Police Interrogation Quickie

Scene: A bare room with no apparent windows. A youth dressed in school uniform sits on a hard chair in the centre of the room; he is perhaps sixteen years old. Bright lights are being shone on him from either side. Two uniformed policemen sit either side and are grilling the youth, who is sweating profusely.

Inspector: ALL RIGHT, MALCOLM, LETíS GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING, SHALL WE?

Youth: OH NOT AGAIN; IíVE TOLD YOU ALL I KNOW.

Sergeant: THEN TELL US AGAIN, KID.

Inspector: NOW YOU SAY YOU GOT HOME FROM SCHOOL AROUND HALF PAST FOUR?

Youth: HALF FOUR, QUARTER TO FIVE.

Inspector: THEN YOU SAY YOU STAYED HOME DOING YOUR HOMEWORK UNTIL SEVEN.

Youth: THATíS RIGHT.

Sergeant: THATíS NOT WHAT YOUR GIRLFRIEND SAID.

Inspector: SHE SAYS YOU MET HER AT FIVE FIFTEEN.

Youth: SHEíS WRONG.

Sergeant: YOU SAYINí YOUR GIRLFRIENDíS LYINí?

Inspector: WHY WOULD SHE?

Youth: I NEVER SAID SHE WAS LYING; I SAID SHE WAS MISTAKEN.

Inspector: MISTAKEN?

Youth: YES.

Sergeant: THATíS NEARLY TWO HOURS, KID.

Inspector: HOW COULD SHE HAVE BEEN THAT MISTAKEN?

Youth: (Becoming confused and sounding tired) I DONíT KNOW. MAYBE SHEíS NOT LYING AT ALL.

Inspector: BUT WHY SHOULD SHE LIE?

Sergeant: SHEíS GOT NOTHING TO HIDE.

Inspector: BUT MAYBE YOU HAVE.

Youth: NO! (Shouted) LOOK, MAYBE I DIDNíT SPEND TWO HOURS DOING MY HOMEWORK.

Inspector: MAYBE YOU DIDNíT DO IT AT ALL; MAYBE YOU WERE SOMEWHERE ELSE?

Youth: NO!

Sergeant: COME CLEAN, KID.

Inspector: YOU TELL THE TRUTH NOW, AND MAYBE WE CAN DO A DEAL.

Youth: (Suspiciously) WHAT KIND OF DEAL?

Inspector: (Leaning forward) KID, THIS ISNíT THAT SERIOUS, OR IT NEEDNíT BE. YOUíRE YOUNG; WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES WHEN WEíRE YOUNG. DONíT YOU THINK I WAS YOUNG ONCE? DONíT YOU THINK I DIDNíT DO THE SAME?

Youth: (Incredulously) YOU?

Inspector: SURE, THATíS RIGHT. SERGEANT SIMPKINS?

Sergeant: (Leaning forward too, so that they hem him in) SURE IS KID. NOW WHY DONíT YOU COME CLEAN?

Youth: (Thinking) IF I DO, DOES MY MUM HAVE TO KNOW?

Inspector: THAT DEPENDS.

Youth: ON WHAT?

Inspector: HOW MANY TIMES YOU DONE THIS?

Youth: JUST THE ONCE.

Sergeant: YOU SAYINí THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME?

Youth: WELL, MAYBE I DID IT ONCE BEFORE, BUT THAT WAS A LONG TIME AGO.

(Short pause).

Inspector: SO WHAT YOU TRYINí TO SAY, KID?

Youth: (Resolutely) ALL RIGHT, I CONFESS, I DIDNíT DO MY HOMEWORK. I WENT STRAIGHT TO MY GIRLFRIENDíS HOUSE AFTER SCHOOL, AND WE WENT SWIMMING.

(The door opens and the main light is flicked on. A woman enters dressed in carpet slippers and apron. She addresses the Inspector).

Woman: REGINALD, WILL YOU LEAVE THAT BOY ALONE? YOUR SUPPERíS ON THE TABLE.

Inspector: (Standing up) I WAS RIGHT, MAVIS, HE DIDNíT DO HIS HOMEWORK LAST NIGHT!

Youth: (Standing up and shouting) DAD, YOU PROMISED YOU WOULDNíT TELL HER!

Inspector: (Cuffing his son round the ear) THATíS ENOUGH OUT OF YOU; GET UPSTAIRS AND FINISH YOUR ALGEBRA AT ONCE.

Youth: (Stomping past his mother and out of the room) I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN I COULDNíT TRUST YOU; YOU ROZZERS ARE ALL THE SAME.

Woman: (To the Inspector) REGINALD, I DO WISH YOUíD ACT LIKE YOU WERE OFF-DUTY ONCE IN A WHILE.

Fade.

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