Dark comedy. A hoarder's flat, a blood-stained floor, a dead rat and a curse from beyond the grave. All in a day's work for council contractors Keith, Nick and Maz.
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This programme contains some strong language.
ENGINE REVS, DOG BARKS
DISTANT POLICE SIREN
What a shit tip!
Neighbours have been complaining for weeks.
He was a hoarder, apparently.
-You'll get used to it.
We've had worse than this, haven't we, Keith?
Oh, yes! This is a veritable potpourri
compared to Stanley Gardens.
Oh, no, that was bad.
Widow, been there 18 months, nothing left of her.
Just a pile of old lady porridge on the settee.
With a hat on top.
Whoa, that's rank.
That's the job, Mary.
You never know what lies in wait.
I have to say, you don't strike me as a Mary.
People call me Maz.
And you DO strike me as a Mary, if you don't mind me saying.
Why, because I wear glasses?
-The gentleman's name was Frank Meggins, 68 years old.
He fell through a glass coffee table and bled out, apparently.
Urgh! Are you going to have to change those floorboards?
Yeah. We're also doing a probate valuation and document search.
Mr Meggins had no living relatives, so,
any clues will be beneficial to sorting out the estate.
Yeah, because someone will be dying to get their hands on all of this
-crap, won't they?
-Someone DID die, Mary.
That's why we're here.
Look at this! It looks like Frank's numbers came up.
What?! He won the lottery?!
Looks like it. Maybe he was a bit of a Howard Hughes,
but without the germ phobia, obviously.
Why would you live in a council flat full of shit
-if you're a millionaire?
-Show some respect.
But seriously, 3.5 mil.
I would be like, Ferrari, massive mansion, special edition Yeezies.
Oh, right, yeah. Push the boat out, why don't you(?)
A boat, why not!
Although my dad did say, "If it flies, floats or fucks, rent it."
Nick, go and show her how to bag up the kitchen waste.
I'll make a start on this Jenga.
-He's a barrel of laughs, isn't he(?)
-Keith's all right.
He means well.
He's had a hard life.
I heard his son's got M & S.
A rent boy?
-What? No! He's in a wheelchair.
He's got a lot on his plate. Here.
Lesson one - no matter who you are,
people always have the same things in their kitchen cupboards.
Peaches in syrup.
Half a box of icing sugar.
But not everyone has...
-..a dead rat.
-Urgh, get that away from me, man!
-These need to be double-bagged, here.
-I'm not touching that.
Come on, you can't be squeamish in this job!
-Hurry up, man!
You can put Roland by the front door.
-Never mind. It's from the '80s.
SCRAPE ON FLOOR
-Is it locked?
Are you trying to kill me?
Look, are you thinking what I'm thinking?
I don't know. What are you thinking?
Try this. 17-04-50.
It's his wife's date of birth.
-Is that it?
-Packages and a VHS.
What's a VHS?
It's from the '80s.
I assume you were trying to find a passport or will or some such?
Exactly. We were just trying to find his prostate.
"Danger, do not open."
Shall we open it?
Of course. How can we not?
It's better that we have the full picture.
Is that it?
I bet it's full of drugs.
-Smash it open.
-It feels pretty solid.
Probably sentimental value.
Why did it have "danger" written on it?
We need to find a player for this.
Maz, you look in there. Nick, check the kitchen.
I don't even know what I'm looking for.
Oh, I just had a horrible thought.
What if it's home-made pornography?
Ugh. I'm not sure I want to see old Frank going at it with his fat wife.
Keep it clean, you two.
We just found a rat in here.
-Dead or alive?
We double-bagged it.
-Wish it WAS alive.
Be less paperwork.
-There's nowhere to sit.
By the time you see this message, I hope to be free.
Free from this terrible curse that I've brought upon myself
through greed and vanity.
It's like Jackanory.
-Don't tell me - '80s?
Inside this package is an object that has ruined countless lives,
I got it many years ago for a small fortune from a holy man in Jaipur.
He got ripped off there. He could have got it from IKEA for a tenner.
-He told me that this artefact
would grant the bearer three wishes,
which would transform my life.
And, for a while, it did.
But after what happened to Brenda...
If you find this package, I urge you,
I implore you, do not open it.
Send it away, destroy it.
Our lives are ruled by fate,
and those who interfere with fate do so to their sorrow.
No, he's not going to...
That's very sad.
I mean, where's social services in all this, eh?
Nobody cares any more.
You heard what he said.
That thing is dangerous.
