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Watching The Buggers (Part 2 Of 12)

Watching The Buggers (Part 2 Of 12)


by Tim Barcode

A play about the 2004 investigation into allegations of bugging the Maori Party.

This play is being serialised in 12 parts on Scoop. See CLICK HERE for links to all parts of the serial published so far.

Anyone wanting to perform it simply has to ask the writers permission and donate a tenth of the profits of any performances to the Ahmed Zaoui Support Fund

Westpac Queen Street, Auckland,
Account Number: 03 0296 0076601 00
Account Name: Zaoui Support Fund.

Characters:

  • Coates - a spy? - 30s

  • Paul –waiter? - 60s

  • Forbes – a spy? – 40s

  • Jane – a public servant employed by the Department of Conservation? 30ish.

  • Madonna – front counter worker at Gibson’s Drycleaners in Levin! – 19
  • ?

  • Paul – an Inspector General and retired High Court Judge? – 60s

    The story so far…. In part one we met Coates, a very nervous man sunbathing in a suit at the Huka Lodge. Paul the waiter, an older man, has served Coates who seems to be meeting someone.

    Enter Forbes. He is older than Coates, younger than the Waiter and of larger build. He is wearing an Hawaiian shirt, shorts and black socks and formal black leather shoes. Forbes is a bit of a smart arse.
    Coates fails to see Forbes who comes around behind him.
    Coates looks around and goes to use a cellphone. He looks at the phone and then turns if off as if chastised.
    Forbes is now directly behind Coates.

    Forbes: . . . . I wouldn’t use that if I was you: they’re traceable.
    Coates nearly dies of fright.

    Coates: . . . . I know that! And I didn’t use it.
    Forbes comes around in front of Coates and he sees him properly for the first time.

    Forbes: . . . . So, Coates.

    Coates: . . . . Yes. No! You’re? ( Coates is enquiring as to who Forbes is)

    Forbes: . . . . Am I?

    Coates: . . . . You’ll have to tell me.
    Forbes sits at the second chair.

    Forbes: . . . . And why is that?

    Coates: . . . . I don’t know who you are.

    Forbes: . . . . You don’t? Is there a menu?

    Coates: . . . . Should I know who you are?

    Forbes: . . . . Well, you’re the spy.

    Coates: . . . . ( jumping up) SHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
    Coates checks no one else has heard.

    Forbes: . . . . You didn’t know?

    Coates: . . . . ( exasperated) Of course I know!
    Forbes stares at him.
    . . . . Oh God! was I supposed to say that!

    Forbes: . . . . I don’t know.

    Coates: . . . . I don’t either. I’m not a spy.

    Forbes: . . . . Aren’t you?

    Coates: . . . . I am sort of… not a career spy….

    Forbes: . . . . Does that matter?

    Coates: . . . . I’m really an ‘official’.

    Forbes: . . . . An official what?

    Coates: . . . . A public servant; a bureaucrat.

    Forbes: . . . . First time I ever heard anyone who does anything interesting trying to pass themselves off as a bureaucrat. You must be a spy.

    Coates: . . . . NO!

    Forbes: . . . . Spies used to describe themselves as being in ‘communications’.

    Coates: . . . . What about you? So you’re not a … ( he gestures)

    Forbes: . . . . Not a … ( copies gesture, but looks confused)

    Coates: . . . . A … ( exaggerates gesture)

    Forbes: . . . . A … ( copies exaggerated gesture) … Oh a SPY????

    Coates: . . . . SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
    Coates checks on one has heard.

    Forbes: . . . . No. Well no.

    Coates: . . . . So you’re not …. ( nods his head)

    Forbes: . . . . Not … ( nods his head, mimicking Coates but obtusely not understanding)

    Coates: . . . . You know ( nods again)

    Forbes: . . . . Noddy!

    Coates: . . . . NO! You know….

    Forbes: . . . . I can see that modern spying is clearly about vague gestures, being confusing and not saying anything. Coates – what do you mean?

    Coates: . . . . Forget it! Who are you?

    Forbes: . . . . So all that was about who am I?

    Coates: . . . . Oh God – you’re a journalist aren’t you?

