FERGUS McCANN is TOM CRUISE!

TOO FEW GOOD MEN

an Etims Screenplay

Fergus McCann and his counsel colleagues Elspeth and Matt are engaged in a trial to ascertain what happened to an ill fated transfer request. Lisbons Jorge Cadete was meant to join Celtic before a game against Rangers but somehow the SFA fax machine died.

McCann believes a “code-red-pen” has occurred, an admin exercise carried out to kill the completion of the vital transfer. McCann has no clear proof but he  suspects the blame goes right to the top and lies with Chief Executive Jim Farry.

Farry controls the Authority and should McCann fail, he  knows Farry could really cause trouble for Celtic.

McCann meets up with Elspeth and Matt to decide on what to do the next day in court.

Does he give up and withdraw the case or does he risk Football suicide by going after the uber-powerful Farry?…

 

 
INT. McCANN’S APARTMENT – LATER- AFTERNOON

A golf ball bounces off the wall.

McCann, Elspeth and Matt are sprawled out in the living room. For hours now they’ve been trying to come up with an idea. McCANN’s mind seems to be on his golf game.

ELSPETH
I say we hit him with the phoney transfer request
order.

MATT
What’s the transfer request order without a
witness?

McCANN
Well in the hands of a lesser attorney,
that’d be a problem.

MATT
Look at this. Last night he was crying
in his Canadian Club, now he can leap tall
buildings in a single bound.

McCANN
I’m getting my second wind. Siddown.
Both of you.

He sees that MATT and ELSPETH were already sitting down.

McCANN
(continuing)
Good.
(beat)
Farry told his Lackie to order a code red-pen.
the Lackie did. The cover-up isn’t our case. To
win, Farry has to tell the jury that he
ordered the code red.

MATT
And you think you can get him to just say
it?

McCANN
I think he wants to say it. I think he’s
pissed off that he’s gotta hide from us.
I think he wants to say that he made a
command decision and that’s the end of it.
He eats breakfast 80 yards away from 40000
Celts who are trained to despise him, and no
one’s gonna tell him how to run his SFA.
Least of all the pushy broad, the smart
Accountant, and the Fanzine bloke. I need to
shake him and put him on the defensive.

MATT and ELSPETH are silent for a moment.

MATT
That’s it? That’s the plan?

McCANN
That’s the plan.

MATT
Youre gonna trip Farry and he’s gonna confess?

McCANN
I’m not gonna trip him. I’m gonna lead
him right where he’s dying to go.

MATT
And how are you gonna do that?

McCANN
I have no idea. I need my bunnet.

ELSPETH
What?

McCANN
(looking around)
I need my bunnet. I think better with my
bunnet. Where’s my bunnet?

ELSPETH
I put it in the closet.

McCANN
You put it in the closet.

McCANN heads to the closet.

ELSPETH
I was tripping over it.

McCANN (O.S.)
Don’t ever put a bunnet in a closet.

ELSPETH
He thinks better with his bunnet?

And we go to McCANN AT THE CLOSET.

During this, McCANN’s opened the closet door. He reaches in to grab his bunnet when all of a sudden he notices something:

His wellies.

His wellies below his bunnets. Hanging neatly along the bar. He stares at this a moment, then suddenly heads back
through the living room towards the front door.

McCANN
Stay here, I’m going to the Car Park for a while.

McCANN storms out.

MATT
Boy, he does think better with that bunnet.

CUT TO:

INT. THE COMPUTER ROOM – DUSK

A small room at the end of a corridor at the offices in Celtic Park. McCANN stands over a printer and watches it spit out something he’s been waiting for. He tears the printout off and we
CUT TO:

INT. McCANN’S OFFICE – EARLY EVENING

McCANN is looking over the computer printout. From what we can tell, it resembles a large DIY store style bill.

McCANN picks up the phone and dials.

McCANN
(into phone)
Matt.
(beat)
I need you to do something.

CUT TO:

INT. McCANN’S APARTMENT

MATT hangs up the phone slowly.

ELSPETH
What’s goin’ on?

MATT
I’ve gotta go out to Homebase.

CUT TO:

INT. SFA HEARING CORRIDOR – DAY

The day’s session is going to begin in a few minutes. McCANN comes around the corner and runs into ELSPETH.