Oh, come on, Nick, he was clearly delusional. He's lost his wife
and he couldn't accept it. It's classic displacement.
Blaming a rabbit ornament isn't going to bring her back.
-It's a hare.
Hares are associated with witchcraft and trickery in almost every culture
-in the world.
-How do you know?
Because I did a PhD in ethnology and folklore.
Then, why are you here acting as a glorified binman?
Because it didn't get me anywhere, did it?
Like having a degree in washing-up.
-Yeah, but, still.
-Well, let's just say I made some bad choices.
Oh! YOU were a rent boy!
He was an alcoholic.
Am an alcoholic.
It never goes away.
Fortunately, there are people willing to give you a second chance.
Look, why don't we put the man's property back in the safe, eh?
This glorified binman thinks we've wasted enough time as it is.
Guys, come here a second.
You don't double-bag a live rodent.
-It was dead.
-Yeah. I know a dead rat when I see one.
It's all right! We all make mistakes.
-I wished for it.
-Just now, in there, I was holding the statue,
I said, "I wish it was alive, it would be a lot less paperwork."
-Nick, calm down.
-No, he's right, he did.
Damn. That means we've only got two wishes left.
-What do you mean?
-Well, you've used yours, you wished
-for the rat to come alive.
-What? I was just making a joke.
-That's YOUR problem, mate.
-I could have had anything in the world
-and I've ended up with a pet rat?!
-Well, it's very domesticated,
-Well, you have it, then!
Sorry. Couldn't concentrate.
Look, Nick, what we're dealing with here is an old man,
possibly with undiagnosed dementia, who had a run of bad luck.
Is one explanation. But consider this. Maz?
This is Frank's wife, Brenda.
I'm not being rude but she's a bit of a...
-Yes, she's a beast.
I think the word is obese.
Anyway, within six months, she gets ill and ends up looking like this.
She had cancer, yes, that's what happens.
But here in Frank's diary, "Brenda upset about her weight again.
"Poor sausage. I wish there was a way I could help her."
-You see? He wished for her to be thin,
-she gets cancer, weight drops off, she dies.
-How could you even...?
That's just sick.
All right, look at this.
3rd of September, back from India.
12th of September, wins the Lottery.
-You've said all this.
-29th of September,
sends his brother on a luxury holiday to the Florida Keys.
-Where he dies in a boating accident.
Every wish backfires. It's throughout folklore.
There's no way around it. After his wife dies, he sells the big house
in Highgate, he moves in here,
starts frittering away his money buying crap off eBay.
That's because he was a hoarder. It's an illness.
It's because he was trying to get rid of it by buying the
most innocuous things. The money is cursed.
This is just story-fying, Nick. You've developed an overactive
imagination cos of your fairy-tale degree.
Have you been drinking the antibacterial hand wash again?
I did that once!
All right, then, so, what was his third wish?
-I don't know.
-Look, my point is, we've got two wishes left -
what are we going to use them on?
Well, I wish we could just go back to work and get this job done.
-That's not going to happen now, is it?
-You have to be holding it.
I know what we should do.
We should wish for unlimited wishes.
-It won't work.
-What? How do you know?
It never does. You can't wish for anything
that would alter the structure of the wishing system itself.
Can you make a start on those floorboards, please?
I've got an ATP fluorescence booked in at 12 tomorrow.
I need that room spotless.
Why don't we just ask for shitloads of money, like, 50 million each?
That's exactly what Frank did, look what happened to him.
Just a stain to get rid of.
The wish-granter is always vengeful.
If you're greedy, you pay the price.
Yeah, but it's like the taxman, isn't it?
I claimed for a Happy Meal because I found a receipt
in the trolley outside Tesco. And he never came after me.
I don't think you can compare fate to the Inland Revenue.
I wish for £93,000, please.
-What are you doing?!
That was very carefully thought out.
-Not too much, but enough to make a difference.
-Give me that.
-You're an idiot.
-Everything all right?
Yeah, we're just sorting out the floorboards.
You should not have wished for that money, Maz.
-Well, what, then?
-I don't know, something harmless.
-An activity like what?
Skydiving? Yeah, cos that would end well, wouldn't it?
Don't say I didn't warn you.
When will I get it, anyway?
-What do you mean?
-Well, when you wished for your rat, it was instant.
-It's not my rat.
-I'm just saying,
how long will it be before I get my money?
What have you got there, Keith?
Oh, I've come across some of Frank's Lottery winnings.
