Billy Diamond

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Set in a Northern betting shop. One dream is all it takes to turn Sally's life around, but perhaps it's not for the better.

Billy Diamond

 

By C L Pankhurst

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHARACTER BREAKDOWN (5M, 1F)

 

SALLY

Late 20’s, meek, scene one dressed nicely, scene two dressed more scruffily.

 

JACK

Mid 30’s, average type, customer advisor

 

JIM

70’s, grumpy, opinionated

 

TERRY

80’s, gentle, calm

 

ROBBIE

Early 20’s

 

ANDY

Early 20’s, confident

 

 

 

SETTING

Inside a betting shop with a counter, stools for the customers and television screen to watch the races.

 

TIME

The present

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2021 by Catherine Pankhurst

 

 

 

 

(SCENE: Jack stands behind the counter of the betting shop. The customers, Jim and Terry sit on stools.)

 

(AT RISE: Jack is leaning on the counter looking bored. Jim and Terry sit on stools, deep in conversation.)

 

JIM

I’m tellin’ ya… Billy Diamond will never win a thing.

 

TERRY

You’ll see. Five thirty – you’ll be holding ya tongue then.

 

JIM

Never. It’ll never ‘appen.

 

TERRY

You’ll see. You’ll see – when I’m rolling in it and you’re pestering me for a sub.

 

JIM

Never. Win or not – I’ll not ever come begging.

 

(Jack sniggers.)

 

TERRY

It’s right. Innit Jack? He’ll be begging.

 

JIM

Jacks on my side – aren’t ya Jack.

 

JACK

(Hands in air.)

Don’t get me involved. Fight it out between yourselves.

 

(A bell rings. Sally enters the betting shop. Meekly walks up to the counter.)

 

JIM

(Whistles.)

Well, what ‘av we got ‘ere. Department stores on t’other side of street, love.

 

TERRY

Leave her be.

 

JACK

Ignore him. Grumpy old fella, he is.

 

 

JIM

Hey! I ‘eard that.

 

JACK

What can I do for you?

 

SALLY

I’d like to put a bet on Billy Diamond – it’s in a race at ….

(Pats pockets searching for piece of paper.)

 

TERRY

Newport. It’s running at Newport. Five-thirty.

 

SALLY

Newport. Yes. That’s it. Newport. Thank you.

 

JIM

Don’t thank him. That Billy Diamond’s a dud. You’ll never win a penny with that ‘un.

 

SALLY

(Looking pleadingly at Jack.)

I, I’d still like to place a bet on that horse. I’ve not done it before. Fifty pounds, please. If I could. Fifty pounds on Billy Diamond.

 

JIM

(Whistles.)

Fifty pounds. You’d be better off going down the local offie and putting it all on that lottery.

 

TERRY

Jim. Leave her be. Don’t you worry love. That horse is gonna make you and me both, a fortune.

(Terry winks.)

 

JACK

Ignore them. They’re not used to seeing a lady come in here. It’s the most excitement they’ve had in a year. Here. You need one of these forms. Put the horses name there, course name there, amount there. See. Easy.

 

SALLY

Thanks. You’re very helpful.

 

JACK

(Blushing.)

It’s nothing. It’s my job.

 

JIM

Still think it’s a pansy name. Billy Diamond. ‘Orse needs a good strong name – like Titan – that’s a good strong name that is.

SALLY

Billy was my boyfriend’s name.

 

JIM

Was? Well, I’d say you’re better off without ‘im.

 

SALLY

He passed away. Last summer.

 

TERRY

Jim!

 

JIM

Oh. Uh. I didn’t mean anything by it. Sorry. Sorry love. I’ve a big mouth, I ‘av.

 

TERRY

Aye. That you ‘av.

 

JACK

He talks before he thinks. Always does.

 

SALLY

It’s okay. You weren’t to know. – I had a dream. That’s why I’m here. Billy was in it. We were arguing. He wanted to put all our savings on a horse race, and I wouldn’t let him. He said it would change our lives… but I was too scared. At the end there was a bag full of diamonds and Billy was saying, “Look, look at all those diamonds we could have won.” – So, when I heard that name on the T.V. this morning…. I don’t know…... I know it’s silly but… it was like a sign.

 

TERRY

Ah. A sign from above. Can’t ignore that.

 

JIM

Tosh. Utter tosh. You can’t risk puttin’ your hard-earned cash on a sign plucked outta thin air. No. No. You should let me show you my way. Racings not random you know. It’s ANA-LY-TIC-AL. No, it’s MATH-E-MAT-ICAL. That’s what it is. Look at the form, ow it’s raced, past few times, is it healthy? Picking a winner takes time it does. Research. That’s what it takes.

 

TERRY

Ha. What a load of bull. You’ve never researched a horse a day of your life. If you can’t earwig a tip from Eddie or George, you’ll just close your eyes and point to a name.

 

JIM

No. No….

TERRY

It’s true. I’ve seen ya.

 

 

JACK

Hey. They’re getting ready to start.

 

(Everyone’s attention turns to the television screen.)

 

TERRY

They’re off.

 

JIM

Go on Titan. Go on boy.

 

TERRY

Look. He’s going. Billy’s going for it.

 

JIM

No. No. Go on Titan. Faster. Faster. Don’t let ‘im catch ya.

 

JACK

It’s a close one.