McCANN
Is Matt here?

ELSPETH
Not yet.

McCANN
Where is he?

ELSPETH
He’s on his way.

McCANN
Did he get the guys?

ELSPETH
Yes. Listen, can I talk to you for a second?

CUT TO:

INT. AN ANTE-ROOM OFF THE CORRIDOR – DAY

ELSPETH closes the door behind them.

ELSPETH
How’re you feeling?

McCANN
I think he’s gonna have his hands full today.

ELSPETH
Listen.
(beat)
Fergus.
(beat)
When you’re out there. If it’s not gonna happen he’s not gonna say it
(beat)
… don’t go for it.

McCANN looks at her.

ELSPETH
(continuing)
If you feel like… if you feel like…You could get in trouble.
(beat)
I’m special counsel for Fitbaw affairs, and I’m telling you, you could get in a lot of trouble.

McCANN
Haud oan … are you suggesting I back off a material witness?

ELSPETH
If you think you can’t get him.
(beat)
Yeah.

McCANN
Do you think I can get him?

ELSPETH
(beat)
I think it doesn’t matter what I think.
I’m an administrator.
(beat)
I can’t seem to defend people.

McCANN takes that in. He picks up his briefcase and grabs his best bunnet.

Then he turns to ELSPETH.

McCANN
You’re my hero, Elspeth.
(beat)
From the first day, you were a lawyer. My lawyer
(beat)
Live with that.

And in VOICE OVER we HEAR the CLERK AT ARMS.

CLERK AT ARMS (V.0.)
All rise. Judge Ernie Walker in session.

CUT TO:

INT. THE COURTROOM – DAY

Everyone stands at attention as ERNIE WALKER enters. MATT is missing.

WALKER
(to McCANN)
Call your witness.

McCANN
Where’s Matt?

ELSPETH
He’ll be here.

WALKER
Chairman, call your witness.

McCANN
We call Chief Executive James Farry.

FARRY is escorted in through a side door. He’s wearing his dress blazer, adorned with the appropriate VIP passes from junkets abroad.

 CLERK

Brother, do you solemnly swear that the
testimony you will give in this SFA hearing
will be the truth, the whole
truth, and nothing but the truth so help
you God?

FARRY
Yes I do.

CLERK
Would you state your name, rank, and current place of work for the record please, air?

FARRY
Mister James Jim FARRY, Chief Executive, Hampden, The Farry Suite.

CLERK
Thank you, sir, would you have a seat, please.

FARRY sits.

McCANN
Chief Executive, when you learned of Sporting’s transfer request letter to the SFA, you had a meeting with
your two admin assistants, is that right?

FARRY
Yes.

McCANN
Boaby “Blueboy” Mackintosh and Rab “Redhand” Roberts?

FARRY
Yes.

McCANN
And at present, both are out of office, possibly in Ulster,
Is that right?

 

And from the back of the room, MATT enters. He’s escorting two young men in Black and Green Homebase uniforms. MATT shows the men to a seat near the front, and takes his place at the defense table.

Over this we HEAR–

WALKER (O.S.)
The witness is aware, the Court is aware,
and now the jury is aware. We thank you Mr Chairman
for bringing the fact 2 SFA men are at Linfield on work placement.
Move on McCann, I have golf in an hour.

MATT scribbles something on a piece of paper, McCANN walks over, looks at the paper on which are wrttten two names:
Joe O’Malley and Anthony Lynch, then turns back to Walker.

McCANN
Yes sir. Chief Executive, at the time of this meeting, you gave Assistant Roberts an order,
Is that right?

FARRY
I told him to tell the Office girls that the Fax Machine wasn’t to be touched.

McCANN
And did you give an order to Mr Mackintosh as well?

FARRY
I ordered Mackintoch to have Sportings striker transferred off their books immediately.

McCANN
Why?

FARRY
I felt that his win bonus might be in danger once word of the letter got out.

McCANN
Grave danger?

FARRY
Is there another kind?

McCANN holds up a document from his table.

McCANN
We have the transfer request order that you and Roberts co-signed, ordering that
the Cadete be lifted on a flight leaving Lisbon at six the next morning. Was
that the first flight to Glasgow?

