chrisgold next please

It is lunchtime.

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Eric is in a hurry.
He only has 15 minutes to grab a sandwich and a drink
He has a cheque for £15 from his Great Aunt Sylvia

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She had very kindly sent it for his birthday, 3 months ago
He hasn’t had time to go to the bank, but now he has decided to put in into his account

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He sees an Automatic Deposit Machine

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Machine    Please enter your card………………….Card entered

Machine    Do you wish to deposit cash or cheque?    …………Cheque

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Machine     What is the value of your cheque or cheques? …………………………..£15.00

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Machine           Please place your cheque or cheques in the lighted slot, ensuring that it- or they – are in the correct orientation

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Eric Fumbles. …….. He can’t work out the illustration

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A bank worker has been observing Eric’s frustration and difficulties….

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The Helper             Excuse me sir, can I assist you in any way?

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Eric          I haven’t used these machines very often, am I putting the cheque in correctly?

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The Helper             That seems right, let me see…
Oh! £15 eh? The man inside the machine will be biting your fingers off! ……………………….She puts the cheque in

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Eric         Yes, I don’t normally deal in such large amounts!

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The cheque is ‘eaten’ by the machine

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Machine         Sorry, the amount of the cheque cannot be read or identified

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Eric       Curses! I am in a hurry

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The Helper                let me have a go! ……………………………………She presses reset
The cheque comes out very slowly

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Eric Come on! Come on! I’m in a hurry

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The Helper Let me see the cheque…
Oh, I see the problem.

The five looks as if it could be a three

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Eric            Blooming Heck! Great Aunt Sylvia is so proud of her calligraphy skills. She would be mortified if she knew. She is also very superstitious. She would never use the number 13

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The Helper                I’m sorry, but the machine will not accept your massive deposit. You’ll have to queue for one of the cashiers….

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Eric looks at the very long queue

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Eric       Blooming Heck! I’ve got to get a sammo before going back to work. I’ll come back tomorrow..

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The Helper Actually I’m just going across for a snacklet myself. If you get in the queue I’ll get your sandwich and bring it back here for you

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Eric       That’s very kind and thoughtful, since when has the bank been doing this?

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The Helper It’s only me! I’m a people pleaser, and I can see that you are a people who needs cheering up.
Helping strangers gives me a lovely feeling actually.

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Eric Well, I’m glad to hear it………..( Spoken as if to prompt her to give her name…
She looks blankly)

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Eric ….I’m Eric by the way                          (Eric extends his hand)

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The Helper      Oh! Yes, of course….I’m Priscilla, pleased to meet you

(Eric shakes her hand, is reluctant to let go)

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The Helper          Shall I get your sandwich?

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Eric Oh, yes, chicken salad on brown…and a small Cap, no sugar

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The Helper Right….my pleasure

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Eric      I hope so!!

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The Helper       It is so…..!! By the way….I’m afraid that the cashiers are working to rule today…hence the long queue

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Eric              ( Inner thoughts )  –(What the heck, …It’ll be worthwhile waiting here for Priscilla)

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A little later…

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Eric (Priscilla seems to be taking a long time…)
Eric gets to the front of the queue

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Auto voice            Please go to cashier number 3

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Eric         Hello, I’d like to make a deposit please

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Cashier    (in a robotic voice) Processing….please wait

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15 long seconds go by

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Cashier      Is it a cheque or cash…or both?

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Eric It’s this cheque for £15


Cashier    Processing….please wait

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Cashier            Hmmm..there appears to be a problem…
The numbers say £13, but the words say fifteen (In robotic voice)

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Eric            No, I think that the 3 is definitely a 5…

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Cashier        Processing….please wait

I’m not sure. I’ll need to check your cheque with my boss…Please wait In robotic voice
(Cashier shuts her cash drawer and position….very slowly, Eric is edgily fidgeting in frustration)

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Cashier (goes to see Peabody who is on the main floor of the bank) Mr Peabody, could I have your opinion please?

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Peabody          Just a moment Miss Clemence, I’m just processing some information (Peabody is staring into space)

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Eric Come on, come on, I haven’t got all day

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30 seconds later

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Peabody   What is it Miss Clemence?

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He looks at the cheque solemnly and carefully
– The scene is seen from Eric’s viewpoint, we do not hear their voices, just view their agitated movements
Miss Clemence returns to her position, and slowly and carefully opens everything up…

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Cashier       I’m going to have to fill in a cheque discrepancy form.. Could I have your name please sir?

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Eric Yes, its Eric Pickersgill….Oh, just forget it…I haven’t got time for all this nonsense…just give me the cheque back and I’ll sort it out with Great Aunt Sylvia

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Cashier      I must have your details sir. Its our procedure in these circumstances.

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Eric Look, I haven’t got time for your procedures just now, give me back my cheque…
Cashier Processing…please wait….
Just a moment please…

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(She closes down her position again, slowly and deliberately)
Cashier Mr Peabody…..!
Peabody and Clemence discuss, looking over at Eric, and shaking their heads.
Mr Peabody makes a phone call.

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The bank emergency procedures are put into action….

