by Robert Williams
Des was busy cleaning out his fridge when the doorbell rang. Well what else do you expect a doorbell to do?!
"Howdy partner! You're that Des Wednesday, right?" said the man in a strong American accent. "What's up! What's happenin'!"
"I'm sorry?" said Des. "How do you know who I am?"
"Allow me to introduce myself! My name is Hank Schneitzberger!!"
"Oh!" said Des. "Have you come to unblock my sink?"
"No buddy, you must be mistaken, I'm not some dumb plumbing guy! I'm a movie director from Hollywood in the good ol' US of A!"
"Huh?" said Des. "Movie director? From America? What have you come here for?"
"We're big fans of your stories over in the States, and we've decided we wanna make a movie about you and your buddies!"
"Really?" said Des. "I don't understand, nothing interesting happens round here! It's just an ordinary street, we're just ordinary people."
"And that's just what the folks back home wanna see! We love merry ol' England, all those quaint ol' traditions like morris dancing, 'Are You Being Served' and soccer hooligans!"
"I've only morris danced once in my life," said Des. "But I kept falling off the bonnet."
"I don't know what you're talkin' 'bout, but it sure sounds good!" said Hank. "We just love your English accents!!"
"I haven't got an accent!" said Des, indignantly.
"Now listen buddy, are you up for this movie or what?!" said Hank.
"Well I s'pose so," said Des. "There's just one thing."
"What is it?" said Hank.
"Since you're here, you couldn't unblock my sink anyway? I've been waiting three days for the man to come..."
Hank Schneitzberger declined the admittedly tempting offer to unblock Des's sink, and asked to meet the rest of the gang down Mrs Greasy's cafe. So they walked off down the road, past Hank's enormous four wheel drive vehicle which was taking up almost the entire width of the road, in the direction of the cafe. When they arrived, Mick and Clive were there already.
"Hello everybody, I've..."
"Don't tell me," said Clive. "You've bought an overweight American."
"No, no, I've brought along, sorry what's your name?"
"Bless you!" said Clive.
"Yes, I've brought along, um, whatever, to meet you all. He's a film director from America, and he's making a film about us!! Isn't it exciting!!"
"It's gonna be called 'Des and Clive - The Movie'," said Hank.
"Sounds good to me," said Des.
"And me," said Clive.
"Hold on a minute - 'Des and Clive - The Movie'?" said Mick. "What about me?"
"What about you?" said Des and Clive simultaneously.
"Don't worry Mickey, you'll be in the movie too!"
"So when do we start filming?" said Des.
"Err, well, listen buddy, I dunno how to break it to you, but we don't actually want you to star in our movie! We've already got actors signed up to play your parts!"
"Oh what?!" exclaimed a disheartened Des.
"Do you wanna meet them?!" said Hank.
"S'pose so," mumbled an equally disheartened Clive.
"We'd better round up the rest of our lot, so they know what they're up against," said Mrs Greasy. She got on the dog and bone and invited Wayne, Mike, Dickie and Files round. Meanwhile Hank popped off to bring round his team of actors.
"I wonder if there'll be anyone famous," said Des. "I expect they've given my role to Dustin Hoffman."
"Dusty Bin more like," said Clive.
Hank returned with a line-up of internationally famous actors who would be taking their roles.
"First of all, let me introduce you to Troy Wangman Jr, he's playing the geeky guy," said Hank.
"Who?????" said Des.
"Gee, well hello!" said Troy Wangman Jr, who was indeed a geeky guy with glasses, a sort of Bill Gates lookalike.
"Don't tell me - he's playing Des!" said Clive.
"You got it buddy!" said Hank.
"What?" said Des.
"And this is Flash Santana, he's playing the cool guy!"
"Hi," said Flash Santana, a very tall, cool fellow wearing dark sunglasses.
"That's obviously me," said Clive.
"Right again!" said Hank. "Now this is Kirk Womack, he's gonna be taking the part of the regular guy, who all our folks back home can relate to!"
"That'll be you, Mick," said Des.
"Hi there, you English people!" said Kirk. "'Ow yer doin', apples and pears, me ol' china plate!!"
