I'm not really sure how it happened, how I got myself involved in that situation. I mean, I had a good job, a good life - I didn't need to be there, to be in that room with those people discussing that project ... the one my whole future hinged on.
If we were successful, if we pulled it off against the odds, then I'd be set up for life - I'd never, ever have to worry about where the next meal was coming from. I'd never have to hide behind the sofa when the doorbell rang in case it was the bailiffs. I'd never have to excavate pennies from the back of the sofa in order to buy a pint of milk.
If, on the other hand, it went wrong, if it failed ... well, I'd rather not think about the consequences. Let's just say everything I was and everything I'd ever be was riding on this project, the people I was working with and the man in front of us who was calling the shots ...
In retrospect, I'd probably have felt better if the guy in charge, the man who wanted me to rob a bank for him, the man who'd planned this extremely risky criminal undertaking down to the tiniest detail wasn't dressed as the Pink Panther.
No, that's not true. How he dressed wasn't the weird bit. Hell, for reasons I couldn't quite grasp, I was dressed as a giant furry lamb. No, the weird bit, the unsettling bit, was he didn't know he was dressed as the Pink Panther.
I'm not even convinced he knew he was wearing a costume. I'd asked him about it earlier on and he'd gotten quite shirty about it:
"Costume? What costume? What the hell are you talking about?"
When I'd first been taken to meet The Panther, I assumed it was some kind of cool criminal nickname. I certainly wasn't expecting a man who was ... well, ever so pink.
You know that thing about assuming making an ass out of u and me? Well in this case it made me a Lamb and the others a Fox, a Pig, a Hippo and a Rat.
To be honest, even that I could probably have coped with if the fat man sitting next to me wasn't smearing an entire tub of Vaseline over his head and whispering about how banks "make his winkie go all funny."
I should have walked away there and then.
Hell, I should have run screaming for the door and sold a kidney to cover the gas bill.
But I didn't.
Instead I did the next best thing.
I woke up and thought:
"That's a good idea for a film ... "
Phillip Barron - scriptwriter