written by ROB BURRISS
My first attempt at a Red Dwarf script. It's set just weeks before the Cadmium II accident that wiped out the crew, and involves Lister; Peterson; Selby; Chen and others. It's about gambling, morals and lost chances, but don't let that put you off...
1.int.happy astro bar.early evening
[EVERYONE ENJOYING THEMSELVES. SOME ARE DANCING IN THE BACKGROUND. LOTS OF LAUGHTER AND SHOUTING. WE SLOWLY ZOOM INTO A TABLE IN THE FOREGROUND AROUND WHICH ARE SEATED LISTER, PETERSON, CHEN, SELBY, SCHMIDT AND BURROUGHS. THEY LAUGH AND EACH TAKE A SWIG FROM ONE OF THE MANY DRINKS LYING ABOUT THE TABLE, AS IF THEY HAVE JUST FINISHED A FUNNY CONVERSATION. PETERSON SUDDENLY SLAMS HIS DRINK DOWN AS IF REMEMBERING SOMETHING, AND FISHES IN HIS POCKETS.]
PETERSON: Oh, smeg. I haven't got any money left.
CHEN: Why d'you need money? It's not your round.
PETERSON: I was going to do the lottery but I've only got twenty pennycents left. [LOOKS AT HIS WATCH] I haven't got enough time to get to the cashpoint before the entry deadline, either.
SCHMIDT: Well, I'd love to help you, but I've only got 30PC myself.
[EVERYONE LOOKS AT SCHMIDT FOR AN UNCOMFORTABLE LENGTH OF TIME.]
LISTER: You haven't even bought one round yet, you tight git!
SCHMIDT: Well, seeing as I've only got that 30PC coin in my pocket, it doesn't look like I'm going to now, either!
BURROUGHS: Well, personally, I happen to think that it's mere stupidity to gamble on anything, especially something like the lottery which you have so little chance of winning.
PETERSON: Yeah, well, it's a free solar system.
LISTER: Look, guys, none of this matters if you can't actually afford the ticket!
PETERSON: [AFTER A PAUSE: FRUSTRATEDLY] ARGHH! I need a ticket! Every week since I turned sixteen, or at least since I could pass for sixteen, I've done the lottery. I use the same numbers every week. What if this is my week?!
SELBY: We could all put in 17 penny cents or something for the one ticket, if your life really depends on it.
LISTER: I hope this means we each get a share if you win, Peterson. I'm not putting in the same amount of money as you if you get all the winnings.
[PETERSON DOESN'T REALLY HAVE A CHOICE. HE RAISES HIS LOWER LIP AND SHRUGS TO SHOW HE WILL AGREE WITH THIS. LISTER TOSSES HIS COINS ONTO THE TABLE FOLLOWED BY PETERSON, SCHMIDT AND SELBY]
PETERSON: [AFTER PAUSE] C'mon, Chen, cough up. We need your share for the ticket.
CHEN: Sorry, guys. I've got no money at all. You lot made me but the last three rounds just because I earn an extra 4$£ per week more than you.
LISTER: OK, I'll put in your share, but win or lose, you're paying me back.
CHEN: That's fine with me. If we win I have to give you 17PC, and you'll have to give me my share of the 10 million $£s!!
LISTER: Hey he's right! Peterson, I want a double share!
PETERSON: Oh, no you don't. You're making it too complicated. You're in for 17PC or not at all.
LISTER: [AFTER RECEIVING A LOOK OFF CHEN] Oh, all right, here's his 17PC. [LISTER CLINKS THE COINS ONTO THE TABLE. PETERSON COUNTS THE MONEY AND THEN LOOKS UP]
PETERSON: Who hasn't paid their share?
PETERSON: Why not? Can't win unless your in.
BURROUGHS: I told you before; I don't gamble.
SCHMIDT: You won't gamble with 17 PC?
BURROUGHS: It's the principle of the matter. It's got absolutely nothing to do with the amount of money.
BURROUGHS: I'd be the same if it were 17PC or 17 billion, I just don't think it's right to gamble and I'm entitled to that opinion.
PETERSON: If you're worried about getting addicted, then don't be. It took me at least three weeks to become completely and irretrievably hooked.
BURROUGHS: It's not my fault if I've got morals!
PETERSON: Forget your morals; we're talking about 10 million $£!