"What on earth is he talking about?" said Des.
"Introducin' Chuck P, who's gonna take the part of the window cleaner!" said Hank.
Chuck P stepped forward, an extremely large person covered in jewellery, looking more like some kind of gangster rap artist than a window cleaner.
"Yo, how ya doin'," said Chuck P in a deep, rough voice. "Right on brova. Respect."
"YO!!!!" exclaimed Wayne in a not-so deep, rough voice.
"Oh dear, that's all we need," sighed Mick.
"Step forward Al Justice III, he's the automobile guy!" said Hank.
"Hi there you guyz, anyone wanna buy a '79 Chevy with only 185,000 miles under its belt?!" said Al Justice III.
"Not particularly, but I can do you a cracking deal on '79 Chevette!" said Mike.
"Now everybody meet Randy Schmidt, he's playin' the hillbilly farmer," said Hank.
"Yeeeee-haaaaaa!!" said Randy Schmidt, a craggy old man with missing teeth, dressed in dungarees, checked shirt, and straw hat.
"Oooooh arrrrrr!!!" exclaimed Farmer Files.
"This is Larry Rodriguez, he's playing the evangelist guy!"
"Praise the Lord!!" exclaimed Larry the evangelist guy. "You are all forgiven!!"
"Thank you very much," said Des.
"Groovy!" said Dickie.
"And finally Nancy Cruz, who's playing the part of the cafe owner."
Nancy Cruz was a very slim, young lady - in other words the complete opposite of Mrs Greasy.
"Well, like hello you guys," said Nancy in an annoying high-pitched voice. "How y'all?! This is, like, just so totally cool!"
"Yes, it's not too warm out today, is it?" said Mrs Greasy.
"I can't believe it," said Des. "Who on earth are all these people?! I haven't heard of any of them!!"
"Now I think you guys should know, we decided to make a few changes, just to make it a little more understandable to the folks back home," said Hank. "I hope you don't mind!"
Filming started pronto that morning, and the gang were allowed to watch the proceedings off camera. The action began at Des's house where Kirk (Mick) was popping round to see Troy (Des).
"ACTION!!" yelled Hank.
Kirk rang the doorbell, and Troy answered.
"Hi there Des, you busy?!" said Kirk.
"Gee, well, I just been doin' kinda geeky things, like surfin' the internet, and watchin' MTV!" said Troy. "'Cos I'm a geeky kinda guy!"
"You're darn tootin'!" said Kirk. "I was just wonderin', you gotta cuppa sugar I could borrow?!"
"Sure there Mick, I'll just get it for ya!" said Troy.
"Woah, never mind that Des!" said Kirk. "Look at the time, we gotta get down Mrs Greasy's Burger Bar!"
"Sure thing Mick, but on the way we'd better pop in and see Mike the Amazing Automobile Guy!" said Troy. "I wanna pick up a can of gas for my Cadillac!"
Kirk and Troy walked down the road to Mike's Amazing Automobile Store, followed of course by the whole entourage of film crew, make-up artists and various by-standers.
"Hi there you guyz!" said Al Justice III, who was playing the part of Mike. "You after a new automobile?! I gotta cool selection of Chevys on the forecourt! How 'bout this cool '73 Chevy Corvette with power-operated trunk?! It's yours for just $35,000!"
"No thanks Mike, I just wanna can of gas for my Caddy!"
"I don't do Cadillacs!! Get outta town!!"
Troy and Kirk hurried off to Mrs Greasy's Burger Bar, where Chuck P (playing Wayne) and Larry Rodriguez (playing Dickie) were sitting eating burgers.
"Yo brovaz," said Chuck P, the gangster rapper lookalike, when Troy and Kirk walked in. "Respect."
"Well like, hello Des, hello Mick," said Nancy (Mrs Greasy) in her annoying whiney voice. "Would you guys like some burgers?"
"Yes please Mrs Greasy, 'cos we love your burgers so much!" said Kirk.
"Gee, that's right Mrs Greasy!" said Troy. "I'd just love one of your triple cheeseburgers with fries and ketchup!"
