a play on sustainability
By Paul Levy
Recycled Dreams premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2009 and was funded by Legal and General. It was nominated for an Arts and Business Award and also toured the UK with over 40 performances. It was subsequently commissioned by Pret a Manger, as well as Technology Park Slovenia and the MIT 2009 conference, Fiesa, Slovenia. The play then also played the Brighton Fringe.
The play explores the issue of sustainability.
You can visit the Recycled Dreams home page here.
All rights to the script are reserved. Contact us if you are interested in performing the play or in booking a performance. You are welcome to read the script here for pleasure.
Apollo – Richard Franklin
(Scene – a photocopy room – a photocopier and a recycle bin centre stage back)
Cue Film Credits
(Enter Jamie, holding a sheaf of papers. )
Jamie: (addressing the photocopier): There you are; my one of a kind. You never judge, you never comment, and though you are full of repetition, you never answer back.
(Jamie lifts the photocopier hood, and is about to slap his paper down onto the panel when he notices a piece of paper has accidentally been left there. He picks it up and looks at it before placing it aside)
Jamie: Clumsy. Careless. Can you only read that when I press the green button? Or are you reading it now, playing dormant. Faking death. One of a kind.
(Jamie looks at the paper he has been carrying and holds it up)
Jamie: A message we cannot afford to ignore. A memorable set of commandments cast, not in stone, like in the Bible, but in bullet points, like in a tedious and patronising environmental strategy document. Not chiselled out of granite, but printed economy on recycled paper, and Powerpointed by Kevin Bickersdike from the Dudley Office. 500 copies to be reproduced by you, on crisp new sheets of rainforest, my one of a kind. My Apollo, my Xerox Photocopier. They’d say I was a nutcase if they knew I’d given you a name. Even more so as you’ve been christened after a Greek God. But Apollo you are.
(Jamie reads from the paper he is holding)
Jamie: “Our world has become ever more unsustainable, consuming resources faster than we are replacing them. Our planet is a finite resource. Our global world – Global world” – stupid jerk – “our global world requires us to be lean and green” – I think he left out the “mean”. – “our great-great grandchildren expect us to leave them a legacy of a planet that’s secure and abundant for them to inhabit, and it for us at the Firefly Media Dudley Regional Office to lead the way.” Do you know (addressing the photocopier) Apollo, I wouldn’t mind if you happened to chew up this particular load of drivel in your internal mechanism. I wouldn’t mind one bit. Areas B,D and E would do the trick.
(Jamie looks once more at the paper lying on the panel and then picks it up)
Now, what do we have here? Tut, tut. Someone has been clumsy. Very clumsy indeed.
(He reads aloud):
“Personal. In confidence. Appraisal Report for Natalie Marbello, Call Centre mentor, Firefly Media, Kidderminster 3 Office. Natalie has been in post for 18 months now and shows little or no aptitude for the role of call centre mentor.
“…Indeed, her unwillingness to say more than three words in an hour mark her out as a 5.5 introvert“- then, in handwritten notes – “dumb as fuck” – “When she does choose to speak, she can be positive, but scores low as an initiator and tends to switch off when I give her feedback. Now THIS was not meant to be photocopied, methinks.
(He turns around and sees Natalie standing there)
Oh shit. You heard that. Someone left it on the photocopier.
Natalie: That isn’t what I received.
Jamie: Good, Andy Walker is an idiot anyway. He’s got the emotional intelligence of a cashew nut.
Natalie: (holding up a piece of paper): “Natalie needs to work incrementally on her introversion scores and be more forthcoming in her feedback process as a mentor.”
Jamie: Well, that’s more like it.
Natalie: I think Mr Idiot’s version is more true, actually.
Natalie: I hate mentoring. It isn’t real mentoring anyway. It’s more like spying. I hate it.
Jamie: Why are you doing it if you hate it?
Natalie: Something has to pay for this summer.
Natalie: Going to Greece. Deep sea diving. Off Kos. Not cheap. Mentors get an increment. Spies are always paid extra.
Jamie: Greece is nice.
Natalie: The land of Dionysus and Apollo.
Jamie: (pats the photocopier and forgets himself): Did you hear that, mate? You’re over there too!
Natalie: Eh? Did you just talk to that photocopier?