FARRY
The six a.m. flight was the first flight.

McCANN nods and decides to move on.

FARRY steals a quick glance at the two Men sitting out in the courtroom.

McCANN
Chief Executive, you came up to Hampden early this morning, is that right?

FARRY
Yes.

McCANN
I notice you’re wearing your Class A appearance in dress blazer for court today.

FARRY
(continuing)
As are you, Mr Club Chairman.

McCANN
Did you wear that blazer on the 267 bus from Cambuslang?

FINDLAY ( opposing counsel)
Please the Court, is this dialogue relevant to anything in particular?

McCANN
We didn’t have an opportunity to depose this witness, your honor. I’d ask the Court for a little latitude.

WALKER
A very little latitude.

McCANN
Chief Executive?

FARRY
I wore M&S slackS and a C&A blouson on the bus.

McCANN
And you brought your dress blazer with you.

FARRY
Yes.

McCANN
And a moustache brush? A shaving kit? Change of underwear?

FINDLAY
Your honor.

McCANN
(to FINDLAY)
Is the Chief Executives’s underwear a matter of national game security?

WALKER
Gentlemen.
(to McCANN)
You better get somewhere fast with this, Mr Chairman.

McCANN
Yes sir. Chief Executive?

FARRY
I brought a change of clothes and some personal items.

McCANN
Thank you.

McCANN gets a document from his table.

McCANN
(continuing)
After the Rangers game had passed, Cadetes airport hotel room was sealed off and its contents inventoried.
(reading)
2 Pairs of leopard skin pants, 6 shirts, 2 pairs of fitbaw boots, 1 pair of brown
shoes, 1 pair of tennis shoes, 8 khaki tee-shirts, 2 belts, 1 Toni Perm kit, 1 sweater–

FINDLAY
Please the Court, is there a question anywhere in our future?

WALKER
Mr McCann, I have to–

McCANN
I’m wondering why Cadete wasn’t packed.

That landed. On the JURY, WALKER, FINDLAY …

McCANN
(continuing)
I’ll tell you what, we’ll get back to that one in a minute.

ELSPETH hands McCANN the computer printout.

McCANN
(continuing)
This is a record of all telephone calls made from your shed in the past 24 hours.
After being subpoenaed to Hampden, you made three calls.

Handing FARRY the printout–

McCANN
(continuing)
I’ve highlighted those calls in yellow. Do you recognize those numbers?

FARRY
I called Tam at the Twenty Club in Rutherglen,. I wanted to let him know I’d be in town
The second call was to set up a meeting with Campbell Ogilvie, and the
third call was to Bill at BBCs Beechgrove Garden.

McCANN
Why did you make that call, sir?

FARRY
I thought he might like to have dinner tonight and swap landscaping stories.

FINDLAY
Judge–

WALKER
I’m gonna put a stop to this now.

ELSPETH’s handed McCANN another printout and a stack of letters.

McCANN
Your honor, these are the telephone records from Lisbon for August 6th.
And these are 4 letters that Celtic and Sporting wrote in nine days requesting, in fact
begging, for a transfer sign-off.
(to FARRY)
Upon hearing the news that he was finally getting his transfer, Cadete was so
excited, that do you know how many people he called? Zero. Nobody. Not even one call
to Bairds Bar saying he was coming to Paradise.

Not one call to Parkhead Taxis saying can you pick me up at the airport. He was asleep
in his bed at midnight, and according to you he was getting on a plane in six
hours, yet everything he owned was hanging neatly in his closet and folded neatly in
his footlocker. You were leaving for one meeting and you packed a bowling bag and made three
phone calls. Cadete was leaving for the rest of his life, and he hadn’t called a
soul and he hadn’t packed a thing. Can you explain that? The fact is there was
no transfer sign-off order. Cadete wasn’t going anywhere, isn’t that right, Chief Executive.

FINDLAY
Object. Your Honor, it’s obvious that Mr McCANN’s intention this morning is to
smear a high ranking Administration officer in the desperate hope that the mere appearance of
impropriety will win him points with the unwashed.

FINDLAY
(continuing)
It’s my recommendation, sir, that Mr. McCann receive an official SFA reprimand from
the bench, and that the witness be excused with the Court’s deepest apologies.

