xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' The Font of Noelage: Ian Fleming has a lot to answer for

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Ian Fleming has a lot to answer for

Since 1995 I have written many articles and stories for WAPPA WORDS, the quarterly magazine of the Western Australian Primary Principals' Association. Some were about education but many of them were just a lighthearted look at life. WAPPA printed them all ... except for this one. So, twenty years later, before my word processor collapses, I submit it once again. (NB. I have updated the names of some of the public figures involved.)

There was a time when undercover agents and detectives such as Sherlock Holmes, Bulldog Drummond and Hercule Poirot were unsung heroes, members of a revered profession and hailed as patriots. They used their intellect, not explosives, violence and million dollar gadgetry to thwart the villains.

That their image has slipped considerably in recent times is due almost entirely to the lurid example set by James Bond, the super spy created by Ian Fleming.

Fleming, who actually worked for British Intelligence, cast Bond as a sex crazed, sadistic snob with a firearm fetish who spent his considerable leisure time in gambling casinos sipping Chivas Regal while decked out in a silk dinner jacket draped with a busty blonde, brunette or redhead ... sometimes by all three simultaneously.

Ian Fleming has been dead for about forty-five years and it is depressing to note that the Bond image he created still persists and in fact is growing stronger.

Recently, we have had Daniel Craig carrying on the tradition, established by Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Roger Dalton and Pierce Brosnan, who have been bonding themselves together in a double headers on prime time TV and multi screen movie complexes for over fifty years. Brosnan’s most popular Bond movie was “Tomorrow Never Dies”.Apparently neither does James Bond.

Craig is the sixth actor to portray Bond on the screen since 1962. Unless something drastic is done soon, more and more actors will be appearing in more and more James Bond films well into the 21st Century.

In order to prevent such a calamity I submit this script for what hopefully will be the final chapter in the sordid James Bond saga.

Ladies and Gentlemen, fictional detective lovers everywhere, may I present James Bungle, Agent 000 on his very last case.

SCENE 1:    [James reclines on a psychiatrist's couch].

JAMES:    Doc, you must help me. It has been almost two hours since I solved an international unsolvable mystery. I'm losing my touch.

DOC:    Calm down, Bungle.

JAMES:    Calm down! [Sits up]. Is that all you can say? I tell you the situation is desperate. Before I came to see you I was cruising down St George's Terrace on my motor scooter looking for clues and ...

DOC: (Interrupting): And did you find any, Bungle?

JAMES:    Not a one. There I was on my gold-plated Yamaha scooter with the underslung 125cc engine. It has a triple tension torsion bar, double throw through ball valve clutch and digital liquid crystal traffic indicators plus ...

DOC:    Ah, yes, Bungle. That is most interesting, but did you find any clues?

JAMES:    That's my trouble, Doc. There were no clues. In fact all I could see were naked women.
DOC:        Women, you say. Naked! Hmmmm. [Searches in his drawer and produces three pictures].
                  Bungle, I wonder if you would look at these and tell me what you see.

JAMES:     Pictures? Doc, who needs pictures? I need therapy.

[Doc shows Bungle a picture of Ross Lyons waving a large West Coast Eagles flag].

JAMES:          Why, it's a naked woman!
DOC:              And this?
                        [A picture of Joe Hockey in a Jenny Craig tee shirt].
JAMES:         That's a naked woman!
DOC:              Hmm. Very interesting, James. And this one?
                        [A picture of Michael Malthouse pulling daggers out of his back].
JAMES:         That's another naked woman.
DOC:              [Shakes his head sadly]: I see...I see.
JAMES:          C'mon, Doc. Stop this tomfoolery. What is my problem?
DOC:              Well, the simple fact is, James, old boy, you have a very dirty mind.
JAMES:           What? Boy, Doc., that is rich. You say that I have a dirty mind when you're the one with all those dirty pictures.
                        [Telephone rings and Doc answers].
DOC:               It's for you, James. Some chap called Z the Head.
JAMES:           Hello Z. What? For me? An urgent unsolvable international mystery.? I'll be right over on my gold-plated Yamaha with the ...(very angry noises from telephone). But, Z, old boy, let me tell you. It has a steam operated, manually automatic gear lever and a ... (even angrier noises from telephone).
                        Aw, gee, Z. O.K. I'm on my way.


[Well appointed office. Well appointed blonde sits typing at well appointed desk]

[James strides in boldly. Girl stands up. They kiss passionately] .

