It’s Great

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It’s great that the battle is over
And there hasn’t been fighting at all
There’ve been no guns or bombs
Since the days of The Somme
When we learned our first lesson through war

It’s great that there’s nothing but peace now
And everyone just gets along
There’s been no shed of blood
Because everything’s good
As it’s been since the days of The Somme

It’s great that nobody is dying
And everyone’s treated the same
Since the days of The Somme
We have really moved on
Since our soldiers were pawns in a game

It’s great that we sit and remember
The red fields in a place called The Somme
We will have tea and cake
Reminisce of the waste
Of our men who died over the top

It’s great that we keep still in silence
And be thankful we weren’t at The Somme
For two minutes we’ll hush
And remember the pushed
After that we will just Carry On

It’s great that the world is now different
And it never will happen again
And the things that we know
Mean we’ll Sing As We Go
Since The Somme, since the war, since back then.

It’s great that it’s all in our history
And the slaughter is back in the past
Since the death at The Somme
All the horror has gone
So what’s wrong? Take a pew and relax.

It’s great that our royals lay wreaths there
And the PM will always pull through
So relax, have some wine
And just wait for the time
That they bring a new Somme straight to you.

OUR DENISE

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© Desmond O’Neill Features:-www.donfeatures.com  photos@donfeatures.com

CAROLINE AHERNE, 1963 – 2016

INT – LIVING ROOM – DAY

We’re in a Northern living room with DENISE, NORMA, JIM, AND DAVE – four members of a much larger family. Nothing’s doing, save three quarters of ’em sittin’ off, watching the box. We see Norma (90s) asleep at one end of the sofa. She twitches and shifts, opens her eyes briefly, and nods off again.


DENISE

Worra we watchin’?

JIM

Gogglebox.

DENISE

What’s it about?

JIM

‘Sabout the telly, Denise.

DENISE

What’dya mean?

JIM

About people who watch the telly. What they’re watchin, what they make of it and stuff.

DENISE

Ohhh.

DAVE (to Denise)

Worra we watchin’?

DENISE

Gogglebox.

DAVE

What’s it about?

DENISE

People who watch the telly.

DAVE

Ohhh. Right.

Enter ANTHONY, (30s), wrapped in a coat.

DENISE

Ey, Anthony, stick us a brew on, would ya?

ANTHONY

Bloody ‘ell! I’ve just got in – what’d yer last slave die of?

DENISE

Aw, go on, Antnee. I’m watchin’ the telly.

ANTHONY retreats to the:

INT – KITCHEN – DAY

We move with ANTHONY to the sink, where we see his Mum, BARBARA, washing the dishes. Anthony grabs the kettle and heads towards the tap.

ANTHONY

Budge up, Mum.

BARBARA moves out of the way to allow ANTHONY to fill the kettle. From the living room, we hear:

JIM

‘Urry up, Antnee. That tea won’t make itself.

ANTHONY

(shouting back to the living room)

Alright – keep yer ‘air on.

We move back to the living room, where we see Denise, Dave, and Jim with their eyes glued to the box as we hear the CLANKING of mugs and spoons in the kitchen, out of our view. Anthony enters from the kitchen, carrying four mugs of tea – two in each hand.

ANTHONY

Worra we watchin’?

DAVE

Gogglebox.

ANTHONY.

What’s it about?

DAVE

The telly.

ANTHONY

Ohhh.

BARBARA enters from the kitchen.

BARBARA

Where’s our Denise?

JIM

She’s gone, Barb.

BARB

Gone where, Jim?

JIM

Dunno, Barb. I just looked up and she’d gone.

(beat)

Dave, d’you know where she’s gone?

DAVE

I don’t, Jim, no.

JIM

Worra ’bout you, Antnee? D’ya see her leave?

ANTHONY

No, Dad, I never. An’ her tea’s ‘ere, goin’ cold.

We pan around the room and see a Denise-shaped void where she should be sitting. NORMA wakes up, and looks around.

NORMA

Where’s our Denise?

We see DAVE shrug as we hear Barbara:

BARBARA

Dunno, Mam. She just left.

NORMA

Ohhh.

As we focus on the sofa’s void, we hear the theme tune of the BBC news headlines, followed by: IT’S FIVE O’CLOCK, GOOD EVENING – HERE IS THE NEWS.

NORMA

Worra we watchin’?

JIM

The news, ya daft bat.

NORMA

What’s it about?

(Beat)

There’s a deafening silence as we go from face to face, taking in their expressions as we hear:

BARBARA

It’s…about…our…Denise.

With their eyes – the eyes of The Royle Family, we move to the TV, where we see a still image of a blonde, beautiful CAROLINE AHERNE (52), and the HEADING in text at the bottom of the screen: CAROLINE AHERNE, 1963-2016. We pan over to a completely empty sofa; an empty, silent living room –  and fade to black.

END SCENE

SAY IT AGAIN

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War, huh? What is it good for? A bit of ethnic cleansing here and there, pretty little lab experiments in this petri(fied) dish of a planet? World “leaders” getting their cocks out to compare size? Yeah. It’s good for all those things. War, huh? What is it bad for? Absolutely everythin’.

EIGHTLEGGER

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That moment in between asleep and awake…..when the sheet tickles your leg and your tired, pathetic subconscious decides that two and two equal five and that it must be a spider. That moment when you shoot out of bed, heart racing, as if said imaginary spider spans eighteen feet and is holding a stabby weapon in one “hand” and a shooty one in another. All this whilst he waves at you, menacingly, glaring with his far-too-many eyes. THAT is what happens when a sheet dares to tickle your leg. And THEN, standing at the light switch that you right-hooked to ON, you scratch your thigh because, damnit, it feels like there’s something ON IT. There is. The remains of a little tiny eight-legger who chose to crawl under you for some warmth and perhaps protect you from flies. And then you feel exceptionally guilty and decide to take on the day like some superhero – Arachnoman, maybe…or Rachnobabe, vowing to save at least one of the little critters from a squishy demise.

DO

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Today is tomorrow’s yesterday and yesterday’s tomorrow. Stop contemplating about thinking about procrastinating, and do whatever thing your IT may be. Get on it. Today may be your last, or someone else’s.