Script by John Finnemore
Transcript by Ariane DeVere
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FITTON AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: Welcome home, Golf Tango India. Vacate runway to your right and taxi to your stand.
MARTIN (flicking switches): Thank you, Karl. Oh, incidentally, be advised: as we landed we saw a large hawk or kestrel about fifty feet from the runway.
KARL: Noted, Golf Tango India. What was it doing?
DOUGLAS: Watching how it’s supposed to be done.
This week, Kuala Lumpur!
(Portacabin office door opens.)
ARTHUR: Mum? Can I borrow your car?
CAROLYN: Why? What’s wrong with your car?
ARTHUR: It’s really old and it’s a horrible colour and it smells of duffel coats.
CAROLYN: Well, what’s wrong with it that’s stopping you driving it?
ARTHUR: Only those things, but I thought since we were on standby this week, I might go for some drives in a nice car, like yours.
CAROLYN: No you won’t – because you and I will be using this week to see if we can ease your stewarding skills up above that crucial dividing line between Very Bad and merely Bad. I’m going to be your Mystery Passenger.
ARTHUR: Brilliant! Will there be clues?
CAROLYN: I mean we are going to sit in the plane and you’re going to practise serving me.
ARTHUR: Right! So what’s the mystery?
CAROLYN: The mystery is who I am.
ARTHUR: And who are you?
CAROLYN: I’m me.
ARTHUR: That’s not very mysterious.
CAROLYN (wearily): Oh, life’s too short. You and I are going to pretend to be a steward and a passenger ...
ARTHUR: Ah, right! Bagsie be the steward!
(Knock on the door, which then opens.)
MARTIN: Hello, Carolyn? Um, just had a thought.
CAROLYN: Oh good! A pilot with a thought! How the gods smile upon me.
MARTIN: It just occurred to me, for weeks like this, we really ought to have a pilots’ lounge.
CAROLYN (sternly): A what?
MARTIN: A pilots’ lounge.
CAROLYN: Martin, the very last thing I want to do is encourage either of you to do any more lounging than you already do.
MARTIN: It wouldn’t be for lounging in. It would be for our briefings; doing our log books. I thought maybe each month one of us could present a paper on some aspect of aviation that interests us.
CAROLYN: And to think, a moment ago, I thought the idea couldn’t sound less appealing.
ARTHUR: But, Mum, you-you could make money out of it. You could sell drinks.
CAROLYN: Without a licence – to pilots?!
ARTHUR: No-no, I mean tea and coffee and things – to David and George from Engineering, and the fire crew, and Karl the ATC; even Dirk the groundsman.
MARTIN: Er, no, no, no – i-it would be a pilots’ lounge, not for those guys – for the pilots.
ARTHUR: But that doesn’t make sense. I’m not a pilot.
ARTHUR: But I’d be allowed in.
CAROLYN: Martin, if you can find an empty room on the airfield, you are welcome to sit in it; and if you can lure Douglas in and then keep him there long enough to read a paper at him, you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din. Close the door on your way out.
MARTIN: But ...
CAROLYN: On which, you should now go. I’m sorry; I thought that was implied.
(Sound of someone rattling a door handle in an attempt to open the door. Voices are a little echoey.)
ARTHUR: Any good, Skip?
MARTIN: No, Arthur, because it’s locked.
ARTHUR: Ah. Ooh! I’ll tell you where you could try, though – how about that scrap DC-10 fuselage out round the back of the hangar? I mean, it’s probably full of rats and cobwebs and skeletons, but if we clean it up ...
MARTIN: That’s actually not a bad idea.
(Footsteps as they head outdoors.)
MARTIN: Tell you what, though, Arthur: if it does turn out to be suitable, I thought we might strike a happy compromise between my idea of keeping it just for pilots and your idea of inviting everyone who works on the airfield.
ARTHUR: What would that be?
MARTIN: Just the pilots. And you.
ARTHUR: Ooh! So I’d be like an honorary pilot!
MARTIN: No, you’d just be ... you.
ARTHUR: Great! Although, the engineers and everyone are really good fun. George does these brilliant impressions of fruit.
MARTIN: Yes, I’m-I’m sure they’re great, but-but what I want is a nice civilised arena to compare notes with my fellow professionals.
MARTIN: Right, here it is.
(Distant sound of laughter.)
MARTIN: Is there ... is there someone in there?!
ARTHUR: Sounds like it.
(Fuselage door opens.)
GEORGE: All right, next one, next one, next one, right? Number twelve: the conference pear!
(Raucous cheering from several people.)
