Part 2 of Ricardo’s play in 4 movements
Part 1 is here….
Bob: Sorry to interrupt, err hallelujah, but what is the relevance of this to my humble request?
Bono: Just give me a moment whilst I compose myself after thinking about those poor wretches who are cruelly kicked in the guts every day by the bourgeois sybarites of the 16th arrondissement. These miserable outcasts of Paris, the spiritual descendants of Victor Hugo, who have risked everything for a better life in the land of Liberté, égalité and fraternité, from places like Chad, Mali, Algeria and Syria, live in absolute squalor. Poor sanitation, sub-standard housing, prostitution, rampant crime, rap music, illiteracy, mass unemployment, teenage gangs, drug addictions. This heart-breaking list just goes on and on. Even L’Assommoir wasn’t this depressing. I feel I have been appointed by the spirit of Émile Zola to do something to ameliorate their plight.
Bob muttering to himself: Fir fook’s sake, I should have just asked Brendan Gleeson.
Bono continues to way lyrical about the social lepers of the Parisian banlieue: I stab myself in the heart over and over again, every day of every week, just thinking about it. If my circumstances had been different, born in the banlieue of Paris and without being blessed with my unique musical talents, I could now be head of an infamous drug gang in Montreuil, lording it up in some swanky hotel, dreaming up my next money-laundering venture whilst constantly demanding that everyone in Paris give me all their money.
As he stares wistfully into his Royal Limoges hand-painted porcelain coffee cup, a solitary tear descends from Bono’s eye like rainwater dripping from a rusty gutter at the top of a dilapidated, high rise flat in Clichy-sous-Bois, he continues: I’ve been reliably informed that it’s common for a malnourished and penniless, skin n’bones family of 14 to share a tiny, cramped, one bedroom flat with no heating, no toilet and no hot water.
Bono starts to emotionally fall apart: It tears me apart emotionally limb from limb just thinking about it.
Bono now on the verge of emotional collapse: It’s unjust and it’s sickening and it’s heart breaking and it’s gut-wrenching and it’s soul-destroying and I’ve bought a 72 bedroom chateau, 48 kilometres away and it’s cost me a King’s ransom. €14 million yet it needs a new roof. That will set me back another €184,000 plus £776,000 to install an ensuite in every bedroom. Have you ever had to deal with French tradesmen? Nightmare. All they ever do is shrug their shoulders and say ‘demain’. Then they still don’t turn up.
Bob: Shouldn’t the survey have picked up the extensive roof repairs?
Bono: Do you think anyone in their right mind would pay €1,789 for a survey?
And you should see how much I have to pay each year in taxe fonciére and taxe d’habitation.
Bob: Why are you wasting your money on furniture from Habitat? It’s cheap crap made from MDF.
Greetin: How dare you? How dare you buy MDF? This insatiable global demand for MDF has resulted in the destruction of the Tasmanian rainforests. And now there’s no Tasmanian Tigers or Dragons or Unicorns.
Bob reminiscing: I once knew a groupie called Tasmin. Spitting image of Monica Bellucci. Met her in Sydney but she was from Lebanon. I had some great times with her. Those were happy days when I didn’t have a care in the world—
Greetin: The Lebanon! Now there’s a country after my own heart. It is so eco-friendly it even has a Pine Tree in the middle of its flag.
Bono: If you do your research properly, you’ll find it’s actually a cedar tree; as in Cedars of Lebanon.
Greetin: No, it’s not. How dare you contradict me. It’s a fookeen pine tree. Tell me, just who is the eco-warrior here?
Bob: Could we please get back to my request? Could you possibly help us raise funds for all the brave Doctors and Nurses who are risking their own lives to defeat this terrible pandemic?
Bono: Fair enough, a worthy cause, but what about all the poor, starving kids in Africa?
Bono starts to clap slowly: Did (clap) you know (clap) that (clap) every time (clap) I clap my hands (clap) a starving child (clap) in Africa (clap) dies from (clap) malnu (clap) ….trition (cl—
Well stop clapping then, interjects Greetin with somewhat more alacrity than diplomacy
Greetin is saved from defenestration by her beeping mobile as Bob and Bono are mesmerised by the siren-like cackling on Greetin’s mobile.
