The usual crowd are crammed into the Bay Club for the ‘Gala Night’ entertainment. So far they have been treated to a Searchers Sound Alike group, two flabby strippers and a female impersonator. The headline act was supposed to have been here hours ago but his manager has phoned to say there has been an unexpected delay. It is nearing midnight when the fellow eventually turns up in his ageing Rolls Royce, driven by his manager, and is ushered into the office to prepare for his appearance.
A buzz goes round as the gathering hear that the funny man has finally arrived on the premises but it is a further 45 minutes before the announcement is made and a fat, sweaty comic staggers up to the microphone stand obviously the worse for wear. Murmurs of disappointment greet him, along with slow handclapping, which causes him to launch into a tirade of foul language and well-rehearsed responses to the heckling.
Everyone in the audience has drunk far more than they normally would, having nothing better to do while they waited for the star of the show to grace them with his presence and after twenty minutes of old material and the tried and tested catch phrases fail to satisfy his public, the comic decides to call it a day and promptly swans off the stage, followed by his manager who has a worried look on his face.
The crowd look about for signs of his reappearance but realising that he is not going to come back they quickly lose patience and start demanding a refund on their tickets. Pretty soon the place is in uproar, and then someone spots the comic and his manager creeping out the back door and heading towards their car. A stream of angry punters hurries after them and although they have managed to get inside the car and lock the doors the angry mob are determined to have their say. They surround the car and start banging their fists against the rusting metal, causing the men inside to cower and plead for their lives.
The club owner has phoned for the police but they are a good 15 minutes away and he fears for the safety of the ‘National Treasure’, imagining the headlines in the News of the World on Sunday. He shouts above the din and tries his best to restore order, getting only a good shove and a smack round the ear for his efforts.
It is at this point that Frank and Scotty saunter onto the scene. The comic looks as if he will have a heart attack at any moment and cries out in terror as Frank climbs up onto the car roof.
‘That’s enough,’ bellows Frank, ‘you can see the man is unwell. He’s obviously not coming back in with you lot baying for his blood and the manager has called the Old Bill so let’s just break it up and get back inside for the free drinks he’s going to give us.’
The manager stands with his mouth open but the crowd are distracted by the thought of free booze and decide to go back indoors. ‘I never said anything about free drinks,’ the manager protests. Frank climbs down from the car and waves it away. It leaves at speed in a cloud of dust and exhaust fumes, the occupants glad to get away with their lives.
He and Scotty follow the manager back inside and find the mood of the crowd has brightened somewhat. The sound-alike band put in a second appearance, which goes down surprisingly well, and the manager realises that he owes a debt to Frank. He takes him aside and warns him that he has heard rumours that someone has put out a contract on him. Frank is astounded; ‘Why me? What have I done?’ The manager says he doesn’t know but he thinks it is Merck who is after him.
A fine end to a fine evening then. He avoids a riot and gets told someone is out to have him done in.
On the drive home Frank tells Scotty what the manager said. Scotty is shocked and cannot understand why Frank should be in Merck’s bad books. The pals can only surmise that someone has dropped him in it to save their own skin and they both have an idea who that someone might be.
‘I think I will pay Ginger Jarvis a visit in the morning’, says Frank, ‘strange he wasn’t here tonight. You’d think he would relish the chance of a little gloat at my expense.’