LISTER: Yeah, man, Peterson's right. Just do him a favour and lend him the money. Think of it as an investment...
BURROUGHS: Oh, OK I suppose if you put it like that. But if you win Peterson...
PETERSON: Then you get your 17PC back. C'mon, let's go and but that ticket. We've only got 20 minutes before the entry deadline.
CHEN: Don't we need numbers?
PETERSON: [IRRITABLY] Can't we just have any numbers?!
SELBY: No. We're all paying the same amount of money, so we should choose one number each or something: Yeah, that'd work: there are six of us so we could choose a number each.
PETERSON: Can't we just get a lucky dip for God's sake?!
LISTER: No, it's only fair that we should choose our own numbers.
PETERSON: Democracy at work. OK then, hurry up. If you're going to choose then choose fast. We haven't got long.
SCHMIDT: I'll have 2.
SELBY: No, I'll have 2.
PETERSON: Just make up your minds!
CHEN: Look, we'll each write our numbers on a piece of paper and then show each other. It's more random that way. [ALL SIX BORROW BURROUGH'S PEN IN TURN AND WRITE ON THEIR BEER MATS]
SELBY: Let's go. Schmidt, you first.
SELBY: I knew you'd stick with 2, you stubborn smeghead. That's why I changed to 14.
LISTER: Mine's 34.
BURROUGHS: But mine's 36.
LISTER: So? Don't tell me you think we've got less chance of winning if our numbers are so close?
PETERSON: Don't start with any probability stuff, OK? I've heard it all before. I choose 8.
CHEN: I've got 22.
BURROUGHS: Someone choose one in the 40s.
PETERSON: I told you not to start! What is it with you and all this superstition rubbish? I bet you don't even step on the cracks in the pavement.
BURROUGHS: Maybe, at least, we should choose consecutive numbers.
LISTER: Look, the more random the numbers, the more chance we'll have of being the only jackpot winners.
[PETERSON TAKES OUT A HANDY LOTTERY PLAYSLIP AND PENCIL AND BEGINS TO FILL IN THE CHOSEN NUMBERS. BURROUGHS LOOKS OVER]
BURROUGHS: Look. 2, 8 and 14 all go in a straight diagonal line when they're blanked out on the playslip.
LISTER: It doesn't matter, man.
BURROUGHS: But they don't look random.
LISTER: But they are.
CHEN: He's right, man, they don't look random. In fact, it looks as though we've put them in a diagonal line on purpose.
PETERSON: Just how much have you had to drink?
CHEN: What are we going to do?
LISTER: Leave them as they are. We know that they are random numbers and that's all that matters.
SELBY: But the lottery machine doesn't know they're random. It might think "hey , I'm giving the jackpot to someone who chose random numbers, not these diagonal-drawing-unrandom-gimps."
LISTER: What's wrong with all of you? It's people like you who change their numbers because they aren't spread over the whole playslip and end up sharing the jackpot with someone else. If you must, pretend we got a lucky dip and these are the numbers that the machine gave us.
SELBY: Didn't you know? The lucky dip is a total fix. The lottery company control the numbers so that the lucky dip gives, then use magnetic balls to stop people winning.
PETERSON: [WITH FACE SCREWED UP IN DISBELIEF] You what?!?!
SELBY: I'm not joking. I heard that it's some big conspiracy and that all the lottery executives hoax it so they can hoard all the money to buy thick pile carpets and golfing holidays on the Algarve.
[PETERSON, AFTER A LONG PAUSE, GETS UP, TAKES UP ALL THE COINS ON THE TABLE AND STORMS OUT OF THE BAR. A SHORT PAUSE]
To cut a short story shorter, Peterson bought his lottery ticket and a long argument over who was going to keep the ticket over night, all six of the friends eventually went back to their individual sleeping quarters to watch the lottery pick on the ship's telecom.
The numbers picked were 10, 8, 16, 43, 44 and 3. The bonus ball came out as 34. Initially both Lister and Selby were quite annoyed with the others as only their numbers had been picked, but then they began arguing with each other over whose number was more important, Lister's being most special because it was the bonus number, Selby's being likewise because it was a main ball...
None of the six spoke a single word to each other again, partly because of their stubbornness, partly because it was only four days later that the Cadmium II radiation leak killed the entire crew.
Go and visit the Author’s web site – THE PICKLED JAR.