It is pure jealousy that has motivated the writing of this piece. Some young man has just been awarded a ridiculous amount of money for sitting in a house for 3 months. I know that I’ve achieved just as much, in fact, I’ve accomplished more, having been unemployed for over a year. Unfortunately for me there’s been no recognition, no pomp and fanfare, and no fat cheque!
However, watching the luck of this fellow unfold, I’ve realised that making money is very easy. If he could become wealthy for displaying absolutely no talent, then I conclude that, with my good looks and God-given abilities, I’ll be a millionaire in no time. So, given my aptitude for writing obscene amounts of drivel, I’ve figured that instant wealth will come to me if I write a soap opera. Why not? The plots don’t need much thought and it’s a billion dollar industry that I would like to be part of.
With inspiration all around, I’ve already drafted a few ideas for ‘All My Diamonds’. I’m sure, in typical soapie-fashion, it’ll make for entertaining and bewildering viewing:
1. At each other’s throats – It’s always about rivalry and in my production it’s between an elderly man, the patriarchal figure and his wicked son, every soap opera’s proverbial villain. The wretched boy resents that his father won’t retire from the helm of their diamond-mining corporation. So, he turns against him and sets up a rival enterprise.
2. Back from the dead – The son launches an attack on his father who has to seek the assistance of long-lost comrades. In a dramatic scene, the veterans who were believed to be dead re-emerge and carryout violent campaigns in support of the patriarch. They manage to keep the ingenious old man firmly in power.
3. Bloodlines Unearthed – The cause of the son’s waywardness is discovered. Paternity results show that he is not the old man’s child but was sired by a horrid chap from abroad. To add insult to the betrayal, this errant member from overseas was thought to be a friend of the patriarch. Exercising his nasty influence on the boy, the two combine efforts to inflict suffering on the old man and his close friends.
4. Amnesia – In soap operas amnesia eventually befalls everyone like a common cold, including a trusted colleague of the patriarch’s. He becomes useless in fulfilling his local governance and planning responsibilities with the company. As such, evil forces (probably supporters of the prodigal son) penetrate the diamond-concern. But luckily, the old man discovers this and undertakes a massive clean up of his enterprise, which involves the destruction of tens of thousands of illegal records.
5. Being blackmailed – The wayward son influences his powerful friends abroad to use their positions to exert pressure on his father to cede control of the company. This results in very difficult times for the patriarch’s employees who endure dire shortages of money, food, electricity and water. The restrictions are also especially uncomfortable for the patriarch and his close friends, whose movements around the globe are restricted. However, despite this, the comrades bravely fight on.
6. Boardroom Coup – Despite the father’s admirable manner in presiding over the diamond company, its laws of corporate governance state that an election must be held. The father and son go to great lengths to ensure that they secure the votes needed to control the company. It is a bitter fight in which underhanded tactics are used and many board members and employees are assassinated or maimed in the violence in the run up to the vote. When the board does go to the polls, the evil son almost prevails. However, the patriarch manages to avert disaster by citing an obscure rule governing the process. In the end, he manages to retain power, in a run-off contest where his ingenuity sees him as the only candidate competing.
7. Highly anticipated weddings – Every soap opera must have a lavish wedding and I am toying with a radical idea along these lines. Imagine that the father and son put aside their differences and decide to unite to make the company profitable and well governed, for benefit of all, employees included. On second thought, that is a boring idea. Such coalitions never work any way. It’s probably best that I stick with the tried and tested, where someone, running from a helicopter or riding on horseback, dramatically stops the union from happening. Then the fighting can go on, the drama will continue and “All my Diamonds” can progress well past its 30th season!