ask.
DOUGLAS: Yes, thank you, Karl. Roger.
(Radio off. Flight deck door opens.)
ARTHUR: Er, chaps, er, little chap here said, er, you said he could come up.
KIERAN: I’m not a little chap!
ARTHUR: Yes you are.
MARTIN: Oh yes! Come on in, Kieran.
ARTHUR: Er, Skipper says you can go in.
KIERAN: Yes, I heard him.
ARTHUR: Um, it’s my job to tell you.
KIERAN: What a stupid job!
ARTHUR: No, you’ve got a stupid job.
KIERAN: I’m at school.
ARTHUR (defensively): ... Yeah.
(Flight deck door closes.)
MARTIN: Kieran! Hello. Sit yourself down there. We call that the jump seat.
KIERAN: Yes, I know.
MARTIN: Okay. So, this array of screens and dials might look very imposing, but it’s actually not so very different ...
(Kieran begins to chuckle and continues to do so.)
MARTIN: ... from your ... dad’s ... car. What?
KIERAN: I’m sorry. It’s just I have Microsoft Flight Simulator X Deluxe edition. I do three to four hours’ training every day.
DOUGLAS: Playing, you mean.
KIERAN: No – I use it as a training tool.
DOUGLAS: Mmm, but it’s a game, so ... playing.
KIERAN: Anyway, I’m-I’m probably familiar with more flight instrument layouts than you are.
MARTIN (laughing): Well, I doubt it, actually. I’ve also got Flight Simulator.
KIERAN: Oh, which edition?
MARTIN (hesitantly): ... Ninety-five.
KIERAN: And how often do you train on it?
DOUGLAS: Play on it.
MARTIN: Most days.
DOUGLAS: Hang on, hang on, Martin. You come home after ten or twelve hours’ flying an aeroplane and then, to wind down, you sit in front of a computer and pretend to fly an aeroplane?
KIERAN: Perfectly sensible procedure. Allows you to revise infrequently-met hazards.
MARTIN: Yes! Exactly! You see, Douglas?
DOUGLAS: I see that your life meets with the approval of the obsessive fourteen year old boy.
KIERAN: “Obsessive” is just a word the disorganised use for the focussed.
DOUGLAS: It’s not the only word they use.
MARTIN: Ignore him! Just ignore him. Now then: what did you want to ask me?
KIERAN: Er ... (he clears his throat) ... well. Let me start by getting an idea of your hinterland. What are your outside interests?
MARTIN (slowly): Outside of what?
KIERAN: Outside flying.
MARTIN: Outside flying?
MARTIN: You mean, what else am I interested in apart from flying?
KIERAN: Yeah. Like, er, for instance, I have grade seven lute, and I’m not even gonna take grade eight, ’cause my tutor says I’d be better off spending the time getting to concert standard.
MARTIN: W-well, no, I don’t play the lute ...
KIERAN: And I’m an orange belt in karate.
DOUGLAS: Orange! Scariest of all the colours.
KIERAN: Yeah, well, it’s scary enough that I’m classified as a deadly weapon, and actually forbidden by law from using my skills except in self defence.
DOUGLAS: Goodness! How you must long for someone to clip you round the ear.
RUTH: So: this is your husband’s famous executive jet.
CAROLYN (drifting into a northern English accent): It’s not an executive jet; he’s not my husband; and it’s not his – but otherwise, spot on.
RUTH: Mmm. Queer little thing, isn’t it? Is the wing supposed to be doing that?
CAROLYN: Yes, it is.
RUTH: And this noise is normal, is it?
CAROLYN: Perfectly normal.
RUTH: And ... is this supposed to come off?
CAROLYN: Yes ... No. Give it to me.
RUTH: How is your ex-husband, anyway?
CAROLYN: You know very well I don’t talk to him.
RUTH: Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that ex-husband. I meant your other ex-husband.
CAROLYN: He’s fine – I believe.
RUTH: Oh good. I always liked Ian.
CAROLYN: Yes, I remember.
RUTH: Sorry to put my foot in it. I forgot you have such a complicated life.
CAROLYN: I wouldn’t call it a complicated life.
