Saturday, October 05, 2013

Rhodesian insanity – Simply the Pest at his Best! Spoiler Alert

Rhodesian insanity – Simply the Pest at his Best! Spoiler Alert

I was supposed to go to the Oktoberfest today and meet up with eldest son. Rhodie glad rags all prepared on the bed, showered and shaved, taxi booked to take me to the train station – and then. Boom! David informs me it is lashing down , all tents have reached over capacity and more chance of getting a seat in an electric chair in Texas for murder; than a spot on a bench for a mass krug in Munich.

Talk about ‘pissed off!' (Get it?)

A tad annoyed, I decided to check out my back up discs for photos of when I climbed the sand dunes of the Sossusvlei. That’s the place in Namibia where the locals have nothing in there vocabulary that describes ‘rain’. Even trying to explain that water in other places on this planet falls from the sky in such quantities they drown in the stuff just wandering down to the local McDonalds; sends them into psychotic shock.

And then I came across some Open University stuff. I discovered a radio play I once wrote. Now, when I did 18 months of Creative Writing and Advanced Creative Writing (nearly getting kicked off both courses for being an obnoxious pest), I was taught loads of stuff. For example – how to place your name at the top of an exam paper…tra-la-la.

Well, I used the course to systematically take examples from The Gokwe Kid and Simply the Pest, get feedback, and learn to create the books that many people have read – all six of them!

So I had a bit of problem (still have), but in this case I had to adapt one story into some kind of stage play or radio play. Ah – there was trouble ahead. Please bear, bare, beer with me because what I did nearly caused a riot. (As usual.)

This is a bit of a long posting but worth the laugh if you are also suffering from a grey Saturday afternoon when should be at ‘Beers are Us’ in Munich. Now, after being a clever-clever and sent in an adapted version of ‘Going down in blaze of glorious vomit’ (Chapter Ten in StP), I suddenly realised I was going to have one heck of a problem adapting it.

The solution was not simple. I decided on a radio adaption. First big mistake is that I used BBC formatting and lost points because I should have used OU style and  ‘Why do you not obey the rules and regulations?’, comment from tutor. Dumb question - it is like asking a Rhodie ‘Why did you fight to the bitter end?’

Ignore and glide over the technical stuff of a written radio play. The only thing you need to know is if you read this outside of the United Kingdom (that’s an oxymoron), is the personality called Jonathon Ross. I wrote this just as he was in total disgrace with the BBC. He was BBC/is ITV, a chat show presenter. Totally full of himself, obnoxious as hell - and the only difference between us is our bank account statements. His insane looking wife made the film ‘Kick Ass’, which I personally thought was brilliant. But – forget all that.

Here it is. Perhaps a spoiler alert, but those that have read that chapter will delight in this adaption, and those that have not; may decide – no thanks…you are clinically insane…

(PS - Ignore some obvious formatting errors - the Google and word.doc are not exactly 'chinas', no matter how you mess with it...)

By Karl Greenberg

NR                                                                                        BBC Newsreader
JR                                                                                        Jonathon Ross -
                                             Risqué British television and radio presenter
KG                                                                                       Karl Greenberg –
                                                                     Author of Last of the Rhodesians

BROADCAST:                               25th December 2008
STUDIO:                                          BBC Radio Theater, Broadcasting House, London
PRODUCER:                                 Jonathon Ross

NR:               And that is the end of the BBC News. Now on Radio 7, it is our monthly date with the classic BBC comedy series, ‘I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again’. (PAUSE)   I'm sorry; I will read that again. It appears someone has leaked the tape to the press, so instead; we will now switch over to Radio 4’s Bookclub, presented  by Jonathan Ross.
Those listeners well practiced in complaining, know whom to contact, (SARCASTIC) the rest shouldn’t bother.

GRAMS                     "ODE TO JOY" BEETHOVEN'S Symphony No. 9. EST. AND FADE.        (FX AND MUSIC CD TK1)

JR:               Hallo, I am Jonathon Ross and welcome to Bookclub and a memoir, ‘Last of the Rhodesians; Chronicles of a Colonial Anarchist’, that is sure to overtake mine in the bestseller list. As most listeners will know, the only reason I am presenting this today is because my lawyers threatened to bankrupt the BBC, unless I was allowed to return to the air and offer you first class entertainment. (SARCASTIC) This, as we know, has been severely lacking since I was suspended.

