Script by John Finnemore
Transcript by Ariane DeVere
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ARTHUR: Ladies and gentlemen, as you can see, our onboard transit process today has now reached its ultimate termination.
CAROLYN: He means we’ve landed.
ARTHUR: Yes. So, as yourselves prepare for disemboarding, if I could kindly ask you to kindly ensure you retain all your personal items about your person throughout the duration of the disembarkation.
CAROLYN: He means take your stuff with you.
ARTHUR: In concluding, it’s been a privilege for ourselves to conduct yourselves through the in-flight experience today, and I do hope you’ll re-favour ourselves with the esteem of your forth-looking custom going forward.
CAROLYN: ... No idea.
This week, Johannesburg!
DOUGLAS: Okay, Martin, two miles to run. Descend to five hundred feet. Stand by for visual on target.
MARTIN: Douglas, are we certain about this?
DOUGLAS: Quite certain.
MARTIN (nervously): Right. It’s just ... I ... I’m sure it’s gonna be fine ...
DOUGLAS: Excellent! I’m also sure it’s going to be fine.
MARTIN: The thing is, though, I’m not sure it’s gonna be fine.
DOUGLAS: What an exquisite paradox. Luckily, though, I’m still completely sure it’s going to be fine; so as I’m a hundred percent sure and you’re fifty each way, that still gives us a comfortable hundred and fifty percent working majority.
DOUGLAS: Target in sight; level five hundred feet; left-left; waggle wings ... and open air brakes ... now!
MARTIN: What?! What?! What?! I can’t see! What happened?!
DOUGLAS: I may have very slightly over-estimated how fine it would be.
CAROLYN: What were you thinking?
MARTIN: Look, all we were trying ...
CAROLYN: Shut up, Martin. Douglas, what were you thinking?
DOUGLAS: I just thought, since I had to work on my daughter’s birthday, it would be nice to do a little fly-past of her party on the way.
CAROLYN: Barrow-in-Furness is not ‘on the way’ to Paris. So first you stole my aircraft ...
DOUGLAS: I wouldn’t call it ‘stealing.’
CAROLYN: I paid you to fly three hundred miles south west. You flew it two hundred miles north east. What is that if not stealing?
DOUGLAS: Hijacking, at most.
MARTIN: Carolyn ...
CAROLYN: Shut up, Martin.
(Martin groans quietly.)
CAROLYN: But, of course, you were just warming up! Because not only did you steal my aircraft, you then chose to mark your arrival at the children’s birthday party by dropping a bomb on it.
DOUGLAS: The idea was perfectly sound!
CAROLYN: The idea was terminally stupid! Was it your idea, Martin?
MARTIN: No it wasn’t! Oh, and I’m allowed to speak again now, am I?
CAROLYN: No – shut up.
DOUGLAS: It was my idea. It occurred to me that if we filled the air brake cavity with boiled sweets and then opened it just as we were flying over ...
CAROLYN: ... you could strafe your daughter’s birthday party.
DOUGLAS: No, not ‘strafe’! We weren’t going anything like fast enough! We did check!
MARTIN: I did the calculations.
DOUGLAS: And we were quite sure the sweets would flutter gently down to the excited children beneath. And so they would have done, if it hadn’t been rather a hot day and the sweets in the metal compartment hadn’t melted a little and then, up in the cold air, solidified again into a ... a ...
CAROLYN: ... a sugar brick.
CAROLYN: ... which you dropped on your ex-wife’s house.
DOUGLAS: Yes ... but we were very lucky really. We could have hit her conservatory or her BMW.
CAROLYN: Or a child!
DOUGLAS: Now, don’t exaggerate! All the children had run for safety long before it landed.
CAROLYN: That is not as reassuring a sentence as you seem to think.
DOUGLAS: I’m just saying we couldn’t have hit a child; but I admit we could have hit a car.
CAROLYN: But you didn’t hit a car, did you? You hit a carp.
DOUGLAS: ... Yes.
CAROLYN: Do you have any idea how much a koi carp costs?
DOUGLAS: I do now, yes. But don’t worry – I don’t expect you to pay for it.
CAROLYN: You d...?! Of course you don’t expect me to pay for it! Why in heaven would I pay for it?
DOUGLAS: Well, as you pointed out, it is your plane.
