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Eavesdropper, part 1: The ad men

One dystopian invention – a radio that can eavesdrop on anyone, anywhere, anytime – and four strange tales. Here's part one.

The ad men

SUIT                      Here it is.

SUIT puts a radio on the table.

CREATIVE 1        Let me guess. Another sodding iPhone. But, no, wait! This iPhone is yellow and smells of butter. Wow!

CREATIVE 2        Pretty sure radio has already been invented, dude.

SUIT switches radio on. It plays CREATIVE 1 saying: “Pretty sure radio has already been invented, dude.”

CREATIVE 1        But wait! It records too! Ground breaking stuff, Suit!

SUIT turns the dial again. Radio plays CREATIVE 1 saying:This agency sucks. I should be writing my film not drafting lame copy for shitty nappies.

CREATIVE 1        Hang on! I said that at home, yesterday, to my wife, in private. You bugged my home! I’ll sue this agency!

SUIT                      Pipe down. We didn’t bug you. Ready to hear something incredible?

CREATIVE 2        That you’re a moron. Pretty sure we’ve already established that.

SUIT                      This invention can tune into anything ever said.

CREATIVE 1        Bollocks!

SUIT                      Big idea I know. So wrap your heads around it. There was a scientist called Babbage who said the air itself was a vast library, on whose pages are forever written all man has ever said or woman whispered.

CREATIVE 1        Very poetic. But so what?

SUIT                      Well, this little puppy can read all of those pages; everything everyone said from the dawn of time vibrating outward and onward like rings on an infinite pond.

CREATIVE 1        Balls!

SUIT                      Some proof is required. So why don’t we listen to some of your past?

SUIT turns dial. Radio plays CREATIVE 1 talking in a high-pitched voice: ‘I really love this girl, mum, I do. Samantha is the sun, moon and sky, but she won’t even go out with me. I’m lovable aren’t I? You love me don’t you mummy?’

CREATIVE 1        What! No! That’s impossible. How the hell did you do that! That was when I was, like, twelve!

SUIT                      Seventeen actually.

CREATIVE 1        This is mind-blowing. I think I’m having a heart attack.

CREATIVE 2        But this’ll change the world. Governments will hear everything. Friends will hear friends backstabbing them. No one will be able to lie in court. We can listen to the voice of Jesus, of God himself, oh God! People will stop talking for fear of being heard, they’ll slice out their tongues, Christ, nothing will ever be the same …

SUIT                      OK, OK, calm the fuck down Snowden.

CREATIVE 1        Is this legal?

SUIT                      Legal isn’t our problem. Our brief: come up with a name.

CREATIVE 1        iRadio?

SUIT                      I don’t pay you to plagiarise.

CREATIVE 2        The DOP?

SUIT                      Stands for?

CREATIVE 2        Death of Privacy.

SUIT                      Funny guy.

CREATIVE 1       Conch?

SUIT                      Too Lord of the Flies.

CREATIVE 1        The KGB.

SUIT                     Too historical.

CREATIVE 2        The CIA.

SUIT                     Too America.

CREATIVE 1        The ISIS.

SUIT                     Too soon.

CREATIVE 2        RadioBug! 

SUIT                     Something there, go on.

CREATIVE 1        RadBug.

SUIT                     Like it so much I’m taking the name out to dinner.

CREATIVE 2        The Bug.   

SUIT                      Love it. I just divorced my third wife so I can marry the name.

CREATIVE 1        Or just: Bug.

SUIT                      Yes, yes! I’m bonking the brains out of that name, love it! Keep going, I’m about to blow my wad all over this …

SECRETARY opens door, balancing tray of coffees. SUIT screams.

SUIT                      Sod off! No distractions!

SECRETARY       Sorry, I’m the new secretary.

SUIT                     Soon to be ex-secretary!

SECRETARY       Should I come back?

SUIT                     You should piss off!

SECRETARY wobbles; cup smashes on floor.

SUIT                     Who is this idiot? We’re on the cusp of naming history! You’re fired!

SECRETARY       Well you’re a prick!

SUIT                     Do you have any idea who I am?

SECRETARY        A dick paid too much to think up lame names for dumb things.

SUIT                     Well, if you think you’re so smart, darling, why don’t you name this? Here’s the brief: a radio that can tune into any conversation ever. There you go, sugar-tits, now tell me what you call it.

SECRETARY       It’s so obvious.

SUIT                     Then dazzle me!

SECRETARY       Eavesdropper.

Silence. Everyone smiles at everyone else.

SUIT                     You, sweetheart, are a beautiful genius.

Robert Glancy is the author of two amazing and hilarious books, Please Do Not Disturb and Terms & Conditions. Don’t live a lifetime of regret. Buy them immediately.  

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