British Comedy Guide

Sitcom - Door To Door - 10 Pages

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Sam Broberg1

  • Wednesday 23rd March 2016, 7:53pm
  • England
  • 2 posts

INT. JOE'S OFFICE - DAY

A collection of garishly eyesore posters, emblazoned with slogans such as: THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GOOD DAY AND A BAD DAY IS YOUR ATTITUDE! - and: THE KEY TO SUCCESS IS STAYING ON TARGET WITH A POSITIVE ATTITUDE! - without forgetting: KEEP CALM AND HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE! - decorate the office walls.

Numerous sales awards engraved with the name 'JOE PORTER' adorn the shelves; along with several different photographs of said JOE PORTER posing cheerfully with smart, yuppie, business-types.

JOE
Now, I've been looking at some recent numbers, and your sales are falling. In fact - they're almost non-existent.

JOE PORTER, (35), sales manager - and profoundly proud to be so - examines various sales documents.

JOE
What have you got to say for yourself?

TOM
Nothing.

TOM MORGAN, (23), the personification of apathy wearing a frown which seldom fades - slouches uncomfortably in his chair, dressed in a rumpled, inexpensive, stained suit, and stares glumly across the desk.

JOE
So you're telling me you're happy with these sales figures?

TOM
I'm not unhappy with the sales figures.

JOE
But, how are you surviving? How do you pay for food, and rent, on such a dismal income?

TOM
Not a problem...'cause I live at home with my mum...and she still looks after me, so...

JOE
And you're how old? Twenty-three?

TOM
Twenty-four next month.

Joe pauses a moment and collects his thoughts.

JOE
Look, Tom - I'm fully aware of how stressful and challenging the sales field can be. I did spend eight years knocking on all those doors too, y'know? And if I had a pound for every time the sales field got me down, well, I might just finally be a millionaire. The truth is, I see a little of myself in you. I was terrible at first too.

Tom scowls.

JOE
But I persisted - and I now know the only way to overcome any obstacle is with a strong, positive attitude. And until you stop giving off all this negativity - you'll continue to produce substandard results like these.

Joe waves a sales document. Tom huffs and puffs.

TOM
But this job - it's just the same shit every day: wake up at seven a.m.; and then jump on a bus - which I can't even get a seat on 'cause of all them f**king pensioners!...and then having to knock on the same hundred-and-twenty-five doors for eight hours. It's all bullshit.

JOE
I can't believe I'm hearing this. On your interview, you said being a door-to-door salesman sounded fun and exciting. You said it sounded like something you'd like a career in.

TOM
I know I did - but it's really hard.

Joe points to a luminescent poster on the wall which states: EVERYTHING IS EASY WITH A POSITIVE ATTITUDE!

Tom looks.

JOE
See?

Tom frowns.

CUT TO: INT. LOBBY - DAY

Two sofas rest against two walls of a lobby with a bright and gaudy decor. A central table displays an assortment of style and gossip magazines. Towards the rear of the lobby, the receptionist sits at the desk.

SALLY JARVIS, (29), who's slaved as a receptionist a few too many years for her liking - plays Candy Crush on the company's computer.

Joe's office door opens. Sally immediately clicks to an alternate window on the computer to show a sales spreadsheet.

Tom emerges from Joe's office. Sally clicks back to Candy Crush. Tom shuts Joe's office door behind him. A poster attached to the door bears the slogan: ONLY POSITIVE ATTITUDES ALLOWED BEYOND THIS POINT!.

SALLY
Alright Tom?

Tom fails to recognise Sally's presence as he exits. Sally tuts.

SALLY
Charming.

CUT TO: EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - DAY

Tom enters the front garden of a decrepit neighbourhood, pitch-card in hand, sporting a fluorescent bib displaying the text: SOCIETY FOR DEAF CHILDREN.

He stops at the top of the pathway and fixedly eyes the front door.

TOM
Come on Tom. You can do this.

Tom marches to the front door and knocks several times. A young man, dressed in a gown and sleepily rubbing his eyes, opens the door.

TOM
(enthusiastic)
Good morning. My name's Tom Morgan and I'm in the area today having a...

MAN IN GOWN
I can't be arsed mate. F**koff will ya.

The man abruptly shuts the front door. Tom sighs, slumps out of the garden, and slumps into the neighbouring garden. He knocks several times on the front door and inspects the overgrown weeds which thrive in the neglected, ramshackle garden.

STEVE COLLINS, (52), gruff, unshaven, a few stone overweight and a chronic alcoholic to boot - answers the door, somewhat drunk, equipped with an already opened can of cider.

