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Podcast: Fun and games as the Wrap takes off

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Todd McKenney, our special guest on the Hyperbole Towers podcom.

OK, stop, relax, breathe. We’re not taking a break these holidays so much as easing our collective foot off the gas

We thought that, rather than drag someone out of their post-Christmas coma to be interviewed on the Flat Chat Wrap podcast, we’d give you a chance to reprise some of our most listened-to episodes of the past year, some of which you might have missed or want to hear again.

In fact there are two “normal” episodes that stand out as our most downloaded. Episode 91 – Crackdown on Dud Developers and Episode 87 – Comedy, coffee and a new way of renting .

In Ep 87, we first discussed build-to-rent apartments, had a chat with the owner of a café in an apartment block, and announced the completion of our Pod-Com “Hyperbole Towers” (which you can hear again by clicking on the link below).

Pets, pets and pets

In Episode 91, we spoke to Karen Stiles, Executive Officer of the Owners Corporation Network, about the impact Building Commissioner David Chandler is going to have on new apartment builds in NSW.

Given this week’s news that another major developer has gone bust,  he certainly has his work cut out.

Apart from those podcasts, anything with “pets” in the title rated well, no doubt due at least in part to the shenanigans that saw NSW “no-pets” by-laws revoked, reprieved and then re-revoked.  These included Episode 89, Episode 92, Episode 95  and Episode 96.

But these podcasts and the rest aren’t not all only about pets – there’s plenty of other stuff going on in strata for us to get our teeth into in these and other episodes.

Neglected

For the record, our most neglected podcast – at least since we trebled our listeners by moving platforms from our previous hosts, the podcast equivalent of witness protection –  was Podcast 68: Six months of Sundays, classic movies, perfect pods.

Maybe it’s because when it went out in April, this episode didn’t have it’s full title attached. Or maybe it was the content – how to survive lockdowns with a smile.  It may be interesting to listen back to hear how we thought we’d fare as the pandemic spread.

Sue Williams and I (JimmyT) will be back next week with a full and fresh episode as we review the year in strata across Australia.

By the way, I have changed the podcast archive link on our front page to Google Podcasts as Apple iTunes doesn’t seem to offer more than 10 old episodes. Let me know if you have an issue with any of that.

But, meanwhile, sit back and enjoy (again) Australia’s first podcom (podcast sitcom), Hyperbole Towers and listen to its benighted committee, forced to meet on Zoom with all the back-stabbing, power plays and nefarious goings on that you’d expect.

And, once again, thanks to our special guest Todd McKenney for adding some stardust to the show.

Listen Here

And for those of you who don’t yet pod – and it’s as easy as clicking on play, above – here’s the script in full. You’re missing half the fun but enjoy anyway.

Hyperbole Towers – The Script  

 Scene 1: the cafe  

FADE IN:  

NARRATOR

It’s 12 minutes past six PM on a  post-lockdown evening and Charlie Lee, chair of the Hyperbole  Towers strata committee, is  wondering where the rest of its  members are.   

 SFX: Mobile phone ringing  

ALFIE

(In phone)  Hullo. Building Manager Alfie here… I’m sorry I’m in the  middle of a meeting.  

CHARLIE

No, you’re not.  

ALFIE

(In phone)  I most certainly am… oh…  hello, Madame Chairperson… I am  in the meeting. Where are you?   

CHARLIE

I’m in the cafe. At the meeting.  Where are you? And where is  everybody else?  

ALFIE

(In phone)  We are meeting online, Madame  Chair. As required.  

CHARLIE

Required?   

ALFIE

(In phone)  Our new by-law. Remember we had to  pass one so we could have meetings  on Zoom or Skype?  

CHARLIE

During the lockdown? How could I  forget? Four hours of mindless  arguments punctuated by three  resignations, two fist-fights, and  a nervous breakdown.  

ALFIE

Yes, well, apparently due to poor  wording, it’s not that we can have  online meetings, we must have them.   

CHARLIE

Oh, God. Can’t we just fudge it?  Meet in person?  

ALFIE

(In phone)  More than my job’s worth, Dear  Chairlady. It sets a dangerous  precedent.  