CAROLYN: Yes! And I paid you to use it to fly a franking machine to Paris, not to fly a multi-coloured confectionary brick to Cumbria and drop it on a fish.
MARTIN: Well, to be fair, we did go to Paris afterwards.
CAROLYN: Martin. Really, shut absolutely up.
MARTIN (resignedly): Right!
CAROLYN: Look, both of you. I’m being serious – with my serious face. You cannot keep doing things like this. I will spell it out in words of one syllable. (Pedantically) If – you – waste – my – money – we – will – go – bust. You – will – have – no – job.
DOUGLAS: ... ‘Cash,’ not ‘mon-ey.’
CAROLYN: Please! Will you take this seriously? We can’t go on like this! Look at the trip budget you’ve submitted for Johannesburg next week: fourteen thousand pounds! Are we flying there on the backs of unicorns?
MARTIN: It’s pared to the bone, I promise you! I can’t compromise safety for economy.
CAROLYN: That’s rich, coming from the Bomber of Barrow.
DOUGLAS: I’m sorry, Carolyn. It’s just that the captain and myself are deeply unmaterialistic. Our souls are rather beautiful that way, actually.
CAROLYN: Is that so? All right, then, First Officer Gandhi: I’ll tell you what I’ll do. On a one-trip trial basis, if you can magically shave, say, two thousand pounds off that pared-to-the-bone budget, you can split it between you – which should just about pay for the carp – but if it comes in so much as a penny over twelve thousand pounds, you pay me a grand each. Deal?
DOUGLAS: Absolutely. Deal.
MARTIN: No, wait! Douglas! The budget really is pretty tight. How on earth are we going ...
DOUGLAS: Oh, Martin. Trust me! Deal.
(Flight deck door opens.)
ARTHUR: Chaps, my galley’s been burgled. They’ve taken the trolley, er, the duty free, the microwave, even the hot water boiler.
DOUGLAS: Sorry, Arthur, that was me. The lighter we keep the plane, the less fuel we need, so I’ve off-loaded all unnecessary dead weight. Speaking of which, how much do you weigh?
ARTHUR: But how am I supposed to heat up the catering?
DOUGLAS: Oh, I’ve cancelled the catering.
MARTIN: You cancelled our food for a twelve hour flight?!
DOUGLAS: Needless expense. Don’t worry – I rustled us up a little something myself.
ARTHUR: Oh, Douglas, you should have asked me.
DOUGLAS: Should I, though, Arthur, really? The inventor of fizzy yoghurt?
ARTHUR: To be fair, I didn’t invent that so much as discover the process that makes it.
DOUGLAS: Yes. Yoghurt plus time. Here, take these.
(Sound of him handing Tupperware boxes to Arthur.)
ARTHUR: Right-o. Er, how do I prepare them?
DOUGLAS: Take lids off boxes; empty onto plates; give to pilots. And – and I can’t stress this strongly enough – do nothing else to it whatsoever.
MARTIN: Is that really gonna save us much money, Douglas?
DOUGLAS: Every little helps. Why, what have you come up with?
MARTIN: Well, er, had a good think last night, and I think so long as we get the long runway at Jo’burg, we may be able to land without using the wheel brakes.
DOUGLAS: I see. And that’ll save us what?
MARTIN: Well, it’ll prolong the life of the brakes.
DOUGLAS: To the tune of ...?
MARTIN: ... Obviously not in a ... calculable way.
DOUGLAS: Terrific(!) Well done.
MARTIN: Well, all right. What else have you come up with?
DOUGLAS: Turn off air conditioning; only take half the liquid oxygen; keep air recirculation fans on; and only use one engine to taxi – and I’m just getting warmed up.
ARTHUR: So, if doing those things saves money, why don’t we do it all the time?
DOUGLAS: Well, the most tiresome of pettifoggers might question whether it constituted absolute best practice.
MARTIN: You mean it’s horrendously illegal.
DOUGLAS: ‘Horrendously’ is a strong word.
MARTIN: I notice you’re not quibbling ‘illegal.’
DOUGLAS: Not dangerously illegal. It’s not like I’m suggesting we only fly on one engine – although ...
(Sounds of eating.)
MARTIN (with his mouth full): This ... is excellent, Douglas! Did you really cook it yourself?
DOUGLAS: I did indeed.
MARTIN: Mmm! It’s lovely!
DOUGLAS: I’m very good at cooking.
