InstaGran is Ruth Greenthorpe – a sweet 79-year-old widow. With an active mind and a youthful outlook on life, although she pretends to find the technology taxing, Ruth has taken extremely well to a dated iPhone 4S, donated to her by her grandson in a bid to keep her active (for her age) mind occupied whilst recovering from a second hip replacement operation.
Ruth loves taking pictures on her iPhone and has become somewhat of an unlikely local vigilante. Ruth secretly photographs antisocial and illegal activity throughout her community and beyond, posting the pictures onto a well-known social media site using the username – The_Real_InstaGran. She then sends links of posts to local police who make their own decision how best to tackle the exposed criminals.
InstaGran Episode 3
InstaGran is sat in her front room, talking on the phone to her friend, Jean.
Well, mine packed up working in the 80’s Jean! YES. It doesn’t mean that I don’t think about “it”, you know, but I’m quite happy and have been even before Mike died. No, the dog was called Mac Jean. Mike, the husband. Bless him. You remember Mike? Yes? Tall. Yes. Borderline alcoholic. Potential homosexual. It’s been nearly six weeks now and not a day goes by where I even tend to remember his name. I’m on that many prescription drugs Jean…. Yes love, I even took street drugs last week, in a bid to save local young people from a dodgy drug dealer.
On learning that people’s freedoms are at risk, InstaGran becomes much more serious…
Oh? Britain First you say Jean? Yes, I’ve heard of those prized wazzocks before on my ipho… I mean, on the news, if I can stay awake long enough love, before I pass out at 8pm. Yes love, they really are childish, schoolyard louts. They’re what? They are? Coming to the town to protest the opening of the mosque? For crying out loud, that’s all this town needs; coming over here, antagonising the local muslim population for a reaction and then if they get one, branding them as belligerent. Yes Jean, you’re not wrong. Someone should stop them. Yes! Someone. Should. Stop them!
The camera focuses on InstaGran’s squinting, determined, stony eyes.
(Slowly and seriously) I think, Jean, perhaps someone will put a stop to them one of these days. I think they certainly will. (Becoming more perky) Well, listen love, as ever, a pleasure. Now you take care of yourself. I’ve erm…..I’ve got some housework to do. Some trash to put out. Some white trash love. Sorry love, yes, I mean the bins. Yes, speak to you soon! No love, I won’t die either. If you don’t (laughing)!
InstGran hangs up the dated pulse-dial phone and defensively pulls out her iPhone 4S. InstaGran begins to post to her social media account. Typing begins to appear on her iPhone screen.
“Good afternoon law abiding citizens. And how are we all today? I suppose if you’ve been following social media, like me, you’ll be aware that we’re getting a visit from Britain First this Saturday. Well, let’s not welcome them with open arms now shall we? Let’s not give them any fuel to support their ridiculous claims that the people of this town ‘reached out’ to them, when we all know that they’re nothing but thugs who’ve found a loophole to practice their hate. If it wasn’t Muslims, it would be something else that they don’t take the time to understand either. But anyway! I hear that this march is not going to go completely to plan and the police should check InstaGran’s social media account very soon for some interesting images that will hopefully result in prosecutions. Let’s just say InstaGran is not a happy bunny. Allahu Akhbar!”
InstaGran turns her attention to her cat and speaks in a determined, friendly dialogue to the animal.
So kitty. First things first. InstaGran’s going to pay a visit to Britain First’s national conference to find out more about the march they intend to have this Saturday and then she’s going to photograph any incriminating evidence she can find. Let’s just say the odd Nazi salute, swastika, hate speech MAY find it’s way onto social media? And we all know that that’s illegal and may well result in prosecutions.
InstaGran walks up to her wardrobe and begins to open the door to reveal her InstaGran super hero outfit.
But first Kitty, InstGran has to hide her true identity. Hello my beauty!
The door opens and a stretched, loosely hand-knitted, all in-one blue and red jumpsuit hangs badly from a coat-hanger. On the chest a terribly-fashioned IG emblazons the costume and supported over the hook of the coat-hangar, a downright disturbing, baggy-looking mask hangs. The camera pans slowly down the suit for us to admire it’s full splendor. The crotch is sagging and seems to be moderately stained yellow. There are pulls and ladders from the thighs downwards. Fades out.
