I had been living in Will’s wardrobe for three days before I heard anything. It only occurred to me then that I had concealed myself on a Friday afternoon and had been staking out Will’s office over the weekend, when no one was there. Luckily it is a walk-in wardrobe, necessary to house Will’s collection of t-shirts with witty slogans on them, which he never wears any more because of ‘the fucking hipsters’, but refuses to throw away. I was able to get up and stretch my legs, but all I had to eat was a wheel of cheese that was so cheap I couldn’t pass it up. I soon realised that it had been reduced because it was out of date and by this point it was so caked in mould and t-shirt fluff that I could have crumbled it over a bed of baby-gem lettuce and cherry tomatoes and charged twenty-two quid for it in Deane’s Deli.
Anyway it was on Monday afternoon that I heard Will talking to Maggie, the former runner we rescued from the BBC a couple of weeks previous (an adventure you can read about here). I only caught a few words from their conversation: adapt… TV… BBC… Wednesday, but I knew it was something I would have to investigate further. After that it sounded like they were just moving furniture or something because for the next half an hour all I heard was a lot of thumping, punctuated by the occasional grunt of ‘of fuck’ by Maggie. She must have been lifting something really heavy because I have NEVER heard a woman make a noise like that before. While they were distracted I wrapped up my cheese, kicked some t-shirts over the corner I had been using for my ‘business’, and crept out, a plan already formulating in my head.
Unfortunately my plan was for naught. On Wednesday morning I walked to the barber’s to get a haircut and found the place closed. Naturally this ruined my day so I went home in a huff, put my jammies on and climbed into bed with a bottle of wine. I even dug out a Smiths album and put it on for the full effect, but I had to switch it off after one song because I was worried I might start lactating. I put Motorhead on instead and drank myself into a restless sleep, no doubt attributed to the cheese I had continued to eat throughout the week.
When I woke up it was dark, I was disoriented and Lemmy’s bass was making it sound like there was a war going on around me. Still furious about having so much hair and, frankly, still drunk, I remembered the BBC meeting Will was sending Maggie to and decided I ought to be there for it. I splashed on some aftershave, scrubbed my teeth back from wine-stained black to their regular coffee-stained yellow, and watched Meet Don Draper six times in a row to psyche myself up. Then I headed for Wetherspoons, where the meeting was to be held. It was called a networking event and was part of the 360 Degree Screen Writing Festival at the BBC, I had discovered, and the whole thing had made me very suspicious.
The place was fucking packed, so I got myself a double and sat on a sofa in my best Don Draper pose, in the hope that people would mistake me for someone important and leave me alone. After my second double and a dirty look from a dame whose ass I had been checking out, I decided to look for Maggie.
I clocked her standing near the stairs, talking to some broad who had a lanyard hanging around her neck, which I took to be a sign of elitism and immediately put me on the offensive. I sidled up behind Maggie and eavesdropped on enough of their conversation to find out that Will’s plan was to sell This Is Not A Review to the BBC so they could adapt it for television.
‘I think it would be perfect for TV,’ said Maggie. The nerve.
‘I don’t,’ I said, making my presence known, and accidentally sloshing some whiskey onto my shirt.
‘Oh, this is Ian,’ said Maggie, glaring at me. ‘The guy who writes This Is Not A Review.’
‘Oh, okay, and why don’t you think it’s right for us?’ asked the producer.
‘It’s better than the BBC,’ I said, and it took a second for my statement to sink in. When it did she scowled at me as if I had just said something incredibly arrogant and rude. She quickly made up an excuse and walked off to hear some other horseshit pitch from some other shitbird.
‘Well done Ian,’ said Maggie, ‘she could have been a big help.’
‘Look!’ I said, ‘If I wanted the comedic geniuses behind The Folks On The Hill to work on my material I would filter it through a sieve of mediocrity.’
I looked around and realised I had been talking a lot louder than I realised, and had attracted the attention of some people nearby, all of whom were suitable appalled. I drained my glass dramatically.
‘That doesn’t even make sense,’ said Maggie.
‘Your face doesn’t make sense,’ I said.
‘Actually I’m working,’ I said. ‘This is my art!’
‘This is NOT art,’ she said.
‘Oh HA, HA,’ I mocked, secretly stung by the quality of her joke.
The crowd soon dispersed and I managed to get some more information out of Maggie. She had spoken with another producer, who had shown some real interest in the idea, and they had agreed to meet at some point in the near future.
‘I have to be honest, I don’t think the public is ready for a documentary about me,’ I said.
‘It’s not a documentary Ian,’ she said. ‘Have you been listening to anything I said? The idea is to adapt your writing into a comedy show. An actor would play you.’
‘I see. Well naturally there is only one actor who could possibly do it,’ I said.
‘Well who else could do my accent?’
Stay tuned for further developments in the This Is Not A Review television project.