Saturday, May 16, 2020

The Tale of the Roller Skating Archaeologist Part 2

Read Part 1 or you will be very lost

The Adventures of Carlo and Leslie: The Tale of the Roller Skating Archaeologist



CAPTION: A desert island.

[On a sand-covered beach with one palm tree for shade, Carlo and Leslie sit in their now sandy Napoleonic-era uniforms.]

LESLIE: I suppose you’re happy now. To be so far away from Belgium where there ACTUALLY IS booze…

CARLO: [looks intently at a coconut] How long does it actually TAKE for these things to ferment?


CARLO: [stands up and yells at the coconut] FERMENT YOU BASTARD!!!

LESLIE: You won’t even like fermented coconut. It’ll just remind you of that fermented horse milk we were forced to drink back when we rode with Genghis Khan.

CARLO: OH GOD! Genghis! All I wanted was a fucking beer!

LESLIE: As you insisted very loudly. God knows  I don’t mind running, but an enraged Mongol horde gets up quite a head of speed.

CARLO: The man had no vision! I tried to tell him! All of this conquering and subjugating and establishing the largest contiguous land empire in human history is one thing! But you want to think big! “Genghis, mate,” I said, “you wanna go invade New Zealand! In about 800 years, they’ll make the Lord of the Rings trilogy there and THINK of the royalties!”

LESLIE: He just kept insisting “what’s New Zealand?” He never understood your strategic genius.

CARLO: AND HE NEVER BOUGHT ME A FUCKING BEER! Now it’s all come flooding back.

LESLIE: Can we concentrate on getting off this island? It’s getting quite serious, there’s sand on my coat!


LESLIE: Well maybe you should be. Did you hear what that archaeologist said on the plane? Their army is led by Boudica!

CARLO: [shocked] The roller derbying archaeologist? [shudders] She once shoulder-checked me in the queue for the bar … I couldn’t walk for months.

LESLIE: This is far more serious than we feared. What the HELL is Duz thinking?


CARLO: Do you think this coconut has fermented yet?

[They are interrupted by a rumbling sound in the distance.]

LESLIE: [looking up] What’s that?

CARLO: [jumping up] Are we saved? IS THERE BOOZE?!

LESLIE: [squinting into the distance] It looks like Robinson on [squints] a flying goat!

CARLO: That fucking stoner?!? [slams back down on the sand in disgust]

[Robinson flies in and lands his magical flying goat next to them on the sand while smoking a large joint.]

LESLIE: How did you find us?

ROBINSON: I had a dream… plus I attached secret tracking devices to all known archaeologists. [Pats back of the goat] Jump on!

[Leslie gets on, followed by a reluctant Carlo.]

ROBINSON: You’ll be needing a drink.

[He hands a bottle of some spirit in the direction of Leslie. Carlo snatches it and greedily skulls it then finally hands the bottle to Leslie, who tries to drink from it but finds it empty.]

ROBINSON: Let’s get you to Brussels to stop this convention.

[He takes off into the sky. Leslie and Carlo holding on for dear life.]

ROBINSON: Oh no, it’s the Flying Archaeologist Roller Derby Army!

[An army of flying roller derby women takes chase, with jet-fuelled rollerskates and roller derby costumes and helmets. Boudica is in the lead.]

BOUDICA: [Flying up alongside the goat] Going somewhere are we? Maybe planning a quick trip to Brussels? [she takes aim with her skates] Be careful of any … unexpected turbulence!

[Boudica fires lasers from the back of her skates and Robinson steers the goat to dodge it in time. Other flying roller-derby soldiers start firing their skates and Robinson spins round to produce a bong-laser, firing at the attackers. The soldiers twist and turn, firing and dodging as a battle ensures. Leslie holds on desperately as Carlo wildly swings his machete at random rollerderby soldiers. Eventually, the goat starts to pull away and Boudica pulls up, raising her hand to stop her troops.]

BOUDICA:  They get away this time, but we’ll meet again! Onwards to Brussels and world domination! [She laughs manically.]


[Robinson, Leslie and Carlo walk down the footpath of a Brussels street as mad traffic shoots past. It’s raining.]

