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[Les phones Vince's answerphone
] Les Pinner
: [pleasantly, while Rita is within earshot
] Vincent. It's your father speaking.
[he waits until Rita has left the room
] Les Pinner
] Vincent! Do you remember about six months ago you bought and sold six German tanks? "120 tons of top-quality scrap", you said. Well surprise surprise! That top-quality scrap has turned up - on the borders between Angola and Namibia! It's in the hands of rebel forces! It's seen action! It's fired on government troops! And guess who the last registered owners are - Pinner bloody Metals of Walthamstow. We are under investigation, Vincent. Now that's nothing new. But this time it is not Scotland Yard, the Inland Revenue or Customs and Excise. This time it's the United bloody Nations! Now I know I bestowed the company to you. Well I am bestowing it right back! I also know that the firm is legally yours, but my name is still on the deeds to that land. So as far as my scrap metal yards are concerned, you are out! You understand me, Vincent? O U T! Finito! Gurnished! Gone! Out!
[later, Vince listens to the answerphone
] Les Pinner
: [on answerphone playback
] Vincent. It's your father speaking... Vince Pinner
: Thank God for a friendly voice.
[Les is having a father-to-son chat with Vince
] Vince Pinner
: Penny's husband Graham doesn't like me. Les Pinner
: I'd have thought you'd have got used to that sort of thing by now. Vince Pinner
: But this is different - he's some kind of black-belt judo ace. I'm supposed to have a meal with a First Dan who don't like me. Flick of the wrist I could be doing a Fosbury Flop over the sweet trolley. Les Pinner
: I see. You're scared of him. Vince Pinner
] No. I'm not scared of him. It's just that I've always led my life by one simple code. And that is: never wind Bruce Lee up. Les Pinner
: I don't know what you're worried about. Upstairs you've got a cup for boxing. Vince Pinner
: I won that in a game of brag. Les Pinner
: *He* doesn't know that, does he? Vince Pinner
: So what do you want me to do - take the cup to the restaurant with me? Les Pinner
: So what you gonna do? Vince Pinner
: I won't go. Penny doesn't want me to be there. Les Pinner
: She's just saying that because she's frightened you'll get hurt. Vince Pinner
: Well for once in our lives I'm in total agreement. Les Pinner
: Look, son. *Everyone* gets scared at one time or another. There's no shame in that. A coward ain't a person who *feels* fear. A coward is a person who runs away from that fear. Vince Pinner
: But I'm not running away. I won't even be there. Les Pinner
: Now you listen to me. I remember an occasion many years ago. I'd just started out in the metal game on me own. Opened me first yard round the back of Reedbridge station. I was doing very nicely, thank you. Till one day this bloke walks in. George Fimbo. Small-time heavy. Used to be an enforcer for the Kray brothers. Till they sacked him for being too aggressive. He knew I was earning and he wanted his cut. Now I'm like you, Vincent - I ain't never been a fighting man. But I knew I had a straight choice. I either paid him what he wanted and had him on me back for the rest of me natural, or I fronted him out. And that's what I did. I was scared, petrified. But I stood up to him. And d'you know what? I discovered I had an inner strength. It was as if it weren't me fighting - it was another feller, stronger than me, who had no fear. Every blow was considered in a calm and clinically violent way. George Fimbo never came near or by that yard again. All right? Vince Pinner
: Were you hurt? Les Pinner
: Hurt? Three months in a convalescent home, eighteen months before I could walk without a stick. Vince Pinner
] Yeah, well, thanks for talking to me, Dad. Les Pinner
: There were four of them! He came mob-handed. What chance did I have? You can have all the inner strength going, but the bloke with the gang will always win. What I'm trying to say is: sometimes you win by losing. Think about it, son.