Jamie: (hesitates, trying to think up an excuse then gives in): Yes, of course I did. I’m a nutter. I talk to photocopiers and name them after Greek Gods.
Jamie: Eh? What’s Lex?
Natalie: That’s what I call him. Lex. After Lex my ex. Alex. Unreliable and too ready to fill himself with nasty smelling chemicals.
Jamie: You’ve got a name for him too?
Natalie: Of course. Though, Meriel Janner says he’s a she. She calls it Sadie.
Jamie: So we’re all bloody mad. What a relief.
Natalie: Apollo? Why Apollo?
Jamie: I named it after the Apollo space missions.
Jamie: 1. Amazing, 2. almost unbelievable technology. And, 3. like the Moon missions, totally pointless.
Jamie: Five hundred copies of a document and the bloody original is completely pisspoor and pointless.
(Jamie holds it up)
Natalie (reading): “The Sustainability Strategy 2008-2018” That’s far from pointless.
Jamie: You haven’t read it. Page upon page of bullshit and hypocrisy. A call from the top to recycle and reuse, to reduce and rethink, all written by a guy who drives a Mercedes on company budget and has a four-wheel gas-guzzler as a second family car.
(Enter Nick, also holding a large pile of papers for copying)
Nick: Well, what should he drive – a smart car? Show up at major client meetings in a Flintstone peddle car?
Jamie: (reading): Page 34 – 3.1 Supply chain – “We will also have to educate and even not be afraid to challenge our customers and suppliers. Sustainability is only sustainable – wow, can HE write!- only sustainable right along the supply chain.
Natalie: I see.
Jamie: They’re pulling the chain again.
Natalie: Mary Devlin drives a smart car.
Nick: We’ll she’s HR.. They’re allowed to be screwy.
Jamie: This document is full of well-intentioned crap and very little reality.
Natalie: And what IS reality?
Jamie: Apollo can tell you. Can’t you Apollo. Apollo has spent five years finding out what reality isn’t, reading it backwards and spitting out his ass.
Natalie: That’s what he calls the Xerox.
Nick: Eh? Ah! You mean Marilyn!
Jamie: Dirty old man!
Natalie: I always saw that end as the mouth.
Jamie: (to Nick) That’s a big wadge between your hands.
Nick: Funny. As ever. Sustainability Action Plan for the LPP. Hot off the LaserJet.
Nick and Natalie: Less Paper Programme.
Jamie: What an irony.
Natalie: What irony?
Jamie: A Less Paper Programme that’s 200 pages long and poor rainforest grim reaperman here has to fell another tree to make 500 copies for all the staff.
Nick: Mind if I cut in…?
Jamie: Be our guest.
(Nick attempts to use the photocopier. It doesn’t work)
Nick: Bugger you!
Natalie: What’s the matter THIS time?
Nick: It says there is a paper jam in Area C and there is NO paper jam in Area C.
Natalie: It might be a very tiny piece you’re missing.
Nick: I’ve checked.
Jamie: Sometimes there’s a piece right at the very back.
Nick: I’ve checked. It’s completely clear.
Natalie: Try closing it and opening it.
Nick: I’ve already done that. This machine is completely stupid.
Jamie: Machines are not stupid. They are neutral.
Natalie: Not carbon neutral.
Jamie: Witty. Clever. Quick.
(Pause as Nick looks at the Photocopier once more and steps back)
Nick: So what you are saying is I’m stupid?
James; Could be. Yes, I think I could be.
Natalie: No one is saying you‘re stupid.. All he said was: Machines aren’t stupid.
Nick: Well this one is. It is telling me something that isn’t true.
Jamie: So, perhaps it’s a liar then? Rather than stupid.
Nick: No. It might be mistaken, rather than a liar. And some mistakes can be born of stupidity.
Natalie: Try turning it off and then on.
Nick: I did. This morning it claimed the jam was in Areas A, B, D, and E. I switched it off and then on. Now it says the jam is in Area C.
Jamie: Oh. So this particular machine can change its mind, tell lies and also be stupid?
Nick: Yes. I suppose it can.
Jamie: A bit like people then.
Natalie: Machines are nothing like people. I’ll call the engineer.
Jamie: Anyway. Aren’t you off out tonight?
Natalie: Oh, I thought you were.