MARTIN: Is there anything you’re not very good at?
DOUGLAS: I’m thinking. There are things I haven’t tried yet. I suppose it’s possible I’m not very good at some of those – theoretically.
MARTIN: Well, this is great. Unusual flavour – what is it?
MARTIN: ... But ... not ...
DOUGLAS: When I pay a thousand pounds for a fish, I don’t just throw it in the bin. Now then, when we get to Jo’burg, obviously we can save a lot on hotels.
DOUGLAS: By not staying in one.
MARTIN: So where will we sleep?
DOUGLAS: Well, I’m a happily married man, so I shall sleep in the plane; but you, m’lad, have four hours in hand to get yourself invited to the Johannesburgian bedroom of your choice.
(Martin chuckles, then quickly becomes serious again.)
MARTIN: Yes, I’ll sleep in the plane too.
DOUGLAS: That uniform’s wasted on you, it really is.
(An alarm pings three times.)
DOUGLAS: Ah! Fancy that.
DOUGLAS: Little flashing warning light, Captain. Anti-icing, the starboard wing, declaring itself Rabbit of Negative Euphoria.
DOUGLAS: Not A Happy Bunny.
MARTIN (frantically): Right, okay, okay, okay! Isolate the anti-icing valves port and starboard. Prepare for landing and ...
DOUGLAS: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! We don’t need to divert. We can do without anti-icing.
MARTIN: No we can’t!
DOUGLAS: Martin, we’re currently flying over southern Spain. We’re about to fly the length of continental Africa. May I suggest that ice may not be our most formidable foe?
MARTIN: You know perfectly well the hotter it is, the quicker ice will form if we fly through clouds.
DOUGLAS: But I have a strategic master stroke to counter that: let’s not fly through any clouds.
MARTIN: But there are clouds, look.
DOUGLAS: What, those little fluffies?! We could just weave in and out of those! And we only have to keep the starboard wing out of them, anyway. It’ll be fun!
MARTIN: No, Douglas, we’re landing and getting it fixed.
DOUGLAS: You know what? I was wrong about the warning light. It’s not on. I made a mistake.
MARTIN: I can see it!
DOUGLAS: No, Martin. That’s an optical illusion caused by the fierce glare of the sun – the hot, Mediterranean ice-melting sun which will beat down on us as we pay landing fees and engineer’s fees, and hope they’ll fix us in time to get to Jo’burg tonight. In Spain. Lovely people, magnificent culture – not famed for their snap-to-it efficiency.
MARTIN: Look, I know, but I-I’m sorry, I have to.
(Douglas sighs in exasperation. Radio on.)
MARTIN (into radio): Madrid, Golf Tango India. We have a system malfunction; require radar vectors to nearest suitable airfield.
(Sound of GERTI’s engines shutting down, and the flicking of switches.)
MARTIN: And post-landing checks complete.
(Flight deck door opens.)
CAROLYN: Gentlemen. I can’t help but notice we’ve landed three hours after take-off, which means either you have discovered a hitherto-unsuspected warp drive button, or this isn’t Johannesburg.
MARTIN: Carolyn, I’m sorry. You can rant and rave all you like, but we had to divert. The anti-icing system was ...
CAROLYN (mildly): Yes, fine, whatever you think.
(Startled silence for a moment.)
CAROLYN: Yes, of course! I’m sure you had your reasons.
MARTIN: Well, yes, but don’t you want to hear them and then disagree with them? I thought you’d be more furious.
CAROLYN: Yes, it’s curious, isn’t it?! Curious I’m not furious! It turns out I mind losing money a lot less just so long as Douglas is losing it too.
MARTIN: And me!
CAROLYN: Yes, but for some reason you losing money doesn’t make me happy the way Douglas losing money does.
MARTIN: Oh, well ... thank you, I suppose.
CAROLYN: You’re very welcome!
DOUGLAS: Well, sorry to disappoint you, Carolyn, but I have no intention of losing any money. The landing fees should be pretty light in a tiny airfield like this, and it doesn’t shut ’til five. Plenty of time for them to fix GERTI.
(Flight deck door opens.)
ARTHUR: Chaps, have we landed?
DOUGLAS: Yes, Arthur. Well spotted.
ARTHUR: Well, er, since you’ve taken away my water boiler, can I order some hot water here?