WALKER ponders this a moment.

WALKER
(pause)
Overruled.

FINDLAY
Brother, I mean Your honor–

WALKER
The objection’s noted.

McCANN
(beat)
Chief Executive?

FARRY’s smiling …… and now he can’t help but let out a short laugh.

McCANN
(continuing)
Is this funny, sir?

FARRY
No. It’s not. It’s tragic.

McCANN
Do you have an answer?

FARRY
Absolutely. My answer is I don’t have the first damn clue. Maybe he was an early
morning riser and he liked to pack in a rush. And maybe he didn’t have any friends.
I’m an educated man, but I’m afraid I can’t speak intelligently about the travel
habits of Jorge Cadete. What I do know is that he was set to leave Lisbon
at 0600. Now are these really the questions I was called here to answer?
Phone calls and football boots? Please tell me you’ve got something more, club Chairman.
Please tell me there’s an ace up your sleeve. Please tell your club hasn’t
pinned their hopes to a phone bill.
(beat)
Do you have any other questions for me, Mr Majority shareholder?

The courtroom is silenced. FARRY’s slammed the door.

McCANN looks around the room, sees that the world is waiting for him to do something …

WALKER
Mr. McCANN?

McCANN says nothing. He glances over to Lynch and O’Malley.

WALKER
(continuing)
Club Chairman, do you have anything further for this witness?

McCANN doesn’t respond. FARRY gets up to leave.

FARRY
(standing)
Thanks, Fergus. I love Mount Florida in the morning.

And FARRY starts to leave, but he’s stopped by–

McCANN
Excuse me, I didn’t dismiss you.

FARRY turns around.

FARRY
I beg your pardon.

McCANN
I’m not through with my examination. Sit down.

FARRY
Chief Executive.

McCANN
What’s that?

FARRY
(to WALKER)
I’d appreciate it if he addressed me as Chief Executive or Sir. I believe I’ve earned it.

WALKER
Defense counsel will address the witness as Chief Executive or Sir.

FARRY
(to WALKER)
I don’t know what the hell kind of an outfit you’re running here.

WALKER
And the witness will address this Court as Judge or Your Honor. I’m quite certain I’ve
earned it. Take your seat, Chiefy.

FARRY goes back to the stand.

FARRY
(continuing)
What would you like to discuss now! My favorite color?

McCANN
Colonel, the six a.m. flight, was the first one from Lisbon to Glasgow?

FARRY
Yes.

McCANN
There wasn’t a florist flight that you knew  left seven
hours earlier and landed at Pollokshields HomeBase at 2 a.m?

WALKER
Chairman, I think we’ve covered this, haven’t we?

McCANN gets the two log books from his table as well as the piece of paper that MATT scribbled on.

McCANN
Your Honor, these are the Tower Chief’s Logs for both Prestwick Ryanair and Pollokshields HomeBase.
The Prestwick log lists no flight that left at eleven p.m., and the Homebase log lists no flight that
landed at 2 a.m. I’d like to admit them as Defense Exhibits “A” and “B”.

WALKER
I don’t understand. You’re admitting evidence of a flight that never existed?

McCANN
We believe it did, sir.
(glancing at the paper, then motioning to the Homebase Men)
Defense’ll be calling chief Homebase unloaders O’Malley and Anthony Lynch. They
were working the ground crew at Homebase at two a.m. on the seventh.

FINDLAY
Your Honor, these men weren’t on the list.

McCANN
Rebuttal witnesses, Your Honor, called specifically to reflite testimony offered under direct examination.

If you looked closely at FARRY, you could see a drop of sweat.

RANDOLPH
I’ll allow the witnesses.

FARRY
This is ridiculous.

McCANN
Chief Executive, a moment ago–

FARRY
Check the Tower Logs for christ’s sake.

McCANN
We’ll get to the Storemen in just a minute, sir. A moment ago said that you ordered
Roberts to tell his office girls not to touch the fax machine.

FARRY
That’s right.

McCANN
And Roberts was clear on what you wanted?

FARRY
Crystal.

McCANN
Any chance Roberts ignored the order?

FARRY
Ignored the order?

McCANN
Any chance he just forgot about it?

