The Pope Blesses a PlayStation: Prescott and Gordon Arrange a Peerage, Tony and Cherie Pray for Africa, While Sarah Sizes Up the Curtains
Box, Red, New Statesman (1996)
Scene 1: 10 Downing Street. With Blair out of the country, Prescott is in charge. He comes barrelling down the corridor. A smirking Peter Hain blocks his path.
Prescott: Out of me way, you suntanned ponce.
Hain [extra-plummy voice]: Oh I say, John. Hello, old sport. Fancy a spot of Pimm's in the rose garden?
Prescott: Piss off.
Hain: What's up? Lost your badminton racket? Why don't you pop over to the Billiard Room around sixish. We'll get squiffy with a few of the servants and then have a game of charades? Or maybe even sardines, if you're feeling really racy. Count you in?
Prescott: Ah, bollocks. He barges past Hain and makes his way to the door of Sarah and Gordon's flat. He taps and enters. Gordon is dandling Baby John on his lap. He's beaming from ear to ear.
Gordon: Good work, John! You're a political genius.
Gordon: The worst spell the government's had for nine years--and you're getting the flak. Brilliant!
Prescott: For you, maybe. Gordon puts Baby John down who promptly runs up to Prescott and kicks him in the shins.
Gordon: Oh, cheer up. I expect you're here to collect your reward. How about a new mallet? Ha ha ha.
Prescott: Oh God. Not you as well. Everyone's got the whole thing arse over tit. I was bloody exhausted that day. I'd spent five solid hours signing tower block approvals and rubber-stamping new Tesco's hypermarkets and I needed a spot of fresh air. Now me whole life's collapsed. I've lost everything. Me shagpad. Me girlfriend. And me rough-and-ready image as a man of the people. I even got 'eckled this morning on me way to work: "Sexist! Toff!" What a humiliation. I just want to vanish from the face of the earth.
Gordon: That's easily arranged. How about a peerage? Lord Prescott of Dorneyw ... [Beat] Whoops. Sorry. Ha ha ha.
Scene 2: The Vatican. Tony and Cherie wait for an audience with the Pope. Paparazzi are ready to photograph the meeting.
Tony [whispering]: Whatever you do, don't call me Your Holiness.
Cherie: Shhh, here he comes.
Two nuncios open a pair of vast gilded doors. The Pope glides in.
Cherie [whispering]: God, he's even smaller than Bono.
Tony flashes his most unctuous, duchess-melting smile.
Tony: How do you do, Your Holiness?
Pope: Guten morgen.
Cherie drops a curtsey and kisses the Pope's ring.
Cherie: Father. Are you well?
Pope: Ach, not so bad. A leetle arzritis in ze shoulder from all ze vayving but uzzervise good, ja.
Cherie: First things first, Father. …