A MAN FOR ALL REASONS – MONOLOGUE

(JACK IS A FORMER ROYAL MARINE, SEVERELY WOUNDED IN THE FALKLAND CAMPAIGN AND CONFINED TO A WHEELCHAIR. HE IS A PENSIONER, WIDOWED, AND LIVES IN A DINGY GROUND FLOOR COUNCIL FLAT. HE IS CLEANING A SERVICE REVOLVER AT HIS KITCHEN TABLE AND HOLDS IT UP TO THE LIGHT).

Nice ennit. Got it off a dead Argentinian officer on Tumbledown, just before I got taken down myself, and ended up in this (TAPS WHEELCHAIR WITH GUN). Course it’s illegal, but what ain’t nowadays. Anyway might need it later. Things are getting pretty tense. Police were outside couple of hours ago. Dunno who called em;(PAUSES) wasn’t me, but I’ll probably get the blame. Still that’s the least of my worries……..when I’ve got this (WAVES GUN). They found the usual. Drugs party going on in the stairwell, just outside my front door ( POINTS). Dealing, snorting, shagging one another on the stairs, getting pissed. Course they all did a runner when the police arrived. Most of the buggers don’t even live ‘ere. But they’ll be back…..they always do. Police are a bleeding waste of time. Those yobbos have no respect for em.

This used to be a nice block once, when it was mainly for the over 50’s. Then some bright spark in the council decided in the interests of equality, we should become………what was words he used?…….(PAUSES)……..oh yeah I remember…….”a multi-purpose, integrated, synergistic living environment”. In other words, its now a bleeding dumping ground for any crappy tenant they can’t put anywhere else.

            Scrote House that’s where I live now. (PAUSES)..Listen to that……..(POINTS TO DOOR WHERE LOUD VOICES CAN BE HEARD) they’re starting outside my front door again. It’s locked all day, and I go to bed just after 7. Daren’t go out after dark well not unless I’ve got this with me (WAVES GUN).

It’s Friday ennit? Used to have a good mate…..Phil……he would call for me on his way down to the pub on a Friday night. All weathers. Didn’t matter. Used to push me down the road and then bring me back by about 10 o’clock. Perfect. Mind you sometimes coming back was a bit slower………and once or twice we had to get a taxi, cos we was both so pissed. (POINTS TO A PHOTO) Phil died about 2 years ago. Big C………no …..cirrhosis. Funny ain’t it…………get cancer today and everyone’s sympathetic. Get cirrhosis and you’re a bit of a leper. A drain on the NHS…….that’s what they say. Phil was a brilliant bloke. Hard as nails right to the end. A really good friend and I don’t half miss ‘im. He wouldn’t have let me live with that crap (POINTS TO DOOR).

Out there’s the real cancer. That bloody lot. (NOISE OF LOUD VOICES FROM EXTERIOR) Can you hear them now? They’re starting. One of the ringleaders is Big Mouth, lives on the top floor. Big in size, and big in mouth, that’s him, but deep down he’s a coward. You can tell. I was an RSM in the Royal Marines, and if we had new recruits, we could suss out in a matter of days those who were going to make it. They had character, bottle, determination. Not like them out there…..(POINTS TO DOOR AGAIN).

Went out to them last night……..couldn’t stand it any more. Asked them politely to keep the noise down. They laughed at me. No respect at all. No understanding. So in the end I got down to their level. Said to em “Why don’t you lot piss off”…..that’s when big mouth showed up. Darren’s his name. In front of them all he grabbed my wheelchair, shouted in my ear “Fuck off you silly old bastard” then shoved it back inside, with me in it. Humiliating. He wouldn’t have dared touch it when I wore the green beret. Bet they’re still laughing about it now…………..(NOISE OF DOOR FLAP MOVING) wait a minute what was that noise? (POINTS TO DOOR, THEN WHEELS TOWARDS IT)……..oh you rotten bastards…..oh Christ………see what they’ve done now? (POINTS)..pushed dog shit through my letter box…..well I hope it’s dog shit not something else. Cor it stinks……..and I can’t get down and clean it up till the Home Help comes later. (GRABS A PLASTIC BOTTLE OFF THE SINK UNIT AND WHEELS HIMSELF TO THE DOOR AREA SPLASHES LIQUID AROUND THEN RETURNS)…….disinfectant….that’s the best I can do until I get help. Feel like puking.

