(Setting is a Saturday night talk show called Clive’s Drive-In. Think Poundshop Graham Norton and you’re pretty much there.)
HOST – And now, on the show, please put your hands together and give a big welcome to our next guest, all the way from Elephant & Castle, it’s Jingle McTingle, the lead singer of Pond Life!
(Wild applause. Guest enters from a side door, bows to the screaming adulation, acknowledging the audience and swaggers over to the chair, shaking the host’s hand before sitting down.)
GUEST – Hello, hello, glad to be here, thanks for having me on your show, Clive.
HOST – Oh, what a welcome! I think our audience is very pleased to see you!
(More applause and whoops.)
GUEST - Well, wow, what can I say? You’re all too kind!
HOST – I must say, you’re looking very rock n roll in that black get-up.
(Clive looks keenly at Jingle.)
HOST - You know something, Jingle?
GUEST - What?
HOST - I always wanted to be in a band but I only ever learned the recorder! I can play pop goes the weasel and that’s about it.
(Titters from the audience.)
HOST - So, tell, me what’s it like being in not just any old band, but the hottest band in the world right now?
(More whoops and hollers from the stoked crowd.)
GUEST – Well, you know, being in a band is kind of like being in a marriage.
(The host raises his eyebrows archly in a camp manner, and the audience gives a big ‘ooh’)
HOST – Oh, really!
GUEST - Well, forgive me. I don’t want to give you the wrong impression. What I mean is, you all have to pull together and work things out, compromise and be understanding, that sort of thing.
(Jingle looks at Clive intriguingly.)
GUEST - I bet you thought I meant the kind of marriage where you tie the knot in a church with bells pealing, exchanging rings, solemnly intoning the words ‘I do’ and chucking handfuls of confetti in the air.
(Audience laugh appreciatively.)
HOST – Oh, yes! That’s the sort of marriage I thought you meant! A ha ha ha! And I think that’s what our audience thought too, isn’t is audience?
(The audience mindlessly yell in unison ‘Yes!’ and the host grins gleefully and rubs his hands together.)
GUEST – Well, sorry to disappoint you and your audience, Clive. But being in a band is not the kind of marriage where I would take the bass player and keyboardist to a really expensive Italian restaurant, tell them both to order whatever they want, because I’m paying; and then, once the food arrives, I’d whisper to them over flickering candlelight how much I love them both, while a violinist wanders round personally serenading each table with a delicious red rose between his lips.
(Audience laughter. Clive also enjoys the joke.)
HOST – Oh, ho, ho, ha ha ha ha. How amusing! So it’s not that kind of marriage, is it not?
(Jingle looks blankly at Clive, as if he doesn’t quite understand that Clive doesn’t quite understand what he’s saying.)
GUEST – No, that’s what I’m saying. I mean, I wouldn’t spend days and weeks preparing a secret birthday party for the drummer so that, when he arrives home late from work and turns the lights on, all his nearest and dearest rush over to greet him and I crack open a bottle of champagne, letting it shower and gush all over us both while planting a big kiss on his lips, telling him I did it all for him, cos he’s the most special person to me in the whole wide world.
HOST – Oh, ha ah ha aha haha. This is brilliant! Pure, comedy gold! Nice one, Jingle!
(Much laughter and applause from the audience too. But as the audience warm to Jingle’s joke, he himself starts to look increasingly confused by their reaction.)
GUEST – But, no, it’s not that kind of marriage. I mean, I wouldn’t ask the rhythm guitarist to tell me all about his terrible day at work, while I ran a hot bath with Radox and then massaged the tension out of his taut shoulders and rubbed eucalyptus oil into his moist thighs.
(This slightly more risqué answer causes the host to clam up as the interviewee has clearly crossed a line of inappropriate material.)
HOST – Yes, er, well, I think we’ve got the point now, Jingle. Perhaps we should, er, talk about your latest hit single ‘Hitch Me Ditch’.
(Unfortunately, the host’s effort to change the tack of the increasingly awkward interview falls on deaf ears as Jingle plows on regardless, now that he’s warmed up to his theme.)
GUEST – But no, I wasn’t trying to be funny. I don’t think you understood what I was saying. I mean, I would ask the percussionist and lead bassoon player to tie me to a brass headboard of a king-size bed by the wrists with rough cord face down, put a plastic tube up my ass and send a live gerbil up there, to nibble away at my innards.
(Shocked gasps and murmurs from the audience. The colour has drained out of the host’s face. He looks blankly at the television monitor.)
HOST – Debbie, is this going out live?
(He puts his hand to his earpiece and obviously receives an affirmative answer.)
HOST - Oh, fuck!
(Clive turns back to his guest with a menacing look on his face.)
HOST - Jingle, give me your microphone. We can’t have material like this being broadcast on my show. You should know better than talking such filth on national television. You’ll get us all fined for breaching broadcasting regulations.
(Clive reaches over to Jingle, trying to grab the small mic attached his lapel. Jingle pulls away from Clive with a look of innocent surprise on his face.)
GUEST – But what are you so upset about? I’m trying to explain to you that being in a band is not the kind of marriage where I would fistfuck the bass player while he’s trying to hang himself with a plastic bag around his head while biting down on a slice of tangerine laced with amyl nitrate to achieve a more heightened, intensely pleasurable orgasm.
(The host leaps off his couch and starts wrestling with Jingle, who pushes him off and runs behind the couch. Clive on the other side keeps trying to reach him but the couch is in the way.)
HOST – Debbie, stop filming for god’s sake. The man’s insane. Cut his fucking microphone! This is going out live. The network will bury us!
(Someone else from behind the camera comes into view and tries to remove Jingle’s microphone but Jingle chins the interloper. Undaunted, the Host grabs Jingle and tries to wrestle him to the ground. Jingle is now being chased all over the studio by Clive, Benny Hill-style, still trying to detach the clip-on microphone from Jingle’s lapel. While Jingle is being chased around the studio, he continues to pour out his filthy invective.)
GUEST – I wouldn’t ask the rhythm section to bury me in a pool of vomit and whip me with cat o’ nine tails, shit in my mouth and piss in my eyeballs, while I felch the drummer’s cat and spin cartwheels in sick around the place while chewing custard tits out of me nostrils. I mean, what kind of person do you think I am, Clive? Do you honestly think I would get myself involved in a marriage like that? Why won’t you believe me? The singer and keyboardist don’t shitshag the elephants out of each other while hurling cumbombs through the windows at passing vehicles. It’s not that kind of marriage! We just help each other play the songs, that’s all.
(The screen goes blank as the signal is finally cut.)