Exclusive! — a teaser. Sorta

“No, you go first.” “All right.”

Currently, when not slogging through the night on the paper, I’m working on a film script about a couple trying an open relationship. The idea was taken from my last sitcom proposal — since that’s now dead in the water and I have lots of great characters and jokes with nowhere to go, I thought I’d stick them on the big screen instead.

Films are very different beasts from TV shows, so I’m making a lot of changes. The scene below, for example, has been axed. In the film, the couple have been married for 10 years; in the sitcom pilot, they weren’t married — the idea was for Greta to suggest an open relationship just as Marcus was about to propose. And since Greta is a (wildly unsuccessful) bespoke poet, she’s decided to make the suggestion as only she can …

GRETA
I finished a poem! It’s called A Big Step. Would you like to hear it?

MARCUS
Of course, babes.

GRETA
Ten years ago, I found a shoe. I liked the look of it;
It pinched a bit to start with, but quite soon it stretched to fit.
I love my shoe; I always will — I’m anxious to inform,
It supports me and protects me, and it keeps my tootsies warm.

Though it’s scuffed around the edges and the stitching’s come away,
It’s comfy and reliable — I wear it to this day.
But once, our walks were joyful. They were wild, and action-packed;
And lately they’ve grown samey — pedestrian, in fact.

So I’ve decided I would like to walk the next few metres
In a range of different loafers — ones that don’t need Odor Eaters.
See, in this decade past, I haven’t touched another sole,
Though quite a few have asked me if I’d like to take a stroll.

But I want some variety while I’m still vaguely young
Like something with a kitten heel, or a slightly longer tongue.
I don’t want to go barefoot; I don’t want to go solo –
Just to find out how it feels to slip on a Manolo.

And while I’m out there pounding other footwear in the street,
You, dear shoe, should seize the chance to try some other feet.
I know you’d only held one foot before our 10-year march
(And that one had an ingrown toenail and a fallen arch).

It’s not a final parting, shoe — we’ll always be together;
But after years of canvas, I quite fancy trying leather.
(Don’t worry, I won’t catch infections from some Birkenstock,
Cos every time I try another shoe, I’ll wear a sock.)

And fear not, I won’t get attached to some old Dr Marten,
Cos when all’s said and done, it’s you I’ll put my body part in.
Although you’re made of canvas, I hope you can be suede:
I just want a kickabout before I’m an old maid!

MARCUS is oblivious, gazing into the distance, mouthing the words to his proposal speech.

GRETA
So, what do you think?

MARCUS
Well … very clever, hun. Really subtle use of imagery, as usual. I really liked the use of at the end of the second stanza. And was that a sneaky enjambement at the end of the fourth … ?

GRETA
There is no subtle imagery. YOU’RE THE SHOE, YOU COLOSSAL WANG.