RUTH: Oh, wouldn’t you? What would you call it, then?
CAROLYN: A life.
ARTHUR: Hello, Ma! Hello, Aunty Ruth! Catching up? Great. Er, would you like a drink? Orange juice? Coke?
CAROLYN: I would like a triple Scotch, and I would very much like to be the one that fetches it.
(Sound of her leaving the area.)
ARTHUR (quietly): Oh, that’s-that’s brilliant, actually. Um, Aunty Ruth, where’s the cake?
RUTH: What cake?
ARTHUR: The birthday cake. Mum’s birthday cake.
RUTH: Well, I don’t know.
ARTHUR: But didn’t you get my email asking you to bring a cake?
RUTH: Yes, I got it. I didn’t reply, though, did I?
ARTHUR: I just thought you might like to bring a cake.
RUTH: Why – because I’m just some stay-at-home housewife who’d be only all too ever so pleased to do the baking for Little Miss Businesswoman Carolyn?
ARTHUR: No! I-I don’t know! I’m sorry! I-I just wanted to surprise Mum with a cake.
RUTH: Then you should have bought a cake, shouldn’t you?
ARTHUR: Yes I should!
RUTH: Well, then!
MARTIN: And that, I think, basically, is-is-is the, er, the-the-the situation in broad terms.
KIERAN: Right. In future, it’s fine just to say you don’t know. Okay, next question ...
DOUGLAS: No, I don’t think so. Time for you to pop back off to your granny, I rather think.
KIERAN: But I haven’t finished!
MARTIN: Yes you have. Douglas is quite right. We’re very busy up here.
KIERAN: But, Captain, I wanted to ask the secret of your enormous success.
MARTIN: Er, would you say enormous success?
KIERAN: Of course! Command position by thirty-two – that’s remarkable! And there’s always something to learn from the remarkable.
MARTIN: Yes, well, I suppose that’s true. I-I wouldn’t say it myself but, um ... well, that’s the English disease, isn’t it? We don’t celebrate our success; we don’t blow our own trumpet.
DOUGLAS: Can I just say, sir, how inspiring it’s been to watch you fight that disease?
KIERAN: Er, so: first things first. Which flying school did you go to?
MARTIN: Ah, you see, my story’s even more remarkable than that. I actually put myself through my P.P.L. and C.P.L.
KIERAN: Interesting. You didn’t even think it was worth applying?
MARTIN: Oh, well, I did apply.
KIERAN: And turned down their offer?
MARTIN: I didn’t – I didn’t get an offer as such, at the time.
KIERAN: Not “as such”?
MARTIN: ... All right, not at all! So what? I did it the hard way. I did menial jobs and night shifts for years to save up for the flying hours and the instrument rating and ... then I saved up all over again to do the re-take.
KIERAN: You failed your instrument rating?
MARTIN: I passed it eventually.
KIERAN: Good for you. Anyway, um, I’m sorry to have wasted your time. I’ll leave you in peace now.
MARTIN: What? No! Don’t be like that! I’m a captain at thirty-two! We just agreed that was impressive!
KIERAN: Hmm – it’s just your career template isn’t a close fit with my own.
MARTIN: Oh? And what’s your career template?
KIERAN (clearing his throat briefly and then rattling off his plan): Christ’s College, Cambridge; RAF scholarship; two tours of duty; conversion course at Oxford Air Training; twenty years with major airline; retire at forty-five; enter politics; reach Cabinet level within six parliamentary terms.
DOUGLAS: And when will it be our pride and privilege to have you as Prime Minister?
KIERAN: I assure you I have no Prime Ministerial ambitions – unless my colleagues insist that that is where my duty lies.
DOUGLAS: Oh God. You’re probably gonna make it, aren’t you?
(Galley curtain opens.)
DOUGLAS: Ah, hello, Arthur. Kettle on?
ARTHUR (sounding less bouncy than usual): Oh, er, you should’ve rung. I’d have-I’d have made it.
DOUGLAS: No, I wanted a little respite from Junior Mussolini. What on earth are you doing?
ARTHUR: ... I’m making a cake.
DOUGLAS: Are you? Right. Out of ... mud and gravel.
