Dialogue Extract (Shady Business)

by Robin Hawdon

Note for directors:-  Please make the actors play this for REAL.  If they shout and pull faces and try to be funny, they will lose the essence of the play, as well as many of the laughs)

MANDY Right – who the hell is this?
TANIA It’s your feller.
MANDY It certainly is not my feller!
TANIA (TO TERRY)   Aren’t you her feller?
TERRY (SHAKING HIS HEAD)   I’m not her feller.
MANDY (INDICATING THE BATHROOM)   I told you to get rid of that one in there, not go out and get another one!
TANIA He is that one in there.
MANDY How can he be that one in there?
TANIA I saw him come out of there.   (TO TERRY)    Didn’t I see you come out of there?
TERRY No, you saw me going in there.
TANIA What for?
TERRY To see who else was in there.
TANIA I’m going out of my mind! Who else was in there?
TERRY Don’t ask me.  (INDICATES THE FRONT DOOR)   I came in there, and someone else was going in there.
TANIA (TO MANDY)   Who else could be in there?
MANDY The one I told you was in there!
TANIA Well where is he now?
MANDY Still in there, I presume.
TANIA (GOING TO THE BATHROOM)   He can’t be!   (TRIES THE DOOR)   He is.
MANDY (PUSHING HER ASIDE AND WHISPERING THROUGH THE DOOR)  Gerry!
TANIA I thought she said Gerry.
MANDY Will you come out of there, for Christ’s sake!   (TURNS)  He must have climbed out the window.
TANIA Four stories up?
MANDY This is ridiculous.  (INDICATING TERRY)   Who’s this then?
TERRY I’m Terry.
MANDY Terry?
TANIA I thought he was your guy. So I told Big Mack he was mine – like you said.
MANDY Terrific! Where’d he come from?
TANIA I don’t know.
TERRY I’m new. My boss runs the restaurant for Big Mack. He told me to deliver the week’s…  you know, dosh.
MANDY That should have come last night.
TERRY I had a bit of bother.
MANDY Bother?
TERRY I couldn’t come over then. So I came this morning. To try and explain.
MANDY Explain what?
  (HE TAKES AN ENVELOPE FROM HIS POCKET, AND GLANCES AT DOZER)
TERRY (WHISPERING)   This is it.  But it’s not all there.
MANDY Not all there!
TERRY Shhh!  I lost some.
MANDY Lost?
TERRY Yeh.
MANDY Where?
TERRY At your club.
MANDY How?
TERRY Playing roulette.
MANDY What??
TERRY There’s an illegal gaming room round the back.
MANDY I know that. What were you doing there?
TERRY I went there…. for a flutter.
MANDY How much did you lose?
TERRY A grand.
MANDY A thousand quid!
TANIA From Luigi’s takings?
TERRY Yeh.
MANDY Bloody hell, Terry!  You went gambling at Big Mack’s club with Big Mack’s own money?
TERRY Yeh.
MANDY He’s cut off ears for less than that!
TERRY I know, but you see I had a bit of a crisis.
TANIA You’ve got a bigger one now.
TERRY The thing was, I owed some money, and it had to be paid back.
MANDY How much?
TERRY A thousand quid.
TANIA Another thousand?
TERRY Yeh.
MANDY Who to?
TERRY Er…. Big Mack actually.
MANDY (PAUSE)   Can you start again?
TERRY It was like this. A few weeks ago I wanted some cash to make up the price on this car a mate of mine was selling. Great little sports car. So I borrowed a grand from a loan shark – stupid, I know – who turned out to be one of Big Mack’s people.
TANIA Name?
TERRY Harry the Spanner, they called him.
MANDY Oh God!
TERRY Then I lost my job, and I couldn’t keep up the payments. I spent everything I had on the interest alone….
MANDY Why didn’t you go to a bank? – they’ll give you interest in single figures.
TERRY I’m already over my limit there.
MANDY Silly question.
TERRY Anyway, this Harry character was coming on heavy for his thousand quid back – or Big Mack’s as it turns out.
TANIA That’s why he’s called the Spanner. Twists your nuts.
TERRY Yeh.  Well then by chance I got the job at Luigi’s, and found out that was one of Big Mack’s businesses too, and suddenly I had an idea.
MANDY Oh dear.
TERRY I thought, if I used some of his cash to gamble at his own club, then I might win enough to pay him back his thousand, and if I didn’t, well it wouldn’t matter too much because he’d only be winning back his own money…. if you see what I mean.
MANDY (LONG PAUSE)  What?
TERRY Well, it seemed to make sense at the time.
TANIA (SLOWLY)   Let me get this straight. You gambled at Big Mack’s club, with Big Mack’s money, to try and win from Big Mack money you owed Big Mack, thinking that if you lost it to Big Mack it was Big Mack’s anyway, so Big Mack wouldn’t mind?
TERRY (PAUSE)   Yeh.
  (TANIA LOOKS SLOWLY ROUND AT DOZER.)
TANIA What do you think about that, Dozer?
DOZER (FROWNING)  Sounds all right to me.
TANIA I somehow don’t think it’ll sound all right to Big Mack.
MANDY It’ll sound bloody unbelievable to Big Mack!  Big Mack will have Harry the Spanner tighten your nuts so tight you’ll never find them again….