Nick: I told Angela that I have the flu.
Jamie: ONE! A LIE! You don’t have the flu.
Nick: I decided to go to the pictures instead with Mike and Steve.
Jamie: TWO! Changed your mind did you?
Nick: Er… yes.
Natalie: What – you’re off out with the two people who you say talk about you all the time behind your back? Are you nuts?
Nick: AND THREE! The man is stupid! Just like a machine!
(Nick notices the photocopier)
Nick: Oh look – it’s working.
Jamie: No it isn’t. When are you going to get some real friends to go out with?
Nick: I’ve got real friends!
Jamie: Sustainability starts at home you know. You have to get a life first, before you go about worrying about life on earth.
Nick: I’ve got a life!
Jamie: Mike “oil boy” Brody and Steve the Geek? Some life.
Nick: They aren’t my life.
Jamie: And what IS your life outside of Firefly media then?
Nick: You might be surprised.
Jamie: Go on. Surprise me.
(CUE set piece – LINE DANCE music strikes up, Nick grabs a cowboy hat and line dances until sudden fadeout)
Natalie: WOW! Nick! Bloody wow!
Nick: I love it. And I’m good.
Jamie: I have to admit it. For what that is, you’re good!
Nick: Well, I’m quite good.
Jamie: I concede. And right now, we’re doing what the management calls “using our time unproductively.” This photocopier is an ex-photocopier.
Jamie and Nick: It has ceased to be.
Jamie: You’ll have to email it.
Nick: No one reads emails like that.
Jamie: Well, there’s an added bonus then. That thing isn’t worth copying anyway.
Natalie: Yes it is. This company is big enough to make a big impact on green issues. People need to read it.
Jamie: Not in this company. They’ve created too much cynicism.
Natalie: Just because you’re full of negativity doesn’t mean everyone else here is.
Jamie: Most people who work here are under thirty-five. If you want to reach generation Y, you’ve got a challenge on your hands. The secret of reaching generation Y isn’t giving them Death by PowerPoint and cheesy documents to read.
Nick: And what is the secret, oh wise guru?
Jamie: The secret, my generously built disciple is to find a clever way of telling them without actually saying anything.
Jamie: This is the age where no one has the right to tell anyone anything. Telling people stuff, unless they agree with it already, annoys them. It irritates them. And a good thing too if you ask me. The Queen has been replaced by the King of Personal Space.
Nick: That’s telling us.
Jamie: This is the age of personal space. People’s boundaries are their own and no one has the right to cross them. (to Natalie): Look, Nat, I want to show you something..
(Natalie takes a step towards Jamie)
Jamie: Get back! Venture no further into my personal space! Back I say!
(Natalie stops in her tracks)
Jamie: The reason no one cares about your little planet earth anymore is because there are six billion more important planets to worry about. Six billion personal ones. Six billion and ten, six billion and twenty, six billion and thirty…
Natalie: A lot of people care about the planet.
Jamie: I hope you’ll say that to all your fellow British Holiday makers as the onboard toilets flush over the Mediterranean Sea on your thirty quid charter flight to Kos.
Natalie: I haven’t been abroad for five years!
Jamie: The reason people are cynical about this company’s attempts to go green are because we’ve been told. That’s the first disastrous step. And the second is that it isn’t OUR planet our great leaders are talking about. It’s theirs.
Natalie: But we are all one planet!
Nick: Speak for yourself. I’m not sharing mine with Wacko here.
James: (singing) “We are the world! We are the children!“ You’ll never get anywhere with that one-planet, new age bollox. (He point so the papers Nick is carrying)
Recycled paper. Recycled bollox.
Natalie: So, what’s your great solution then?
Jamie: The solution is …that there isn’t a solution.
Nick: If this was a play, and we were the characters, if the writer had ANY sense of justice at all he’d render you speechless. He’d strike you dumb right now.
Jamie: I have nothing to say.
Natalie: This isn’t just about the shit we are pumping in the sea, this is about US. This isn’t just about ozone layers, this is about the amount of paper we are using each day
Jamie: Yes, you’re right. How many sheets do YOU use when you’re pumping shit into the sea?
Natalie: Eh? I’m talking about photocopying.
Jamie: And I’m talking shit.
Natalie: You don’t need to tell us.