Fades back in on InstaGran standing before her full-length mirror with the aid of a Zimmer frame, admiring herself and just about to pull on her mask. She holds it over her head and pulls it down over her nose, down past her chin. Because the eye-holes are uneven, she then has to pull hard on half of the mask so that her right eye can see. We then zoom in on her squinting, determined and self-satisfied eyes.
Outside a small conferencing building, sat in her mobility scooter, InstaGran cues to get into the Britain First annual conference. Many fellow visitors are exchanging amused and confused looks in relation to InstaGran. She reaches the front of the cue and is asked for her admission fee, which she pays. She motors into the building, reaches for her iPhone and begins to type.
“So, this is where the fascists come to play is it? Where they come to spout their race hate filth. Well this is where InstaGran needs some less-than-flattering images of them throwing Nazi salutes and so forth”.
Driving into a busy room within the building, she holds up her iPhone and points it at a group of attendees. She Nazi salutes in the hope of them responding, but they look mildly shocked and try to ignore her.
She then moves into a room where a speech is being given over a poor quality PA system. Unfortunately, InstaGran has very poor hearing and doesn’t wear her hearing aids very often. With iPhone in hand towards the audience, in the hope of a reaction, InstaGran raises her voice.
Send them home!
The man addressing the audience, stutters momentarily, clocks InstaGran, double takes and then continues his speech. A number of the audience members look very disapprovingly at InstaGran. The speaker rounds off his address and the room begins to mingle and attendees talk amongst themselves.
InstaGran motors towards a group talking, all of whom turn away from her as she approaches. She approaches a second group, all of whom do the same. Unperturbed, InstaGran stealthily advances towards a third group of 6 people talking. She holds her hand to her ear and listens into get the information she needs.
So I’ll aim to be in the town at the Foremark Arms for around 12pm. We can have a couple of drinks and then meet the rest of the group at the church for a 1pm start
(Seemingly to herself, but rather loud) Perfect. I’ve got your number, you fascist pigs. You Nazi scabs. You’ll get what’s coming to you. InstaGran’s got your number!
A man from the group turns around to InstaGran
Erm, excuse me, I heard that! In fact, I heard all of it! This is a peaceful, god-loving organisation you know and we certainly don’t want any trouble. What are you up to love?
With the small group now paying InstaGran their undivided attention, she prepares herself for some group photographs and tries to instigate the group to display racist behaviour on camera. She Nazi salutes and in a very tepid, friendly ‘old lady voice’ addresses the group.
The group is frozen and all members look mortified.
(Holding her left hand up to mimic a moustache and her right hand holding her iPhone, rotating between framing a picture and throwing Nazi salutes) Come on you lot. We’re going to shut these Muslims down right? Aren’t we?
Unfortunately, InstaGran fails to notice members of the capturing videos of InstaGran on their smartphones.
I’ve bloody had enough of these false idol-worshiping dogs. Yeah? YEAH? Are you with me? If so give me a hell yeah? SIEGHEIL!
Members of the initial group of six begin to address her.
You are a horrible person. You’re disgusting. Nobody follows the life and times of Hitler. You’re a disgrace.
Oh god, you’re the last sort of person we need at our marches. Please, do not come on Saturday. It’s a Christian event. A family event.
Well, I’m coming. And I’m going to show you lot up for the fascist scum bags you are. You might try and keep it hidden, but I’ll catch you out on Saturday!
Still being filmed, InstaGran performs a dramatic exit
So watch out Nazi scum. I’ll see you on Saturday.
InstaGran rotates her mobility scooter, turns around and Nazi salutes the room. She moves to the front entrance of the building, but there is no mobility ramp there anymore. It was brought in as the door was closed prior to the meeting. InstaGran stops dead at the door. She sheepishly looks back to the meeting room, then again and then pips her hooter.
(Sheepishly) Erm, would you mind helping an old lady. Anybody?
The crows stand in disbelief and then three men walk reluctantly towards InstaGran and lift her mobility scoter to the pavement. She thanks the three men and motors ahead a few metres, stops, turns around and points her iPhone at them.
The three men look at her in disbelief and go to shut the venue door, which notably is clearly signed as saying “Young Christians Find The Light Group”. InstaGran does not notice that she had been in the wrong part of the building. The camera pans to the right and reveals the true location of the Britain First meeting, which InstaGran had failed to enter. Once more, InstaGran Nazi salutes at the door and is caught doing so by a number of members of the public passing by, all of whom look disgusted, shocked and unhappy with her actions. She turns around and sets about making her way home.