CHARLIE

And everyone’s a bush lawyer,  these days… OK, I need to get  back home to my laptop.   

ALFIE

(In phone)  Don’t leave it too long… things  are getting a little heated.   

CHARLIE

Heated, how?  

ALFIE

Well, let’s just say, when the  cat’s away …  

ANNOUNCER

You’re listening to “Hyperbole  Towers” a podcom about the living  hell of an Australian apartment  block’s strata committee.  

Episode one… Tapping In  

 Fade theme music up then out  

 Scene 2: the online committee meeting  

NARRATOR

In the darkest reaches of  cyberspace, or a Zoom meeting of  the Hyperbole Towers strata  committee to be precise, a power  struggle is underway in the  temporary absence of the Chair.  

BROOKE

As secretary, I am number two so  obviously I should be in charge.  

ALFIE

The Chairlady will be online in a  minute…  

BROOKE

Anything could happen in a  minute. I need to run things till  she comes on board.  

AMBER

Brooke, you couldn’t run a hole  convention in a donut shop.  

JOE

Comrades, as the senior member  present… Veteran of a thousand  meetings –  

DAMIEN

Who appears to have his sweater on  inside out –  

JOE

I have sat at the embalmed feet  of all the great world leaders –  Mao, Lenin, Ho Chi Minh –  

WENDY

Bless you!  

JOE

– and some leadership qualities  must have rubbed off!  

WENDY

Old dead communists’ feet aren’t  going to help, Joe . But I… I’m  genetically programmed to help.  

AMBER

Wendy, you are genetically  programmed to stick your nose in  where it’s not wanted.  

ALFIE

I think Charlie  is trying to get  online. Brooke  if you could  just…  

BROOKE

I’m sorry Alfie, you’re breaking  up.  

DAMIEN  

Uhh … God … Booooring …  Chairpeople? Leaders? No one’s  even mentioned disruptors!  

STEVE

There’s a good reason for that,  Damien. And if I thought you’d  understand I’d explain it to you.  

ALFIE

Ahem. Charlie’s in the waiting  room. If you could just let her  in…  

STEVE

We have a waiting room? How much  is that costing us?  

ALFIE

It’s a virtual room, Steve. Not  an actual room.  

DAMIEN  

And if we thought you’d understand  it we’d explain it to you.  

AMBER

Brooke, if you don’t let Charlie into the meeting, I’m going to  ask how come she didn’t know we  were doing this online.   

BROOKE

Can’t hear you, Amber.  

 SFX: Click and frantic typing.  

AMBER

You heard alright.  

CHARLIE

Oh, hello. How nice to see you  all getting along without me. Now  before we do anything else, we  have an urgent issue to deal with  the cafe is closing.   

WENDY

But they only learned my name last  week.  

DAMIEN  

They thought her name was windy.  

AMBER

It was no accident.  

BROOKE

I’m sorry Charlie  but the cafe  isn’t on the agenda.  

CHARLIE

So?  

BROOKE

So we shouldn’t discuss it. It’s  the law.   

CHARLIE

Is this the same law that says we  have to have all our meetings on  Zoom?  

BROOKE

It was an auto correction, okay?  So not my fault.   

STEVE

Can’t see how the words “can” or  even “may” get auto-corrected to  “must”.   

BROOKE

It was a glitch, that’s all.  Computers, hey!  

DAMIEN  Maybe our computers are being  controlled by a foreign power.  Like Russia ..   

BROOKE

Or China…  

JOE

Or New Zealand.   

AMBER

Maybe it was Brooke  being a control  flake again.  

DAMIEN  

A control flake?  

AMBER

Someone who won’t let anyone else  do their job but never gets round  to doing it themselves.  

WENDY

You would know all about  computers, Amber. We’ve all seen  your Only-Fans page.  

STEVE

Only-Fans?  

BROOKE

Has that got anything to do with  football?   

JOE

Sport is the mid-strength beer of  the masses.  

WENDY

It’s filth and I think we can all  agree that Amber’s web page  reflects badly on all of us.  

