Script

Bubble

Flight


Brett Walpole

Two Bob Note


EXT. COVERED CONCRETE UNDERPASS - DAY


The space is grey and bleak, lit by industrial orange fluorescent fittings. There is graffiti on the walls of this otherwise featureless scene. In black and white we see the image through a CCTV camera, but we can see in colour only that which is Red. A busker in his mid 40's is dressed in an old suit and wearing a red Father Christmas bobble hat. He is standing, playing a guitar and it is a slow, sad song. People walk by and someone throws some change into the open guitar case at his feet.


BUSKER

Thank you.


He continues playing. A YOUNG MAN, perhaps 24, reasonably well dressed, holding a portable cassette tape player, with headphones on and a sleeping bag under his arm walks past then backs up to the busker.


YOUNG MAN

Hey, mate can you spare some change?


The busker shakes his head.


BUSKER

No, that I can't. Are you having a laugh?


YOUNG MAN

Come on, you've got loads. I only want enough to get some food.


BUSKER

You have to earn that.


YOUNG MAN

Ah shit, what am I going to do?


The young man sits down on the floor next to the busker in despair.


YOUNG MAN (CONT’D)

You got a cigarette?


BUSKER

I don't smoke.


The young man is getting stressed and very anxious. He shouts out at some of the businessmen walking by.


YOUNG MAN

Fuckers!


The busker stops playing and sits down next to the young man.


BUSKER

You can't stay here, this is my spot, you're going to scare off all my customers.


YOUNG MAN

I just need a fucking cigarette and I'll be cool.


The busker takes a pouch of tobacco and some papers from his pocket and hands it to the young man.


YOUNG MAN (CONT’D)

I thought you didn't smoke.


BUSKER

I don't, this is for exchange.


The young man looks at the tobacco.


YOUNG MAN

I can't smoke them, I can't roll.


The busker shakes his head.


BUSKER

Watch and learn.


The busker rolls a cigarette and hands it to the young man.


YOUNG MAN

Bit skinny isn't it...


BUSKER

Like you. Take it.


The young man takes the cigarette.


YOUNG MAN

You got a light mate?


BUSKER

Do you want me to smoke it for you

too?


The busker hands him a light and the young man starts smoking. Three skateboarders go by.


YOUNG MAN

Ah, this is the life hey. No worries, no cares, no-one telling you what to do. Yeah I could get used to this.


The busker has started playing his guitar again but now sitting down.


BUSKER

Are you crazy?! You're in the arsehole of the world. You better get used to that. How long you been on the street?


YOUNG MAN

Er, first night. It's no big deal, I'm man enough, there ain't no hard shit I can't handle.


BUSKER

Brother, you have no idea do you? Why don't you go home, get into a nice warm bed and watch Celebrity Big Brother or something.


YOUNG MAN

Can't, can't go back, too much heavy shit. Step-dad keeps beating me, Mum thinks it's funny. Ran out. Only option.


The busker looks at him for a while, he plays then stops, there is silence. Eventually the young man looks up and stares back.


YOUNG MAN (CONT’D)

What?


BUSKER

What have you got?


YOUNG MAN

I ain't got shit, except for this sleeping bag, and this tape player, all I managed to grab before the bastard chased me out.


BUSKER

What music do you listen to?


YOUNG MAN

Disco.


He looks away effecting cool. The busker laughs.


BUSKER

No, I said MUSIC.


YOUNG MAN

I don't know what it is with people. It's not just good dance music you know. Have you ever made love with your lady while listening to disco?


BUSKER

No. Have you?


YOUNG MAN

Well no. But I reckon it would be pretty damn fine. Listen.


The young man takes his headphones and passes them to the busker who puts them on. The young man presses 'Play' and a disco track bursts into life. The busker moves his head to the beat for a while then removes the headphones.


BUSKER

Yeah, it's alright.


YOUNG MAN

It's alright.


The young man looks dejected, flicks his cigarette away and presses 'Stop' before looking up at the roof, putting his head in his hands and letting out a long groaning sigh. A woman pulling a bag on wheels goes by. The busker takes a "Twix" chocolate bar from his pocket, opens it and offers one half to the young man. The young man hesitates, not able to decide which half to take.


BUSKER

Well go on.


YOUNG MAN

I don't know which one.


BUSKER

They're the same!


YOUNG MAN

The advert says, "Left or Right? Pick one and choose a side."


BUSKER

It's not a political decision! Just take one before I have them both.


The young man takes one and eats.


YOUNG MAN

Cheers, and they say nothing in life is free.


BUSKER

It isn't and that wasn't. But here's something that is; advice; if you're going to survive down here you're going to have to learn. What can you do?


YOUNG MAN

I can't do shit. I'm good for nothing.


BUSKER

Can you tie your shoe laces?


YOUNG MAN

Fuck you. Course I can. Everyone can!


BUSKER

I don't know, I see a lot of people wearing slip ons... The young man forces a laugh.


