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George and Arlo implement a cunning plan to bring Shay back from Sydney. George and Jan's new relationship lurches towards the rocks.

Widower George Turner quits his job as a popular 800-word columnist for a top-selling Sydney newspaper, and buys a house on an impulse in a remote New Zealand seaside town.

Primary Title
  • 800 Words
Date Broadcast
  • Sunday 22 January 2017
Start Time
  • 21 : 30
Finish Time
  • 22 : 30
  • 60:00
  • 2
  • 2
  • TVNZ 1
  • Television New Zealand
Programme Description
  • Widower George Turner quits his job as a popular 800-word columnist for a top-selling Sydney newspaper, and buys a house on an impulse in a remote New Zealand seaside town.
Episode Description
  • George and Arlo implement a cunning plan to bring Shay back from Sydney. George and Jan's new relationship lurches towards the rocks.
  • PGR
Owning Collection
  • Chapman Archive
Broadcast Platform
  • Television
  • English
Captioning Languages
  • English
Live Broadcast
  • No
Rights Statement
  • Made for the University of Auckland's educational use as permitted by the Screenrights Licensing Agreement.
  • Television programs--Australia
  • Television programs--New Zealand
  • Drama
UPBEAT MUSIC GEORGE: Endings can be brutal ` like the unexpected death of a friend or a friendship. This column has become, over the years, a vicarious friendship. But even good friendships sometimes can be` Ice? ...interrupted,... Dad? ...corrupted, and have to come to an end. You promised you'd get ice for the party. There's ice in the freezer. Which will last all of two minutes with all the people coming. I didn't want to make it a wide invitation because if no one came it could have been embarrassing for Jan. She doesn't want a fuss. Dad, it's Weld. We're gonna need more ice. (SIGHS) Fine. I'm popping down the shop. More juice, more lettuce, more` Everything. Nachos ` two bags. # Runnin' like a thief through an open door... And vodka? Dream on. > That's a lot of meat for a small gathering. You think? You may have over-catered. Yeah, but the meat is a metaphor for the amount of love being shared. Yeah, and as host, you wouldn't want to run out of love, would ya? (LAUGHS) Yeah, whatever. # I've been awake now for far too long... BOTH LAUGH # But I'm alive. # I'm alive. # But I'm alive. # I'm alive. # Want a hand, Mr Turner? Oh, yeah. Ollie, isn't it? Yeah. Just stocking up for the big party, eh? Yes. Jan's a great lady. We're all sorry to see her go. You know Jan? Yeah, yeah. Uh, she filled up your car here. Real nice. We talked a lot. Yeah, you've sussed to Weld, eh? Everyone's kind of gutted. But, um, at least Shay's back, right? You must be stoked about that. Yes, I am. Would you say everyone's gutted about Jan? Yeah, for sure. Let me just grab a few more things. MAN SINGS OPERA MAN: Yeah! Nice one, Smiler! APPLAUSE Thank you, Smiler, for the Verdi. And to Monty for the heartfelt poem. Interesting how you managed to rhyme 'orange' and` BOTH: 'bosom'. MONTY: Yeah. ALL LAUGH Needless to say, Jan, we are all going to miss you. But as we say here in Weld, 'People arrive as strangers and they leave as friends. 'And when they go, they take a little part of Weld with them.' Hear, hear. Oh, here he is ` the missing host. George, a few words? Yeah, but not 800. Just a couple, all right? ALL LAUGH Well. Thank you all for coming. And, Jan, you've obviously made quite an impression on these great people. Takes one to know one, George. ALL CHUCKLE Thank you, Monty. And we will miss you. And, uh` And we will` We will miss you. And no more speeches, please, you lovely people. Just more drinking and more dancing! ALL CHEER OK. Circulate. Mingle. Oh. Oh. Cool. Did you hear Bevan resigned? From the school? Effective immediately. Run off with a student teacher from Stafford. That must have been awkward for Penny the reception` The slut? (STAMMERS) I tried to empathise ` I really did ` but I failed. We are only human. Thing is, I'm thinking of applying. For the principal's job? You think it's a terrible idea, don't you? No, you'd be great. Really? Yeah, yeah, perfect. Apart from being Australian and a woman, single, still in my 30s and childless. So? Well, potential to return home and/or start a new relationship or want to start a family before it's too late. Well, if it was