GE 1997-8 Season 4 Episode 5: Vault
Note: this is not a transcript, but a working draft of the script, so there may be differences in the aired version.
PAUL: Here we go again, down down through the maze ... to The
monotonous old Vault, where director of radio Ish Lundrigan counts
the golden hours until his retirement, treading water on the past.
ISH: Good day, Paul.
PAUL: Hi, Ish. What ho-hum event of yesteryear sees the light of this day ?
ISH: What's wrong with you, Paul?
PAUL: Nothing, nothing - nothing wrong with me.
ISH: You've been moping around the building for ages. Come on, out with it.
PAUL: Well, it's just that back in April when Ginsburg died, you promised
you'd find a BCN show on the underground poetry scene here in the '50's,
but all we get is week after week of old stuff that interests you. Why
can't you indulge my interests just once?
ISH: Look at him! Paul Moth, one of the best minds of his generation,
destroyed by Beat nostalgia, starving, hysterical, naked!
PAUL: Ish! You found it!
ISH: No, Paul, I didn't "find" it - I picked it out, when I was good and ready.
PAUL: Wow, I remember hearing this piece as a kid -- it had a profound effect on my life.
ISH: St. John's was a hotbed of that sort of poetry.
PAUL: I think it pre-dated Ginsberg and Furlongetti.
ISH: You're right there. "Bleat" they called it.
PAUL: And they had a regular "pad."
ISH: Ned Wright ran a club over on Duckworth, just east of us here.
PAUL: What was it called ?
ISH: (Pa-di-duh, pa-di-duh.)
PAUL: Huh ?
ISH: It didn't really have a name. If you knew about it, you knew where it was.
But for shorthand, you just played a bongo beat on your leg or the table.
PAUL: Neat idea.
ISH: When (plays name on cabinet) opened in 1956 in St. John's, Dirk
Pilgrim did a feature for an investigative show we had called "Quest." Here it is.
SFX: THE CLUB. OUTDOOR SFX
DIRK: The doorway to this downtown St. John's 'club' lies atop a set of
four poured concrete steps. It is a wooden door, painted black, it's
missing windowpane replaced with cardboard. Angus, the "door guy" in
hip parlance, is likewise garbed in black. Although it is nighttime,
Angus wears his sunglasses, or "shades."
SFX: DIRK CLIMBS STEPS
ANGUS: Password, daddy-o ?
DIRK: (PLAYS PA-DI-DUH ON THE DOOR)
ANGUS: Groovy, man. Enter.
SFX: APPROPIATE FURTHER NOISES. FLUTE PLAYED BADLY, TALKING, BONGOES.
DIRK: Down the dark hall I stumble past self-styled hipsters reclining
against the filthy wall, all got up in this generation's uniform. Their
pointy little beards carefully manicured, berets at a jaunty angle,
shapeless woollen sweaters a match for their rumpled chinos and scuffed
penny loafers, obligatory 'shades' and cigarettes a-dangle. The stench
of burnt coffee hangs in the air.
RYAN: (HEAR THE FIRST LINE OR TWO, THE REST GOES UNDER DIRK)
Others fear the snake of doubt, the river of deceit, The turgid depths of a
harbour outflow pipe - but I see.
I see, you see ?
I c, u c, a b c.
Oui, yes, we would like to c u b a customer of ours.
We're a wholesaler of nighttime hours.
DIRK: But that's not all that hangs in this air. These beatniks support
a tiny ring of would-be "artistes." Poets, they say, inventing their own
style. "Bleat" poetry. Poetry in protest. And in the drawing room of this
hovel, one of them now declaims his protestation.
SFX: MIC RUSTLE AND ETC. READING. ALL IS QUIET
POET: The yack yack yacking of the business beasts of burden,
Stripping gears and racing chains whir whir whirring
Up the mount of moneyed madness boo hoo boo hoo.
Slit sleeve, slice slowly,
Run, blood, run,
Dizzying madness of the hurried masses,
The bones of big business,
The flaying flensing, wrenching of live flesh from living writhing beings.
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait,
wait, wait, wait, wait !
Death's head, poison fang !
The toxic pox that rocks the socks of the flocks and shocks the box
to the music of the glocks !
Chime, bars, chime !
Ring and chime, plug and slime,
Everywhere I hear the sound of marching charging feet, boy, Think the time
is right for a palace revolution,
For fighting in the streets, boy.
SFX: SNAPPING OF FINGERS. SLIGHT CHANGE OF AMBIENCE. TALKING IN BG, BONGOES
DIRK: With me is St. John's bleat poet, Ryan ... ?
RYAN: Yeah, man, that's right, Ryan. Way cool.
DIRK: Ryan, we've just heard you read an excerpt from your ... lenghty
new work, "Wallow." Tell the people of Nfld what the central meaning of "Wallow" is ?
RYAN: Well, daddy-o, it's the now. I reflect the current condition, the
temperature, the climate, the pulse. You know, like the way things are, straight
man, that's what I'm saying.
DIRK: Which is to say ... ?
RYAN: What do you mean, playing-it-dumb man ? What kind of cat are you ?
You don't get it ? We're all -- screwed, that's what it means.
DIRK: You're offering a criticism of modern morality, is that it ?
RYAN: What is it with you cube-heads? You read Time magazine and think it's truth.
You drool over Norman Rockwell doodles of a middle-American way of life that
doesn't exist. You listen to Pat Boone and think it's art. You watch 'Sound of
Music' and think that's life. You buy your cars, and build your homes and swing
your loans. And what you're really doing, interviewer man, is avoiding life.
You ain't living. You're already dead, carcass man. Squaresville, that's
where you live. And it's for expired cats and kitties, dig?
PAUL: Why is that in retrospect everything seems so ...
ISH: Bad ?
PAUL: Well, innocent, anyway. Pretentious, maybe. Did anything ever become
of Ryan or Angus or any of the bleat poets ?
ISH: I think Ryan is running an aromatherapy and hair design school.
PAUL: Give it up !
ISH: And you probably know Angus, he's still in the bar business, he owns
PAUL: Jeez, I never would have guessed. Thanks for this, Ish. It's not
quite as stirring as I remembered it, but ... "it was a blast, daddy-o", heh-heh.
ISH: "It was a time which darkness could kill in an instant, a time as
easily hurt by laughter or light."
See you next time (TAPS OUT THE CLUB'S NAME) ... In The Vault.