Greetin talking excitedly: Oh, hi honey bun. You light up my life just by texting me. But a phone call. This is heavenly. How are you baby? How are your boys? And is H still being a good boy?
(More cackling on her mobile). What, he still does everything you tell him to, even telling his Grandma what you think of her! That’s wicked.
(Mirthlike cackling on her mobile) Just like an obedient little puppy. Just as you want him.
(Blissful cackling). But I do think you were expecting a bit too much when you demanded that he tell his Gran to ‘go kiss his royal ginger ass’.
(Self-congratulatory cackling) He DID actually tell her to kiss his royal ginger ass! Oh honey, that is AWESOME. You must be so proud of him. Hah, I bet the daft old bat didn’t know how to respond to that. RESPECT!
(Distraught cackling) She promptly stripped his royal ginger ass of all his titles? REALLY? How could someone act so vindictively towards a member of their own family? That must have come as a shock to you. Who does she think he is: Oliver Cromwell?
(Totally inconsolable screaming, howling and wailing): And far worse than that, she stripped you of all your titles too? How dare she?
(Baffled ‘never even fookeen heard of Olivia Cromwell. Did she once have a bit part in Suits?’ wailing) And she said you were the worst thing to befoul the Royal family since that other annoying bloody American, Wallis Hitler-ass-kissing Simpson?
(Victimised sobbing) And she vowed that you would never appear on the front cover of Horse & Hound? Girl, you need to get straight on that phone to the great Piers Morgan. He’s great. He’ll stand up for you, no doubt about it. He’ll sort her out. You mark my words. Ring him NOW!
(Maudlin cackling) He hates you too??? I never could stand him anyway. Obnoxious, self-opinionated git.
(Slightly less hysterical sobbing) My point exactly. What have you ever done to upset her? Honey Bun, please stop crying. Maybe you should email Boris Johnson? Or Sir Keir Starmer; you might have more luck with him. He’s a lawyer. Or maybe even Nicola Surgeon. Or if you’re really desperate, Alex Salmond.
(Bereft wailing) No, sweetie, I’ve got no idea where Sussex is either.
(Agitated cackling on her mobile). WHAT?? The vindictive old crow now wants you to give her back your miserable, little £4 million cottage? And after all that hard work and all the millions you spent renovating it?
(Pathos-laced cackling pathos) How dare she? In these times of austerity, HOW DARE SHE throw you out of your marital home, a struggling, mixed-race, family with two unemployed and aimless parents. Who does she think she is: the Queen of England? (more agitated, Robespierre-esque cackling)
(Followed by contemptuous cackling). It was just a decrepit old dump built in 1801? And it didn’t even come with a jacuzzi, gym, beauty salon, home cinema, all-weather tennis court, indoor heated swimming pool or helicopter landing pad? No wonder all the Brits used to emigrate to Australia in the nineteenth century.
(Don’t I have a voice? cackling) I absolutely agree, why couldn’t they have gotten you a brand new, 5 bedroom condo overlooking Canary Wharf and within spitting distance of the US and Canadian Embassies? Especially as you are appreciated and held in such high esteem by those two countries unlike the insolent rabble that are the Brits.
(Aghast cackling) You gotta be kiddin me? His granny’s exact words were ‘Why don’t you both fook off to Canada and don’t come back and, whilst you’re at it, take your fookeen useless Uncle Andrew with you as he’s become a total fookeen liability’? Well, I’ve never heard the Queen talk like that in any of her Christmas Day addresses to the British Nation. I didn’t realise the BBC had to censor her scripts so drastically. Though I wouldn’t trust that bunch of Oxbridge Trotskyites with the evening weather report.
(Disgusted cackling) And she told you she would rather the United Kingdom become a Stalinist dictatorship than let you take her place in her address to the British Nation on Christmas Day? How dare she? How dare she be so ungrateful? That lady needs to get a grip. And I can’t believe she had the effrontery to reject your Christmas Day script telling you that she couldn’t give a regal rat’s arse about Compton, or Clapham for that matter.
