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The ticket inspector: . . . . . . . . . .

76

Tea break: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77

The King of Boonland: . . . . . . . . .78

The restaurant: . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80

The doctor: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82

Gussett and Rose: . . . . . . . . . . . .84

Hotel Splendido: . . . . . . . . . . . . .85

The passport office: . . . . . . . . . . .86

Fire practice: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88

The post office: . . . . . . . . . . . . .90

Mr. Jones: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92

The shoe stall: . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94

The check-in desk: . . . . . . . . . . .96

The police: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98

The bus stop: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100

A ticket to Birmingham: . . . . . . . .102

74 SKETCHES
Gerry Thatcher's party: . . . . . . . .104

The army: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106

The dentist: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108

Mr. Williams and the postman: . . .110

Tourist information: . . . . . . . . . . .112

The bank: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .114

The Superlative vacuum cleaner: . .116

Superman and the psychiatrist: . . .118

The lost property office: . . . . . . . .120

The travel agency: . . . . . . . . . . .122

Gerry Brown's driving test: . . . . . .124

Giovanni 's caf: . . . . . . . . . . . . .126

Shakespeare's house: . . . . . . . . .128

Mr. Universe: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130

The new James Bond film: . . . . . .132

World record: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134

SKETCHES 75
The ticket inspector Passenger: Ooh, are you a famous per-
son?
Scene : A compartment on a train Inspector: (Flattered) Famous? Well, not
Characters: A passenger on a train, a very (Back to normal) Sir, I
ticket inspector,a steward and am a ticket inspector. I inspect
a waiter tickets. Are you going to show
me your ticket?
The passenger is sitting in a compartment on Passenger: No, I haven't got a ticket.
a train. He is reading a newspaper. The stew- Inspector see.
ard opens the door. (The ticket inspector puts his
hand into his pocket.)
Steward: Coffee! Passenger: 'What are you going to do?
Passenger: No. thanks. Inspector: I'm going to write your name
(The passenger closes the in my book.
door, and continues reading. Passenger: Oh
The waiter opens the door.) Inspector: What is your name, sir?
Waiter: Seats for dinner! Passenger: Mickey Mouse,
Passenger: No, thanks. (The inspector begins to
(The passenger closes the write.)
door again, and continues Inspector: Mickey
reading. The ticket inspector Passenger: Mouse. M-O-U-S-E.
opens the door.) (The inspector stops writing.)
Inspector: Tickets! Inspector: Your name, sir?
Passenger: No, thanks. Passenger: Karl Marx? William
Inspector: Pardon? Shakespeare? Charles
Passenger: I don't want a ticket, thank Dickens?
you. Inspector: I see, sir. Well, if you're not
Inspector: I'm not selling tickets, sir. going to tell me your name,
Passenger: No? please leave the train,
Inspector: No, I want to see your ticket. Passenger: Pardon?
Passenger: Oh, I haven't got a ticket. Inspector: Leave the train.
Inspector: You haven't got a ticket? Passenger: I can't.
Passenger: No. I never buy a ticket. Inspector: You can't what?
Inspector: Why not? Passenger: I can't leave the train.
Passenger: Well, they are very expensive, Inspector: Why not?
you know. Passenger: It's moving,
Inspector: Sir, you're travelling on a train. Inspector: Not now, sir. At the next sta-
When people travel on a train, tion.
they always buy a ticket. Passenger: Oh.
Passenger: Er Inspector: It's in the book, sir. When you
Inspector: And this is a first-class com- travel by train, you buy a tick-
partment. et, and if you don't buy a tick-
Passenger: Yes, it is very nice, isn't it? et, you
Inspector: No, sir. I mean: This is a first- Passenger-Inspector: leave the train.
class compartment. When Inspector: Here we are, sir. We're coming
people travel in a first-class to a station. Please leave the
compartment, they always buy train now.
a first-class ticket. Passenger: Now?
(They look at each other for a Inspector: Yes, sir. I'm sorry, but
moment.) Passenger: Oh, that's OK.
Passenger: No, they don't. Inspector: it's in the book, and what did
Inspector: What? you say?
Passenger: A lot of people don't buy tick- Passenger: I said: That's OK.'
ets. The Queen doesn't buy a Inspector: OK?
ticket, does she' Eh? Eh? Passenger: Yes, this is my station.
Inspector: No, sir, but she's a famous Goodbye.
person. (The passenger leaves the
Passenger: And what about you? Where's train.)
yours?
Inspector: Mine?
Passenger: Yes, yours. Your ticket. Have
you got a ticket?
Inspector: Me, sir?
Passenger: Yes, you.
Inspector: No, I haven't got a ticket.

76 SKETCHES
Tea break Tom: A lemon cake and a cream tea.
Jerry: Careful!
Scene: A rehearsal room in a theatre Tom: What do you want, Martin?
Characters: Five actors taking a tea break: Martin: A whisky and soda.
Tom, Jerry, Jane, Martin, Sara Tom: With milk and sugar?
Martin: Of course.
Jerry: All right. That's enough. It's time for (Tom wants to check the orders.)
a cup of tea. Tom: OK. Let me get this right. Sara, you
Tom: Oh, good, A cup of tea. I can't wait. want a cup of tea, with no milk and
(Jerry, Jane, Martin and Sara sit no sugar.
down, there is no chair for Tom) Sara: Yes. Oh...No. On second thoughts, I
Jane: OK, Tom, make the tea think I'd prefer coffee.
Tom: Me Tom: Coffee.
Sara: Yes, make the tea. Sara: Yes, a cup of coffee - with milk and
Tom: Make the tea? Me? sugar.
Jane: Why not? Tom: Right. So - it's one coffee with milk
Tom: All right. What do I have to do? I and sugar, and one tea with milk and
mean, how do you make tea? sugar.
Jerry: Huh! He doesn't know how to make Jane: No sugar!
tea! Tom: No sugar. Right. Jerry, you want a
Tom: OK, Jerry. How do you make tea? lemon tea and a big cream cake.
Jerry: Er...I don't know. Jerry: That's right.
(The others laugh) Tom: And Martin - you want a whisky and
Martin: Listen, Tom - it's easy. Put some soda.
water in the kettle. Martin: With milk and sugar.
Sara: Put the kettle on the stove. Tom: With milk and sugar. Right. OK. See
Jane: Light a match. you in a minute.
Martin: Turn on the gas. (Tom leaves. Very soon, he comes back.)
Sara: And light the gas. Tom: Right, Here you are. One coffee and
Jane: Then put some tea in the teapot - soda, one whisky and cream, one
Tom: It sounds a bit complicated. lemon and milk, and one big sugar
Jane: Oh, come on! It's easy! cake. All right?
Martin: Listen, Tom. You don't have to make Jane: Martin?
the tea. Martin: Yes?
Tom: Oh, good. Jane: Go and make some tea.
Martin: You can get some from the cafe.

Tom: Oh. OK. See you later.
(Tom goes towards the door.)
Jerry: Wait a minute!
Tom: What?
Jane: You don't know what we want yet.
Tom: Oh, yes. Sorry. What do you all
want? Sara?
Sara: I'd like a cup of tea - with no milk
and no sugar.
Tom: One tea - no milk, no sugar. Jane?
Jane: I'd like a cup of tea - with lots of milk
and no sugar.
Tom: Lots of milk - no tea Right.
Jane: No sugar!
Tom: No sugar. Right. Jerry?
Jerry: I'd like a lemon tea and a big cream
cake.

SKETCHES 77
The King of Boonland King: Yes, here we are. Now, this is a map
of the world.
Scene: In front of Buckingham Palace Guard: Yes.
Characters: A guard, a sergeant, the King King: And Boonland is here.
of Boonland Guard: That is the Atlantic Ocean.
King: Yes - and Boonland is in the middle.
Guard: What? In the middle of the Atlantic?
The guard and the sergeant march to the King: Yes.
sentry-box. Guard: I don't believe you.
King: Eh?
Sergeant: Quick march! Left, right, left, Guard: I think you are trying to get into
right, left, right, left, right! Buckingham Palace.
Halt!... Right turn!. Bradshaw! King: That's right. I am.
Guard: Sir! Guard: Well, you can't.
Sergeant: You are guarding Buckingham King: Yes, I can. Wait a minute - I can
Palace. prove I'm the King of Boonland.
Guard: Yes, sir! Look!
Sergeant: Don't forget! Guard: It's a five-pound note.
Guard: No, sir! King: No, it's not five pounds.
(The sergeant leaves. The guard Guard: Isn't it?
stands silently. The King of Boonland King: No, it's five boonos.
comes up to the guard.) Guard: Five boonos?
King: Good morning...Hello!...Nice day, King: Yes.
isn't it?...Do you speak English?... (The guard looks at the note.)
Sprechen Sie espanol?.I think he's Guard: Oh, yes! Five boonos. So this is the
deaf. Oh, well... money you use in Boonland.
(The King starts to go into the King: Yes, it is.
Palace.) Guard: How many boonos are there in a
Guard: Oh pound?
King: Oh! He can talk! King: Half a million.
Guard: Where are you going? Guard: Half a million?
King: I'm going into Buckingham Palace. King: Yes, and there are one hundred
Guard: Stand there! boonitos in a boono.
King: I don't want to stand there. I want to Guard: Now, listen to me -
go in there. King: Ah! I can prove I'm the King of
Guard: Stand there!! Boonland. There's a picture of me on
King: Oh, all right, the one-boonito coin. Um...Have you
Guard: Who do you think you are? got change for ten boonitos?
King: I'm Fred, King of Boonland. Guard: No, I haven't!
Guard: Well, listen to me, Fred King - King: Oh. It's all right. Look - one boonito
King: No, no, my name isn't Fred King. I coin, with a picture of me on it.
am King Fred. Guard: Oh, yes. A picture of you. (The King
Guard: Are you trying to tell me that you nods.)
are a real king? Guard: Tell me - why do you want to go into
King: Yes. I am the King of Boonland the Palace?
Guard: Boonland? King: I am here to bring the Queen the
King: Yes good wishes of the people of
Guard: And where exactly is Boonland? Boonland.
King: Huh! You don't know where Guard: The good wishes of the people of
Boonland is? Boonland?
Guard: No. King: Yes.
King: Oh. OK, look at my map... Guard: How many people are there in
(The King finds his map.) Boonland?
King: Well, there's me, and my mother,
and -
Guard: No, No! All together! What's the
78 SKETCHES population of Boonland?
King: Ah - well, there are the people in the King: Yes - here it is!
capital - (The King takes a banana from his
Guard: In the capital? bag.)
King: Yes, Boonland City. And there are Guard: But that's a banana.
the people who live in the mountains King: I know.
- we call them 'the mountain peo- Guard: What's so special about a banana?
ple'. King: It isn't an ordinary banana.
Guard: Very clever. Guard: Isn't it?
King: And there are the people who live in King: No. Put it in your ear.
the lake, Guard: What?!
Guard: In the lake?! King: Put the banana in your ear.
King: Yes Guard: Why?
Guard: What do you call them? King: Just put the banana in your ear!
King: Stupid. Guard: All right.
(They laugh.) (The guard puts the banana in his
Guard: So, there are the people in the capi- ear.)
tal - King: Can you hear anything?
King: Boonland City. Guard: Oh, yes!
Guard: And the people who live in the King: What does it sound like?
mountains - Guard: It sounds like an elephant with
King: The mountain people. toothache.
Guard: And the people who live in the lake. King: What?! That is the National Song of
King: The idiots. Boonland. (He sings) Oh, Boonland!
Guard: How many is that all together? Guard: Oh!
King: Um. ..Fourteen. King: It's all right - I'm speaking Boonese.
Guard: Fourteen?! */!* is a word in Boonese.
King: Yes. And we want to give the Queen Guard: And what exactly does */!* mean?
a special Boonese present, King: It means 'land of sunshine and
Guard: A special present from Boonland? bananas'
(The King sneezes.)
Guard: What does that mean?
King: It means I've got a bad cold. Now
give me the banana, because I don't
want to be late for tea with the
Queen.
Guard: Oh, right, sir. Here you are, sir.
(The guard gives back the banana.)
King: Thank you very much. Oh, this is for
you.
Guard: What is it?
King: Half a million boonos.
Guard: Half a million boonos?!
King: Yes. Go and buy yourself a cup of tea