Back at home in her front room, InstaGran turns on the television and local news runs an item on the planned Britain First march in town. The item also features how an elderly member of Britain First, dressed in a badly made superhero costume and riding in a mobility scooter demonstrated extremely intimidating behavior at a local young persons’ Christian group meeting. InstaGran can be seen Nazi saluting at members and then leaving the building, turning back to the crown and Nazi saluting – footage captured from attendee smartphones.
(To her cat) Well puss, member of Britain First am I? Well now, that doesn’t make Britain First look very good now does it Puss? Ha ha ha.
She begins to smile as she realises that her actions were not in vein.
Britain First Nazi Saluting at a Christian gathering. What a superb headline!
Just then, the telephone rings and InstaGran answers.
Oh hello Jeannie dear. Yes. Yes. No. No I’m quite alright dear. Yes I did watch the news. No dear, that was InstaGran dear. No dear, I don’t need to talk to anyone. Of course I miss Mike but I’m fine dear. No I don’t need to talk to anyone Jean. I wasn’t collecting my urine Jean. My toilet was broken. It was InstaGran trying to flush her magic costume down the lavatory when the police came round. Yes. I don’t want to go in a home Jeannie. Of course, come round, but make it after 5pm. I’m going to town. I know dear. Well, I’ll be sure to stay away from that part of town. I’ve no time for racists dear. Yes dear. After 5. Well, I’ll look forward to it Jeannie love. Yes. Bye bye.
InstaGran addresses her cat once more.
(Slyly) Well, a close shave Puss. InstaGran’s identity was nearly revealed. But thankfully, it’s still safely under wraps. If I were a member of Britain First, I’d be very, very concerned Puss. Because InstaGran is going to make sure that their march through town does not go to plan (she giggles). There’s going to be much, much more antisocial behavior from InstaGran. Right! We’ve got an hour to get into town.
InstaGran picks up her iPhone, glances at it admiringly and calls a local taxi company.
Erm yes, a taxi to the town centre please. It’s InstaGran. InstaGran yes. No, I’m not racist no. No. I was doing that to expose Britain First. But they need stopping. NO not the immigrants. Britain First. I wasn’t Nazi saluting. I was a bit, but I was doing it……. Hello? Hmmmm. Britain First sympathisers! This needs stopping now.
InstaGran mounts her mobility scooter, pulls on her InstaGran hood and makes her way to the door.
InstaGran doesn’t need taxis. InstaGran has 12mph at her disposal and with a full charge, she’ll be tackling Nazi scum in (pauses and looks at her iPhone)…two hours and 23 minutes. RIGHT. Time to go!
A montage of travelling ensues. InstaGran can be seen passing schools, children playing in a park, quickly rounded up by their concerned parents. A church wedding. She passes through a red light district and a prostitute stands on a corner with her back to InstaGran, blocking her way. InstaGran stops and sounds her horn. The prostitute turns around and, shocked by InstaGran’s strange dress, drops her cigarette and steps aside.
I’ll be back for you another time my love!
Fuck the fuck off or I’ll cut your fucking throat
An alarm sounds on InstaGran’s iPhone and she stops her mobility scooter and reads a notification which reads: “Medication time. Take second heart tablets and anti-psychotic pill”. She pulls out a pill box and tips a number of pills into her palm. She pops them into her mouth and follows them with a sip of bottled water. She continues on her way. As she approaches the town centre, it seems that whatever took place earlier is tailing to an end.
InstaGran asks a group of people sat outside of a nearby pub
(Slurring her words) Erm, excuse me, what happened with the Britain First March please?
Looking rather amused, one of the group replies
You’ve missed it duck. They’ve pissed off back to where they came from. Britain First I mean. The usual display of crosses, Union Flags. Locals telling them to go home. Annoyed local Muslims. Anyway duck, you’ve missed it.
But, but, I’ve got to tell them, I’ve got to send them back. Did…did you see which way they went?
Well, they dispersed a couple of hours ago, but they went that way. There are a few pubs up there and I’m sure they’re drowning their victimised sorrows in a few pints. Why do you ask anyway?
(Desperately) Oh, no reason, no reason, thank you love, thank you.
InstaGran hastily embarks up the high street. She spots a group of people sitting outside the front of a pub. Half of them have bald heads. Half don’t. Some of them are even in wheelchairs.
HA! You did it InstaGran. Hello Adolf and Co!
