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Watching The Buggers (Part 9 Of 12)

Watching The Buggers (Part 9 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…
    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.
    From the Huka Lodge, to a train shelter in Masterton, and a Levin drycleaners Forbes has pursued Coates it appears on the orders of the SIS Director.
    The waiter at the Huka Lodge, Paul claims to be none other than Justice Paul Neazor, the SIS Inspector-General and owner of the Levin Drycleaners,a front for the investigation. Hon. Neazor is now interviewing Coates on what he knows.

    There is no sign yet in Levin of the DoC worker Jane who took a strong liking to Coates in the Masterton train shelter.
    Plucky retail assistant Madonna is about to throw Forbes out of the drycleaners where the meeting is taking the place.

    **********

    Forbes: . . . . No! I have some drycleaning!

    Madonna: . . . . Ok. Hand it over.
    Forbes takes off his suit jacket and hands it to her.
    Madonna looks at the coat.

    Forbes: . . . . Just the jacket. I spilt whiskey on it.

    Madonna: . . . . Pity.

    Forbes: . . . . Yes it was good whiskey.

    Madonna: . . . . Naah. A jacket’s $15, but a full suit is $18.

    Forbes: . . . . Right.
    Forbes undoes his belt and lets his trousers drop to the floor he steps out of them and hands them to her.
    He sniffs his armpits.

    . . . . You might as well do this as well.
    Forbes takes off his white shirt. He is now standing in a tee shirt and boxers. Or maybe just boxers.
    Madonna reacts to the warm clothes negatively, she tosses them into a plastic bag as quickly as possible.
    Madonna punches details into a computer (or onto a pad of paper if the production is unable to find a computer).

    Madonna: . . . . Name?

    Forbes: . . . . Forbes.

    Madonna: . . . . First name?

    Forbes: . . . . George.

    Madonna: . . . . Middle name.

    Forbes: . . . . William.

    Madonna: . . . . Address?

    Forbes: . . . . Will home do?

    Madonna: . . . . Sweet.

    Forbes: . . . . That’s yes isn’t it?
    Madonna stares at him.
    123 Wadestown Road, Wellington.

    Madonna: . . . . Phone numbers?

    Forbes: . . . . Home 479 5555. Work 910 5555.

    Madonna: . . . . Cell?

    Forbes: . . . . O21 714209.

    Madonna: . . . . IRD number?

    Forbes: . . . . 43941912… Is all this really necessary.

    Madonna: . . . . Yeah.
    Madonna looks at the computer.
    . . . . Very interesting.

    Forbes: . . . . What?

    Madonna: . . . . Nothing, can’t show you- privacy act.

    Forbes: . . . . But…

    Madonna: . . . . Now who’s your doctor?

    Forbes: . . . . City GPs in Wellington.

    Madonna: . . . . Dentist?
    Forbes tries to see what’s going into the computer (or onto her pad)

    Forbes: . . . . Ah, Bond and Bond.

    Madonna: . . . . Tailor. ( looks at suit) Sorry you don’t have one.

    Forbes: . . . . I just want some drycleaning …..

    Madonna: . . . . One more question….

    Forbes: . . . . But….

    Madonna: . . . . Credit card number.

    Forbes: . . . . Oh for …
    Forbes opens his wallet and hands it to her.
    . . . . Here.

    Madonna: . . . . This is all for our files, we need to know who our customers are. Here’s your receipt.
    Madonna hands Forbes a receipt. He looks at it and turns it over.

    Forbes: . . . . What’s all this writing?

    Madonna: . . . . Liability statements.

    Forbes: . . . . Gibson’s Drycleaners are not responsible for any damage, loss or theft of any items …

    Madonna: . . . . Standard.

    Forbes: . . . . Or for any accidents, to the customer or damage to any other property to anyone not in our employment.

    Madonna: . . . . Standard.

    Forbes: . . . . But challengable in court. And what’s this? (reading) ‘Drycleaning may contain traces of nuts’.

    Madonna: . . . . That’s so you can’t blame any prophylactic shock on us when you wear those clothes.

    Forbes: . . . . It says here next Tuesday!

    Madonna: . . . . Yeah.

    Forbes: . . . . That’s six days. I need them much earlier.

    Madonna: . . . . Our express service is tomorrow.

    Forbes: . . . . Sooner.

    Madonna: . . . . 5 pm?

    Forbes: . . . . Can’t you do them now?