SKETCHES 79
The restaurant Customer B: That's right. It sounds very
international. Let's try it.
Scene: The customers' home in Customer A: All right,
London, and then a restaurant (Later, They arrive at the
in London restaurant.)
Characters: Customer A, Customer B, the Customer B: Well, here we are - the
manager of the restaurant Trattoria Romantica.
Manfred Schmidt, a Spanish Customer A: There's no one here, (Calling)
guitarist Hello?
(The manager appears. He is
A and B are at home. not very friendly.)
Manager: Yes?
Customer A: Let's go to a restaurant Customer A: Oh, good evening. Is this the
tonight. Trattoria Romantica!
Customer B: OK. Manager: I don't know. I only work here,
Customer A: Somewhere different. Customer A: Pardon?
Customer B: All right. Let's have a look in Manager: Yes, yes, yes. This is the
the newspaper.(B opens the Trattoria Romantica, but we're
newspaper.) closed for lunch.
Customer B: Er... Cinemas... Theatres... Customer B: Closed for lunch? But it's nine
Restaurants. Ooh, this sounds o'clock.
nice. (Reading) 'London's Manager: Ah. In that case, we're closed
newest restaurant. The for breakfast.
Trattoria Romantica' Customer B: It's nine o'clock in the evening.
Customer A: It sounds good. Manager: (Friendly) Yes, of course it is.
Customer B: The Trattoria Romantica. The Just a little joke. Allow me to
best French restaurant in introduce myself. I am Stavros
London. Papadopoulos, the manager of
Customer A: French? the Trattoria Romantica. What
Customer B: Yes. can I do for you?
Customer A: 'Trattoria Romantica sounds Customer B: We'd like a table for two,
Italian. please.
Customer B: It says French here. Manager: Have you got a reservation?
Customer A: What else does it say? Customer B: Er...No.
Customer B: 'Open every evening -' Manager: Ah. That's a problem.
Customer A: Good. Customer A: But the restaurant is empty,
Customer B: 'from 7.30 to 7.45.' Manager: Is it? Oh, yes. Er.. .a table for
Customer A: What? Fifteen minutes? two...
Customer B: It must be a mistake. (He looks around the restau-
Customer A: I hope so. Anything else? rant.)
Customer B: Yes. 'Music every evening -' Manager: Yes, Here you are a lovely
Customer A: Good. table for two.
Customer B: ' from our Spanish guitarist ' Customer A: Thank you.
Customer A: Spanish guitarist? (A and B sit down at the
Customer B: 'Manfred Schmidt.' table.)
Customer A: Manfred Schmidt?! Manager: Is everything all right?
Customer B: Yes. Oh, and there's a picture Customer B: Yes, thank you.
of the manager. Manager: Good. That's 12.50, please.
Customer A: What's his name? Customer B: What?
Customer B: Stavros Papadopoulos. Manager: 12.50.
Customer A: Stavros Papadopoulos? Customer A: What for?
Customer B: Yes. Manager: For the chairs.
Customer A: But that's a Greek name. Customer A: The chairs?!
Customer B: Yes. Manager: Yes, 6.25 each
Customer A: So it's an Italian restaurant, Customer B: There must be some mistake.
serving French food...The Manager: Oh, sorry, 6.30. That's
Spanish guitarist has got a 12,60 altogether. And of
German name...And the man- course 37 for the table,
ager's Greek. Customer B: 37 for the table?!
Manager: That'ser...49.60 altogether.
Customer A: Look here.
80 SKETCHES
Manager: Service not included. Customer B: Thank you. Er...what's in this
Customer B: Service?! sandwich?
Manager: Would you like to pay sepa- Manager: Sand.
rately or together? Customer A- Customer B: Sand?!
Customer A: Look - we don't want the table Manager: Yes, sand. That's why it's
or the chairs. called a sandwich - because of
Manager: Oh, you want to sit on the the sand which is inside it.
floor, Customer A: (To B) Come on, let's go.
Customer B: No, we don't want to take Manager: What's the matter? You're not
them away, going already, are you?
Manager: That's good. We don't have a Customer B: Yes.
take-away service. Manager: Why?
Customer B: We want to sit here and eat Customer A: Because this must be the
something. worst restaurant in London.
Manager: Eat something? Manager: No, it isn't.
Customer B: Yes Customer B: Isn't it?
Manager: Ah. Manager: No. I've got another one round
Customer B: Can we see the menu, please? the corner. It's much worse'
Manager: Er...yes. There you are. than this one. Anyway, people
(He gives them a very small don't come here for the food.
menu.) Customer A: I'm not surprised.
Customer A: It's a very small menu. Manager: No, they come here for the
Manager: It's a very small restaurant. music.
Now, what would you like? Customer B: The music?
Customer B: (Looking at the menu) let's Manager: Yes. Allow me to present
see, (Reading) 'Egg and chips. Manfred Schmidt and his
Double egg and chips, Double Spanish guitar.
egg and double chips.' (Manfred comes in with his
Customer A: Um... Isn't this a French guitar.)
restaurant' Manfred Ole! Guten Abend,
Manager: Oh, yes. Sorry. Give me the meine Damen und Herren
menu. Customer A: Stavros?
(The manager takes the Manager: Yes?
menu) Customer A: What can Manfred play?
Manager: Thank you. Have you got a Manager: Anything you like.
pencil? Customer A: Really?
Customer B: Here you are Manager: Yes, anything at all,
(B gives the manager a pen- Customer A: Good. Tell him to play football.
cil.) Manager: Football? What do you mean?
Manager: Thank you. Customer A: We're leaving. Goodbye,
(He writes on the menu.) Manager: Oh, goodbye. Do come again.
Manager: There is a French menu. Don't forget, to tell your
(He gives the menu back to B.) friends!
Customer B: (Reading) 'Oeuf et pommes (A and B leave the restaurant.)
frites. Deux oeufs et pommes Manager: That's the trouble with English
frites. Deux oeufs et deux people, Manfred.
pommes frites.' Manfred: What's that, Stavros?
(B puts the menu on the Manager: They don't know a good
table.) restaurant when they see one.
Customer A: What if you don't like eggs?
Manager: Have the chips.
Customer B: What if you don't like chips?
Manager: Have the eggs.
Customer A: What if you don't like eggs or
chips?
Manager: Have a sandwich.
Customer B: A sandwich?
Manager: Yes, I've got one here in my
pocket
(He puts a sandwich on the
table.)
SKETCHES 81
The doctor Student:
Doctor:
Doctor?
Yes?
Scene: A doctor's consulting-room Student: I'm a student-doctor,
Characters: The doctor, a student-doctor, a Doctor: Really?
patient Student: Yes
Doctor: (To the patient, indicating the stu-
The doctor is sitting at his desk. The tele- dent-doctor) she's a student-doc-
phone rings, the student-doctor is calling. tor, like you
Patient: I'm not a student-doctor,
Doctor: Hello? Doctor: You're not a student?
Student: Doctor Watson? Patient: Yes?
Doctor: Yes? Student: I think he's a patient, doctor.
Student: My name's Smith. Doctor: A patient doctor? That's mar-
Doctor: What's the matter with you? velous! Patient doctors are the
Student: Nothing, doctor. I'm fine, best kind.
Doctor: Really? In that case, why are you Student: No! I'm a student-doctor - he's a
calling? patient.
Student: Well, I'm a doctor. Doctor: I'm a student-doctor - he's a
Doctor: You're a doctor? patient.
Student: Actually, I'm a student-doctor. Patient: No! I'm a patient - you're a doctor.
Doctor: You're a student? Doctor: I'm a patient - you're a doctor,
Student: Doctor. Patient-Student: No!!
Doctor: Yes? Student: You're a doctor- he's a patient!
Student: Er... I'm a student-doctor. Doctor: You're a doctor, he's a patient!
Doctor: Ah! A student-doctor! Patient- Student: No!!
Student: Yes, I'm studying to be a doctor, Patient: You're a doctor - she's a student-
doctor. doctor.
Doctor: A doctor-doctor? What's a doctor- Doctor: You're a doctor - she's a student-
doctor? doctor.
Student: Well, you're a doctor, doctor. Patient Student: No!!
Doctor: Am I? Student: (Indicating) Student-doctor... doc-
Student: Yes, and I'd like to come and watch tor... patient, doctor.
you working. Patient: (Indicating) Patient... doctor... stu-
Doctor: Fine. Come any time. Goodbye dent-doctor, doctor.
(The doctor puts the telephone (Doctor Pointing in various direc-
down. There is a knock at the tions): Doctor, doctor, doctor, doc-
door.) tor, doctor, doctor! (Indicating cor-
Doctor: Come in! rectly) Patient... doctor... student-
(The patient enters. He has one doctor.
arm in a sling.) Student-Patient: Yes"
Patient: Good morning, doctor. Doctor: Well, I'm glad that's all clear.
Doctor: (To the patient) Ah, you must be Goodbye.
the student-doctor. Student: Doctor?
Patient: Pardon? Doctor: Yes?
Doctor: Student-doctor. Student: I think you should examine the
Patient: Student-doctor? No. actually. I'm - patient.
Doctor: Sit down. Doctor: Examine him?
(The patient sits down) Student: Find out what's wrong.
Doctor: Now, you want to watch me work- Doctor: What a good idea! Now, when you
ing. examine a patient, the first thing
Patient: Er...No, actually, I'm not a - you must do is tell the patient to
(There is another knock at the sit down. You try it.
door.) Student: (To the patient) Sit down.
Doctor: Ah, That'll be my first patient. Patient: I'm already sitting down.
Come in! Student: He's already sitting down.
(The student-doctor comes in.) Doctor: Ah, this is a very common prob-
Student: Good morning, doctor, lem. If the patient is already sitting
Doctor: Good morning (To the student- down, don't tell him to sit down.
doctor, indicating the patient) This Student: Oh. (To the patient) Don't sit
is a student-doctor. He's come to down.
watch me working, (To the patient, Patient: Oh. Right.
indicating the student-doctor) This (The patient stands up.)
is a patient, I'm going to ask her a Doctor: Sit down!
few questions, Patient: Right.
(The patient sits down.)
Doctor: Now, when the patient is sitting
down, what's the first thing you
82 SKETCHES
should do? geography.
Student: Take his temperature? Patient: But doctor -
(She feels the patient's forehead.) Doctor: You're fine. You can go now.
Doctor: No. Student: Doctor!
Student: Feel his pulse? Doctor: Yes?
(She feels the patient's pulse) (on Student: I really think you should examine
his good arm). the patient.
Doctor: No. Doctor: Good idea.
Student: Tell him to say 'Aah'? (The doctor places his stethoscope
Doctor: Pardon? on the patient's chest.)
Student: Say 'Aah'. Doctor: Cough. (The patient coughs.)
Doctor: 'Aah!' Doctor: Cough.(The patient coughs.)
Student: No - him. Doctor: Cough.(The patient coughs.)
Doctor: 'Himmm!' Doctor: Cough (The patient coughs.)
Student: No! Tell him to say 'Aah'. Doctor: Cough (The patient coughs.)
Doctor: Ah! Him! (To the patient) Say Doctor: I know what's wrong with him,
'Aah'. Student: What'
Patient: Pardon? Doctor: He's got a cough
Doctor: Say 'Aah'. Student: He's got a cough?!
Patient: Good! Doctor: Yes and I, Doctor Watson, have got
Patient: Actually, doctor, the problem is my the answer.
arm - (The doctor produces a bottle of
Doctor: Now we can ask the patient some medicine from his pocket.)
questions. Doctor: (Pointing at the bottle) 'Doctor
Student: Questions? Watson's Universal Cough
Doctor: Yes - and here they are. Remedy.'
(The doctor gives the student doc- Student: 'Doctor Watson's Universal Cough
tor a list of questions.) Remedy?
Doctor: Go on - you can ask him the ques- Doctor: Yes
tions. Student: But what about his arm?
Student: Oh. Right. Doctor: Er.. (Pointing at the bottle again)
Doctor: (To the patient) now listen very 'Doctor Watson's Universal Cough
carefully, because we have some and Arm Remedy,'
very important questions for you. Student: 'Universal Cough and Arm
Patient: But doctor, the problem is - Remedy'?
Doctor: (To the student-doctor) Read the Doctor: Yes - and this is how it works. He
first question. can drink it
Student: Are you Mrs. Elisabeth Robinson of (He makes the patient drink some
45 Shakespeare Avenue? of the medicine.)
Patient: No. Patient: Aaargh!
Doctor: Correct. Doctor: But it tastes horrible. Or he can
Student: Is this your first baby? rub it on his back -
Patient: What? (He rubs some of the medicine on
Doctor: Try the next one. the patient's back.)
Student: What is the capital of Uruguay? Doctor: But he must mix it with water first.
Patient: Montevideo. Patient: Aa...aaa...aaargh!
Doctor: Correct. Well, there's nothing Doctor: As you can see, he's feeling much
wrong with his South American better now. All he needs is six
months in hospital. Let's take him
away.
Student: Where? To the hospital?
Doctor: No, to the bus stop. Come on!
(The doctor and the student-doctor
help the patient to his feet, and
they all leave.)

SKETCHES 83
Gussett and Rose Rose: We weren't,
Gussett: Weren't we?
Scene: A street Rose: I was in the Navy.
Characters: Two Englishmen: Albert Gussett: Oh
Gussett and Harold Rose (They hesitate again for a
moment.)
The two men pass in the street. Rose: Er... Albert, I mean Herbert -
Gussett: No, no, Albert's my name.
Rose: Goodness me! Rose: Er, yes...Albert, how do we know
Gussett: Well I never! each other?
Rose: Herbert Bishop! Gussett: I was just wondering about that
Gussett: Arthur Trigwell! myself, er...
Rose: No...Actually my name's Harold Rose: Harold.
Rose. Gussett: Yes, Harold. Er...Are you an archi-
Gussett: I'm Albert Gussett, as a matter of tect?
fact. Rose: Yes! Are you an architect?
Rose: Albert Gussett, Of course Gussett: No, I'm a taxi-driver.
Gussett: And you're Harold Rose. Of course Rose: Oh.
you are, (They hesitate again.)
Rose: Well I never! Gussett: Are you interested in boxing?
Gussett: Goodness me! Rose: No, not at all.
(They hesitate for a moment.) Gussett: Ah
Rose: Well, how are you, then? Rose: Do you go to the theatre?
Gussett: Fine, fine, How's Alice? Gussett: I went once about twenty years
Rose: Alice? ago.
Gussett: Yes, Alice, Your wife's name's Rose: I see.
Alice, isn't it? Gussett: Do you take your holidays in
Rose: No, no...Gloria, actually, Brighton?
Gussett: Oh, yes. Gloria Trigwell Rose: No, never.
Rose: Er Rose. Gussett: Mmm.
Gussett: Rose Trigwell? Rose: Do you play golf?
Rose: No, Gloria Rose, Gussett: No, I don't.
Gussett: Gloria Rose, Of course. How is she? Rose: Well, that's not it then.
Rose: She's very well. How's,. ,er... (They hesitate again.)
Gussett: Doris? Rose: Do you know. Albert. I don't think
Rose: Yes, Doris, your wife. How is she? we've met before.
Gussett: Oh, she's very well. Gussett: No, you're right. We haven't.
Rose: Good, good. Rose: Well, er...l'm Harold Rose,
Gussett: - but she isn't my wife. Gussett : And I'm Albert Gussett.
Rose: No? Rose: How do you do?
Gussett: I'm not married. Gussett: How do you do?
Rose: Oh. (They shake hands.)
Gussett: Doris is my sister.
Rose: Oh, yes
(They hesitate again for a
moment.)
Rose: Well, it is a small world, isn't it,
Herbert?
Gussett: Albert.
Rose: Albert, yes. It seems like yester-
day.
Gussett: Yes, it certainly does...
Rose: When we were at that awful school
together.
Gussett: School?
Rose: Yes. Doesn't time fly?
Gussett: We weren't at school together.
Rose: Do you remember that awful
English teacher with black teeth?
Gussett: We weren't at school together.
Rose: Weren't we?
Gussett: No, we were in the Army together.

