Ooh, get Carter
November 11, 2013

I was listening to Lulu’s breakfast and pressing the cold bowl of a ladle to my brow (I take a little wine on a Sunday) when the front door boomed. Remembering at length how to operate the handle, I found Danny beaming on the step.

“You look radiant,” I alleged, but in truth I was glad to see him. Morning television was a sea of paper poppies, each one pinned to an opinion of Miley Cyrus’s fringe and vagina.

“I ‘ave my script,” he crooned, producing from his Barbour and proceeding to brandish thirty or so pages of cheap typing paper. Small blocks of dialogue filled the left of each page. Even as the typescript blurred with Danny’s triumphal thrusting, I could tell that all stray polysyllables had been detained at immigration. They knew their man.

“What have they given you?” I asked.

“I’m a family man. You’ll like this. My son is one of your lot.”

“A Mancunian? A genius? The saviour of a tottering imprint?”

“A poof,” he replied. Lulu growled.

“I thought you could help me with my lines,” Danny continued. “You can do the son.”

I left that one were it lay and took the script. Danny jabbed at the first scene. “I’ve marked your lines blue. You get most of them.”

“Oh Danny,” I sighed after a moment. “You have two children.”

“No,” he said. “One. It’s Johnny.”

“And your daughter.” I was gentle. “Your daughter Nancy.”

“Oh.” It stilled him for a good ten seconds, a record.  An amused snort signalled his recovery. “Well,” he cantillated perkily. “That’s what rehearsals is for.”

“Rehearsals?” I all but sobbed. He had already pushed the sofa against the wall and tumbled both armchairs into the scullery. It was going to be a long day.