Duddingston Community Garden

The Saga of the Dirty Weekenders

Narrator: The world is a chaotic and confusing place, one which you can perhaps never hope to truly understand. It is full of suffering and injustice, but also small glimmers of hope and beauty. As the Earth turns on its axis, billions of complex interconnected stories are being written, ones of hope, betrayal, stubbornness and mundanity. The world is not changed by one hero but by the small acts of a few. Let me tell you a story, a story about a group of people who against all the odds, work tirelessly to help this great world flourish. They, and many others like them, are the reason why humanity still has a chance.

Scene 1: Pleasance Courtyard, the renowned meeting place of the Dirty Weekenders. A small crowd is gathering, word of their accomplishments have spread across the land. The Master of the Tools carefully arranges the legendary spades, mattocks and gloves for the brave volunteers.

Leader: Friends you have shown great courage, braving the bitter coldness of a January morning and managing to get up at the godforsaken hour of 10 O’CLOCK in the morning. Here we believe in justice for all humanity (and dogs, actually mainly dogs…) Together we shall help create a better world!

Wild cheers from the crowd. People whisper excitedly to their neighbors.

Seasoned Dirty: Today we must travel east to Duddingston, to assist the townsfolk in these hard times. The journey will be long and arduous, some of you will not make it but your name will be carved in the Stone so you will never be forgotten.

New Volunteer: So, what brought you here, the desire to help the common good, a passion for the preservation of the purity of nature?

Volunteer: Me? I mean yeah that’s cool but you know (whispers) they have the best sandwiches in the land and (dramatic pause) biscuits.

Scene 2: Duddingston community garden, where food is grown by the locals and the place for the walking of the dog. On their journey the Dirties gained (well bribed, conscripted etc.) some more members.

Local Resident: Oh valiant Dirties we are immensely grateful that you answered our call for help. There is so much that we could not achieve without you.

Seasoned Dirty: Gather your tools, there is much to be done.

The volunteers scatter and being to work on their respective jobs

Volunteer 1 (pushing a wheelbarrow): This hill is mighty steep, but this sand and gravel must be moved to its rightful place! (beginning to tire) Must get to the top, must get to the top…. (collapses in exhaustion and another volunteer takes their place.)  

Volunteer 2 (planting trees): They are beautiful aren’t they, to think that this tiny sappling will eventually grow into a majestic tree.

Volunteer 3 (digging over ground): Look potatoes! We could use this as ammunition, err I mean to feed the starving! (quickly gets back to digging)    

Scene 3: The Hearth (fireplace), where the Dirties go to receive a well-earned break from their hard work. Much attention is given to the puppy that one of the locals have brought along.

Local Resident: Without your work, we could not have restored the great forest or removed those Minor Trip Hazards, we are eternally grateful. Please accept our gifts of some hearty broth, wholesome bread and sweet, sweet cakes.

The Dirties eat ravenously and talk endlessly about their hard-work (and pet the dogs) over the meal.

Seasoned Dirty: The time has come my friends to begin the game that is Ratchet Screwdriver, a test of strength, endurance and dirty-tactics. Those who succeed shall have proven their worth to this cause.

The volunteers gather in a circle and violently try to prevent each other from getting to the Centre, which is a place of divine privilege. There is much grunting and shrieking.

Volunteers (talking over each other): I was so close, Is Britain an island? Is eye-gouging allowed?….. Ratchet Screwdriver! (everyone dives into the center)

Local Resident (watching from afar): The Dirties have some rather strange rituals for people dedicated to helping the impoverished.

Town Elder: They work in mysterious ways my friend, very mysterious ways.

Volunteer: Let us dry ourselves by the glowing hearth. (stands close to the flames, steam beings to emerge from his clothes.) Arrrgggh! My buttocks are on fire!

Volunteer 2 (laughing): Don’t be silly it’s just the water evaporating. Now let’s get this fire roaring.

Well fed and watered, some slowly return to their original work. Others coppice some willow and dig swimming pools for the humble toads. 

Volunteer (excitably): Look I found some real treasures while digging, some bricks, some glass and some fancy bits of pottery. (holds up tiny blue speck)

Volunteer 2 (staring into the distance): We have done a good thing today, I think that I feel (pause) content.

Leader: Come fellow Dirts, let us return home to the ale house and celebrate another successful adventure. (cheers from the volunteers)

Narrator: And so they took the long road back home, the townsfolk watching them go in wonder. The treasures they found now reside in the Duddingston museum for all the public to view in awe reminding them of their saviors. Once again these noble souls have helped to make the world a slightly better place.

Curtain Falls, THE END


Written by Peter Tyler

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