84 SKETCHES
Hotel Splendido Tourist: And what do you think?
Receptionist: It's a nice book.
Tourist: Look! Have you got a room, or
Scene: The reception desk at a hotel haven't you?
in England Receptionist: OK, OK. OK!
Characters: The receptionist, an English (The receptionist looks at the
tourist book again.)
Receptionist: Yes, we've got a room.
The tourist arrives at the reception desk; he Tourist: Good.
is wearing shorts and a very bright, multi- Receptionist: A single room.
coloured shirt. Tourist: No good, I need a double room
Receptionist: Ah yes, for you and your shirt.
Receptionist: Good afternoon, sir. Welcome Tourist: No! For me and my wife. She's
to the Hotel Splendido. arriving this evening.
Tourist: Thank you. Receptionist: Ah (Looking at the book again)
Receptionist: Pointing at the tourist) Good Yes. we've got a double room.
heavens! Look at that! Tourist: Good! How much is it?
Tourist: (Alarmed) What? Look at Receptionist: How much?
what? Tourist: Yes
(The receptionist indicates the Receptionist: (Demonstrating with her
tourist's shirt.) arms) It's about this long and
Receptionist: Your shirt! about this wide and about this
Tourist: My shirt? high.
Receptionist: Yes! Tourist: No! Not how big, how much?
Tourist: Do you like it? Receptionist: Ah! Ten pounds.
Receptionist: No! Tourist: Ten pounds.
Tourist: No? Receptionist: Yes. Ten pounds for you, ten
Receptionist: No, It's horrible. pounds for your wife, and fifty
Tourist: I beg your pardon? pounds for the horrible shirt.
Receptionist: It's horrible! But for you, it's a Tourist: Fifty pounds for the shirt?!
good shirt, That's ridiculous!
Tourist: Thank you. Receptionist: It's a ridiculous shirt!
Receptionist: Because when people look at Tourist: Now you listen to me. I don't
you, they look at the shirt. like your attitude.
Tourist: I know. Receptionist: I don't like your shirt,
Receptionist: And that's good - because if Tourist: I'm going to complain to the
they look at the shirt, they manager.
don't look at the shorts. Receptionist: She's not here.
Tourist: What? Tourist: Where is she?
Receptionist: And the shorts are really horri- Receptionist: In hospital.
ble. Tourist: In hospital? Oh dear. Did she
Tourist: Now, listen. I didn't come here have an accident?
to be insulted by you. Receptionist: Not exactly. She had dinner in
Receptionist: Oh, you want somebody else the hotel.
to do it, (Calling) Hey, George, Tourist: Well, I would just like to say
come here for a minute! that you are the most unhelp-
Tourist: Stop! Look, I want to book a ful, the most unpleasant, the
room. worst receptionist that I have
Receptionist: Book a room? met in my life.
Tourist: Yes. Have you got one? Receptionist: (Pleased) Thank you very
Receptionist: What? A book or a room? much.
Tourist: A room! Have you got a room? Tourist: And I am going to report you
Receptionist: Yes, we've got lots of rooms. to the manager!
It's a big hotel. Receptionist: Fine. Shall I give you the
Tourist: Yes, but have you got a room phone number of the hospital?
free? Tourist: Right, that's enough! My wife
Receptionist: Free? and I are not going to stay at
Tourist: Yes. this hotel, I'll go and book a
Receptionist: No! You have to pay for it! room at the hotel next door.
Tourist: I mean, Have you got a room Receptionist: OK. See you there.
with no one in it? Tourist: Pardon?
Receptionist: I don't know. Receptionist: I'll see you there.
Tourist: Well, can you have a look in Tourist: What?
the book? Receptionist: This is my last day at this
Receptionist: Pardon? hotel. I lost my job this morn-
Tourist: Have a look in the book. ing, I start work tomorrow at
Receptionist: A look in the book? the hotel next door.
Tourist: Yes. Have a look in the book. Tourist: (Leaving) Oh, no!
Receptionist: OK. Receptionist: See you tomorrow!
(The receptionist picks up the
guest registration book, opens
it, looks quickly at it and clos-
es it again.)
Receptionist: OK. I've had a look in the
book.
SKETCHES 85
The passport office
Scene: A passport office in Britain
Characters: The passport office clerk, a
man who wants a passport,
the man's girl-friend

The clerk is working at her desk. The man


comes in and coughs twice.

Clerk: Oh, good morning. Can I help you?


Man: Yes. Have you got any passports?
Clerk: Yes, we have.
Man: Oh, good. The shop next door hasn't
got any. I'd like twenty, please.
Clerk: Twenty?
Man: Yes. All different colors.
Clerk: I'm sorry. That's impossible. Clerk: Now...first question. Name
Man: All right. All the some color. Man: William Shakespeare.
Clerk: No, no - it's impossible to have Clerk: William Shakespeare?
twenty passports. Man: Yes
Man: Is it? Clerk: Is that your name?
Clerk: Yes. You can only have one. Man: No, but it's a very nice name.
Man: Oh, all right. One passport, please. Clerk: Yes, but what's your name?
(He offers some money.) Man: Oh, my name. Sorry.
Clerk: Just a minute. It isn't as easy as Clerk: Well, what is it?
that. You have to answer some Man: Smith.
questions. Clerk: (Writing) Smith,
Man: Oh, Man: (In a high voice) That's right. Smith,
Clerk: What kind of passport do you want? S-M-I-T-H.
Man: What kind of passport? Clerk: Pardon?
Clerk: Yes Man: Smith, that's right.
Man: A big round yellow one. Clerk: And what's your first name, Mr.
Clerk: We've only got small blue rectangu- Smith?
lar ones. When I say 'What kind?' I Man: (In a high voice) Charles.
mean: How long? Clerk: Pardon?
Man: How long? Man: Charles.
Clerk: How long? Five years? Ten years? Clerk: (Writing) Charles.
Man: I want it today, Man: (In a low voice) That's right.
Clerk: No, I mean: How long do you want it (The clerk is puzzled.)
to last? Clerk: Mr. Smith?
Man: How long do I want it to last? Man: (In a high voice) Yes?
Clerk: Yes Clerk: There's something rather strange
Man: A hundred years. about the way you speak.
Clerk: A hundred years?! Man: Is there?
Man: Yes. Clerk: Yes. When I say your family name -
Clerk: You can't have a passport for a hun- Man: Smith,
dred years. Clerk: Yes, Smith
Man: Why not? Man : (In a high voice) Yes?
Clerk: Er...I don't know. All right - a pass- Clerk: Your voice goes up.
port for a hundred years. Now, we Man: Does it?
have to fill in this form, Er..Do sit Clerk: Yes. And when I say your first name
down. Man: Charles.
Man: Oh, thank you. He sits down. Clerk: Yes, Charles
Man: (In a low voice) Yes?
Clerk: Your voice goes down.
86 SKETCHES
Man: Er...yes, it's true. It's a very big Street.
problem when I'm having a conver- Clerk: 14, Charles Street.
sation. Man: (In a low voice) That's right.
Clerk: That's right. Clerk: Now. ..nationality.
Man: But there is a solution. Man: Er...just write 'British'.
Clerk: What is it? Clerk: Are you British?
Man: You can call me by a different name. Man: It doesn't matter. Just write 'British'.
Clerk: A different name? Clerk: Brunhilde, are you or are you not
Man: Yes. Then we can have a normal British?
conversation. Man: That is a very good question.
Clerk: Oh, good. What name would you Clerk: And what is the answer?
like? Man: It's a bit complicated.
Man: Brunhilde. Clerk: All right, then. Let's start at the
Clerk: What? beginning. Where were you born?
Man: Call me Brunhilde. Man: I don't remember.
Clerk: Brunhilde - Clerk: You don't remember.
Man: Schwarzkopf. Man: No
Clerk: I beg your pardon? Clerk: Why not?
Man: Schwarzkopf.Brunhilde Schwarzkopf. Man: I was very young at the time.
Just write it down. Clerk: Well, what about your father and
Clerk: (Suspicious) Write it down? mother?
Man: Oh, yes - you must write it down. Man: They were older than me.
You see, if I see my real name on a Clerk: Brunhilde! Tell me about your moth-
piece of paper, my voice goes funny. er.
(In a high voice) Look, there it is Man: She was very nice...tall, with a long
(He tops the form.) black beard.
Man: (In a high voice) - Quick! Smith! Clerk: Your mother?
Cross it out! Cross it out! Man: Oh no, that was my father...
Clerk: Oh. Right. Clerk: (Angry) All right! That's enough! I
(The clerk crosses out his name.) don't want to hear any more! Just
Man: That's better. take your passport
Clerk: (Writing) Now...Brunhilde Man: Oh, thank you.
Schwarzkopf. Well, Miss (She gives him a passport.)
Schwarzkopf, there are one or two Clerk: put a photograph in it, and go any-
more questions. Er...Question two: where in the world. But don't come
Address. back here!
Man: Pardon? (She leaves the office.)
Clerk: Address. Man : Hmmm...A British passport, in the
Man: No, it isn't. name of Brunhilde Schwarzkopf.
Clerk: What? Excellent. Brunhilde!
Man: It isn't a dress. I'm not wearing a (His girl-friend Brunhilde, comes in.)
dress. It's a raincoat. Brunhilde: Ja?
Clerk: No, no - address, address! Man: I've got a passport for you.
Man: No, no - a raincoat, a raincoat! Brunhilde: Ja?
Clerk: Look - where do you live? Man: Now we can go anywhere in
Man: Oh, where do I live? the world.
Clerk: Yes. Brunhilde: Ja?
Man: Round the corner. Man: What about a holiday in the
Clerk: Can you be more exact? sun?
Man: Er...just round the corner. Brunhilde: Ja?
Clerk: Brunhilde! What is your address? Man: (To himself) She doesn't
Man: OK,OK. My address is 14...Brunhilde understand a word I say,
Street. Brunhilde: Ja?
Clerk: (Writing) 14, Bain - Ah! That means
14 Smith Street, doesn't it?
Man: (In a high voice) No - 14, Charles
SKETCHES 87
Fire chief: Not now, I'm busy.
(He puts down the telephone.)
Fire practice Fire chief: (To Foggins) So, Foggins, the
most important part of our equip-
Scene: A fire Station ment is,
Characters: Boggins, Coggins, Foggins Foggins: the telephone.
Fire chief: Right! OK, Foggins, I've got an
The fire chief is in the fire station. idea, you can do fire practice
Someone knocks loudly at the door. today with the new firemen.
Would you like to meet them?
Foggins: Yes, please,
Fire chief: Good. Boggins!
(Boggins comes in.)
Boggins: Sir!
Fire chief: Coggins!
(Coggins comes in.)
Coggins: Sir!
Fire chief: Come in! (Foggins comes in.) Fire chief: Foggins, This is Boggins and
Foggins: Don't panic!!! Coggins. Boggins, Coggins and
Fire chief: Can I help you? Foggins, Coggins, Foggins and
Foggins: Yes, I want a job. Foggins.Right - fire practice.
Fire chief: You want a job? Question one. Boggins!
Foggins: Yes. I want to be a fireman. Boggins: Yes, sir!
Fire chief: You want to be a fireman? Fire chief: Where do most fires start?
Foggins: That's right. Boggins: In a box of matches, sir.
Fire chief: Why do you want to be a fireman? Fire chief: No. Coggins?
Foggins: Well, I like smashing things - like Coggins: Don't know, sir.
doors, and windows, and tables. Fire chief: Foggins?
Fire chief: Well, I don't know... Foggins: What was the question again?
Foggins: Please Fire chief: Where do most fires start?
Fire chief: What's your name? Foggins: At the fire station.
Foggins: Foggins. Fire chief: No, Foggins. The answer is: In
Fire chief: Foggins? your house.
Foggins: Yeah, 'Smasher' Foggins. Foggins: What?!
Fire chief: Well, Mr. Foggins, do you know Fire chief: Yes, Foggins. In your house.
anything about the Fire Service? Foggins: Well, I'm not staying here, then.
For example, what is the most (Foggins goes towards the door.)
important thing in a fireman's Fire chief: Where are you going?
equipment? Foggins: I'm going home.
Foggins: What is...the meaning of the word Fire chief: Why?
'equipment'? Foggins: You said most fires start in my
Fire chief: Equipment...you know...things, house.
What is the most important thing Fire chief: Not in your house, Foggins, In
a fireman's got? everybody's house
Foggins: His axe. Boggins, Coggins, Foggins: What?!
Fire chief: Wrong. (They panic. The fire chief blows
Foggins: What is it, then? his whistle.)
Fire chief: His telephone. Fire chief Look - don't panic. It's just an
Foggins: His telephone? expression. It means 'houses in
Fire chief: Yes, Foggins. general'.
Foggins: You can't smash doors with a Boggins, Coggins, Foggins: Oh!
telephone. Fire chief: Now, question two, Coggins!
Fire chief: That's right, Foggins, But when Coggins: Sir!
this telephone rings, someone is Fire chief: What should you do if there's a
in trouble. When this telephone fire in your house?
rings, someone needs help. When Coggins: Go next door, sir.
this telephone rings, someone Fire chief: No, Coggins. You should call the
needs the Fire Service. Fire Service.
(The telephone rings. The fire Coggins: Ooh, good idea, sir.
chief answers it.) Fire chief: And that's where we start work.
Because the most important part
of our equipment is..

88 SKETCHES
Boggins Coggins Foggins: the telephone! Fire chief: (In a high voice) Help! Help!
Fire chief: Right! Now, telephone practice. Boggins: Is something wrong, sir?
Boggins! Fire chief: No, Boggins. I am an old lady. I'm
Boggins: Sirl an old lady, and my house is on
Fire chief: Give the telephone to Coggins. fire. That's why I'm calling the
Boggins: Sir! fire station
(Boggins gives the telephone to Boggins: I see, sir.
Coggins.) Fire chief: Continue.
Fire chief: Coggins! Boggins: Hello, old lady. Can I help you?
Coggins: Sir? Fire chief: (In a high voice)Yes. There's a
Fire chief: You are the telephone. Foggins! fire in my kitchen.
Foggins: What? Boggins: OK, We're on our way.
Fire chief: You are the telephone bell. (Boggins puts down the tele-
Foggins: What do you mean? phone.)
Fire chief: When I blow my whistle, make a Boggins: Was that all right, sir?
ringing noise. Telephone practice Fire chief: Boggins, where is the fire?
- begin! Boggins: In the old lady's kitchen, sir.
(The fire chief blows his whistle. Fire chief: Where is the old lady's kitchen?
Foggins makes a noise like an Boggins: In the old lady's house, sir.
ambulance.) Fire chief: Where is the house?
Fire chief: Not an ambulance, Foggins - a Boggins: Oh, dear!
telephone! Start again. (The telephone rings.)
The fire chief blows his whistle Fire chief: Foggins, stop making that noise
again. Foggins: It's not me, it's the telephone.
Foggins: Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Fire chief: Is it? Oh, right. Coggins!
Fire chief: Boggins, Coggins: Sir?
Foggins: Ring, ring. Fire chief: Answer the telephone,
Boggins: Yes, sir? Coggins: Sir!
Foggins: Ring, ring. (Coggins answers the telephone.)
Fire chief: The telephone's ringing, Coggins: Yes...Yes...Yes...Yes...Yes...Yes.
Foggins: Ring, ring. OK, we're on our way.
Boggins: No, it isn't sir. (Coggins puts down the tele-
Foggins: Ring, ring, phone.)
Boggins: It's Foggins, sir. He's going 'Ring, Fire chief: Very good, Coggins. What is it?
ring', sir. Coggins: A fire, sir.
Foggins: Ring, ring. Fire chief: Did you get the name?
Boggins: There you are, sir. Coggins: Yes, sir.
Fire chief: Boggins, answer the telephone! Fire chief: Did you get the address?
Foggins: Ring, ring. Coggins: Yes, sir.
Boggins: All right, sir. Fire chief: Do you know how to get there?
Boggins picks up the telephone. Coggins: Yes, sir.
Foggins: Ring, ring. Ring, ring, Fire chief: Right. Get in line and don't panic.
Fire chief: Foggins! This is your first fire. Coggins,
Foggins: Ring, what? where's the fire?
Fire chief: Stop it! Coggins: In Railway Street, sir,
Foggins: Brrrrrr. Fire chief: In Rail - In Railway Street?!
Boggins: Nobody there, sir. Coggins: Yes, sir.
Fire chief: Let's start again. Fire chief: What number?
(Boggins puts down the tele- Coggins: Number 44, sir.
phone.) Fire chief: What?! Quick! Hurry up! Get out
Fire chief: Telephone practice - begin! of here and do something!
The fire chief blows his whistle Foggins: All right, all right you said 'Don't
again. panic'
Foggins: Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Fire chief: Never mind 'Don't panic'. Panic!
(Boggins picks up the telephone.) Boggins: What's the matter, sir? It's just a
Boggins: Hello? house on fire.
Fire chief: Fire station. Fire chief: Yes, but it's my house! Panic!
Boggins: Oh, hello fire station! (They panic.)
Fire chief: No, Boggins! You are the fire sta-
tion.
Boggins: Oh, yes. Sorry, sir. Hello? Fire sta-
tion.