    Madonna: . . . . It’s hard as we don’t do any drycleaning here. It goes to Manson’s.

    Forbes: . . . . How fast can you do them?

    Madonna: . . . . An hour.

    Forbes: . . . . Good.

    Madonna: . . . . It’ll cost like 43 dollars.

    Forbes: . . . . You said 18.

    Madonna: . . . . Tough. It’s $43 and you can have them in an hour or two.

    Forbes: . . . . Take it off the credit card.
    She does something with the credit card.
    Forbes sits down.

    Madonna: . . . . What are you doing.

    Forbes: . . . . Waiting.

    Madonna: . . . . You can’t wait here.

    Forbes: . . . . Yes I can.

    Madonna: . . . . No.

    Forbes: . . . . I can’t go out dressed like this.

    Madonna: . . . . Yes you can it’s Levin. No one will notice you with all the other deinstitutionalised mental patients.

    Forbes: . . . . I’m staying.

    Madonna: . . . . No I’m going out.

    Forbes: . . . . That’s fine by me.

    Madonna: . . . . I’m closing the shop. OUT.

    Forbes: . . . . Now?

    Madonna: . . . . NOW.
    Forbes moves to the door.

    Forbes: . . . . Can’t you let me stay…

    Madonna: . . . . No. Come back in two hours.
    Forbes opens the door and steps out.
    Madonna turns to get some clothes, including Forbes’ suit.
    Seeing his chance Forbes sneaks in behind her and hides behind the counter.
    Madonna grabs an armful of clothes and goes to door to leave. Forbes stands. Madonna is about to exit when she turns. Forbes just ducks in time.
    She walks to counter. Forbes sneaks around the front of the counter and cowers.

    Madonna: . . . . ( yelling back of drycleaners) I’m like taking the clothes to be drycleaned. Back in like half an hour.
    Madonna sees she has missed a garment and goes to grab it right by Forbes. He just hides under the chair and she doesn’t see him.
    Madonna goes to door.
    Forbes stands again.
    She stops.
    Forbes has nowhere to hide.
    There is a pause.

    She exits.
    Forbes checks she has gone and then starts to move to behind the counter.
    Voices are heard. It is Paul and Coates coming back in.
    Forbes looks around and dives to beside the counter in view of the audience but out of sight of Paul and Coates.
    Enter Paul and Coates.

    Paul: . . . . Sorry about this I have to mind the shop.

    Coates: . . . . Surely it’s just a front.

    Paul: . . . . Well of course, but part of the proposal to Treasury included offsetting the rent with drycleaning income. So Coates…

    Coates: . . . . Yes your worship.

    Paul: . . . . For God’s sake man- not so formal, we don’t want anyone guessing – call me Justice, or sir.

    Coates: . . . . Yes sir.

    Paul: . . . . Sit down.
    Coates sits on chair.
    Now why are you here?

    Coates: . . . . You summoned me.

    Paul: . . . . Ah yes.

    Coates: . . . . What do you want to know?

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

    Coates: . . . . Sorry Sir.

    Paul: . . . . Why do you think I summoned you?

    Coates: . . . . The inquiry into the bugging of the Maori Party?

    Paul: . . . . It might be, it might not be. Who told you?

    Coates: . . . . You did in the letter.

    Paul: . . . . Are you sure it was me?

    Coates: . . . . I thought so. Was it?

    Paul: . . . . This is my investigation. Stop asking questions!

    Coates: . . . . Sorry sir.

    Paul: . . . . The witness will only speak when directed.

    Coates: . . . . Witness.

    Paul: . . . . Silence in the dock.

    Coates: . . . . Dock?

    Paul: . . . . I’ll have you for contempt of court!

    Coates: . . . . We’re not in court.

    Paul: . . . . Oh yes. Sorry, habit, High Court and all that. But this is an investigation under the Act that can’t be called into question by any court, and has the force of law.

    Coates: . . . . Yes sir.

    Paul: . . . . Were you followed here?

    Coates: . . . . No. No I’m sure I didn’t.

    Paul: . . . . Where did that man Forbes get to?

    Coates: . . . . I left him in the bar drinking. Funny they sent an accountant after me.

    Paul: . . . . Accountant?

    Coates: . . . . He’s the service’s accounts receivable team leader.

    Paul: . . . . Yes of course there’s no one working for the Service called Forbes.

    Coates: . . . . What?

    (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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