FX                   AUDIENCE LAUGHTER                          (FX CD tk2)

JR:               Anyway, enough about me. The memoir is situated in Southern Africa, Rhodesia to be exact, in the ’60s and 70s and is about some white kid having a ball, before the government was replaced by black men wearing Savile Row suits, in what is now Zimbabwe.
JR:               Now I would like to welcome the author of this forthcoming memoir, Karl Greenberg.
KG:              Thank you Jonathan for inviting me here today. I must say, that was an interesting choice of opening music score, Beethoven’s 9th, the ‘Ode to Joy’.
JR:               I thought you might appreciate that. Listeners will be amazed to know that the Rhodesian white supremacist government of the time used it as their national anthem. Looking at the state of Zimbabwe these days, I wouldn’t be surprised if their anthem was a couple of numbers less.
KG:              I presume you mean Beethoven’s 7th, second movement, ‘The Death March’?
JR;               (TRIUMPHANT) That would be perfect, considering the state the place is in now.

FX                   AUDIENCE LAUGHTER                          (FX CD tk2)

KG:              (ANNOYED) May I ask you what that terrible noise is?
JR:               You mean this one?

FX                   AUDIENCE LAUGHTER                          (FX CD tk2)
JR:               That is the audience laughing at our witty banter. It’s called canned laughter.  
KG:              (AMAZED) Canned laughter? The only laughter I know of that comes in cans, is called beer. Too much of that also gets tedious after a while as well.
JR:               I agree, I can’t be arsed with it either. It’s not as if I exactly get paid more for making cans laugh. (LAUGHS) Now, talking about drinking, it seems to be quite prominent in the only chapter of your memoir I have read, so let’s discuss that.
KG:              That will be the chapter called, ‘Be Prepared’
JR:               That’s the one, what exactly is it about? 
KG:              Well Jonathan, it is a sort of riot of passion –
JR:               ‘Right of passage’ is what I think you mean.
KG:              Same thing really. It is about the night I turned from being a wimpy 16 year old Boy Scout, learning to tie knots, into a real ‘Rhodie’ macho man.
JR:               (sarcastic) At 16 you were still learning to tie knots?
KG:              That is true Jonathan. I was too old. By the time of the evening for the Scouts annual general meeting in 1974, I had had enough of the whole thing.
JR:               You write that the Scout Troop you were a member of was only for white kids. Was this due to the apartheid practiced by the Rhodesian government?
KG:              That is a very good question. I didn’t have a clue why we were segregated. I simply took it for granted. However, there were all black Boy Scout troops, as well. In fact, I had a run in with them a couple of times.
JR:               Listeners may find this interesting, as here in Britain we had no official segregation, just poor bastards and rich people; like me. (LAUGHS) So what happened when you had a run in with the black Boy Scouts ?
KG:              Well, at a Scout Rally in ‘72, I reprimanded a large black Boy Scout for using the obstacle course after dusk -
JR:               (SNEER) And you being white, you obviously thought you used your authority wisely. How did the young man respond?
KG:              (PAINED) He punched me in my right eye and I fell down. He then ran off into the surrounding bush and -
JR:               (SARCASTIC) Perhaps this was the start of the bush war that was to end Rhodesian rule?
KG:              Without a doubt. It still pains me. Then a year later, at a Scout cooking competition, I had reported to the organisers that a group of black contestants were being illegally coached by their Scoutmaster.
JR:               And were they disqualified?
KG:              (DISGUST) On the contrary, the cheating bastards went on to win first prize in their group. The stupid white organisers had brushed off my complaints with, ‘They don’t stand a chance, so don’t worry’. (SERIOUS) At that point, I instinctively knew that we whites would lose the war.
JR:               (SURPRISED) That is definitely a new approach as to the reasons of the decline of Rhodesia. We will continue with this saga after a short break.

FX                   TV/RADIO LICENCE SKETCH 01
TK 3)
CHILD:          (PITYINGLY) I hope Santa has left me lots of presents Mummy. I wish Daddy was here instead of that stupid Pakistan.
WOMAN:       (UPBEAT) It’s Afghanistan my dear, and you know Daddy is fighting bad people to make our home safe. Come – let’s see what Santa has left for you.
CHILD:          (HORRIFIED) Mummy, Mummy, there is nothing under the tree (CRYING) and Santa has stolen our  television (SOBS) and the DVD player.
WOMAN:       (DISTRESSED) Oh my God!
CHILD:          (HOPEFUL) Look Mummy, Santa left us a card.
WOMAN:       (OPENS ENVELOPE) It’s not from Santa darling, it is from the television and radio licensing office. It says, ‘We took your Tele because you have not renewed your license and the presents will be auctioned off to cover the costs. Have a Merry Christmas.’
MAN:              (MERRILY) Ho Ho Ho, remember, we know where you live. (SINISTERLY) No one is exempt from buying a license.