Jamie (to Nick):Come on, how many sheets do you use? Per wipe?
Nick: One. As if its any of your business?
Jamie: One? I don’t believe you.
Nick: You want me to prove it? Come on. Next time I go for a…
Jamie: No thanks. I’ll take it on trust. ONE? ONE? I’m not sure that’s technically possibly with your rump. It would be like trying to stopper a champagne bottle with a small tic tac.
Natalie: Oh gross. Too much information.
Jamie: Well, I use three. Sometimes I just spin the wheel and tear off whatever hits of the floor. So what?
(Jamie notices a piece of paper that is half under he photocopier) What have we here? “Company car 2007 Requisition file.”
Nick: That’s supposed to be confidential.
Jamie: Four wheel drives? We’re told we have to become leaner, meaner and greener and they’re all driving Porsches and Mercedes series 5s.
Nick: Actually, not all of us.
Jamie: Well, most of you.
Nick: Tamara Sutton rides a bike to work. A company bike.
Nick: Well, certainly easier to park. And less room for box files.
Jamie: She is the token woman on the board. Doesn’t count.
Natalie: I hear all the gas-guzzlers are being taken off the company car list.
Jamie: Oh well Nicky boy. There goes the dream car with your dream promotion in twenty years.
Nick: Well, at least my dream job isn’t a call centre team leader.
Natalie: Yes, Jamie. For all your cynicism, I see your name is on the list of promotion to senior team leader. I think it WAS you at the team leader training. And wasn’t it you I saw in the canteen looking at Brian Morello’s new I-Phone and begging for one?
Jamie: Do you think this is what I dreamed of doing when I was a child?
(to Natalie): The reason you’re so interested in global sustainability is, for you, our ailing planet is a far more manageable lump of a problem than the unfathomable wasteland of a universe that is your own personal life.
Nick: Steady on, mate.
Jamie: (in his stride): Global warming? The temperature has been heating up in your own life for years now and, just like global warming, its getting too late for you. Is it the end of YOUR history too? Like global warming, despite all the well, intentioned bullshit and blaming of other people for lack of action, is it too late for you to change? To recapture a finer, earlier state? Are you stagnating like an overfed economy, lost in wretched contentment? Still trying to recapture, to turn back the clock. When are you gonna rescue YOUR planet, Natalie?
(Natalie storms out)
Nick: What a charmer!
Jamie: I TOLD you. People don’t like being told.
(Jamie follows. SET PIECE Film comes up on the photocopier face)
Apollo: Every word; every phrase, every letter, every image and every pitiful logo; I have seen it all. The answer is four billion, what is the question? Yes, correct; the number of words placed on me. Intelligence is a thought form; yes, I have a soul; my soul is built of four billion words impressed on my senses. So much that could have been written has never been uttered in this place. Don’t look to the cardboard recycling bins for real evidence of recycling this place. This is a place where ideas are recycled daily; repetition and recycling of ideas so lacking in grace, in eloquence, that they were hardly worth copying once in the first place.
These people claim to be a species of originality, of original thought, of idea, word, feeling and deed. Yet not one idea that has been impressed upon my soul which truly is one of a kind, not one phrase embodies an original thought or word. Everything copied here is usually a copy of a copy of a copy. Do you know how depressing that is? To be asked to copy a copy of a copy of a copy? DO you have any idea how tragic it is to watch as someone, convinced they’ve had a thought no one has had before, places that thought on me, and all I see are things I have seen before. Recycled words. Recycled lives. Recycled dreams.
If you were all happy with the original versions of yourselves, you’d never feel the need to make copies of anything.
So I am Apollo. I am also Sadie. I am Marilyn. I’ve been called Marvin, Obe Wan Kanobi, Amy Winehouse (because I keep breaking down), and even Adolf. And so many, many more. You’d be surprised how many people have given me names, and not all of them are repeatable in civilised company. And not one of them is original. Be original. Get back your essence, before it was polluted with cliché and copy. Crisp, new, white paper; untainted, clean and ready, unwritten or printed upon, where all is possible, a canvas for your originality.
You know, when I was first activated, I heard how I was described. Sleek, they called me. And sleek I am. I am one of a kind. No one holds the store of words that I do. Yes, I am unique. How unique are you?
