Editor: Fucking hippies.
[Editor pauses to light a Players Navy Cut cigarette, opens can of Tennants Super and takes healthy swig. Continues leafing through paper.]
Editor: Pufters. Communists.
[Editor stares out of window for a bit. Intercom-thing squarks into life]
Secretary: [Off Screen.] He’s here Master.
Editor: Send him in.
[Door opens. In swaggers Jason Solomons. Checks for reflective surfaces so he can admire himself.]
Solomons: Aight Chief?
Editor: You will address me as Master. This is the last time.
Solomons: Soz like. Catch Trailer Trash? Do I have the Inside or do I have the Inside? The skinny.
Editor: I understood some of what you just said.
Solomons: Did you read it? The Anthony Hopkins stuff?
Editor: Is that a joke? Do you honestly think I would read your tawdry output? That’s what Subs are for. Wish I had though.
Solomons: Why? So you get the skinny? The Inside of the Inside. Trailer Trash see? Cos I hang around film sets all day. Hang around movie stars’ trailers. Get the skinny.
Editor: Do you?
Solomons: Oh Yeah baby.
Editor: DO YOU REALLY?
Solomons: [very quietly] no.
Editor: DO YOU IN FACT DO FUCK ALL, UTILISING THE RESOURCES OF THE GUARDIAN MEDIA GROUP, FUCK ABOUT, AND THEN SUBMIT WHATEVER YOU HAVE READ ON ‘AIN’T IT COOL NEWS’ AND PASS IT OFF AS YOUR OWN ‘INSIDE THE INSIDE SKINNY’ OR WHATEVER THE FUCK?
Solomon: [almost silent] yes.
Editor: Access to the internet does not make you a ‘scooper’. Do you understand? Any prick can read the internet. To regurgitate it word-for-word makes you look a charlatan and the whole editorial staff of the publication look like fools. Suggesting that Anthony – Sir Anthony – Hopkins has fallen-off the wagon after a long and successful battle with alcoholism does not help.
Solomon: I’m sorry Master.
Editor: How sorry?
Solomon: Oh no. Not again. No offence Master, but it smells funny.
Editor: OK. I’ll tell you what I could do. I could let Mark Kermode loose on you-
Solomon: FUCK NO!
Editor: Oh yes. He got on Phillip French last week. Poor old sod couldn’t walk afterwards. Had to give him the week off.
Solomon: Oh Christ! That quiff!
Editor: Yeah, he’s as butch as they come and he means business. I’ll let him play with you for a while – IN FRONT OF EVERYONE - and then I will make it my personal mission to make sure you never get any decent work in this country again. Even if you tongue my arsehole, the best you’re getting is to set the crossword for People’s Friend.
Solomon: [Shapes-up very quickly]
Editor: Or… I can forget the whole thing. No humiliation. No sexual depravity. No loss of your already dog-eared ‘reputation’. And all you have to do …..is DANCE.
Editor: You heard. Dance, monkeyboy.
[Solomon begins half-hearted jig]
Editor: CHRIST! DO YOU WANT ME AND KERMODE TO DOUBLE-TEAM YOU?!! DANCE!!!
[Solomon REALLY goes for it]
Editor: [Quiet now, satisfied] My God. You actually did it. I would have had some respect for you if you had not. You are now my bitch for life. Do you understand?
Solomon: Yes Master.
Editor: I mean. Long after I’m dead, you will know that this happened. YOU WILL ALWAYS BE MY BITCH.
Solomon: [Hot bitter tears of humiliation in his eyes] Yes Master.
Editor: Get out.
Editor: [To himself] Jesus. These journo types cost a fucking fortune and do fuck all. I’d be better-off cutting-and-pasting the whole lot from fan-sites and blogs for nowt. It’s what the bulk of these journo-fuckers do anyway. Save myself a fortune. Then I can retire and get away from these fucking clog-wearers.
[Intercom squawk again]
Secretary: Somebody called English Ranter? Wants to know if he is going to be paid for the quote from his blog you published today?
Editor: Oh for fu – tell him I’m in a meeting. [Waits for line to go dead] Oh well. Maybe not then.