Ladhood (2019) s01e01 Episode Script

The Fight

- No, that's not, she's not in - Yes, she is.
She's the nun.
No, she's not.
I think you're thinking of someone else.
With the headscarf.
I swear to God she is in it.
No, I don't - Yeah.
- Sorry to interrupt.
Don't stop on my account.
- Please don't do this again.
- Do what? - You know what.
Oh, you mean please don't passively find myself in a situation where another man appears to be chatting up my girlfriend? If I can just give you my perspective, mate.
- I don't want your perspective.
- I think - You're giving it anyway.
You need to be less controlling of your girlfriend.
This is your boyfriend, right? Thanks for that.
But this is a private conversation.
Thank you so much for your input.
But why don't you get your big, tall snoot out of other people's business and go over there? I'm sorry, my big, tall Snout! I meant snout, like a nose.
Pig's nose.
Get your big, tall nose out.
- Get my big, tall nose out? - It's not really an idiom, is it? I know.
All right! I misspoke.
Which is very human, but I'm usually very articulate.
- And you've riled me up.
- Oh, I'm sorry, Shakespeare! Fuck off! All right, pal.
- I'm going to go back over there now, right? - Good.
And if you come near me again, I will knock you out.
I'll see you in a sec, then, yeah? - For fuck's sake! What was he - Please, just leave it.
I won't leave it, Jess, because why would you even want to flirt with a guy whose first reference for an articulate person is Shakespeare? I wasn't flirting! We were chatting.
Come on! Dickens, Virginia Woolf, a non-white writer, - Arundhati Roy! There's a whole - Liam, you've embarrassed me.
You've embarrassed me.
- How? - Because I go to the toilet for two minutes, I come back, there you are, flirting with this smug prick.
Look, would you just drop it, all right? He's twice your size.
- He's not twice my size.
- Liam! He's 1.
5 times my size.
- 1.
6, at most.
- 1.
- He will hit you.
- Will he? - Yeah.
- All right, then.
Well, we'll see.
He's just a posh idiot.
- Hold my watch.
- Why? Right, get out my way.
- Look what you've done! - No, you did that! Liam! Wouldn't it be helpful if you could stop life like this sometimes and think, what am I doing? Now in my 30s and starting a fight with another man like I'm a 12-year-old boy or a professional footballer? If you're anything like me, ie a man of a certain age and incapable of processing your emotions properly, you might know the feeling as Jess, my girlfriend of three years Well, two years and ten It's not that important.
As Jess says, this isn't the first time.
Perhaps if you could just go back through the ages, via the regrettable moments of the past, and find in the back of your memory some event, some story which perhaps holds the secret to a less idiotic future.
Perhaps in that richest soil of experience your adolescence.
Oi! It was the final day of the school year and we were all in the mood for some classically formative experiences.
This was my gang.
In order of coolness, by which I mean the average number of cigarettes we each smoked per day, there was Adnan Masood, AKA Addy Ralph Roberts and Tom "Craggy" Cragg.
And this was me, just sitting on a table thinking, I assume, knowing me.
It's quite hard to visually demonstrate thinking, isn't it? Yeah, that's better.
Lot fresher-faced then, of course.
But then that is what circa 10,000 pints of cheap lager will do to you.
And of course, we all picture ourselves being slightly better looking in our memories, don't we? So, you know, just go with it.
- Going for the arm bar! - No chance, dickhead! Will you two pack it in? You're doing me head in! Yeah, we both know you're soft as shit.
Yeah, well at least we're not thick as shit! And actually end up going to uni and try to do something with our lives instead of spending the next decade just managing a coke habit, Ralph! Sorry, got carried away there.
Don't know why I did that.
That was bad and snobbish and I won't do it again.
They can't hear me, by the way.
As the cooler/more carcinogenically exposed members of the group, Adnan and Ralph had big ambitions for the summer, involving two girls, names of Rachel Fielder and Cassie McClaire.
Cassie, it was agreed, was almost the coolest, most fanciable girl in the school, second only to Rachel Fielder.
Rachel's coolness partly lay in her knowing and singing the best new songs before anyone else.
On this particular day, it was Never Leave You by Lumidee.
- They're coming, they're coming! - Fuck up, man! - Hi, Ralph.
- Hi, Ralph.
I'm Rachel.
You're Rachel, I'm Ralph.
Yeah, I know.
So, how are you keeping, then? How's she keeping?! You sound like my uncle, and he's dead.
