Listen to the Episode
EPISODE 4: FOOD
SFX A CD-ROM is placed in a CD-ROM drive.
SFX Quid Pro Euro 96 launch music.
GUIDE: Would you like to start a NEW GAME or LOAD an existing game?
SFX Mouse Click.
GUIDE: You have
SFX CD Whirr
SFX CD Whirr
GUIDE: Saved games!
SFX Mouse click.
ATMOS Quiet. We are in a big dark factory.
SFX A few hesitant footsteps then-
GUIDE: Can you find a lightswitch?
SFX Heavy Lightswitch
ATMOS Factory Strip Lighting
Beat as we take it in.
Unsettling creepy MUSIC fades in.
GUIDE: Must be a factory. There are conveyor belts and hooks on the ceiling and cables and pipes. The floor is metal and the walls are... metal. Oh no, that’s a metal effect plastic. Gasp! I’ve had a flashback to my old life. The amnesia is clearing up. I... sold... tiles! Or… I bought them. Once.
Tall, isn’t it. I can barely see the ceiling. It just goes up and up and up… but… it’s been made very badly. Look at the staircase, too steep for these knees. And the walls are just … jumbled. Bits poking in and out. I thought it looked strange outside. Like someone scrunched it up and threw it at the ground. Did you see the entrance corridor? It had an old rustic farm cottage that had been flattened by an entrance corridor.
At least they’ve painted. Red... purple... brown-y... yellow. Can you see the pattern? Me neither. It’s like they went to the top and dropped paint buckets down the sides to cheer things up.
Do you think it worked?
SFX Kicks an old bucket by mistake.
Oh look, here’s a paint bucket. And… is that a... hand. That’s a hand. There is a hand in the paint bucket.
Maybe they were out of brushes.
Look, that bit of cable. It’s a leg.
It’s prosthetic! Why, so is the hand! A prosthetic hand and a prosthetic leg. Huh! Not a very good leg, it’s just a tube with a foot. Well, aren’t all legs just tubes with foots?
Look, there are more. Legs. Arms. Hands. Just lying about. All plastic. That’s a torso. A prosthetic torso... well now I’ve seen everything. Oh my God, a head! A prosthetic head! Well now I’ve seen everything. There’s another head on that gangway. And one on the floor in the toolstation. Full of hammers.
All these body parts. Some alone. Some in piles, see? There’s a buildup of them coming out of that... vent. A little landslide of body bits.
I don’t like it.
At least they’re keeping each other warm.
Oh. Wait! Wait wait wait, I’ve got a thought coming! No I don’t. Yes I do! I know what this is. I see. These body parts are parts for mannequins. Tailors dummies. Or display people. Like in a clothes shop. Look look look, that one’s almost assembled, see how you can move the arms and legs around to show off the clothes? And there’s some completed ones stacked up by the wall.
Well. I’ve always wondered where mannequins come from.
The room stretches out but I can’t see what’s in it because of the shadows.
Shall we investigate?
SFX CD Whirr.
This part of the factory floor is in better shape. Health and safety signs. A corridor to the left. What’s that green light coming from? Oh! Look up there. It’s a digital clock - very modern! Forty four o’clock. Hmm, I’m running slow.
There are more mannequins here. But not just on the conveyor belts. Look, that one is leaning on a control panel. And that one has folded into the wheelbarrow it was … pushing? Maybe these ones ran the factory. Maybe they’re electric or clockwork or one of the other energies like fire.
So. A factory powered by mannequins which made more mannequins. And then they go to help design and sell the loveliest clothes, or, look, here’s a little one made of wood - it’s an artist’s model for drawing a person. See how you can pose it? And here, even smaller, a ballerina for a music box. And there’s a little happy couple waiting for a wedding cake.
SFX Great big metal creak.
Woah! This place is crumbling. It’s all stale. If we’re going to find something to help us build a boat, we’ll need to be careful.
SFX Metal creaks.
SFX Metal creaks a bit more.
SFX Metal creaks a bit more.
In a great big factory like this, there is bound to be -
SFX Metal falls to the ground with a great big clang.
