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Watching The Buggers (Part 4 Of 12)

Watching The Buggers (Part 4 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 parts 1, 2 and 3 we met Coates, a very nervous man sunbathing in a suit at the Huka Lodge. Forbes, a brash man in an Hawaiian shirt has arrived and seems to know Coates, and has accused him of being an SIS agent on the run. Paul the older and very proper waiter is plying them with drinks. A note meant for Forbes has been taken by Coates who now accuses Forbes of also being an SIS agent.

    ********

    Coates: . . . . What do you mean?

    Forbes: . . . . Given newspapers and web sites are full of agents disclosing secrets….

    Coates: . . . . It’s shocking. Of course I wouldn’t know that much about the Act.

    Forbes: . . . . Neither would I. ( pause) So where did we get to?

    Coates: . . . . Sorry?

    Forbes: . . . . Are you giving me the note?

    Coates: . . . . I’ve lost track.

    Forbes: . . . . I need a drink. WAITER!

    Paul enters behind Coates.

    . . . . And if you’re not in the SIS how do you know the Act so well?

    Coates: . . . . ( whisper) Don’t mention the SIS in front of …

    Coates sees Paul.

    . . . . Ha ha ha …

    Forbes: . . . . ( whisper) If you weren’t an agent – you wouldn’t care.

    Paul: . . . . Yes sir?

    Forbes: . . . . Two whiskeys.

    Coates: . . . . Yes thanks.

    Forbes: . . . . Oh you want one as well? Better make that three whiskeys.

    Paul: . . . . Certainly Sir, anything else?

    Forbes: . . . . So you’re able to spend more than an officer’s salary on drinks here?

    Coates: . . . . What do you mean?

    Forbes: . . . . Rich are we? Come into lots of money? On the take maybe?

    Paul: . . . . Anything else Sirs?

    Forbes: . . . . So how do you know the SIS Act so well?

    Coates: . . . . Ha ha ha

    Paul: . . . . Is Sir all right?

    Coates: . . . . HA HA HA… Of course Mr Smith here, good Old Bill, has his little jokes.

    Coates reaches over very awkwardly and gives Forbes a slap on the shoulder.

    Paul: . . . . Yes sir.

    Coates: . . . . Some weeks he pretends we’re with the SIS, then it’s the CIA, then other times Al Queda….

    Forbes and Paul stare at him uneasily

    . . . . No not Al Queda, they’re not funny.

    Paul: . . . . Really Sir?

    Forbes: . . . . Drinks please.

    Paul: . . . . Certainly Mr Smith.

    Paul turns and leaves.

    Coates: . . . . I’ve memorised the SIS Act as a hobby.

    Forbes: . . . . ( his patience is evaporating) Give me the note.

    Coates: . . . . Why?

    Forbes: . . . . Let’s assume you’re an employee of a New Zealand government security agency.

    Coates: . . . . I’m not confirming that.

    Forbes: . . . . Let’s pretend shall we.

    Coates: . . . . Provided that my pretending doesn’t equate to confirming anything.

    Forbes: . . . . And let’s also pretend that I am also an employee of the same or a similar New Zealand agency.

    Coates: . . . . At the same time.

    Forbes: . . . . YES!

    Enter Paul with three drinks.

    Coates: . . . . Shhh the Waiter.

    Forbes: . . . . Sod the waiter.

    Paul: . . . . Sir! I don’t care what you see on reality TV, waiters aren’t all sex toys….

    Forbes: . . . . Just leave the drinks.

    Paul: . . . . Yes sir.

    Paul puts down the three drinks.

    Forbes: . . . . Paul, you’re discreet aren’t you?

    Paul: . . . . Of course Sir, waiters ascribe to a code of nondisclosure. Unlike the SIS that Sirs keep talking about.

    Coates: . . . . What?

    Paul: . . . . These SIS agents could never be waiters here at the Huka Lodge they’re far too indiscreet.

    Forbes: . . . . I agree.

    Paul: . . . . May I enquire what brings you both to the Lodge?

    Coates: . . . . No! You may not.

    Paul: . . . . Would you both like to see a list of activities and services, and perhaps a dinner menu?

