Scene: A typical white middle class drink-up. It’s late. People are barefoot and sitting on the floor.
Jonathan: (pouring a large bowl of Pinot)
So, is everyone ready for Game of Thrones?
Oh yes. It’s amazing.
And people break off into small private conversations about other shows they are currently watching featuring home bakes, gun battles and guys with wires. These folk live in Meadowbank, Auckland. They drive a large Skoda to work and attend the Catholic Church just next to Countdown.
But there is one, just one human here who is different. He is quiet. He is measured. His drink of choice is a Tiger beer straight from the bottle. He’s been listening, silently necking 25 standard drinks in the face of this gathering. Out of nowhere, he says:
I’ve never watched it.
You could slice through the indignation with one of the swords of Visenya Targaryen or whoever.
Jonathan rises, calmly resting his Pinot on the occasional table, made from blonde wood sourced ethically from Freedom.
What did you say, Tarquin?
I dunno, I watched one episode and small kids were being murdered and there was rape in bulk format.
Jonathan is incensed.
He pulls out a small handgun and slowly orientates it sideways. The people in the room are beautifully turned to tilt shift miniatures. The glow of the room is stunning as Jonathan’s sweaty trigger finger becomes the focus. Ex-members of Linkin Park are brought in to create an overproduced soundtrack—like listening to music while having your eardrums dewaxed.
Tarquin squints his eyes, tears seeping like broken guttering. He shakes his head.
You won’t Jonathan. You can’t. You’re just like me. All of you. Just like me!
Helen, still in miniature tilt shot form, is seen stirring in the background. Suddenly she looms at Jonathan and knocks the cocked piece from his hand. It slides over the floor, ricocheting off the Ottoman and into the feature wall, discharging its magazine into the Smeg brushed aluminium dishwasher. One bullet lodges itself into the bottom independent dish drawer. The other, in slow motion, redirects to Tarquin’s thigh. He screams like some kind of wounded extra from The Wire.
Oh well. That’s the price you pay. It’s only $10 a month.
says Jonathan in a cruel voice, one he would normally use when turning a client down for finance.
He sits down in his special large leather chair, the one no-one, not even the kids are allowed to sit in. He fingers his vast glass receptacle of red wine, and watches Tarquin squeal and cry on the Cavalier Bremworth “Cromwell Autumn” carpet.
The room is back in normal focus. The guests return to sit in small groups. Nora Jones is now the background music. Jonathan places his index finger on the Sky menu button and selects SoHo>Game of Thrones>Series Link.
The room is silent, except for the screams of little Tarquin.