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What would Jez & Mark do?

August 10, 2011

Watching the London Riots unfold the other night, involved a pretty dizzying spectrum of emotions. Ewan ‘Tantos’ Tant was staying over – our only crumb of comfort was to imagine how Peep Show’s Jez and Mark might be reacting to the very same events. Apologies to Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain…

[We open on the living room. Mark peers through the curtains at the commotion on the street. Jez is squashed into the sofa watching the unfolding news coverage]

Mark: Jez, we can’t go outside, do you think we should go outside? I need a poo Jeremy and we’ve got four sheets left on the roll. I can’t do a poo with just four sheets.

Jez: Just fold the sheets Mark, wipe and fold.

Mark: I’m not wiping and folding Jeremy. That’s just acceding to the mob rule. Anyway, it doesn’t work now we’re using the value paper. [Mark looks out of the window] Oh god Jez, those kids are weeing on my car. I can’t drive around smelling of wee. They were setting fire to Gregg’s earlier, they were literally biting the hand that feeds.

Jez: Oh for god’s sake Mark, will you get a grip. They’re socking it to the man, yeah. You know, the man. The one who’s a man, ordering them about, yeah.

Mark: I hardly think Gregg’s is the man, Jez. Yes, he has a man’s name, but he’s actually a bakers.

Jez: He’s a faceless baker. A baker without a face. No wonder they’re going mental. Their baker doesn’t have a face.

Mark: They’re a cheap bakers Jeremy and now they’re on fire. Brilliant. [These people know nothing about history. If they knew about the Great Fire of London they wouldn’t be setting fire to a bakers]

[knock at the door]

Mark: Oh jesus Jeremy, oh god, they’re here, the looters are literally at our door.

Jez: I hardly think that looters would knock Mark…

Mark: They might knock.

Jez [unconvincingly]: They wouldn’t knock.

Mark: I’m not answering the door. What if they steal the baby?

Jez: They don’t want babies Mark.

Mark: I’m still not answering Jeremy.

Jez: I’ll just have a look through the hole. If it’s looters and we stay quiet, they’ll probably just, y’know, go away.

[Mark looks unconvinced]

[Jez walks over to the door and peers through the peep hole]

Jez: It’s ok Mark, it’s just Hans.

[Hans swans in, walking straight past Jez into the front room]

Superhans: Evenin’ boys, nice little night we’ve got in store… whilst Armageddon rages.

[Hans puts his hand into his jacket and pulls out a load of packaging]

Hans: S’all right though, I’ve liberated all the hummus from M&S, a fuckload of tasty hummus. Breadstick anyone?

[Phone rings]

Mark: It’s Sophie.

Jez: [to Hans] It’s Sophie. [Hans signals back with a breadstick]

Mark: Soph! Are you ok? ……..Yes, the baby’s fine………… nothing too bad going on here, they’ve only attacked Gregg’s…………… You’re safe aren’t you. Good…

[Jez continues to watch the unfolding news events. Totally unfazed]

Hans: Wooooah, either this ‘caramelised onion’ is tripping me out, or something very large and woody is glowing outside.

Mark: [Puts phone away] They are idiots Hans, feral idiots… look, they’re kicking in a car, I imagine it was the car’s fault. Or no, they’ve moved onto the wall, it must’ve been the wall…. hang on, this isn’t our TV. If it is, it’s gone big again. And Jez, where did you get those trainers from? Jez, Jez?

[Jez takes his feet off the coffee table and hides them under the rug]

Jez: What, Mark? What?

Mark: You haven’t?

[Jez stares back grudgingly]

Mark: But Jez, it’s theft! That’s thievery. You’re a thief.

Jez: Oh for God’s sake, Mark. We’re all thieves now. Expenses, paperclips, MP3s…oil. We’re all at it. Who cares if a couple of Reeboks go missing? Not the bloody child slaves who stitched them together. I bet they’re laughing now, huh.

Mark: I hardly think they are, Jeremy. Besides, those shoes are far too big for you. They look like clown shoes. You’re a clown! You are literally a clown.

[beat on Jez struggling to reply]

Hans: [eyes on the street, peering through the curtains] Life and soul of any party, clowns. [turns to face them] We all like a clown, Mark.

Jez: Yeah, we all like a clown, Mark.

Mark: No, Jez, we don’t all fucking like clowns!! Some of us are scared of clowns and now there are kids out there ruining everything! How can you stand this?

Jez: They’re just kids, Mark. I blame the parents. Bloody parents. Don’t you just wish all parents would just be…better…parents. And Cameron. He hasn’t hugged one hoodie. Another promise broken. [a youth appears on screen smashing TK Maxx] Poor kids. Look at him. There’s a reason he’s doing that to that window. Probably. It’s Turkey Twizzlers. He’s out of control. Poor mite.

Hans: He wouldn’t be doing that if he had some tasty hummus.

Mark: I think this is a little more complicated than dips. In case you had forgotten Jez, I’m a parent and to be frank with you, I really don’t think you’re in any sort of position to start off-loading societal wisdom. You’ve rioted, you’re one of the mob. You’re one of the mob! I’m living with the mob.

[Jez squeezes down into the sofa to get comfortable]

Jez: Mark, relax. Pour some nice red wine and watch the news. It’s actually good for once.

Mark: No! We’re taking it back. We’re taking it all back! Now! I don’t care if we get stabbed doing it – we’re going to walk right back in there and return the lot. Even that fucking hummus.

Hans: Wooooah, I never said I pinched these puppies [gesturing to the pots laid out on the table]

Mark: You didn’t?….

Hans: ….well, yeah, I did. But, seriously. Have you seen it out there? It’s barbecue Britain.

Mark: [zipping up his coat and standing next to the TV] We’re going. Jeremy. Help me with the stolen goods, please.

[Jez pauses, screws his face up, then wriggles for the remote. Just as he does so, Jez appears on the screen. It’s from earlier in the day. He looks delirious as he’s seen running and skipping into a sports shop and bounding out like a hyperactive kid clutching three shoeboxes and pushing a shopping trolley filled with food and goodies. He runs past the camera making a Nee-nah-nee-nah noise.]

[silence]

Mark: You complete tit.

Jez: That’s probably not good, is it?

Hans: I think this calls for some spicy pepper.

Jez: Anyway, we can’t go Mark, unless you want to take the baby with you.

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