DELANEY, not Mark Pellegrino’s legendary agent but a minor agent to non-entities in Scotland who by an amazing coincidence shares his name, sits at his desk lovingly dropping feed into a fishbowl while HAMISH McBITPARTH, paces around the office restlessly, waves his arms passionately, and complains volubly…
McBITPARTH: I naarrryy part *&**&**& %%%£$ (&*(& aye.
DELANEY: What’s that now?
McBITPARTH: And whutevya &*&( hag? ^*&%()*%^&)% noo?
McBITPARTH: Pay you shills &*&( R$$$^ &(*&(* hoor
DELANEY: Come again?
McBITPARTH: Are ye deaf orr *&^*^ %(^(*&*& ^^%%$%$9 mon?
Delaney leans back in his chair, baffled and exasperated, looks idly at the fishbowl, looks intently at the fishbowl, and smacks himself in the forehead.
McBITPARTH: Now whut &*&* ^*&^(* at all?
DELANEY: Wait! I forgot to put my Babelfish in.
Delaney gently scoops the fish out of the bowl and sticks it in his ear. He sits down.
DELANEY: Good God, I really had forgotten just how unintelligible you were without it. If I hadn’t taken it as a memento from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy set nine years ago I don’t know how I would ever have managed up here. Honestly, if you people vote next year to the leave the Union… Without any restraining English influence on you the entire country will be incomprehensible within five years.
McBITPARTH: Aw shove it, Delaney. Go back to London then.
DELANEY: London remains a bit dicey. Sam Rockwell still has eyes and ears there…
McBITPARTH: Were you listening to me?
DELANEY: Yes! That is to say, no. That is to say, I was listening but not hearing, or hearing but not listening; whichever of those Sherlock Holmes said and would therefore make me sound witty is what I was doing. But in any case if you were griping, which is what it sounded like, then not to worry. I’ve got you a part.
McBITPARTH: Is it a good part?
DELANEY: It’s a juicy part.
McBITPARTH: That’s what you said about Taggart!
DELANEY: I was being descriptive about the corpse you’d be playing. This time I’m being… expansive, metaphorical.
McBITPARTH: You know that Taggart has ended, nigh on three years ago?
DELANEY: You’re obsessed with Taggart!
McBITPARTH: You’re obsessed with Taggart! After the corpse you got me another part in it, a bigger part you said.
DELANEY: It was a bigger part!
McBITPARTH: I died in flashback and then appeared as a corpse!
DELANEY: That was double the screen-time!
McBITPARTH: And then there was that Macbeth fiasco…
DELANEY: YOU WOULD HAVE TO BRING THAT UP WOULDN’T YOU?!!
McBITPARTH: SOMETIMES I THINK THAT WHEN YOU FLED HERE FROM THE SOUTH ALL YOU KNEW OF SCOTLAND WAS TAGGART AND MACBETH – AND MACBETH WAS WRITTEN BY A SASSENACH!
DELANEY: You wanted to do some good work, I got you a part in a Shakespeare play. And to be hauled over the coals about it year after bloody year. Shakespeare! The Bard of Avon! The poet of the nation.
McBITPARTH: Your nation.
DELANEY: Ohhh!!! (pained pause) Just because you didn’t have any lines.
McBITPARTH: I was playing the FOURTH murderer in a play famous for having a redundant THIRD murderer! I’ve never been so embarrassed…
DELANEY: Still better than just being a corpse.
McBITPARTH: (sighs) So what’s this part you’ve got me?
DELANEY: It’s in some weird film. I couldn’t understand anything they said about it, and they were all English so it’s not a problem with dialect.
McBITPARTH: What’s the part?
DELANEY: You have a sex scene with Scarlett Johansson.
McBITPARTH: **** off.
DELANEY: (massaging his ear) My Babelfish appears to have come loose.
McBITPARTH: No, I was swearing.
DELANEY: How dashed odd! Why did it censor you?
McBITPARTH: You lifted it from the set of a PG-13 movie you dobber.
DELANEY: Ah! But seriously, you have a sex scene with Scarlett Johansson.
McBITPARTH: YES!! YES!! Will she be naked?
McBITPARTH: YES!! This is why I became an actor!!
McBitparth jumps up, does an impromptu dance of joy. Delaney mistakes it for a Highland fling and grimaces at it, an expression of exquisitely Tory contempt.
McBITPARTH: Is this a wind-up?
DELANEY: No, it’s totally legitimate.
McBITPARTH: Scar-Jo will be naked in a scene with me?
DELANEY: Yes, but you’ll be wearing a sock.
McBITPARTH: I’ll bloody need to be wearing a sock…
McBITPARTH: Why me? Why did they want me?
DELANEY: Well, a friend of mine in London put them in touch with me.
McBITPARTH: Looking for Scottish actors then?
DELANEY: I think he said they were looking for non-professional actors.
They both look at the floor.
McBITPARTH: Naked Scar-Jo! YES!!!
DELANEY: That’s all I bloody hear these days…