up to me I'd give you the job, if only because of ` and call me old-fashioned ` your obvious talents and love for teaching. Aw. Thank you for the vote of confidence, George. PARTY GUESTS LAUGH Um, hey, I got you another. Oh. Cheers, Woody. (GASPS) Fiona. She seems chipper. Tracey? Yeah, she is. Look, I've gotta thank you. Me? What for? For all the work you've done around the place. Oh, well, it worked, didn't it? Got your girl home. Yeah, I did. Yeah, but, uh, there is still plenty of work to be done ` like how it's gonna be mint when the, uh, grass comes through on the new lawn. Oh, yeah. But, um, are you going to be wanting me to mow that for you, George? (LAUGHS) You're my builder. I wouldn't ask you to mow my lawn. Yeah, no, good. Cos I reckon that it's important that a man maintains his own lawn. Indeed. Yeah. Now that Shay's back in her old room, that means you must be... Yeah, sleeping on an airbed in the lounge room. Oh. Oh, dang, that's` that's tragic. Oh yeah? Mm. Oh yeah, and how are you and Shay, then? Uh, maybe I'm, um, swearing off women for the near future. Yeah, like I believe that. I'd say from the look in his eyes, he's still very interested. Well, he can look all he likes. But he ain't getting any. POP MUSIC PLAYS I offer you the job to run my newspaper, and the next thing I know, you're on the plane back to Sydney. Was the champagne not to your liking? It was a very generous offer, but, no, I, um` I have things to sort out back home. Hmm. Such as? Well, that job I already have. If it's still there. Exactly. So I better go face the music. Or I could throw a hand grenade at the situation, make an even bigger mess and run away again. BOTH LAUGH I like that. Why cause a ripple when you can make a splash? Yeah. Good luck to you, and if it doesn't pan out across the ditch, you know where to find us. Thank you. You know I'm gonna miss you. A lot. Stop talking nonsense, George, and freshen my drink. LOUD, UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS (LAUGHS) Come on, boring people. Watching you and Monty is more than enough dancing for me. Hey, does Zac do ABBA? Yeah ` right after he does (DEEP VOICE) Barry White. ALL LAUGH KATIE: So your flight's tomorrow, then? Yep. It's been great having you around. You don't have to say that. Oh, lucky you don't have to stay for the summer. Ignore her. The summer is great here. For the summer people. The who? Oh, the townies who invade the place with their boogie boards and their barbecue reggae and` Oh, don't get me started with the jet skis. Seriously, don't start her. (LAUGHS) Don't. Sound like Sydney's a safer bet. ALL AGREE SOFTLY You girls look after my George. I think George can look after himself. (CHUCKLES) Yes, but I'm putting him in your safe hands. He deserves only the best. SLOW GROOVE PLAYS This particularly sexy groove is going out all the beautiful women in the house, particularly the lady of the hour who is loving us and leaving us. Yeah, that's what we're gonna miss. Stop being a dick, Zac! Also going out to Katie, mother of my third child and lover of all things artistic and manly. You're still being a dick. Dance with me. Sure. I think I will. What? Apply for the job. Good on you. Yeah. I probably won't get it. 'Course you will. Aw, thanks, George. (LAUGHS) Oh, you. (SQUEALS) (LAUGHS) # In my dreams. # Uh-oh, in my dreams. # TRANQUIL PIANO MUSIC JAN: I guess this is it. SHAY: Have a safe flight. Yep. I'll talk to you soon. See you soon. Yes. See you later. Bye, darling. Skype soon? Absolutely. Talk soon. Yep. See ya. See ya. DOOR SHUTS CAR ENGINE STARTS 'Auntie' Jan again. Yes, she is. Saying goodbye is easy when it's the right thing to do. But when it isn't, goodbyes can come out of the blue, leaving you feeling like there is unfinished business. Knock-knock? Just working here, Woody. Yeah, sure. So is that your final column then, is it? Yes. Yeah, what's it about? Being a final column. Oh, yeah, that figures. Everything OK, Woody? Yeah! It's good. So, Jan's gone? Yes. I guess that makes you a, uh, free agent now. I hadn't really thought about it like that. But it is over, right? Yes, it is over between me and Jan. Good. Is there something you want, Woody? Nah, just, uh, dropping off a little invoice for work to date. OK. I'll take a look at it when I'm done here. Whatever. DOOR SLAMS Woody? Woody?! Woody! CAR ENGINE RUNS Woody! UPBEAT MUSIC (ON PHONE) Hey, it's Woody. Just cos I'm not talking to ya doesn't mean I'm not hearing ya. BEEP! Yeah, it's George. We need to talk about your little invoice. Hey. What's up with Woody? Oh, have you two broken up? Quite possibly. What is it? His invoice. Whoa, $40,000? 