"Well like, that's just so cool!" said Nancy.
"Hey Wayne, how's it hangin'?!" said Kirk. "What you been doin' today?!"
"Yo brovaz, I been out cleanin' some windows wi' ma homies in downtown London," said Chuck. "Respect."
"Wayne, you're like, such a dweeb!" said Nancy.
"Hey Dickie, you gonna be holding one of your cool discos tonight?" said Kirk. "I do hope so!"
"Praise the Lord!!" said Larry. "I sure am, Des! Make sure you're down the church hall at 7:30 tonight!"
"Gee Dickie, I can't wait!" said Kirk. "I just love all that cool music you play, like Britney Spears, N-Sync and Eminem!"
"So do I!" said Troy. "My name is...my name is...my name is...Des Wednesday!" he rapped. Everyone laughed.
"Oh I just remembered, I won't be able to come, 'cos I'm gonna be watching Letterman on NBC!" said Kirk.
"You are forgiven!" said Larry. "I hope you'll be able to come and hang out at my cool church service tomorrow morning instead!"
"Sure thing Dickie!" said Troy.
Suddenly, from nowhere came the sound of clapping and cheering. The real Des and Mick looked all around in bemusement. Then they saw that Flash Santana (who was playing Clive) had appeared at the cafe door, looking extremely smart in his suit and cool sunglasses.
"Hi," said Flash in a very deep, cool voice, as he removed his sunglasses in a very cool way.
"Hi there Clive!" said the others.
"I just drove here in my brand new top of the range Lincoln Continental, straight from an important business meeting in my position as CEO of a multinational organisation," said Flash, walking into the cafe.
"Oh my gawd Clive, I think you're like, just so totally cool!" said Nancy.
"Yeah Clive, we all love ya so much, 'cos you're just so cool!" said Kirk.
"Hey, thanks you guys, I think you're all swell too!" said Flash.
"Respect," said Chuck P.
"Praise the Lord!" said Larry.
"Good grief," muttered Mick as they watched this schmaltz.
"This is nothing like our lives!" complained Des. "All this is just a bunch of weirdos saying how much they love each other!"
"While our lives is nothing but us saying how much we hate each other," said Mick.
"Will you two guys please stop chatting!" said Hank. "I'm tryin' to shoot a crucial scene here!"
"I hope you don't mind me saying," said Mick, "but there doesn't appear to have been much of a plot so far."
"Plot?!" said Hank. "What are you talkin' 'bout buddy, what's this word, 'plot'?"
"Oh never mind," said Mick.
"Okay guys, I think we'll take a raincheck!" said Hank. "CUT!!"
"It's not raining," mumbled Des.
"Let's grab some snacks and we'll shoot the next scene this afternoon!" said Hank. "Anyone know where there's a McDonalds nearby?!"
Mrs Greasy emerged suddenly from the kitchen, looking horrified.
"Did I just hear someone say McDonalds?!?!?!?" she exclaimed.
"Gee yes, I didn't mean to upset you Mrs Greasy!" said Hank.
"Lunch will take place right here!" exclaimed Mrs G. "Now what would everyone like to eat??"
The Americans made their orders, whilst the English tried to avoid making any orders, and they all sat down ready for lunch. Meanwhile Al Justice III started fiddling about with Mrs Greasy's radio.
"Can you get WNKC on this radio?!" he said. "I wanna find out the result of last night's Superbowl between the Milwaukee Muffin Manglers and the Los Angeles Losers!"
"No, but The Archers is on in a minute," said Mrs Greasy. "Would you like a super bowl of custard while you wait?"
"Any of you guys baseball fans?" asked Kirk Womack.
"What's baseball?" said Des. "Is that where you hit the ball with a music instrument?"
"No, that's double bass-ball," said Mick.
"You guys serious?!" exclaimed Al Justice III. "In the States we're all massive followers of the game! I'm a lifelong supporter of the Muffin Manglers, and it's always been my ambition to meet their quarter back Randy Hangweiser!!"
"How interesting," said Des.
Later that afternoon they were ready to shoot the next scene. The film crew set up themselves up outside at the bottom of Oakleigh Avenue on the corner, next to the cafe. As Des and Mick looked on they could see some other men setting some things up further up their road.
