Miles Kington: When fashion went out of fashion and watches ran out of time

'They've got it coming to them. They threw us out on our ears. I could have been big in forensics. Look at me now. A bum'
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The Independent Online

But the college, in Kilgore, Texas, said that they were desperate to raise money any way they could. As it was, they had already had to lay off staff, and to "trim courses in such areas as forensics, fashion merchandising and watch repair".

That's the moment when my attention switched on. To learn that somewhere there was a college which offered courses in forensics, fashion merchandising and watch repair! Not only did it suddenly make the world seem a richer, riper place, but it set my mind drifting off on what it might mean in artistic terms, or at least in Hollywood terms...

Long shot of a road, leading into town. Cut to medium shot of road sign saying "WELCOME TO KILGORE". Cut to sign saying "KILGORE COLLEGE". Cut to bushes, where two men and a woman are hiding.

Woman: Are we really gonna do this?

Man: Listen, Martha, you were in on this from the beginning. You agreed that the college had let us down. You agreed that we owed them some kind of revenge.

Martha: Yeah, but blowing the place up, Bill, that's kinda extreme. This isn't Iraq, for God's sake.

Bill: They've got it coming to them. They deserve it. They trimmed our courses, didn't they? They threw us out on our ears. I could have been big in forensics. Look at me now. A bum.

Martha: Wearing a red woman's dress.

Bill: That was your big idea! You and your fashion merchandising! You said, if we all dress up as women, and blow the college up, they'll issue a description of three suspicious women hanging about the place, and they'll never think it was us!

Martha: So? You have a problem with that?

Bill: No. It's just that I'm not used to wearing a dress. It's tight under the arms. I can hardly move.

Martha: Blame the college. They trimmed my fashion course before I'd got as far as sleeve design.

Henry: Will you guys shut up a moment? I'm trying to activate this bomb, and all you guys can do is yack yack yack.

Henry is a small, studious man with thick eye-glasses, wearing a red dress. He was on his way to becoming a brilliant watch repairer until Kilgore trimmed his course. Bitterly, he now faces a future as a half-trained watch repairer. But in his time at college he learnt enough to construct an ingenious timer which will activate a bomb and hopefully destroy the college.

Bill: OK, OK. Let's all get our gloves on. No fingerprints, please.

Martha: You and your forensics. Is that all they taught you, not to leave fingerprints?

Bill: No. They also taught me that explosives always leave traces on your clothing.

Martha: That's why we have another set of three red dresses to change into after we flee from the scene of the crime. Remember, dummkopf?

Bill: Dummkopf? What does that mean?

Martha: It's German for "stupid", stupid. I also did a course in basic German at Kilgore. But they trimmed that as well. Goddam them!

Henry: Everyone shut up for a moment. I just have to set the timer. I'll turn on the radio to get the exact time.

He turns on the radio. A voice sings: "Jesus is our companion! He's always there with us! He's with us on the plane ride! He's with us on the bus!"

Henry: What in hell's name...? Where's Mozart?

Bill: Gone, all gone. They sold KTBP to the Christians, remember?

Martha: Goddam them.

Henry: Please! This is the first college I ever blew up. I need quiet to thin... Incidentally, Martha.

Martha: Yes?

Henry: I like the dress. Nice fit.

Martha: I'm so glad you're pleased, Henry. If you're interested, I can also get it for you in turquoise or lemon yellow...

That's all we have room for, I'm afraid. If Hollywood is interested in this taut thriller, they know where to find me.