    Forbes: . . . . That would be ….

    Coates: . . . . No! Go away!

    Forbes: . . . . What my friend, ‘Mr Forbes’, means is that we’re having a private chat…

    Coates: . . . . Yes.

    Forbes: . . . . And then we’ll have dinner.

    Coates: . . . . It’s only 4 pm.

    Forbes: . . . . We’ll need to see the snack menu as well then. So Paul, bring us the menus.

    Paul: . . . . Yes sir, I’ll be right back.

    Paul exits.

    Coates: . . . . What are you doing? You’re drawing attention to me.

    Forbes: . . . . And sunbathing in a suit hasn’t already? Or mysteriously running away from Wellington?

    Coates: . . . . Who said I’m running?

    Forbes: . . . . Coates, give me the note.

    Coates: . . . . No. Tell me who you are. I’ll swap the note for a look at your ID.

    Forbes: . . . . I can’t show a rogue agent my ID.

    Enter Paul with menus.

    Coates: . . . . I AM NOT A ROGUE AGENT.

    Paul: . . . . Menus.

    Forbes: . . . . Thank you Paul. ( he looks at menu) My friend here will have Cooked Goose.

    Coates: . . . . ( fed up) That’s it!

    Coates opens the note and starts to read it.

    . . . . Oh my God!

    Forbes: . . . . Give it to me!

    Forbes goes to stop him but realises with Paul there he can’t. Forbes jovially gets up.

    Coates stuffs the note in his mouth and starts to eat it.

    Forbes sits down and returns to the menu.

    Paul: . . . . If Sir was hungry we could have brought out fish bites.

    Forbes: . . . . No Paul, you see Mr … Co…Forbes here thinks ordering food might draw attention to him.

    Paul: . . . . I see sir.

    Coates swallows the note.

    Forbes: . . . . Well there are no more notes so can I please have the club sandwiches?

    Paul: . . . . Certainly sir. And if Sir is still hungry, can I suggest the Huka Lodge linen note paper?

    Forbes: . . . . You can probably bring him Turkey sandwiches.

    Coates: . . . . Do you have pies?

    Paul: . . . . ‘Pies’ sir?

    Forbes: . . . . Spies; what a give away.

    Coates: . . . . No: pies.

    Paul: . . . . We might have some gourmet pies.

    Coates: . . . . Steak and cheese?

    Paul: . . . . Alas no sir. Would a Teriyaki chicken or a Thai chilli prawn pie be all right?

    Coates: . . . . Club sandwiches please.

    Paul: . . . . Sandwiches for two. That all?

    Forbes: . . . . Yes thanks Paul, bring some extra napkins in case he needs something extra to nibble on.

    Paul: . . . . Certainly sir.

    Coates looks daggers at Forbes.

    Paul exits.

    Forbes: . . . . What was in the note?

    Coates: . . . . ( choking) A staple.

    Forbes: . . . . What did the note say?

    Coates: . . . . I’m not saying until you tell me who you are.

    Forbes: . . . . ( interrogating) Okay Coates, I’ve had enough. Why are you running?

    Coates: . . . . I’m not running!

    Forbes: . . . . And yet you’re not at work but instead at a luxury resort with a briefcase full of confidential files and this isn’t running.

    Coates: . . . . No. That’s not how it is. Who are you? How did you know I’d be here?

    Forbes: . . . . I’m asking the questions.

    Forbes turns Coates’ chair (with him in it) to another angle.

    Coates: . . . . What are you doing?

    Forbes: . . . . This questioning will be more effective if you’re facing the sun.

    Coates: . . . . ( shielding his eyes) What?

    Forbes: . . . . Talk!

    Coates: . . . . I am talking, go away!

    Forbes: . . . . Talk more.

    Coates: . . . . About what?

    Forbes: . . . . I need to know the truth.

    Coates: . . . . You can’t handle the truth.

    Forbes: . . . . You’re probably right.

    Coates: . . . . Stop this! We’re on the same side…. I think.

    Forbes: . . . . I’m on the same side but I don’t know about you. Why are you here?

    (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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