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Watching The Buggers (Part 7 Of 12)

Watching The Buggers (Part 7 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 the first six parts

  • Gordon Coates, the SIS officer who apparently authorises interception warrants has been summoned by the Inspector-General of the SIS to answer questions on the bugging of leaders of the Maori Party. Coates went to the Huka Lodge where he met…

  • Forbes, who claims to work for the SIS in accounts receivable and who followed Coates, maybe on orders from the SIS Director.

  • At the Huka Lodge they met Paul a very proper waiter who may know more than he lets on.

  • Coates also met Jane – A DoC worker that Coates has mistaken for an SIS agent. Coates met Jane at the train shelter in Masterton where he let on who is, and what he is doing. The shelter contained an instruction that Coates is to go now to Levin.
  • ***********

    Act Two


    Scene 1
    Wednesday afternoon 1.50.
    Inside – A drycleaners in Levin.

    There is at least one rack of clothes with plastic covers. There is a counter, with a till, and a chair beside the counter. There should if possible be a computer terminal and keyboard on the counter.

    A phone rings. It is a cordless phone sitting on the counter.
    It rings for a while.
    Enter Madonna. She is 19 or so. And bored. She enters from inside the shop with no sense of urgency. She misses the phone, but doesn’t care.
    She puts some clothes on the rack, the phone rings again. She could be the same person as Jane, or played by the same actress. Or not.
    Madonna walks over, again in no hurry and answers it in a broad kiwi accent, with a rise at the end of most lines. She also has a tendency to use the word ‘like’ in every sentence.


    Madonna: . . . . ( Answering phone- the gaps are the person she is talking to responding) Good afternoon Gibson’s drycleaners – the driest drycleaners in Levin. Madonna speaking, can I help you?... Yeah. …. Nah… Nah you’re like confusing us with Chas Manson Drycleaning on the main road; we’re Gibson’s drycleaners…. Yeah like near the fish and chip shop that sells antiques … Nah you’re thinking of the hairdressers next to the lawnmower repairs and tattoo parlour… we’re like over the road, next to the new age crystal and butcher shop…. Yeah there are a lot of shops that do like two things…Naah we just do drycleaning… Naah you can’t speak to him… He’s out…. Back later, an hour? … yeah sweet… ring then….
    Madonna turns off the phone as the call has ended.
    . . . . Fucking loser.
    Madonna walks to the back of the shop and yells.
    . . . . SOME GUY CALLED. I TOLD HIM YOU WEREN’T HERE!
    Coates enters through the main door of the shop. He is dressed identically to the first two scenes. He is breathless. He checks behind him to see that he wasn’t followed and doesn’t see Madonna.
    Madonna stares at him.
    Coates satisfies himself that he wasn’t followed and turns around and gets a fright when he sees Madonna.

    Coates: . . . . Hi! Didn’t see you there.
    Madonna stares.
    Pause.

    Coates: . . . . Hi.

    Madonna: . . . . Yeah?

    Coates: . . . . Haven’t I met you before?

    Madonna: . . . . Nah.

    Coates: . . . . This is Gibson’s drycleaners?

    Madonna: . . . . What does the sign say?

    Coates: . . . . Oh sorry I thought it said this was Gibson’s drycleaners….
    Coates goes to exit.

    Madonna: . . . . Yeah?

    Coates: . . . . So this is Gibson’s Drycleaners?

    Madonna: . . . . Yeah.

    Coates: . . . . I thought you were saying it isn’t.

    Madonna: . . . . For Christ’s sake… Can I help you?

    Coates: . . . . Yes, yes you can.

    Madonna: . . . . How?

    Coates: . . . . I think I’m here to meet Mr Gibson.

    Madonna: . . . . You’re shit out of luck.

    Coates: . . . . Sorry?

    Madonna: . . . . You can’t.

    Coates: . . . . Is he out?

    Madonna: . . . . Nah.

    Coates: . . . . Is he away?

    Madonna: . . . . He’s dead.

    Coates: . . . . Oh.

    Madonna: . . . . We can still do your drycleaning though.

    Coates: . . . . What?

    Madonna: . . . . Jesus! Just cos the old bastard died doesn’t mean he did all the drycleaning. Other people can dryclean.

    Coates: . . . . I see, so you dryclean clothes?

    Madonna: . . . . ( impatiently) No not me. But if you leave them here we can do them!

    Coates: . . . . I think I must be in the wrong place.

    Madonna: . . . . What are you looking for?

