Long term readers of your soaraway Shoot Up will recall – probably against their will – the earlier episodes of our very own soap opera, Insulin Square, in which every character is diabetic (or are they?)
When I wrote Episode Two back in July 2011, I promised (or threatened) that Episode Three would “probably follow in a year or two”. So a mere five years later, you can shuffle back from the edge of your seats and enjoy the latest thrilling installment!
OPENING THEME TUNE
FOLLOWING FROM CLIFHANGER. EXT. DAY rough looking back alley. Recap from last episode DEREK lies in a pile of rubbish and is falling into a hypoglycaemic coma,
STEVE (runs in alley, stops and appraises situation) Looks like you’ll be needing one of these (pulls unpleasant smile and holds up glucagon injection).
SUSAN Steve! Give me the glucagon injection, it’s the only thing that’ll save Derek! He’s fallen into a hypoglycaemic coma!
STEVE Now what’s this glucagon injection worth to you, Susan? What’s it really worth to save your boyfriend?
SUSAN (crying) I’ll do anything Steve, anything! I’ll dump Derek and go out with you. I’ll take your sharps bin back to your grumpy pharmacist; I’ll sort out your repeat prescriptions for a year; anything!
STEVE (sinister) No, Susan, I want more than that; more than all that put together.
SUSAN What? No! Surely not!
STEVE Yes Susan, I want your FreeStyle Libre, sensors and all!
CUT TO INT.DAY The Collip Laundrette; washing machines whir in the background. Bell tinkles over door as RAVI enters.
RAVI (to REBECCA, the Collip’s owner) Morning treacle, I’ve got another load for a service wash here.
REBECCA Not another load? What’s it this time?
RAVI Well, I was checking my blood glucose before bed last night and I got a “squirter”
REBECCA You what?
RAVI You know, a squirter. When you prick your finger, give it a bit of a squeeze and for some reason blood squirts everywhere! What a right old mess. Covered my new sheets and all.
REBECCA What a nuisance. But that’s diabetes for you though, ain’t it?
RAVI That true. And I’ve got this pair of jeans too. I tried washing them at home but I left a packet of Fruit Pastilles in one of the pockets. What a mess; sticky fruity goo all over the place. They’re ruined. Do you think you’ll be able to shift it?
REBECCA ‘course, love. No problem, I’m a professional. Anything else?
RAVI Yeah, I’ve got this white shirt here; goes with my new work suit. I was in the office the other day and I injected my lunchtime bolus in my stomach. It wasn’t until later I saw my shirt had a ruddy great blood stain down the front.
REBECCA Did anyone notice?
RAVI ‘course they did, I was doing a big presentation to everyone about diabetic retinopathy and how it’s a possible ocular manifestation of diabetes…
REBECCA …ooh, fancy…
RAVI …they must have noticed! But no one bothered to tell me until later. I must have looked a right muppet.
REBECCA Ah well, given everyone in your office is also diabetic, I image they would have understood. We’ve all been there, after all.
RAVI ‘suppose so Rebecca. Anyway, thanks for taking care of all that.
REBECCA No problem, treacle.
RAVI By the way, how did your latest toe tickle go? I hear you’ve been having problems?
REBECCA Nah, treacle, I’m fine, I’m fine (glances nervously at feet) nothing to worry about here. Nothing at all.
RAVI Okay love, that’s good to hear. (looks suspiciously at REBECCA)
CUT TO INT.NIGHT The Banting Arms, Insulin Square’s local pub. As before, an oil painting of J.J.R. Macleod hangs in the background, the bar is decorated with bust of James Collip and a stuffed dog labelled “Marjorie” sits on a shelf. The place is packed, noisy and covered in balloons and streamers.
JON (to BARMAID) …so that’s three Sambucas, a pint of Guinness, three bags of crisps, nine packs of Fruit Pastilles and an orange juice please!
GARY (enters through main door, sees JON) Alright mate! How’s it going?! It’s busy in ‘ere tonight, isn’t it?
JON ‘course it is mate, don’t you know what day it is?
JON Yeah, that and it’s bleedin’ well the 95th anniversary of the discovery of insulin!
GARY ‘course it is, mate, how could I forget Fredrick Banting and Charles Best’s pioneering work at the University of Toronto all those years ago?
JON And don’t forget the invaluable help of JJR Macleod and James Collip too!
BARMAID (interrupting) Such a shame about Best and Collip being ignored by the 1923 Nobel Prize committee. (A noisy conga line dances by)
JON I know; the controversy still causes division in the diabetes community. But still, here we all are thanks to our Canadian scientist friends! (raises glass) Cheers, I say!
CUT TO INT.NIGHT The Arches; a small garage with a car up on jacks, tools and equipment litter the surroundings. ERIC is working hard on a car’s engine. Enter TREVOR.
TREVOR Alright Eric, how’s it going mate?
ERIC Not bad thanks, just workin’ on this old banger. But a bit of hard work and it’ll be as right as rain.
TREVOR That’s great Eric. (Hesitant) Listen, can I ask you something?
ERIC Sure mate, anything.
TREVOR You’re into cars and all that and I need to renew my driving licence with the DVLA.
ERIC ‘course, all us diabetics need to do it every three years. I did mine last week.
TREVOR Problem is, mate, I’ve had more than two severe hypos in the last year, meaning…
ERIC …meaning, you’re going to have to tell the DVLA and you could lose your licence!
TREVOR Exactly! It’s terrible, but I’ve got a big delivery job next week. Really important.
ERIC What is it?
TREVOR I’m supposed to be delivering a truck load of flaming oil barrels to the local orphanage and kitten rescue center.
ERIC Why do they need flaming oil barrels?
TREVOR No idea, but the pay’s good, so I’m not asking any questions; know what I mean?
ERIC Sure mate. Listen, I don’t think your hypos will be a problem; just tell the DVLA you haven’t had any recently.
TREVOR Yeah? You don’t think it’ll be a problem driving a heavy truck, filled to the brim with flaming oil barrels to an orphanage and kitten rescue center, while potentially being hypoglycemic do you?
ERIC Nah, can’t see it being a problem.
TREVOR I think you’re right, I’ll do it; after all what could possibly go wrong?
CUT. EXIT THEME TUNE.