CARLO: Why does it ALWAYS FUCKING RAIN in Brussels?

LESLIE: It doesn’t always rain. There was actually a day on record in 1736 where it merely drizzled a bit in the morning.

[They walk past the famous fountain with a statue of young boy holding his penis as he pisses water. They are so engrossed with stopping Hell on Earth that they don’t notice.]

LESLIE: So how do we get there?

ROBINSON: You have to cross the road.

[Carlo and Leslie look at the wild traffic and back at Robinson]

LESLIE: Are you sure?

CARLO: Where’s the flying goat?

ROBINSON: Killed when a rogue 4WD rode the pavement.

CARLO: Don’t they respect the rules here?

ROBINSON: Oh no, they just make them. [points across the road a hugely ornate medieval Gothic building] There’s the convention centre. Now [looks at watch] I’ve got another flying goat to catch. If I’m quick I can still make Amsterdam by the time the coffee shops open.

[Robinson leaves as Carlo and Leslie stand and watch the 4WDs flow past.]

LESLIE: So… how do we cross?

[Carlo starts to speak when a bunch of bicycle riders stream down the footpath toward them, scattering them on to the road, forcing them into a mad dash as 4WDs nearly hit them.They stumble onto the opposite footpath.]

LESLIE: Oh like that.

[They look up at a towering and opulent building. A small printed sign on a glorious looking door reads “Archaeologist Convention: Artifacts And Global Domination”.]

LESLIE: Well we’re here.

[They look in the open door inside a huge hall filled with seated convention attendees. A middle-aged man in a cheap suit addresses them from the stage.]

ARCHAEOLOGIST: I hope you’re all enjoying this year’s very special Archaeologist Convention. We’ve been very privileged to unveil a whole array of incredible new discoveries, thanks especially to our wonderful benefactor, Mr Duroyan.

[Attendees applaud politely.]

CARLO: [Watching from the door] THAT BAVARIAN BASTARD!

ARCHAEOLOGIST: And we have saved the best for last, a truly remarkable new discovery that is certain to change the very course of history itself. And to unveil it for us all, we have a very special guest, one of the giants of the archaeology world, it is my incredible honour to welcome to the stage... Amy!

[Crowd applauds loudly as Amy walks on stage in a conservative-looking suit, wearing glasses. The crowd gets to its feet and cheer, trowels waiving in the air.]

LESLIE: It's Amy! Boudica’s archaeologist alter-ego!

AMY: Thank you very much. It’s great to see so many familar faces out here [she looks straight at Carlo and Leslie peering in at the back and gives a knowing smile]. And now to unveil the discovery that will FINALLY give the academic field of archaeology the respect we deserve!

[The crowd cheers wildy again, trowels waving.]

AMY: Now to hand over the goods... Duroyan!

[Applause and trowell waving as Duz walks out, dressed a bit like an Afghan peasant and carrying a small, unimposing wooden box.]


LESLIE: He’s actually going to do it! We have to stop him!

[They rush into the hall. On stage, Amy takes the box from Duz.]

AMY: Finally it is ours! When I open this box, Hell on Earth will be unleashed and ARCHAEOLOGISTS WILL REIGN AS FORETOLD IN THOSE INDUS VALLEY SCRIPTS WE PRETEND WE CAN’T DECIPHER!

[Cheering and trowel waving. Carlo and Leslie arrive on stage.]


[Duz puts up his hand and mouths “hold on”.]

[Amy opens the box. Leslie and Carlo declare “Oh shit!” as huge clouds of red smoke billow out of the box, then there’s a crack of lightning and as the smoke clears, Lucifer stands there with horns, a forked tail and hooves instead of feet, wearing a red coat and holding a red trident.]

LESLIE: It never ceases to amaze me just how right popular culture got the Devil.

LUCIFER: [sees Carlo] Oh, hi Carlo! Long time no see! Say… isn’t it your shout?


DUZ: It’s OK, I didn’t just sell this to archaeologists without a plan. I knew opening the box would unleash Lucifer and so I prepared the special brew we used last time. All we have to do is throw it over Satan and he’ll be sent straight back down to Hell. Now I left it just over…

[Duz looks in Carlo’s direction as Carlo gulps from a mug.]