40 grand? For what? < 'Work done', apparently. That's not very specific. It's very 'Woody', though. We're out of milk, if anyone's interested. Hey. Hey. I'm looking for Woody. And? What else is new? I'm trying to get hold of him, but he's not answering his phone. Again, nothing new there. He hasn't been in. Have you tried his place? Well, no, because I-I realised I actually don't know where he lives. But if you could tell me, that would be most helpful. No. Sorry. Neither. Can't help you. Can't or won't? Can't. Woody's a 'no fixed abode' kind of guy. His living arrangements are a mystery to one and all. Actually, I think you'll find he's staying at the Baylisses' batch. Great. Where's that? Although they're coming back early, aren't they? So he might have moved on. He'll be at the Tates'. OK` Or the Van der Klerks'. No, the Tremaines'. So he house-sits? Sits, squats. Why do you want him? Well, Woody dumped a ridiculous invoice on my desk and ran away. It needs to be discussed. Challenged? Explained would be a start. You all right there, Bill? He's pining for his daughter. You're welcome to take Lindsay home any time you like. No, no. She made her bed. She can lie in it. That bed being in my house. You invited her to stay, George. Not in so many words. Maybe it's time to get a bigger house, George. I'll keep an eye out. With Woody's invoice, I'm unlikely to be able to afford a bigger house, thanks, Monty. You're hurting. I understand. Woody was doing some work for Katie at her gallery. You could try there. Well, why didn't you...? (SIGHS) UPBEAT MUSIC KATIE: He was here two days ago. He dropped off some materials, but he's yet to actually start. Hardly surprising. Something the matter? Well, he just sprung a rather large invoice on me and then disappeared. (LAUGHS) You've been 'Woody'd'. Woody'd? Where he forgets and forgets and forgets, and then it all adds up. Possibly, although 'taken for a ride' is another term that springs to mind. George, you're his friend. You know it's not in his nature to rip anyone off. This is about business. Friendship's got nothing to do with it. Things are never just about business in my experience. I'm not questioning his friendship, just his ability to quantify his billing ` that's all. Do you know where he lives? Lives or stays? Either or. No. (CHUCKLES) I've never needed to know. You could try Tracey's place. He's staying there? He sometimes retreats there. Sometimes regularly. OK, thanks. CHEERFUL MUSIC TRACEY'S VOICE: Woody ` gone to the beach. If you need me, come find me. CHEERFUL MUSIC Hi. Hi. Tracey. Hello, George. You seen Woody? I'm not sure I can answer that question... Well, a simple yes or no would be a good start. ...without you obeying the rules. GENTLE MUSIC (SIGHS) Haven't seen him, actually. (GROANS) He was supposed to be fixing a broken trellis for me, but... Sounds like Woody ` overcommitted and overcharging for it. So it's true? What? You don't want to pay his invoice. You know about the invoice? The kumara vine, George. Fiona called to ask if I'd seen him. Don't you have the money? No, I have the money. But you don't want to pay it? I didn't say that. I just need to understand it. I-I can't pay what I don't understand. Is it written in hieroglyphics? No, but it seems that he's being free and easy with the numerical system. (SCOFFS) How did I know I would find you here? Well, I thought the same thing, which is why I'm here. Oh, really? There's no other reason why you might be here? No, I just want to understand the invoice. Well, it's not in code, George. (CLEARS THROAT) Woody? What? Oh. Yeah, righto. 