Why did the chicken cross the road? Because he was in a hurry to read the latest episode of …
THE BOGUE & BOGUETTE SHOW!!!
(THE SCENE: A road on the edge of a small town somewhere on the coast between Newcastle and Tweed Heads on a hot, sticky, windless Saturday afternoon in the height of summer. On the side of the road is a large driveway leading into a caravan park and a tall 1960s hand-painted sign saying “Ocean Glades Holiday Village – You’ll Never Want To Leave!” On the opposite side of the road is the shire rubbish tip. Next door to the holiday village is the town’s sewerage treatment works; on the other side, an expansive and smelly mangrove swamp. Behind the caravan park is a “beach” – fully submerged at high tide, a mudflat extending half a kilometre out into a tidal lagoon at low tide – and on the other side of the lagoon several kilometres away is a sand mine.
BOGUE and two of his children AIDEN and BRAIDEN turn into the driveway in BOGUE’s overloaded 1995 VS Holden Commodore wagon. Following just behind them is BOGUETTE and the other two children JAIDEN and KAIDEN in her Suzuki Swift with a pink Playboy bunny sticker on the rear windscreen and a pair of hot pink fluffy dice dangling from the rear view mirror. The two vehicles stop outside the caravan park office and the occupants all spill out.)
BOGUE: All roit, boys, this is our new home for the time being. It’ll do until we save up for sumfint better.
BOGUETTE: (jaw hits the ground) What … what … I can’t believe it.
BOGUE: Why, what’s wrong, honeybunch?
BOGUETTE: That … that … we’re livin’ in some place that’s so povo …
BOGUE: (puts his arm around BOGUETTE’s shoulder) It’s all roit, honeybunch, we’ve booked a double-wide mobile home with an annexe! There’ll be enough room to start off with until we get a house of our own and some decent furniture. And anyfint’s gotta be better than livin’ with that povo nutjob cousin of yours who can’t be bothered cleanin’ her own house and livin’ on two-minute noodles and sausages. Anyway, I gotta go sign some paperwork, back soon.
(BOGUE walks into the reception office with a Formica counter overloaded with piles of papers. The owner of the caravan park, DON, a greasy middle-aged man with a combover and a Hawaiian shirt that looks like it was copied from the carpet of a suburban RSL, is watching the cricket on an ancient PYE portable television. He doesn’t acknowledge BOGUE, who stands there impatiently for about thirty seconds.)
BOGUE: Oi mate, me and me missus and kids want some service ‘ere!
DON: Oh, bugger off, can’t you see that I’m watchin’ the cricket.
BOGUE: Foine. (stands around for another thirty seconds, randomly drumming his fingers on the counter, then rings the counter bell repeatedly)
DON: Oi, didn’t I tell you to bloody well shut up, I’m tryin’ to watch the cricket ‘ere!
BOGUE: Well me missus is standin’ outside in the heat, as well as me four boys, and we need to check in!
DON: Fine. You lot must be the New People from Sydney, comin’ up to work on the highway construction.
BOGUE: Yep, that’ll be us.
DON: (gets out of his chair languidly and fetches a key from the drawer) All right, here’s yer key to your mobile home, Number 32, Row D, second driveway on your left. Here’s the key to the swimmin’ pool, but it’s been out of order for a while now, and here’s the after-hours key to the ablutions block. And here’s your tenancy agreement to sign, just on the dotted line there … that’s the way. Your place should be ready soon, my wife Jill is cleanin’ it as we speak. Any questions?
BOGUE: Nup. No dramas.
DON: Good. Now let me get back to me cricket! (sits back down and stares back at the TV)
(BOGUE and his family drive up to their new home, a clean but unassuming double-wide mobile home with a small porch, and a canvas annex attached to the side to provide a bit of extra room, and a small driveway next to it. The family then proceed to unload their vehicles.)
BOGUETTE: (lets out a squeal) Eeeeeep! Ewwwwww! I can’t believe that we’ve sunk so low! And what’s that smell–
BOGUE: Oh, quit yer whinin’ already, you dumb bitch. It’s nowhere near as smelly as Shevonne’s filthy pigsty houso place. And look, it’s bigger than all the other caravans around here. It’ll do for a little while.
BRAIDEN: Dad, I’m bored already. Can’t we please go back to Sydney? It’s so boring here.
AIDEN: Yeah, I Googled the other day, there isn’t even a Timezone around here.
JAIDEN: Yeah, Dad, let’s go back home.