It looks like he didn't spend it all, after all.
And what are YOU doing with it?
Well, you know the procedure, Nick.
This money has to be secured and taken off the property
-as soon as possible.
-By stuffing it in your coat pockets?
I thought it would be safer that way. But you're right.
Best keep it all in one place.
What's going on?
Keith has found some money.
Yes, looks to be in the region of £100,000.
93. It's mine, I just wished for it.
You do talk some rubbish, Mary.
This money was just here, nobody wished for it.
Well, how do you explain the rat?
I can assure you, there's more than one rat on this property, Nick,
they're everywhere. Now, if you'll excuse me.
You're not going.
-That's my money.
-You're not taking it.
-It belongs to me!
Maz! Come back!
Get the fuse box.
Listen to me.
If you take that money...
..something terrible will happen to you.
I know you're spooked.
But that money is not yours.
There's no point hiding.
There's only three rooms.
Don't come any closer!
-I'm warning you, don't move, or I'll turn you both into cushions.
It's the first thing that came into my mind.
Think about what I said.
You're being greedy. Remember the Happy Meal in the Tesco's trolley.
-It's not the same thing!
-I'm sorry, you've lost me now.
Maz, you don't know what your fate has in store.
It could be that you ARE going to be really rich.
Don't meddle with it. Just let it be a surprise.
Thanks for the warning, Nick, but I know what I want.
I don't like surprises.
Don't touch anything, Nick,
you don't want to contaminate the evidence.
We've still got one wish left. I could wish for Maz to come back
-But then she'd be brain-damaged, of course,
just like in The Monkey's Paw, when the son comes back all mangled.
Nick, Nick, you're babbling.
Why don't you go home now and I'll sort this?
-Yeah, but what about Maz?
She's gone. It was an accident at work, we both saw it.
I'll alert the authorities, I'll take the money back
to the office and in the morning I'll reassign the case, OK?
Yeah, will you, though?
What do you mean?
Take the money back?
I saw what you were doing with it.
I explained all that.
Keith, I've known you 12 years.
Don't lie to me, please.
-We'll split it, 45 grand each. No-one knew it ever existed,
-it's not a crime.
-Keith, I don't want anything to do with that money,
-we've got to get rid of it, burn it!
-I can't burn it, Nick!
This money is a godsend to me.
This could pay for Charlie's operation.
Yes. Yes, maybe.
In the stories, people always make self-serving wishes,
use it for something good, there'll be no retribution.
There's no such thing as wishes!
There is no magic, there's no short cuts!
If you hadn't found that stupid video, Maz would still be alive!
We could have just done this job and gone home.
Hang on a minute. We found that video locked in the safe.
It was his suicide video. Who put it there?
-What are you trying to say?
-Maybe Frank isn't dead.
-Frank is dead, Nick.
-Yes, but how do you know?
Because I killed him!
The trouble with these old properties is...
Especially...if you've been drinking.
I'd heard rumours there might be money here.
The neighbours have been in, complaining about the smell.
So I arranged a home visit.
I told Frank about Charlie...
..asked him if he could help me out, but he wouldn't listen.
I lost my temper.
Next thing I know...
..he was dead.
So, you see, Nick,
it's got nothing to do with your stupid wishes.
I am so hungry.
I don't know what's happened to all my food.
-What are you doing here?
-This is my flat.
Where else am I going to go?
But you're dead!
I had some tinned peaches in here somewhere.
I know you, don't I?
You came from the council.
One minute you're trying to help me, and the next...
..you're pushing me through a glass coffee table.
Yes, sorry about that.
-I have a son, you see.
-Yes, I remember you saying.
We try and help the ones we love.
I understand that.
I tried to help my wife, but it didn't work out.
I also wished to be rich, and now look at me.
What was your third wish, Frank?
I thought you'd have guessed that by now.
What's the point of being rich if you can't live forever?
So that videotape...
Oh, I've tried countless times to end it all, but I can't.
Like a bad penny, I keep coming back.
It's a living hell, and I'm trapped in it.
Don't make the same mistake I made.
Be careful what you wish for.
This belongs to you.
I'll make us some tea.
Here you go.
You've got a visitor.
-Look, Daddy, I can walk!
I wished it for you, Keith.
It's what you deserve.
Oh, my boy, my beautiful boy.
What's that smell?
A dead hoarder's flat, a blood-stained floor, a dead rat and a terrible, inescapable curse from beyond the grave. All in an ordinary day's work for council contractors Keith, Nick and Maz.