Ahhh! Are you alright? It was that sign. What does it say? Beware Falling Objects.
A factory like this must use a lot of mechanical parts. And one of those is bound to have an engine! Or be an engine. Or be an engine that has an engine. Or be an engine that has an engine that has an - no! This is not the time for fractals! Maybe we could find an engine and repurpose it for our boat. Then we’ll be home and dry in no time flat! Well maybe home and a bit damp, those engines churn up the sea like nobody’s business.
SFX Distant metal clonk.
I don’t like it here. Why don’t we see what’s through that corridor?
SFX CD Whirr.
ATMOS A much smaller and narrower room, just a corridor really. There is a fallen mannequin that still works sweeping a wall at one end.
Ah the cloakroom. This is where they hung their heads. It carries on into the gloom ahead and there is a heavy door to your right.
SFX Metal clonk from elsewhere in the building.
Wow, that one made the room shake. See how the lights are swaying?
And I’ve had another thought. That’s two thoughts, pretty goood! Seems to me all these mannequins did different jobs. That one in the corner, the one without a head (must be one of these on the coat rack) that one is sweeping the wall where it fell over. A cleaner-mannequin. A cleanequin! Maybe we can find a whole one, or whole enough, that knows how to operate the engine we’re looking for. An enginnequin! Hahaha, do you like wordplay too? As a journalist, did you ever write the crossword? I can never do it. It’s the best part of the newspaper.
We can continue down the corridor or try that door on the right. What do you think? Carry on or go right?
SFX Heavy door open
SFX CD Whirr
ATMOS A lovely garden!
It smells so green. No roof, see? A few loose tiles but otherwise it’s all easy sky.
A courtyard. A garden! In a courtyard. We’re still in the factory but you’d never know, apart from the metal walls. Look how the greenery is climbing up and up and over the roof. It’s a vertical meadow! Wildflowers, tall grasses, curly trees going wherever they please! You could probably climb them.
I’m sorry, climbing trees is not in the game.
But if you look close, it’s not unplanned. It’s deliberate. See, there, there’s a box hedgerow, and beyond it there’s runner beans, with little pink and white flowers growing round them. On that wall there’s rockery, and on that one there’s a pond! That’s clever. The trees are full of birds and, look, birdfeeders. And right above us, that is a beehive.
Wow, a bench!
I could do with a rest. Why don’t we sit down?
SFX CD Whirr
SFX Bench squeak
ATMOS As before but we can hear a mannequin now travelling on a little railway track as it plants seeds.
Hey. Look in the corner. There’s someone here! Bent over with a trowel… and going along… and up…. on a little railway track that goes up the wall. It’s a mannequin. Fully operational. Planting seeds. Wow, they move with such grace. Like a person but better. Cutting through the air so free and precise. It’s wearing a big floppy hat and a pair of old dungarees. A gardener, do you think? A gardennequin. Haha! That’s lovely.
Oh look, there, by the wall. It’s a television on wheels with a VHS player. It’s got ivy all over it. Maybe we can find a tape to play in it.
And look, behind the television, there’s another door! With a sign which reads… Engine Room! There must be an engine in the engine room. And an enginnequin to work it. We just need to move that television. See how it’s clamped to the door so you can’t turn the handle? Maybe if we find and play the tape, the television will let us in.
I can see: some trees, some runner beans, and some flowers.
There’s nothing in the runner beans but one of your five a day!
Those trees are all twisted round each other. I don’t see how there can be a tape in there.
Yes, here, in the flowers. It’s a tape! Put the tape in the tape player and press play.
SFX Tape in player, TV turns on and we go to...
[ATMOS: Man in a florist’s shop.]
This is Joao, a successful 46 year old business owner and indoor rollerblade enthusiast from central Portugal. What is the secret to Joao’s success? Total market monopoly. By luck, Joao is the only florist in Milagres, a village on the outskirts of Leiria. And today the parish council has awarded him the honour of supplying flowers to the Santuario dos Milagres church. He has until sunset to finish the job and make another cool five hundred thousand escudos. It’s an easy job; the church is just up the street.
