Archive for August, 2011

Peep Show: The London Riots (as imagined by Ewan Tant and Matt Tassell)

August 10, 2011

When the rioting started I was confused and sad. So was Matt Tassell. We looked for solace and found it imagining how Mark, Jeremy and Super Hans would deal with the situation.

With apologies to Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain.

[We open on the living room. Mark peers through the curtains at the commotion on the street. Jez is squashed into the sofa watching the unfolding news coverage.]

Mark: Jez, we can’t go outside; do you think we should go outside? I need a poo Jeremy and we’ve got four sheets left on the roll. I can’t do a poo with just four sheets.

Jez: Just fold the sheets Mark; wipe and fold.

Mark: I’m not wiping and folding Jeremy. That’s just acceding to mob rule. Anyway, it doesn’t work now we’re using the value paper. [Mark looks out of the window] Oh god Jez, those kids are weeing on my car. I can’t drive around smelling of wee. They were setting fire to Greggs earlier, they were literally biting the hand that feeds.

Jez: Oh for god’s sake Mark, will you get a grip. They’re socking it to the man, yeah. You know, the man. The one who’s a man, ordering them about, yeah.

Mark: I hardly think Greggs is the man, Jez. Yes, they have a man’s name, but it’s just a baker’s.

Jez: They’re a faceless baker Mark. A baker without a face. No wonder the kids are going mental. Their baker doesn’t have a face.

Mark: They’re a cheap bakery Jeremy and now they’re on fire. Brilliant. [These people know nothing about history. If they knew about the Great Fire of London they wouldn’t be setting fire to a bakery]

[knock at the door]

Mark: Oh jesus Jeremy, oh god, they’re here, the looters are here. The wolf is literally at our door.

Jez: I hardly think that looters would knock Mark…

Mark: They might knock…

Jez [unconvincingly]: They wouldn’t knock.

Mark: I’m not answering the door. What if they steal the baby?

Jez: They don’t want babies Mark.

Mark: I’m still not answering Jeremy.

Jez: I’ll just have a look through the hole. If it’s looters and we stay quiet, they’ll probably just, y’know, go away.

[Mark looks unconvinced]

[Jez walks over to the door and peers through the peep hole]

Jez: It’s OK Mark, it’s just Hans.

[Hans swans in, walking straight past Jez]

Super Hans: Evenin’ boys, nice little night we’ve got in store… whilst Armageddon rages. It’s alright though, I’ve liberated all the hummus from M&S, a fuckload of tasty hummus. Breadstick anyone?

[Phone rings]

Mark: It’s Sophie.

Jez: [to Hans] It’s Sophie.

[Hans signals back with a breadstick]

Mark: Soph! Are you ok? ……..Yes, the baby’s fine………… nothing too bad going on here, they’ve only attacked Greggs…………… You’re safe aren’t you. Good…

[Jez continues to watch the unfolding news events. Totally unfazed]

Hans: Wooooah, either this ‘caramelised onion’ is tripping me out, or something very large and woody is glowing outside.

Mark: [Puts phone away] They are idiots Hans, feral idiots… look, they’re kicking in a car, I imagine it was the car’s fault. Or no, they’ve moved onto the wall, it must’ve been the wall…. [Mark suddenly realises something]. Hang on, this isn’t our TV. If it is, it’s gone big again. And Jez, where did you get those trainers from? Jez? Jeremy?

[Jez takes his feet off the coffee table and hides them under the rug.]

Jez: What, Mark? What?

Mark: You haven’t?

[Jez stares back grudgingly]

Mark: But Jeremy, it’s theft! That’s thievery. You’re a thief.

Jez: Oh for God’s sake, Mark. We’re all thieves now. Expenses, paperclips, MP3s…oil. We’re all at it. Who cares if a couple of Reeboks go missing? Not the bloody child slaves who stitched them together. I bet they’re laughing now, huh.

Mark: I hardly think they are laughing, Jeremy. Besides, those shoes are far too big for you. They look like clown shoes. You’re a clown! You are literally a clown.

[beat on Jez struggling to reply]

Hans: [eyes on the street, peering through the curtains] Life and soul of the party, clowns. [turns to face them] We all like a clown, Mark.

Jez: Yeah, we all like a clown, Mark.

Mark: No, Jez, we don’t all fucking like clowns!! Some of us are scared of clowns and now there are kids out there ruining everything!

Jez: They’re just kids, Mark. I blame the parents. Bloody parents. Don’t you just wish all parents would just be…better…parents. And Cameron. He hasn’t hugged one hoodie. Another promise broken. [a youth appears on screen smashing TK Maxx] Poor kids. Look at him. There’s a reason he’s doing that to that window. Probably. It’s Turkey Twizzlers. He’s out of control. Poor mite.

Hans: He wouldn’t be doing that if he had some tasty hummus.

Mark: I think this is a little more complicated than dips. In case you had forgotten Jez, I’m a parent and to be frank with you, I really don’t think you’re in any sort of position to start off-loading societal wisdom. You’ve rioted; you’re one of the mob. You’re one of the mob! I’m living with the mob.

[Jez squeezes down into the sofa to get comfortable]

Jez: Mark, relax. Pour yourself a lovely glass of red wine and watch the news. It’s actually good for once.

Mark: No! We’re taking it back. We’re taking it all back! Now! I don’t care if we get stabbed doing it – we’re going to walk right back in there and return the lot. Even that fucking hummus.

Hans: Wooooah, I never said I pinched these puppies [gesturing to the pots laid out on the table]

Mark: You didn’t?….

Hans: ….well, yeah, I did. But, seriously. Have you seen it out there? It’s barbecue Britain.

Mark: [zipping up his coat and standing next to the TV] We’re going. Jeremy. Help me with the stolen goods, please.

[Jez pauses, screws his face up, then wriggles for the remote. Just as he does so, Jez appears on the screen. It’s from earlier in the day. He’s wearing a balaclava, but it’s clearly him. He looks delirious as he’s seen running and skipping into a sports shop and bounding out like a hyperactive kid clutching three shoeboxes and pushing a shopping trolley filled with food and goodies. He runs past the camera making a Nee-nah-nee-nah noise.]


Mark: You complete tit.

Jez: That’s probably not good, is it?

Hans: I think this calls for some spicy pepper and a nice bit of buffalo mozzarella. [Hans pulls out a whole buffalo mozzarella from under his jacket.]

Jez: Jesus, Hans. [turning back to Mark] Anyway, we can’t go Mark, unless you want to take the baby with you…