YOUNG MAN

Hey, you play that thing pretty well, how long you been at it?


BUSKER

I forget, a long time. You play?


YOUNG MAN

Nah, I'm shit at that kind of thing.


BUSKER

Ever tried?


YOUNG MAN

No.


BUSKER

Here, see what you can't do. The busker hands him the guitar. The young man tries for only a few seconds then gives up in anger. A man and his dog walk by.


YOUNG MAN

No, I can't do that, anyhow guitars are shit.


The young man hands the guitar back.


BUSKER

They're not shit. Look how much money me and my guitar have made in just this last hour.


The young man looks in the case.


YOUNG MAN

Yeah, like I said, you've got everything, I've got nothing.

There's a problem with the distribution of wealth around here.


BUSKER

How about this?


The busker reaches behind himself to reveal a small electronic keyboard, no more than a foot in length.


YOUNG MAN

What is that?!


BUSKER

It's a synthesiser.


YOUNG MAN

A synthesiser! It looks more like a toy out of a cracker!


BUSKER

Try.


The busker turns the keyboard on and then hands it to the young man who begins to make some sounds and even a little tune in accompaniment to an electronic disco beat. He starts getting into it and the busker begins to smile, but suddenly the young man has a bad reaction.


YOUNG MAN

Nah, that's suspect man, sounds like one of those musical Christmas cards. How old is this thing any ways, sounds like it's from the 1980's!


BUSKER

1987.


The busker takes the keyboard back, rather gloomily. A girl pushing her bicycle along goes by.


YOUNG MAN

What I need are some drums. Something with some rhythm, yeah, that's what this sleazy place needs, a bit of funky soul, get the place jumping!


BUSKER

You ever play the drums?


YOUNG MAN

Nah, but anyone can play the drums.


BUSKER

Not so, it's not something you can really teach. It has to be here. The busker slaps his hand over his heart.


YOUNG MAN

Rubbish, you give me some drums, I'll show you, I'm sure it's a piece of piss. Really, how hard can it be?!


The busker once again reaches behind himself and pulls out a pair of congas, two small hand drums joined together. The busker is smiling.


BUSKER

Ok smart ass. You're such a natural why don't you show me what you've got?


The young man looks up at him and swallows.


YOUNG MAN

I didn't know you... I'm mean I was just saying... Shit, give them here, bloody drums.


The young man, starts very slowly just tapping the drums and exploring their sound, he tries all sorts of ways of striking them with his fingers and knuckles and sides of his hand. He's curious as to the different sounds he can make. Soon he begins to make a rhythm and quickly he's playing like a pro. On his face he wears an expression of shock, as it seems his hands have taken over. Suddenly he manages to say something.


YOUNG MAN (CONT’D)

I'm doing it! I'm only fucking doing it!


BUSKER

You're a natural.


YOUNG MAN

I'm a natural! I can't stop!


BUSKER

Don't stop.


YOUNG MAN

I can't, I can't stop.


The busker takes a spare red Father Christmas hat and puts it on the head of the young man as his hands race in a blur. The busker picks up his guitar and begins playing, trying to match the rhythm, soon he gets into the groove and the two are playing along in improvised harmony with an up-beat tempo. They are still sitting down. As the people walk by, more and more throw change into the open guitar case. The young man keeps looking down at the coins as they fly in.


YOUNG MAN (CONT’D)

How much of that is mine?


BUSKER

We share from now on.


The busker moves the guitar case so that it is now in between and in front of them both. They play more, the busker with a cool look on his face as he gets into the funky beat, the young man still shocked as to his own hidden natural talent. After a while the young man turns to the busker as they continue to play.


YOUNG MAN

What's your name?


BUSKER

Bob. What's yours?


YOUNG MAN I'm Bob too.


They continue playing for a while looking straight ahead.


BUSKER

Ok from now on, you're Bob II and I'm Bob I.


YOUNG MAN

Whatever you say Bob I.


BOB I

Right on Bob II.


They play some more. The sound of sleigh bells begins to fade in. Out of the corner or their eyes they both catch a glimpse of a beautiful woman in a red dress and a white fake fur coat in red and white trainers, with little white pom-poms on the heels, she is walking towards them. As their heads are turned in a stupefied gaze, the sound of sleigh bells increases in volume as the music they play becomes quiet, almost completely muted. They are both transfixed and follow her in slow motion as she approaches. On passing them she drops a crisp, red, fifty pound note in the guitar case which flutters and twirls in slow motion as it falls. The two musicians looking up at her don't notice the money as their eyes simply follow the woman until she is out of view. The sound of sleigh bells fades out. All the time, the two Bobs have been playing their music but when she has left they both stop, look at each other, saying in unison and hushed amazement...


BOB I and BOB II

Mrs. Christmas...


Then they both look down at the fifty pound note and stare at it before looking up at each other again.


BOB II

How are we supposed to share that?!


MUSIC : CREDITS