JOE

Never seen it.  

CHARLIE

Nope.  

STEVE

Me neither.  

ALFIE

It’s very tasteful… I’ve been  told.  

DAMIEN  

What’s the URL?  

AMBER

WWW dot mind your own frickin  business.  

ALFIE

Ahem… Madame Chairperson, far  be it from me to intrude, being  merely your humble building  manager… and not even having a  vote…  

CHARLIE

Get on with it, please, Alfie.   

ALFIE

Technically the cafe is on the  agenda. There’s an item under  “Meetings” and that’s where we  hold ours.  

AMBER

Or we did until Brooke  stuffed  up.  

 The committee members start arguing over the top of each other.  

BROOKE

It was auto correct.  

WENDY

You can talk.  

STEVE

This will cost us to fix the by-law  

JOE

It was no accident. There’s always  a reason  

CHARLIE

Order… order…  

AMBER

Power-crazed control freak.  

DAMIEN  

I spend my life on Zoom… I want  to meet people.  

BROOKE

You try doing this for a while.  

WENDY

It’s always about you… you ..  You.  

CHARLIE

(irritated)  Order… order!  

ALFIE

Quiet please! If you don’t all  behave I’m going to disconnect  you from the internet…  permanently.  

BROOKE

(whispers)  Can he do that?  

DAMIEN   

(whispers)  Oh yes.  

ALFIE

Allow me to explain the situation  with the cafe. You own the space  …  

JOE

All property is theft.  

AMBER

Thank you Karl, the fifth Marx  brother…  

ALFIE

Your predecessors started renting  out the space years ago. They  needed money for repairs.   

STEVE

Turning our meeting space into a  cafe – where we could still meet  for free – solved the building’s  cash-flow problem.  

ALFIE

It’s kept your levies low for  years.   

AMBER

It also gave us a cafe.  

STEVE

Whatever. We need new tenants,  before we fly off the financial  cliff edge, like …  

WENDY

Thelma and Louise.  

STEVE

I was thinking “lemmings” but point  taken.  

JOE

New tenants? More capitalistic, money-grubbers. This is the  people’s space.  

 SFX: Typing sounds.  

STEVE

If we don’t, there’ll have to be  a five per cent adjustment in  levies to cover the shortfall.  

WENDY

Adjustment?  

STEVE

They’ll go up.  

JOE

A five freaking percent rise in  levies? Stuff the people!  

STEVE

5.324 to be precise. I rounded it  down so as not to cause unnecessary alarm.  

DAMIEN  

Oooh… don’t know about this…  I am a bit over-exposed…  

AMBER

Still working in your underpants,  Damien?  

WENDY

Pot calling the kettle black.  

ALFIE

Fear not, good folk. I have  already received an offer from a  business to take over the space.  

STEVE

Excellent. Agreed. Move on.  

DAMIEN  

Is it an all-night, hot-house incubator shared co-working space  for young disruptors?   

JOE

Dream on, Elon Musk.  

WENDY

We could offer it to one of the  many charities for which I am  only too happy to give up my  precious time.  

JOE

How is that going to keep levies  down?   

WENDY

You get tax breaks for charities.   

STEVE

We don’t pay tax.  

JOE

Stickin’ it to the man!  

CHARLIE

So Alfie, who or what is this  prospective tenant?  

ALFIE

It’s… um… a mini day spa.   

WENDY

A spa… lovely… Sauna? Steam  rooms? Facials?  

BROOKE

Or do you mean like a yoga  studio? That sounds nice. Sign me  up.  

ALFIE

It’s not a yoga studio, per se ..

CHARLIE

Then what is it?  

WENDY

It’s not a massage parlour, is it?  

 SFX: Melodramatic music sting.  

DAMIEN  Oh, sorry, that’s my ringtone.  

ALFIE

They’re calling themselves a day  spa but I assume massage will be  among their services.  

AMBER

No frickin way are we having a  massage parlour in this building!  

WENDY

You mean another one.   

ALFIE

It’s a day spa.  

CHARLIE

OK. Let’s discuss this at our next  meeting when we have more  information.  

