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A Man of Few Words - by Swan Morrison


‘Hello George, thanks for coming along. Please, take a seat.’

‘Always pleased to see you, John. You and I go back to the start of the ‘Walters’.’

‘We certainly do. Twenty-five years on the same radio soap. Who’d have thought we’d still be broadcasting the same daily, radio drama serial after all these years?’

‘What is it that you wanted to see me about?’

‘It’s a bit of bad news, George. We will have to write your part out of the show.’

‘But, you can’t...’

‘I’m sorry, George. You’ve played Spot the dog brilliantly all these years. It’s just that Jack Russells don’t live to be twenty-five. By rights he should have passed-on ten years ago.’

‘But I’ll never be able to get another job.’

‘There are lots of theatre companies and ... there’s television.’

‘I’ve got no experience. I’ve only said ‘Woof’, ‘Howl’, and ‘Grrrr’ all these years. I don’t think I could cope with a more complex script.’

‘They need dogs on TV?’

‘I’m not a dog, John.’

‘Oh, of course.…sorry. After all this time as director, listening to the recordings, I’ve come to think of the characters in their roles.’

‘Couldn’t you bring another dog into the plot? I could do a puppy...yip, yip, woof, woof, woof.’

‘Get up off the floor, George. Dogs aren’t so popular among listeners these days.’

‘What about another pet?’

‘Like what?’


‘With the cut-backs at the BBC, I might not be able to justify your 35,000 a year salary for going ‘Meow’ once or twice every five or six episodes.’

‘What about the farm animals.....Mooooo.......Cluck, Cluck.....Baaaaaaaa?’

‘You know that Eric does those, and, anyway, Equity have strict rules about domestic animal impersonators not mimicking livestock.’

‘Oh God...What am I going to do...?’

‘I’ve just had an idea.’


‘You know the village protest about the new airport won’t succeed, and a runway will be built across Oatfield Farm.’


‘Can you do a Jumbo Jet?’


‘That’s pretty impressive, George. And, with the grounding of Concorde, there won’t be any pressure on you to do a sonic boom. What about smaller, propeller driven aircraft?’


‘Incredible, George. I was looking for my seatbelt there for a minute.’

‘Can I be an aeroplane then, when Spot dies?’

‘Why not? And that gives me another idea.’

‘What’s that?’

‘Well, Spot has been a part of the show for so long that death by natural causes seems a bit of an anticlimax.’

‘What have you got in mind?’

‘Suppose that on the opening day of the airport he ran onto the runway and was sucked into the air intake of a jet engine?’

‘Millions would tune in for that. It would be more emotional than Brian Aldridge’s baby.’

‘Are you up to it, George?’


‘Brilliant, George. Here’s to the next twenty-five years.’