    Coates: . . . . A drycleaners but…

    Madonna: . . . . Sweet, we’re a drycleaners.

    Coates: . . . . Can you tell me if I’m in the right place?

    Madonna: . . . . How would I know?

    Coates: . . . . Is this the right drycleaners?

    Madonna: . . . . Have you forgotten where you left your stuff, or did the missus drop it in?

    Coates: . . . . No I’m single.

    Madonna: . . . . So when did you drop the stuff off?

    Coates: . . . . No. I’m not here to pick up anything.

    Madonna: . . . . We’re like just as good as Mansons.

    Coates: . . . . Mansons?

    Madonna: . . . . The other drycleaners.

    Coates: . . . . Where are they?

    Madonna: . . . . On the main road. Just give us the clothes.

    Coates: . . . . I haven’t got any drycleaning.

    Madonna: . . . . Right.

    Coates: . . . . Do you do anything besides drycleaning?

    Madonna: . . . . Like what?

    Coates: . . . . Ah … I can’t tell you.
    Madonna just stares at him.
    . . . . I think I might try the other drycleaners.

    Madonna: . . . . Whatever.

    Coates: . . . . Do they do anything other than drycleaning?

    Madonna: . . . . Yeah.

    Coates: . . . . What?

    Madonna: . . . . They sell Amway.

    Coates: . . . . ( disappointed) Oh.

    Madonna: . . . . I don’t know what you’re after but you can get lost.

    Coates: . . . . Are you sure Mr Gibson is dead?

    Madonna: . . . . Well if the cancer didn’t get him, being cremated finished him.

    Coates: . . . . I have an urgent meeting and I thought it was with Mr Gibson.

    Madonna: . . . . Christ… ( looking at the newspaper on the counter) You could try Anita’s Psychic line.

    Coates: . . . . ( thinking this is a clue) Anita’s psychic line… I see how do I…

    Madonna: . . . . You ring them.

    Coates: . . . . Okay… good, do you have the number?
    Madonna is clearly treating Coates as if he is a freak.
    Madonna goes to the newspaper, copies a number onto a small square of paper and hands it to Coates.
    Coates grabs it eagerly.

    Coates: . . . . Can I use the phone here?

    Madonna: . . . . No.

    Coates: . . . . Good point- It could be easily traced, I have an encrypted cellphone.
    Coates gets out a cellphone. He waves it at Madonna.
    . . . . It’s encoded.
    Coates checks the number he has been handed and starts to dial it.
    . . . . 0900….
    He finishes dialling and waits for it to be answered.
    . . . . Brilliant cover- Anita’s psychic line!
    Coates is not listening to the answer on the phone. He is being given options.
    . . . . 2!
    He pushes a button. He listens to more options.
    . . . . Oh God ( to Madonna) They want to know what star sign – which one?

    Madonna: . . . . What star sign are you?

    Coates: . . . . Virgo.

    Madonna: . . . . ( muttering) Figures. ( slightly sarcastic) Why don’t you try Virgo?

    Coates: . . . . Oh brilliant! Virgo of course!
    He listens to the phone again.
    . . . . That’s 7.
    He pushes 7.
    He then pushes some more options.

    . . . . Ah huh ah huh.
    Coates gestures for a pen and paper which Madonna gives him.
    Coates writes down some details.
    He terminates the phone call.

    . . . . ( to Madonna) I’m not sure what it means.

    Madonna: . . . . So was Mr Gibson on the phone?

    Coates: . . . . ( worried) No. ( panic) He never came on. Was he supposed to? Or was there a clue in what they did say that will lead me to him? I was looking for instructions.

    Madonna: . . . . You’re a fucking headcase.

    Coates: . . . . What? I was told to come to Gibson’s drycleaners.

    Madonna: . . . . Who by?

    Coates: . . . . I can’t tell you it’s classified. And I don’t know it was on a note under the train timetable in Masterton.

    Madonna: . . . . Railway timetable? Get out you freak.

    Coates: . . . . No, no…

    Madonna: . . . . ( calling to the back of the shop) Boss Boss…..come out here now.

    Coates: . . . . ( Moving toward the front door) It’s all right I’m going… sorry to have troubled you…
    Coates goes to exit.
    Enter Paul, now wearing a suit.

    Paul: . . . . Can I help?

    Coates: . . . . ( turns) You!

    Paul: . . . . Yes.

    Coates: . . . . The waiter!

    Madonna: . . . . Waiter? He’s a real retard.

    (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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