40 grand for 'work done' is a little bit vague. Well, I've done the work, so please pay me. I mean, it's pretty bloody clear to me. Yeah, but with your hourly rate, that's a lot of hours. You calling me a liar? No, but... 40 grand, Woody. Well, you've never disputed my other bills. That's because they were all itemised. Exactly ` itemised down to the last screw. B-But this isn't. And those hours ` I mean, how many of those were work and how many were`? Were for what? Surfing? I have never charged you for surfing. OK, OK, but I didn't keep track. Yeah, cos clients never do, right? But I do. I keep them all notated down in my little black book which I carry with me at all times. Yeah, obviously not right now, cos I'm starkers, all right? But it's all in there in detail. Guys, maybe we should take this somewhere a little more... Private? Yeah, well, he's already gone public with his accusations. I was thinking somewhere more with clothes on. This feels like a 'clothes on' conversation. No. If George can't say what he wants naked to my face, then I don't want to hear it at all. Can I not question 'work done'? Do I just have to assume that you're telling me the truth? (SCOFFS) You really don't trust me. Trust has got nothing to do with it. On the subject of 'work done', I never charged you for saving your life or helping you out in times of need. Nah, nah, that's just what mates do. Woody, this is about business. Oh. Well, would you feel more comfortable if I invoiced our friendship and we just keep it all on that level? Friendship has got nothing to do with it. Yeah, clearly, George. OK, boys. You haven't even finished the job! I've still got a hole above my bed! Yeah, and I would never charge you for work I haven't done! All right, let's all just take a step back and put some clothes on. You know what, maybe you need to find someone that'll do it for you cheaper. I may have to. Yeah, go ahead. I will. OK, good. Then that's that, yeah? I'm just your ex-builder, and you, George Turner, you're a free agent ` free to go wherever you want. Well, I think it's fair to say that went about as badly as humanly possible. Yeah. Here we go. PHONE BUTTONS BEEP Stafford BuildRite? Yeah, hi. My name is George Turner, I live in Weld, and I've got a hole in my ceiling which I would very much like fixing. First thing tomorrow? That'll be great. Yeah, I'll text you my address. OK. Thank you. See you then. Does this mean no more Woody? I'm after a level of professionalism that has been sadly lacking. Is that because you can't pay the invoice? I can pay. The question is, should I pay? Have we run out of money? No, we have not run out of money. There's still no milk. Lindsay, you could always go get some yourself, or you could go to your house, where I'm sure there'll be plenty of milk. That's OK. I'll just have juice. There's no juice either. Lindsay, could you give us a moment? We need to talk. Sure. What about? No, it's, um, a family talk. Fine. Whatever. Get rid of her or I will kill her. Yep. Yeah. Uh, what are we meeting about? Seriously, have we run out of money? OK. When your mother died, I took stock of the money situation, I devised a plan, and I wrote this out. Like a fiscal plan? Which we've stuck to, which has allowed us to live the way we do. So as you can see, we have not run out of money. Yet. What? Dad, it's only a matter of time. According to this, basically what we've been doing the last few months is living off savings to provide for a household of three ` now four, thanks to Arlo's good Samaritan, 'I might get lucky' routine. I'm a humanitarian ` so sue me. To put it bluntly, your column has always paid terribly, and we can't go on like this ` burning through capital to top up the needs of an ever-expanding household. (COUGHS) Look` You need to get a job. I have a job. Writing a final column doesn't really count as sustainable employment. W-Well, what about you? Given your decision to shun your educational endeavours, why don't you get a job? Help us stave off this financial Armageddon? Exactly, which is why I already have a job. (LAUGHS) Since when? Do you need a job? Yeah. Yeah, I do. I have a job for you. Cool. Just like that? Yep, which is more than I can say for you two losers. I'd help, but I'm still studying. SERIOUS MUSIC When a friendship ends, there is a vacuum. When it ends badly, that vacuum can quickly be filled with a sense of loss. Or a belligerent need to be right. Thank you for being so prompt. Just come this way. Mind your... step. That it? Too small? (LAUGHS) No job's too big or too small, George, but all jobs are worth doing right, and that's what you get with BuildRite. Well, that's music to my ears, Dave. I notice you've had some other recent work done. Who was that with? Uh, a bloke called