Scene: Two men sit at shabby desks in a leaky portakabin at theÂ edge of a railway station car park.Â One of the men is reading Anna Raccoon while the other struggles to wrap a sizeable parcel, surrounded by rolls of brown paper, strips of sticky-tape and unravelled balls of hairy string.
Ernst (for it is he): Â At bloominâ last!Â The next time weâve got a 2kg lump of rock to parcel up, itâs YOUR turn! Â Iâve dropped it on my foot twice and if my toe isnât broken I think Iâm at least going to lose the nail. Â Are you even listening to me, Young?
Young: (for it is he):Â Ah, yes, Iâm just reading all about when the very same lump of rock was purported to be a priceless ruby known as The Gem of Tanzania. Â Itâs quite a tale, isnât it Ernst?
Ernst: Sure is! Those Wrekin people claimed it was valued at Â£11m, didnât they Young?
Young: Sure did, Ernst, eleven million pounds.
Ernst: And Â£11m in interest-bearing preferenceÂ shares were issued on the strength of forged valuations, werenât they Young?
Young: Sure were, Ernst.
Ernst: Strange that the reputable auction houses wouldnât touch it with a bargepole when it came to be sold isnât it Young?
Young: Not really, Ernst, once it turned out to be nothing more than a toe-crushing lump of anyolite.
Ernst: Just remind me again, Young – precisely how much did it sell for recently at auction?
Young: Â£8,010 Ernst.
Ernst: Crikey.Â Who bought it, Young?
Young: A company called Pertemps Investments Ltd., Ernst.
Ernst: Oh. OK.Â Chuck me that marker-pen will you Young?Â Thanks.Â To Gem Dept, Pertemps Investments Ltd.,â¦.
(sound of squeaky marker pen on brown paper followed by long and awkward silence)
Young: Since youâve got a broken toe, would you like me to pop that parcel into the post for you Ernst?
Ernst: Thatâs very decent of you Young.
Young: See you at The Feathers later for a pint Ernst?
Ernst: Not tonight Young, I think Iâll be getting my toe x-rayed.
Young: Right, Iâll be off then Ernst.
Ernst: See you tomorrow Young.