(Joan of Arcesque sobbing) I can’t believe she then kicked you in the guts by saying ‘if you’re merely surviving not thriving in Berkshire then fook off to Alberta’ after all you’ve done to help her stuck up family connect with the common people like having the Kingdom Gospel Choir at your wedding and that weird looking kid with the cello and weird, psychedelic socks.
(Resigned sobbing) I don’t blame you. I think you would be much happier in California too. Oh, and what did President Trump say when you called him?
(Mournful cackling) Holy Sunbaking Polar Bears. Words fail me. The parsimonious old git refused point blank to give you 15 bodyguards each and 24/7 protection for when you relocate to LA? How dare he? HOW DARE—
(Interrupted by aghast cackling) And he didn’t stop laughing when you demanded that a team of US Navy Seals escort you whenever you take Archie with a bucket and spade to Venice Beach? How could they possibly have more important things to do? He deserves to face impeachment. I always suspected him of being a misogynist. He doesn’t fool me with his bevy of stunning, drop-dead gorgeous Czech wives.
(Abruptly interrupted by horrified cackling) NOOOO darlin. I didn’t say they were anywhere near as beautiful as you sweetie. I am truly sorry if I have offended you. Pleeeease don’t delete me from your Instagram followers.
(Exonerating cackling) Doesn’t he know who you are? Doesn’t he keep up with world affairs? Is this bouffant-headed dinosaur totally unaware that you once appeared in a TV commercial for Tostitos Corn Chips?
(Accusatory cackling) Yep, that explains why he is building a great big fence to keep the poor, oppressed Mexicans out. He clearly despises anyone from an ethnic minority background. Maybe you should speak to one of the Mexican drug cartels?
(Bitterly disappointed cackling) You already have? All of them? Wow. That’s awesome. Are they all gonna help? You must be really excited about getting all those guys on your side. They won’t take any crap from him.
….WHAT??? None of them had ever heard of you and they told you where you can shove your Tostitos Corn Chips? Then they promptly hung up? You’re right sister, that’s useless, misogynistic men for you. Same wherever you go in this sordid, patriarchal world. Apart from when I crossed the Atlantic in my luxury yacht. I had a crew of 13 subservient males who had to answer to my every whim. But then I am a world-famous, global superstar.
(Aghast cackling): But not as famous as you, my beautiful Princess
(Pedantic cackling) : Sorry, mea culpa, my beautiful Duchess
(Distraught cackling involving copious use of fookeen and blindin) And President Trump didn’t even know that you appeared in Suits and that you once wrote a letter to Hillary Clinton?
(Further distraught cackling involving ultra-copious use of fookeen and blindin) And to add insult to injury he rejected your advertising slogan for his re-election campaign? I thought ‘Just keep on Trumping’ was utterly brilliant. It would have swept aside all the other uninspiring entries at this year’s national American Advertising Awards had it not been blocked by his hubris.
(Concurring cackling) Well, all I can say is that it’s his loss not yours if he can’t recognise creative genius when he crosses its path. He’ll only have himself to blame when he loses to that commie in a closet, Joe Fracking Biden who should be presenting the BBC News Weather Reports.
(Vengeful cackling) I don’t blame you Venus-britches. I wouldn’t ever vote Republican again either after the shoddy way in which this brute has stabbed you in the back. You’re bang on, he clearly doesn’t value or merit the female vote.
(Threatening cackling) Yes, absolutely. Make a deal out of this when you are interviewed live tomorrow evening on ABC7 KABC. And tell everyone to vote for the Democrats. That’ll trump him.
(Petrified cackling) Oh my God. You are now the #1 target for every Islamic Terrorist Cell along the entire West Coast of the USA? So you daren’t ever step inside another Indian restaurant for as long as you live? Holy Sheesh. But I do think you would be safe with a takeaway doner kebab.
