Monday, October 20, 2014

the paris tapes

 A woman walking her chihuahua; a woman flapping a dishcloth from an upper window; a man in a suit hurrying to work with a take-away coffee; a jogger doing her warm-down stretches on the railings opposite; a woman standing out on the porch next door smoking a cigarette; two medics, RAE & SPENCE, standing on the pavement with MR GREEN, an elderly man, just in front of them, waving his arms and shouting.

MR GREEN: And you! Everyone can see you for what you are. This one’s screwing you up the arse. This one’s going to prison for stealing. Call yourself paramedics? You’re glorified taxi drivers. You can’t even do that properly. I’m a professor. I’ve got a PhD. Do you even know what that is? Of course you don’t. You’re too idle and stupid. Look at you, with your silly little bag and clipboard. I know Princess Diana. I have houses in Monte Carlo and San Tropez. Do you think I don’t know you’re stealing from me?

RAE: Could you please just go back inside the house now. The police will be here soon. They can sort it out.

MR GREEN: Good! I’m glad! They’ll arrest you both for assault. You’ll be thrown in jail and everyone will see what a fucking bad show you’ve made of your life.

RAE: You’re obnoxious and abusive and I need you to step away from me, sir. Just go back inside and leave us alone.

MR GREEN: Oh? So now you’re telling me to go back into my own home! Is that what it is? This is a free country. I’ll do what I jolly well like.

RAE: Fine. As I say, the police are on their way.

MR GREEN: Let them come.

The man suddenly hurries back inside, only pausing on the steps to swear one last time at the paramedics before slamming the door shut behind him. A police car pulls up on blue lights. Two police officers get out, tazer guns in evidence on their hips.

1ST OFFICER: All right?

RAE: Thanks for coming guys. We’ll fill you in.

The woman with the chihuahua hurries over to the other side of the street.


RAE & SPENCE standing at the door of a house that’s been converted into flats. RAE presses a buzzer on the intercom. Almost immediately an irritable voice crackles through the speaker, not so much in answer to the call as being interrupted in the middle of an on-going conversation.

MR GREEN: I simply don’t understand what you want from me. Why are you harassing me in this manner? Am I not safe in my own home? Why are you coming to me with all these problems when all I require is the carer to come when they said they would come...

RAE: Leaning in. Hello? It’s the ambulance service.

MR GREEN: Yes, yes. I know very well who you are. Do you think I’m stupid? Look – what are you going to do about all this? I’m sick to death of all your repeated failures to address the central issues here...

RAE: Sorry to interrupt, Mr Green. Shall we come up and talk to you face to face? Rather than through the intercom?


INT. DAY. A warm, well-kept hallway, bikes, strollers and neatly stacked mail. Mr Green’s flat is at the top of the stairs. RAE & SPENCE go up. RAE knocks on the door. MR GREEN throws it open and stands there, breathing heavily. A simian quality to him, active, wiry and ill-contained.

MR GREEN: (shouting) I have ataxia! Do you even know what that is?

RAE: A neurological disorder that affects motor function. Shall we come in?

MR GREEN stares at her a moment, both his eyebrows bobbing up and down in unison.

He doesn’t!’ (stabbing a finger at SPENCE). He turns on the spot and holds the door open.
You’d better sort this out!

RAE: Okay. First things first. Can I ask your name?

FX: phone rings. MR GREEN picks it up, shouts into the receiver, then slams the phone down again.

MR GREEN:  Look. What have you done about it? When are you actually going to do something instead of all this useless standing around? Hmm? I have ataxia! I’m dying! I’ll be dead soon and it’ll be your fault.

RAE: How about we calm down, have a seat and talk about what’s going on today?

MR GREEN: You’re telling me to have a seat in my own home? What right have you to say these things? Who the hell do you think you are?

RAE: Mr Green...

MR GREEN: Don’t Mr Green me. Do your job, that’s what you’re paid for, isn’t it? Or have you just come to bully your way into my house and take what isn’t yours?