Rang the council again this morning………told me to ring the police. They said it was a housing problem. Housing said it was an ASBO thing and they needed the police to help. All passing the buck. They make an industry out of it.

Meanwhile, I’m the one sitting here in this shit hole trying to live my life, not them. No one will exchange with me. Can’t blame em…….this estate is notorious and apparently there’s such a shortage of housing they can’t give me a transfer………(PAUSES) probably gone to all those illegal immigrants……………….(PAUSES) but I’ve got my own solution……..it’s called Plan B. (PICKS UP GUN AGAIN AND RESUMES CLEANING IT).

Yeah Plan B………that means Plan Bigmouth; (PAUSES) Darren; the one who took the piss and shoved me back in my wheelchair. Not the first time he’s had a go at me. Gave my wife Sonia a hard time just before she died of cancer about a year ago. (POINTS TO PHOTO) She was a lovely woman. Never stopped laughing right till the very end. Laughing, smiling. She could find fun in most things. Even living here. Well till Darren moved in that is.

Sonia was born in Jamaica. We met when I was on an exercise out there with the Yanks, then I went back on leave and bingo, we hit it off. Married for over 30 years. Loved her from the day we met. Funny ennit, Darren’s black but he called my wife a “white honky”. Really upset her for days. I was going up to see him, but the bloody lifts were broken down again, and Sonia asked me not to. Said it would only make it worse. She’s the one who had to walk past them every day.

(POINTS TO THE CEILING) Darren’s the ringleader you know. The wheeler dealer, who organises all the other twats. Most of them are frightened of him; he’s not big……just nasty. Been on the top floor for about 2 years, and this place has gone downhill ever since. I’ve met a lot of people in my life, and I don’t normally take an instant dislike to them…….but he’s different. There’s no spark in him…….no…………no decency…….nothing nice at all. No respect for anyone or anything……….just aggro……….pure evil………that’s what he is……….and nothing will change………will it?

(NOISE OF KNOCKING TO DOOR) Can you hear that………..they’re knocking my door. They think I’m asleep, and they hope I’ll wheel myself out and go straight into the dog shit. Wouldn’t be surprised if they ain’t looking through the letterbox……sniggering…………(ANGRILY) the bastards. (PAUSES)………..there……..they are…………told yah (LONG PAUSE)……….right that’s enough.

(WHEELS TO DRAWER IN SINK UNIT. TAKES OUT GREEN BERET AND MEDALS.   FIXES MEDALS TO CHEST, PUTS BERET ON AND ADJUSTS IT, THEN HAVING PICKED UP GUN, WHEELS HIMSELF TO FRONT DOOR. (PAUSES) THEN SALUTES DOOR BEFORE LIFTING UP FLAP AND SHOUTING THROUGH LETTERBOX)

“Is Darren there…..tell him I want to speak to him. What about? Tell him I think he’s a black twat and a woofter” (PAUSES, PEERS THROUGH LETTER BOX)

“Hello Darren…………..present for yah” (LIFTS REVOLVER, AND FIRES SEVERAL SHOTS THROUGH LETTER BOX. SEVERAL SCREAMS FROM EXTERIOR. JACK WHEELS HIMSELF BACK TO TABLE AND PUTS GUN DOWN).

Right that should sort a transfer out. Job done.

(PICKS UP MOBILE PHONE AND DIALS)

Police?

END OF MONOLOGUE.

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