MARTIN: Yes, of course.
MARTIN: Oh, come on. I’m not flying the length of Africa without coffee. We need hot water.
DOUGLAS: Certainly, but we don’t need to pay thirty Euros for it. There’s an old flying school trick I know.
MARTIN: Of course there is(!)
DOUGLAS: Arthur, get a wine bottle, fill it with water and, using the asbestos gloves, place it very carefully on the lip of one of the engine exhausts. Hey presto, boiling water.
CAROLYN: Good heavens. Douglas has discovered his inner Womble.
ARTHUR: But ... doesn’t the air come out of the back of those engines pretty fast?
DOUGLAS: Arthur, the engines aren’t on. Clues to this include the aircraft being stationary on the ground and eerily quiet. But they’ll still be hot from the flight.
ARTHUR: Ah, right! Yes! Because I was thinking, otherwise I might have had a bit of a job ...
DOUGLAS: ... balancing a wine bottle in a fourteen hundred mile an hour jet blast. Yes, I imagine you would.
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA (Spanish accent): I am sorry. We have no engineer at this airfield.
DOUGLAS: Right. So what do you do when you need an engineer?
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: We call Diego out from the big airport at Albacete.
DOUGLAS: Well, can you do that now, please?
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: I can ...
DOUGLAS: Then do.
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: ... but he won’t come.
CAROLYN: Do you know, I think what I like about this conversation most, Douglas, is that you’re the one having to have it.
DOUGLAS: Why won’t he come?
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: He cannot. His car is broke down.
DOUGLAS: The engineer’s car has broken down?
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: Yes.
CAROLYN: That’s not a terribly good sign, is it?
DOUGLAS: Well, can we go and get him?
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: I suppose, but how? You have no car.
CAROLYN: Ah. He’s got you there.
DOUGLAS: Can we hire a car?
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: Not here. Maybe from the airport at Albacete.
DOUGLAS: The place we want the car to get to.
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: It’s the nearest place.
DOUGLAS: Er, well, can we borrow a car?
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: Whose car?
DOUGLAS: Well, I don’t know! Your car!
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA (chuckling): No.
DOUGLAS: Why not?
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: It’s a nice car – a BMW.
CAROLYN: Well, Douglas here has an excellent safety record with BMWs. Only last week, he didn’t drop a brick on one.
DOUGLAS: Carolyn, you’re really not helping.
CAROLYN: I know! I’m not trying to. It’s fun this, isn’t it – chipping in from the sidelines? I can see why you’re so fond of it.
DOUGLAS: Señor Quintanilla.
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: Si.
DOUGLAS: Surely there is a vehicle somewhere on this airfield we can pay you a hundred Euros to let us drive to Albacete and back?
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: Er, maybe there is something.
(Sound of a low-powered vehicle chugging along.)
ARTHUR (cheerfully singing): ♪ Three men went to mow, went to mow a meadow! Three men, two men, one man and his dog ... ♪
(Silence, apart from the engine.)
ARTHUR: That’s where you say, “Woof woof,” Skip.
MARTIN: No it isn’t.
ARTHUR: I think it is. Because it’s just after the word, “dog,” and dogs go ...
MARTIN: I mean I’m not saying, “Woof woof.”
ARTHUR: It would cheer you up.
MARTIN (angrily): We are driving across the Spanish plains in the heat of the day on a sixty mile round trip on unmade roads in a baggage truck. It’s gonna take more to cheer me up than saying, “Woof woof.”
ARTHUR: Well, if you’re sure. It always cheers me up. Can we have the air conditioning on, please?
MARTIN (incredulously): The ai... There is no air conditioning! Why would you have air conditioning on a vehicle with no doors?
ARTHUR: To keep it cool.
MARTIN: Arthur, I’m ... I really am at the end of my tether here. Could you please just try your hardest not to say anything?
ARTHUR: ... really stupid.
MARTIN: No! Just anything.
ARTHUR: Oh, right. Will do, Skip. Ooh, sorry. Sorry. Sorry.
MARTIN: Stop it!
ARTHUR: Sorry! Dah!
(He finally falls silent.)
MARTIN: Thank you. Now, let’s just try and get through this with the minimum of fuss...
(The vehicle skids to an unexpected halt, its tyres spinning. Martin cries out in surprise, then the baggage truck falls silent. There’s a pause, broken only by the sound of birds singing nearby.)