KAIDEN: I want Miss Gresham … I wanna go back to Miss Gresham, my teacher … I want my Miss Gresham …
BOGUE: You kids quit yer whinin’ too! Everybody, just quit yer f@#kin’ whinin’! Yer old man don’t wanna hear it. Unnerstand?
(As the family starts to unpack, JILL, a spidery, squinty woman with long, crooked fingers and raven-black hair and tobacco-stained teeth, emerges from the mobile home she has just finished cleaning)
JILL: Ahh yes, the New People. Yee-e-e-e-s. The New People. Of course. From Sydney.
BOGUE: Yeah, that’s us.
JILL: Well, welcome. And don’t make a mess of this place like all the other New People do, and we’ll get along just fine. You hear me?
BOGUETTE: Well … umm .. thanks for the welcome … I think?
JILL: Yes. Not like the other New People. And don’t make a mess of the ablutions block either! Yes. Indeed. And no doing your laundry after eight o’clock at night. We’ve had to evict other New People for doing that. Yes. (trundles her vaccuum cleaner and cleaning trolley down the row to the next vacant caravan that needs cleaning)
BOGUETTE: Gee, what a warm welcome! Honey, let’s just go back to Syd–
BOGUE: Urgghrughrurhgkurrghnt! Christ, don’t get me started again! You’re the one who wanted to come along, you didn’t have to! So just stop yer bloody whinin’!
(As the family unpacks, a grossly obese man in his mid-sixties, NED, with a scrubby beard, red skin, crooked sunglasses, an onion-bulb nose and a huge blue polo shirt that’s two sizes too small, drives past on his electric mobility scooter with a plastic Australian flag sticky-taped to the shopping basket)
NED: (in a voice which reminds one of dredges dropping a load of gravel onto a barge) Ahh, so you must be the New People that Don and Jill were tellin’ us were gonna arrive today. Welcome!
BOGUETTE: Yup, that’s us … the … umm … New People. Teehee!
NED: Yeah, we get a lot of New People here. Most stay, some don’t.
BOGUE: Yeah, I just got a job on the roadworks around here, I start on Mundy. We’re just stayin’ here until we can save up for a bond on a house of our own to rent.
NED: Yeah, that’s what all the New People say. That sign out the front that says you’ll never want to leave? It’s true! I been here near on thirteen years now. Anyway, old mate, you gotta join me for a beer or two at my caravan some time. I got some research I want to share with you.
BOGUE: Research? What kinda research? You a scientist or sumfint?
NED: Not quite. But I’ve been doing research, I’ve got proof – honest-to-God, one hundred percent accurate proof – that climate change is a load of bullshit and that the CIA and international Jewry are pushing the climate change myth in order to usher in a New World Order with a One World Government that will turn us all into slaves!
BOGUE: Umm … yeah … maybe I’ll come for a beer … I think …
(Across the row is a caravan with a shadecloth marquee, under which is a set of plastic outdoor table and chairs, at which three shirtless men in their early sixties WAL, KEV and PETE are drinking an endless supply of cans of XXXX Gold)
WAL: Oi Ned, shut yer trap, you old mong!
KEV: Hey, New Bloke, don’t ever go have a beer with him, he’ll never let you leave and you’ll die from being bored shitless from the crap runnin’ out of his mouth! Come fishin’ with us instead.
PETE: Bloody oath!
NED: Fellas, youse shut up! You haven’t done the research what I’ve done!
WAL: What research? Reading all them newsletters an’ shit? Go and find the cure for Kev not being able to get it up with his missus, then you can say that you’ve done research!
KEV: Mate, do you always have to bring that up, pardon the pun?
NED: Yeah, youse blokes can laugh at me all you want, but I’ve got the truth! Believe me, I’ve got the truth! (pulls the throttle on his scooter and goes back to his caravan)
PETE: Oi, New Bloke, come over here and introduce yourselves.
(BOGUE and his family walk across the row)
BOGUE: Yeah, I’m Greg, and this is me missus Kelly, and me four boys Aiden, Braiden, Jaiden and Kaiden. I’ve come up here to work on the Pacific Highway roadworks.
BOGUETTE: Hi! (waves and smiles awkwardly)
KEV: Oi, good to meet ya. (shakes BOGUE’s hand)
WAL: Yeah, same.
PETE: Yeah, don’t worry about Don and Jill, they’re a couple of tightarse tossbags, nobody likes ’em. And Ned, he’s got his funny ideas, but he’s harmless. Anyway, once you get settled in, we’ll chuck on a barbie for ya. I get the feeling that you guys are gonna like it here! Just wait until you meet some of the other characters we got around here.