Insulin Square – Episode One

By | 30 July, 2010
Thrills and spills with your very own Insulin Square

Thrills and spills with your very own Insulin Square

Long term readers of your soaraway Shoot Up will recall that last year in the run up to the Edinburgh International Festival (the world’s largest arts festival™) my friend Dave drafted “Diabetes: The Musical!” You can read all about it here and here, if you dare.

So it’s that time of year again when seemingly half of the USA comes to Edinburgh to sit in packed out venues watching half-baked comedy acts; hurrah for the Festival and Fringe! But as part of the Festival at large there is also a television festival. We all know that diabetics are woefully and diabolically under-represented on the small screen, so I have started to write a wonderful new soap opera – dubbed “Insulin Square”. Set in the east end of London, Insulin Square is a nightly soap opera where every single character is diabetic.

I hope, nay guarantee, it will be commissioned and in your living room before the year is out. I’ve published the first scene here and more will follow very, very soon. Enjoy!

Insulin Square


INT. DAY – INSULIN SQUARE CAFÉ. Two friends DEREK and SUSAN are conversing over a pot of tea

DEREK …so when the specialist nurse said to me “did I bring a urine sample?” I says to her “why? Are you taking the piss?” (laughs uproariously)
SUSAN (giggles) You never
DEREK I did so. I bet she’d never heard that one before; she didn’t know where to look.
SUSAN (wiping tear of mirth from eye) You really are a card Derek, you really are.
DEREK Thanks treacle. (pause) Speaking of which, I better inject for the seventeen spoons of sugar I’ve just had in my tea
SUSAN Seventeen? Ain’t that a bit much?
DEREK Nah treacle, I’m on multiple daily injections now; I can eat what I want and inject the right amount of humalog to cover my carbohydrate intake.
SUSAN Ohhh, that sounds awful technical. Wouldn’t it be easier to just have less sugar, like what I do?
DEREK Nah, treacle; multiple daily injections is where it’s at.
SUSAN So you mean there’s no need for me to make my own insulin anymore?
DEREK Yer what, treacle? You make your own insulin? Are you kiddin’ me?
SUSAN Well yeah, Derek. Every morning the local abattoir delivers a dozen pigs round to my back door; I slaughter them in the parlour; gut them; extract the pancreases; grind them up; filter them; centrifuge out the gore; extract the insulin and then finally inject the bloody – but insulin infused – residue.
DEREK Blimey, treacle, that sounds really hard work
SUSAN Oh it is, it is. And I’ve got to do it every day. But that’s how I was taught to do it by Glasgow NHS Health Board. They told me it was cutting edge stuff [a little bit of satire there –Tim]
DEREK Nah, my love, you want multiple daily injections.
DEREK Tell you what, (pause, nervous) I’ve got an appointment down the diabetic clinic next Monday. Why don’t you come with me? Maybe they could sort you out with something?
SUSAN (blushes) Derek, would this be a date? Like a proper date?
DEREK (embarrassed) Well if you put it like that, then, well… Listen Susan (takes her hand) there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you…

(café door tinkles; enter STEVE – youngish, handsome, smartly and trendily dressed)

STEVE (talking into mobile phone) …yeah, yeah, listen I’ll see you in Lausanne. Ciao. (sees SUSAN; smoothly) Hey, Susan! Long time, no see, babe.
DEREK (frosty) Hello Steve. Back from Lausanne I see.
STEVE (to DEREK but looking at SUSAN) Yeah Derek; just flew into Luton this morning. easyJet flight then taxi to the train station. Susan, I must say you are looking ravishing today
SUSAN (blushing) Oh Steve!
DEREK Sorry Steve, but me and Susan were in the middle of a conversation. Quite an important conversation. Do you mind?
STEVE Don’t worry about me Derek; I just came in to show Susan my new pump!
DEREK A pump? You have a pump? How did you get hold of one?
STEVE Let’s just say I have connections, Derek.
SUSAN Oh, Steve, a pump? That’s much better than those silly injections isn’t it?
STEVE Sure is, babe. Take a look at this (proffers pump). Two grands worth of latest, tip top  Medtronic technology. CGM sensors, insulin reservoir, 40cm of plastic tubing. The lot. Check it out.
SUSAN Oooooh. That’s wonderful…very impressive (looks admiring at STEVE, while DEREK looks on, crestfallen)


To be continued…

Category: Mildly amusing Tags:

About Tim

Diagnosed with Type One when he was 28, Tim founded Shoot Up in 2009. For the diabetes geeks, he wears a Medtronic 640G insulin pump filled with Humalog and uses Abbott's Libre flash glucose monitor.

11 thoughts on “Insulin Square – Episode One

  1. Annette A

    Surely they should be conversing over mugs of tea? No caff in the EastEnd has teapots, surely? (Cue for bad Sean Connery impressions).
    Looking forward to the next gripping installment 🙂

  2. Tim Post author

    @annette – it *is* gripping isn’t it?

    They do indeed have teapots – it’s a bit of an anachronism I know, but that’s television for you.

  3. Cecile

    That Susan really is an (insulin)insensitive tart without heart: if my bovine to porcine conversions can be trusted, a dozen pigs amount to a whopping 1920 U of insulin per day – I would suggest a bit of biguanide (or would Glasgow Health Board tell her to plant French lilacs and swig a twig ?)

  4. Annette A

    Just realised how pc this is as well! If Susan can be taken as Scottish (as she has been taught all she knows by Glasgow NHS, is it fair to assume this? @Tim – what’s the back story here?), then you have a scot, cruelly (or otherwise) displaced from her homeland, ending up in the East End – racial integration. Nice ! (If possibly unintended.) And lots of possibilities for future episodes…as @Katie says, doof,doof,doof,dddddd!

  5. Annette A

    BTW @Tim, I know you’re not scottish and were taught all you know by some alternative scottish NHS trust, but I’m applying my own artistic licence here, ok? 😉

  6. Tim Post author

    @annette – see, it covers all the issues really – diabetes, love, jealousy, racial integration, the works! Surely a work of genius! And you haven’t even seen Act 2 yet!

  7. Hairy Gnome

    Can I be the poison Gnome that corners the world’s supply of Lantus and blackmails the women into having endless Ann Summers parties? Can I? Can I? Eh…! Can I?

    Oh no! Oh dear! I’se just realised it’s supposed to be a bloody poison dwarf. Bugger! 😀

    1. Cecile

      @teloz: If you stand on a box, you’ll be of dwarfish proportions. But then, this isn’t supposed to be a soapbox opera…Bugger II* !

      * which sounds like a toy Ms. Summers might aim at the type 2 diabetic market ?


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