SKETCHES 89
The post office Customer: Be careful
Clerk: And it doesn't sound like a cof-
Scene: A post office in Britain fee-pot. And...(Sniffing the par-
Characters: The post office clerk, a customer cel) ...it doesn't smell like a cof-
fee-pot. It smells like a fish,
The clerk is behind the counter. Some dis- Customer: All right, all right, it's a fish.
tance from the counter, there is a sign which Clerk: Well, I'm sorry, you can't send a
says 'Wait here'. The customer enters and fish by post.
waits by the sign. Customer: Why not?
Clerk: Look. It's in the book: 'No food
Clerk: Good morning. by post.'
(The customer does not react.) Customer: (Reading from the book) 'No
Clerk: Good morning! food by post.' Food?! This isn't
(The customer still does not food! This is Napoleon!
react.) Clerk: Napoleon?
Clerk: Can I help you? Customer: Yes, Napoleon. He's my daugh-
Customer: Pardon? ter's fish. And my daughter lives
Clerk: Can I help you? in Australia. That's why I want
Customer: I can't hear you! to send him to Australia.
Clerk: Can I help you?! Clerk: Well, you can't send him by
Customer: I can't hear you. You're too far post.
away Customer: Please!
Clerk: Well, come over here. Clerk: No
Customer: Pardon? Customer: Please!!
Clerk: Come over here!! Clerk: Oh, all right. But there's no
Customer: Come over there? name on the parcel.
Clerk: Yes!!! Customer: Oh, sorry, (She starts writing)
Customer: I can't. I've got to wait here. 'Nap-o-le-'
Clerk: No, you haven't. Clerk: Not the name of the fish, Your
Customer: Yes I have. This sign says 'Wait daughter's name. What is your
here'. daughter's name?
Clerk: Yes, but you're the only cus- Customer: Josephine,
tomer. So you can come over Clerk: Josephine, and what is her sec-
here! ond name?
Customer: Oh. Right. Customer: Elisabeth.
(The customer goes to the Clerk: No - when I said 'her second
counter.) name', I meant her family
Clerk: Now...can I help you? name. What is her family name?
Customer: Can I send a parcel to Australia? Customer: It's the same as mine.
Clerk: Yes, you can Clerk: Yes. But what is it?
Customer: Good, I want to send this to my Customer: Wellington
daughter. Clerk: Wellington.
(The customer produces a large Customer: Yes.
parcel from her bag. The parcel Clerk: So...your daughter's name is
is shaped like a fish.) Josephine Elisabeth: Wellington
Clerk: What's this? (Reading the label Customer: Yes
on the parcel) 'Contents: One Clerk: Address?
coffee-pot. A coffeepot? Customer: Pardon?
Customer: Yes. Clerk: Address, Where does she live in
Clerk: It doesn't look like a coffee-pot. Australia?
Customer: Doesn't it? Customer: Er...
Clerk: No. Clerk: Sydney?
(The clerk bangs the parcel on Customer: No
the counter.) Clerk: Melbourne?
Customer: No.
Clerk: Adelaide?
90 SKETCHES
Customer: Adelaide! Customer: Yes.
Clerk: Adelaide, Clerk: In Vienna?
Customer: No. Ah, I remember - Vienna! Customer: Yes.
Clerk: Vienna? Clerk: Well, why don't you take
Customer: Vienna. Napoleon with you?
Clerk: Vienna's in Austria. Customer: Take Napoleon with me?
Customer: That's what I said. Clerk: Yes. On the aero plane.
Clerk: No, you didn't. You said Customer: Take Napoleon with me on the
'Australia'. aero plane?
Customer: Did I? Clerk: Yes! To Vienna!
Clerk: So this is going to Josephine Customer: Of course! Take Napoleon with
Wellington in Vienna, Austria. me on the aero plane to Vienna!
Customer: Yes, How much is it? Clerk: Yes!
Clerk: That depends on the weight. Customer: And then when I get to Vienna,..
Customer: Pardon? Clerk: Yes!!
Clerk: Weight, Customer: ...I can post him from there!
Customer: Oh. OK. (The customer picks up the par-
(The customer starts walking cel and leaves.)
back to the 'Wait here' sign.)
Clerk: No! I didn't say (Indicating the
sign) 'wait'. I said (Indicating
the scales on the counter)
'weight'.
(The clerk weighs the parcel.)
Clerk: Two and a half kilos. That's
17.50.
Customer: 17,50?! That's very expensive,
Clerk: Well, he is going by air.
Customer: By air? Napoleon can't go by air!
Clerk: Why not?
Customer: He's a fish, not a bird.
Clerk: No, he's going on an aero plane
Customer: On an aero plane?
Clerk: Yes
Customer: How extraordinary! I'm going on
an aero plane today.
Clerk: Really?
Customer: Yes. I'm going to visit my
daughter.
Clerk: Your daughter Josephine?

SKETCHES 91
Mr. Jones Girl: Charles Edward Jones.
Mr. Jones: Yes! My name is Charles
Scene: An office, at four o'clock one Edward Jones.
afternoon Mr. Jones 3: So's mine.
Characters: A girl, Mr. Charles Jones, a Mr. Jones 2: Mine is, too!
second 'Mr. Jones', a third 'Mr. Girl: I want to speak to Mr. Charles
Jones' Edward Jones from Cardiff.
Mr. Jones: That's right. I come from
Mr. Jones goes into an office. Cardiff.
Mr. Jones 2: So do I
Mr. Jones: Good afternoon. Mr. Jones 3: So do I.
Girl: Good afternoon. Girl: The Mr. Jones I want to see
Mr. Jones: My name's Jones. Charles has got three children.
Jones. I come from Wales, Mr. Jones: Yes, that's me! I've got three
from Cardiff. I saw an adver- children.
tisement in the newspaper. It Mr. Jones 3: So have I.
said: 'Charles Jones. Money. (The other man hesitates.)
Four o'clock. Tuesday after- Girl: What about you?
noon.' And it gave this Mr. Jones 2: I've got three children.
address. Mr. Jones: You haven't! What are they
Girl: Ah yes. Wait in here please,Mr. called?
Jones. Mr. Jones 2: What are yours called?
(She takes Mr. Jones into Mr. Jones: Alan. Michael and David.
another office.) Mr. Jones 2: So are mine.
Mr. Jones: Thank you. Mr. Jones 3: What a coincidence! So are
Girl: With these two gentlemen. mine.
Mr. Jones: Oh, thank you.(The girl goes Girl: So you all say you're Mr.
out.) Jones?
Mr. Jones: Good afternoon. Mr. Jones 2, Mr. Jones 3: Yes.
Mr. Jones 2: Good afternoon. Girl: And you all saw the advertise-
Mr. Jones: Good afternoon. ment in the newspaper.
Mr. Jones 3: Good afternoon. Mr. Jones 2 : Yes.
Mr. Jones: Nice day, isn't it? Girl: (Very seriously) Well, Mr.
Mr. Jones 2: Yes. Charles Edward Jones, who
Mr. Jones 3: Yes, it is. lives in Cardiff, and has three
(The girl comes in.) children, hasn't paid any tax
Girl: Now - Mr. Jones? for the last five years. He must
Mr. Jones, Mr. Jones 2, Mr. Jones 3: Yes? pay the government five thou-
Girl: Mr. Jones? sand pounds.
Mr. Jones Mr. Jones 2 Mr. Jones 3: Yes? Mr. Jones 2: Er... actually my name isn't
Girl: Which one of you is Mr. Jones? Jones,
Mr. Jones: I am Mr. Jones 3: Nor is mine, and I don't live in
Mr. Jones 2: So am I, Cardiff, either.
Mr. Jones 3: So am I.
Mr. Jones: No, my name's Jones,
Mr. Jones 2: So's mine.
Mr. Jones 3: So's mine,
Girl: I want to speak to Mr.
Charles Jones
Mr. Jones: Charles Jones! That's
me!
Mr. Jones 2: No, I'm Charles Jones.
Mr. Jones 3: That's my name, too!

92 SKETCHES
Mr. Jones 2: Nor do I. I live in...Edinburgh, Girl: And his money goes to you!
as a matter of fact. I didn't Mr. Jones: To me? But great-uncle Max
understand the advertisement. was a millionaire!
Mr. Jones 3: Nor did I, I didn't realize it Girl: That's right.
meant Charles Edward Jones. Mr. Jones: So now I'm a millionaire?
Mr. Jones 2: Nor did I. My name isn't Girl: Er...no.
Charles Edward Jones. Mr. Jones: Oh.
Mr. Jones 3: Nor is mine. He's the man Girl: You're half a millionaire.
you're looking for. Mr. Jones: Half a millionaire? Which half?
Mr. Jones: Oh dear. The top half or the bottom
Mr. Jones 2: Yes, of course he is! Sorry to half?
have troubled you. Goodbye. Girl: No, no, no. You share the
Mr. Jones 3: Yes, sorry to have troubled money with one other relation.
you. Goodbye. (The two men Mr. Jones: Half a millionaire! Who do I
leave) share the money with?
Girl: So you're Mr. Jones, Girl: Me!
Mr. Jones: Yes. Mr. Jones: You?
Girl: Congratulations! Girl: Yes, I'm your cousin Jane.
Mr. Jones: Eh? Mr. Jones: Cousin Jane? Really? You've
Girl: You're a rich man. grown up!
Mr. Jones: I'm not! Girl: So have you.
Girl: Yes, you are. You've got a lot Mr. Jones: And now you're half a million-
of money! aire.
Mr. Jones: I haven't. I can't pay that tax. Girl: And so are you! Let's go out
Girl: There isn't any tax! and celebrate.
Mr. Jones: I haven't got - No tax? Mr. Jones: Good idea! Let's go out and
Girl: No. That was just a story. I celebrate! Come on!
had to find the real Mr. Jones. (He opens the door.)
Mr. Jones: Why? Mr. Jones: Oh...er...Jane?
Girl: Because the real Mr. Jones is a Girl: Yes?
very rich man. Mr. Jones: Have you got enough money
Mr. Jones: I don't understand. for the bus fare?
Girl: Mr. Jones - Charlie. Your great-
uncle Max died last week.
Mr. Jones: Oh, no...

SKETCHES 93
The shoe stall Harry: Too small?
Customer: No.
Scene: A shoe stall in a street market Harry: So what's the problem?
in Britain Customer: They're not the same colour.
Characters: Honest Harry, the stallholder, a Harry: Not the same colour?
customer Customer: That's right.
Harry: Not the same colour as what?
The stallholder is standing at his stall; he has Customer: They're not the same colour as
a small card in his hat, saying 'Honest Harry'. each other! One of them's red
The customer comes to the stall, carrying a and the other one's green.
shoe-box. Harry: Oh, yes! One of them's red
and the other one's green,
Harry: Good morning, madam. Can I Customer: Yes!
help you? Harry: I see! So which one are you
Customer: Are you Honest Harry? complaining about?
Harry: E... maybe. Why? Customer: Pardon?
Customer: I want to make a complaint to Harry: Which one don't you like?
Honest Harry. Customer: Look, there's nothing wrong
Harry: A complaint? with the shoes -
Customer: Yes Harry: Good.
Harry: In that case, I'm not Honest Customer: but they're not a pair,
Harry. Harry: No, you're right, madam.
Customer: What? They're not a pear. This is a
Harry: Honest Harry's on holiday. pear.
Customer: Oh, (Noticing the card in his (Harry produces a pear and
hat) Wait a minute - your hat bites it.)
says 'Honest Harry'. Harry: Mmm, delicious!
Harry: Oh, yes this is Honest Harry's Customer: I don't think you're taking this
hat. I'm wearing it while he's very seriously.
on holiday. Harry: Sorry, madam. Let's start at
Customer: What?! the beginning. Your husband
Harry: I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll give bought these shoes.
you Harry's telephone number, Customer: Yes.
in Argentina. Harry: From me.
Customer: Now listen to me. Customer: Yes.
Harry: All right, all right, all right. I Harry: And you're not satisfied with
am Honest Harry. What's the them.
problem? Customer: That's right. I'm not satisfied
(The customer puts the shoe- at all.
box on the stall.) Harry: What do you mean, exactly?
Customer: Well, my husband came here Customer: What do you mean: 'What do I
yesterday, mean'?
Harry: Oh, really? Harry: What do I mean what do you
Customer: Yes. And he bought these mean?
shoes. Customer: Yes.
(The customer takes two Harry: What I mean is this; Are you:
shoes from the box (one is (A) 'Unhappy', (B) 'Annoyed',
red, the other is green) and (C) 'Angry', or (D) 'Suicidal'?
closes it.) Customer: Well, I'm unhappy
Harry: Yes? Harry: You're unhappy.
Customer: Well, my husband can't wear Customer: Yes.
these. Harry: You're not annoyed.
Harry: Why not? Are they too big? Customer: No, well, yes, I am.
Customer: No. Harry: So you're annoyed.
Customer: Yes.

