(A café. An open mic is going on and the previous act has just finished. The next act is about to be announced.)
Presenter: Thank you very much, Johnny. Next up we have Davis.
(Applause. Davis makes his way nervously up to the mic and awkwardly takes a seat with a keyboard.)
Davis: Uh, hi. Um, is this thing on? Yeah? Good. So, one very familiar type of song is the Christmas carol. Although it is perhaps a bit out of season being the middle of summer. However, I'm informed by my "disk jockey" friends - of whom I have none, in order to get a song popular by Christmas time, you have to start plugging it well in advance. So here goes. It has always seemed to me after all, that Christmas, with its spirit of giving, us all a wonderful opportunity each year to reflect on what we all most sincerely and deeply believe in.
I refer of course, to money. And yet none of the Christmas carols that you hear on the radio or in the street, even attempt to capture the true spirit of Christmas as we celebrate it in the United Kingdom: that is to say the commercial spirit. So I should like to offer the following Christmas carol for next year, as being perhaps a bit more appropriate.
Christmas time is here, by golly,
Disapproval would be folly,
Deck the halls with hunks of holly,
Fill the cup and don't say "when."
Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens,
Mix the punch, drag out the dickens,
Even though the prospect sickens,
Brother, here we go again.
On christmas day you can't get sore,
Your fellow man you must adore,
There's time to rob him all the more
The other three hundred and sixty-four.
Relations, sparing no expense'll
Send some useless old utensil,
Or a matching pen and pencil.
"just the thing I need! how nice!"
(Spoken) Actually I did rather well myself, this last Christmas. The nicest present I received was a gift certificate "good at any hospital for a lobotomy". Rather thoughtful.
It doesn't matter how sincere it
Is, nor how heartfelt the spirit,
Sentiment will not endear it,
What's important is the price.
Hark the herald tribune sings,
Advertising wondrous things.
God rest ye merry, merchants,
May you make the yuletide pay.
Angels we have heard on high
Tell us to go out and buy!
So let the raucous sleigh bells jingle,
Hail our dear old friend Kris Kringle,
Driving his reindeer across the sky.
Don't stand underneath when they fly by.
(Applause. Davis makes his way to a small table where Jack, Leanne and Martin are sat.)
Presenter: Thank you for that, Davis. Very clever. Now then our next act is –
Leanne: Well done, Davis. That was so good!
Jack: Yeah, nice! I definitely want a copy of it. I want to blast it at church and watch the vicars eyes pop out of his head in rage! What do you think Martin?
Martin: (Absentmindedly) Yeah, sure.
(The others exchange knowing looks.)
Leanne: Come on, Mart. It’ll be okay.
Martin: I just can’t help thinking how much Agnes would have liked this.
Jack: Forget her, mate. There are loads of other beautiful women here. (Leanne whacks him) But obviously you’re the most beautiful, Leanne.
Leanne: Jacks right. You’ll find someone else.
Martin: I suppose.
Jack: And anyway, we’re here for Davis, not your sad love life.
Davis: It’s okay. We’ve all been where Martin is.
Martin: No, Davis, it’s not okay. Jack’s right. We’re for you, not me. You did really well. It was very clever. You should be proud.
Davis: Thanks, mate.
Leanne: Right. I need to pee.
Martin: Thanks for sharing.
Leanne: You’re welcome. (She exits)
Davis: Seriously, though, are you okay.
Martin: Yeah. I’m good.
Davis: She tricked us all.
Jack: Just pick someone without, you know, next time, okay.
(Leanne enters accompanied by Mel. Leanne sits casually next to Jack.)
Jack: Interesting time peeing?
Leanne: No, not really.
Jack: Hm. Who’s your friend?
Leanne: Oh, this is Mel. Mel, meet Martin, Davis and my beautiful boyfriend Jack. We got chatting in the toilet and she said that she really liked Davis’ song so I invited her to come and meet him.
(They boys greet Mel)
Jack: How does that happen?
Leanne: How does what happen?
Jack: You go for a piss and come back with a friend. What happens in girls toilets?
Leanne: That is a mystery you will never know.
Davis: Well it’s always nice to meet a fan – or assume it is as I haven’t met any yet. Why don’t you join us? You here with anyone?
Mel: No. I’ve just moved to the area and I haven’t exactly had a chance to make any friends yet.
Davis: Well now you have five, although you might not want to be friend with us after you get to know us.
Leanne: Shut up, Davis.
Mel: I’m sure you’re not all that bad. I liked you’re song, by the way.
Jack: So what’s your story?
Jack: Well no one just moves somewhere new for no reason at all, unless you’re incredibly rich. You’re not incredibly rich are you?
Jack: Too bad. So again, what’s your story.
Mel: Pretty basic. Parents split and I had to choose one to live with so I picked my mum. We moved here for a “fresh start” and all that shit. Kind of regretting it now. I am not looking forward to starting a new school with only one year left.
Martin: Sorry about your parents.
Leanne: So what school are you enrolled in?
Mel: Shatlington Secondary.
Leanne: That’s our school!
Mel: Really? That is so weird!
Leanne: I know, right? We are going to be best friends, I can just tell.
Mel: Do you go there to, Davis?
Davis: Yeah. We all do. Most of the people in this café go to Shatlington. Perks of living in a small town, everyone knows everyone.
Mel: Maybe we could get to know each other better? Go for a drink sometime?
Leanne: Oh, honey. Davis would love to have a drink with you. If it was in a gay bar, that is.
Jack: Martin on the other hand is as straight as a poker.
Martin: Jack, what are you doing?
Leanne: Oh yes! You two would be perfect for each other. What do you say, Mel? Do you want to go on a date with Martin?
Mel: Sure. I mean, only if you want to.
Leanne: Yay! It’s settled. Mel and Martin are going on a date. Oh, it’s just too cute!
(Leanne continues to babble as the set changes and everyone leaves the stage apart from Martin and Mel)