We were asked to write a two page piece called The Bench…
THE BENCH. 2 PAGE SKETCH
The year is 2061. We are in a central London park. Bernard a representative of OneCorp is processing the final sale of a park bench to Raymond a Scot.
Bernard. So here’s your investment Raymond and if I do say so a canny purchase. There are seven benches up for grabs at auction this month and a snip at seventy thousand. This has one previous owner, don’t worry we’ll have the brass dedication plaque to the previous owner’s wife removed. A sorry affair, he was a suicide I believe. All quite common these days sadly but it does slow down getting these things to sale. Obviously the park is owned by OneCorp, well we pretty much own the city. As a customer of ours you’ll have daily access to your property. There’s lots you can do with this my friend, enjoy the view, treat a friend or perhaps romance a lady eh. Hell I like it so much I could happily live on it.
Raymond. Yes…Live on it. That sounds like a good idea.
Bernard. Err… I was joking sir. I mean technically as the owner you could indeed live here…but…well I’m assuming if you can afford a bench you’re perhaps in one of the more spacious units in a OneCorp Megastruct. You’re not living in one of the camps are you? You’re a Scot aren’t you? I’m assuming you’re now down here because of the accident.
Raymond. Ah yes the accident.
Bernard. Yes, jolly bad luck that was. Such an irony as well to think you put all that effort into trying to get rid of nukes then one of the bally things goes up in the air and straight back down on half the population. Bloody awful state of affairs. I hope you didn’t lose anyone.
Raymond. We all lost someone.
Bernard. Indeed. I am sorry.
Raymond. So you think it was an accident?
Bernard. I do indeed sir. You’re not one of those conspiracy nuts are you?
Raymond. A conspiracy nut? Conspiracy’s an interesting thing isn’t it? People have studied them for years. Pearl harbour, the Kennedys, Princess Di, nine eleven…a nuke lands on Scotland. Pearl harbour is one that interests me. You know some believe the American government let the Japanese bomb them so it would galvanise the country into joining the war in Europe.
Bernard. Well it’s an interesting theory but…
Raymond. Yes it is and seems entirely plausible to me. Now what if you took that theory and applied it to the “accident” as you call it.
Bernard. Well I can understand your anger old bean but I don’t think Scotland’s in any fit state to mount an invasion.
Raymond. No…not on their own. Anyway who says it would have to be an invasion.
Bernard. I’m not sure I ascertain your meaning?
Raymond. You see the trouble with people like you and OneCorp is you see Scotland and the Scots as a geographical point on a map, as an accent, a nation, a right pain in the arse of the old empire. Sure when nationalism first arose in that part of the globe it was self-serving and inward looking. But we expected that. We planned for that. But then that nationalism matured as we knew it would. The idea became more egalitarian, eventually it started asking not just for in independent Scotland but a better type of Scotland. A fairer Scotland, a country that treated all as equal. Whether they won the independence or not was a moot point. You see the thing is the idea of what it was to be Scottish would spread. Next thing you know Iceland have sacked and imprisoned their bankers, and that was just a start, another example that the world was watching. Freeing Palestine was the big one. That really shook up the old order…But we needed something bigger. Something that would galvanise not just a country…but a planet.
Bernard. I’m sorry you say “we” expected that…who the hell is we?
Raymond. Well I suppose you would call us conspirators. Trust me I don’t think that’s quite fitting enough for what’s about to happen.
Bernard. Right I’m sorry sir but this is sedition you’re talking here and I’m well within my remit as a OneCorp representative to hold you here for questioning. I’m just going to run a background check on my pad…what’s going on here? Bloody net won’t…
Raymond. Won’t respond. Yes we’ve just taken it. The internet invented by Tim Berners-Lee. A great and noble man, and one of us.
Bernard. Are you insane we have armies.
Raymond. Ah the armies. You know two thirds of the homeless are ex services? I’m afraid your stock isn’t too high with them. Maybe should have looked after them a bit better on your various corporate excursions.
Bernard. The capital, the resources and the banks. You don’t have banks! We have the money! That’s the way of things.
Raymond. The money isn’t real my friend. It isn’t a real resource. Here’s how we look on that. Thanks very much for lending us your invisible wheelbarrow…here you go you can have your invisible wheelbarrow back now.
Bernard. And what will become of OneCorp? What will become of me?
Raymond. We have everything. We’re on every board of every bit of business that’s of use to us. Look on this as a not too hostile takeover. A velvet revolution is what they used to call it. As for you…Well this bench now belongs to me, you’re than welcome to spend some time at my place.