"What are those men doing up there?" asked Des.
"Just you wait, buddy," said Hank, ready with his loudhailer. "There's gonna be a mad high-speed car chase down your street!! Right, everybody ready? ACTION!!"
For a while, nothing happened. Suddenly a Cadillac with Troy (Des) at the wheel came speeding down the road towards them, hotly followed by a Lincoln Continental driven by Flash (Clive), then a Ford Mustang driven by Al (Mike) and finally a Ford pick-up truck driven by Randy (Dickie). As the four vehicles raced down the road a series of deafening explosions went off.
"Oh my god!!!!" exclaimed Des with his hands over his ears. "That went off right outside my house!! I hope my bird bath isn't damaged!"
"Don't worry, those explosions are perfectly safe!!" exclaimed Hank.
The four vehicles whizzed round the corner with tyres burning and smoke everywhere, and disappeared off down the main road into the distance.
"I hope PC Plod doesn't catch them all going at that speed!" said Des. "On the other hand, with his bicycle, he definitely won't catch them!"
"What was the point in all that?!?!" said a bemused and confused Mick. "We never have explosions and car chases down our road normally!"
"Now listen here buddy, you just don't get it, do you!!" said Hank. "We have to have explosions and a car chase! Every Hollywood movie does!! It's what the folks back home in the good ol' US of A expect to see! Now hold on there a sec, this scene ain't over yet!"
They watched as hillbilly Randy Schmidt (playing Farmer Files) emerged at the top of Oakleigh Avenue, driving a horse and cart with a load of hay on the back, and holding a rifle. A few more explosions went off as he made his leisurely progress down the road.
"Yeeeeee-haaaaaaaa!!" said Randy, stopping his cart at the bottom of the road where Nancy and Kirk were hanging around. "Howdy pardners!! Did either of you two yankee doodle dandies see which way those varmints Des, Clive, Mike and Dickie went?!"
"Thataway!" said Kirk, pointing down the main road.
"Yeeeeee-haaaaaaa!!!" exclaimed Randy, shooting his rifle into the air. "Giddy up horsey!!" The cart disappeared off down the main road.
"Gee, that Farmer Files, he's like, such a dweeb!" said Nancy to Kirk.
"Hold on a minute!" said Kirk. "Farmer Files still owes me a dime! I better call a cab and get right after him!"
Suddenly a New York yellow taxi pulled up. Kirk leapt inside.
"Follow that cart!" exclaimed Kirk to the driver. The taxi drove off after the cart, and a few more explosions went off.
"Right, CUT!!!!" yelled Hank. "It's a wrap!"
For the next few days the film crew continued filming more scenes of everyday life in Oakleigh Avenue, culminating in a scene in which a UFO lands in the street but gets frightened off by Mrs Greasy's gerbil which has grown to mammoth proportions.
"It's preposterous!" said Mick. "As if anything like that would ever happen round here!"
On the day that they finally finished filming, the gang stood outside the cafe and waved Hank and his actors goodbye. They walked off down the road, but didn't get very far before Hank stopped suddenly.
"Hold on a minute guys, what's this?!" he exclaimed. "'Tony Blackburn's Jumper Emporium'?! Who's this, er, Tony Blackburn?"
"Tony Blackburn?! He's a massive star in this country!" said Des, going over to them.
"Yeah, he's the Prime Minister!" said Wayne.
"Gee, yes of course, I should have known!" exclaimed Hank, staring at the jumpers through the shop window.
"Prime Minister Blackburn sure has great taste in sweaters!"
The other Americans looked on in agreement.
"Hold on, let me open the shop!" said Des.
"You run this store, buddy??" said Hank.
"Sure do, matey!" said Des. He unlocked the door and let the Americans in. Before long he had sold every jumper in the shop.
"I don't believe it," said Mick once they had finally gone. "I honestly never thought you'd actually sell all those jumpers!"
"Neither did I," said Des, as he closed up his shop for the final time. "But I always knew the Americans had to have some use!"
Copyright © Robert Williams