Woody. Woody... Oh, right. (LAUGHS) I'll take a look and measure up, OK? ARLO: Hey, Dad? Excuse me. Are you sure we can afford this? Arlo, it is just a quote. OK, good, cos like Shay said` Arlo, the money will be fine and the job needs doing. That hole has been bothering me for a long time. Yeah, but is it a priority? And at least this time, it will be done on time and cost-effectively. OK. OK? OK. Dave? I've gotta` gotta head out. OK, well, I'll close the door behind me and leave the quote on the bench. Yeah, great. Thanks. UPBEAT MUSIC TENSE MUSIC Ah. It's a very big ocean out there, boys. So it's true, then? You two really aren't talking to each other? (TUTS) He wahine, he whenua, ka ngaro te tangata. What? He wahine, he whenua, ka ngaro te tangata. 'Whenua'? There's no land involved. Well, I think in this case, 'land' could mean money, Woody. Yeah, well, maybe if people actually said what they actually mean. Ooh! Excuse my ignorance, but what does, 'He wahine`' '...he whenua, ka ngaro te tangata'? It's a Maori proverb. Yeah, I got that much. Meaning? I think that's for me to know and for you to find out. No, just` just tell me what it means! ROCK MUSIC PLAYS Hi. Sad news, my friend. About what? The separation ` you and Woody. Irreconcilable differences. It's just a business dispute. I want you to know I'm always here for you, George. I'm always up for bowls, tennis, cricket, badminton, table soccer. I've got a bloody good '80s dance DVD. Come and have a boogie. I'm sure that Woody and I can find a way through this. Well, I admire your optimism, George. We don't usually take credit, but I can` I can make an exception. I can pay for my coffee. But you can't pay Woody? Money is not the issue here. Really? No more column? Dwindling savings? George. You need a job. What I need is people to get off my back. I have one for you. A job? Yeah. Barman. I can only pay minimum wage, but you could start tonight. But only on a trial basis, even though I know that you've had previous experience. I appreciate the offer. You're a good friend. No. This is business. We don't bring friendship into it. Can I think about it? No. You think too much. Usual? Uh, yeah. Ta. RELAXED MUSIC 10 grand? The builder guy asked me if it was OK to get to the root of the problem and I said, 'OK, whatever.' He asked you? Arlo was in an exam and Shay was out, and you said you wanted the job done properly. That hole is way bigger than it was before. Yeah, it is. Cool, you got avocados. Only me. Why are you here? To see George. I'm not moving back home. That's not why I'm here. And why would you? Looks like George is taking better care of you than your own father. Despite the fact that the bank is foreclosing on him. (SIGHS) Oh, for God's sake. Don't worry, George. Many great men in history have had to go bankrupt before making their true wealth. Of course, many others have also ended up destitute in a ditch on the side of the road, but I'm not gonna let that happen to you. There really is no problem. Don't be silly, George. My car awaits. I don't follow. On the contrary, George ` you must follow. UPBEAT MUSIC Well, here it is ` the hub of social commentary and local news. I take it I'm not here to place a classified. Work wanted? Well, you could, or you could just take what's on offer. All of this can be yours, George. Wow. Editor of 'News of the Weld'? I've always said you're the best man for the job. Although you did offer it to Jan. But she is not a man, and now nor is she available. But you ` you're here, and frankly, there isn't anyone else who could possibly do it. (LAUGHS) < I suppose he's gotta be better than Monty. Not now, Gloria. Well, that's not saying much. Monty was completely useless. George Turner. Gloria Henley. Gloria. George. Gloria's in charge of the technical aspects of the operation. What Mac's trying to say is that he has no idea what I do. He thinks this paper gets published by accident. That's not true, Gloria. I wrangle the contributors. I take input and I make it output. Fonts, layout, export the files, coordinate print deadlines, point of sale. But apart from that, it's true ` I do nothing (!) Thanks, Gloria. Don't wanna hold you up. So you're taking over here, are you? Oh, nothing's been decided. I like a tight ship. Now, if you'll excuse me, gentlemen, I must go wees. George. DOOR SHUTS Don't worry about Gloria. She's, um` she's