RAE: Please just try to keep your temper, Mr Green. Do you need our help or not? All we’ve been told is that you’d rung to say your carer was late and then hung up...

MR GREEN: Yes! I cut them off like they cut me off! Those bastards! And what do you think you can do? With your stupid bag and haircut? And him! Look at him! Skulking in the background. Have you come to rob me sir? Have you come to do me in? I’ll talk to you but not to him. I want him out of my house! Get out! Get out!

MR GREEN suddenly runs at SPENCE with his arms flailing in the air. He tries to push SPENCE against the wall, who struggles to restrain him by catching hold of his wrists. RAE ends up standing inside the room whilst SPENCE grapples with MR GREEN by the door. MR GREEN tries to kick the door shut with the back of his foot; SPENCE blocks it; RAE helps turn MR GREEN away from the doorway to make enough room to struggle back out with their bags. When SPENCE lets go of the old man’s hands MR GREEN tries to jump on him again. SPENCE pushes him back with the flat of his hand in the middle of his chest.

MR GREEN: Help! They’re attacking me! Get out of my house! Get out!’

RAE: We’re trying to! Stay back there whilst we leave.


He hurries past the medics, down the stairs to the front door. He stands there with his arms and legs outstretched. RAE calls for urgent police back-up.

RAE: Please! Mr Green! (clipping her radio back on) This is silly.

MR GREEN: (shouting up the stairs) You’re not leaving! I’m not letting you get away with this!

RAE:  Fine. You stay down there; we’ll stay up here, and we’ll all wait for the police.

Suddenly MR GREEN pushes himself forwards again and marches back up the stairs. The medics retreat up the next set of stairs. MR GREEN goes into his flat but doesn’t shut the door. The medics hurry down into the hallway and leave the building.


Mr Green storms outside to confront the medics on the pavement.
(Woman with chihuahua, man with suit etc.)



RAE: You’re not going to arrest us for assault, then?

POLICE OFFICER #1: (laughing) Nah! Funnily enough, Mr Green was as nice as pie with us. Just went on and on about his PhD and his fancy foreign houses. He’s got some on-going beef with – well, just about everyone. He says he doesn’t want any medical help. I don’t know what you think? Apparently community mental health are aware, and we’ll certainly be talking to them. I’m surprised you haven’t got this address tagged already. We’ve certainly got something to say he’s a handful and single responders shouldn’t attend. Anyway, so long as you’re both okay. We’ll put in a vulnerable adult form and chase things up our end. But that’s about it.

POLICE OFFICER #2: (leaning over to slap SPENCE on the shoulder) I don’t want to worry you mate, but apparently he says he’s going to tell Princess Di all about you.

POLICE OFFICER #1: Yeah! And we didn’t think it was a great time to tell him about Paris.


tpals said...

Lost a bit of your charm, have you? Assaulting little old men and robbing them!

jacksofbuxton said...

I know it's easy to laugh and I'm sure at the time it was a very unpleasant situation to deal with,but Mr Green obviously needs help.

Now if he's refusing it is obviously a different matter,but I do hope he's not another one that's fallen through the gaps.

Incidentally,I think Rae's hair is lovely.

Spence Kennedy said...

I don't think I ever had it, tpals. I think Mr G saw through the flim-flam (is that even a thing, flim-flam?)

jack - I think Mr G definitely needs more help than he's getting (it looks like he has a mental health problem and already has some supervision). Certainly, his home situation will get a review after our incident. So he hasn't fallen through the gaps - it's just his condition might well be deteriorating.

And yep, I agree. Rae always looks good... ;)

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

The human condition in all its myriad designs continues to amaze, intrigue and baffle. It's magnificent !~!

Spence Kennedy said...

That's such a refreshing way of looking at these things, Lynda!

Of course, when I was struggling with Mr G in the hallway or standing outside being abused, the only thing I could think of was getting the h**l out of there. But afterwards, when the dust settled, you have to wonder what could have happened (and be happening) in his life to lead to this extraordinary situation.

Thanks for the comment, Lynda. Hope all's good with you today.