I'm keeping all right, thanks.
Maybe see you down Glebelands tonight? Yeah.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, defo.
I'll see you then, then.
What's that song that you've been singing today? Never Leave You by Lumidee.
She's sick and she's going to be a star, like her peer Beyonce's also going to be.
Cool, cool one.
Sick one.
Ey up, Cassie.
Give us a fuckin' cig, Addy.
Yeah, sure.
You You can have two if you like.
Can I have 'em all? Course.
In a bit.
Cassie's so fuckin' fit I want to jump off a footbridge.
Even as a youth, unlike Addy, I would never objectify women in this way.
Absolute stun-bucket, mate.
Addy, we went four ways on them cigs! Shut up, Craggy! I get me pocket money tonight.
I'll get more.
Hey, Ralph, you really fucked up your chance - to impress Fielder there.
- What do you mean? You hardly said owt to her, didn't you? Yeah, and what you did say were fuckin' stupid! Shut up, Craggy! I'm not like that, am I? Some lads, they just like to talk and talk and talk.
That's not me.
My two penn'orth, yeah? Birds talk.
Lads only say shit when shit needs actually saying.
Rachel knows that a real man will just sit there, yeah? And not try and impress her and do his own thing, do you know what I mean? And she respects me cos that's me.
I've never I've never talked too much, never blabbed on, do you know what I mean? I don't like big conversations.
I don't do it.
I never have done.
I never will do.
Know what I mean? I-I-I'm strong, but silent.
End of.
Right, it's just that Whitey's chatting her up and she seems to be enjoying it.
Our antagonist, the villain of the piece - Matthew White.
He went by Whitey, even to his parents.
He was renowned for once having nutted a train conductor for having the neck to ask to see his ticket.
She won't fall for his bullshit.
She seems to be falling for it pretty hard.
Shut up, Craggy.
Look, Ralph, it's normal to feel pissed off when you've been rejected.
What the fuck are you, Liam, some sort of fucking therapist or something? I'm only trying to help! He's looking over, Ralph.
I'll smack him if he looks over again.
Will you fuck, Ralph! - Yeah, I will, Craggy.
- Ralph! Hey, get off him, man.
Ralph! Get off him! Addy, you better have them cigs by tonight, mate.
Sorry, but I just couldn't get the pocket money.
After school, we sat at Glebelands, the town's best graveyard.
Rachel and Cassie hadn't shown up and worse, Adnan hadn't bought any cigs.
I don't get paid till next weekend, man, and I can't go a fucking week without cigs.
Oh, young 'un, how you will grow.
I'm holding t'cigs from now on.
Shall we just go home? Well, we might as well, innit? Without the means to bring about death any quicker, we were forced to each go home and stew in our own tedious mortality, AKA play PS2 all night.
Wait, who's this? Shit, it's Rupert and Tinhead.
Little bastards.
Tinhead and Rupert are Whitey's mates from Micklefield.
We were all scared of lads from Mickey.
It was a village only a mile or two from Garforth, but in terms of its similarity to our own town, it could have been four or five miles away.
The village had associations of being, firstly, a rural backwater and, secondly, economically deprived, having been a mining town until the 1980s, when Thatcher You know the rest.
And thus, its young denizens held a strange, menacing mystique for us generally lower-middle-class kids from Garforth.
It's all right, lads.
They're sound with me.
Ey up, lads.
Shut up, Addy.
You lot seen Whitey and them? No, mate.
Cassie said they might come down, though.
I know she said they MIGHT come down.
I'm asking if they've BEEN down, though.
What you laughing for, Addy? I don't know, mate, to be honest.
Who are all these lot, then? Just just my mates.
A weird-looking lot, ain't you? Hang about - what's your name? Ralph.
You're Ralph, yeah? - Stand up for me.
- Why? I said stand up, you little prick, so stand up.
What have you been saying about Whitey? - Uh, nowt.
- Nowt? - No, nowt.
- You said you were going to smack him, didn't you? - No Oh, yes, you did, Ralph, and he's going to smack you for it.
Rupert, he didn't.
I were there.
What do you mean you were there, Addy? As in, I were there when he didn't say it.
That don't make no fucking sense, Addy.
Cos what we heard, right, is that you told Cassie that you're going to smack Whitey.
- Ain't that right, Addy? - Erm Go on, Addy.
Tell 'em t'truth.
- Are you sure? - Yes, Addy.
All right.
Then I did tell her.