ARTHUR: Wow! Dave! George! Everyone! Hi!
GEORGE (nervously, as everyone else falls silent): Arthur! Captain Crieff!
MARTIN: Can someone please tell me what the hell’s going on in here?
DOUGLAS: Hallo, Martin.
DOUGLAS: Welcome to the Flap and Throttle.
(Cheers from everyone else.)
(Outside the fuselage.)
ARTHUR: What a brilliant place, Douglas!
MARTIN: How long’s it been going on?
DOUGLAS: We just had our third anniversary, actually.
MARTIN: So before I even got here?
MARTIN: Why didn’t you tell me about it?
DOUGLAS: Well, we were just waiting for you to settle in – you know, get comfortable with everyone.
MARTIN: I’ve been here a year and a half!
DOUGLAS: And we’re still waiting.
MARTIN: I see. So it’s an illegal pub for everyone who works on the airfield except me.
DOUGLAS: Well, to be honest, I didn’t think you’d approve.
MARTIN: I don’t approve!
DOUGLAS: I thought you might have told Carolyn or the airfield manager.
MARTIN: I might have done!
DOUGLAS: Right. So that’s why we didn’t tell you.
ARTHUR: Yeah, but why didn’t you tell me?
DOUGLAS: Because it was a secret, Arthur, and you are – without a shadow of a doubt – the worst liar in the world.
ARTHUR (indignantly): I’m not!
DOUGLAS: All right: answer this question with a lie. What’s your name?
ARTHUR: Arth... nold ... man, er ... cat, sir, man.
DOUGLAS: Arthnold Manercatsirman.
ARTHUR (dubiously): Yeah.
DOUGLAS: That’s an unusual name. Tell me: is it made-up?
ARTHUR: Yes, it is. Oh!
DOUGLAS: You see, that’s the sort of trick question you wanna watch for. I’ll tell you a secret: the way to lie convincingly is never make something up. Just tell a different truth. So, if you have to lie about where you were today, tell them where you really were last week.
DOUGLAS: If you have to give a false name, use a real name you already know. Try again: what’s your name?
ARTHUR (after a moment’s thought): Douglas Richardson!
DOUGLAS: Better. Not quite perfect.
(Sound of a siren.)
ARTHUR: Oh. I forgot. Mum’s waiting for me in the plane.
MARTIN: What for?
ARTHUR: She’s being my Mystery Passenger.
DOUGLAS: Well, good luck. Let us know if you work out who she is.
MARTIN (as Arthur walks away): Douglas – an illegal pub on an airfield is incredibly dangerous and irresponsible.
DOUGLAS: Don’t be so melodramatic. No-one drinks when they’re on duty. It’s just a bit of fun. It’s more about the secret club atmosphere – you know, like at school.
MARTIN: Not at my school.
DOUGLAS: Oh, come on! You must have had secret clubs in the lunch break at least!
MARTIN: No, actually. People weren’t really around during lunch break. I think they went home or ...
(He trails off.)
MARTIN: Well, anyway, I-I-I thought you didn’t drink? I thought you hadn’t had a drink for nine years?
DOUGLAS: Martin, that is a secret. I have carefully built up my reputation as a hard-boozing sky god, and I’m not having you spoil it.
MARTIN: So what do you drink there?
DOUGLAS: If you must know – you know every year I win a bottle of Talisker single malt from Carolyn?
DOUGLAS: Win. Well, I keep it in the Flap and Throttle. Everyone knows it’s for my personal use only. Not everyone knows it’s refilled with apple juice.
MARTIN: Well, Douglas, look, I’m sorry. Either you close it down immediately or I’ll be forced to inform Carolyn.
DOUGLAS: I can’t close it down. It’s not my pub. If you want it stopped, you’ll have to come down and tell them yourself – all the mechanics, the engineers, the fire crew ... Dirk the groundsman.
MARTIN: I’m not afraid of them!
DOUGLAS: Nor should you be – not even Dirk.
MARTIN: Well, I’m not.
MARTIN: Why not even Dirk?
DOUGLAS: No reason. I just mean, someone who was afraid of them would probably start by being afraid of Dirk. It’s the natural place to start.
MARTIN: Well, I’m not! And I’ll come and tell them this evening.
DOUGLAS: Ooh! Full moon!
MARTIN: Stop it!
CAROLYN: Arthur, where have you been? I told you to meet me in the cabin half an hour ago.
ARTHUR: Sorry, Mum. I’ve been ... I’ve been to the dentist.
CAROLYN: Oh, have you?