 Fade out on a general hubbub of agreement.  

 Scene 3: The meeting continues  

NARRATOR

Several hours later, as the crow  flies, a weary Charlie  has reached  the end of the agenda … and her  tether.  

 Fade up on  

CHARLIE

Final item .. . hallelujah …  tapping? Is this right, Brooke?   What’s “tapping”?  

BROOKE

Can’t you hear it? There’s been  complaints.  

 SFX a dull, rhythmic tapping  

STEVE

Every day… morning, noon and  night. It’s the flat above mine and  it’s driving me nuts.  

JOE

It’s the mating call of the death  watch beetle. I Googled it  

WENDY

Sounds like Asians to me.  

CHARLIE

You can tell people’s race from  tapping? Please explain.  

WENDY

They’re obviously making  chopsticks.  

STEVE

They have machines for that.  

WENDY

Or child labour. Has anyone seen  any weary wee ones wandering  around?  

JOE

I saw a film once where they made  pills with a machine that went tap  tap-tap as they turned the handle.  

DAMIEN  That’s it. Drug dealers, no  question.  

WENDY

Yakuza… we could all be murdered  in our beds.  

CHARLIE

Alfie, who’s renting that flat at  the moment?   

ALFIE

I’m sorry Madame Chairmadam,  discretion and privacy laws forbid  me from revealing that.   

STEVE

And the occasional brown paper bag,  I bet.  

BROOKE

The law requires landlords to  register the identity of whoever  has rented a property.   

ALFIE

Perhaps… but I am not the  landlord.  

CHARLIE

Okay, I’ll look into it. Meeting  adjourned. I need to get to bed.  

BROOKE

Just one question.  

CHARLIE

Yes?  

BROOKE

Can we go back to the discussion  about the cafe? I have a feeling I  should have been taking notes and  you all kept breaking up.  

 SFX MUSICAL STING  

 Scene 4: Alfie’s Office     

SFX: space-age bleeping and whirring mixed with gurgling     waterpipes.  

NARRATOR

It’s the very next day in  Hyperbole Towers and Alfie is in  his office – a cross between a  basement storeroom, which it is,  and a multi-screen, hi-tech  surveillance pod, which it also  is.  

 SFX: Alfie’s phone rings.  

ALFIE

Madam Chairlady, what can I do you  for?  

CHARLIE

Hi Alfie. Look do we really want  this… place… at our front  door?  

ALFIE

A day spa? It’s a pressing  concern, Madame Chair.  

CHARLIE

If it’s at all sleazy, the  residents will be up in arms.   Not to mention the committee.  

ALFIE

Although you just have.  

CHARLIE

They’ll hate it. They’ll vote no  anyway.  

ALFIE

Possibly, despite the  ramifications…  

CHARLIE

What ramifications?  

ALFIE

Loss of income, waste of space,  racial discrimination.  

CHARLIE

Why? Is it a Thai massage?   

ALFIE

More Swedish, I believe.  Europeans are people too.  

CHARLIE

We need to find something that  won’t upset the residents and  that the committee will support.  

ALFIE

We should check the numbers. What  am I saying? A politician like  yourself would know that.  

CHARLIE

I’m not a politician.  

ALFIE

Indeed, Madame Chaiselongue…  indeed.  

 SFX: Phone hangs up  

Scene 5: Charlie’s/Amber’s Flats  

NARRATOR

In her quest to gauge the numbers,  Charlie makes a Skype call to  AMBER .  

 SFX Skype ring tone.  

AMBER

Hi Charlie

What’s up? I don’t  have long. I’m with a client.  

CHARLIE

Hello Amber . Is that a nurse’s  uniform? I didn’t know you were  a first responder.  

AMBER

Depends what kind of response  you’re after.  

CHARLIE

It’s about this day spa. You seem  to be very much against it.  

AMBER

Hundred per cent. It sounds like  it could be a massage parlour to  me.  

CHARLIE

And you already provide those  services.  

AMBER

Hey, I’m a trained massage  therapist. Some of these other  places …   

CLIENT   (muffled)  Ow!  