MARTIN: Arthur, put your hand down. I know: low bridge.
DOUGLAS (quietly to himself): ... and eighty is, er, ten thousand four hundred, plus one hundred ...
(Flight deck door opens.)
CAROLYN: Hello, Douglas. Doing your sums?
DOUGLAS: Yes. (Quietly to himself) ... and twenty-four plus, er, minus ...
CAROLYN (talking over his calculations): Well, I won’t disturb you. Just wondered if you’d heard from Martin yet.
DOUGLAS: No. He’s not answering his phone. Why isn’t he answering? There’s no point even doing this if he’s not gonna be back in time.
CAROLYN: Oh, don’t you worry. I’m quite sure he’ll successfully drive his baggage truck to Albacete, find and pick up the engineer, bring him back in plenty of time to fix the plane by five.
DOUGLAS: Do you think so?
CAROLYN: Not even for a moment. There’s about six hundred ways that plan could go wrong, even if it wasn’t Martin doing it, and it is Martin doing it – with help, from Arthur.
DOUGLAS (irritated): You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?
CAROLYN: I honestly don’t know when I’ve enjoyed a trip more. I only wish I’d thought of this years ago. This way, if I lose, you lose – which takes the sting out of it enormously; and if I win, I win – and thus ... I win.
DOUGLAS (sarcastically): How nice for you. Oh, blast.
DOUGLAS: The running total for this trip: twelve thousand and fourteen pounds.
CAROLYN: Oh dear.
DOUGLAS: Of course, when you said, “under twelve thousand,” you didn’t mean literally to the penny – that would be ridiculous. You meant “to the nearest hundred or so.”
CAROLYN: Ahh. Your little face as you tried to look as if you remotely thought you might get away with that. A miss is as good as a mile, I’m afraid.
DOUGLAS (determinedly): Right.
(Sound of the baggage truck revving and the tyres spinning.)
ARTHUR: No, i-it’s not budging, Skip.
(The truck revs and skids again. Arthur gets back into the truck and closes the door [which is clever, seeing as Martin said earlier that the truck doesn’t have doors ...].)
ARTHUR: It’s, er, it’s really firmly wedged under. I think we must have hit the bridge quite hard.
ARTHUR: So ... what now, Skip?
MARTIN: I don’t know!
(A vehicle’s horn can be heard.)
ARTHUR: Er, Skip – chap behind us wants to come through.
MARTIN: Yeah, I can see that!
ARTHUR: Oh, o-okay. ... It’s just, because you weren’t doing anything, I thought you hadn’t seen. ... Umm, I still don’t really know what we’re waiting for.
MARTIN: I’m waiting for ... I’m waiting for Douglas to say something sarcastic and then sort it out.
ARTHUR: Oh, right. ... Of course, Douglas isn’t here, Skip.
MARTIN: I know that!
ARTHUR: I mean, I can try and fill in, but I-I don’t know how good I’ll be.
(Martin sighs in frustration.)
ARTHUR (deepening his voice in an attempt to sound like Douglas): Er, I’m glad we’re stuck under this bridge.
MARTIN: Shush, please. Just ...
ARTHUR (deep voice): That’s a good thing ...
MARTIN: Stop it! You’re not helping. If it comes to that, what are you waiting for?
ARTHUR (normal voice): You to tell me what to do, Skip.
MARTIN: I don’t know!
(Sound of the other vehicle’s horn again, and angry shouting in Spanish. Martin sighs again.)
MARTIN: I mean ... all I can think of is, um ... i-i-is, I suppose we could – we could let the tyres down.
ARTHUR: Oh, right – and pretend we’ve got a puncture.
MARTIN: No – to lower our height a couple of inches.
ARTHUR (gasping with excitement): Yes, brilliant! Well-well, let’s do that!
MARTIN: Yes, but what have I got wrong?
ARTHUR: Oh, have you got something wrong?
MARTIN: I always get something wrong; and if Douglas were here, he’d point out what.
ARTHUR: Well, he’s not. So ... shall we just try it and see?
(Knock on a door, which then opens.)
DOUGLAS: Señor Quintanilla.
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: Hello, yes? Ah, it’s you again.
CAROLYN: Hello, Señor.
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: And your merry woman.
DOUGLAS: Isn’t she just? Er, now, er, Señor, I’ve just been looking through your airfield bill.
