William is pacing
the room. He can't rest, he's a man who suddenly has nothing to do -
at the end of his tether. After months of tireless banter and campaigning,
he has cast his vote and played his hand. What's happening? He wrings
his sweaty palms and wipes them on his newly pressed judo outfit. He
is desperate to know but every time he puts on the radio or TV there's
blares out 'Rule Britannia'.
Ffion is preparing her usual morning gin. "Get that sweetie,"
she squawks coming into the room. William reaches for the phone and
Ffion gives his gleaming dome a loving polish. "Baby, you're shining
today!" she says. "You are truly the beacon to which the country
will surely flock!" She moves off to continue packing the large
boxes with the nice set of china, given to them by that old softie Maggie.
"Hallo?", bleats William into the phone. He is rather proud
of his distinctive baritone - if only those bloody Welsh would vote
for him and he could fulfil his lifelong ambition of joining a gang
of wiry Welshmen in the Abergavenny Working Men's Club Choir.
As the caller speaks, William's expression changes from one of desperation
to disbelief and then a wry grin spreads across his youthful visage.
Tony is looking at
himself in the mirror - again. Cherie sighs as once more, her husband
degenerates into a flurry of frantic hand movements in an effort to
contrive one which translates as 'the gracious statesman'.
"Why are you always so concerned with the way you look, darling?".
Tony rounds on her in a panic.
"Look, y'know. Look, y'know. Look, y'know....!!". With a satisfied,
smug grin, he turns back to the mirror to be confronted by his alter
ego, Jack Nicholson. Cherie has had enough of this incessant gobbledegook.
"You just aren't the idealistic young stud that I fell for all
those years ago!"
Tony is in the middle of a particularly elaborate contortion and is
paying not one bit of attention. "I sometimes think that you only
married me for my money." At the mention of one of his buzzwords,
Tony comes to life.
"With all due respect to the right honorable lady's views, it is
unfair to say that we are a bunch of tight fisted jocks, whose sole
aim is to hoard enough of the public's taxes with which to stuff the
battlebus" Tony's hands are clenched into fists, which he shakes
at his wife, elbows down in a beseeching, Shakespearian manner. "I
shall not trundle over on the creaking channel tunnel link to France
and I shall most definitely not convert all of our ill gotten gains
into the mighty euro..."
Tony's mobile is ringing. The tune is 'Leader of the Pack'. He really
must get it changed to 'We are The Champions' for tomorrow. Cherie has
grabbed her coat and is making for the door.
"Speak!", he barks into the receiver. As the call progresses,
Tony's free hand involuntarily reaches up to scratch his head, to reveal
a growing patch of sweat under his arm.
The crystal tumbler eagerly welcomes a refill and chinks of amber light
dance around inside the heavy glass. He looks at his watch. One o'clock.
No water for Charles this time - not at this late hour. He sips the
neat whisky and sighs contentedly. He glances out of the window at the
gloomy London afternoon and allows himself to daydream.
The announcer's voice rings out across the gathered masses. Yellow bunting
adorns every building on every street and happy school children bound
"Charlie boy/ he's our man/ if he can't do it no-one can!"
Charles steps up to the podium and the silence is deafening. The sun
is shielded by a cloud, and there is no life in his nicotine stained
teeth. Charles reaches for his ubiquitous tumbler but there is nothing
left. Then comes the laughter and the heckling:
"Get off Kennedy! You can't be in charge - you've no idea! Bring
on Blair! Bring on Blair!!"
Charles is broken from his reverie by his mobile ringing. It plays "Donald
Where's Yer Troosers" and always makes him smile.
"Hello - Charles Kennedy speaking." As he listens, Charles
reaches for another cigarette. The conversation continues and the cigarette
remains untouched in the ashtray. Charles is slowly beginning to enjoy
The pub is a typical pub on a typical street. It has typical drinkers
inside, drinking the same old drinks. A pint of bitter for Jim and a
heavy for Dave. Music is playing softly in the background and three
men in slacks and polo shirts are siting talking animatedly at a table
in the corner. A G&T for Tony, a pint for William and a whisky for
Charles. However, on closer inspection, it becomes apparent that the
companions are paying not one bit of attention to what the others are
saying. Each is talking over the other, reciting soundbites like some
sort of crazed mantra.
Finally, Charles has had enough and gets up to leave in disgust.
"You pair are impossible. You have no idea of sensible government
between you. And William, you can forget any idea of a bloody coalition."
The other two pause for a beat and then continue their tirades. Charles
steps outside into the evening air. He pauses to light a cigarette.
He doesn't see the blow coming and slumps uselessly to the ground.
"Right lads - Why don't you two take this little tiff outside.
NOW!", bellows the burly landlord. Some other punters are trying
to separate the two men who are fighting like wildcats.
"I believe passionately in privatisation!!", shouts William.
"But we do it so much better", counters Tony.
"OUT, OUT, OUT!!"
The door opens and the two are pitched out to land in a heap. A dark
figure stirs in the shadows at the side of the pub. WIlliam and Tony
struggle to their feet, each trying to trip the other up, so that he
is first. They continue exactly where they left off.
When the blows come they feel nothing.
Portillo and Brown drag their victims round to where Hughes is bending
over Charles. Portillo clears his throat.
"Right, I think that you chaps should..."
"Shut it you ponce!", growls Brown.
"Right you two!", says Hughes.
And so the party continues.
© Max Tema 2001