Posts Tagged ‘unemployment’

5th 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.










Harold and Fred on the couch. Harold is transfixed by the TV; Fred is distracted trying to remember something with no luck.

FRED: …Don’t you hate it when you try to remember someone’s name and it’s gone right out of your head.
HAROLD: (quickly) Who were you trying to think of…?

Fred strains to remember.

HAROLD: That’s a trick. Sometimes if you do that it might pop back in.
FRED: No. Shhh! Wait a minute! It’s right on the tip of my tongue…What was his name? The one who died?
HAROLD: I don’t know who you’re talking about.
Anyway, that’s the first thing to go.
FRED: Shhh!

Fred struggles to remember the name.

HAROLD: (needling) Short term memory.
Short term memory is the first to go. It’s all over.
You’re as good as dead.
Did you know, there’s a small fish – what was it called?
I only read about it last week.
Anyway, this small fish has a very short memory. It’s swimming about in this small tank up and down and around and every time this fish turns the same corner, it’s a brand new experience for it!
So! There’s something good to be said for the loss.
FRED: What are you rattling on about?
HAROLD: Short term memory. It’s the first to go. There’s one other consolation though, isn’t there?
FRED: What’s that?
HAROLD: Well, your long term memory supposedly improves with age. When you get even older and more senile, you’ll remember everything from years ago as if were yesterday.
Unless you’re too busy trying to remember where you put the tubes that go up your nose.
In twenty years from now you’ll remember your dead friend’s name clear as crystal. It’ll take it’s place in a shining list with hundreds of other little things you forgot or misplaced. Things you didn’t even want to remember will pop up: like the manufacturer’s tag on a lost sock…
FRED: I was just thinking: if your short term memory fails when you’re young, how can your long term memory possibly improve? There’s obviously nothing to inform it. How does that work?
HAROLD: I don’t know, it’s probably.
FRED: (lights up) Henry Bringham!
FRED: That’s the guy who died! Henry Bringham…or Bingham.
HAROLD: Well? What about him?
FRED: (lost) I don’t know, I can’t remember what I wanted to say about him now.


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


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.


Industrial AgeWhen ATM’s first appeared on our streets it was a wonderful convenience: now you could get cash at any time of the day or night as long as the machines were in working order. The banks got to replace tellers with tireless computers who didn’t care about belonging to a union, and were there for the bank and their customers 24/7.

The brilliance of these cash dispensers was that when a customer made a deposit, or withdrew funds, or made a transfer the customer was doing the data entry for the bank! To add insult to injury, later banks would charge fees to the customer for making the ATM transactions! Banks didn’t have to pay a human teller and customers were working for the bank and paying them for the privilege.