FARRY
No.

McCANN
Any chance Roberts left your office and
said, “The ‘old man’s wrong”?

FARRY
No.

McCANN
When Roberts spoke to the admin team and ordered them not to touch the fax machine,
Any chance they ignored him?

FARRY
Have you ever spent time in an admin unit, son?

McCANN
No sir.

FARRY
Ever served in a filing area?

McCANN
No sir.

FARRY
Ever put your files in another man’s hands, ask him to put his files in yours?

McCANN
No sir.

FARRY
We follow orders, son. We follow orders or paper trails die. It’s that simple. Are we clear?

McCANN
Yes sir.

FARRY
Are we clear?

McCANN
Crystal.

 

McCANN speaks with the quiet confidence that comes from knowing you’re about to drop your opponents

McCANN
(continuing; beat)
Chief Executive, I have just one more question before I call Storeman O’Malley and Storeman
Lynch: If you gave an order that the SFA’s Fax Machine wasn’t to be touched, and your orders are
always followed, then why would Cadetes registration be incomplete, after all you felt it complete enough to
order the transfer of him from his Lisbon base?

And FARRY has no answer.

Nothing.

He sits there, and for the first time, seems to be lost.

FARRY
Sporting Lisbons fax was a sub-standard request. Cadete was being transferred because–

McCANN
But that’s not what you said. You said Signoff was being transferred because Cadetes bonus was in grave danger.

FARRY
(pause)
Yes. That’s correct, but–

McCANN
You said, “His win bonus was in danger”. I said,
“Grave danger”. You said–

FARRY
Yes, I recall what–

McCANN
I can have the Court Reporter read back your–

FARRY
I know what I said. I don’t need it read back to me like I’m a damn–

McCANN
Then why the two orders?
(beat)
Colonel?
(beat)
Why did you–

FARRY
Sometimes administration assistants take matters into their own hands.

McCANN
No sir. You made it clear just a moment ago that your men never take matters into
their own hands. Your men follow orders or paper trails die. So Cadetes transfer shouldn’t have
been in any danger at all, should it have, Chief Executive?

Everyone’s sweating now. Everyone but McCANN.

FARRY
You little bastard.

FINDLAY
Your Honor, I have to ask for a recess to–

McCANN
I’d like an answer to the question, Judge.

WALKER
The Court’ll wait for answer.

McCANN
If Roberts told his men that SFA’s fax machine wasn’t to be turned off, then why did Cadette wait
to be transferred?

FARRY is looking at O’MALLEY and LYNCH.

McCANN
(continuing)
Chief Executive?

FARRY says nothing.

McCANN
(continuing)
Roberts ordered the code red pen, didn’t he?
Because that’s what you told Roberts to do.

FINDLAY
Object!

WALKER
Counsel.

McCANN will plow through the objections of FINDLAY and the admonishments of WALKER.

McCANN
And when it went bad, you cut these guys loose.

FINDLAY
Your Honor–

WALKER
That’ll be all, Club Chairman McCann.

McCANN
You had MacIntosh sign a phony transfer-signoff order–

FINDLAY
Judge–Brother!

McCANN
You doctored the fax log books.

FINDLAY
Damnit McCann!!

McCANN
I’ll ask for the forth time. You ordered–

FARRY
You want answers?

McCANN
I think I’m entitled to them.

FARRY
You want answers?!

McCANN
I want the truth.

FARRY
You can’t handle the truth!

And nobody moves.

FARRY
(continuing)
Son, we live in a world that has balls.
And those balls have to be guarded by men
with paper. Who’s gonna file it? You? You,
Club Chairman? I have a greater
responsibility than you can possibly
fathom. You weep for Cadete and you
curse the administrators. You have that luxury.
You have the luxury of not knowing what I
know: That Cadete sign off delay, while sadly outwith strict SLAs,
probably saved Rangers. And my existence,
while grotesque and incomprehensible to
you, saves Rangers.