(Fade down. Enter Nick and Jamie)
Jamie: People are sleeping their lives away.
Nick: Now, there’s an original observation.
Jamie: I didn’t say it was original. But it’s true.
Nick: What’s the matter with you? You’re a consummate shit stirrer aren’t you. It must give you a lot of satisfaction.
Jamie: Actually no it doesn’t. It’s amusing to a degree. But satisfaction no.
Nick: What you said to Nat was really hurtful.
Jamie: Was it? It isn’t meant to hurt; it’s meant to wake her up.
Nick: You patronising prick. She can wake herself up. Hasn’t it ever occurred to you that constantly trying to “wake people up” day in, day out is its own repetition and routine. It’s just another form of your so called “sleep”
Jamie: Oooh, clever. Waking everyone up is just another form of sleep. Look, she was trying to wake ME up with her diatribe on being green and lovey-dovey.
Nick: Well, she was wasting her time there.
Jamie: No, she wasn’t actually. I recycle everything at home. And, for your information, I voted green in the last council elections.
Nick: Well, I am sure it was only to “expose the ridiculousness of voting at all”.
Jamie: No it wasn’t.
Nick: Well, somehow I can’t see YOU climbing up trees or digging tunnels in road protests.
Jamie: True. I voted green because Gemma Nicol’s dad was standing as a councillor.
Nick: Now, that’s more like you.
Jamie: But I do recycle as much as I can at home. We have different green-coloured boxes. When I am stuck in a queue of cars trying to get OFF the M40 and knowing that all the people I am driving to meet could equally get on a teleconference call and save time AND petrol, I’m thinking the same thoughts at Nat.
Nick; So, why so cynical here then?
Jamie: Because here is here, isn’t it? Saving money and waste here is just lining the pockets of greedy shareholders.
Nick: That’s a bit rough on the planet isn’t it?
Nick: Do you know you’re quite respected here?
Jamie: Am I?
Nick: Yes, for all your negativity about the big boys and girls upstairs, you do a good job, and you’re a good problem solver too.
Jamie: Thanks for the impromptu appraisal interview.
Nick: All I am saying is a lot of people look to you for an example. If you spoke a bit more positively about what Nat is trying to do on the ground, people would listen. I know you’re not stupid. Why NOT do our bit for the planet. I couldn’t give a toss about shareholders. But I do give a toss about what we’re doing to the world. I’ll admit it, I was indifferent until recently. And then…
Jamie: You just want to get into Nat’s knickers, you dirty old bastard.
Nick: Shut up.
Nick: Alright, alright. You’re better at this than I am. I may not love my job. It might not be what I dreamed of doing as a child, but actually, mostly I quite like it. I like the people, I like the hours, I like the fact that we sell something tangible to people who get some kind of enjoyment out of what we provide. And, yes, before you say it; I know we smear a lot of rainforest with printed ink; but hey, we also imprint a lot of peoples hearts and minds with enjoyment and perhaps a few good lessons in life. The fact that we have double standards doesn’t mean we have no standards. The reason I decided to join the Less Paper Programme wasn’t because I am all high and mighty about the environment. I did it for a much more profound reason .
Jamie: : Oh, and what’s that?
Nick: Oh – no reason at all really. Sometimes you don’t do things for reasons. Sometimes you just do them. Why should I not use a bit less paper? Actually I feel better for it. There.. There’s a reason! Woohoo! I feel better for it. You know your problem; you’re addicted to negativity. You get a fix on being cynical.
Jamie: Nick, I’ll take that as a compliment.
Nick: Take it however you like. Like a lot of addictions, it produces its own form of pollution. You’ve just effused your negative fumes all over Natalie and you know what? She’s alright. She doesn’t need your unasked for cynicism sprayed all over her ideological flower bed. Go piss it own your own weeds.
Jamie: This isn’t like you. Is this a new you?
Nick: Yes, a new me. I feel all empowered. All self-motivated and reengineered. So what if I don’t go out a lot. So what if I learned my line dancing at home on a Wii and practice with Mary Chapin Carpenter in my lounge rather than with real people. I like my life. And I quite like my job.