InstaGran motors up to the front of the pub and pulls out her iPhone and points it at the group. The entire group of punters turn their attentions to InstaGran.
Right! Right! You lot! Your days are numbered! Look at you, with your skinheads. You’re not kidding anyone! You won’t be here for long! The end is nigh you scum bags!
Members of the group begin to stand in front of the seated members of the group.
InstaGran points her iPhone at the group and throws a Nazi salute
Sieg Heil. You degenerates! Come on, show your real colours. Sieg Heil!
Two members of the group begin to film InstaGran using the smartphones, whilst another concerned member makes a telephone call. Other punters seem shocked and some move to the front to seemingly protect the group being accosted by InstaGran.
An elder member of the group addresses InstaGran
CARE ASSISTANT 1
Right, I’ve seen some things in my time. But this, this is… an elderly woman in a mobility scooter, dressed in potato sacks shouting sieg heil at a group of terminally ill children takes the fucking biscuit!
But, but they’re Britain First support……. They’ve got skin heads
Just then, InstaGran’s telephone beeps. Another message reminding her to take he medication is shown. She starts fidgeting in her bag to find her medication.
Ah, tablets. Sieg Heil. I’m here to stop Britain First….
CARE ASSISTANT 1
No love, you’re taking drugs, wearing a poorly person’s costume, urinating yourself and shouting Nazi expletives at a group or cancer suffering, terminally ill teens. Well done! Well done!
A police car arrives and two officers get out and approach the fracas.
Ruth. Oh Ruth, what the fuck!
Stop it now. Ruth, this takes the biscuit. We just can’t believe this one. Can you just stop fidgeting with those tablets. What are they? What are you taking?
Well, these are for my heart, these are to make me happy, these control my water works.
And why the phone Ruth? How often are you taking these.
My iPhone, I’ve set a reminder so that I take my pills every day. You know what can happen if InstaGran forgets her magical tablets? She goes to visit Jesus.
The policeman takes InstaGran’s iPhone and tablets. He hands the tablets to his colleague and inspects the phone.
Ruth, you’ve set your reminder for every hour, not every day. I’m sorry Ruth, but this time we’re going to get you some help.
But, but, oh dear. That explains a lot then.
Slowly pulling off her InstaGran balaclava, she looks disappointed and bows her head.
Look Ruth, we’re coming out to see you nearly every day. We’re taking you to see someone. And I’m afraid we’re going to have to keep this phone as evidence. We’ve received a lot of reports of you demonstrating neo-fascist behavior. So if you don’t mind, it’s time to go now.
Later on, in a modern hospital room, Ruth is being seen by family members. Two children and a middle aged couple, being her daughter, her husband and their children surround her bed.
So mam, you’re looking much better now. So in a few days you can come back to ours and stay as long as you like.
We’ve made your room up mam. It’s got all the latest mod cons and if you like, you can give your flat up for good and stay with us.
Oh you are treasures. You really are. And er, not that I’ll be able to use it, but did you manage to get me that thing I asked for, just in case.
I don’t know, whatever you call them. I thingy.
The daughter reaches into her bag and pulls out a mobile phone.
Of course mam, it’s Callum’s old iPhone 5. You can borrow it until you get out of hospital. Here you are. It’s got a pay as you go sim in it. Call us if you need anything. Please. Well. We’re going to head off now. We’ll see you tomorrow. Same time. We love you mam!
The family begin to leave and InstaGran cheerily waves off her family, whilst her attention is clearly weighted towards the iPhone in her hands.
As the door closes, she dials a number into her phone and puts the headset to her ear.
Jeannie! Yes. I’m much better thank you. Yes, I think I did go mad. Literally, yes, I went mad. There was sick all over my Inst….frock. I was taking my tablets every hour instead of every day. No Jeannie, InstaGran? She’s gone now Jeannie. She’s gone now.
InstaGran looks at her phone and scrolls through the news. She focuses on an item detailing the migrant crisis in France.
Anyway my love, I’m feeling much better now Jeannie love. And once I get out of here, which won’t be long now, I’ve decided I’m going to take a short break in France. Calais. Oui mon Cherie. Well, OK love, yes love, don’t die either. Speak to you soon.
The camera zooms in on InstaGran who puts her InstaGran balaclava over her head and fashions it into a beret.
(In a poor French accent) I sink InstaGran, our friends in France req wire our help een Calais.