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: Yes?
DOUGLAS: ... and I was just wondering i-if there was any possibility at all of reducing it by, say, twenty Euros?
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: Was something not good? Are you not happy?
DOUGLAS: Oh, no, no, everything was good. We’re very happy.
CAROLYN: Me especially.
DOUGLAS: Er, but I would appreciate it as a favour if you felt you could knock off a measly twenty Euros.
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: This is not a market! I’m not used to haggle. This is a fair price, yes? You do not think I try to cheat you?
DOUGLAS: No, no! Absolutely not! W-well, look, how about this, then: is there anything we could do around the airfield while we’re waiting that would be worth twenty Euros to you?
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: I suppose ... you could wash my car.
DOUGLAS (angrily): I’m not gonna wash your car!
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: I don’t want you to wash my car – I’m trying to help you!
DOUGLAS (calming down): Of course, er, yes. I-I apologise. Which is your car?
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: The BMW.
DOUGLAS: How could I forget?(!)
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: Catch!
(Sound of Señor Quintanilla tossing his car keys to Douglas, who catches them.)
CAROLYN: Douglas, are you going to wash his car? Are you really going to wash his car?! (She chuckles.) This day just gets better and better!
(Sound of the baggage truck in motion again.)
MARTIN and ARTHUR (singing): ♪ ... went to mow a meadow! Six men, five men, four men, three men, two men, one man and his dog ... ♪
ARTHUR: Ouah! Ouah!
MARTIN and ARTHUR (singing): ♪ ... went to mow a meadow! ♪
MARTIN: “Ouah, ouah,” Arthur?
ARTHUR: That’s what French dogs say, Skip. I thought I’d do one in French ’cause we’re abroad.
MARTIN: But we’re in Spain.
ARTHUR: I know, but I don’t know what Spanish dogs say. Do you?
MARTIN: No, no, I don’t know what ... Spanish ... dogs ... say.
ARTHUR: What’s the matter?
MARTIN: Sorry – same thing again. I just automatically waited for Douglas to say something sarcastic.
ARTHUR: Yes, he’d have had one in there, wouldn’t he? (He laughs briefly.) What d’you think it would have been?
MARTIN: I don’t know. However, my young professor of canine linguistics, welcome to Albacete airport!
(The truck has stopped and the boys get out, closing the [non-existent] doors.)
MARTIN: Twenty minutes ahead of schedule, even with stopping to pump the tyres back up.
ARTHUR: Nice work, Skip! It was a brilliant plan!
MARTIN: Oh! Did go rather well, didn’t it? Now, apparently, the engineer’s office is in the green hangar. That must be ... that one there! Follow me.
(They start to walk.)
MARTIN: Gosh. Sunny, isn’t it?
(There’s the creak of a hinge on a hard spectacles case.)
ARTHUR: Wow! Skip! Are those new? They’re brilliant!
MARTIN: Oh, d’you like them? Picked them up at the garage. They’re called aviator shades.
ARTHUR: They’re amazing! You look like one of those guys in Top Gear!
MARTIN: God, do I? Which one? Not Clarkson?
ARTHUR: No, Tom Cruise.
MARTIN: Top Gun, Arthur.
ARTHUR: Oh, yeah!
MARTIN (sighing happily): Ah, I’ve always wanted a pair of these.
ARTHUR: Well, why didn’t you get one?
MARTIN: I suppose I thought Douglas would probably be a ... well, pretty funny about them.
ARTHUR: Oh yeah. Yes, he-he will be, won’t he?
MARTIN: Yeah, I’ll take them off quickly before we get back.
ARTHUR: Yeah. Probably best. You know, Douglas is great, obviously – I mean, he’s brilliant – but this is quite nice, isn’t it? Like a little holiday.
MARTIN (thoughtfully): Yes. Yes, it is.
(They have stopped walking.)
ARTHUR: Right. Is this it?
MARTIN: ... Yes.
ARTHUR: Oh. Er, Skip? It looks a bit ...
MARTIN: ... closed.
MARTIN: Why would it be closed on a Tuesday?
ARTHUR: I-I don’t know.
MARTIN (exasperated): Oh, well, that’s it, then. We’re done for! Should have known. The thing with the bridge was just to make it all the worse when inevitably ...