a good stick. (LAUGHS) Thanks for the offer, Big Mac, but I... I think I'll... I think I'll think about it. CHEERFUL MUSIC Hey! Mr T! Any word from Jan? Not yet. When she does, say hi from me, eh? Amazing lady. Yeah. Will do. Hey, I heard Shay got a job. Yeah, she has. CAR HONKS BILLY: Hey, George. Need a lift, old fella? Me? So it is true ` you are on skid row. No. Clearly you had to sell your car. I got a lift into town. I wanna get home. It's as simple as that. Well, you did send Shay out to work. She sent herself out to work. Oh, tell her I say hello, by the way. (CHUCKLES) Yeah, all right. Hey, Zac, Hannah said something to me yesterday in Maori, which obviously I didn't understand, uh, but it was, um, 'He... wahine? He...' 'He wahine, he whenua, ka ngaro te tangata'? Yeah, that's it. (LAUGHS) I've had that one used against me a few times. 'For women and land, men will perish.' Land? Or money. Maybe it's more about a woman. No. No, she said in regard to me questioning Woody's invoice. Uh-huh. Why would she say that? Well, it's always been about a woman when used against me, George. Dance with anyone lately? # Everybody knows how much it hurts. # Tracey? Yes, you were. Hmm. TENSE MUSIC I was headed for home. But perhaps this is where you need to be. TENSE MUSIC CONTINUES 1 This is a nice surprise. Spontaneous visit. I hope you don't mind. Why would I mind? Well, you might not, but somebody else might. That person being? Woody. Ah. Have you two kissed and made up yet? Not yet, but I may have tracked down the source of the problem. You found the money to pay him? Great, because I heard` No, the money isn't the problem. I have the money. Even without a job? The money is` (LAUGHS) The problem is you. Me? And him. Together you are the problem, which is due largely to the way that he feels about you. You do know how he feels about you, right? GENTLE MUSIC (LAUGHS) Alley-oopa! BOTH LAUGH I have a fair idea, yeah. I mean... He's been absolutely wonderful to me over the years, and I have cherished his company as a friend, and` And have you talked about this? The thing about talking to Woody about anything, let alone love, is that often when you're finished talking, it's not actually any clearer. BOTH LAUGH Yeah. Yeah, I totally get that. Oh my God, I am such a terrible person. You? Why? I've been taking him for granted this whole time. I've been abusing the friendship. No, no, no. I don't think it's as cut and dry as all that. I mean, this is Woody, after all. The important thing, however, is that... you and him need to sit down and actually have that talk. Yeah, I guess we do. I still don't get how you got dragged into all this. Well, it all started with a discussion that we were having about lawn care, I guess. Lawn care? Uh, yeah. Well, lawn mowing and whose job it is, to be precise. Oh. Yeah, and then there was a misunderstanding about close dancing at the party when you were telling me about the job. Woody thinks I'm after you? Yeah, and vice versa. (LAUGHS) No, that's not right. SOFTLY: Yeah, exactly. W-Which is what I need to tell him. And then you need to talk to him ` if we can find him, that is. Oh, he's staying at Smiler's. He is? MAN SINGS OPERA INSIDE Ah. The man of words. Smiler. Is Woody in? That depends. On? On whether you mean is he 'in' the house or is he 'in' good spirits? Well, hopefully both. Mm. Hope is eternal, George Turner. I shall leave you men in peace. (CLEARS THROAT) To make peace ` with words. I go in peace. Woody. George. I think there's been a misunderstanding. Is that right? Well, it's all in there. Check for yourself. I'm sure it is. Check it. I don't have to. The tension about the invoice? It's actually about something else. (SCOFFS) Yeah, 40 grand's worth of something else. Someone else, then. Um, no idea what you mean. The lawn speech at the party ` I finally got it. What it was actually about. Maybe it was just about a lawn. I don't think so. These bloody drills! They never fit back together the same after the clutch is gone. Woody, I've been an idiot to have not seen that you clearly have strong feelings for Tracey and that I may have inadvertently been treading on your toes. Oh, yeah. If there was any toe-treading, George, that would have been with Tracey while you were dancing with her. Well, strictly speaking, she was dancing with me, because