LESLIE: Carlo, did you just drink the magic potion we need to use against the Prince of Darkness to stop him unleashing Hell on Earth and a thousand year reign of archaeologists?

CARLO: [wipes mouth] I thought it was one of those Belgium craft beers.

DUZ: YOU IDIOT! This is the invasion of Persia all over again!

CARLO: Come on! Alexander the Great left without me!

DUZ: He couldn’t get you out of the pub! You kept muttering about the $5 happy hour and how the covers band were rocking!

CARLO: They were awesome! I didn’t like their version of “Dirty Old Town” though.

DUZ: In their defence, it’s pretty hard to play when your machete is pressed against the singer’s throat while you shout at them to play that poetic yet gritty take on life in a post-war northern English industrial town. It was all he could do to screech: “It’s the 4th Century BC, I don’t know what a gas work wall is!”

LESLIE: Decent effort though. But reminiscing about all the places Carlo was too drunk to invade isn’t going to help us stop the Evil One from unleashing unprecedented pain and misery on all humanity!

LUCIFER: Hey, I’m standing right here!

LESLIE: I meant Amy.

CARLO: Hold on… [he starts to gag] That brew’s gone down even worse than Belgium craft beer! Don’t worry, I think I’ve got this! [He rushes at Lucifer] HERE’S THE DRINK I OWE YOU SATAN!

[Carlo projectile vomits all over Lucifer, who screams in horror then disappears in a puff of smoke, leaving behind only a sick-covered cape.]

CARLO: [holding his stomach] That feels so much better.

AMY: You will pay for this! [to the crowd] ARCHAEOLOGISTS! ATTACK!

[A hail of trowels rain down on the stage as Carlo, Leslie and Duz dash to safety. They emerge out the back of the building, then round to the main road. They rush into the chaotic traffic, causing wild beeping and swerving. They somehow make it to the other side, and stand with hands on knees, breathing heavily. The enraged archeologist mob wave trowels and shout from the other side of the road, the traffic a roaring unpassable ocean they can not cross.]

DUZ: [Dusts himself off] Right. To the pub! My shout with the proceeds of the sale!

LESLIE: [shakes his head] Why didn’t you just tell us that was your plan?

[They walk off as a couple of trowels flung from across the road fall nearby.]


[The pub. Duz is now dressed as an Irish farmer and is setting three pints of Guinness on the table where Leslie and Carlo sit in their Napoleonic uniforms.]

DUZ: [sits] I told you there was a pint of Guinness.

CARLO: [lifts pint] You might be a Bavarian bastard but I never doubted you!

LESLIE: [sips] It tastes even nicer as proceeds from yet another besting of the Prince of Darkness.

CARLO: [Decent gulp] Oh I love beer.

DUZ: We know.

CARLO: But there's times when I think about ALL the beer I’ve drunk over all those years...

LESLIE: So much throughout all history.

CARLO: ...and I think that if I had all that money I spent on beer … just imagine how much beer I could buy!

LESLIE: Quite a lot, definitely. Even taking into account inflation and rises in alcohol taxes, that's still an enormous amount of purchasing power.

DUZ: You could finally stop harassing other people to buy you beer all the time.

CARLO: Oh no! Just coz I’d be rich would be no reason to give up my favourite pastime!

LESIE: [raises hand] Hold on.

DUZ: What?

LESLIE: I swear I just heard roller skates.

[They all listen. Nothing happens.]

CARLO: Ah it’s just the lack of whiskey getting to you! [He stands up, machete in hand] I’ll go sort that out.

[As he walks off, the unmistakable sound of someone rollerskating nearby is heard.]


The Tale of the Roller Skating Archaeologist Part 1

They go on about how Shakespeare wrote King Lear in quarantine for the plague, but I can safely say I've outdone the bastard with The Adventures of Carlo and Leslie: The Tale of the Roller Skating Archaeologist.

This is a true story. No names have been changed. I've written it as a script to make the inevitable Hollywood deal easier. A warning though, it is pretty hard hitting gritty realism so it's not light reading.