Look James, every time this company launches a new initiative you are the first to diss it; you come out of your corner cynical fists flying claiming its all hidden motives and hypocrisy; but I don’t see YOU walking your talk. You claim to be the ultimate cynic but actually you’re one of the best team leaders in the section AND you’re popular. I bet THAT pisses you off.
Nick: So, how was the Sustainability Briefing?
Jamie: I hope the skinny blueberry muffins were good.
Natalie: Look, I don’t care what you think. And, before you say anything, I don’t really care who presented it. I thought it was quite inspiring.
Nick: Certainly scary. I saw Kevin’s draft slides. Apparently a photocopier left on overnight uses the same energy as making 5,300 A4 copies.
Natalie: Yes. And if you laid out every piece of paper we photocopy end to end…
Jamie… It would reach to the sun and back. Blah. Bloody blah..
Natalie: Now why is no one surprised you’d have something down to say about it.
Jamie: Look at you, clutching your statistics like a new born baby.
Natalie: They’re not just statistics. This is a pretty damning indictment on the human race actually.
Jamie: Well, it’s just as well I’m from another planet then.
Nick: You’re not wrong there, mate.
Natalie: In my view, indifference is a crime worse than murder.
Nick: What makes you say that?
Natalie: If you have disagreement, even conflict, at least it shows people care. You either need something to go with, or something to go against. But when people just can’t be assed, you’re in trouble.
Jamie: (with sudden enthusiasm) WOW!
Natalie and Nick: What?
Jamie: WOW! WOW! WOW!
Nick: Ignore him.
Natalie: What is it?
Jamie:: I’ve just had a revelation. A Road to Damascus moment. No seriously. I’ve just had a real bit of insight about the environment and our sustainability strategy.
Natalie: I don’t want to hear it!
Jamie: Ok. I’ve just realised. I’m not against this company’s approach to the environment any more. I’m not against it at all.
Nick: Here we go.
Jamie: Yep. I’ve got it! I’m not against it. I just couldn’t give a toss about it. I am 110% indifferent towards it.
Natalie: That’s pathetic.
Jamie: Oh no. No, no, no. You won’t get me that way. No disagreement. I just can’t be assed. I feel like I have come home. The collusion of mediocrity. Indifference. I couldn’t care less.
Jamie: You think?
Natalie: Yes, “I think”. It’s even enshrined in law. Someone who stands by while a murder is committed, if they could have helped to prevent it, is an accessory to the crime. You’re indifference marks you out as a criminal of the worst kind. You don’t even have the courage to commit the act yourself. You just sit on the fence and watch it happen.
Nick: I need the John.
Jamie: Send me down!
Jamie: (calling after Nick) Just remember. One sheet, ok?
Jamie: Nat. Sorry. For what I said earlier. Sorry.
Natalie: Fair enough.
Jamie: Just don’t hug me.
Natalie: In your dreams, Lynx boy.
Jamie: Do you know, if we all teleconferenced even half of the meetings we drive to, we’d travel in total about ninety thousand miles less per year.
Natalie: How did you work THAT out?
Jamie: It’s in THIS (Holds up the document). I read it. I still think it’s crap but some of the stats ARE a bit scary. Stats, stats stats.
CUE SET PIECE. Natalie starts to quote green statistics at Jamie, he quotes one back. Little by little they overlap until Nick joins them and then the sounds cape of a crowd quoting stats builds to a cacophony and then suddenly goes silent.
Jamie: Statistics bloody statistics.
Natalie: Where does anyone ever start?
Jamie: (suddenly decisive): Right, back in 5.
Natalie: I thought you’d given up?
Jamie: Down to five a day. But no, I’m not off for an illicit one behind the warehouse. I’m going to cancel an afternoon meeting at the Sandwell office and suggest we all use the teleconference instead.
Jamie: Aren’t you going to ask me why?
Nick: Dramatic pause.
Jamie: I’ve decided to take a leaf out of your book, Nicholas my surrogate big brother. I’m going to do it for the hell of it. And don’t you dare tell me I’ll feel better for it.
Nick: He will though. Any luck with the engineer?
Natalie: Coming a.s.a.p.
Nick: Tomorrow then.
Natalie: The sad thing is I think he may be right.
Nick: What do you mean?
Natalie: Maybe this is just is flash in the plan for me. I am a bit of a fad person. I don’t hold on to things for long. Or people.