ARTHUR: Chocolate mousse. We had six individual chocolate mousses left over from Cyprus. I thought if I kind of ground up these amaretto biscuits in them and then put it in a dish on top of the toasted sandwich maker, it would make a sort of ...
DOUGLAS: Ah. It didn’t though, did it?
DOUGLAS: And what’s behind this sudden enthusiasm for patisserie?
ARTHUR: Mum’s birthday! I really wanted to surprise her with a cake.
DOUGLAS: I think you’ll definitely surprise her with that one.
(In an airport)
CUSTOMS OFFICER (male, Finnish accent): Er, hello, please, sir, welcome to Helsinki. Your passports, please.
RUTH: Good lord! This is Helsinki Airport? I didn’t realise Helsinki was some two-bit town in the middle of nowhere. I wouldn’t have come.
CUSTOMS OFFICER: Madam, I can assure you Helsinki is a super-fabulous modern city with two international airports.
RUTH: Oh? And this is the smaller one?
CUSTOMS OFFICER: This is neither of them. This is Rautavaara Airfield.
MARTIN (quietly): Er, Carolyn, I, er, I-I-I assumed you’d want the cheapest landing fees, and Mr. Milliner didn’t specify – well, no, obviously “Mr. Milliner” didn’t specify ...
CAROLYN: No, it’s fine!
RUTH: So, you brought us all this way to sit in an airport for four hours?
CAROLYN: Look, it wasn’t my idea in the first place!
RUTH (her voice fading as she walks away): I’ve seen everything now, I really have.
CUSTOMS OFFICER: Who is next, please?
ARTHUR: Has she gone? Hi.
CUSTOMS OFFICER (stamping his passport): Okay, in you go ... Oh! Oh-ho, oh. What is this strange leaky box?
ARTHUR (confidentially): It’s a secret.
CUSTOMS OFFICER: Okay – you know an airport is not a good place to bring secret things into? Let us have a little look inside ...
(He opens the box and cries out in surprise.)
CUSTOMS OFFICER: Herra Isä! [Literally translates as ‘Lord Father’; in English we would probably say, ‘Good God!’] What is this, please?!
ARTHUR: It’s a cake.
CUSTOMS OFFICER: It does not look like a cake.
ARTHUR: I know. I added powdered milk to make it less runny .. and it didn’t make it less runny. It just made it bigger, and gave it a funny sort of smell. But it is a cake.
CUSTOMS OFFICER: Sadly, er, this cake is not welcome to Finland.
CUSTOMS OFFICER: You can’t bring it in. We have very strict rules about importing foods, and this definitely does not fit into any category we have – or will ever have.
CUSTOMS OFFICER/MILO: Ah, Dooglass!
DOUGLAS: My dear old friend! You don’t look a day older than when we first met on that English/Finland school exchange.
DOUGLAS: And to celebrate those dear old days – and because luckily I am enormously confident in my masculinity – I have bought you a bunch of flowers.
MILO: And, er, for my part, I have remembered how much you loved our various fishes of the sea and, er, I have brought you fourteen boxes of them.
DOUGLAS: What a thoughtful gift! Now, what’s the problem with young Arthur here?
MILO: Er, the boy is trying to bring in this bowl of ... this mainly chocolate thing with ... This we do not allow.
DOUGLAS: Ah, I see. But surely if he pays the new Anglo/Scandinavian Mainly Chocolate Thing import tax I heard about on the news ...
MILO: Ah, yes, yes, yes, of course. Er, one hundred Euros, please.
DOUGLAS: One hundred? I heard it was about fifty.
MILO: No, no, it is a hundred.
DOUGLAS: Well, I was surprised when I heard it, so the next time it was mentioned, I listened really hard, and I definitely heard that it was seventy-five.
MILO: Okay, seventy-five Euros, please.
ARTHUR: Thanks, Douglas.
DOUGLAS: My pleasure.
MARTIN: Why, Douglas? Why do we have to go in the café?
KIERAN: It’s not even open.
DOUGLAS: It’s for Arthur’s surprise. He’s hiding behind that counter. He’s going to leap out with his sort-of a cake.