The Adventures of Carlo and Leslie: The Tale of the Roller Skating Archaeologist



CAPTION: Throughout millennia, valuable artefacts have been secretly accumulated by obscure figures unseen by history. Now, a new danger threatens their work....

[Carlo and Leslie meet at Carlo’s lair, dressed in old Napoleonic-era style uniforms. Leslie’s is a stylish, neatly pressed, black uniform with white lacing. Carlo’s is blue, but dishevelled and coming apart at the seams. Leslie wears his with a calm, understated bearing, but Carlo exudes an exaggerated pride as though he is the best dressed Emperor in history.

Carlo is seated behind a large, wooden desk in a room best described as ”ornately morbid”. Leslie is in front of the desk.]

CARLO: Ah, Leslie. How good of you to come!

LESLIE: Yes, it’s been a while since I was last in your lair. [Looks around] I like what you’ve done with the skulls.

CARLO: Thank you. I see you’re admiring my collection of mounted tongues!

LESLIE: Yes. [Points] Alfred the Great’s if I am not mistaken?

CARLO: Well spotted!

LESLIE: The tongue of the great 9th Century Wessex king who successfully united the Anglo Saxons to defeat the Viking invasion to become arguably the father of the nation we now know as England? I’d recognise it anywhere! What caused you to claim it?

CARLO: Oh, he spoke to me in an unacceptable tone. No idea what he said, I don’t speak OId English. But the tone was highly offensive. Please, have a drink.

[Carlo produces a bottle and pours two glasses. Leslie calmly reaches over to take the glass closest to Carlo.]

CARLO: Still don’t trust me, I see.

LESLIE: After Paris? [laughs gently and sips his drink.]

CARLO: Ah yes, the day the Nazis marched in! I remember every detail! The Germans wore grey and you wore…

LESLIE: Grey! I was in disguise, trying not to be spotted among the Nazis, when suddenly your voice cries out: “There he is! There’s the bastard who nicked the Fuhrer’s wine!”

CARLO: Oh, that was just business.

LESLIE: Four years in Dachau! And it was you who nicked Hitler’s wine when his back was turned!

CARLO: Let’s not fight about who condemned who to which concentration camp! We have more pressing problems. You have, I imagine, seen the news.

[Carlo tosses Archaeologist Weekly on the desk.]

LESLIE: [serious] Yes. The archaeologists found the jewelry stash in Siberia. Associated it, with their usual lack of imagination, with the Denisovan species of early humans. So we’re in the clear there at least.

CARLO: [stormily] That’s not all.

LESLIE: I know, it comes hot on the heels of the “discovery” of all the “oldest known bottles of wine” in a particularly isolated cave in Iran. And I was saving that for a special occasion.

CARLO: [angry] Someone’s telling the archaeologists where all our shit is hidden!

LESLIE: And we both know who it must be.

[dramatic pause]

LESLIE: Duroyan.

CARLO: THE BAVARIAN BASTARD! Selling our shit to archaeologists! Christ, and how long before Duz gives up the secret to… you know what!

LESLIE: He wouldn’t dare. Surely not even Duz!


LESLIE: If he does, and the archaeologists actually disturb… you know what… then all Hell breaks loose!

CARLO: Lucifer will walk the Earth once more! And I still owe that prick a beer!

LESLIE: We have to stop Duz! And we know where he can be found.

CARLO: The pub! I’ll get my machete and … well who cares if you’re armed… [grabs machete] Let’s go.


[The pub. Duz, dressed in a white safari suit, is at a table covered in empty glasses holding forth to an unseen audience.]

DUZ: ... the thing people don’t realise is that Bavaria is not really even part of Germany, we are very clear that we’re Bavarians first and foremost, and it is totally wrong to associate the region with the far right just because Hitler had his rallies in Nuremberg coz you had the Bavarian Socialist Soviet Republic established in 1919, but unfortunately they put a poet in charge and you can imagine how THAT ended up, I mean if it had been ME in charge...

[Frame pulls back to reveal a woman slumped face down, passed out, in the seat next to Duz. He is talking regardless until he sees Carlo and Leslie appear.]