ARTHUR: Yes, but you can think of something, Skip! You were brilliant last time!
MARTIN: ... Oh. Well ... Now, we could, um, try and find the manager here and see if we can get the engineer’s home address, drive into town ... Ah, but it’ll be too late. We have to get in the air before five and it’s ... what, two fifteen now... Oh!
MARTIN: Two fifteen in Spain! Siesta!
ARTHUR: What’s that?
MARTIN: It’s when they stop work for a couple of hours after lunch to have a sleep.
ARTHUR: Wow! Can we start doing that?!
MARTIN: And since the airport’s so far from the town, I wouldn’t be surprised if they ... Let’s just try.
(He bangs loudly on the metal door of the hangar.)
MARTIN (loudly): Hello! Hello! El ... engineero! Wake up, please!
MARTIN: Please answer, por favor! It’s important!
(He bangs on the door again.)
MARTIN: Très importante! Will pay extra – bonus lucre! Gracias!
MARTIN: No, of course not. Well, that would just be too ...
MAN’s VOICE (from inside the hangar): ¿Qui es? ¿Qué quieren?
MARTIN (triumphantly): Yes!
ARTHUR: That’s brilliant, Skip!
MARTIN: Oh. D’you think so? Huh!
(Sound of a cloth sploshing in a bucket of water.)
CAROLYN: Ah, there you are, Douglas. I couldn’t find you.
DOUGLAS: But then you did.
CAROLYN: But then I did. Why are you hiding behind the aircraft?
DOUGLAS: I’m not hiding.
CAROLYN: Not any more, certainly. And, my, what an excellent job you’re doing. You’re a demon with that chamois leather.
DOUGLAS: Have you come to help?
CAROLYN: Even better than that. I’ve come to watch.
DOUGLAS: That’s not better.
CAROLYN: Oh, I’m sorry. I meant better for me. It’s a lot better for me.
(Squeak of hinges on a metal beach chair.)
DOUGLAS: You’ve ... brought a deckchair?
CAROLYN: I always keep one in the hold for just such an occasion.
(She sighs contentedly as she sits down.)
CAROLYN: This is the life.
(More splashing of the chamois leather in the bucket.)
CAROLYN: You know, I think this would be my Luxury if I was on Desert Island Discs.
DOUGLAS: A deckchair?
CAROLYN: No – you washing a car. I think I could endure almost any hardship as long as I had the Bible and Shakespeare, Palgrave’s Golden Treasury, and the sight of First Officer Douglas Richardson grumpily soaping a wheel arch.
DOUGLAS: Two thousand pounds, Carolyn. Remember that. That’s what it’s going to cost you.
CAROLYN: Cheap at twice the price; and that’s only if Martin gets back in time – and, really, what are the chances of that?
MARTIN and ARTHUR (singing): ♪ ... Six men, five men, four men, three men, two men, one man and his dog ... ♪
DIEGO: Wao! Wao!
MARTIN and ARTHUR: ♪ ... went to mow a meadow! ♪
MARTIN: “Wao, wao”? When have you ever heard a dog say, “Wao, wao”?
DIEGO (Spanish accent): Every time I have heard a dog, he have said to me, “Wao, wao.”
MARTIN: Then you, Señor, have been speaking to some very peculiar dogs. Arthur, where are we up to?
MARTIN: Very well: on my count, gentlemen. One, two, three!
MARTIN and ARTHUR (singing): ♪ Thirty-two men went to mow, went to mow a meadow ... ♪
DOUGLAS (sighing in exasperation): Twenty to five. That’s definitely it, then.
CAROLYN: You’ve said that every five minutes since four o’clock.
DOUGLAS: Yes! But there’s no way we can do it now, even if ...
(He breaks off as distant but approaching singing can be heard.)
MARTIN and ARTHUR: ♪ ... three men, two men, one man and his ... ♪
DOUGLAS: Oh, look!
DIEGO: Prah! Prah!
MARTIN and ARTHUR (finishing up grandly as everyone gets out of the truck and slams non-existent doors): ♪ ... went to mow a meadow! ♪
MARTIN: “Prah, prah”? Diego, really?
DIEGO: Of course.
DOUGLAS: Martin! Good lord! Maverick flies again.