CHARLIE

Is everything okay in there?  

AMBER

That’s the bishop. Hot stones  treatment. I may have left them on  too long.  

CLIENT   (muffled)  Ow! Ow! Ow!  

AMBER

Gotta go. He’ll be wanting his  rocks off. For the record, I’m  voting “no”… and, don’t worry,  he’s not really a Bishop  

 SFX call ending.  

 Scene 6: Foyer  

NARRATOR

Later that very same day, Wendy is scurrying through the foyer on  her way to perform good works  when her phone rings.  

WENDY

Hullo. Wendy speaking. Good deeds  done free.  

ALFIE

On your way out, Wendy?  

WENDY

How did you know?  

ALFIE

Oh, you’re always on the go.  

WENDY

No rest for the wicked… or me.  

ALFIE

About the plan for the cafe?  

WENDY

Terrible, awful.  

ALFIE

I know. And, for once, Amber agrees  with you.  

WENDY

Does she? Why?  

ALFIE

Kind of obvious, really.  

WENDY

Oh yes, it is. (Beat) Is it?  

ALFIE

Competition. Could put her out of  business.   

WENDY

Of course.   

ALFIE

She might have to move out. Start  up somewhere else.  

WENDY

Oh, dear. Poor thing.  

ALFIE

That’s you all over, Wendy.  Always thinking of others.  

WENDY

True. True.  

ALFIE

So who’s the lucky beneficiary of  your endless bounty today? The  homeless? The elderly? Cats?  

WENDY

Homeless elderly cats, actually.  

ALFIE

Lovely. Don’t bring any back  here. (Laughs) No pets remember.  

WENDY

You know me. I’m a stickler for  the rules.  

ALFIE

You’re a saint, Wendy. An absolute  saint.   

 SFX. Bloop as call ends  

WENDY

(To herself)  Aye. And I know how to get rid of  a sinner.  

 Scene 7: Corridor outside “tapping” unit  

NARRATOR

Meanwhile, in another different  part of Hyperbole Towers, on her  way to investigate the tapping  issue, Charlie  has called Brooke.  

CHARLIE

So, are you for or against the  day spa?  

BROOKE

Against. It would cost us a  fortune. My Jack would never be  out of the place…  

CHARLIE

Really?   

BROOKE

What with his knees.  

CHARLIE

Of course. His knees. We need to  find an alternative.  

BROOKE

I’ll ask around the real estate  agents.   

CHARLIE

Look, hold the line. I’m at the  unit above Steve’s… Listen.  

 SFX: Rhythmic tapping.  

BROOKE

I can hear it. Clear as day.  

CHARLIE

Good. Glad I have a witness.  

BROOKE

No problem. Bye.   

CHARLIE

No, wait. I meant a witness for  when I knock on the door.  

BROOKE

What if they are drug dealers?  

CHARLIE

Then we might scare them off.  

BROOKE

Or they might take your phone,  trace your call, abduct us, torture  us to death and bury our bodies in  the foundations of a new high rise.  

CHARLIE

I don’t think so.  

BROOKE

That’s what happened with those  buildings that are falling down.  Too many bodies in the concrete.  

 SFX loud thumps as Charlie  bangs on the door.  

BROOKE

Omigod! Omigod! Uh, sorry  Charlie, you’re breaking up.  

 SFX more thumps on the door.  

CHARLIE

(shouts)  Hello in there! Can you hear us?  

 SFX: The tapping continues.  

CHARLIE

It’d be easier just to get Alfie to tell us who’s living here,  Brooke.  Brooke?  

 SFX: Dial tone. Fade out on tapping sounds  

Scene 8: Bin Room  

NARRATOR

Elsewhere in Hyperbole Towers —  in the bin room to be precise —  Joe’s phone rings.  

 SFX: Joe’s Phone  

JOE

Hullo. Uh. Wait till I put these  newspapers down.  

 SFX: Thud as he drops newspapers.  

ALFIE

Ah, recycling, Joe. Good to see.  

JOE

In the old days I would have used  these to make papier mache  effigies of political leaders.  

ALFIE

Why?  