ARTHUR: Yes, I have. He said I’ve been brushing really well but to watch out for my gums.
CAROLYN: Right – so no real change since last week, then, when I took you.
ARTHUR: Oh yeah.
CAROLYN: Leave the lying to Douglas, dear. He’s the professional. So: it’s a normal flight; I’m the passengers; you’re you. Off we go.
ARTHUR: W-wait-wait. Where are we going?
CAROLYN: Well, it doesn’t matter. Er, Pisa.
ARTHUR (disappointed): Oh! We went to Pisa last week.
CAROLYN: Well, where do you want us to go, then?
ARTHUR: Kuala Lumpur.
CAROLYN: Why Kuala Lumpur?
ARTHUR: It’s like Helsinki: I’ve always wanted to go there. It sounds like ...
CAROLYN (interrupting): Arthur. Let me warn you: I am not in the best of tempers and I strongly advise you not to start talking about a city populated by either koalas or Oompa Loompas.
ARTHUR: ... I have nothing to say.
CAROLYN: Good! And ... go! (In a slightly posher voice) Excuse me, steward. Where can I smoke my cigarette?
ARTHUR: Oh! I’m sorry, madam ... This is brilliant! It’s like acting!
CAROLYN: Get on with it!
ARTHUR: I’m sorry, madam, er, but for your happy convenience, cigarettes may not be enjoyed anywhere on board at this time.
CAROLYN: Oh. All right. What about this pipe?
ARTHUR: ... I’m not sure. Um, let me just ask my ...
CAROLYN: She’s not on board.
ARTHUR: Oh, okay. Er, well I ... I-I’m gonna go for ‘no.’ Sorry.
CAROLYN: A reefer?
ARTHUR: I don’t.
CAROLYN: It’s medicinal.
ARTHUR: Ooh, medicinal! Well, I expect, er ...
ARTHUR: No! I expect no! That’s what I was gonna say: I expect definitely not!
CAROLYN: Arthur. Here are the things you can smoke on board ...
ARTHUR: Ooh, no, hang on, wait. I’ll write it down.
CAROLYN: You don’t need to write it down! It’s nothing! You can’t smoke anything on the plane.
ARTHUR: ... I’d still quite like to write it down.
(Drinking glasses clink.)
DOUGLAS: Okay, he’s on his way. Now, remember: we’re aiming for something between the bar in Cheers and the Mess Hall in Dam Busters; and I know you’d think if you use “Captain” in every sentence he’ll think you’re taking the piss, but actually, he won’t. Right, here he is.
(The fuselage door opens. Everyone cheers.)
DOUGLAS: Welcome, Martin, to the Flap and Throttle.
GEORGE: Pleasure to see you here, Captain.
DAVE: An honour, Captain, a real honour.
MARTIN: What’s going on?
DOUGLAS: I mentioned you were coming down and, well, everyone was very excited.
MARTIN: Well ... I hope you told them why I was coming.
DOUGLAS: Of course not. That’s your job.
DAVE: Now it’s a proper club, isn’t it?
GEORGE: Yeah. It’s all very well havin’ the first officer down ’ere, but the captain, Captain – that’s different.
MARTIN: Then ... why didn’t you ask me?
DAVE: Never thought you’d accept, Captain.
GEORGE: We thought you’d be one of those standoffish captains, Captain – too grand to mix with the ground staff.
MARTIN (clearing his throat awkwardly): Yes, well ... Look, you don’t have to call me “Captain” all the time, you know.
GEORGE: Oh, right.
MARTIN: “Skipper” will do.
DAVE: Thanks, Skipper. Appreciate it.
MARTIN: Well, all right, listen ... er, men. Er, the fact is ...
DAVE: No, hang on, hang on, hang on. Can’t have the skipper giving a speech without a glass in his hand. What you havin’, Skipper?
GEORGE: No, no. I’m the chief engineer. I get to buy Skip a drink.
MARTIN: Ah, well, this – this is just it. Er, I-I-I-I’m afraid I simply can’t ...
DOUGLAS (interrupting): Martin, a quick word.
DOUGLAS: Operational matter.
MARTIN: All right.
DOUGLAS (quietly): Martin, it’s up to you, of course, but I just thought I should let you know: these people are very proud. In their culture, there’s nothing more insulting than to spurn a gift. It’s a terrible loss of face.
MARTIN: What, engineers?! A-are you sure you’re not thinking of the Japanese?
DOUGLAS: Well, there’s so many great Japanese engineers, the culture’s rubbed off on them.