94 SKETCHES
Harry: You're not just unhappy - green one for this red one...
you're annoyed. (He does so, making a red pair
Customer: Yes. and a green pair.)
Harry: But you're not angry. Harry: ...and this red one for this
Customer: No. green one.
Harry: You're sure? (He does so, making two
Customer: Yes. mixed pairs again.)
Harry: Oh, you are angry. Customer: Look -
Customer: No! I'm sure I'm not angry! Harry: Just a minute - I've got a bet-
Harry: You're not angry. ter idea. Your husband bought
Customer: I'm not angry! this pair of shoes...
Harry: Well, you look angry to me. (He indicates one mixed pair.)
Customer: All right, I'm angry! Harry: ...so if you buy this pair as
Harry: You're angry! Right. But not well...
suicidal. (He indicates the other mixed
Customer: That's right. pair.)
Harry: Good. You're angry! Customer: Yes?
Customer: Yes! Harry: ...you can have one pair, and
Harry: Now. are you: (A) 'Very your husband can have the
angry', (B) 'Very very angry', other.
(C) 'Extremely angry', or (D) Customer: All right. (Putting the two pairs
Absolutely furious'? into her bag) One pair...two
Customer: Look, this is stupid. pairs. How much is that?
Harry: Oh, it's stupid, is it? Harry: Twenty pounds.
Customer: Yes, it's stupid. Customer: Twenty pounds. (Giving Harry
Harry: I see. Would you say it's: (A) a 20 note) Here you are.
'Very stupid', (B) 'Very very Harry: No - it's twenty pounds a pair.
stupid', (C) 'Completely stu- That's forty pounds.
pid', or (D) 'Absolutely idiotic'? Customer: Forty pounds?
Customer: Look, all I want to do is change Harry: Yes.
these shoes. Customer: But my husband paid you
Harry: Change the shoes? Well, why twenty pounds yesterday.
didn't you say so? You're very Harry: Did he?
lucky, madam, because I have Customer: Yes. So you owe me twenty
here another pair of shoes that pounds.
are very similar. Harry: (Confused) Do I?
(Harry produces the corre- Customer: Yes.
sponding red shoe and green Harry: Oh. (Giving back the 20 note)
shoe, and puts them on the Here you are then.
stall.) Customer: Thank you. Goodbye.
Customer: No. wait a minute - that's a (The customer leaves.)
red one and a green one as Harry: Goodbye.
well. (Realizing his mistake)
Harry: You're quite right. OK. let me Er....no...just
change this red one for this a minute...
green one. Come back!
(He does so, making a red pair He runs after
and a green pair.) the customer.
Customer: Thank you.
Harry: And this green one for this red
one.
(He does so, making two
mixed pairs again.)
Harry: Satisfied?
Customer: No.
Harry: All right then. I'll change this
SKETCHES 95
The check-in desk Traveler: But - But - But -
Clerk: Take it easy, sir. They're quite
safe. Now... (Reading from the
Scene: The 'Elephant Airlines' check-in desk ticket) ...Mr Right.
at an international airport in Britain Traveler: Pardon?
Characters: The check-in clerk, an Clerk: Mr. Right.
English traveler, Captain Strange (a Traveler: No, that's wrong.
pilot) Clerk: Pardon?
Traveler: My name isn't Right, It's wrong.
The traveler comes to the check-in desk. He Clerk: Your name is Wrong?
is carrying just one small bag, as hand lug- Traveler: Yes.
gage. Clerk: Well, Mr. Wrong -
Traveler: No! My name isn't right on the
Clerk: Good morning, sir. Can I help ticket.
you? Clerk: Yes, it is. Look... Mr. Right.
Traveler: Monte Carlo! Traveler: No... my name isn't Right!
Clerk: Pardon? Clerk: Ah! Your name isn't Right!
Traveler: Monte Carlo! Traveler: Right!
Clerk: Oh! Hello, Mr. Carlo. Clerk: Right! What is your name?
Traveler: No! I want to fly to Monte Carlo. Traveler: Watt
Clerk: Oh, I see! Clerk: Your name.
Traveler: Can I check in here? Traveler: Watt!
Clerk: For the flight to Monte Carlo? Clerk: What is your name?!
Traveler: Yes. Traveler: Yes! Watt is my name!!
Clerk: Who are you flying with? Clerk: Ah! Right!
Traveler: Pardon? Traveler: No! Watt!
Clerk: Who are you flying with? Clerk: Right! Watt!
Traveler: Nobody - I'm going by myself. Traveler: Yes (Pointing at the ticket) Write
Clerk: No, sir. I mean, which airline are Watt!
you flying with? The clerk corrects his name on
Traveler: Oh. Elephant Airlines, Here's my the ticket.
ticket. Clerk: Right. Any luggage, Mr. Watt?
Clerk: Thank you. Traveler: Pardon?
Traveler: This is my first flight, you know. Clerk: Have you got any luggage?
Clerk: Well, I'm sure you'll enjoy it, sir. Traveler: Just this little bag.
(Reading from the ticket) Clerk: That's fine. Now, smoking or non-
Elephant Airlines, Flight 999 to smoking?
Monte Carlo. Traveler: Non-smoking, please.
Traveler: Err...Why is it called 'Elephant Clerk: Eating or non-eating?
Airlines'? Traveler: Pardon.
Clerk: Well, sir, the planes are very big. Clerk: Eating or non-eating? Do you
Traveler: (Pleased) Ah. want a meal on the plane?
Clerk: They move very slowly. Traveler: Oh, Yes, please.
Traveler: (Uneasy) Ah. Clerk: Er...Here you are.
Clerk: And they make a strange noise. (The clerk produces a plastic
Traveler: A strange noise? chicken.)
Clerk: Yes. A noise like an elephant. Traveler: What's that?!
(The clerk makes an elephant Clerk: Your lunch.
noise.) Traveler: But that's a chicken.
Traveler: What?! Your planes sound like Clerk: Yes.
elephants?! Traveler: I can't eat that. I'm a vegetarian!
Clerk: Yes, sir.

96 SKETCHES
Clerk: Oh, Well, in that case...er...you Elephant Airlines, so we thought
can have this carrot. we'd have a bit of fun!
(The clerk gives the traveler a Traveler: Oh! So it's not true: the seat, the
large carrot.) seatbelt - and the carrot!
Traveler: (Confused) Thank you. Clerk: No, sir-flying isn't like that
Clerk: Well, everything seems to be in Traveler: I thought it was a bit strange!
order. So...your seat. Clerk: Yes.
Traveler: Yes. Traveler: But this is my first flight,
Clerk: Where is it? Clerk: Yes,
Traveler: Pardon? Traveler: You must think I'm a complete
Clerk: Where's your seat? idiot!
Traveler: My seat? Clerk: Yes. Anyway, you're the one-mil-
Clerk: Yes. Have you got one? lionth passenger, so the captain
Traveler: Aren't there any seats on the himself is going to accompany
plane? you to the plane.
Clerk: (Laughing) Seats...on the plane? Traveler: The captain? You mean the pilot
Traveler: Yes. himself?
Clerk: No. You have to take your own. Clerk: That's right, sir.
Traveler: I haven't got a seat. Traveler: Wonderful!
Clerk: No seat? Clerk: I'll call him, Captain Strange!
Traveler: No. (Captain Strange enters, singing
Clerk: You've come to the airport with- 'Flying, up above the clouds'. He
out a seat? is rather strange.)
Traveler: Well, it is my first flight... Traveler: Is that the captain?
Clerk: Well, never mind - you can bor- Clerk: Yes, sir. Captain Strange is the
row mine. best pilot with Elephant Airlines.
(The clerk gives the traveler her In fact, he's the only pilot with
chair.) Elephant Airlines. Er...Captain
Traveler: But wait a minute, this isn't an Strange!
aero plane seat, is it? Captain: Yes?
Clerk: Well, it's a seat - you put it on an Clerk: This is Mr. Watt, your very special
aero plane - it's an aero plane passenger for today's flight.
seat. Captain: Mr. Watt! How nice to meet you!
Traveler: What about a seatbelt? How very, very nice!
Clerk: Here you are. Clerk: You go with the captain, Mr. Watt.
(The clerk produces a belt.) He'll take you to the plane.
Traveler: Look - that isn't a seatbelt. Is it? Captain: The plane, yes. Where is it?
Clerk: It's a belt - (Putting it on the Traveler: What?!
seat) you put it on a seat - it's a Captain: The plane.
seatbelt. Traveler: I don't know!
Traveler: Thank you. Is that everything? Clerk: It's at Departure Gate 13,
Clerk: Yes, sir, you've got your seat, Captain.
you've got your seatbelt, and Captain: Thank you. Tell me, Mr.
you've got your carrot. Watt...Have you ever flown a
Traveler: Where do I go now? plane before?
Clerk: To the Departure Gate. Traveler: No. Why?
Traveler: The departure gate. Captain: Well, I'm not feeling very well. I
Clerk: Yes. Gate Number 13, thought that perhaps you could
Traveler: Thank you. fly the plane.
Clerk: Have a good flight, sir. Traveler: What?!
Traveler: (Still confused) Thank you Captain: Take it easy, Mr. Watt. Flying a
(The traveler starts to leave. The plane is no problem.
clerk bursts out laughing.) Traveler: But -
Traveler: What's the matter? Captain: Come on, Mr. Watt. Let's go.
Clerk: I'm sorry, sir, You didn't believe Traveler : Aaargh!
all that, did you? (The traveler leaves, accompa-
Traveler: All what? nied by Captain Strange, singing
Clerk: All that about the seat and the 'Flying, up above the clouds'.)
seatbelt - and the carrot. Clerk: Have a good flight, sir!
Traveler: What do you mean?
Clerk: Sir...it was all a joke.
Traveler: A joke?
Clerk: Yes. You see, you are the one-
millionth passenger to fly with
SKETCHES 97
The police Black: Now, ladies and gentlemen, I'd like
you to meet another British police
officer: WPC Brown.
Scene: A public meeting at which (WPC Brown enters.)
Inspector Black is giving a talk Brown: Hello.
about the British police force Black: Now,if 'PC' means 'Police Constable',
Characters: Inspector Black, PC Green, what does 'WPC' mean?
WPC Brown, PC Grey Brown: 'Wife of Police Constable.'
Black: Don't be stupid, Brown! You are not
'Wife of Police Constable'!
Black: Good evening, ladies and gentle- Brown: Yes, I am, Inspector. I'm married to
men. My name is Inspector Black, PC Green.
and I've come here tonight to talk to Green: That's right, sir. We're very happy.
you about the police force in Great Black: 'WPC' means 'Woman Police
Britain. The police force in Great Constable'. Now, ladies and gentle-
Britain is very professional, very men, as you can see.
intelligent and very...professional. (Green and Brown are wearing nice
So, I'd like you to meet some of my blue and white uniforms.)
very professional and intelligent (Green and Brown demonstrate their
police officers. First of all, I'd like uniforms like fashion models.)
you to meet PC Green. Ladies and Black: Hat - or helmet. Blouse - or shirt.
gentlemen, PC Green. Skirt or trousers. Boots...or boots.
(PC Green enters.) So, this is a police uniform. But
Black: Good evening, PC Green. there are a lot of police officers out
Green: Good evening, Inspector Black. there in the street with no uniform.
Black: Now, what does PC mean? Tell them, Green: No uniform?!
Green. Brown: They must be very cold, Inspector.
Green: I beg your pardon, Inspector? Black: No! They're wearing normal clothes.
Black: Tell them. Brown: Why's that, Inspector?
Green: Tell them what, Inspector? Black: They're wearing normal clothes
Black: What do the letters 'PC' stand for? because they want to look like nor-
Green: Oh! 'PC' stands for 'Peter mal people. So...here is a police offi-
Christopher'. cer dressed exactly like a normal
Black: What? person. Ladies and gentlemen. PC
Green: It's my name, Inspector. Peter Grey.
Christopher Green - PC Green. (PC Grey enters. He is wearing a
Black: Green... police helmet and boots, and a pair
Green: Yes, Inspector? of long shorts and a brightly-
Black: Do you think that we call you 'PC coloured shirt.)
Green' because your name is Peter Black: Now. as you can see, there is no way
Christopher Green? that you would know that PC Grey is
Green: Yes, Inspector. a police officer.
Black: Well, you're wrong. 'PC' stands for Brown: Except for the helmet.
something else. Black: Except for the helmet.
Green: Really? Green: And the boots.
Black: Yes. Now think: What does 'PC' Black: And the boots. Except for the hel-
stand for? met, and the boots, there is no way
Green: Postcard? that you would know that Police
Black: No! Constable Grey is a police officer.
Green: Personal computer? (PC Grey does not look very
Black: No!! pleased.)
Green: Oh, I know! Prince Charles! Black: Now, Grey - tell these people what
Black: Green, 'PC does not mean 'Prince it feels like to be a police officer with
Charles', or 'postcard', or 'personal no uniform.
computer'. It means 'Police Grey: It feels stupid.
Constable'! Black: What?
Green: Really' I didn't know that. Grey: It feels stupid, I mean, I'm a police
Black: You are Police Constable Green. officer: I want to wear a uniform!
Green: Thank you, Inspector. Grey: No uniform, no notebook, no whistle
and no truncheon! (The Inspector
blows his whistle.)
Black: That's enough. Grey.

98 SKETCHES
Grey: I don't want to walk the streets look- book?
ing like this! Grey: (Holding up the comic) You mean
Black: Grey! Get back in line! this?
Grey: Would you walk the streets looking Black: Yes
like this? Grey: Yes, (Reading) "Mickey Mouse goes
(The Inspector blows his whistle. for a picnic." On Saturday, Mickey
Grey gets back in line.) and his friends -
Black: Green! Brown! Grey! It's time for Black: Grey! I mean: Have you written any-
equipment demonstration. thing in it?
Green-Brown-Grey: Equipment Grey: No.
demonstration! Black: Why not?
Black: Now, every police officer has three Grey: Because they didn't give me a pen!!
important pieces of equipment. A Black: All right, all right, all right. Here you
whistle, a truncheon and a note- are.
book.(Green produces a whistle, (The Inspector gives Grey a pen.)
Brown produces a truncheon, Grey Grey: Thank you, Inspector.
produces a comic.) Black: Now, have you all got everything
Black: A notebook, Grey, not a comic. you need? Whistle?
Grey: They didn't give me a notebook. Green: Yes!
Black: I see. Brown: Yes!
Grey: No uniform, no notebook. It's ridicu- Grey: No!
lous! Black: Truncheon?
(The inspector blows his whistle.) Green: Yes
Black: That's enough, Grey! Now, what are Brown: Yes!
these very important pieces of Grey: No!
equipment for? First of all, the whis- Black:
tle. The whistle is used to attract the Notebook?
attention of other police officers. Green: Yes!
Like this: Brown: Yes!
(Green blows his whistle.) Grey: No!
Green: Oi! Black: Boots?
(Brown blows her whistle.) Green: Yes!
Brown: Oi! Brown: Yes!
(Grey has no whistle.) Grey: Yes!
Grey: No uniform, no notebook and no Black: Helmet?
whistle! Green: Yes!
Black: And now, the truncheon. Green, Brown: No!
Brown, Grey - ready with your trun- Grey: Yes!
cheons! (Slightly con-
Green: Sir fused) Well, that
Brown: Sir! seems all right. Now it's time for
(Grey has no truncheon.) action!
Grey: No uniform, no notebook, no whistle Green-Brown-Grey: Action! Right!
and no truncheon! Black: I want you to get out there, in the
Black: Right! forget the truncheons, the street!
notebook, Green! Green-Brown-Grey: In the street! Right!
Green: Yes, Inspector? Black: And find some criminals!
Black: What is the notebook for? Green-Brown-Grey: Criminals! Right!
Green: For making notes, Inspector. Black: And when you find them. You know
Black: Very good, Green. Brown? what to do!
Brown: Yes, Inspector? Green-Brown-Grey: What?
Black: Have you got anything in your note- Black: You arrest them!
book? Green-Brown-Grey: Arrest them! Right!
Brown: Yes, Inspector, Black: And then there won't be any crimi-
Black: Good, Read it. nals left!
Brown: Oh, All right. (Reading) ' "What I did Green-Brown-Grey: Right! Left! Right! Left!
today", by Woman Police Constable Right! Left! Right!.
Brown, aged twenty-five...and a (They all march away)
half. Got up. Said "Hello" to Police
Constable Green, Made a cup of cof-
fee -
Black: Thank you, Brown. Grey?
Grey: Yes, Inspector?
Black: Have you got anything in your note-
SKETCHES 99
The bus stop Robber: I didn't say 'A Number 1'. I said
'Another one'. Another Number
46.
Scene: A bus stop Old lady: Oh, I see.
Characters: an old lady, a robber, student, a Robber: This one will stop.
policeman (Another bus passes very fast.)
Old lady: It didn't stop!
The robber is waiting at the bus stop. The old
Robber: I know.
lady joins him.
(The robber stands with his back
to the old lady.)
Old lady: Excuse me.
Old lady: Excuse me again.
Robber: Yes?
Robber: No!
Old lady: The 44.
Robber: The 44? Old lady: Pardon?
Old lady: Yes, The Number 44 bus. Does it Robber: No! The 47 doesn't stop here.
stop here? Old lady: No, no, no.
Robber: I don't know. Robber: Or the 48, or the 49, or the 50!
(He looks at the notice on the bus Old lady: No, you don't understand. I want
stop.) to ask you a question.
Robber: Um...39...40...41...42...43...45. Robber: Oh, yes?
No, it doesn't. Old lady: Are you a doctor?
Old lady: Pardon? Robber: What?
Robber: The 44 doesn't stop here Old lady: Are you a doctor?
Old lady: Oh, good. Robber: No, I'm not.
Robber: Pardon? Old lady: Are you sure you're not a doctor?
Old lady: I said 'Oh, good'. I'm very Robber: Yes, I am!
pleased. Old lady: Oh, you are a doctor!
Robber: What do you mean? Robber: No! I'm sure I am not a doctor!
Old lady: I don't want to catch a 44. Old lady: Oh. What a shame. You see, I've
(She laughs. The robber is not got this terrible pain in my back
pleased, and stands with his back Robber: Well, I'm sorry. I am not a doctor.
to her.) I am a robber.
Old lady: Excuse me again. Old lady: A what?
Robber: Yes? Robber: A robber, a thief.
Old lady: The 46. Old lady: Teeth? No, no, not my teeth - my
Robber: The 46? back. The pain's in my back. My
Old lady: Yes, The Number 46 bus. Does it teeth are all right.
stop here? Robber: No! I didn't say 'teeth'. I said
Robber: Do you want to catch a 46? 'thief. Thief- robber! I am a rob-
Old lady: Um...Yes, ber. Look - here's my card.
(The robber looks at the notice He gives her his card.
again.)
Robber: 42, 43, 45...45A, 45B, 45C,
45D...46, Yes. Yes, the 46 stops
here.
Old lady: Oh, good.
Robber: Ah, here comes
a 46 now
(A bus passes
very fast.)
Old lady: It didn't stop!
Robber: I know
Old lady: But you said the
46 stopped here.
You're telling lies!
Robber: No, I'm not. That
one was full. Ah,
here comes another
one.
Old lady: A Number 1 ? I don't
want a Number 1. I
want a Number 46.