JOE

So I could burn them at a demo.  Menzies, Howard, Hawke, Whitlam,  they all went up in smoke.  

ALFIE

Very creative, yet destructive.  

JOE

Oh man, you should have seen my  Keating – nose like a furnace  flue. I could never quite get the  five o’clock shadow, though …  wrong shade of grey…  

ALFIE

(interrupts)  So… About this day spa…?  

JOE

Bring it on. I couldn’t give a  toss as long as they pay rent and  keep the levies down.  

ALFIE

Power to the people.  

JOE

Hang on? How did you know I was  recycling?  

ALFIE

Public spirited bloke like you?   What else would you be doing?  

Scene 9: Zoom call  

NARRATOR

Much later that very same day, but  late at night, Charlie is trying to  make out a ghostly image on her  portable laptop computer screen.  The image is not of an actual ghost  because they don’t exist.  

CHARLIE

Hi Damien, can you see me?  

DAMIEN  

Clear as day.  

CHARLIE

I can’t see you.  

DAMIEN  

I’m here. Video on.  

CHARLIE

I can just see a kind of outline  of a head.  

DAMIEN  

Have you tried turning the  brightness up?  

CHARLIE

Yes.  

DAMIEN  

The contrast?  

CHARLIE

Yes.  

DAMIEN  

Maybe I should put my light on.  

CHARLIE

(sighs) That might help.  

 SFX light switch click.  

CHARLIE

Omigod! I didn’t need to see  that!  

DAMIEN  

Sorry, I forgot. I didn’t expect  to be standing up.   

CHARLIE

OK, about the cafe space?  

DAMIEN  

Yes. Glad you asked. Here’s my  alternative plan. You’re going to  love this… a virtual ice rink.  Three-D glasses, and an espresso  martini and margarita bar.  Skating without all the falling  down. Apart from with the  margeritas. What do you think?   

CHARLIE

Terrific. And where can I see  this? Is there a website?  

DAMIEN  

That’s the beauty of it. No  website. It doesn’t exist.  Anywhere. Totally fresh.  

CHARLIE

Okay… right… leave that with  me. Meanwhile, what’s your  position on the day spa?  

DAMIEN  

If it’s going to get in the way  of my virtual ice rink or  hothouse incubator hub, I’m  against it.  

 Scene 10: Parking garage      

SFX car pulling up, engine off and door opening, then     closing.  

NARRATOR

It’s 1 am in the morning and a  slightly drunk Steve  is parking  his car in his parking space in  the car park when the screen on  his smartphone lights up.  

STEVE

(puzzled)  Hello?  

ALFIE

Hello Steve.  

STEVE

Hi ALFIE

Jeez, are you on  overtime?  

ALFIE

Late dinner?  

STEVE

Some accountancy mates. Takes  longer to split the bill than it  does to eat the food.  

ALFIE

About the cafe space?  

STEVE

Really? You want to talk about  that now?  

ALFIE

We’re both busy men.  

STEVE

Okay. So … if this was a …  you know?  

ALFIE

I know everything.  

STEVE

Residents’ discount, do you  think?  

ALFIE

I’m sure that might be arranged.  

STEVE

(suppressing laughter)  Then I’m in. They won’t want to rub  us up the wrong way. Geddit? Rub us  up?  

ALFIE

Yes, Steve, very droll. Oh, and you  seem to be parked over the line.  Might want to straighten that out  before someone complains.  

SFX: Call ending  

Scene 11: Zoom meeting  

NARRATOR

Much later, in the evening of  that very same day, Charlie has  reconvened the adjourned online  committee meeting again for a  second time.  

CHARLIE

Just to bring you all up to speed  on the tapping, I visited 1407,  the flat above Steve’s…  

BROOKE

For the record, I wasn’t there.  

CHARLIE

No one said you were. I visited  the flat …  

BROOKE

Sorry, Charlie, I’m losing you  again.  

CHARLIE

I heard tapping, I knocked on the  door several times but there was no  reply. It might be time to call the  police.   

JOE

Bring in the goon squad. Beep  beep.  

WENDY

Asian drug dealers. I knew it.  

