(Subtitle: If only walls could talk)
An entirely fictional play (totally, totally fictitious!) of a totally fictional Finance Minister, Bartie, his mistress Cilly, and his friend Matt Ball, circa 1994. All fiction, all of it is made-up.
Bartie: A slightly dishevelled, but sharp-minded politician, Minister of Finance. Very important man in Ireland.
Cilly: Bartie’s personal assistant and mistress. Extraordinarily self-important out of the office, incredibly dim. But slim, which is all that matters.
Wall: Ingratiating minion of Bartie’s. Likes to think of himself as an old friend.
Bartie is leaning back in his office’s plush leather seats, contemplating the future. He rolls the words “I graciously accept this honor” over and over again on his lips, as he imagines himself bowing elegantly before the President. He is interrupted with a knock on the door.
Bartie: No, I don’t need tea Cilly. Sure aren’t I stuffed up with all that drink from last night at me fundraiser.
Cilly: Oh ducky dove, what else can silly Cilly do for you?
Bartie: Not that either. I’m working. But there is something…
Bartie: Jaysus, I have all this cash from the fundraiser do, £200,000 odd of it, and that damn $45,000 foreign money, what’ll we do with it at all, at all?
Cilly: Oh Bartie Bum, just put it in the bank.
Bartie: I’m gonna be Teeshock soon, I can’t be popping down to the bank with 200 grand in me back pocket. It’s dirty money. We need an alibi, I can’t be seen touchin’ it.
Cilly: I know! Buy lots of fancy anoracks with it, Arnotts are doing their new season now…
Bartie (groaning): Don’t be stupid, that’d be a hell of a lot of cheap anoracks! That’s what I did with the last lot of cash I got.
Cilly: You could buy me a beauty salon! You know I’ve always wanted me own business Bartie.
Bartie: Ah shut up ya bag. We need some ideas…
Matt Ball pops his head in the door. A slightly unctuous ‘friend’ of Bartie, he has been sniffing around like a pliant puppy for days now.
Ball: Bartie, your highness, how’s it goin’? What can a fella do for his Taoiseach in waiting, not that I’d be doin’ anything dodgy mind you, but if a fella were lookin for something handy, you know I’m yer man.
Bartie (aside): This gobshite! (Thinks) Cash business….alibi….house…eureka!
Bartie (smiling): Come on in Bally, come sit down beside Uncle Bartie. I have a proposition…here’s £140,000.
Heaves great wad of dirty £10 and £20 notes onto his desk.
I want yourself to buy a house with dat!
Cilly: But Bartie…!
Ball: Bejaysus! A reverse-bribe? Wha..?
Bartie: Shush! I have a plan ya see…I needs a house since the ould one dumped me out. I can’t keep living in this kip. We have this house in mind ya see.
Ball: I don’t understand…
Bartie: Buy it in your name, pretend it’s your money and all. Just launder that cash through your own business, ya divil. Let me and Cilly here live in the house and it’ll be ours for life. Problem of excess cash: solved. Problem of no house: solved.
Cilly (cooing): Oh but Bartie, you’re the brainiest of them all! Hockey was right, cute hoor.
They all sit around and pause in wonder at Bartie’s singular genius.
Ball: Ah but, I’m just thinkin’, what if I die? Wouldn’t you lose the house?
Bartie: Good point. You’ll have to change your will to give the house to me.
Cilly: And me! I’m his (said with great emphasis and a puffed-out chest) life-partner!
Bartie shoots her a look that would cut down a lesser person.
Cilly: Bartie, ya mean old hoor!
Runs crying from the room.
Bartie: Jaysus…! Wha..?!
Ball: I’m on it boss. Now help me lift this shit load of cash into a briefcase and I’ll be off.
Cilly and Bartie are staring at a pile of cash in his office.
Bartie: We still have that $45,000 to get rid of. What’ll I do? I know! Listen, just take that money down to the bank, be a good love, stuff it into an account in your name. When the coast is clear, we’ll use it for something else.
Cilly: Ok my Bartie boo boo. Kissy kiss.
Cilly bends over to pick up the briefcase…
Bartie: While you’re down there love…
Cilly (giggles): Bartie, you never stop thinking of it, do ya?
Bartie: No, ya silly woman, I meant, while you’re down at the bank, make sure to get a receipt!
Cilly: Oh, right, I must remember that.
Totters off muttering to herself…receipt, receipt, receipt, receipt…
Cuts to bank
Cilly (to bankteller): Oi you! Put this into my account. I’m important.
Bankteller: That’s $45,000. Wow, we haven’t seen that much recently! Let me see now, (tap tap tap), that comes to precisely £28,772.90, after applying the going rate of the day. Precisely. I dare say that’s a fine sum of money.
Cilly: Precisely? Can you be sure?
Bankteller: Oh, yes. I am a highly-trained, sophisticated bank teller. In fact, given that it is such a huge amount of money, I’ll just double-check it here with my senior colleague.
Scurries off to consult with bank manager…who comes back to the desk smiling.
Bank Manager: Can I help you madam?
Cilly: Yes, I want to put this $45,000 here into my account. And I need a receipt please. That’s important.
Bank Manager: There you are madam, a receipt for precisely $45,000 which comes to exactly £28,772.90. With that you’ll never forget how much you lodged, ever. Just in case. Good day now….