British Comedy Guide

Talking Sidings

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Teddy Paddalack

  • Wednesday 15th September 2021, 5:42pm
  • Everton, England
  • 3,577 posts

This is nothing more than an exercise in dialogue so its not for everyone.

GED
How long has it been now?

TED
Just going on half an hour

GED
It just seems longer when you can't get a signal on your phone

TED
That's because we're in the middle of nowhere

GED
No, we're not we've just past a factory?

TED
That was a milk processing plant. They have to be in the middle of nowhere, that's where the cows are

GED
I'm having a word with the ticket collector to try and find out what the holdup is?

TED
Waste of time they won't know anything

GED
They could have been talking to the driver

TED
They can't get into the driver; they have to be locked in these days because of hijackers.

GED
That's just planes

TED
It's everything now!

GED
We're on the half three to Huddersfield, who's taking that over?

TED
They're still locked in

GED
Then where does the ticket collector go when they're not checking tickets?

TED
I'm not arsed

GED
They used to sit with the driver on a special little drop down seat

TED
Yeah, in the Ladybird book of trains

GED
They have to go somewhere they can't just sit next to a passenger and start freaking them out

TED
Why would you be freaked out if the ticket collector sat next to you?

GED
You'd have everyone looking at you thinking you're being 'Held' because you never had a ticket, or you've done something pervy?

TED
Being held? They're ticket collectors not the Border Force Agency

GED
Well, they must rest somewhere

TED
The way things are these days the poor bastards probably have to take their break in the bog

GED
That's not very hygienic for the passengers, is it?

TED
How do you think they feel while they're eating their ham & egg sandwich

SFX TANNOY ANNOUNCEMENT
"We apologise for the delay. There has been an incident further up the line and we are currently awaiting advisement"

GED
'Awaiting advisement'? What's that supposed to mean?

TED
It's just a phrase

GED
Is it f**k . They normally say things like 'Sorry for the delay, we should be moving shortly'

TED
That's roughly what they said

GED
No, they never, they said they're 'Awaiting Advisement'

TED
What's the difference?

GED
'Awaiting Advisement' that sounds more like the first line out of the 'How to keep passengers calm amid a disaster' Handbook

TED
'Amid a disaster'? That sounds more like something out of a handbook

GED
So, we're agreed its fishy?

TED
Here we go!

GED
What do mean, here we go?

TED
Every time something goes slightly wrong, you start all this guff

GED
It's not guff, it's a sixth sense all the men in my family have it

TED
Good for them

GED
My great grandad turned down a free ticket on the Titanic three times because the hairs on the back of his neck started playing up !

TED
I doubt that! Those tickets would have been like gold dust. People would have counted themselves lucky if they got offered once, never mind three times.

GED
Well, he did!

TED
Why would they offer him a free ticket anyway? They had people queueing up clutching good money to get on the maiden voyage

GED
He worked on it as a riveter

TED
The Titanic must have had about ten million rivets in it. If they handed out free tickets to everyone who worked on it, the thing would have sunk before it left the dock!

GED
He put the last one in

TED
Well, he didn't do a very good job did he?

SFX ANNOUNCEMENT
Once again we apologise for the delay which we are advised is 'On Going' In the meantime the refreshment trolley will be serving free hot drinks"

TED
Well if they're free I might as well push the boat out and have large latte

GED
You don't get it do you?

TED
What I'll be getting is a free latte

GED
Somethings definitely up! This lot don't just start throwing free teas and coffees around unless its serious!

TED
You really need to get out more, a free drink's not a big deal honestly

GED
It is for this lot. I read somewhere that it's only the sales from the trolleys that are keeping half these train companies going

TED
They are a bit pricey I'll give you that

GED
With what this lot charge for a bag of salt & vinegar crisps we should all be sporting round on Bullet trains and being served by robots

TED
Well at least I'll enjoy my free latte

GED
You do know that hot drinks are the first thing that they use to treat people for shock after a disaster!

TED
Everyone does

GED
They reckon that the Red Cross carry more flasks of sweet tea than bandages and I read somewhere that Swiss Doctors want St Bernard Dogs to be fitted with thermos flasks instead of rum barrels

TED
What is it you read, the Crackpot Herald?

GED
Don't kid yourself that lot are probably in the bog right now putting six sugars in all the cups

TED
You need to wind your neck in. Don't you think that we'd know if we've just been in a disaster? ?

GED
What if it has happened yet? What if there's something out of control just hurtling down the track toward us as we speak

TED
They'd hardly be dishing out hot drinks if that was the case would they. They wouldn't want people getting scalded on top of whatever it is you that you think's heading toward us

GED
I suppose not

TED
See calm down, you're just getting worked up over nothing again

GED
I suppose so. If was the driver and I knew something was coming, I wouldn't be offering free drinks I'd be on all fours climbing up that embankment with the ticket collector and the trolley jockey right behind me!