    Forbes: . . . . N…..

    Coates: . . . . You’re not Nicky Hager are you?

    Forbes: . . . . Do I look like Nicky Hager?

    Coates: . . . . ( looking him up and down) You could be. In disguise….

    Forbes: . . . . And only if Nicky Hager suddenly started eating like a horse…. For heaven’s sake Coates – you’re clearly not really a spy after all.

    Coates: . . . . Yes I am!

    Forbes: . . . . Look at you!

    Coates: . . . . What?

    Forbes: . . . . Dear oh dear, you’re our last line of defence against subversion and infiltration, ….

    Coates: . . . . Are you … him?

    Forbes: . . . . Who is ‘him’?

    Coates: . . . . Don’t play with me.

    Forbes: . . . . ( looking doubtful) That’s a whole other set of accusations and innuendo I’m not going to go into with you.

    Coates: . . . . What?

    Forbes: . . . . The thing I can’t understand is – why is a member of the SIS here at the Huka Falls?

    Coates: . . . . I was…. Who are you?

    Forbes: . . . . Are you running away?
    Coates doesn’t answer.
    . . . . Are you meeting someone?

    Coates: . . . . (hesitant) Might be……

    Forbes: . . . . That’s it – you’re expecting to meet someone.

    Coates: . . . . Could be.

    Forbes: . . . . I could be who you’re expecting.

    Coates: . . . . Are you?

    Forbes: . . . . Who are you expecting?

    Coates: . . . . I may be in the SIS, but I’m not stupid.

    Forbes: . . . . You might want to rephrase that. You could be both.

    Coates: . . . . I need to know who you are.

    Forbes: . . . . Why should I tell you?

    Coates: . . . . You know who I am.

    Forbes: . . . . So why would I give my advantage away?
    Coates doesn’t answer.
    . . . . Who are you meeting?

    Coates: . . . . I’m not saying.

    Forbes: . . . . Why are you here?

    Coates: . . . . ( hushed) We need to be discreet.

    Forbes: . . . . So you don’t want to talk about the SIS.
    Paul enters with a tray holding a glass of water and a whiskey.

    Coates: . . . . STOP MENTIONING THE SIS!!!

    Paul: . . . . Your drinks Sir.
    Paul puts the drinks down on the small table.
    Coates is looking angrily at Forbes.

    Forbes: . . . . ( taking the whiskey) Thanks.
    Forbes starts drinking the whiskey.

    Coates: . . . . (to Paul) How long have you been there?
    Paul assumes Coates is talking to Forbes.
    . . . . How long have you been there?

    Paul: . . . . Me sir?

    Coates: . . . . You, sir.

    Forbes: . . . . Three bags full sir ha ha ha.
    Coates looks daggers at him.

    Coates: . . . . How long have you been listening?

    Paul: . . . . Listening?

    Coates: . . . . ( gestures) to us. How long have you been listening to us?

    Paul: . . . . Since you got my attention just then.

    Coates: . . . . And what did you hear?

    Paul: . . . . I haven’t heard anything Sir. Shall I get sir another drink?

    Coates: . . . . I’ve got one…
    Coates turns to see he hasn’t got one. Forbes toasts him.
    . . . . Yes please.

    Forbes: . . . . I’ll have another one too.

    Paul: . . . . Certainly sir.
    Paul exits.

    Forbes: . . . . You’ve got nerve.

    Coates: . . . . I’ve got nerve… You’ve got a nerve: That was my drink.

    Forbes: . . . . Oh was it? I assumed that was yours.
    Forbes points to the water.
    . . . . . . . . It’s a little odd having two drinks – draws attention to you.

    Coates: . . . . And whiskey is $10 a glass.

    Forbes: . . . . That’s luxury hotels for you. You should watch having two drinks on the go at once.

    Coates: . . . . THIS IS WATER!

    Forbes: . . . . Oh not gin! I thought it was more of your subterfuge.

    (Continuing tomorrow…)

    See http://scoop.co.nz/mason/features/?s=spooks#watching for links to all parts of the serial published so far.

    © Scoop Media

     
     
     
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