MARTIN: Douglas, I can’t allow an illegal bar to operate on an airfield property, still less partake myself. What would Carolyn say if she found out?
DOUGLAS: I don’t know. Then again, these guys are all self-employed. If you close down their pub, they’ll probably refuse to work for us, and then MJN would fold instantly. I don’t know what she’d say about that, either. But it’s your choice.
GEORGE: ’ere we are, Skipper. Your first pint at the Flap and Throttle.
DAVE: First of many.
MARTIN: No, really, stop it. You-you must understand, I really cannot accept this drink.
GEORGE: You can’t accept it?
DAVE: Well, why not, Skipper?
MARTIN: ... Because ... as the skipper ... first round is my round!
CAROLYN: All right. Today, we’re going to build on yesterda... We’re not going to let yesterday get us down. Now, let’s see you taking meal orders. Go.
ARTHUR: Hello, madam. Chicken or beef?
CAROLYN: Beef, please.
ARTHUR: Okay. ... How did I do?
CAROLYN: Keep going!
ARTHUR: Oh. Er, right-o. Hallo, madam. Chicken or beef?
CAROLYN: Chicken, please.
ARTHUR: You said, “Beef,” just now.
CAROLYN: I was being someone different!
ARTHUR: That’s pretty confusing, Mum. Couldn’t you at least do a different voice?
CAROLYN: No I couldn’t!
ARTHUR: Please? Because in real life they’d have different voices. And faces.
CAROLYN: Oh, all right. (In a bad Scottish accent) Chicken, please.
ARTHUR: Certainly, madam! And for you, madam?
CAROLYN (deep voice): Sir.
ARTHUR: I beg your pardon, sir. Er, chicken or beef?
CAROLYN (deep voice): How is the chicken cooked?
ARTHUR: Four minutes on ‘defrost’; shake the bag; three minutes on ‘full.’
CAROLYN (normal voice): No! Don’t tell them that!
ARTHUR: Sorry, are you being you again, or him, or one of the others?
CAROLYN: Me! Just don’t tell him we reheat it.
ARTHUR: Well, he must know! I mean, obviously we don’t have a whole kitchen back there! He’s not stupid.
CAROLYN: Yes he is. Everyone on this plane is stupid until proved otherwise.
ARTHUR: Shall I put that on the list?
CAROLYN: Isn’t it there already?
ARTHUR (unfolding a piece of paper): Er, “The customer is always: Wrong ; Rude ; Late ; Witless ; Loud ; Drunk ; Thieving; and Sly.” I suppose “Witless” sort of covers stupid.
CAROLYN: Oh, I don’t know. Stick “Stupid” down as well. Have you got “Rude”?
ARTHUR (consulting his paper again): Er, yep.
CAROLYN: Put it down again. It’s a good one.
DOUGLAS: You say that, Dave, but they equalised within ten minutes, so I-I don’t ...
(Fuselage door opens and closes.)
MARTIN: Evening, chaps!
DOUGLAS: Oh, hello, Martin.
DAVE and DAVE (disinterestedly): All right?
MARTIN: Sorry. I-I didn’t mean to interrupt. Er, carry on.
DAVE: Oh, we were just talkin’ about, er ... Did you see the match, Skipper?
MARTIN: The ... match? No, I missed the match. I-I think we were on a trip.
GEORGE: It only finished twenty minutes ago.
MARTIN: Oh, that match! Oh, I was thinking of another match. No, I didn’t see that one either. I missed ... missed both the matches.
DAVE: Right. Well, I was just sayin’, City never had a hope once they were down to ten.
MARTIN: Yes, well, a-as I say, I missed it.
DAVE: Yeah, but you see what I’m sayin’?
MARTIN: Oh yeah ... yeah! Yeah, of course, yes, I see what you’re saying. Ten’s ... ten’s not enough. You need a lot more than-than ten!
DAVE: Well, you need eleven.
MARTIN: That’s what I mean – eleven, yes! That’s what you need. Not ten.
GEORGE: Who do you support, Skipper?
MARTIN: In football?
MARTIN: England. W... no, I mean obviously, er, England ... and ... er ... United.
DAVE: Which United?
MARTIN (very hesitantly): Nottingham.
DAVE: Nottingham United? Never ’eard of ’em. What league are they in?
MARTIN: I don’t follow that closely, actually.
GEORGE: Yeah, but you must know what league they’re in.
DOUGLAS: In many ways, they’re in a league of their own. Aren’t they, Martin?
MARTIN: Yes, that’s right.
(He laughs nervously.)
GEORGE: Right. (He chuckles.) You from up Nottingham way originally, then?