100 SKETCHES
Old lady: (Reading) 'Sam Poskins. Robber. Tuesday.
Banks a speciality.' Oh, you're a Robber: No, no, no, I didn't say 'Monday'.
robber. I said 'money'. Money!
Robber: That's right. Student: No, I told you - it isn't Money, it's
(He takes back his card.) Tuesday. Look - it's in this book.
Old lady: Help! (The student opens the book.)
Robber: What's the matter? Student: (Monday, Tuesday...)
Old lady: Police!! (The robber takes the book)
Robber: Stop it! Robber: What is this book? 'English for all
Old lady: Murder!!! situations'. Oh, good, He looks
Robber: Look - be quiet. It's all right. I rob through the book.
banks. I don't rob people. And I Robber: Um...'In a restaurant'...'On a
certainly don't rob old ladies. train... Ah, yes - this is it: 'Unit
Old lady: Old ladies! 16, The robbery,' Good, Look -
Robber: Yes. here. 'Dialogue 1: Give me your
Old lady: Old ladies! I'm not an old lady. money
I'm only 92. (The student reads in the book
Robber: Well, I don't care if you're 92 or too.)
192. I am not going to rob you. Student: Ah, money! Um...'Are you trying
Old lady: I don't believe you. to rob me?'
Robber: What? Robber: 'Yes, I am.
Old lady: I don't believe you're a robber. Student: 'Are you a robber?'
Robber: Well, I am. Robber: 'Yes, I am.'
Old lady: No, no, no - impossible. Student: 'I will call a policeman,
Robber: What do you mean? Robber: 'No, you won't.
Old lady: You're too small. Student: 'Yes, I will.'
Robber: What do you mean - I'm 'too Robber: 'No, you won't. 'Policemen are
small'? I am not too small. like buses. You can never find one
Old lady: Yes, you are. You're much too when you want one.
small. Student: 'No. you are wrong. There's a
Robber: No, I'm not. And anyway, I've got policeman standing behind you.'
a gun. Look! This is true.
(He takes out his gun.) Robber: Ha, ha! I don't believe that...Oh.
Old lady: Oh, yes. You've got a gun. Policeman: Now, what's going on here?
Robber: That's right. Robber: Ah. Er...well...
Old lady: Help! (The robber, the student and
Robber: It's all right. It's not real. the old lady all talk at once.
Old lady: Not real?! The policeman blows his whis-
Robber: No tle.)
Old lady: You call yourself a robber! You're Policeman: Right. You can all come with
too small, your gun isn't real, and me to the station.
you can't even rob a 92-year-old Robber: Oh, no!
lady at a bus stop! Student: Oh, yes, 'Unit 17: The police sta-
Robber: All right, all right, all right! I'll tion.'
show you. I will rob the next per- Old lady: Station? I don't want to catch a
son who comes to this bus stop. train. I want to catch a Number
Old lady: Oh, good!...Look - here comes 46 bus.
someone. Policeman: Not the railway station,
Robber: Right. Watch this. madam - the police station.
(The student stands at the bus Old lady: Oh, the police station! Yes, I know
stop, holding a book.) it. It's very near my house. Come
Robber: Excuse me. on, everybody!
Student: Yes? (The robber, the student and the
Robber: Put up your hands. old lady walk away, all talking at
Student: I'm sorry. I don't speak English once again. The policeman fol-
Robber: Oh, Er...Give me your money. lows them, blowing his whistle.)
Student: What?
Robber: Your money!
Student: Money?
Robber: Yes - money, money, money!
Student: Ah! No, it's not Money...it's
SKETCHES 101
A ticket to Birmingham Traveler: No
BR employee: Oh, I understand.
Traveler: Good.
BR employee: You want to run.
Traveler: Run?!
BR employee: You'll get very tired if you
run
Traveler: Listen -
BR employee: If I were you, I'd walk.
Traveler: I don't want to walk, and I
don't want to run. I want to
take the train.
BR employee: The train? Ha! You'll get
there much faster if you
walk.
Traveler: Now, don't be ridiculous. I
Scene: A Railway Station in Britain want a ticket for the next
Characters: A traveler, a British Rail train to Birmingham.
employee BR employee: The next train to
Birmingham?
The BR employee is sitting at a table, read- Traveler: Yes. When is it?
ing a newspaper. The traveler comes in. BR employee: Pardon?
Traveler: What time is it?
Traveler: Excuse me. BR employee: I don't know. I haven't got a
BR employee: Can I help you? watch.
Traveler: Yes, I want a ticket. Traveler: No! I mean: What time is
BR employee: A ticket? the train? What time does
Traveler: Yes. I want a ticket to the train leave?
Birmingham. BR employee: Oh, I see. Sorry. I'll check.
BR employee: A ticket to Birmingham? He picks up the telephone
Traveler: Yes. and dials a number.
BR employee: Why? BR employee: Take a seat.
Traveler: Why what? Traveler: Thank you.
BR employee: Why do you want a ticket to The traveler sits down.
Birmingham? BR employee: (On the phone) Hello?
Traveler: Well... Bert?.. Who's that? Oh,
BR employee: Birmingham's a terrible hello, Charlie Where's
place! It's awful! If I were Bert?...Is he? Oh, well, is
you, I wouldn't go to Eric there?...
Birmingham. Hello Eric?...Isn't Bert
Traveler: I live there. there?...Oh, dear - very
BR employee: Now, Oxford's a very nice sad. Is Arthur
place. there?...Hello?
Traveler: I live there. Arthur?...Who? Oh, hello,
BR employee: Why don't you go to Charlie. Is Bert there?
Oxford? (The traveler is getting
Traveler: I live there! impatient.)
BR employee: What? In Oxford? Traveler: Look - can you please find
Traveler: No! In Birmingham! out when the next train to
BR employee: Oh. Birmingham leaves?
Traveler: And I want to go to BR employee: Yes, all right. (On the
Birmingham today. phone) Er...Charlie...Who's
BR employee: Impossible. that? Eric?...Oh, Arthur. Can
Traveler: What? I speak to Dave?...Yes OK,
BR employee: It's impossible. It'll take you I'll hold on.
three days. (The traveler is getting
Traveler: Three days? more impatient.)
BR employee: Oh, yes. It'll take you at Traveler: Look!
least three days - walking. BR employee: It's all right, I'm holding
Traveler: Walking?! I don't want to on, (On the phone)
walk to Birmingham! Dave?...Hello, Dave. This is
BR employee: You don't want to walk? Sid. Very well, thanks - and
you?...Good, Listen, Dave,
there's something I must
102 SKETCHES
ask you. How's your wife? traveler answers it.)
Did she? Traveler: Hello!!!...It's for you.
Traveler: The next train to The BR employee takes the
Birmingham! telephone.
BR employee: Oh, yes. (On the phone) BR employee: Thank you (On the phone)
Dave, I've got a young man Hello? Sid speaking. Who's
here. When is the next train that?...Eric! Hello! What is
to Birmingham? Yes... Yes... it?...The train to
Yes... Yes... Yes. Thanks, Birmingham?...What?
Dave. Hold on. ...Marvelous. Where was it?
Traveler: Well? At Platform 2? It was there
BR employee: He doesn't know. all the time. Amazing...OK,
Traveler: He doesn't know? Eric, I'll tell him. Bye. (He
BR employee: No. puts down the telephone.)
Traveler: Why not? BR employee: Well, there is a train to
BR employee: Well, Dave doesn't work at Birmingham.
the station. Traveler: Marvelous.
Traveler: He doesn't work at the sta- BR employee: It's at Platform 2.
tion?! Traveler: Wonderful.
BR employee: No. Dave works at the cafe BR employee: And it's leaving any minute
across the road. You should now.
never ask Dave about Traveler: Oh, good. A second-class
trains. single to Birmingham,
Traveler: I didn't ask him. You asked please.
him! BR employee: Pardon?
BR employee: Eric's the one who knows Traveler: Can you give me a second-
about trains. class single to Birmingham?
Traveler: Well, ask Eric then. BR employee: No. I can't.
BR employee: Right. (On the phone) Traveler: Why not?
Er...Dave, can you put Eric BR employee: Well, this isn't the ticket
back on?...Eric?...Eric, I've office.
got a young man here. It's Traveler: What?!
about trains to BR employee: The ticket office is next
Birmingham. When is the door.
next one?... Traveler: Oh, no!
Right...OK...Fine... BR employee: What's the matter?
Super...Smashing... Traveler: I'm going to miss the train!
Super... Fine... OK... Right. BR employee: Don't worry. You've got
Thanks, Eric. Bye. (He puts plenty of time.
down the telephone.) Traveler: Plenty of time? The train's
Traveler: So, when is the train? leaving any minute now.
BR employee: The train, yes. Well, there's BR employee: Yes, but there's no hurry.
a small problem. Traveler: Why not?
Traveler: What's that? BR employee: Because I'm the driver.
BR employee: They can't find it. Traveler: You're the driver?!
Traveler: They can't find what? BR employee: Yes. The train can't leave
BR employee: They can't find the train. It's without me, can it?
lost. Traveler: No.
Traveler: Lost?! BR employee: Now, you come with me.
BR employee: Well, it's not exactly lost. Traveler: Platform 2?
They know where it is. BR employee: No. Dave's cafe.
Traveler: Well, where is it? Traveler: Oh, right.
BR employee: It's somewhere between BR employee: We'll have a nice cup of tea
here and Birmingham. and a sandwich before we
Traveler: This is terrible. go.
BR employee: Yes, but it happens every Traveler: Lovely.
day. If I were you, I'd start BR employee: And I'll introduce you to
walking. Dave and his wife. I think
Traveler: But I'm in a hurry. you'll like them...
BR employee: Well, run then. (They leave, chatting.)
Traveler: I don't want to run.
BR employee: Well, take a taxi!
Traveler: I don't want to take a taxi!
(The telephone rings. The
SKETCHES 103
Gerry Thatcher's party Gerry: Of course it is! Amanda, I'd like
you to meet one of my dearest
friends, Horace Smith-Actually.
Scene: A smart party Horace: It's just Smith, actually.
Characters: Gerry Thatcher (the host), Gerry: That's what I said,
Maxwell (Gerry's butler), Amanda: I'm very pleased to meet you,
Horace Smith-Amanda Mr Actually.
Spencer (guests at the Horace: No, it's Smith, actually.
party) Amanda: Oh, yes. Mr. Smith-Actually.
Horace: No, no, no...My name isn't
The doorbell rings. Maxwell opens the door. Smith-Actually, actually. It's just
Smith, actually.
Maxwell: Yes, sir? Gerry: I'm sure it is, Have a drink,
Horace: Er...Hello, Is this Gerry Amanda?
Thatcher's house? Amanda: Yes, Gerry.
Maxwell: Yes, sir. Gerry: Come and have a look at the
Horace: Oh, good. I've got an invitation garden.
to Gerry's party. My name's Amanda: OK.
Horace Smith. (Amanda goes into the garden
Maxwell: In that case, please come in, sir. with Gerry.)
Horace: Thank you. Maxwell: Your drink, sir.
Maxwell: Mr. Thatcher is in the lounge. Horace: Thank you. She's very nice, isn't
This way. she?
Horace: Er...Thank you Maxwell: Yes, sir. Very nice indeed,
(They go into the lounge where Horace: I'd like to go out with her.
the party is in progress. Horace Maxwell: Would you, sir?
sees Gerry.) Horace: Yes, very much. The trouble is, I
Horace: Er... Hello. never know what to say when I
Gerry: George! meet people.
Horace: What? Maxwell: In that case, sir, I think you need
Gerry: George Wilberforce! this book.
Horace: Pardon? (Maxwell shows Horace a book.)
Gerry: How are you, George? Horace: What is it?
Horace: Actually, I'm not Maxwell: 'English for all situations', sir. It's
Gerry: Good, good, good! full of useful expressions. Look -
Horace: No, just a minute - 'Unit I: In a restaurant.'...'Unit
Gerry: How's your wife? 2: On a train.'...'Unit 3: At a
Horace: I'm not married. party. Useful expressions in
Gerry: Good, good, good! English, when you meet some-
(The doorbell rings again.) one at a party.'
Gerry: Maxwell, give George a drink, I'll Horace: Wonderful.
go to the door. Maxwell: (Reading) 'Are you doing any-
Maxwell: Yes, sir. thing on Saturday night?'
(Gerry opens the door.) Horace: No, I'm not, actually.
Amanda: Gerry! Maxwell: No, sir. That's the first question.
Gerry: Amanda! How are you? Try it.
Amanda: Fine. Horace: Ah. Are you doing anything on
Gerry: Good, good, good! Come in, Saturday night?
come in, come in. Maxwell: Good. 'How about going to the
Amanda: Thank you. cinema?'
(Gerry brings Amanda over to Horace: How about going to the cinema?
Horace.) Maxwell: 'What time shall I pick you up?'
Gerry: Amanda, I'd like you to meet Horace: Pardon?
one of my oldest friends - Maxwell: That's the next expression.
George Wilberforce. Horace: Ah. What time shall I pick you
Amanda: How do you do, George. up?
Horace: Actually, my name isn't George. Maxwell: I think, sir, that you should sug-
Gerry: Isn't it? gest doing something before
Horace: No. going to the cinema.
Gerry: What is it, then? Horace: Good idea. What, for example?
Horace: It's Horace Smith, actually.