(beat)
You don’t want the truth. Because deep
down, in places you don’t talk about at
your Celtic Rallys, you want me on that typing pool. You want
me there
(boasting)
We use words like spellcheck, binder,
highlighter…we use these words as the
backbone to a life spent administering
something. You use ’em as a punchline.
(beat)
I have neither the time nor the
inclination to explain myself to a man who
rises and sleeps under the blanket of the
very rulebook I provide, then questions the
manner in which I provide it. I’d prefer
you just said thank you and went on your
way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a
bulldog clip and open some post. Either way, I
don’t give a damn what you think you’re
entitled to.

McCANN
(quietly)
Did you order the code red-pen?

FARRY
(beat)
I did the job I was meant to do.

McCANN
Did you order the code red-pen?

FARRY
(pause)
You’re goddamn right I did.

Silence. From everyone. WALKER, FINDLAY, the journalist’s, they’re all frozen. ELSPETH and MATT are likewise. FARRY seems strangely, quietly relieved. McCANN simply takes control of the room now.

McCANN
Please the court, I suggest the jury be dismissed so that we can move to an
immediate Article 39a(SFA) Session. The witness has rights.

Silence.

WALKER looks to FINDLAY.

WALKER
Counsel?

FINDLAY is frozen. He doesn’t know what to do.

McCANN
(as a friend)
Donald.

FINDLAY looks at McCANN, then FARRY, then nods his head “yes” to WALKER.

WALKER
The Clerk AT Arms will take the jury to an ante-room where you’ll wait until further instruction.

The CLERK AT ARMS begins leading the JURORS out of the room.

FARRY
What the hell’s going on?

WALKER
No one will say anything until the jurors are out of the room.

FARRY
(continuing; to WALKER)
Ernie, what the hell’s going on? I did my job. I’d do it again. Now I’m getting on a 267 and going back to my allotment.

WALKER
SFA Security, guard the prisoner.

The Rock Steady Bouncers are tentative.
They’ve never heard a Chief Executive referred to as “The Prisoner” before.
They sure as hell have never been asked to guard one.

FINDLAY
Guard the prisoner.

FARRY
What the hell-

FINDLAY
Chief Executive Farry, you have the right to remain silent. Any statement you do make
can be used against you in a trial by or other judicial or administrative proceeding. You have the
insider secrets to guarantee yourself a  nice wee 200 grand payoff, so please shush…

FINDLAY continues reading FARRY his rights, over–

FARRY
I’m being charged with a crime? I’m– that’s what this is–

(to FINDLAY)
BROTHER!
(FINDLAY keeps going)
WHO WILL HELP THIS WIDOWS SON?
(FINDLAY is doing his job.)
I’m being charged with a crime? I’m-that’s what’s happening? This–I’m-this is funny, you know that, this is–

And FARRY lunges at McCANN, and McCANN would be dead but for the three bouncers who’ve leapt in to restrain FARRY. MATT and ELSPETH have come to their feet and stand behind McCANN.

FARRY
(continuing; to McCANN)
I’m gonna tear your eyes right outta your head and piss in your dead skull.
You fucked with the wrong pen pusher.

FINDLAY is done reading FARRY his rights.

FINDLAY
EX-Chief Executive FARRY, do you understand those rights as I have just read then to you?

FARRY
I saved Rangers. That fax was–Cadete was gonna blow a weak link. I saved Rangers lives, you hear me?

The courtroom is silent from FARRY’s outburst. FARRY shakes his head.

FARRY
(continuing)
You fuckin’ people.
(beat)
You have no idea how to defend a football club.

FARRY
(continuing; to McCANN)
All you did was weaken a Masonic institution today,
McCANN. That’s all you did. You put paper in danger. Sweet dreams, son.

McCANN
Don’t call me son.
(beat)
I’m a Celtic Chairman, and an officer of the Bunnet Brigade.
And you’re under arrest you sonofabitch.

McCANN stays on FARRY a moment longer, then remembers–

McCANN
(continuing)
The witness is excused.

The Bouncers start leading FARRY out, McCANN turns to Eslpeth and Matt.

McCANN
(smiling and placing bunnet upon head)
Think we deserve a pint, buy your own mind, Im naebodies mug!

FADE OUT TO CREDITS

 

 

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Bhoy Fett
7 years ago

Brilliant

AntoniousF
7 years ago

Think this has inspired me to pen a sonnet about the bunnet. lol. great read

scholzybhoy
7 years ago

fuckin quality

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