she wanted to tell me something in confidence. She likes you, George! OK? You don't have to dance around it. And I like her. See? I knew it! As a friend! But I do not want to have any kind of relationship with her. Yeah, but Jan's gone. So what? So you're a free man, George Turner, with an eye for the ladies. Well, not really, and not this particular lady. Are you saying there's something wrong with her? No! God Almighty, you can be frustrating sometimes. Amen to that! Tracey is lovely, but she is a friend. And having just about screwed up one friendship by turning it into something more, I'm not exactly keen to make the same mistake again, OK? So hang on, what are you` what are you saying? What I'm saying, Woody, is that I'm not a man who wants to, or would ever, try and mow another man's lawn, if indeed there is a lawn to be mowed here. It is between you and Tracey` And the lawn. And it has nothing to do with me. Oh. You're not just saying that? I'm really not just saying that. I would never do that to a friend. Assuming we can still be friends? Bloody oath, mate. Come on, come here. Oh, I've missed it. SWEET MUSIC And you know what? Forget about that stupid invoice, OK? No, no, no. It's not important. Friendship's bigger than money, all right? A debt is a debt. I will pay it. No, forget it. I'm not gonna do that. If it's written in the book, it has to be paid. I don't want your money, George. What am I gonna do with 40K anyway? The business. Don't forget about the business. George, I'm not taking your money. MUFFLED: But the business might need it. Is there some issue about a business that you want to raise with me? It's just a little venture me and Smiler are looking into. Involving? Solar panels. Yeah, but don't you worry about it, because, you know, you've got enough problems, like bankruptcy. My finances are fine. Excellent! You tell me about the solar panels. Oh, well, we're gonna sell them so that people can catch the rays. Did you know, as an energy source, the sun has been burning for 4.5 billion years? (LAUGHS) That is one hell of a long-life light bulb, right? And you think it's free, right? But people need a way to harness it, and that's where solar panels come in, right? Come out here. That's where solar panels come in, right? And` And` And they're not free, George. Nup. OK? Someone has to sell them, install them and maintain them. I'm in. What do you mean? I'm in. If considering it a 40K investment in your business helps you take it then it's a win-win. You are a wise man, George Turner. And I know I speak on behalf of Woody when he says he feels much better about this truly elegant solution. Great. I'll write a cheque as soon as I get home. You still use cheques? Do they not have internet banking in Australia? Come on, Smiler, not the internet banking thing again. PHONE RINGS No, no, no... Hello? FIONA: Oh, late on your first shift. Bad start. Bad look. What`? Did we`? No, I need you down here now. I'm not sure if` Beggars can't be choosers, George. PHONE CLICKS SALSA MUSIC One Blue Lagoon. That is remarkably blue. That has depth. That is why I stick to beer. I don't want a blue liver. (LAUGHS) My God, that is good. Where have you been all my life, George? And a Cosmopolitan for you. You don't normally drink here, Brenda. Too expensive, but I heard George was mixing, so I thought I'd treat myself. Enjoy. Do you do private parties? Excuse me, folks. Hi. You wanted to see me? I-I spoke with Woody. Good. Did you guys sort everything out? Yes. Yes, we did. Good. I'm sorry things got so confusing. No, I'm sorry. I should have been more sensitive to what was going on. Or what wasn't going on. He really likes you, Tracey. And I really like him. And you need to have the conversation. I know, and I promise next time I see him I will. Good, because he's right over there. Seize the day. Are you going to abandon your post every time a hot woman turns up? Oh, say yes. A bartender with loose morals is exactly what this place needs. Sorry. It was for a good cause. Monty wants another Blue Lagoon. Apparently only you know how. Right. George! BRENDA: Another one please, garcon! GEORGE: How was that? All right? I hear there's been a pay-out made in the Woody versus Turner lawsuit. Storm in a teacup. Still, you'll be looking for some cash flow, George. Can I get you a drink, Big Mac? How