ARTHUR: Hi, chaps!
DOUGLAS: So you two wait here and start singing when I bring Carolyn in.
(Martin sighs with exasperation. The door closes.)
MARTIN: So, Kieran. Suppose while we wait, d’you have any other questions for me?
KIERAN: Thanks. I’m fine.
MARTIN: You sure?
KIERAN: Mmm, yes. I’m afraid I rather miscalibrated your utility as a resource.
MARTIN: No you didn’t! You said yourself, being a captain at thirty-two is “remarkable.” That’s the exact word you used.
KIERAN: Well, that does puzzle me. How old are the other captains?
MARTIN: What other captains?
KIERAN: In the airline.
MARTIN: I’m the only captain.
KIERAN: But ... how does that work? You’d have to go on every flight.
MARTIN: Yes, of course. We’re the pilots.
DOUGLAS: All right? Everyone ready?
KIERAN (laughing sarcastically): So when you say that you’re the captain, you mean you’re the captain out of the two of you?
MARTIN: Yes. What’s so funny about that?
KIERAN (still amused): Nothing, nothing. I’m ... Of course, that makes sense of everything.
MARTIN: What do you mean, “everything”?
KIERAN: Well, the flying school rejection, the instrument rating failure, just the general ... way you are.
MARTIN (furiously): You little ...
KIERAN: Imagine, though: all this time I actually thought you were a proper captain!
MARTIN (angrily): Right!
DOUGLAS: Martin, no.
(Sound of a hand striking the side of a head. Kieran cries out.)
DOUGLAS: Oh dear. That’s really bad.
MARTIN (apologetically): Oh no. I-I’m sorry. I’m s... I’m really sorry.
KIERAN: You hit me!
DOUGLAS: Ah, come on. It was just a little clip round the ear.
KIERAN: Which means I can do this. Ki-ya!
(Martin screams as he is struck.)
(Another blow falls.)
MARTIN (screaming): Ah, no, please!
MARTIN: Ahh, please! Stop! I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!
(Martin cries out as the blows continue to fall. The door opens.)
CAROLYN: What on earth is going on?!
RUTH: Kieran! Not again! Stop that this instant!
KIERAN: No-no, Granny, it’s all right, it’s all right. He hit me first, honest!
RUTH: Of course he didn’t hit you first! Your Great-Aunt may put on a lot of airs about this tuppenny-ha’penny little outfit, but even she wouldn’t employ pilots who hit children.
CAROLYN: Oh God.
KIERAN: He did! He did! He hit me! Douglas, didn’t he hit me?
DOUGLAS: He may have given you a little clip round the ear.
KIERAN: Yeah! He hit me! He gave me a hit in the ear!
MARTIN: Clip round! Not-not a hit in; a clip round!
RUTH: You! You hit my grandson?
MARTIN: He seems okay.
RUTH: You hit a defenceless child?
MARTIN: He’s not defenceless! He’s definitely not that.
RUTH: Right. You can expect to hear from my solicitors.
CAROLYN: Oh, don’t talk rot. The boy’s absolutely fine.
RUTH: This is child abuse! This could go to the Court of Human Rights!
DOUGLAS: I really don’t think it could.
CAROLYN: You can’t sue me. I should sue you for what your little boy’s done to my pilot.
MARTIN: No, please, don’t do that. I-I really don’t want you to do that.
RUTH: You’ve done it again, haven’t you, Carol?
RUTH: You’ve done what you always do. You’ve bitten off more than you can chew. Run an airline? You couldn’t run a sweet shop!
CAROLYN (in full northern accent): I didn’t want to run the sweet shop. And I never said it was an airline. It’s a charter plane, and I can run it. I’ve run it for twelve years.
RUTH: Yes, and look at the state of it. Your plane’s falling to bits; you’ve a Nissen hut for an office; and you’ve a daft pilot who fights children. You’ve messed it up, Carol. You’ve made a muck of it, just like at school, and with the shop, and with both your marriages.
CAROLYN (upset): I-I-I don’t ... You can’t ...
ARTHUR (frantically): Hey! Shut up! You ... horrible aunt!
