IT TAKES FOREVER IF YOU GO BY INERTIA
THE STAGE IS EMPTY EXCEPT FOR A CHAIR AND A TABLE DSR, A FILM SCREEN USL AND A PROJECTOR DSL.
HOUSE LIGHTS GO DOWN AND A BLISTERING WIND SOUND EFFECT COMES IN.
GRADUALLY LIGHTS COME UP ON STAGE AS BEN ENTERS...
BEN: And so I ask, is this how it begins?
Is there no Big Bang? No Hand of God?
No curtain up, no "Let the play commence"?
No morning bell, no starter's gun, no bully off, no champagne swung?
No, for the beginning is begun by a table, a chair, two questions and a cough.
Thus the table....thus the chair.
The questions are these - ORANGES...which came first, the colour or the fruit? And if they named the fruit after the colour, how do they taste to people who are colour blind?
And the cough, thus....Aheeem!
So, with the beginning thus begun, I must begun!
WE SEE A PARTY HOST TURN VERY SINISTER AFTER WHICH BEN EXPLAINS HIS ROLE IN THE STORY . . .
BEN: I was investigating the case of the cannibal party geeks from hell. I'm a cop. This is my bus pass.
I had just been transferred to the murder squad. Previously I'd worked on the Odour squad. I'd arrive at the scene of a crime with my fully trained sniffer dogs, find out what smells there were, go back to the Odour board at the station, match the smells with the criminal and solve the case. Not very exciting and I wanted more glamour so I joined Murder. The trail of the cannibal party geeks had grown cold though - where had they escaped to? So I was given another transfer, this time to Philosophy Division.
You see Cop Department thought that if we could just solve the great mysteries of the universe - why are we here, what is the nature of time - then surely minor mysteries like murders and burglaries would seem easier to crack by comparison. That was the theory, anyhow. My new partner was a strange man. He was an Aquarian which meant he didn't eat meat or vegetables, just water. He had a scar over his left eye and a mole in his back garden. We set to work. I would send a chicken and an egg through the post to him to see which came first. I had a room where I kept an infinite number of monkeys working on an infinite number of typewriters. Well, you can imagine my disappointment when one morning they came up with this..."to be or not to be, that is the questiob£@*&&*()&(*%%^£$%@£". Actually I was going to marry a philosopher, but she said Nietzsche, I said Nietzsche - either, either, Nietzsche, Nietzsche, well we called the whole thing off. But I knew there were plenty more fish in the fishmongers. I ended up going out with a wartcod, possibly the ugliest fish in all the oceans, but she did have a great personality, OK?
AFTER SEARCHING FOR A BETTER JOB, HE FINALLY SETTLES ON ONE. . .
I became of news reporter for a local TV station where I reported on stories where violent death had occurred.
FX OF SIREN, LIGHTS, CHAOS ETC
REPORTER: Yes, well here at the scene, Bob. Here - I'm sorry, I can't quite hear what you're saying. I'm sorry? I think it's because I have my finger in my ear.
That's better. Yes, here at the scene, the police have just led away a suspect in the shooting, he had this statement to make to waiting reporters as he was being led away.
"Mama", he said, "I just killed a man."
When asked how he'd done it he said, "I put a gun against his head, pulled the trigger, now he's dead." "He's dead." "Mama," he continues, "life had just begun," these are his words Bob so we're not sure whether he's referring to his life there, the life of the man he just killed or indeed life as a holistic concept. "But now I've gone and thrown it all away. Mama, oo oooo oo." I think we can assume, Bob, that the suspect is of Italian descent. Why? Well the continued use of the word Mama - and oo, isn't that Italian for where? "I didn't mean to make you cry, if I'm not back again this time tomorrow, carry on, carry on. Nothing really matters." And that's where the statement ends. So back to you in the studio, Bob!
BEN: Carry On, Nothing Really Matters. It was of course the existential Carry On film written by Samuel Beckett in his big gaga writing phase of the late sixties. Only 6 minutes long and not that many great tit jokes in, but it was my favourite of the Carry On oeuvre, and I was interested into why the suspect had mentioned it in his statement.