Remote Control by David George (Excerpt 4)

Posted: June 5, 2012 in Comedy, Drama
Tags: , , , ,

4th excerpt from my two-man play REMOTE CONTROL. Did you ever feel like your life was interrupting the television commercials?

Los Angeles 1980′s. Harold & Fred watch television: they become the characters they watch.


Fred and Harold sit on the couch wearing bathrobes.  Fred, with his hair in curlers, scours the LA Times Help Wanted ads.  Harold raises the remote and aims it at the TV (i.e.The audience).

FRED: I can’t find a thing.
Your unemployment check came today.  Did you get it?
FRED: How long do you think you can stand not working?
HAROLD: It doesn’t bother me anymore really.
FRED: How’s that then?
HAROLD: That’s ’cause I’m ahead of my time.
In the future there’ll be massive decreases in the working population, won’t there?
Technology will’ve taken over eighty per cent production of the Gross National Product.
The government will be forced to pay people not to work.
FRED: Why would they do that then?
HAROLD: They wouldn’t have much choice, would they?  Could you imagine masses of hungry, desperate, people with no money?  Crime would be rampant and uncontrollable. That’s why the government would be forced to pay people not to work.
The government pays me not to work now.  I’m ahead of my time.
Pass me some chips then.

Fred slides the chip bowl over to Harold.

HAROLD: In the future, you’ll get paid for doing whatever you want.

Harold pops a chip into his mouth.

FRED: Like watching TV?
HAROLD: Yeah! Just like that.  Here’s the check.

Harold waves his unemployment check.

…And here’s the TV.

Harold aims the remote and clicks.

HAROLD: We’re the prototypes of the future Frederick.

Offers Fred the chip bowl.

HAROLD: Want one?
FRED: No thanks.


Where would they get the money?
HAROLD: Well, tireless machines of course!
First of all, you have to ask yourself what money is? Right?
Money, my friend, is just a token – a means of exchanging goods and services, see?  Well, if you’ve got tireless machines cranking out all our stuff, you won’t have too many people working, will you?
Tireless androids working around the clock producing goods and services.   The new slave class.  No human rights issues for machines, Fred.  No, sir!  When one breaks down, another machine comes along and fixes it.  See what I mean? On and on and on and on it will go.  Ad infinitum…
FRED: Ad nauseam.
HAROLD: Right.

They both bite slowly into a chip at exactly the same time in exactly the same way.

FRED: What if you wanted a job; if you wanted to work?
HAROLD: You could do anything you wanted to, Fred.  In the new society, if you wanted to…coal mine, for instance, you could happily mine away, enjoying the rigors of the work.  I imagine the future society probably wouldn’t need the coal for anything: they’d just let you do it…for fun!
FRED: I can’t imagine coal mining for fun somehow.
HAROLD: Well, when it stopped being fun; you’d just stop doing it.  What’s on telly then?
FRED: That sitcom…you know…
HAROLD: I hate that.  Let’s watch “Counterpoint”

Harold raises the remote and clicks. Lights fade on the couch.  African drums start a hypnotic rhythm and continue over…

REMOTE CONTROL is available as an audio drama on iTunes, Amazon & (US & UK) and recently aired on radio across Canada.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s