RUTH: Er, what are you doing here? And what on earth is that bowl of mud?!
ARTHUR (angrily): It’s ... a ... cake!
DOUGLAS: And he’s just surprised you with it.
SWEDEN AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: Roger, Golf Tango India, continue as cleared.
MARTIN: Thank you, Sweden.
DOUGLAS: So, what do we think of Helsinki, on balance? Twinkly helter-skelter, or sink of hell?
MARTIN and CAROLYN: Sink of hell.
DOUGLAS: Oh, come on. It wasn’t that bad.
MARTIN: Carolyn abandoned her sister and great-nephew in an airfield; Arthur paid seventy-five Euros for a bowl of sludge and threw at his aunt.
DOUGLAS: And you hit a child.
CAROLYN: And were beaten up by a child.
DOUGLAS: The same child.
MARTIN: All right, Douglas! I was there.
DOUGLAS: Yes you were ... on the ground, squealing for mercy.
MARTIN (through gritted teeth): All right!
(Knock on the flight deck door.)
ARTHUR (from outside): Are you ready?
DOUGLAS: Ready! Martin, dim the lights.
(Click as he turns off the flight deck lights. The door opens.)
ARTHUR (singing): ♪ Happy birthday to you ...
(Martin and Douglas join in.)
ARTHUR, MARTIN and DOUGLAS: ♪ Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Carolyn/Mum! Happy birthday to you! ♪
CAROLYN: Oh, my goodness! Well, you certainly have surprised me with a cake.
DOUGLAS: Thought we might.
CAROLYN: Perhaps what’s most surprising about it is that it’s a fishcake.
ARTHUR: Yes! You see, Douglas said you actually probably were expecting a normal cake a bit, weren’t you?
CAROLYN: A bit, maybe.
ARTHUR: Yeah! So even if we had one – and we don’t have one – it wouldn’t be a proper surprise, whereas this would be.
CAROLYN: Yes, it is! And-and these ...
ARTHUR: They didn’t have candles in the airport shop. Er, they only had ...
CAROLYN: ... cigarettes.
ARTHUR: Yeah, yeah. And there’s only twenty because ...
CAROLYN: ... they come in packs of twenty.
ARTHUR: Well, partly that, but also, as it turns out, that’s as many cigarettes as you can stick in a fishcake.
DOUGLAS: Every day a new nugget of knowledge.
CAROLYN: It’s lovely, Arthur. Thank you very much indeed.
ARTHUR: You’re welcome.
CAROLYN: And thank you for my orchids, Martin. They’re beautiful ... though not quite as plentiful as the ones I saw Douglas giving that customs officer he’s in love with.
DOUGLAS: Though, interestingly, about the same price. Oh, and here’s my present.
CAROLYN: I thought you’d forgotten.
DOUGLAS: Oh, you didn’t fall for that, did you? No – my present can be seen if you look out to your right.
MARTIN and CAROLYN (awestruck): Ohhh!
CAROLYN: They’re beautiful!
MARTIN: Wow! I’ve never seen them before.
DOUGLAS: Pretty, aren’t they?
ARTHUR: What? What are we looking at?
DOUGLAS: Your other right, Arthur.
ARTHUR: Oh, wow! Brilliant!
CAROLYN: Though I’m not sure you can claim to have arranged for the Northern Lights to be switched on for me.
DOUGLAS: All I’m saying is: if anyone you knew could, who would it be?
CAROLYN: Well, thank you very much.
ARTHUR (sadly): They’ve rather put my fishcake in the shade.
DOUGLAS: It is, of course, a joint present from the two of us.
DOUGLAS: All right, the three of us.
(Flight deck door opens.)
PHILIP: Erm, hello.
CAROLYN: Philip! We ... we didn’t know you were back there!
DOUGLAS: Rigorous cross-check of the cabin, was it, Arthur?
CAROLYN: Philip, I-I don’t know how to tell you this. We-we’ve left Ruth and Kieran in Helsinki.
PHILIP: Oh. Well done you. (He chuckles.)
DOUGLAS: Hang on: I thought you were deaf?
PHILIP: Shh. It’s a secret.