104 SKETCHES
Maxwell: Well, going to a restaurant - an (The doorbell rings again.)
Italian restaurant, perhaps. Gerry: It's all right, Maxwell - I'll go.
Horace: OK See you on Saturday, Amanda!
Maxwell: So you say: 'Do you like Italian Amanda: OK, Gerry.
food?' (Gerry goes to open the door.
Horace: Do you like Italian food? Amanda goes over to Horace.)
Maxwell: She'll say 'Yes', because every- Amanda: Oh, hello. I don't think we've
one likes Italian food. So you met.
say. 'So do I.' Horace: Yes, we have Amanda, It's me
Horace: So do I. Horace
Maxwell: 'Let's have spaghetti alle von- Amanda: Horace?
gole before we go.' Horace: Yes, Horace Smith,
Horace: Let's have spaghetti on a gondo- Amanda: Oh, yes - Mr. Actually.
la before we go. (They laugh.)
Maxwell: Hmm...And finally you say: 'See Horace: Er... Amanda?
you on Saturday!' Amanda: Yes, Horace?
Horace: See you on Saturday! (Horace looks at the book.)
Maxwell: Good. Now let's practice. Horace: (Reading) 'Are you doing any-
Horace: Right. Um...Are you doing any- thing on Saturday night?
thing on Saturday morning? Amanda: Yes, I am.
Maxwell: Night. Horace: (Still reading) 'Good. How about
Horace: Oh, good night. going to the cinema?'
Maxwell: Saturday night, sir. Try again. Amanda: Actually, I'm going to the cinema
Horace: Are you doing anything on with Gerry on Saturday night,
Saturday night? Horace: 'What time shall I pick you up?'
Maxwell: (In a high voice) No. I'm not. Amanda: Horace, I'm going out with Gerry
Horace: What?...Oh, I see. Er...good. on Saturday night,
How about going to the cinema? Horace: 'Do you like Italian food?'
Maxwell: (In a high voice) I'd love to. Amanda: No, I hate Italian food.
Horace: What time...shall I pick you up? Horace: 'So do I, Let's have spaghetti on
Maxwell: (In a high voice) Eight o'clock? a gondola before we go.'
Horace: Do you like Italian food? Amanda: Oh, Horace, you are funny. Why
Maxwell: (In a high voice) Yes, I love don't we go for a walk in the gar-
Italian food. den?
Horace: So do I. Let's have...spaghetti Horace: See you on Saturday!
alle vongole before we go, Amanda: (Laughing) Oh, Horace
Maxwell: (In a high voice) That would be (They go into the garden)
lovely.
Horace: See you on Saturday!
Maxwell: Very good, sir. Now, take the
book, and have a little practice
before she comes back.
Horace: Right. Thank you.
(Horace concentrates on the
book. Gerry and Amanda come
back from the garden, laugh-
ing.)
Amanda: Oh, Gerry, you're awfully funny
Gerry: Yes, I know. Amanda?
Amanda: Yes, Gerry?
Gerry: Are you doing anything on
Saturday night?
Amanda: No, I'm not.
Gerry: Super! How about going to the
cinema?
Amanda: Oh, Gerry, that would be won-
derful
Gerry: Super! What time shall I pick
you up?
Amanda: Eight o'clock?
Gerry: Super!
SKETCHES 105
The army Large: I don't know, sir!
Captain: Private Large?
Scene: A British army base Large: Yes, sir!
Characters: 'A Captain, Private Large, Captain: You're an idiot!
Private Small, Private Potter Large: Thank you, sir!
Captain: Private Small!
The Captain, Private Large and Private Small Small: Yes, sir?
arrive, marching. Captain: Give me an example!
Small: An example of what, sir?
Captain: Left, right! Left, right! Left, right! Captain: An example of something you
Halt! Attention!...Private Large! must do in the army!
Large: Sir! Small: Oh right, sir. Er...
Captain: Private Small! Captain: Come on!
Small: Sir! Small: You must get up in the morning,
Captain: Private Potter!... Private Potter!... sir!
Where is Private Potter? Captain: What?
Large: I don't know, sir! Small: You must get up in the morning,
Small: Haven't seen him, sir! sir!
Captain: Private Potter!! Captain: No, Private Small, that's wrong.
(Potter arrives in not-very-mili- Correct him, Private Potter.
tary style.) Potter: You mustn't get up in the morn-
Potter: Here I am! Hello! Sorry I'm a bit ing?
late - I couldn't find my cap. Captain: No!... Private Large!
Captain: Get in line, Private Potter! Left, Large: Yes, sir!
right! Left, right! Left, right! Captain: Did you hear Private Small's
Attention! example?
(Potter is now in line with Large Large: Yes, sir!
and Small.) Captain: It was wrong, wasn't it?
Potter: (To Large and Small) Did you take Large: Yes, sir!
my cap? Captain: Why was it wrong?
Captain: Private Potter! Large: I don't know, sir!
Potter: Yes? Captain: Private Large?
Captain: Yes, sir. Large: Yes, sir?
Potter: Captain, you don't have to call Captain: You're still an idiot!
me 'sir' - I'm a private. Large: Thank you, sir!
Captain: Private Potter, when you Captain: Listen. Getting up in the morn-
speak to me, you call me ing is not just an army rule;
'sir'! everyone has to get up in the
Potter: Oh, sorry, I morning.
forgot...sir. Potter: Not necessarily, sir. A lot of
Captain: That's better. Now, I people don't have to get up in
want to talk to you. the morning.
In fact, I want to Captain: You mean lazy people,
talk to all of you. Private Potter?
You're in the Potter: No, not lazy people -
army, right? people who work at
Large -Small - Potter: nights.
Right! Small: Or in the afternoon.
Captain: And in the army, Large: Or in the evening!
there are some things Captain: Silence! All right, all
you must do, and right. The rule in the
some things you army is this: You must
mustn't do. Isn't that get up at five, o'clock in
right, Private Large? the morning. Isn't that
Large: Pardon, sir? right. Private Large?
Captain: In the army, there are Large: Yes, sir!
some things you Captain: Isn't that right, Private
must do and some Small?
things you mustn't Small: Yes, sir!
do. Captain: Isn't that right, Private
Large: Yes, sir! Potter?
Captain: Give me an Potter: Yes, sir!...But it's stu-
example! pid.
Captain: What was that?
106 SKETCHES
Potter: It's stupid getting up at five idiot...
o'clock in the morning. Large: Yes, sir?
Captain: Why is it stupid getting up at five Captain: I was wrong,
o'clock in the morning, Private Large: Thank you, sir!
Potter? Captain: You and Private Small are both
Potter: It's too early. idiots!
Captain: Too early?! Large-Small: Thank you, sir!
Potter: Yes. It's much too early. Captain: You mustn't cross the road when
Large: I agree, sir! the little man is red,' Do you real-
Small: So do I, sir! ly think that's something you
Potter: Why can't we stay in bed until mustn't do in the army?
seven o'clock? Small: Yes, sir.
Small: Or eight o'clock? Captain: Private Small, you must under-
Large: Or lunchtime? stand the difference between
Captain: Silence! You have to get up at five general rules and army rules.
o'clock in the morning because - There are special rules just for
Large -Small-Potter:Yes? the army.
Captain: Because we may be attacked by Large: Can you give us an example, sir?
the enemy! Captain: Yes, Private Large - an example.
Large Small: Ah! You must never give information
Potter: But that's also stupid. to enemy agents!
Captain: What? Large, Potter, Small: You must never give
Potter: If the enemy know that we get up information to enemy agents
at five o'clock Small: Excuse me, sir.
Large-Small: Yes? Captain: What is it, Small?
Potter: They'll attack us at four o'clock. Small: How do you recognize an enemy
Large-Small: Oh yes agent, sir?
Potter: So...if we stay in bed until twelve Captain: Well, they are either men
o'clock midday Large, Potter, Small: Yes
Large Small: Yes? Captain: Or women.
Potter: The enemy will come at eleven Large, Potter, Small: Oh
o'clock! Captain: Some of them wear dark glasses-
Large-Small: Oh yes Large, Potter, Small: Yes
Potter: And that's a much better time to Captain: Some of them wear ordinary
be attacked. glasses -
Large: I agree, sir! Large, Potter, Small: Oh
Small: So do I, sir! Captain: And some of them -
Potter: And another thing - Large, Potter, Small: Yes
Captain: Silence! Private Potter, you are Captain: Don't wear glasses at all!
wrong! You must get up at five (Large, Small and Potter panic.)
o'clock! Captain: Silence! Now, what have we
Potter: But why? learnt about life in the army?
Captain: Because you're in the army. It's Private Large!
an army rule. Now, can anybody Large: You must get up at five o'clock in
tell me something you mustn't do the morning, sir!
in the army? Captain: Correct. Private Small!
Small: Yes, sir! Small: You must never give information
Captain: Well done, Private Small. Let's to enemy agents, sir!
have your example. What mustn't Captain: Correct. Private Potter!
you do in the army? Potter: You must always call the Captain
Small: You mustn't cross the road, sir! 'sir'...sir.
Captain: Eh? Captain: Right! It's time for lunch. We can
Small: When the little man is red, sir! all go down to the pub. And don't
Captain: What? forget the most important rule of
Small: You mustn't cross the road when all.
the little man is red, sir. Potter: What's that?
Captain: What little man, Private Small? Captain: You must all buy me a drink! Left,
Small: The little man on the crossing, sir. right! Left, right! Left, right!...
On the red light, sir. (They all march away.)
Large: He's right, sir. You must wait until
the little man is green, sir.
Captain: Private Large!
Large: Yes, sir?
Captain: You know I said you were an
SKETCHES 107
The dentist Man-Woman: Both at the same time?
'Dentist': Yes. I've got two pieces of string.
Scene: A dentist's waiting-room Look!
Characters: Two patients (a man and a Woman: String? To take out a tooth? Have
woman) a 'dentist', the real you done that before?
dentist 'Dentist': Not on people, no. But I tried it
this morning on the cat.
The man and the woman are sitting in the Woman: And was the cat all right?
waiting-room. The woman is calm, but the 'Dentist': Oh, yes! It got up, ran across the
man is very nervous. room, and jumped out of the win-
dow. And we live on the thir-
Man: Um....is he good? teenth floor.
Woman: Pardon? Woman: The thirteenth floor?
Man: The dentist. Is he good? 'Dentist': Don't worry, the cat's not super-
Woman: I don't know, stitious.
Man: You don't know? Man: But dentists don't use string to
Woman: No. I haven't seen him before. take out teeth!
He's new. 'Dentist': Don't they? What do you want,
Man: New!? then?
Woman: Yes, It's his first day. Man: Well, to begin with, I'd like an
Man: OhThis is my first visit, you anesthetic.
know. 'Dentist': Oh, you'd like an anesthetic,
Woman: Oh, really? would you?Just a minute.
Man: It's the first time I've been here. (He takes a hammer out of his
Woman: Oh. bag.)
Man: Don't you understand? It's the 'Dentist': Ah, yes. Here we are.
first time I've been to the dentist Woman: What's that?
in my life! 'Dentist': A hammer.
Woman: I see. Man: Ah! Is that the anesthetic?
(The man looks at his watch.) 'Dentist': I'm not sure. It's the first time
Man: He's late, isn't he? I've given an anesthetic. Sit still.
Woman: Well, it is his first day. (He hits the table; this frightens
Man: Oh well, perhaps I won't wait. I the man, who faints.)
can come back tomorrow...or the Man: Oh! Ohh!
next day. 'Dentist': Oh, it works!
(They hear the dentist coming.) (He puts the hammer down.)
Woman: Ah. Here he comes now,
Man: (Disappointed) Oh, good.
(The 'dentist' comes in, carrying a
large bag.)
'Dentist': Ah, good morning, good morning,
good morning. Sorry I'm late.
Now, who's first?
Woman: He was here first.
Man: Oh no, after you.
Woman: No, no, you were before me.
Man: No, no, ladies first.
'Dentist': Now, now, what seems to be the
matter?
Man: I've got a bad tooth.
Woman: So have I.
'Dentist': Well. I can do you both at the
same time.

108 SKETCHES
'Dentist': Now, madam, what's the matter
with you?
Woman: I've got a pain.
'Dentist': Where?
Woman: In my mouth.
'Dentist': Yes, I know it's in your mouth,
but which tooth?
Woman: This one here.
'Dentist': Ah yes, a molar.
Woman: What are you going to do?
'Dentist': I'm going to take it out.
Woman: How?
'Dentist': I don't know.
Woman: You don't know?
'Dentist': No. This is the first time I've
taken out a molar. In fact, it's the
first time I've taken out a tooth.
Woman: The first time you've taken out a
tooth! Woman: Er, no... I don't think you really
'Dentist': Yes. This is a very important day know... er... no, no, I'll come back
for me - my first extraction. Now, another day. I...
where's that hammer? (The man wakes up.)
Woman: Listen, I don't want the hammer Man: Where am I? Hey, what are you
and I don't want the string. I doing?
want you to take my tooth out 'Dentist': I'll be with you in a moment, sir.
with a pair of... Now, just sit still, madam...
'Dentist': A pair of scissors? Man: No, no, stop that! You're
Woman: No. absolutely crazy!
'Dentist': A pair of socks? Woman: I agree. He's absolutely crazy,
Woman: No. completely mad. Let's get out of
'Dentist': A pair of trousers? here.
Woman: No Man: Oh yes, good idea.
'Dentist': Oh. Just a minute. 'Dentist': So you don't want me to take out
(He looks inside his bag, and that molar?
takes out a large pair of forceps.) Woman: Certainly not (To the man) Come
'Dentist': These? on
Woman: Yes, I suppose so. Man: Yes, Good idea.
'Dentist': Right then. Open your mouth (The man and the woman leave.)
Woman: But what about the anesthetic? 'Dentist': Hmm, that worked very' well.
'Dentist': Oh yes. Pass me the hammer. (He puts his things into the bag,
Woman: I don't want the hammer! I want laughing to himself.)
a proper anesthetic. I want an 'Dentist': 'But dentists don't use string to
injection. take out teeth! 'Oh, you'd like an
'Dentist': An injection? anesthetic, would you?'
Woman: Yes. (The real dentist arrives.)
'Dentist': Just a minute Dentist: Oh, good morning. Sorry I'm late.
He looks inside his bag again, and It's my first day. It's the first time
takes out a large syringe. I've been here. Are you the only
'Dentist': Ah yes, this is for injections, isn't one?
it? How does it work? 'Dentist': Yes, there's just me
Woman: Well, you're the dentist. Don't you Dentist: Right. You can come straight in,
know? then.
'Dentist': No, It's the first time I've used 'Dentist': Oh, good, I hate having to wait.
one of these. Oh well, I'll have a
try. Open your mouth!

