THE CREATIVE PRESENTATION FOR A NEW BRAND OF BEER IS TAKING PLACE IN THE BOARDROOM. THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, JUSTIN, IS AT ONE END OF A TABLE AND THE CLIENT, MR EUGENE IONESCO (YES: HIS NAME REALLY WAS EUGENE IONESCO), IS AT THE OTHER END OF THE TABLE WHICH IS ABOUT A MILE LONG. WHAT IS IT ABOUT LARGE BOARDROOM TABLES? SOME KIND OF STUPID CORPORATE POWER GAME?
JUSTIN IS NERVOUS. FIRSTLY, HE HAS TO SHOUT BECAUSE THE CLIENT IS SO FAR AWAY. SECONDLY, THE POWERPOINT PRESENTATION IS ONE FRAME OUT, MEANING THERE'S AN EXTRA PAGE IN THE PRINT DOCUMENT BUT DELETED FROM THE COMPUTER. THIRDLY, THE CONCEPTS ARE NOT MAKING HIM JUMP THROUGH HOOPS TODAY.
JUSTIN IS WEARING A CHAMBRAY SHIRT OVER FADED JEANS. HE THINKS HE IS BEING IRONIC ABOUT THE EIGHTIES, BUT HE JUST LOOKS LIKE ROD STEWART. EUGENE IS WEARING A WHITE SHIRT OF FINEST COTTON OVER BLACK DESIGNER PANTS AND SOFT BLACK SUEDE SHOES. A SLINKY ORANGE SCARF IS TOSSED CARELESSLY AROUND HIS NECK AND DRIFTS WITH HIS MOVEMENTS LIKE GOSSAMER. HE LOOKS LIKE A YOUNG FRANK THRING PLAYING A MATADOR.
JUSTIN: Good morning, Eugene. Take a seat.
EUGENE IS ALREADY SEATED. HE SAYS WITH A PAINED LOOK: Christ. The traffic. Does everyone driving a BMW have to be so horrible to other drivers?
JUSTIN: But you drive a Mercedes, Eugene. You're superior. You don't have to worry about BMW drivers.
EUGENE: But Justin, BMW drivers are perfectly horrible to Mercedes drivers! They must think we're all gangsters and we're not. Only people who drive black Mercedes are gangsters.
JUSTIN: How do you figure that, Eugene?
EUGENE: Heavens, Justin. Have you driven down Chapel Street lately? Or through Moonee Ponds?
JUSTIN: No, Eugene, I live in Templestowe.
EUGENE: How frightful! Why do you live there? I thought it was compulsory for creative directors to never live in places like Templestowe. I mean, where do you have breakfast at weekends? The food court at Doncaster Shoppingtown?
JUSTIN: No, I drive to Burke Road, actually, and have eggs benedict at George's. But after we finish trading insults, do you think we could get down to showing you the work?
EUGENE: You can't beat a good insult to get on better terms with the agency, Justin. I'm sure you believe exactly the same about clients. We don't really dislike the agency, we just want to make life as hard as possible for it. After all, you are taking our money - earned perfectly legitimately by selling consumer goods on the open competitive market - and squandering it on dreadful advertising ideas devised by shady ill-educated illiterate oafs who think they are all Andy Warhols and Damien Hirsts and Ernest fucking Hemingways.
JUSTIN SAYS NOTHING, BUT STARES OPEN-MOUTHED.
EUGENE (SMILING): Present company excepted, of course, Justin. You wouldn't be so presumptive as to put yourself in that league, would you?
SLIGHT PAUSE AS JUSTIN WONDERS WHETHER IT'S AN INSULT OR A COMPLIMENT THEN REALISES IT'S BOTH.
JUSTIN: Let's get on with the work, Eugene.
EUGENE: Can I have another coffee?
JUSTIN: I'll call June. She'll probably ignore me.
TO BE CONTINUED.