[SFX Church bell outside]
However. Ever since a misjudged theme for his fifth birthday party, Joao has had a phobia of streets. He sits in his shop with his back to the window, cheerfully not looking outside, because he doesn’t want to be reminded of his father in a tarmac nose and huge traffic light shoes [SFX Clown horn], [SFX car engine] or of his uncle running the engine of the Fiat Punto [SFX cake being cut] while his mother cut into the black cake under the exhaust pipe, [SFX balloon animals] or of the rubbery whimper of balloon roadkill. He sleeps above the shop, keeps the blinds closed [SFX blind down], and lives off coffee [SFX coffee sip] and vegetarian francesinhas which he orders from the café two doors down.
So how is Joao going to bring the flowers to the church? He takes his job very seriously. Nobody else in Milagres is qualified to carry them.
[SFX Explanatory music]
The European Union does not only value peace, coal and steel. Many other commodities are considered fundamental rights. Food. [SFX Ding!] Education. [SFX Ding!] Good health. [SFX Ding!] Clean sheets. [SFX Ding!] Communal swimming pools. [SFX Ding!] Fresh writing paper. [SFX Ding!] And: Beauty. [SFX Ding!] Ever since Robert Schumann first showed Konrad Adenauer his collection of old wallets [SFX the leathery rub of finger on wallet] and asked in a nervous whisper if Adenauer thought they’d be worth anything, and Adenauer misheard him and though he was suggesting the creation a multinational fiscal union, Beauty has been a core value of Europe. In the words of Adenauer: “Money alone is a tool. It has no value but that which we give it. If we are to build riches, let us build those riches not into our bank manager’s portfolio but, instead, into our quotidien - be we walking through a town centre, moving house, sharing a meal with a loved one, or sitting on a bus.” And in the words of Robert Schumann: [SFX wallet again] “I like the one with the brocade.”
In Milagros, Joao, like so many others for whom the open road is filled with invisible clowns, faces a hard choice. Does he honour the contract and share his skills and taste with the village? Or shall the flowers only bloom behind his closed door?
It is no choice at all. Joao may be a florist but he’s a florist third, a neighbour second, and a European first. He can no more resist adding to the beauty of the village than the tide can resist the moon and its massive magnet.
Joao ties a blindfold over his eyes, puts on his tallest rollerblades [SFX rollerblade], and, arms full of roses, sets out on the longest hundred metres of his life. [SFX door open]
Top tip [SFX Top tip]: Beauty is in the eye of The Beholder. The Beholder is a magazine published quarterly by European Union Press with all the latest style trends. Subscribe for a free hair-tie.
ATMOS: Back to the garden.
SFX The TV unlatches from the door.
Don’t you think it would be nice to have a garden on the boat? We could grow vegetables and flowers on deck. We could sit in the sun on the green grass and smell the earth underneath us as we sail away. We could have a bench.
Well I suppose we should be going. See, the television came loose so we can reach the engine and, fingers crossed, enginnequin. Goodbye, gardennequin. Good luck with the runner beans. Click the door to enter the engine room.
You don’t want to enter the engine room?
What do you want to do?
You want to take the gardennequin?
We won’t have room for a gardennequin and an enginnequin. Are you sure you want a garden instead of an engine?
Oh, thank you! That’s wonderful. What a delight to travel with an aesthete. Our boat may not be very fast but it will certainly be beautiful.
SFX Metal clonk indoors.
Come on, let’s leave before the building falls down. Would you like to save your game before we go? To Save press your second, third and fifth favourite letters.
GUIDE: Would you like to SAVE, start a NEW GAME, LOAD an existing game or QUIT?
GUIDE: Saving in Slot 1.
SFX Saving. Ding!
GUIDE: Would you like to PLAY ON, LOAD another saved game, or QUIT?
SFX Click + Quit
GUIDE: OK. Goodbye for now. See you back on the island next time you play Quid Pro Euro 96! Quid Pro Euro 96 is a European Videos game.
SFX Quid Pro Euro 96 shuts down. CD-ROM removed.