Operational Criteria

Operational Criteria

	Kevin is in a patient's bed in a hospital room. Fiona, his devoted 
	wife, sits at his side. Stephen is examining him, be-white coated. He 
	has a stethoscope to Kevin's chest.
	   Hugh suddenly enters, dressed as a nurse, and speaks with 
	unaccustomed ferocity to the camera.

Hugh		Yes, alright, it's a sketch in a hospital ward. I'm so sorry.
		I'm so sorry that we're not breaking moulds and deconstructing
		forms and pushing envelopes and drinking strange new types of
		lager in underground bars with tight hipster jeans hanging from
		our earlobes. I'm sorry we haven't "raised interesting
		questions" about the nature of gender assignment, or peeled
		back the veneer of cultural denial. I am so nose-blowingly

Stephen		You're not at all.

Hugh		You're damn bloody right I'm not. It's a hospital room, he's a
		doctor, he's a patient. Oh dear. Oh arsing dear, what a
		disappointment. Where are the challenged perceptions there, I
		don't wonder for a single hair-gelled bloody minute?

	Hugh goes.

Stephen		Say "ah".

Kevin		Ah.

Stephen		Say "twim".

Kevin		Twim.

Stephen		Twim.

Kevin		Twim.

Stephen		Fadabberhaweeeeee.

Kevin		Fadabberhaweeeeee.

Stephen		Twim.

Kevin		Twim.

	Hugh comes back in, really angry.

Hugh		They do still exist, you know. Hospitals. Just because a lot of
		twats in leather waistcoats and black polo-necks fart their way
		through the Late Show talking about "tapping into the dark
		underbelly of British social repression", doesn't mean that
		hospitals don't exist, or that people don't go to them when
		they're ill.

Stephen		Hugh?

Hugh		What?

Stephen		Get out.

	Hugh goes.

Fiona		Well, Doctor?

Stephen		Well, Doctor, yes. Hmm. Alright, situation is this. We have a
		heart, standing by, ready to go. Nice little heart, too. Red,
		which is the only colour, really, for hearts, I always think.
		Pump pump pump. That side of things is all fine.

Fiona		Oh thank God ...

Stephen		But, and this is a pretty fat but, you ... are a smoker, are
		you not, Mr Spiers?

Kevin		I occasionally ...

Stephen		You occasionally smoke cigarettes, yes, I thought so.

Fiona		Is that a problem?

Stephen		It is, rather, I'm afraid. Puts us in a hell of a position. Mr
		Twovey doesn't smoke, you see?

Kevin		Who's Mr Twovey?

Stephen		Nice chap, two rooms down. Came in just after you, also hoping
		for a heart. Never smoked in his life. Or smoked once, rather,
		but didn't inhale. So he says.

Fiona		You mean ... you're going to give it to him? The one heart
		you've got, you're going to give it to Mr Twovey?

Stephen		Not necessarily. As I say, he's a nice enough chap, but by God,
		you should see him eating soup.

Kevin		Soup?

Stephen		Revolting sight. Slurping and sucking, spilling it all over the
		place ... quite revolting.

Kevin		Yes?

Stephen		Now I've watched you eating soup, Mr Spiers, and it's rather an
		attractive sight. You hold the spoon properly, tilt the bowl
		away from you, suck out of the side of the spoon rather than
		the end, and you're very neat about it. Very neat indeed.

Fiona		So ...

Stephen		So, you're more or less level on that score. You don't dress as
		well as he does ...

Kevin		Don't I?

	Stephen opens the cupboard next to the bed.

Stephen		Look at this. Ghastly Viyella check shirt, simply doesn't go
		with this jacket ... whereas Mr Twovey came in in a very
		elegant two-button dark grey flannel suit.

Fiona		I told you to wear the blue shirt. I said, wear the blue
		shirt ...

Stephen		But at least you don't bite your finger nails, that's

Kevin		No, that's right. I don't. Or I may have done once, but I
		didn't inhale ...

Stephen		Twovey's a real chewer. Revolting, stumpy little fingernails.
		Makes me sick to look at them. No, this really is a tricky
		one ...

	Stephen deliberates. Kevin and Fiona look at each other in desperation.

Fiona		He does a lot of work in the community ...

Stephen		I'm sorry?

Fiona		Gerald is very active within the community ...

Stephen		Hmm. I've never quite understood what that means ... I mean,
		burglars are very active within the community ...

Fiona		But Gerald does a lot of good work ... and his family are very
		fond of him ...

Stephen		Mr Twovey's family are devoted to him ...

Fiona		Does ever such as lot for Children in Need and Comic Relief.

Stephen		Mr Twovey once spent a whole day in women's clothes for the ITV

Fiona		Gerald once met Esther Rantzen.

Stephen		Did you indeed?

Kevin		Yes, but I didn't inhale.

Stephen		Mm. Eeny, meeny, miney ... yes, Nurse, what is it?

	Hugh has entered. He whispers into Stephen's ear. On his way out he 
	flicks a V at the camera.

		Well, there's a relief. We do now have another heart in, so we
		can service you both.

Kevin		Never!

Fiona		Oh, Doctor that's ... can I kiss you?

Stephen		If I can punch you violently in the throat, yes. Now. Since I'm
		here I might as well give you first choice. The first heart
		comes from a young squash-player, twenty-five, from Aberdeen,
		and this new one's from a sixty-five-year-old Tory Cabinet

Kevin		Oh I'll take the Cabinet Minister's, definitely.

Stephen		Why?

Kevin		Because it's never been used.

	Stephen, Kevin and Fiona all turn to the camera and smile winningly.
	Hugh comes on and glares.
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