MARTIN: Hello, Douglas. Can I suggest you save all the jokes about my shades for now and we’ll have them in a nice long stream once we get airborne. In the meantime, Carolyn, Douglas – this is Diego: a fine engineer, a useful light baritone and a man with an inexhaustible knowledge of how Spanish animals go. Diego, do your Spanish cockerel.
MARTIN: ... Yep, that’s my favourite one. Now, then, Diego, here’s the wing. Get to work. Arthur, park the truck.
ARTHUR: Er, where?
MARTIN: Er, well behind the plane, by that ... wet car. You two, get on board and prepare to leave immediately!
DOUGLAS: But Martin, we’ve only got twenty minutes before they shut the Tower. He can’t possibly fix it ...
MARTIN: Certainly he can. A man who can imitate a Spanish squirrel helping forty-eight men mow a meadow is capable of anything. Now, come on: we have to get a move on.
DOUGLAS: In other words, you feel the need – the need for speed.
MARTIN: Seriously, Douglas. Save them for later.
(Flight deck door opens.)
MARTIN (breathlessly): Done.
DOUGLAS: You did the walk-round?
DOUGLAS: In forty-five seconds?
MARTIN (still catching his breath): More of a jog-around but I saw everything I needed to see.
DOUGLAS: But your walk-rounds take days!
MARTIN: Well, maybe I’ve gained a little faith in my instincts as a pilot. Now, how are we doing?
DOUGLAS: Seven minutes to five. Cabin ready; pre-take-off checks done. How about the anti-icing?
MARTIN: Diego’s still looking at it.
DOUGLAS: Well, then, why are we bothering? There’s no way ...
(Knock on the flight deck door.)
MARTIN: A-ha! Come in!
(Flight deck door opens.)
MARTIN: Diego. Anti-icing all fixed?
MARTIN: Then what were you doing up there? Go and fix it.
DIEGO: Not fixed because not broken.
MARTIN: Not broken?
DIEGO: No. He is very well.
MARTIN: But it was. It was definitely broken. Look – the little orange warning light’s on.
DIEGO: Oh. Let me see. ... Yes. Little orange warning light – he is broken.
(Sound of Diego thumping the console.)
DIEGO: There! All better!
MARTIN: ... Right. Thank you, Diego. Now, quick – get off the plane!
(Flight deck door closes.)
DOUGLAS: Right. So all of this was in aid of a dodgy warning light.
MARTIN: Yes, well, just one of those things. Could have happened to anyone.
DOUGLAS: Could have done, but actually happened to ...
MARTIN (interrupting): ... to both of us. You didn’t give the light a thump any more than I did. Anyway, it’s a good thing! It means it’s fixed now! We can still get away in time; we can still get in under budget.
DOUGLAS: But ...?
MARTIN: Douglas, be quiet.
MARTIN (into intercom): All ready in the back?
CAROLYN (over intercom): All ready.
MARTIN (flicking switches): Right. Air con?
DOUGLAS (also flicking switches): Off.
MARTIN: Anti-collision light?
MARTIN: Fuel pump switches?
MARTIN (into radio): Hello, ground. Are we cleared to start number one?
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA (over radio): Cleared to start number one.
MARTIN: Starting one.
(GERTI’s engine begins to rev up.)
DOUGLAS: So, do I take it you had some sort of mystical awakening on your road trip?
MARTIN: No, nothing like that. I just had cause to remember that I am not, in fact, quite as incapable as it suits certain people to make out.
DOUGLAS: Well, if it earns us a grand each, I’m all in favour of it. Engine stable.
MARTIN: Thank you. Fuel flow.
(Sound of a lever being pushed. GERTI’s engine tone goes up a notch ... then there’s a loud bang, followed by smashing glass and then a car alarm.)
DOUGLAS: Engine malfunction, number one.
MARTIN: Shutting down number one!
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA (over radio as the engine powers down again): What have you done? What have you done?!
MARTIN (into radio): W-we don’t know! What’s happened? What did you see?
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: You have fired a missile from your plane!
MARTIN: Is anyone hurt?
SEÑOR QUINTANILLA: My BMW! My BMW is hurt! You fire your missile straight into my car!
DOUGLAS: ... Martin. In the course of your jog-round, did you happen to instinctively notice whether Arthur had retrieved the bottle of water from the engine exhaust?
(Martin whines in anguish. There’s a snapping of plastic.)
DOUGLAS: Oh Martin. You’ve broken your new shades.