ComedyCollective Writers Project
John Random

JUNKSHOP OF THE FUTURE

by John Random

This sketch is based on one of the more minor cliches of science fiction - if that’s not a contradiction - in which an old junkshop owner is a source of knowledge about what is - for us - still the future. This custodian character is played by Peter Ustinov in Logan’s Run and Cyril Cusack in 1984, which is why I’ve called my character Cyril.

TINKLE OF SHOP BELL

CYRIL: Goodbye, Mr. Orwell. Mind how you go now. Get home safely.

SOMEBODY LEAVES THE STAGE.

CYRIL: Ah… back again, my dear. What can I do for you?

JANE: (NERVOUSLY) Cyril…

CYRIL: Yes, dear…

JANE: I… I want you to tell me about The Old Days.

CYRIL: (WISTFULLY STARING INTO MIDDLE DISTANCE) Ah, The Old Days.

JANE: Yes - I mean the really old days, before The Millennium Bug and The End Of Civilization. I want to know everything. Who WAS Chris Woodhead? What WAS ‘The Flatback Four?’

CYRIL: (LOOKS NERVOUSLY AROUND) Shh. So many questions.

JANE: (TAKING HIS HAND TENDERLY) Please - you’re the only one who can tell me.

CYRIL: (GOING OFF INTO ANOTHER BOUT OF NOSTALGIA) Ah, my dear. Things were so different then. It was another world. I’ll never forget the night The Old Queen died. Yes… Julian Clary, axed after only one programme of Mr. And Mrs. Of course, we lived in Bluewater Shopping Centre then. Everyone did.

JANE GRADUALLY REALIZES THAT CYRIL IS BONKERS.

CYRIL Did you know that you used to be able to get vacuum cleaners with  no bags? (WHIPPING OUT PHOTO) This is my mother. (SADLY) She was a saint. (PERKING UP) An All-Saint. Combat trousers and a pierced belly-button - oh yes, she kept herself respectable. Do you know… we were the first house in our street to get Ondigital?

JANE: Were you?

CYRIL: And The Porn Channel, what was it called? Er… um…

JANE: Channel 5.

CYRIL: Channel 5, that’s the one. Of course, it wasn’t all marvellous. You could be arrested for not wearing something with the words Tommy Hilfiger on your chest.

ANOTHER CUSTOMER COMES IN. JANE SHOOTS HIM A NERVOUS GLANCE. HE BROWSES  IMAGINARY BOOKSHELVES.

CYRIL: Do not worry. It is only Emil. Emil and I used to go whaling in Norfolk. I remember my first sexual experience. Now, that WAS with Chris Woodhead. Or was it the internet? Have I shown you my sores?


to contact John Random about these, or any other sketches, please e-mail random@dial.pipex.com


ComedyCollective Writers Project
John Random