CHARLIE

Wendy, you do realise I’m Chinese-Australian, don’t you?  

WENDY

Of course I do, dear. But you’re  one of the nice ones.  

ALFIE

Ahem. Madame CEO, if I may. The tenant of the flat in question is  going to connect with us in a few  moments to explain everything.  

STEVE

But are they going to stop that  damned tapping?  

ALFIE

I believe he’s moving out, so  that would be a ‘yes’.  

CHARLIE

Excellent. Okay. The cafe space,  I believe Brooke has some news.  

BROOKE

I have had two inquiries, apart  from the day spa. One is for a  nail salon, the other is an all  night convenience store.  

JOE

Both of which exploit immigrants  and the underpaid. Do we want our  reputation to be permanently  scarred with the dark stain of  slavery?  

DAMIEN  

Did you even tell them about my  virtual ice rink?  

BROOKE

By the way, we’ll have to get  council approval for the change  of use – which was overlooked  when our meeting room was  converted to a cafe.  

CHARLIE

Is that true, Alfie?  

ALFIE

Council approval? Way above my  pay grade.  

CHARLIE

All right. Now, bear in mind that  this has to be approved by a  majority of our owners.  

BROOKE

Including those who turn up at  our AGMs thinking it’s bingo  night.  

CHARLIE

If the owners don’t like it, we  could all be kicked off the  committee.  

JOE

The night of the long knives, all  over again  

CHARLIE

Option one – the nail salon.  

ALFIE

Great idea. Very convenient for the  ladies… just so long as you don’t  mind the toxic fumes.  

CHARLIE

All those in favour?  

STEVE

Shouldn’t we have a secret ballot?  

BROOKE

First we’d need to vote on whether  or not we have a secret ballot.  

WENDY

In that case, we should have a  secret ballot on whether or not we  have a secret ballot.  

CHARLIE

We don’t need a secret ballot.  

JOE

How do we know you haven’t already  had one?  

CHARLIE

(sighs)  All those in favour of the nail  salon, raise a hand.  

DAMIEN  Hands with acrylic nails should be  discounted.  

CHARLIE

Nobody? The convenience store?  

ALFIE

Where else are drunks and junkies  going to get their corn chips and  ice cream at 2am?  

CHARLIE

All those in favour of the  convenience store?   No one? Okay, the day spa?  

WENDY

I’ve had a wee think. I’m for  it.  

AMBER

Really? I thought Scottish people  were against touching.  

WENDY

It’s somewhere to relax after hours  of helping those less fortunate.  

AMBER

Tell me, who relaxes the people  you’ve been helping?  

CHARLIE

Enough squabbling. Those for the  day spa?    (beat)  You know you can’t all abstain?  I’m voting no and if you don’t  vote, then my vote is the only  one that counts.  

DAMIEN  She’s very strict.  

JOE

Our own little Evita.  

STEVE

I’m in. We need the money.  

BROOKE

Count me out. The thought of all  that flesh being pummelled and  prodded and only ten floors below  me. Eughh!  

JOE

My old bones could use a little  TLC. I’m a yes.  

WENDY

Those poor Swedish girls need  somewhere to go for advice and  soup. I’m voting yes.  

DAMIEN  Don’t let ‘okay’ be the enemy of  brilliant. I say no.  

CHARLIE

That’s three for, three against.  Amber?  

AMBER

You know what? I think it’s  exactly what we need. I’m a yes.  

WENDY

What? Wait a minute. Can I  change…?  

ALFIE

Excuse me, folks, we have the  tenant from 1407.  

TED  Hi. Can everybody hear me?  

ALFIE

We can hear you Ted.  

TED  

Hullo everyone? I’m Ted McKonney.  You probably know me from stage musicals, Dancing with the Stars  and that thing with the male  strippers.

WENDY

Omigod. Omigod. It’s Ted.  

TED  

Anyway, I just wanted to  apologize for all the tapping  sounds. I’ve been secretly  rehearsing for my new show. I was  using a portable tap floor and I  didn’t realise the sound could be  heard anywhere else. You should  have told me.  