Addy! - You said tell the truth! - False truth, not real truth! So you did say it, then, Ralph, yeah? Whitey going to smack me? Oh, yeah, he's going to fucking batter your mush.
- When's he going to batter me? - Soon as he sees you.
Well, what if I smack him first? What if you smack him first? What, so you're saying you want to have a fight with Whitey, then, Ralph, yeah? - Yeah.
- Like a proper fight, yeah? - Yeah.
Kids around you in a circle shouting "fight" and everything, yeah? - Yeah, yeah.
- I can be referee.
Don't need a fucking referee, Craggy.
- Shut up, Craggy.
- Shut up, Addy.
All right, then, boys.
The rec, Friday, five o'clock.
Whitey always has his tea at five.
All right, the rec, Friday, six o'clock.
Well, give him SOME time for it to go down.
All right, the rec, Friday, 6:15.
All right.
Big man, Ralph.
Big man.
Signed your own death warrant there, lad.
I told you they were sound.
They're not fucking sound, Addy! I'm going to get me head kicked in and it's all your fault! I'm sorry, mate.
It's just when I look into Cassie's eyes, I want to tell her all my secrets.
I can't help it.
I can't blame you, mate, I'm the same with Fielder.
Told her Craggy's only got one ball last week.
- I've got two balls! - I know you've got two balls.
Wouldn't impress her, though, would it? Over the next few days, Ralph talked about staying in all summer and I don't think he was joking.
Certainly all interaction we had with him carried a heavy subtext of brutal worry, as if every utterance truly meant I'm going to get battered.
Oi, Ralph! - Whoa! - Jesus.
You're going to knacker it if you keep doing that.
It ain't mine.
Ralph, what the fuck are you doing? Having an ice pop.
- Not the fucking ice pop! - Did you say you want to fight with Whitey? - Yeah.
- Why? Cos he were flirting with you, all right? That's fucking stupid.
If you like me, why would it impress me to fight someone else who likes me? - You wouldn't understand.
- You don't fucking understand, Ralph! - I love this girl, right? She's beautiful.
- Thanks, love.
And she don't want you to get battered so if you fight Whitey, I'll batter you, all right? Fuck's sake.
I've got that Lumidee song on my iPod.
I've been listening to it.
I don't like that song no more.
Now I like Where Is The Love? By Black Eyed Peas.
Oiii! Fuck! Give us a cig, Addy! - Come on! - Shit! That's my bike! "At least," thought Craggy and me, "we're not the ones who are going to get beaten up.
" That was until Thursday, the day before the fight.
Shit the bed.
- Pretend we don't see 'em.
- Oh, shit.
Oi! Oi! Don't pretend you haven't heard me.
Where you boys off to, then? - Just nipping down home for me tea.
- Oh, no, you're not.
You're going to stay and have a chat with me.
- Yeah, but my tea will get cold.
- You've got a microwave, haven't you? - Yeah.
- So you can heat it up, then.
- Yeah, but it's rice, so you're not supposed to - Shut the fuck up.
It's safe within 24 hours, mate.
We saw you with Ralph the other day, didn't we? What's your name again, is it Craggy? - I don't know.
- What do you mean you don't know what your name is, you maggot? Do that mad thing you do.
- Do I have to? - Yeah, do the mad thing you do now! - Just do it, man.
Right, it's boring now, shut up.
And what's your name? - Liam.
- Liam, right, you're all, like, clever and that.
Little geek, innit? I guess, in context, you could say that.
All right.
Word Word poof.
What does that mean? - Are you mouthy, you? - Am I mouthy? - Don't be mouthy.
- No, I won't.
I won't.
Right, let's cut the shit, boys.
I've heard Ralph's going to bottle this fight and go into hiding all summer like a little maggot.
- Tell him he better not do that.
- No, he better not do that, boys, cos if we can't find Ralph, we're coming for his mates.
And you're his mates, aren't you? - We are.
- Yeah.
Yeah, you are, so if I can't find Ralph tomorrow, I'm going to come for yous.
I tell you what, mate - I would love to knock you the fuck out.
Are you listening, mate? Bastard! Aye! Prick.
And tell him that the longer it takes for Whitey to find him, the worse it's going to be for all of yous, all right? Now fuck off.
Not that way, fuck off that way, long way round t'park.
Three minutes at 800 watts, Craggy.
The hunters struggle to bring their victim to the ground.
Only after the kill has been dismembered does the forest finally quieten down.
