• Henry Michael

Writer's Block 3 - Miners

I read an article in The Guardian a few weeks ago about how the Chilean Miners incident has already sparked interest for a film adaptation. Personally I think this is a wonderful idea, as people trapped in a small dark environment lends itself well to inter-character drama, as we’ve seen from such laugh-out-loud comedies as Anne Frank’s Diary. Though I can foresee some slight problems regarding plot, seeing as it’ll basically have to revolve around 30 people sitting in a small room playing Uno for several months. I guess the redeeming feature is that, as the incident hasn’t technically ended yet, Hollywood producers are able to hang around the top of the hole and try and get the miners to spice things up a bit. “We’re dropping down some guns, if one of you could kick off we’ll get Seagal in”. Maybe they should do this with other news stories, and simply supply large amounts of guns and drugs to otherwise mundane events, like tube strikes, or Tim Henman’s life. It’s definitely an exciting way to improve films based on real events, and I have every confidence that this’ll turn out to be the best movie about exploring a small, dark cavity since Brokeback Mountain.

In the midst of this constant stream of real-event movies, I often wonder what it would be like if they ever made a movie about my life. Of course, I’ve come to realise that the story of a fat little 12-year old boy with tits is something no-one wants to see, especially in 3D, but some of my experiences do lend themselves well to Oscar-winning tragedy. In primary school, I was so fat that I had to be kept separate from other children so as not to alarm them, and at Sports Day, I was one of the hurdles. It got so bad that if ever I went to take a seat at the cinema, the person sitting behind me would often whisper, “bloody hell”. The film could be a classic comedy of errors; i.e. too many portions. I can see a heartbreaking sequence in which Henry’s chins become stuck underneath a roller-coaster safety bar, and another in which he’s sent to hospital for an urgent X-ray, but has to be scanned with one of those things they use at London zoo to see if elephants are pregnant. All in all, it’s a great advertising opportunity for Ginsters.

I’m hoping that Hollywood buy the rights before Johnny Vegas gets too old to convincingly play 12, but somehow I don’t think they will. They’ll most likely have all eyes on the Miners film, and besides, with Harry Potter over it’ll probably just be cheaper to run Daniel Radcliffe through FatBooth. Which is a little bit disappointing, the boy has all the emotional range of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, I could’ve been the next Elephant Man.

Leaked script from the upcoming Chilean Miners Movie

Leaked online last week, the first draft of upcoming weepie Mine Your Own Business has received widespread critical acclaim for its inventive use of dramatic set-pieces, all of which have had to somehow include the scenario of being trapped in a small dark room with thirty men. In one of the highlights:

Hernandez: So it was you all along! And to think, we’ve been spooning for several weeks.

Segio: Yes, and that’s not all... I’ve been sleeping with Carlos behind your back. Yesterday, when you turned and faced the wall for several hours.

Hernandez: I should’ve known!

Carlos: (Muffled) Is this going on BBC news?

Juan: Are you talking to me?

Ramone: Ah?

Rico: I think the candle’s gone out again.

Miguel: Where’s my hat?

Ramone: Hello? Is anybody talking to me?

Hernandez: Enough! Prepare to die, old friend!

Rico: Who said that? Who’s speaking?

An exilerating chase sequence follows, taking place entirely within the radius of a 3-metre circle. Sergio lies, defeated.

Sergio: Wait... before I die, take this shovel. Give it to Carlos. Tell him... I always loved him, and that I dream about his little moustache tickling my buttocks.

Carlos: (Loudly) I hear it’s lovely weather outside.

Hernandez: I will. (Close up shot) I guess... the souls of man are darker than any cave.

Juan: Ah? Are you talking to me? I can’t see you.

Hernandez: No, I...

Miguel: I didn’t say anything.

Ramone: Excuse me, you’re standing on my burrito.

Fernando: What time is it?

Carlos: I think we need to have another meeting about turds.

Paulo: Are you talking to me? Hello?

Hernandez: I should’ve worked in IT...

Cut to scene: an unsuccessful game of ‘I Spy’. Sergio’s fear of windpipes is explained in flashbacks, and Miguel finally comes to terms with his eczema. Music: “Shaft” by Isacc Hayes.

Letters to the Editor – This week: University issues

Dear Henry,

I’m passionate about current affairs and like to campaign for positive causes. How good are the opportunities to do this at Cardiff?

Very. Our students have always been a drive of political change; up until the 90’s, women in Welsh society were still considered to be equal to sheep, but in 1998, we managed to get that haggled up to goats. It was also the students of Cardiff that managed to get a petition passed against third-world sweatshops, where we successfully changed the maximum number of hours children can work to just 20. Unfortunately we forgot to specify “per week”, so they’re now doing twice as much work as before. Bit of a shame really, you can tell they’re tired because the stitching’s got weaker, I’ve had to start buying my trainers elsewhere.

I’ve just graduated with a 2-1 degree in media studies. Have I wasted three years of my life?

Not necessarily, you can make a nice paper hat out of that for parties. My friend uses his to scrape vegetable cuttings into the bin, and I know someone who got £12 for his on eBay, so no, not a waste.

My flatmate keeps changing my Facebook status. He always leaves his laptop on during the day – what’s the best way of getting him back?

Download 40GB of child pornography and call the police. Quite a delayed payoff but definitely worth seeing; he might get preyed on a bit in jail, but odds are he’ll survive the 10-15 years and soon see the funny side. Might leave him with a spot of deep-rooted psychological harm but they can usually control that with pills.