DUZ: Oh hi guys, how are you going?

CARLO: [points to passed out woman] WHO IS THAT! 

DUZ: Oh… just an archaeologist I happened to … ah… run into...

LESLIE: We know, Duz. 

CARLO: THAT WAS OUR STUFF! Christ, the shit we went through with the fucking Sumerians!

DUZ: I can explain… LOOK OVER THERE [points behind them] A PINT OF GUINNESS!

LESLIE: Oh come on, we’re not falling for … [sees Carlo looking behind him] CARLO!

[Duz dashes out the door.]

LESLIE: Shit...

CARLO: [still looking behind him] Where’s the Guinness? 

LESLIE: He lied.

CARLO: The Bavarian BASTARD!

LESLIE: We have to follow him… the entire fate of human civilisation rests on us stopping Duz!
CARLO: Yes! But… well…  [head tilts towards the bar] One drink first?
LESLIE: Yeah OK, one can’t hurt.

CAPTION: Four hours later

[Leslie and Carlo’s table is covered with empty glasses, half drunk beers in front of them.]

CARLO: ...and then Bill Fucking Shakespeare ripped me off!

LESLIE: You WERE quite upset when he nicked your material.

CARLO: “To be, or not to be, THAT is the question!” My greatest line! No idea what it meant, I was pretty wasted.

LESLIE: Yes, you jumped up on the pub table and started banging on about slings of fortune and dreams of mortal coils. The scrumpy round Stratford-Upon-Avon was quite potent in those parts.

CARLO: There’s an idea! 

LESLIE: Oh no. I don’t want to end up in Wales again.

CARLO: What do you mean?

LESLIE: You can’t handle your scrumpy. Every time we drink it, we end up in Wales.

CARLO: What have you got against the Welsh?

LESLIE: Nothing, asides from the constant singing. It is just when we finally sober up from a scrumpy binge, we’re always in some field in North Wales surrounded by sheep carcasses and a furious mob enraged by some insulting rendition you did of their national anthem in the local pub.

CARLO: Yeah I do like to do that. Alright [rises unsteadily] Just a whiskey then…

CAPTION: Eight hours later

[Leslie staggers out of the pub, followed by an even less steady Carlo loudly butchering the folk song “Dirty Old Town”. They fall about the street, Carlo’s machete waving.]


LESLIE: [trying to focus] RIGHT! Duroyan.


LESLIE: The bastard who’ll unleash all Hell on Earth if he sells that thing to the archaeologists.
CARLO: HIM! He promised me Guinness! [Turns back to the pub] LET’S HAVE ANOTHER GUINNESS!

[A trowel is thrown from an unseen assailaint, who then quickly rollerskates by. It hits Carlo’s shoulder.]


[A second trowel is thrown from a different direction and someone else quickly skates past. Carlo and Leslie duck, scattering bins.]

LESLIE: [dusts himself off] I just dry-cleaned this!

CARLO: What the FUCK was that?
LESLIE: [Picking up a trowel] Archaeologists. This is a warning.

CARLO: Shit.

LESLIE: But I have a plan.

CARLO: Shit.

LESLIE: We need the advice of a Wise Man. Follow me.

[Leslie walks off, Carlo tries to follow but falls over.]


[Leslie and Carlo arrive outside a nondescript block of flats.]

LESLIE: The Wise Man we seek lives up here. His name is Robinson Otto.

[They enter and walk up multiple flights of stairs, Carlo’s machete in hand. After what seems an eternity, they arrive at a floor where the first door has smoke billowing from under it. Leslie knocks.]

ROBINSON’S VOICE: Oh hi, come in!

LESLIE: [to Carlo] He is a very wise man, so let me do the talking.

[He opens the door and more smoke billows out. They cough and push their way through the smoke in a struggle to enter the room. Behind a wooden dining table Robinson sits in an old t-shirt with a large, greying beard and scattered, greying hair on his head. He is finishing a cone and places the bong in front of him. The table overflows with empty take away containers and ginger beer bottles.]

ROBINSON: [coughing slightly] Hey!

LESLIE: Robinson, we need your help.