about a bottle of champagne? After you accept my generous offer. Bartending, George? You're not 25 anymore. MONTY: George, more Blue Lagoons, please. BRENDA: Come on! Chop-chop! ZAC: More beer thanks, George. ALL: Come on! Come on! Come on, Georgie! < Come on, off you go. < INDISTINCT CLAMOURING WOODY: I saw you dancing with him, so... (LAUGHS) I know! I dunno, I just` I got a little bit jealous, and man, I did not like that feeling, because it is ugly. Especially when there's nothing to be jealous of. Yes, I know, OK? Ugly and stupid ` it's a bad combo. THUNDER RUMBLES Here, come on. We really should have had this conversation a long time ago. Yeah, I reckon. RAIN FALLS They're weird things, eh? Seagulls? What?! Oh. Sorry. You were looking off in the distance. I thought you were looking at seagulls. Were you not? No, I meant feelings. Oh, yeah, yeah. Feelings. Yeah. Seagulls are pretty weird too. They are bloody weird. BOTH CHUCKLE The thing about them is that nothing's ever simple, even when apparently they are simple. I mean, you and me have been such good friends for such a long time and I'm scared that if we change that, that we'll lose that. Right. Yeah, no. We wouldn't want to lose that ` no way. No, I wouldn't, cos it's way too important to me. Yeah, yeah, me too. Should we...? Yeah. I'm applying for the principal's job. Oh, Bevan's leaving? Yeah. Why? There was shagging involved, but it's not important. Oh, right. Sorry. It made you realise that you still have feelings for him and... What? No. God, good riddance. The thing is that, you know, I'm applying for this job, and it's such a big deal, and it's this huge process I have to go through and all these interviews, and I've got so much working against me, like the inherent ageism and sexism of the education system. You know, I really just need to focus on what I want and how to get it. So you know what I need right now, Woody? I'm guessing not a new boyfriend. I need my friends. All of them. Are you OK with that? Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. You're gonna be running a school. That is gonna be intense. Yes, if I get it. Which you must. Top priority, Trace. You know, there's not gonna be time, you know? No. It wouldn't be fair on the relationship. We'd be putting pressure on it. It'd be doomed. Yeah. Doomed! Doomed. Nah, absolutely. RAIN FALLS Come on, we should get back inside. FORLORN MUSIC UPLIFTING MUSIC Sometimes goodbyes happen when they were never meant to. Such is life. Bon voyage. The... end. EMAIL WHOOSHES (SIGHS) Milk. SKYPE TONE RINGS Oh, you're back in your chair. Back where I belong. (LAUGHS) And up early. Renewed enthusiasm now I have resolved my employment issues. So they're pleased to have you back? Well, my boss is, especially now he's clear his wife doesn't need to know about the affair. (LAUGHS) You didn't have to throw any hand grenades? (LAUGHS) No. Well, it is very nice to see you back in your happy place. It is. So, that column you just sent me... My final column? Uh, sorry, no. I reversed your dismissal. So write it again and deliver me some classic George Turner. Just like that? Just like that. Well, actually, I may be too busy. (GASPS) Big Mac offered you a job. Means nothing. You can do both. Only takes you a couple of hours to whip up a column ` your good ones, anyway. Well, thank you, I think. (CHUCKLES) You've got 24 hours. CLICK! SKYPE BEEPS What? Thanks. (CLEARS THROAT) CHEERFUL MUSIC An end can only mean one thing ` the chance of a new beginning. For it can take a crisis to bring into focus the things that are really important. Kapow! Like friendships and this curious friendship that exists between writer and reader ` one that we take for granted. Why is this milk so much heavier than stuff that isn't milk? No, it's a question of volume. No. You feel it. Yeah. It is kind of heavier. Told you. Sometimes it needs to be acknowledged and appreciated for what it is ` a shared experience and a chance to say thank you for taking part in that sharing. For, like many things in life, we take them for granted. But, as the saying goes, you never know what you've got until it's gone. Monty, this story is about George. All right. CAMERA BEEPS Because endings are by definition finite, whereas new beginnings... bring infinite possibilities.
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