TED
Exactly

SFX TROLLEY

SERVER
(Sweet)
Would either of you like a free tea or coffee?

TED
I'll have a latte please... no sugar

SERVER
They all come without sir. Sugars sold separately in sachets

TED
Thank you, have you any idea what the delay is?

SERVER
From what I could make out from what the driver told me through the door there's a cow on the line a few miles up

TED
A cow on the line?

SERVER
It happens a lot on this route, we're classed as a 'Rural line'

GED
The way that driver announced it I thought it was something more serious.

SERVER
(serious)
Anything on the track is serious!

GED
(defensive)
No one's saying it's not! But we've been here for over forty minutes. How long does it take to chase a cow off the tracks? You wave a coat at it and its off back into its field. You'd think they'd know that on a 'Rural Line'

SERVER
(Dead Pan)
The cow will be dead sir they always are, the tracks fully electrified.

TED
That 'Rural Line' tag just took a nosedive on the quaint front

GED
So how long does it take to move a dead one?

SERVER
The problem usually is that they can't get the lifting gear out because of the width of the track. So, they have to dissect the animal trackside with a chainsaw and then bag the parts up. After that they have to jet wash the blood off the tracks and stones.

TED
I can see why the driver never mentioned that over the speakers

SERVER
Would you like a drink sir?

GED
I'll have a large tea oh and a pack of those custard creams please .I'm a bit of a dunker

SERVER
Certainly sir, that will be four pounds

GED
I thought everything was free was free?

SERVER
The hot drinks are but the biscuits aren't

GED
That's a pound a biscuit. I can get a full pack for a seventy five pence at my corner shop and he's a robbing bast...

SERVER
You are getting table service on a high speed train sir

GED
(Scoffs)
High speed train, you said yourself it's a rural line and we've been sat here for half an hour

SERVER
Do want them or not sir!

GED
Go on I've seen them now

SFX TROLLEY EXITS

GED
I can't believe these were four quid

TED
You could have said no and just waited till we got off

GED
What and starve to death! We could be here for hours. Anyway I hate a baldy tea, I always need a biscuit with it

SFX: TRAIN STARTS

TED
Here we go they must have cut through that cow like a hot knife through butter

GED
(sheepish)
Do you reckon I could get a refund for these because we've started moving? I haven't opened the pack or anything

TED
You seriously need to start seeing someone professional you really do. And I'm not talking an hour a week in a community centre. You need to fly out to somewhere and see someone who has a goatee beard, a clipped accent and halfmoon pince-nez glasses!

GED
What have I done? I'm not that bad

TED
Two minutes ago, you were allegedly stirring imminent death in the face. And now you want to know if you can get a refund off a packet of custard crèams!

GED
I wouldn't be surprised if the whole thing was ploy. They just park up somewhere that they know has no wi-fi coverage and just wait till everyone gets bored out of their brains. Then hand out free drinks and make a killing on the side snacks

TED
That's what happened, the whole thing was a scam I bet the cow was even in on it

GED
What cow? We never saw it! We only got told about it. And no one can quiz them because they tell you up front that they jet washed the crime scene!

TED
What crime scene?

GED
Exactly! I wouldn't be surprised if the driver was stocking the trolley himself with stuff he gets from a cash & carry. The trolley jockey's probably taking a cut as well. Come to think of it those crisps look like they were part of a multi-pack and selling them separately is an offence for starters, it says so on the outer bag

TED
I give up I really do

GED
Where are you going?

TED
To sit in the bog with the ticket collector

END

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gappy

  • Wednesday 15th September 2021, 7:00pm
  • Oxford, England
  • 2,268 posts

I really like that. More than a lot of your shorter sketches, actually. A bit of the Hancocks about it.

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Teddy Paddalack

  • Wednesday 15th September 2021, 7:23pm [Edited]
  • Everton, England
  • 3,577 posts

Thanks for the read of it, its not the most exciting but I love humdrum stuff that has no concept let alone a high one. My main aim is to see if the dialogue scans as real? The reason is that I'm still working on my drama script when I get the chance so its smart to check that your stuff is still inside the lines,

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beaky

  • Wednesday 15th September 2021, 11:24pm
  • Malaga and Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 2,954 posts

I love your writing, Teddy. It could do with a bit of trimming, but you're so imaginative and funny. It's really good.

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Teddy Paddalack

  • Thursday 16th September 2021, 7:17am
  • Everton, England
  • 3,577 posts

Thanks for the read and the compliment Beaky its the trimming advice that counts as I'm writing drama at the mo and its slow as I have more hours in work but it's getting there and I want to be sure that the dialogue is sharp realistic and not clunky.