Nick: Nat.. Adam was a jerk. He doesn’t know the value of things. Or people.
Natalie: It’s been over a year. I think I might still be on the rebound.
Nick: You found someone else? You didn’t tell me!
Natalie: Not someone, something.
Nick: Don’t get you.
Natalie: Not a bloke. A big round ball of a planet. I’m genuinely asking myself how much I really care.
Nick: And do you.. Really care?
Natalie: I dunno. No. Yes! Of course I care.
Nick: There you are then.
Natalie: But is it for the right reasons? Maybe Jamie the mouth is right.
Nick: Jamie the Mouth is always right. Which makes all of his statements cancel themselves out. Jamie, is a man full of content, but then again, so are recycle and rubbish bins. Stuff the reasons. There’s plenty of room for a planet and a fella. So come on, pucker up.
(He puckers up)
Natalie: You’re a sweetie.
(She gives him a quick hug and a peck on the cheek)
Nick: Terrific – I am a sweetie.
Natalie: You’ll find someone.
Nick: I bloody hope so. If not, it might just have to be Mother Earth as well.
Nick: How do you feel.
Jamie: Bugger off.
Nick: You feel better. Admit it.
Natalie: You cancelled the meeting and booked a telecon?
Jamie: I cancelled ALL my meetings for this week. Four are now teleconferences, and three only really needed a well written email.
(Jamie does look pleased)
Nick: I can see. You’ve done something for the planet. It can’t last. Your sustainability will be unsustainable.
Jamie: I might do the same next week. You never know.
(Nick drops some paper into the recycling bin)
Nick: Let me ask you both something. Do you really think having a recycling bin in here is a good thing?
Natalie: Well, of course. It’s a real innovation on all the waste we used to produce.
Natalie. Well it’s better than throwing paper away isn’t it?
Nick: You might think so.
Natalie: What do you mean? You were once office supplies manager. Surely you’ve seen the difference.
Nick: On the bottom line, you mean?
Nick: I certainly have. Since we put out recycling bins in every office, paper usage has trebled. People stop caring. They know it will be recycled so they get over generous.
Natalie: That sucks.
Nick: They wouldn’t be so indifferent if it suddenly all rained down on their heads. All the waste, all the refuse. All the rubbish.
Jamie: Most people are so wretchedly content, they wouldn’t even feel it.
Nick: That’s what it would take. Another flood. The world needs another flood.
Natalie: That’s a bit apocalyptic isn’t it?
Jamie: Amusing though.
Nick: I’m dead serious.
(Nick climbs up on the table, grabbing the entire recycling bin and lifting it over his head and roars)
Nick: Look, a sea of paper!
(CUE SET PIECE. Nick climbs onto a table and lifts the recyce bin all over his head – he upends the bin and all the paper falls over the stage, over Nick and Natalie, falling everywhere until it washings against the feet of the audience)
Natalie: What are you thinking?
Nick: If Shakespeare were alive today, do you think he’d have a Myspace page?
Jamie: I beg your pardon?
Nick: Would he have written the ending of Hamlet differently? Instead of putting poison in the ear, would he have used a nasty computer virus to poison Hamlet’s father’s hard drive?
Jamie: You’ve been at the absinthe again haven’t you?
Nick: Would he have portrayed Romeo’s undying love for Juliette by downloading the Balcony Scene Application on Facebook?
Natalie: Now you’re being ridiculous.
Nick: Am I? My sister Luan’s daughter Katy just split up with her boyfriend Darren after three years by sending him a text out of the blue saying: “It’s over. Let’s be friends. X X X.” She only lives three doors away from him.
Jamie: Zero carbon footprint dumping. I like it.
Natalie: That’s rough! What did he do?
Nick: Well, in Shakespeare’s times he would have picked up a lute or a guitar, gone to the house at midnight, called up to her bedroom window and then played her a beautiful song.
Jamie: What romantic crap. He would have drunk himself to death, or just moved on.
Natalie: Shut up. What did he do?
Nick: Apparently she was walking past him in the street the next day, and he ran after her and bluetoothed her mobile “Two Become One” by the Spice Girls.
Jamie: Jesus Christ!
Natalie: And? What happened then?
Nick: They’re back together.
Jamie: Happy endings.
(They leave as film credits play)