MARTIN: No – Wokingham. Down Wokingham way!
DAVE: Why’d you pick Nottingham to follow, then?
MARTIN: Well ... Nottingham, Wokingham – they sound very similar.
(Awkward silence for a moment.)
MARTIN: Tell you what, though, George: er, you’ll be interested in this. You know that little Cherokee that was out doing circuits today? Well, on his third landing, he ...
(Cries of “Ohh!” from everyone, as someone repeatedly rings a bell behind the bar.)
GEORGE, DAVE and OTHERS: Oh, shop! (This gradually turns into a chant of “Shop, shop, shop, shop!”)
MARTIN (anxiously): What’s going on?! What have I done?!
DAVE: Talkin’ shop, Skip. Sorry – automatic round forfeit.
DOUGLAS: Flap and Throttle house rules, I’m afraid, Martin. Anyone caught talking shop has to buy a round for the whole bar.
MARTIN: Then, how d’you talk about flying?
GEORGE: Well, you can’t, can you? That’s the point.
MARTIN: So what d’you talk about?
DAVE: I dunno! Music, sport, women!
GEORGE: The meanin’ o’ life. Anything but bloody planes, eh?
MARTIN: Yes. Yeah, of course. (Sadly, his voice getting quieter) Yeah, who wants to talk about stupid ... aviation?
(The bell begins to ring again and everyone takes up a new chant.)
EVERYONE: A-bomb! A-bomb!
DOUGLAS: Oh, come on! Go easy on him, chaps! He’s new!
DOUGLAS: Oh, all right, fine. Sorry, Martin. The “A” word is banned.
MARTIN (nervously): Oh, I-I-I see. (He chuckles.) A-another round for everyone?
DOUGLAS: No – I’m afraid having two consecutive forfeits incurs a Whoops Johnny.
(The patrons laugh gleefully.)
MARTIN: A what?!
EVERYONE (in a chant): Whoops-Johnny-Johnny-Johnny, Whoops-Johnny, Whoops-Johnny-Johnny-Johnny-Johnny!
(They all cheer.)
MARTIN (his voice full of dread): Oh God.
CAROLYN: Okay, same as yesterday. You’ve got chicken or beef; but today I’ll throw in some unusual diets.
ARTHUR: Great. Don’t forget to do the voices! ... Hallo, sir or madam.
CAROLYN (in a sort of Southern American voice): Madam.
ARTHUR: Madam. Er, would you like chicken or beef?
CAROLYN (same American voice): Well, now, that all depends. You see, I’m a celiac.
ARTHUR: Ooh! Lovely! Chicken or beef?
CAROLYN (American): It means I’m gluten-intolerant.
ARTHUR: Well, I’ll-I’ll try not to be too ... gluten annoying.
CAROLYN (American): It means I can’t eat gluten.
ARTHUR: ... We’ve got chicken or beef.
CAROLYN (American): Gluten is in wheat products.
ARTHUR: Oh, right! Yeah, with you. Erm, I think they’re both fine.
CAROLYN (American): No wheat in either?
ARTHUR: Don’t think so.
CAROLYN (American): Right. Then I will have the chicken.
CAROLYN (in her normal voice): Which is coated in breadcrumbs, so I’ll have a violent reaction, my airways will swell up and maybe I’ll die.
ARTHUR: Perhaps the beef.
CAROLYN: Arthur, what things are made of wheat?
ARTHUR: Er, wheat cakes ... Weetabix ... those little straw dollies ...
CAROLYN: Bread! Bread is made of wheat.
ARTHUR (smiling disbelievingly): No.
CAROLYN: Yes! What did you think it was made of?
ARTHUR: It’s not made of anything! It’s just ... bread.
CAROLYN: So where does it come from?
ARTHUR: Well, I don’t know. It ...
DOUGLAS: Five, four, three, two, one.
(A watch or clock alarm bleeps.)
DOUGLAS: And so ends another eventful shift. Right, Martin, see you in the Flap and Throttle later?
MARTIN (unhappily): Yes.
DOUGLAS: Good! And don’t forget to bring your shin pads. It’s Skittles night!
MARTIN: Why-why-why do I need shin pads for skittles?
DOUGLAS: Oh, the way we play it, if you’re not bowling you’re a skittle.
MARTIN: Oh God.
DOUGLAS: You all right?
DOUGLAS: Why not?
MARTIN (frantically): I hate it! Douglas, I really, really, really hate it. I hate the drinking games and the pop quizzes and the round forfeits and the competitive farting, and the Whoops Johnnys and the bloody anchovies ...
