(Fade in digging, heavy breathing, lots of effort)
Jake Phew! Job jobbed!
Tom (from a distance) Hello young Mr Jake
Jake (relaxing, let’s out a big exhalation of breath)
Hello Mr Tom. How are we today?
Tom (with Jake) Fine sir. Cuppa?
Jake Why not?
Tom Mr Skippy’s been delving in skips again I see
Jake (sipping tea) Yep, he is a veritable magpie of vast resource and incredible versatility
Tom Cheap skate you mean (sips from tea) How’s that thumb of yours?
Jake Oh (reticent) fine. Weird how it’s now about 25% bigger than the other one
Tom Flatter you mean (both laugh) You never really explained how you did it
Jake Didn’t I?
Tom No, not really
Jake Well I was putting in a new fence post-
Jake - and well I only had- Oh look here comes Jack and Jill, up the hill (pause) without a pail of water
Tom Saved by the nursery rhyme. I will find out the truth about that thumb of yours one day Mr Jake. Hello Jack, hello Jill!
Jack and Jill (together, they’re both quite excited) Hello you two. (to Skippy) Hello There!
Skippy (from distance) Hello back there
Jack The people on plot 13 are at it again
Jill Yes did you see them yesterday
Jake (under his breath) Oh-my-god
Jack Yes, they were at it hammer and tong they were
Jake Some people show their affection in strange ways. I myself allow my wife to beat senseless on my return to the family home
Jill No listen Jake. Go on Jack
Tom Yes go on Jack
Jack Well, I have a theory. You see if you’re unemployed, you can get a bit fraught at times
Tom And why is that clever?
Jack Because the unemployed, are unemployed-
Jill -and don’t have a lot to do-
Jack -so they lose it a bit, cos they get frustrated
Jake Errr, where is this going?
Jack There you see, I told you he’d get it
Jake Get what?
Jill Oh, I don’t know, I think he's struggling with this one
Tom Jake is unemployed at the moment Jack.
Jack Yeah, but the bloke on number 13 has always had a bit of anger
management problem hasn’t he? And he’s unemployed
Jill He has Jack, remember that time he broke up all his bean supports? And he’s digging a really big hole too.
Jake (sighs) Perhaps he’s going to bury his wife there
Jack Well, you never know
Tom (moving away) Oh please and I wish I could understand what you’re talking about (fading away) or maybe not
Felicity (coming close as she speaks) Everyone! Everyone! I’m so pleased we’re all here!
Jake (under his breath, to himself) What have I done to deserve this? Tweedle Dee and Dum, Skippy and now Felicity the Gardener’s Question Time stalker
Felicity Hello one and all! I have splendid news
Jake Why’s that Fliss (Tom returning and sniggers with Jack and Jill)
Felicity I’ll ignore that Jake as you know I don’t appreciate nick names
Jake OK, fair enough
Tom I can’t bear the tension. The Trugmore Lane Allotment Society is all of baited breath Felicity?
Felicity (proudly) We have two new members (rustles paper). A Mr William Burrough and Colm Post have taken Plot 111. How do you
pronounce (spells) C-O-L-M Post?
Tom (laughing, as are Jack & Jill) I think you’ll find you’re meant to pronounce it Compost - the name is Irish and it’s Collum, but I reckon you’ve been duped (sniffs) again.
Felicity (indignant) Well what about William Burrough?
Jack (all laughing quite loudly now) Do you think he might be known as Will Burrough, as in-
Jill Wheel Barrow? And there’s only 80 plots here, so how could they have plot 111?
Felicity (even more indignant) Well, who would do such a thing? How- How-
Tom (still laughing) Childish?
Felicity Yes how childish. Who would do such a thing?
Jake (indignant too) Don’t look at me! As if I could be bothered to make that much effort
Felicity Well, I mean- Well! (turns on her heel and from distance) I shall be off then, I only came over to tell you what I thought was good news-
Jake Shame her house over looks the allotments. She checks us out all the time you know. The curtains twitch without her even touching them. All she has to do is stare and they twitch
Skippy (from a distance) I sometimes wonder at the sanity over here
Jake Is there a clause in the rules and regulations of the Trugmore Lane Allotment Society that confirms one’s sanity?
Skippy (from distance) What? The sanity clause?
Jake & Tom (together) But there’s no such thing as Sanity Clause
Jake God bless the Marx Brothers!
(Fade. Fade in door shutting)