(Trenchant cackling) You’re absolutely right to put your foot down and tell H that he simply has to accept that, despite his privileged upbringing, the whole world does not revolve around him and that we all have to make sacrifices in our quest for personal enlightenment and nirvana. You tell him gal.
(Hybrid terrorist-culinary cackling) Yes, I agree. Whether he likes it or not, you were right to tell him he must stop his pathetic whining about never being able to eat chicken bhuna again. Or at least whilst he is married to you.
Bob under his breath: I’ll give it six months.
Bono with more gusto: Max.
An exasperated Bob: Greetin, have you finished yet talking to that self-obsessed, publicity-craving, narcissistic gold digger? I am trying to conduct some serious business here.
(Loud cackling ‘I heard that, asshole’ with a not particularly welcoming invitation to the ‘Judas-like, anti-Fenian stooge of the British Establishment’ to kiss the aforesaid cackler’s ducal ass).
Greetin: Bob, how dare you? HOW DARE YOU listen in to my private conversation? Majestic Maternal Megs is calling me from Los Angeles despite being destitute and unemployed with a royally unemployable husband in tow.
(Annoyed cackling questioning what is going on and why Greetin isn’t giving her full, undivided attention when she speaks)
Greetin: Sorry babe. Please forgive me.
(Irate cackling). I agree with you, the Brits have absolutely no class or manners. Yeah, I bet there’s more royalists in Compton than in the whole of Britain. Hold on, he’s telling me he’s Irish not British. You should look at the scowl on his face. Perhaps he doesn’t like Mondays.
(Enhanced irate cackling) Sorry, yeah, absolutely agree, they’re not much better than the Limeys despite their charming accents. Buy why can’t you tell him that his bank account is gonna need more than a bandaid once your Attorney has finished with him?
Interrupted by Bolshevikesque cackling: She said what? Is she serious?
(Begging pathetically cackling) Holy Sixty Degree Celsius. You have to pay back the entire £2.4 million you spent on renovating that crap little cottage? What, all of it? Would have cost a lot less if you had gone to IKEA as I suggested. Even though they do use MDF.
(Prostratedly begging even more pathetically cackling) I’m really sorry but I am also impoverished. I’ve spent all my money on a luxury, eco-friendly yacht plus I have to pay the outrageous mooring fees for Stockholm harbour.
(Panic-stricken cackling) What? You are no longer eligible for free funding from the heartless and mean-spirited British taxpayers and, despite your threat of legal action, no further series of Suits are planned?
Trying to impress, Greetin takes a turn for the theatrical, wiping the back of her palm across her forehead, which could likely earn her a walk-on part in a future commercial for Tostitos Corn Chips: O death, where is thy sting???
(Piously hysterical cackling) Noooo, I didn’t mean do that. It’s just that I wanted you to know that I may be 3 First Class plane journeys and 17,000 Air Miles Points away, but I’m with you in spirit, my gospel-singing, rootless, besuited sister. I know not many people have asked if you are OK. How dare they not ask? But I am asking and that’s all that counts. I cried my eyes out too when you were interviewed on TV by those evil bastard Brit journalists and all you did was opine that you were ‘just surviving not thriving’ in your taxpayer funded, £4 million, pre-Victorian era, jacuzzi-less little hovel sans helicopter landing pad with no Starbucks or Personal Trainers for 13 kilometres.
(Aghast, lycra-clad cackling) And the parsimonious old git wouldn’t pay for you to fly your own Personal Trainer from LA to Heathrow twice a week? It’s not even her own money. And Mummy’s boy, Airmiles Andy, can just fly all over the world without even a bat of a regal eye.
(Vindictive cackling). I agree, if Randy Andy knows what’s good for him, he won’t dare set foot in New York again as you’ll be waiting for him with the Head of the FBI and the CEOs of Time and the New York Times.
(Lawsuit-threatening cackling). I know. I cannot believe they have taken your hard-earned royal title away from you. These disrespectful, closet-republican, damned Brits don’t recognise Hollywood royalty when they see it. I know a good lawyer in Malmo if you need one. Just look at what he did for Tiger Woods’ ex-wife.