KG:              (DISGUST) That’s not very nice, is it?
JR:               (LAUGHS) Serves them bloody well right, the BBC has my wages to pay, at least a thousand journalists worth. Anyway, so Karl, on that very special night, you said that you couldn’t be bothered attending the ceremonies, but instead took refuge in the quartermaster store with a Chinaman.
KG:              I wouldn’t put it quite like that. Chinamen were also banned from our Scout troop… Come to think of it, I can’t recall ever seeing any Chinese outside of the Mandarin Restaurant in downtown Salisbury either. No, ‘China’ was a term we used for a friend; it still is. I had been telling my china my recent sexual experimentation with the opposite sex.
JR:               (SNIGGERS) Well, we won’t beat around the bush, and move on. So after the ceremonies ended, you went in to help serve cheese and wine for all the adults and visiting dignitaries. I gather your own parents were not there.
KG:              Thankfully not. They had never been fans of my scouting. Besides, Mother was still occupied mourning the fact that a few months previously Father had seen his last morning.
JR:               (JOKINGLY) Was the Prime Minister Ian Smith there?
KG:              (SARCASTIC) Hardly, at that point he was too busy with other problems; like stopping hordes of black people with assault rifles taking over the entire land; never mind 8th Mount Pleasant Scout troop. (LAUGHS) Well, I knew the parents of several ‘chinas’ and the Chief Scout of Mashonaland Province was quite recognisable, since he was dressed up like a Christmas tree; less the lights. That was due to sanctions of course, imposed by Great Britain.
JR:               Ahh sanctions, the supposed curse of Zimbabwe now. In your memoir you say that because of sanctions the adults were forced to drink locally manufactured, er, grown, wine. According to your own writings, it tasted like piss and vinegar.
KG:              That is true. Bloody awful stuff. (MYSTERIOUS) I really think it was refined brake fluid. (CHEERFUL) Still, after a few sneaky glasses for my-self, I didn’t care what the shit tasted like. (TRIUMPHANT) I just knew it was the best thing that could happen to me since when I fondled some bird’s breasts at a party. It was amazing. The more wine I drank, the more I thought of breasts.
JR:               So you could say you were well pissed by now. (SMUTLY) Nothing like binge-drinking and lustful thinking. A very popular pastime here.
KG:              After I had dropped the third wine glass and poured almost a pint of the stuff over someone’s outstretched arm, reaching for a cheese biscuit, I was sacked as head waiter. (LAUGHS) So, now filled with the alcohol fueled thoughts that I was the next Casanova, I wandered around the packed hall making myself acquainted with several of the mothers. I had never realised how attractive older women could be, till then.
 JR:              (LAUGHS) This is getting good. We will be right back after  this break.     
         FX       TV/RADIO LICENCE SKETCH 02.
CHILD:          (HOPEFUL) Oh Mummy, who could that be? Is it maybe Santa because he is too fat to come down the chimney?
WOMAN:       (DISTRESSED) God help us! It is the bailiffs with a repossession order on the house.  We have not paid the TV license. We will be sleeping on the streets tonight.
CHILD:          (WEEPING. HYSTERICAL) But Mummy, you said Daddy is fighting in Afghanistan to keep our home safe.
WOMAN:       Yes, but from the Taliban, darling, not the BBC.
            JINGLE BELLS EST. 
MAN: (MERRILY) Remember, not paying your TV license will mean we will take your house and throw you on the street. Merry Christmas. Ho Ho Ho.
 JR:              (LAUGHS) I just love these jingles. Put the fear of God in the public… So did you enjoy being intoxicated?
 KG:             Well, I had never been drunk before, so I just presumed I  was quite fine. In fact,     more than just fine. I was feeling a little excited for some strange reason, almost  superhuman, except for problems with my balance and most definitely my eyes were suffering. Everything seemed to be out of phase  and I desperately needed to empty my bowls, but couldn’t remember where the toilet was.
JR:               Is that when people started to complain about  your conduct?  Did you not think that there could be some consequences resulting from your rather strange way of  setting an example? (LAUGHS)