JAMES:          Who are you?
GIRL:              I work for Z the Head. I'm a Girl Friday.             
JAMES:          A Girl Friday, hey! What are you the rest of the week?
                        [James smiles sardonically at his witticism].
                        Say, is that perfume I smell?
GIRL:              It is... and you do.
JAMES:          Hey, listen Girl Friday, don't talk to me like that. Do you know who I am? My name is...er...um. My name is...ah, er...[James looks confused. Girl helps him to a chair].
GIRL:               You were saying your name is ...
JAMES:           I suppose you had better call me 000.
GIRL:              Double Oh Oh?
JAMES:          Yes. Whenever I try to think of my name, my mind goes completely blank.
GIRL:              We all have days like that.
JAMES:          Yes. It is amnesiacal deja vu. I have forgotten my name before!
GIRL:               Hey, how did you get that lump on your head?
JAMES:          [Feeling his forehead]. What this? Oh, it’s nothing. I was putting some toilet water on my hair this morning and the seat fell down.       
GIRL:               If you say so. [They embrace passionately].
Anyhow, Z the Head wants you to solve an urgent unsolvable international mystery. He has a man waiting outside. Shall I ask him to come in?

JAMES:         Of course. Of course. [They embrace once more. The girl then sways outside while James looks into the silver cocktail tray and smoothes his eyebrows. Enter a clean cut young man carrying a  brief case on the side of which is painted the Star Spangled  Banner.]
MAN:              Agent Double Oh Oh. Boy, am I glad to see you.
JAMES:          Well, of course you are, dear chap, but who are you?
MAN:              I represent a friendly foreign power.
JAMES:         Which one?
MAN:              At present we do not wish to be identified. We operate under a special code sign.
JAMES:          Clever thinking. What is the code sign?
MAN:              We call ourselves U.S.A.          
JAMES:          U.S.A. Say, that is good. I must try to remember it. Now, about this urgent unsolvable international mystery that you want me to solve.
MAN:              We need you to locate a beautiful spy named Fanny Adams.
JAMES:          Never heard of her. Does she work for S.M.E.R.S.H.?
MAN:             No, she works for an unfriendly foreign power.
JAMES:         Is that so. Which one?
MAN:             I'm not at liberty to divulge that top secret classified information at this point in time. However, we have given it a secret code sign. We refer to it as I.R.A.N.
JAMES:         Very interesting. Now just what has Fanny been up to?
MAN:             She has infiltrated our organization and has copies of our weapons ...
JAMES:         Offensive?
MAN:             No way, pal. Fanny is a real swinging chick. That's how she infiltrated our ...
JAMES:         (Testily). The weapons. The weapons man, are they offensive?
MAN:             Oh No! My goodness me, no! We do not make OFFENSIVE weapons. We threaten no one. We only make DEFENSIVE weapons. However ... if turned against us by an unfriendly foreign power ...
JAMES:          You mean ...
MAN:              Exactly so ... as weapons of mass destruction we would all be blown to smithereens.
JAMES:         That could be quite nasty, old sport.
MAN:             Right. That is why you, James Bungle, Agent Double Oh Oh, face the hardest task we have ever set anybody.

[Music in the background wells up. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is singing "America, The Beautiful". Further in the background the Luton Girls Choir sings " Land Of Hope And Glory". Still further in the background Sam Newman leads a combined AFL choir in several rousing football drinking songs ).

MAN:                Bungle, you will need to use all your cunning and guile to seek out Fanny, get the plans, replace them with fake copies, plant plastic explosives and destroy their entire spy network before they destroy us.
JAMES:          Righto, old man. How much time do I have?
MAN:             [Looks at watch].  Two minutes exactly.
JAMES:         [Sits down. Thinks. Pours drink. Thinks.] I have it! Where is Girl Friday?
                       [Shapely blonde reappears. She and James embrace].
GIRL:             Yes, Agent Double Oh Oh. What is it?
JAMES:          Send for Z the Head. [He embraces girl once more. Girl departs]
MAN:              This is incredible, Bungle. Do you really have a solution?
JAMES:         Naturally, old bean! Oh, I'll admit I was puzzled for a few seconds, but these urgent unsolvable international  mysteries are a piece of cake really. It is simply a matter of recognising the clues.

[Enter girl with an elderly gentleman who is carrying  a Union Jack. It is Z the Head. Girl and James embrace].

JAMES:         [Points at Z the Head]. There is your master spy! There is your sweet Fanny Adams!
MAN:             Are you mad, Bungle? That is Z the Head. He works for us. He is your boss. Besides, he is an elderly man. I already told you that Fanny Adams is a beautiful woman!

[James lunges forward, tearing at Z the Head's clothing. He is quickly restrained by  two bodyguards].

MAN:              Well, Bungle, are you satisfied. Was it your female spy?
JAMES:         [Confused]. No ... No, it wasn't. It was Z the Head.
Z :                    Bungle's flipped his lid. He is no good to us any more. Take him away.
JAMES:          I don't understand it. Every time I looked at Z the Head I could see this beautiful naked woman.
MAN:               He's gone psycho! This is the end of his career. We'll have to put him away for good.

                        [EXIT ALL ...if only they would!]

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