TOM
(languid and monotone)
Morning. My name's Tom Morgan and I'm in the area today having a quick chat with all your neighbours on behalf of the Society for Deaf Children.

Tom offers the pitch-card to Steve, who accepts.

TOM
Have you heard of them before?

Steve studies the pitch-card with a glazed expression.

STEVE
Something to do with deaf kids, I imagine.

TOM
Yep. The charity helps and assists in the lives of all the UK's hearing-impaired children - and for as little as ten pounds a month...

Tom, a bore even to himself, stifles a yawn.

TOM
...sorry - you could help to continue the great work the charity does. So I'm sure we can count on your support, right?

STEVE
Unlikely, to be honest, pal. Especially if it's a never-ending struggle. There's no point in supporting a never-ending struggle, y'know? I'd literally be wasting my money.

Steve gulps his cider.

STEVE
And I don't have much.

Steve chugs the final millimetres of cider before he crushes the can in his hand and buries it deep into the overgrown weeds.

TOM
But every penny the Society for Deaf Children receive can go a long way to...

STEVE
Hang on pal. One second.

Steve disappears into his house. The front door remains open while Tom waits, confused and impatient.

Steve returns in possession of two cans of cider - one already opened. Steve passes the unopened can to Tom.

STEVE
There you go matey. Get stuck into that.

TOM
I can't really drink at the minute. I'm at work.

STEVE
Are you sure? It's good cider.

TOM
How good can cider really be, though?

STEVE
Good enough to make you forget how much of a train-crash of a life you have.
(beat)
Y'know - if you have enough.

Steve gulps the cider.

STEVE
Go on. Crack it open.

Tom hesitates.

STEVE
Go on. I'll help out those deaf kids if you do.

TOM
Really?

STEVE
Yeah...okay...we'll see.

Tom opens the cider can and slurps a few sips-worth. He offers the can back to Steve - but Steve refuses.

STEVE
You barely had any. Take a few more gulps.

TOM
Gulps?

STEVE
It tastes better that way.

Tom sighs before continuing to drink the cider. As Tom drinks, Steve elevates the can.

STEVE
That's it. Keep it going.

Tom's cheeks expand, and unable to contain any more liquid, he splutters out the cider which dribbles from his chin down to his suit jacket.

STEVE
Well there's no need to waste it.

Tom struggles for breath.

STEVE
So come on then - how does this story with the deaf kid end?

TOM
(serious)
Now it ends in you giving a tenner a month.

STEVE
Yeah, y'see, I'd love to help out and contribute to the disadvantaged, but the truth is: I've been unemployed for over thirty years...I'm as skint as they're made.
(becomes sombre)
And it won't change. I'll always be broke. I have no desirable skills; no investments in any assets; no motivation to even leave the house. I'm basically a shit-stain on the arse of society.

TOM
We will accept donations...literally from anyone.

STEVE
Y'see Tom - it's me who's the charity case. Perhaps you'd like to go knocking on behalf of me? You could call it 'The Society for Steve' - and get me ten pound a month.

Steve gulps his cider.

STEVE
'Cause I'd rather spend all my money on cider.

Steve pours the cider down his throat - stopping only to belch and burp.

TOM
Are you Steve?

STEVE
Guilty.

Steve continues to drink the cider until it finally empties. He crushes the can in his hand, and tosses it into the weeds.

Tom offers his can to Steve.

TOM
Do you want this one?

STEVE
Absolutely.

Steve grabs the cider and immediately takes a mouthful.

STEVE
Do you er...do you wanna come in for a drink, Tom?

Tom grows uneasy and points randomly at neighbouring houses.

TOM
Hmm...erm...well...I've got some things...and stuff.

STEVE
I mean I haven't got many left, like, but you could always pop down the offie and pick up a six-pack. There's a few offers on.

TOM
I'd really love to Steve, honestly. But these bloody deaf kids aren't gonna save themselves.

STEVE
Of course. I understand. But remember, if you ever fancy a few tinnies - you've got my address.

Steve points to his door number.

STEVE
Don't forget it.

TOM
(backs away)
Yeah, well...I've got a good memory, so I won't. I'll see ya later then.

Steve raises his cider as a farewell gesture and closes his front door. Tom approaches the garden gate, but stops, sighs, and strides back down the pathway to knock on Steve's door.

Steve answers.

STEVE
Whey! I knew you wouldn't be able to resist. I could see it in your face. Come on in.

TOM
Ah...no...it's just you've still got my pitch-card. You couldn't grab it for me could you?

STEVE
Oh, yeah...of course. The pitch-card.