 KG:             Hark, look who is talking. You’re not exactly a perfect role model yourself. And you get paid for your anti-social behavior. For my pains, I was unceremoniously kicked out the hall and left to my own devices. Unfortunately for me, about thirty-odd, juvenile delinquents were hanging around, bored out their tiny cretin heads, and just waiting to start trouble.
JR:               (INQUIRING) Those were the Cub Scouts, the Rhodesian version of a pre-teen ‘Hoodie’?
KG:              Well you have to imagine that I was in a rather bad way, both physically and mentally. Those little devils swarmed all over  me like starving locusts and dragged me to the garden tap  where they promptly hosed me down, whilst laughing like a  pack of demented hyenas.
JR:               (LAUGHS)  I am sure many of our listeners will think this is a  Colonial version of ‘Happy-Slapping’.
KG:              Then, if that was not enough, they found a nice puddle of red mud and rolled me around in it, complete in my Che Guevara  type beret, blue and white    neckerchief and  khaki shirt  adorned with my badges of proficiency in swimming, stamp  collecting, skin diving -
JR:               (INQUISITIVE) Binge-drinking? (LAUGHS)
KG:              (LAUGHS) Well, I was certainly doing the test for it -
JR:               And well on the way to passing it, or passing out.
KG:              Anyway, in that state the little bastards threw me back inside  the scout hall, me now resembling an intoxicated swamp monster participating in ‘Strictly Come Staggering’.
JR:               (LAUGHS)  Aah, the piss-artist’s ‘one step forward and two back tango’.
KG:              That’s for sure. I think I had wet myself by then and the hall erupted in turmoil as I   staggered around bouncing off everyone, splashing mud all over the place. (LAUGHS) I   vaguely recall some miserable adults moaning about the condition I was in, but I didn’t give a Boy Scout salute about  what they thought. I just wanted another drink, but they wouldn’t let me near the table.
JR:               That was when the night’s entertainment came to an abrupt end?
KG:              (SAD) Sadly, yes. Everyone was leaving, including me. Problem was, even though I had been forced to do a ‘walkabout’ around the hall and was force-fed cups of vile coffee, I was too legless to ride my bicycle home.
JR:               So how did you get home?
KG:              A parent drove me home, propped up between two other older, rather annoyed scouts. They weren’t too friendly about it. Not knowing I had a key, and me not remembering I had one, they awoke my Mother.
JR:               (LAUGHS) That I gather was not such a good idea.
KG:              That’s for sure. Can you imagine what an apparition I made  on the front door step; suspended between two Boy Scouts, pissed out my skull, dribbling incoherent words    onto my filthy soaked uniform. I will never forget the  comment from my teetotaling, very conservative school  teacher Mother -
JR:               (CROWS) Thank God his father is not alive to see this! (LAUGHS)
KG:              (LAUGHS) That’s for bloody sure. He would have flayed me alive. The thing was though; I did receive punishment of  sorts. Mainly by vomiting so profusely, I painted my bedroom  walls red and landed up sleeping in a puddle of stinking  diced carrots.
JR:               (SNIGGER) Always the puzzle where the carrots come from. So when you went to fetch your bicycle the next day, you were to receive yet another shock to your system?
KG:              (HAPPY) I was informed that I was a disgrace and until I showed more responsibility I wouldn’t be allowed to take any more proficiency awards, even though I had just passed with  top marks the last one.
JR:               (INNOCENT) Which was?
KG:              (PROUD) I was now a fully fledged ‘Rhodie’ macho man, at last. I decided there and then, Fuck the Boy Scouts; no more tying  knots and scrubbing camp pots. It was booze, bird's breasts and the gutter for me.

FX                   CHEERING  APPLAUSE.   FADE OUT

JR:               And on that triumphant note we end today’s program and  wish Karl well.
KG:              Thank you very much Jonathon, and may I say one last word to your listeners?
JR:               As long as it‘s not rude. (LAUGHS)
KG:              (SERIOUS) Make sure you get a TV and radio licence.

GRAMS                     “DEATH MARCH" BEETHOVEN'S        SYMPHONY No. 7- 2nd MOVEMENT.  EST. AND FADE.  (FX AND          MUSIC CD  TK 5)

1 comment:

John said...

Beethoven's 7th symphony, 2nd movement, "The Death March", is a beautiful piece of mysuc. I hope that lot really didn't use it.