DOUGLAS: If it’s any consolation, I thought you coped very well with being anchovied. You had a real quiet dignity.
MARTIN: I just can’t stand it!
DOUGLAS: Well, I suppose you could – it would be a wrench for all of us, of course – but you could stop coming in.
MARTIN: No! I can’t!
DOUGLAS: Can’t you?
MARTIN: Of course not! You saw what it was like when I first arrived: they were overjoyed! They said I made it a proper club; and they said it proved I wasn’t standoffish, so if I stop going now, it’ll prove I am standoffish. I-I only wish I’d never found out about the wretched place. And now I know about it, I have to go! I’m trapped – I’m trapped-trapped like a ...
(He pauses as he seeks the right word.)
DOUGLAS: ... tinned anchovy?
CAROLYN: All right. Today we’re going to put everything we’ve covered so far together. I might throw anything at you – possibly literally. Are you ready?
ARTHUR (a little nervously): Yeah. And ... if I manage it, can I borrow your car?
CAROLYN: Arthur, you haven’t managed any of these things on their own. What makes you think you can handle them together?
ARTHUR: I can’t eat eggs and flour and sugar on their own, but I can eat cake.
CAROLYN: ... All right – but only if you really manage it.
ARTHUR: Actually, I can eat eggs on their own. And sugar. And flour.
CAROLYN: Go! (She impersonates ringing the service bell.) Ding-ding! (In a very posh voice) I say, steward, can my little girl go up on the flight deck for landing?
ARTHUR: Er, yes, I’m sure that’s fine.
CAROLYN (normal voice): No!
CAROLYN: It’s against the law.
CAROLYN: Ding-ding! (In a Welsh accent) Excuse me. Could you let the oxygen masks down so we can have a practice with them?
ARTHUR: Er, yes, of course. I’ll just go and ...
CAROLYN (normal voice): No! You can’t! Ding-ding! (In the voice of an elderly woman) Excuse me, dear, I’m blind. Could you guide me to the toilet?
ARTHUR: No! No I can’t!
CAROLYN (normal voice): Yes! Yes you can!
ARTHUR: Yes! Yes I can!
CAROLYN: Ding-ding! (In a deep voice, pretending to be a man) Excuse me – I’m still waiting for my whiskey.
ARTHUR: Er, yes ...
CAROLYN: Ding-ding! (In a French accent) And when are you going to take away my tray?
(Arthur flails wordlessly.)
CAROLYN: Ding-ding! (In a little girl’s voice) Mister, my tummy feels funny.
ARTHUR (hysterically): Shut up! All of you shut up!
CAROLYN (normal voice): Arthur, you can’t ...
ARTHUR: You too! Right, French lady, I’ll take your tray; you show the blind lady to the loo.
CAROLYN (French accent): No! Zis is not my job!
ARTHUR: Just do it! And Mr. Powell, could you please ...
CAROLYN (normal voice): Who’s Mr. Powell?
ARTHUR: The man who wants his whiskey. I have to give them names or it’s just confusing. And he looks like Mr. Powell who taught me history.
CAROLYN: Arthur, he looks like me!
ARTHUR: Mum, excuse me, I am trying to talk to Mr. Powell. Mr. Powell, could you look after the little girl, please?
CAROLYN (deep voice): I will do nothing of the sort! I’m a passenger!
ARTHUR: Okay, in that case: ding-ding! (In an Australian accent) Hi – don’t worry, mate, I’ll look after the little Sheila! (In his normal voice) Oh, thank you so much. (Australian accent) No worries, mate!
CAROLYN: Arthur! You cannot be passengers!
ARTHUR: You never said I couldn’t! Ding-ding! (In a high-pitched Scottish accent) And I’ll show the blind lady to the loo! (Normal voice) Thank you! (Scottish accent) Oh, it’s ma pleasure, hoots!
ARTHUR (increasingly frenetically): Shush! So, Bluey, you’ll look after the little girl. (Australian accent) Yip! (Normal voice) Mrs Badcrumble, you’ll look after the blind lady. (Scottish accent) Aye, I will. (Normal voice) Madame Froufrou, let me take your tray. Mr. Powell, here’s your whiskey. Now ding-ding, the seatbelt signs are on. Everybody sit down and shut up!
ARTHUR (calmer): How did I do?
CAROLYN: Well, it’s not how they teach it in the training courses but I have to admit, it is what I might have done. Here: (jingle of car keys) catch.
(Sound of the keys being thrown and then caught.)