Are you a fucking man or what? You know what you should have said? You should have said, "Fuck you.
" Fuck you.
I'll break your I'll break your brain.
Yeah, I'll break your brain, louse.
We'd been exposed to the true meaning of nature, the one that grows like nettles out of sight and mind of grown-ups.
We might well die, or at least have our facial bones broken, and we couldn't tell anyone because to tell an adult would make you a grass and in Leeds at that age, a grass was the worst thing you could be.
Apart from a paedophile.
Or a Man United fan, which, incidentally, I am.
A Man United fan, not a paedophile.
I want to make that very clear.
Although, you know, I think a lot of the demonic shame attached to paedophilia can exace Let's not get into that now.
We met at Ralph's on the day of the fight.
Everything would be fine for me and Craggy as long as Ralph showed up.
What time is it now, then? It's nearly six, actually, so we'd best get going.
Look, I don't think I'm going to be able to go, me, boys, cos I've got so much shit to clean up before my mum and dad get home or else they're going to go mental.
What are you talking about, Ralph?! Look, fuck it, man, I'm not going.
Why would I? I'm just going to get battered.
I don't want to, there's no point.
Ralph, man, you've got to go, otherwise we're What, Craggy? I don't know.
Look, Ralph, man, you've got to go.
Look, just before you see this, remember it was 15 years ago.
I was young.
Look, listen, lad.
There aren't many moments in life where you've got to step up and when those moments come, you've got to take them.
Whatever Fielder says, right - look at me, look at me, right deep down, perhaps even on a level she don't even understand, she needs you to fight Whitey.
You've got to take this moment, mate.
You've got to look danger and pain in the eye, just stare it down and be a fuckin' man about it, yeah?! Yeah.
You're probably right.
Of course I am.
Right, come on, boys, we've got to get going, get the fuck out of here.
We walked from Ralph's to the rec, with the swaggering theatricality of a boxer and his corner men.
Maybe, just maybe, Ralph could do it.
This is it, then, innit? Goodbye, Ralph.
'King hell, Craggy, I'm not going to die.
Ralph Yes, Liam? No, I've got nothing.
Go on, Ralph.
We should shout something.
- Like what? - I don't know, anything! Something rousing.
Go on, Ralph! Take him to the toy shop! - What the fuck does that mean?! - "Take him to the toy shop"?! Go on, Ralph, lad! You little girl.
Leave him now.
Leave him now.
- Done him right over.
- Fuckin' hell.
Ralph, I ain't going to batter you.
You've taken enough.
Where's Rachel? She didn't come, Ralph.
Come on, man, let's get out of here.
We'll get you to your mum's house, man.
You did all right, bro.
You did all right.
My face is really hurting.
What do I look like? Excuse me.
What is your problem, mate? Erm I just wanted to say sorry.
Sorry? Yeah.
For, erm I got the red mist and, erm I was acting like a prick and, erm Yeah, took it out on you.
OK, pal.
Yeah, so, erm just have a good night, yeah? - You, too, mate.
- Thanks.
Your shirt's wet.
Sorry, can I just squeeze in there? Erm What the fuck was that? I was just saying sorry to him, but, more importantly, I'm sorry to you.
It's fine, I shouldn't have been - It's OK.
Look, I'm sorry.
- No, you don't be sorry.
Er, that's me.
That's on me.
Erm Do you want to go, maybe? Erm - My friends are still here, so - Yeah, yeah, yeah.
You stay, I'm going to head.
I'm going to get an early one, have a bath.
- All right, just I haven't had a night out in ages, so - Yeah.
We'll do something tomorrow and talk about it tomorrow and, er - Yep.
- OK.
All right, then.
Love you.
- Love you, too.
- Erm, I'll see you tomorrow, yeah? - Yeah.
So there we go.
It can be helpful to go back through all those angry, selfish moments and to think, where does this all begin? And to see that it's childhood, adolescence, where we don't necessarily learn to accept those weaknesses.
That need to feel big, hard, alpha, did Ralph no good at all.
And, for my part, how much did that early experience of cowardice, of selling Ralph down the river to protect my own neck, affect my later behaviour? All those efforts to somehow compensate for having felt dominated, soft, unmanly? Because isn't that the true bravery? To feel embarrassed, humiliated, weak, rejected, unwanted, whatever, and to think, that's fine, that's just part of life and tomorrow is a new day? Melt.
What did you say, mate? Called you a melt, mate.
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