JOHNSON is a bearded old man with skin as pale and papery as a bank note. He sits at a desk in a dark hole of a room, surrounded by piles of beans. He writes into ledger.

JOHNSON

Six million five hundred and twenty-three thousand, seven hundred and seventy-four.

The door opens and a bright shaft of light near blinds Johnson. MERRYWEATHER enters. He is similarly coloured and arthritic of movement.

MERRYWEATHER

Johnson, are you aware that it is again the month of March?

JOHNSON

What do you say?

MERRYWEATHER

Johnson, we must account for the beans.

JOHNSON

Indeed, Merryweather.

MERRYWEATHER

The financial year is on its deathbed and we must take stock of our estate.

JOHNSON

To forsake the measure of our beanpile, well-

MERRYWEATHER

It would be tantamount to giving the beans away.

JOHNSON

And there are those who would.

MERRYWEATHER

Who hold no value for the bean.

JOHNSON

I can’t account for it.

MERRYWEATHER

They are fools. For if you cannot quantify your beans then-

JOHNSON

How would you know if you have them all?

MERRYWEATHER

Quite. To be forewarned is to be forearmed and we shall enter this bright and glorious new year with the knowledge that however many beans we have, we may or may not have greater or lesser than that amount one year from now.

JOHNSON

I can hardly wait.

MERRYWEATHER

I’ll shut the door and we can begin.

JOHNSON

Capital thinking fellow, the sound of children laughing at play is such a distraction.

MERRYWEATHER shuts the door. He picks up a bean.

JOHNSON

Such frivolity.

MERRYWEATHER

I can’t account for it. One.

Johnson writes.

JOHNSON

One.

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