MARTIN: So, I mean, I-I was within limits but it was a ticklish little crosswind – sixty, sixty-five, but gusting seventy – and I thought to myself, ‘Well, I have seven options here ...’
DAVE (despairingly): Seven.
MARTIN: Ah! Quite right, Dave, yes! Eight. (He chuckles.) You see, I’d been given the one-nine runway but ... d-d’you know the airport at Nice?
MARTIN: Oh well, I’ll just explain the layout. They’ve got this very ...
DAVE: Look, I mean yes. Yes. I do know it.
MARTIN: Are you sure? Because you really won’t understand this story if you don’t. I’ll just refresh your memory. There’s a very odd ...
(Fuselage door opens.)
ARTHUR: Hi, chaps.
DAVE (with frantic relief in his voice): Arthur! There you are!
ARTHUR: Hi, Dave. I said I’d pop in, didn’t I?
DAVE: Yes, you did! You said you’d pop in at seven forty-five; and now it’s gone eight!
ARTHUR: I said ‘about’ seven forty-five.
MARTIN: Well, it doesn’t matter – he’s here now. Come and join us, Arthur. I was, er, just telling Dave about the landing into Nice.
ARTHUR: Ooh, what about the talking shop forfeit?
MARTIN: Oh, I’ve paid for that.
DAVE: Yeah, yeah. He bought me a drink. So now he can talk about flying ... (he tries to suppress a sigh) ... as much as he likes.
MARTIN: So, there I was ...
DAVE: Actually, I’ve-I’ve gotta go now.
MARTIN: Oh, really? I-I thought you wanted to see Arthur.
DAVE: No, no. I’ve gotta go.
MARTIN: Oh well. I-I’ll finish the story another time.
DAVE: No! Finish it now. Definitely. Arthur can fill me in later.
(Fuselage door closes.)
MARTIN: That’s odd. That’s exactly what George did half an hour ago. It’s like you all can’t stand to be in each others’ company.
(He chuckles. Arthur laughs nervously.)
ARTHUR: That is odd.
MARTIN: I mean, I must say, I do like it being this quiet. It just seems, you know, strange given how busy it was those first ... few ... days ... (He draws in a breath.) Oh. I see. Arthur?
MARTIN: Where have you just come from, Arthur?
ARTHUR: I had dinner and then I went for a walk and then I came here.
MARTIN: Where did you have dinner?
ARTHUR: An Italian restaurant.
MARTIN: What, in Fitton?
MARTIN: That doesn’t sound much like you.
ARTHUR: No. I’m quite enigmatic, though.
MARTIN: And I’d have thought you’d have had enough of Italian food since we were in Pisa last week.
ARTHUR: No. That just ... whetted my appetite.
MARTIN: Who did you have dinner with?
ARTHUR: Er, Douglas and you. ... wouldn’t know the other person!
MARTIN: What was his name?
MARTIN: Mark Manercatsirman?
ARTHUR: No – Mark ... er ... (he gasps excitedly as he thinks of a name) ... Ramprakash!
MARTIN: Of course(!) And the walk afterwards: where did you, Douglas and ... Mark Ramprakash go?
ARTHUR (his voice becoming increasingly plaintive): We went to see the ... Tower ... of ... Air Traffic Control.
MARTIN: The Leaning Tower of Air Traffic Control?
ARTHUR (frantically): How do people do it?! How do they lie? It’s impossible!
MARTIN: Where’s the new pub, Arthur?
ARTHUR (instantly): The mechanics’ loading bay.
(Hubbub of voices chatting. A door opens.)
ARTHUR: Er, Douglas?
DOUGLAS: Arthur? Aren’t you supposed to be on Martin-sitting duty? ... Ah.
MARTIN: Hello, Douglas.
DOUGLAS: Skipper! Welcome to the Windsock Arms!
MARTIN: Don’t “Skipper” me. So this is where everyone’s been.
DOUGLAS: Where everyone’s been busy preparing your surprise!
MARTIN (angrily): Oh please, Douglas. Don’t bother.
DOUGLAS: All right. But we just thought, as captain, you were entitled to your own private bar, while we ...
MARTIN (bitterly): ... went off and set up another cooler gang that I’m not allowed in. Yes, yes, I get it. Well, bad luck.
(Sound of a number being dialled on a mobile phone.)
DOUGLAS: No, Martin, don’t.
MARTIN: Hi, Carolyn?
MARTIN: I think you ought to come over to the mechanics’ loading bay.
DOUGLAS: Don’t say why.
MARTIN: Because there’s an unlicensed bar in it, that’s why.