[Carlo looks around unsteadily, and nearly trips over a pile of empty take away containers.]

ROBINSON: Well… [he packs and pulls another cone, coughing] You know my price.

CARLO: This freak is charging?

LESLIE: One pork chop and rice from the Chinese shop on the corner and a bottle of ginger beer?

ROBINSON: I am quite hungry.

LESLIE: Carlo? I am sure you can get the required goods. 

CARLO: What? Me?

LESLIE: Or perhaps you’d prefer to stay here amid all the empties of this non-alcoholic ginger beer you are so allergic to?

CARLO: [sneezes and shudders] ALRIGHT! Pork chop and… the other thing.

[Carlo staggers out as Leslie and Robinson share a polite smile.]


[Carlo bursts through the smokey room with a plastic bag of food and a machete dripping with blood.]

CARLO: That queue! Lucky I had my machete. [slams the pork chop and the ginger beer on the table in front of Robinson] HERE!

[Robinson snatches the pork chop and rice and begins furiously consuming it.]


[Robinson throws down the last of the pork chop bones, finishes the ginger beer and tosses the bottle behind him, wiping his mouth.]

LESLIE: Right so…

[Robinson holds up his hand, and starts packing a cone]


ROBINSON: [Pulls the cone] Have patience and I shall [breaks into a long-lasting coughing fit] give you the answer you seek… [looks off into the distance] What was the question?

CARLO: Jesus fuck! [starts for the door]

ROBINSON: Oh right! The archaeologists.

[Carlo and Leslie stare at him.]

LESLIE: How did you know?

ROBINSON: Next weekend there will be an International Archaeologists Convention featuring Duroyan as a special guest. If you do not act quickly, the thing you wish to remain hidden will be exposed.

LESLIE: Where?
ROBINSON: In Brussels.


LESLIE: How do you know this?

ROBINSON: [looks off into the distance] I foresaw it in a dream. Plus [produces newspaper] there's an ad at the back of Archaeology Weekly.

LESLIE: Oh you subscribe as well! 




[Leslie is seated in a window seat, Carlo is next to him with empty cups and beer cans piling up.]

CARLO: [crushes another empty beer can] I SWORE I WOULD NEVER SET FOOT IN BELGIUM AGAIN! [Slams his fist down, sending plastic cups and empty cans flying]

LESLIE: So you keep saying … You do realise this is a 22 hour flight?

LESLIE: Did they.


LESLIE: This was in the midst of the German occupation during World War I. The pubs simply weren’t open and there was a severe alcohol shortage. You weren’t the only one to suffer...


LESLIE: [Looks out of window] They do actually sell alcohol these days.


[A stewardess comes over with a forced smile.]

STEWARDESS: Sir, I think you’ve had enough…

[Carlo whips out his machete]


STEWARDESS: [Sighs] Why of course sir, another VB? 

[Produces can]

STEWARDESS: [walking away] I still have no idea how you got that thing on the plane. 

LESLIE: Look, at it this way… do you REALLY think Duz would DREAM of going to Brussels if there was no beer?

[Before Carlo can answer, two archeologists leap into the plane aisle holding trowels.]

ARCHAEOLOGIST: This is a hijacking! Nobody move or we WILL use the trowels!

STEWARDESS: How did they get those things onboard?

CARLO: I got this! [gets up brandishing his machete] OK archeologists! Where EXACTLY do you think you’re taking us?

ARCHAEOLOGIST: We are taking YOU, Carlo Sands, and your fancy-dressed friend there [Leslie gives a smile of faux embarrassment] as FAR AWAY from Brussels as possible!

CARLO: Why didn’t you say so! [puts machete away] Away from Belgium? THANK CHRIST!

LESLIE: Carlo…

ARCHAEOLOGIST: This plane will fly over a tiny isolated Pacific Island, where, in the name of of our Eternal Leader Boudica, The Roller Derby Archaeologist Queen…

LESLIE: Oh no...  not Boudica….

ARCHAEOLOGIST: ...the two of YOU will be left to meet your fate, far away from our Glorious Convention in Brussels!

CARLO: You have NO IDEA how HAPPY I am to hear that!