 

JIM, TERRY

(Simultaneously shout.)

Yeah!

 

SALLY

Who was it? Who won?

 

JIM

Titan.

 

TERRY

(Simultaneously) Billy. Your Billy.

 

(They all look to the screen)

 

JACK

Photo finish. I call Billy.

 

TERRY

Looks like Billy to me.

 

 

JIM

No. Look. Look at that left leg.

 

JACK

They’ve called it. Winner’s Prince Lunar.

JIM, TERRY, SALLY

Who?

 

JACK

You were all so busy focusing on your own horses. You never noticed the others.

 

JIM

Well, that was a waste of time. Never should have chosen that Titan. Had a dodgy back leg he did.

 

TERRY

Oh well. Not our day today. Don’t worry love. There’s always the six pm.

 

SALLY

(Looking crestfallen.)

Well. I guess you were right. It wasn’t a sign.

 

(Sally screws up the betting slip and leaves the shop.)

 

TERRY

Poor lass.

 

JIM

That ‘uns not cut out for betting. It’s cutthroat it is.

 

TERRY

Aye. That it is.

 

JACK

Wait. Wait. Disqualification. The Prince is disqualified.

 

JIM

What? Who is it then? Who’s the winner.

 

JACK

Oh wow. It’s Billy. It’s that Billy Diamond it is.

 

TERRY

Well. The lass was right, she was.

 

(End scene.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Scene: Same betting shop but six years on.)

 

(Rising scene: Jack behind counter. Jim and Sally sitting on stools.)

 

 

TERRY

What ‘ya thinkin’ for the four-fifteen?

 

SALLY

Gonna go for that Eastern Star.

 

TERRY

Hmm. Could be a good ‘un. Hmm. I’m not sure – bit on ‘eavy side I’d say.

 

SALLY

No. He’s a good ‘un. Got form. Won four of his last six races he did. Yep – he’s a winner.

 

JACK

I think someone’s been listening in on Eddie.

 

SALLY

No. No. I read it – this morning. I did.

 

TERRY

Oh yeah. What ya read it in?

 

SALLY

You know. Paper. Racing pages. From today. There was a full-page article all about that horse.

 

TERRY

Really? Might ‘ave to borrow that paper an’ ‘ave a read.

 

SALLY

Uh… well – I chucked it, I did.

 

TERRY

Ah! Ya did, did ya? You’re sounding more and more like Jim by the day. God rest his soul.

 

JACK

God rest his soul.

 

SALLY

You’ll see I’m right, when Eastern Star comes up trumps. An’ it better. This losing streak’s gotta finish soon or I’ll be out on t’streets.

 

 

 

 

(Bell sounds. Everyone turns to door. Two young lads walk in, obviously inebriated and chatting loudly.)

 

TERRY

You two’s in a jolly mood for a rainy day.

 

ANDY

His last day of freedom, it is. He’ll be well under the thumb this time tomorrow.

 

ROBBIE

(Playfully punches Andy on the arm.)

You’d know. Your lass has had you under her thumb from day one.

 

SALLY

I’d say if you were both so under the thumb, neither of ya ‘ud be drunk and standing in a betting shop. Would ya?

 

TERRY

Sally – really. Don’t mind her. This ‘un got out of wrong side of bed this morning. Been a right grump all day, she has.

 

JACK

How’s about we let these two get on with what they came here for. Pretty sure you won’t want to spend your whole stag do in here.

 

ROBBIE

I’ve got the info here. Just a sec.

(Pulls a piece of paper out of his pocket.)

Got a tip on Lady Grace.

 

ANDY

That’s his other ‘alfs name. It’s a sign, innit? He’s gonna win big.

 

SALLY

Pfft… a sign. Nonsense. If ya wanna win big you’ll put it on Eastern Star. That Lady Grace has no chance of winning.

 

ROBBIE

Well… it’s just a bit of fun really. Grace’ll be chuffed if I win with her name.

 

SALLY

Well – I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

 

TERRY

Sally! Let the boy have his fun.

 

JACK

You’re lucky, boys. Got here just in time for me to get this keyed in. Race starts in five.

 

SALLY

Terry. You never said who you’re backing for this one.

 

TERRY

‘Appens it’s Lady Grace. Name of my lovely wife too it was. God rest her soul.

 

JACK

Here we go.

 

ANDY

Which one is it?

 

ROBBIE

Purple one.

 

ANDY

There’s two purple ones.

 

TERRY

Yours is number six. Purple with white checks. See him there?

 

ROBBIE

Oh yeah, there he is.

 

ANDY

He’s near the front.

 

SALLY

Eastern Star’s clear leader though. Told ya he was the one.

 

TERRY

He’s going though. Go on son.

 

TERRY, ROBBIE, ANDY

(Simultaneously shouting.)

Yeah!

 

ANDY

You did it. You won. Next rounds on you.

 

TERRY

(Consoling Sally.)

Never mind, love. Looks like that paper had it wrong about your boy.

 

SALLY

It sure did. Looks like rent won’t be getting paid this week.

 

TERRY

Well, boys had a sign, and it did ‘em good. Maybe you’re going looking in the wrong places for your winners. What you need is another Billy Diamond.

 

 

(End scene.)

 

 


Submitted: July 21, 2021

© Copyright 2021 C L Pankhurst. All rights reserved.

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