CHARLIE

I banged on your door.  

TED  

I had headphones on so my music  didn’t disturb anyone. Ironic,  huh?  

WENDY

Oh, Mr McKonney… I loved you in  The Boy from Oz… I saw you in  New York.  

TED  

I don’t think so. Anyway, Alfie has some free tickets to the  opening night of my new show –  

ALFIE

(interrupts)  Oh, dear. We seem to have lost  the connection.  

STEVE

Free tickets? What’s it all  about, Alfie?  

ALFIE

Freely available at half price…  very generous.  

Scene 12: Brooke’s flat  

NARRATOR

A fortnight later, or about two  weeks, which is more or less the  same thing, Charlie has called  Brooke.  

BROOKE

Council approval? Are you sure?  

CHARLIE

I’ve got the letter here. Day spa  with a coffee bar at the front.  Signed, sealed and delivered.   

BROOKE

When did you apply?  

CHARLIE

I didn’t. But it’s got my  signature on it.   

BROOKE

I know it wasn’t me. I’d remember paperwork.  

CHARLIE

And how about this? The company  behind it is called AmbAlfie.  

BROOKE

AmbAlfie?  

CHARLIE

And its registered address is  right here in this building.  

BROOKE

You know, I’ve often wondered how  Alfie knew about the day spa before  we even heard the cafe was closing?  

CHARLIE

Me too. I’ve been looking for him.   He’s not answering his phone.   

BROOKE

Funny how he’s always around until  you want him to be.  

 Scene 13: garage gate  

NARRATOR

Alfie is standing by the building’s  garage gate when his phone rings.  

 SFX: Alfie’s phone ringing  

NARRATOR

Yes, like that. He thinks about  not answering but changes his mind.  

ALFIE

Madame Chairlift, to what do I owe  the exquisite pleasure of hearing  your dulcet tones this fine  morning?  

CHARLIE

Alfie, I’ve been looking for you  everywhere.  

ALFIE

Doing my rounds, Madam Chairlift.   Protecting civilisation, one  visitor parking space at a time.   

CHARLIE

Do you know anything about this  council approval for the day spa?  

ALFIE

That was quick.   I mean, what approval?  

CHARLIE

Somebody applied for permission for  a spa using our letterhead and my  signature. And it’s been approved.  

ALFIE

Congratulations. Now, I must be  off. I have to recycle some old  recycling bins.   

CHARLIE

No, not congratulations.  Explanations!  

 SFX: The beeping of a reversing truck  

CHARLIE

Whoever it was, forged a planning  application in our name.  

ALFIE

Forgery! My good Lord. I will look  into this immediately. Must go.  

 SFX: Beeping stops and a truck door slams.  

CHARLIE

Alfie, wait! This is your chance to  come clean. Did you and Amber apply  for approval for the day spa?  

ALFIE

My dear Madam Chaircushion, I swear  on the higher power of my Dyson  stick vacuum cleaner, this had  nothing to do with me.  

DELIVERY MAN   (distant)  

Hoi, Alfie!. I’ve got your massage  tables and cappuccino machine.  Where do you want them?     

Closing music, fade up to credits.  

ANNOUNCER  You’ve been listening to  “Hyperbole Towers” Featuring Tsu  Shan Chambers, Valentino Arico,  Amelia Conway, Eveline Schubert,  Michelle Rouady, Robin Queree,  Matias Klaver and David MacPhail,  with a special guest appearance  by Todd McKenney.  

This Podcom was narrated and  directed by Warren Coleman.  ‘Hyperbole Towers’ was written and produced by Jimmy  Thomson and Warren Coleman.  Audio editing and effects were by  SoundBrewery.  Leaping about was by me, Phoebe  Armstrong.  

“Hyperbole Towers” is a Flat Chat  Production for Words Worth, made  with financial assistance from  City of Sydney Council .  

THE END

One Reply to “Podcast: Fun and games as the Wrap takes off”

  1. Jimmy-T says:

    If you want to start a discussion or ask a question about this, log into the Flat Chat Forum (using the link above). More people will read it there and you can more easily keep track of responses.

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