Steve grabs the pitch-card and gives it to Tom.

TOM
Thanks.

STEVE
Now are you sure you don't want to come in for that drink? I can see in your face you're tempted.

TOM
(not tempted at all)
Again...I'd love to, but...
(points to pitch-card)
...deaf kids n'that.

STEVE
Bloody deaf kids, eh?

TOM
Yep. Okay. Bye then.

Tom slowly backs away as Steve, even more slowly, shuts his front door. Tom shuffles into the neighbouring garden, knocks on the front door, and waits.

A broad, burly man answers.

TOM
Afternoon. My name's Tom...

BURLY MAN
F**koff! And get a proper job.

The burly man slams his door so powerfully it causes Tom to fall back a few paces. Tom rips the 'SOCIETY FOR DEAF CHILDREN' bib off and discards it in the burly man's wheelie bin.

He takes a pouch of tobacco from his trouser pocket, removes a roll-up cigarette, lights up, and deeply inhales.

CUT TO: INT. CAFE - DAY

At a table, Tom sits alone, deep in thought, periodically snacking from a tray of chips.

EDWARD MARSHALL, (22), impeccably groomed - not a hair out of place, not a blemish on his face, with a cocksure confidence that would humble a lion - enters.

EDWARD
Tommmyy Boyy! What's going down? 

TOM
Edward - my name's Tom. Please don't call my 'Tommy Boy'.

EDWARD
Sure thing Tombo.

Edward sits.

EDWARD
I'll tell you what - it's a wonderful day of sales for ol' Edward.
(points to self)
It's only dinner and I've already got five.

TOM
Five?!

EDWARD
Of course. Would you expect anything less?

Edward steals a chip from Tom's tray.

EDWARD
How many sales have you got?

TOM
Well it doesn't really matter does it? 'Cause the day's not over yet, so...

EDWARD
You haven't got any have you?

TOM
Not as such, no - but it's not my fault. I've been given a terrible territory to do.

Edward tuts.

EDWARD
Excuses, excuses, Tommy Boy.

TOM
Tom! And it's not an excuse - it's a perfectly valid reason.

EDWARD
Yeah, well, enough about you. I've got something to tell ya. One of my...
(raises five fingers)
...five sales...was an absolute delight. Single mother of two as well - and they're always the best. They get ever so lonely when the kids are at school.

Edward brandishes a crumpled piece of paper.

EDWARD
Managed to get her number. Obviously she had very little choice in the matter; being the oestrogen magnet that I am.

Tom rolls his eyes.

TOM
You do seem to get an awful lot of girls' numbers in the field.

EDWARD
Four already this week...and it's only Tuesday.

TOM
You wanna be careful with all them women. I heard you can get throat cancer from blowjobs.

EDWARD
Throat cancer? Blowjobs?

Tom nods. Edward thinks.

EDWARD
That'll just apply to the women though. They're the ones who are actually...

Edward mimes a blowjob whilst staring at Tom with direct eye-contact.

EDWARD
That's their problem as far as I'm concerned.

Edward reclines in his seat and rests his hands on the back of his head.

TOM
Now, although I'd love to absorb more of your brilliant life philosophies Edward - there are seventy-five more doors that need slamming in my face before my day's done.

Tom stands.

EDWARD
See you at the office Tombo.

Tom scowls and exits.

Edward rises and approaches the counter. He offers a handshake to the teenage girl working behind the counter, who politely reciprocates.

EDWARD
Hi. Edward O'Shea. Nice to meet you.

Edward breaks the handshake and points to a cheesecake on the counter.

EDWARD
I'll take a slice of strawberry cheesecake if you'll be so kind.

END

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Paul Wimsett

  • Wednesday 23rd March 2016, 9:24pm [Edited]
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,395 posts

Try placing it a specific town, don't be so generic. Who has a front garden now? Not many people. Get some more laughs in, too.

Welcome to the site, BTW. :)

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Lazzard

  • Thursday 24th March 2016, 8:52am [Edited]
  • Ludlow, England
  • 4,878 posts

Whilst Paul's first two comments are silly - his last one is unerringly accurate.
I think there was one laugh in ten pages - it needs a lot more.
Your dialogue is very believable - your scene descriptions a little wordy maybe - it just needs to be a bit punchier.

EDIT
Has a version of this been on before? I seem to remember something about a guy who ends up drinking with his clients....

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Sam Broberg1

  • Thursday 24th March 2016, 6:26pm
  • England
  • 2 posts

Yeah, I uploaded a scene from an earlier draft on here, maybe about 2 years ago.