Saturday, November 10, 2012

15. Plotting

Tony and Nigel decided to discuss their plan over a few drinks. They left the studio and headed out into the city, walking down the dusty streets as the bright red buses drove past.

“Where would you like to go?” Asked Tony.

“Somewhere quiet for now I think. No rush.” replied Nigel

“Good idea.”

The two of them scanned the street for interesting pubs and bars, finally spying one that looked both cosy and comfortable. Named The Old Hen, it was by all appearances the same kind of d├ęcor that had probably been there since the 1970's. Brown wooden fittings, but with mild yellow and pale green paint in places. As if an interior decorator had been given to small tins of paint and half an hour to give the place some colour. On the plus side, the warm colours gave it a pleasant atmosphere, which was exactly what was needed for some grade A plotting.

Tony and Nigel ordered their drinks and found a quiet spot in the corner from which to plan their assault on the show. Tony explained the contract situation to Nigel, and he started to think to himself.

“I can't take it anymore Nigel.” Started Tony. “I hate what they are doing to my show, but I have no way of leaving.”

“Well Gerald said that he'd take you off air if the ratings dropped too low.” suggested Nigel.

“Yes, but the stream of terrible lowbrow guests they are forcing on me means people are tuning in. Why can't people have at least reasonable taste? I know we can't all enjoy classical music or complex dramas, but my show appears to be attracting the very worst audience around. Apart from Jeremy Kyle of course.”

“Yes, but some people watch that for ironic value.”

“Oh bloody hell. I've got a worse audience than Jeremy Kyle. I'm finished.”

“You aren't finished.”

“Of course I am. My reputation as a respected actor will be blown away, and my popularity is only going to remain with the idiots who think watching bright orange idiots get wasted is the new Panorama.”

“So you're saying you have nothing to lose Tony?

“Basically... well yes. I have essentially nothing left to lose.”

Nigel eyes lit up. “In that case, I have an idea.”

“I'm listening...”

“You can't quit right?”


“And your guests are pulling in the audience?”


“So you are stuck with the job.”

“Yes. When does the idea bit happen?”

“I'm getting to it.” Nigel snapped sarcastically.

“Ok, just checking!”

“You can only get out of this by being fired yes?”


“So what could you do to get yourself fired?”

“Well nothing really.”

“Stop thinking like a professional.”


“Jeez Tony. Fuck the show up.”

Tony thought for a moment. “You mean... seriously ruin it?”


Tony stared at his Merlot for a few moments. “That's brilliant.”

“Why thank you.”

“Will you help me Nigel?”

“You mean ruin my career in TV production for the rest of my life in order to help you gain revenge on the most powerful man in commercial TV?”

“Well when you put it like that...”

“Of course I'm in Tony. You're a good man, and that's all that really matters. Besides, I'd rather be in front of the camera than behind the scenes.” declared Nigel.


For the next hour they sat discussing how they should tackle next week's show, and the battle lines were drawn up. This was war.

Following the pub, the two conspirators headed to Cubism. Nigel said he was meeting a few friends, and Tony was happy to tag along now the pressure was off.

As they arrived outside the small black door with gigantic neon orange sign, it became clear that Nigel knew everybody. Not a lot of people, everybody. However there was one particular person that was needed to help out today.

“Abbie!” Nigel exclaimed as she gave him a huge hug. “Lovely to see you. Look who I brought along.”

Tony walked in just behind them. Abbie waved and hugged him too. She was wearing a soft purple dress that matched her newly maroon hair perfectly. It flowed over her like a wave. She smelt of a sweet perfume, a hint of peaches and flowers, it probably had some extravagant name and cost fifty pounds per squirt. Tony thought it was worth it though.

“I'll go get us some drinks.” Nigel declared, walking off to the bar behind Abbie. Tony noticed him point his finger, first at Abbie and then towards him.

“It's so good to see you again Tony.”

Tony found himself slightly nervous. “And you too. I had so much fun last time we were here. Did you see the er.. paper?”

“Of course. I don't worry about them. No one believes them anyway.”

“I hope not... Abbie.” he started to enquire. “Can you do me a favour please?”

“Of course dear.” replied Abbie, smiling widely. “Anything for you.”

“I need a haircut, something, well... that no one has ever seen before on a middle aged man.” Tony explained.

“Dare I ask why?” Abbie enquired.

“You know how I told you about the show messing me around?”

“Oh god yeah, that contract is ludicrous.”

“I'm going to force them to break it. I am going to get myself fired, from a bloody cannon.”

“Are you sure that's a good idea dear?”


“Then of course I will.”

“Thank you!” Tony shook his fist slightly in celebration at the plan coming together. You know how you said that hair dressing could be art?”

“Wow, you actually listened.” Abbie was impressed, it made a big change for someone to take her ideas that hair styling could be more than just a bit of fashion seriously.

“This is a chance to prove it. You can be the hair stylist that creates the piece that makes the most powerful man in Television spit out his over priced whiskey in horror.” As he said this, a look of pure joy crept over Tony's face.

“Deal!” Abbie exclaimed, she inspected his medium length but tidy black hair. Her eyes lit up, she put her arms round Tony and and squeezed him tightly, whispering softly in his ear with a deliciously mischievous tone. “I'll make him drop the whole bottle dear.”

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