My poor friend Sparky had been dumped by his girlfriend following the “fun lol” incident. Super Dave and I decided to take Sparky to the bar to take his mind off his woes.
Unfortunately, none of us had much money. The barman was not pleased when Sparky paid for our rounds with a pile of quarters. I suspect Super Dave had been ‘fixing’ Pepsi machines with a screwdriver again. We sat at the bar in a cloud of gloom, sucking on lemon slices to extract the very last drops of rum and coke. What a crappy evening.
Suddenly, Super Dave let out a squeal like a little girl on a fairground ride. He leapt from his bar stool and rushed towards some tall, tanned dude who had just walked into the bar.
“Sparky! Sparky! Take a photo! Photo of me and Billy!” he squeaked as he magically produced a camera from nowhere and thrust it into Sparky’s hands. Sparky rolled his eyes.
“I recognize him. He’s that actor guy off the TV. Big deal.” murmured Sparky as he spat his lemon on the floor and pointed the camera at the grinning pair. “Honestly, call acting work? That idiot spends all day getting his hair done, then he rattles off a few lines and gets paid a shitload of cash…” his voice trailed away as he spotted the row of free cocktails lined up on the bar for Billy actor guy.
And then Sparky too was gone, pushing his way up to Billy, shaking his hand and giving him that “I think we could do business” look. Oh no.
Sparky spent the next hour duping Billy into thinking he and Super Dave were talented local actors looking for work. Phone numbers were exchanged and descriptions of recent performances were invented. Billy promised he’d help the boys get some work. Apparently his director friend was looking for help with a costume drama he was filming by the waterfront. Some kind of cool pirate adventure movie, a big name star – a great opportunity for talented actors looking for serious roles.
Sparky and Super Dave were ecstatic. If Billy recommended them, the director would be sure to hire them. The boys spent the rest of the night schmoozing with Billy, racking up a huge drinks bill and leaving the bar with stars in their eyes. Don’t worry, Tiggy would pay for the drinks with her credit card. She’d figure out a way to pay it off somehow.
* * *
True to his word, Billy got them the job. I couldn’t believe it. Sparky and Super Dave were going to be movie stars! This director must be desperate. Immediately I began my campaign to ensure I got access to the set. This movie sounded big. Maybe Johhny Depp was in it? He did a lot of pirate stuff. I wanted my picture with Johnny Depp. I’d paid for the drinks that night, it was the least they could do for me.
Sparky and Super Dave were more concerned about the number of ladies present on set. Dressed as swashbuckling pirates, they’d have no trouble picking up young starlets who’d pay for their drinks and do a bunch of other stuff with them too. Super Dave was even pondering getting his hair cut.
The morning of the boys’ first day of shooting, I rushed to the waterfront to wrangle my place on the set. I’d even put on some make-up, just in case Johnny was there. I had to battle my way through a large crowd of excited schoolchildren. Get out of my way you little bastards, I hissed. I’m with the cast.
The sea of bobbing brats parted before me to reveal the spectacle of a great pirate battle. Two giant fluffy rats dressed as pirates were throwing punches at the director. A large purple dinosaur dressed as a cabin boy was running around, shouting “Get these fucking idiots OFF MY FUCKING SET!” Didn’t look like much of a swashbuckling adventure to me.
A giant rat stumbled towards me.
“Tiggy! He fucked us over! Billy fucked us over! Friggin’ kiddies’ dinosaur movie!” squealed a voice from inside the costume. “Sparky’s gonna kill him! Fuck, I can’t see!” the rat squeaked as he tripped over the lighting cables and was pounced upon by two security guards.
Cover your eyes, kids. This pirate adventure was about to get bloody.