DOUGLAS: Oh, great.
(Martin hangs up.)
MARTIN: She’s coming straight over.
DOUGLAS: I thought she might. All right – everyone get out, but drain your glasses first.
GEORGE: What? Why?
DOUGLAS: Just do it.
MARTIN (as glasses are drained and put down, and everyone else leaves): There-there’s no point in that. All the bottles are still sitting on the bar; and anyway, I have to tell her everything.
DOUGLAS: Really, Martin? Everything? Including the four days you spent as a pillar of the Flap and Throttle?
MARTIN: Yes, but I didn’t want to. A-a-and anyway, this isn’t about that pub; it’s about this pub – the one you left me out of.
DOUGLAS: You wanted to be left out of it! You told me so! You wanted to go back to not knowing! I was trying to help.
MARTIN: What? ... Oh, no. ... Oh. Douglas, I’m sorry. I-I-I’m sorry! I didn’t realise! I – look, I-I, erm, I’ll phone her back and ...
DOUGLAS: Too late.
(Sound of footsteps on metal steps outside.)
DOUGLAS: Don’t worry. Tell her everything like you were going to, but get ready to follow my lead.
MARTIN: All right.
CAROLYN: What on earth is going ...? Oh.
DOUGLAS: Evening, Carolyn. Welcome to the Windsock Arms!
CAROLYN: Oh, Douglas. This is too far, even for you. Providing unlicensed alcohol on an airfield to airfield staff on duty? Martin, how long have you known about this?
MARTIN: I just discovered it now; just now; just immediately now.
CAROLYN: Who’s been coming here, Douglas?
DOUGLAS: Ah, well ... The thing is, I have a terrible memory for faces.
CAROLYN: I want a list of the names of everyone who’s been drinking here.
DOUGLAS: Also names. Faces and names – those are my weak spots.
CAROLYN: Douglas, I’m serious. We need to have a talk.
DOUGLAS: Always a pleasure; never a chore.
CAROLYN: ... in which I may have to fire you.
DOUGLAS: Quite right too.
CAROLYN: I’m not joking.
DOUGLAS: Absolutely not! It’s terribly serious – and that’s certainly how you should react if I ever set up an illegal bar in the airfield.
CAROLYN: You have!
DOUGLAS: Well, no, I haven’t. You see, Carolyn, I am your Mystery Perpetrator of Gross Professional Misconduct. Hallo.
DOUGLAS: Arthur was telling me about all the fun you’ve been having with the Mystery Passenger lessons, and I thought it was a shame for you and Martin to miss out, so I arranged this – and you both did terribly well!
CAROLYN: Douglas, I am not an idiot. This place is full of booze.
DOUGLAS: But is it, though? Martin, pass me one of those bottles, would you? Absolutely any one at all. Your free choice.
(Clinking of a bottle.)
MARTIN: Here you are.
DOUGLAS: Ah, the Talisker! Excellent choice, sir.
(Sound of liquid pouring into a glass.)
DOUGLAS: There we are. On the house. Tell me what you think.
CAROLYN (taking a drink): Apple juice.
DOUGLAS: It does have apple-y overtones, doesn’t it? Or, if you prefer, I can do you water, cold tea, or I think this one’s mouthwash.
CAROLYN: You went to all this trouble just to wind me up?
DOUGLAS: You and Martin. It was an irresistible two-for-the-price-of-one deal.
CAROLYN: You are an infantile time-wasting sorry excuse for a pilot, and I ought to fire you anyway just to teach you a lesson.
DOUGLAS: Yes. Funny, though, wasn’t it?
CAROLYN: Are you still there?
CAROLYN: Then don’t be.
CAROLYN (as the door closes and the sound of Martin’s footsteps recedes outside): Right. Now, Douglas, listen to me.
DOUGLAS: Yes, Carolyn?
CAROLYN: A double gin and tonic, please, with ice and lemon.
DOUGLAS: Coming right up.
CAROLYN (as Douglas prepares her drink): D’you think that went all right?
DOUGLAS: Very well, I thought. I’m impressed he took four days to tell you. I thought it would be sooner.
CAROLYN: I’m rather insulted he believed I’d fall for that rotten apple juice trick.
DOUGLAS: All in a good cause. Now Martin can return to blissful ignorance; the boys can relax again; and you can start coming back to the pub.
CAROLYN: Where’s the new one going to be?
DOUGLAS: We thought the fire crew break room. The Hose and Hydrant?
CAROLYN: Perfect. Cheers.
(They clink glasses.)