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The doors of the bank are closed, it is in lock down….Customers who are locked in and locked out are tutting and complaining

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Peabody approaches Eric with two large uniformed security guards (Charles and Jamie)

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Peabody Mr Pickersgill?

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Eric Yes?

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Peabody Would you accompany me please!

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Eric What is this? I am in a hurry you know. Haven’t got time for all this nonsense.

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Peabody Please don’t make a fuss sir, just follow me through to the secure area

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They have to go past bank customers who are pointing and staring, whispering to each other

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Eric  (ptotests to other customers as he walks by) This is ridiculous. I haven’t done anything wrong you know

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Other customers stare and frown at him…

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Eric is taken into a secure room with no windows

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Peabody Please sit down sir
Peabody reads from a script
Peabody Mr Eric Pickersgill…

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Eric Yes?

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Peabody Please listen to me and then you can speak if you wish…

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Charles       Yes, shut up or you’ll get a punch up the bracket

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Jamie      Yes….you…you…nit….idiot

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Charles  Wastrel…

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Jamie Yes…wastrel! Nice one Charles

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Charles Thank you Jamie

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Peabody                                  Mr Pickersgill, you are hereby accused, under the Refusal to Co-operate with Bank Staff Act, 2015. You do not have to say anything but…

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Eric    WHAT? !!

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Charles        We warned you sunshine………

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Charles and Jamie hold Eric’s arms, and place a hand over his mouth, then put tape over his mouth.

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Jamie Just listen up!

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Peabody              Thank you men…. You do not have to say anything, but anything you do say will be recorded and may be used in evidence….
This pronouncement was made by me, Mr Edward Peabody, at 12.23 pm on 1st October 2017, in my role as Binkley Bank Higher Supervising Officer and acting representative as authorized by the Department of Public Order, Badge number 30115.

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Eric is mumbling, almost passing out.

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Peabody     Charles, would you make a small air-hole in his restraint, so that he can reply….and breathe.

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Charles makes a hole with a rusty penknife blade

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Eric This is outrageous, false imprisonment, let me go at once…( In a ‘comic’ high-pitched voice, because he cannot speak properly)

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Peabody     You see….this is the problem we have with you….you have been verbally abusive ever since you came into this bank.

The cashier, Miss Clemence, is traumatized by your verbal aggression and will need to be off work for some considerable time.
You have attempted to benefit by passing a fraudulent financial instrument…

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Eric     But…
Jamie (angry) Why don’t you just shut up, shut up, SHUT UP! ( Jamie threatens Eric with a clenched fist)

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Peabody …In addition,you have been uncooperative and indeed threatening to the three of us here.
Also…you were so insulting to Miss Peabody, my actual niece as it so happens, at the Automatic Deposit Device, that she ran out of the bank and hasn’t been seen since..

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Eric   But she offered to get me a sandwich

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They laugh

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Charles You expect us to believe that?

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Jamie You are a deluded fantasist. As if Miss Peabody would have anything to do with scum like you.

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Charles  Pervert!

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Jamie    Filthy pervert…preying on young girls..

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Peabody  Preying on my innocent niece

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Charles You deserve all you get…

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Peabody Mr Pickersgill, do you have anything else to say for yourself…

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Eric    Blooming heck…what time is it? I’m late for work. I need to get back to work (In ‘comic’ voice)

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They laugh

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Jamie Listen sunshine, you don’t seem to realise the trouble you’re in

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Peabody We have a holding cell here downstairs. You will kept here until there is room in a police cell or prison to take you in

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Eric I don’t believe this…I only wanted to get my birthday money..

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Charles Happy birthday Mr Eric! (Mockingly)

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Jamie   He won’t forget this one in a hurry!

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Peabody Take him down lads, put him with the other miscreants.

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Eric        I most strongly object! What about the Geneva Convention?

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Jamie      I’m sorry sonny, you’ll have to miss it.

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Charles You won’t be going to Switzerland any time soon.

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Eric is thrown roughly into an elevator with Charles and Jamie

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Mr Peabody goes back on to the bank floor, exuding calm

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Peabody       Thank you everybody, that little bit of excitement has been dealt with.

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Peabody spots his niece Priscilla…he sidles up to her

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Peabody PP thank goodness you’re back. What happened?

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The Helper       Oh uncle, I just popped out for a snack. I’ve got a sandwich and a coffee for a nice young gentleman that I liked.
He seems to have scarpered though. I was going to find out if he wanted to go to the pictures with me tonight.

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Peabody     (awkwardly, feeling his tie knot) What a shame that he has been unavoidably detained. What film did you want to see?

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The Helper         The mystery of Joseph Kay, its one of those new Eastern European dark thrillers

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Peabody It sounds like the sort of thing that I like. Shall we two go together?

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The Helper That would be very nice Uncle….You may as well have this coffee and sandwich

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Peabody I don’t mind if I do. Did you pay for it?

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The Helper That Eric gave me a £20 note actually. What shall I do with his change?

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Peabody Give it to me PP, we can spend it at the pictures tonight…

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The Helper Uncle, you are such a sweetie….See you later!

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Life at Binkley Bank carries on as if nothing has happened……Pleasant music plays us out….

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