(Baffled cackling) The golfer.
(Confused cackling) No, him. Not her. Though I think she did try to castrate him with a Ping 9 Iron.
(Disinterested and disingenuous cackling). Oh meeee?? Yes, I’m fine thanks. Thank you for caring about me.
(Utterly disinterested and thoroughly bored mini-cackling) I’m stopping in the Coronavirus Hotel in Dublin (Bono apoplectically drops his coffee cup) Yes, I know. Strange name for a hotel. May explain why it is empty.
(Eruption of interested cackling). WOW! Both Vanity Fair and Vogue want us to appear together on the front covers of their June issues and they will fly me First Class to New York tomorrow? Fantastic. I hope its British Airways. Free champagne and their onboard service is claimed to be second to none.
(Serious just listen to me cackling) But why can’t I, just this once, be in the foreground for one of the photo shoots? It’s always you who gets all the attention.
(Animated, just shut the fook up cackling). OK, OK. Calm down. Everyone knows that you are a raving beauty and yes, I know that the key to your path for eternal self-enlightenment has always been ‘What Meghan wants, Meghan gets’.
(Persuasive, ‘win-win’ cackling) Okay, okay. If you promise to organise free trips to NASA and Disneyworld Florida then I’ll be happy to sit in the background on the photo shoots. But, and please don’t take this the wrong way hun, I’m only trying to help, but I really don’t think ‘What Meghan wants, Meghan gets’ would be a great brand name for your new range of women’s clothing even if H thought it worked at Buckingham Palace.
(Piqued cackler hangs up) Hmm, I think she listened to me this time. How on earth would I survive without 5G? It’s a godsend and—.
Bono and Bob incandescently in unison like a raging Foster and Allen: HAVE YOU FINISHED? CAN WE CONTINUE? CAN YOU SWITCH OFF YOUR PHONE NOW?
Greetin: How dare—
Bob: Greetin. Please be quiet and get an Apple.
Greetin starts greetin hysterically like a group of Scandinavian music critics upon hearing Abba are planning on making a comeback.
Bob continues: Bono, could you possibly help us out with my idea? With or without you, I could organise a concert in the grounds of Slaine Castle, pack in 25,000 people paying €60 each, producing €1.5 million. I am confident the Kaiser Chiefs and Pigeon Detectives would make special appearances too. Come on pal. Please. It’s an emergency.
Bono: I’m afraid we can’t due to the lockdown. With the rules on social distancing which are being strictly enforced by the Gardai, I predict a riot if it goes ahead. However, the rest of the guys in the band and I have pledged to give €10 million to help all the healthcare workers in Ireland.
Bob humbly overjoyed: That’s the sweetest thing I’ve heard in years. I had no idea. My hero. I take my halo off to you.
An impassioned Greetin starts ranting…: So you refuse to give us €1 million??? I shouldn’t be up here in the Mezzanine Lounge sipping €8 cappuccinos. I should be back in school on the other side of the Baltic Sea. Yet, you celebrities all come to us young people for hope. How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. Yet, I am one of the lucky ones. People are suffering.
Greetin jumps up, stands with hands on hip over Bono, and putting on her best fake accent, shouts loudly:
Yer fecking tightfisted, tax-dodging, Oirish gobshite.
A by now, thoroughly bemused Bono discreetly nods to the Head of Hotel Security to come over.
Greetin now raving: We deserve a safe future. And we demand a safe future. Is that really too much to ask??? We need—
Bob: GREETIN, WILL YER JUST SHUT THE FOOK UP.
Bono: Well said. About time.
Greetin starts greetin again as the Head of Hotel Security joins this happy gathering and restrains Greetin in a half-Nelson.
Just as Greetin is about to be ejected, out of the blue, in strolls Nigel Fareigner.
Nigel waltzes through the lobby, with a joie de vivre that would make the Moulin Rouge proud:
Bonjour Monsieur Gelding. Achtung Baby Bozo.
End of Part 2