SKETCHES 109
Mr. Williams and the Henry: Oh
Postman: And you, Mr. Williams, you never
postman get any letters, do you?
Henry: No, I don't.
Scene: The front door of 65 Postman: All right then, which one would
Shakespeare Avenue, early you like? The red one, the white
one morning one, or the blue one?
Characters: A postman, Mr. Henry Henry: Mm...I'll have the red one,
Williams, Mrs. Agnes Williams please.
Postman: The red one is yours - if you can
The postman walks up to the front door. He answer a simple question.
knocks at the door and rings the bell. Henry: A question?
Postman: Yes. Where does Queen Elizabeth
Postman: Good morning! Hello! Wake up! the Second of England live?
Mr. Williams opens the door. Henry: Why? Have you got a letter for
Postman: Ah, good morning! her?(He laughs.)
Henry: Good morning. Postman: No, Mr. Williams. That was the
Postman: Mr. Williams? question. Where does Queen
Henry: Yes. Elizabeth the Second of England
Postman: Mr. H. Williams? live?
Henry: That's right. Henry: Ah. Where does Queen Elizabeth
Postman: Mr. Henry Williams of 65 live?
Shakespeare Avenue? Postman: Yes.
Henry: Sixty-five? Er...yes. Have you got Henry: I don't know.
anything for me? Postman: Mr. Williams! It's easy! B-B-B-
Postman: No. Buck -
Henry: No? Henry: Oh, yes! Buckingham Hotel.
Postman: No. Postman: No, no! Palace!
Henry: Then why did you wake me up? Henry: Palace Hotel.
Postman: It's part of my job. Postman: No!
Henry: What? Waking people up? Henry: I know! Buckingham Palace!
Postman: Yes. It's a new service from the Postman: That's right! You've won the red
Post Office. envelope!
Henry: Hmmm. Listen - you're a post- Henry: Oh, thank you! This is very excit-
man. ing!
Postman: Yes. (Mr. Williams opens the red enve-
Henry: And postmen bring letters. lope.)
Postman: Yes. Henry: There's nothing in it.
Henry: But you haven't brought any for Postman: No, there's never anything in the
me. red one.
Postman: Wait a minute, Mr. Williams. I'm Henry: This is ridiculous!
sure I can find something for you. Postman: No, it isn't. There are still two
Um... more envelopes.
(He takes three letters out of his Henry: Yes, but is there anything in
bag.) them?
Postman: Ah yes, here we are. Three let- Postman: Of course there is.
ters. Which one would you like? Henry: All right. The blue one.
The red one, the white one, or the Postman: Very well, Mr. Williams. Here is
blue one? the question for the blue enve-
Henry: But those letters aren't for me. lope. What is the approximate
Postman: No, Mr. Williams, but this is population of Great Britain?
another new service from the Henry: Er...thirty-five million?
Post Office - a new service for all Postman: No. Higher.
those unhappy, unfortunate peo- Henry: Eighty-five million?
ple who never get any letters. Postman: No. Lower.

110 SKETCHES
Henry: Fifty-five million people! Henry: The white envelope. I've already
Postman: is the correct answer! You've won won the red one and the blue
the white envelope! one.
Henry: I don't want the white one. I want Agnes: Henry, what are you talking
the blue one. about?
Postman: Oh, go on. Take the white one. Henry: It's a competition. We answer
Henry: I don't want the white one! questions and win prizes - and
Postman: Oh, all right. Here's the blue one. the star prize is in the white enve-
Henry: Thank you. lope.
(Mr. Williams opens the blue Postman: And here is the question for the
envelope.) white envelope. If a man walks at
Henry: Hmm. Just a piece of paper. five miles an hour, in the same
Postman: What does it say? direction as a cat which is travel-
Henry: It says: 'You should have taken ing at thirty miles an hour, how
the white one.' long will it take for the car to be
Postman: I told you, 107 miles from the man?
Henry: This is very silly. I'm going back Agnes: That's easy. Four hours, sixteen
to bed. minutes and forty-eight seconds.
Postman: Wait a minute, Mr. Williams. Postman: Four hours, sixteen minutes and
Today's star prize is in the white forty-eight seconds is the correct
envelope. answer! You have won today's
Henry: The star prize? star prize. Here you are.
Postman: Yes. Agnes: Ooh, thank you!
Henry: All right then, ask me the ques- Henry: Well done, Agnes,
tion. (Mrs. Williams opens the white
Postman: Now listen carefully. If a man envelope.)
walks at five miles an hour, in the Henry: What is it?
same direction as a car which is Agnes: It's just a piece of paper.
traveling at thirty miles an hour, Postman: No, it isn't.
how long will it take for the car to Henry: Yes, it is. Look! Just another piece
be 107 miles from the man? of paper!
Henry: Eh? (They give the postman back the
Postman: Mr. Williams! Concentrate! If a envelope and paper.)
man walks at five miles an hour, Postman: But, Mr. Williams....Mrs.
in the same direction as a car Williams...
which is traveling at thirty miles Henry: Stop wasting our time. Come on,
an hour, how long will it take for Agnes; let's go back to bed,
the car to be 107 miles from the Postman: But come back! I can explain!
man? (Mr. and Mrs. Williams go back
Henry: I don't know. Three days? into the house.)
Postman: No, no. Mr. Williams. Look, why Postman: I'm sure it's not just another
don't you ask your wife to help piece of paper. There's always a
you? prize in the white one. Let's have
Henry: All right. Agnes! a look....It's a cheque...for 500!
Agnes: Yes? Mr. Williams! Mrs. Williams!
Henry: Come here! Henry: Go away!
Agnes: All right. I'm coming. Postman: But Mr. Williams, you've won the
(Mrs. Williams comes to the star prize!
door.) Henry: Go away!!
Postman: Ah, good morning, Mrs. Williams Postman: Oh...Well, if Mr. Williams doesn't
Agnes: What's going on? want the 500, I think I'll keep
Henry: I'm trying to win the white one, it...It's a lovely day today...
Agnes.
Agnes: The white what?

SKETCHES 111
Tourist information Rita: Sydney's in Australia.
Tourist: Yes.
Rita: Oh, I see. So he couldn't come to
Scene: A tourist information office at an England.
international airport in England Tourist: What?
Rita: You've come, but Sydney hasn't
Characters: Rita, the tourist information offi- Tourist: No, no, no, no! Sydney is the place
cer, an Australian tourist where I live.
Rita: Oh, I see.
Rita is behind her desk, on which Tourist: At last!
there is a sign saying 'Rita's Tourist Rita: Sydney is the name of your house.
Information Office'. The tourist Tourist: (Giving up) Yes, all right.
arrives. Rita: So which town do you come from?
Tourist: Sydney!!
Rita: So Sydney is the name of your
house and the name of your town!
What a coincidence! So how can I
help you?
Tourist: I'd like some information.
Rita: Some information?
Tourist: Yes, some tourist information.
Rita: OK, sir. Welcome to Rita's Tourist
Information Office. I can answer all
your questions.
Tourist: Good.
Rita: But it will cost you five pounds.
Tourist: Pardon me?
(Rita toots a horn and reveals a
sign saying '5')
Tourist: G'day Rita: Five pounds. Ask me anything you
Rita: Pardon? like, the questions are five pounds
Tourist: G'day! each.
Rita: Sorry, sir, I only speak English. Tourist: Five pounds each?
Tourist: I am speaking English. 'Good day.'' Rita: Was that a question?
It's Australian. It's Australian for Tourist: Yes.
'Hello'. (Rita toots the horn again and
Rita: Is it? changes the sign to '10'.)
Tourist: Yes. Rita: That's ten pounds.
Rita: Oh, I see. 'G'day' Tourist: Just a minute! Do I have to pay you
Tourist: (Holding out his hand) Wallaby. five pounds for every question?
Rita: Pardon? (Rita toots the horn again and
Tourist: Wallaby. changes the sign to '15'.)
Rita: Ah! (Shaking his hand) 'Wallaby' Rita: Pardon?
Tourist: No, no, no. Wallaby is my name. Tourist: I said: Do I have to pay you five
Rita: Oh, I see. Pleased to meet you, Mr. pounds for every question?
Wallaby. (Rita toots the horn again and
Tourist: I've come from Sydney. changes the sign to '20'.)
Rita: Sydney? Rita: Yes, sir.
Tourist: Yes, Tourist: But is this normal?
Rita: Sydney who? (Rita toots the horn again and
Tourist: What? changes the sign to '25'.)
Rita: Sydney Watt? Who's Sydney Watt? Rita: Oh yes, sir. It's quite normal.
Tourist: No, no - Sydney is in Australia. Tourist: Is it?
(Rita toots the horn again and
changes the sign to '30'.)

112 SKETCHES
Rita: Yes, sir. Rita: Don't worry, sir. Ask me anything
Tourist: No, come on - this is a joke, isn't it? you like - but don't forget: it
(They both laugh. Then Rita toots costs...
the horn again and changes the Tourist: ...five pounds a question.
sign to '35'.) Rita: Right. Five pounds a question.
Rita: No, sir. Tourist: Er...Can you tell me
Tourist: Look - all I want is some informa- (Rita is going to toot the horn.)
tion. Tourist: No, no, no, no.. .Do you know
Rita: What did you say? (Rita is again going to toot the
(Rita toots the horn again and horn.)
changes the sign to '40'.) Tourist: - no, no, no. no, no...Ah. Five
Tourist: I said - Wait a minute! I didn't ask pounds a question. Right. I'd like to
a question then. rent a car.
Rita: Didn't you? Rita: You'd like to rent a car?
(Rita toots the horn again and Tourist: Yes. And I'd like you to tell me
changes the sign to '45'.) where I can do it.
Tourist: Look! You've just asked two ques- Rita: You'd like to rent a car?
tions and I'm paying for them. Tourist: Yes.
Rita: OK, I'm sorry, sir. You can have two Rita: Well, sir, there is a car rental com-
free questions. pany in the airport.
Tourist: Can I? Tourist: Good (Looking around) and it's -
Rita: That's one. Rita: right here!
Tourist: Er...now, what do I want to know? (Rita changes the 'Tourist
Rita: And that's two. Information Office' sign to a 'Rent-
Tourist: Look, what is going on here?! a-Car' sign.)
(Rita toots the horn again and Rita: Welcome to Rita's Rent-a-Car.
changes the sign to '50'.) Tourist: Oh.
Rita: Fifty pounds! Congratulations, sir. Rita: We have cars from all over the
You now owe me fifty pounds. Now, world. And I have here, in my
you can pay me the fifty pounds or hand, the keys to a Rolls-Royce.
you can answer one simple ques- Tourist: A Rolls-Royce! Yes, please!
tion and double the fifty pounds to Rita: (Giving him the keys) Here you are,
one hundred pounds! that's fifty pounds.
Tourist: (Confused) Er. Tourist: (Giving her the money) Here you
Rita: Here's the question: How old are are, Fifty pounds for a Rolls-Royce!
you? Rita: No, sir. It's fifty pounds for the
Tourist: Twenty-six. keys.
(Rita toots the horn.) Tourist: Oh.
Rita: is the correct answer! Rita: Now, sir - do you have any more
(She changes the sign to '100'.) questions?
Rita: You now owe me one hundred Tourist: Well, I've only got five pounds left.
pounds! Rita: So you can have one more ques-
(The tourist gives her 100.) tion. What would you like to know?
Tourist: There you are. Tourist: What time is the next plane back to
Rita: Thank you, sir. Australia?
(Rita removes the 100 sign.) (Rita toots the horn.)
Rita: Enjoy your stay in England. Rita: I don't know, sir.
Tourist: Thank you. (Rita takes his 5 note.)
(The tourist starts to leave but then Rita: Thank you very much. Goodbye.
comes back.)
Tourist: Wait a minute - I haven't had any
information yet

SKETCHES 113
The bank Mr. Moore: I beg your pardon?
Miss Posit: More, Mr. Moore. M-O-R-E, more
Mr. Moore: No, no...double-O...M-double-O-
Scene: The manager's office in a bank R-E, Mr. Moore. It is my name.
Miss Posit: Mr. Moore, I don't think you
Characters: Miss D. Posit: the bank man- quite understand the situation.
ager, Monica: Miss Posit's sec- You see -
retary, Mr. Moore: a customer, (The robber comes in suddenly.)
a bank robber Robber: Nobody move!
Miss Posit: you see, if you write me a
(Miss Posit is sitting on her desk. The inter- cheque for 200 -
com buzzes.) Robber I said: 'Nobody move!
Miss Posit: Can I help you?
Miss Posit: Yes, Monica? Robber: That's better. You
Monica: Miss Posit, there's a gentlemen Mr. Moore: Me?
to see you. Mr. Moore. Robber: Yes. Read this.
Miss Posit: Ah, yes. Mr. Moore. Bring him in (He gives Mr. Moore a note.)
please, Monica. Mr. Moore: Oh. OK. Er... (Reading) Two
Monica: Yes, Miss Posit. pounds of tomatoes, six eggs,
(Monica brings Mr. Moore in.) and a packet of chocolate bis-
Miss Posit: Good morning, Mr. Moore. cuits.'
Mr. Moore: Good morning. Robber: No, no, no. The other side.
Miss Posit: Thank you, Monica, Mr. Moore: Oh, sorry. Er,..(Reading) 'Give
(Monica leaves the office.) me all your...honey, or I'll...kiss
Miss Posit: Do sit down, Mr. Moore. you.'
Mr. Moore: Thank you. Robber: Not honey - money.
(He sits down.) Mr. Moore: Oh, sorry. (Reading) 'Give me all
Miss Posit: Now, Mr. Moore, the situation is your money, or I'll kiss you.'
like this. Your account is in the Robber: Not kiss - kill
red. Mr. Moore: Oh. Er...Miss Posit, I think this is
Mr. Moore: Pardon? for you.
Miss Posit: In the red. (He gives the note to Miss Posit.)
Mr. Moore: I'm sorry, I don't understand. Miss Posit: (Reading) Give me all your
Miss Posit: In the red. Overdrawn. money, or I'll kill you.' I see.
Mr. Moore: Overdrawn. No, I'm sorry, I've Would you sit down for a
never heard that word before in moment?
my life. Robber: Sit down?
Miss Posit: It's very simple, Mr. Moore. It Miss Posit: Yes, I'm very busy at the
means that you've taken more moment. Please sit over there.
money out of the bank than Robber: But
you've put in. Miss Posit: I'll be with you in a moment.
Mr. Moore: Oh, I see. Thank you very much. (The robber sits down.)
Miss Posit: I don't think you quite under- Miss Posit: Now, Mr. Moore. How much do
stand, Mr. Moore. It means that you earn?
you've put in less than you've Mr. Moore: 35 a week.
taken out. Robber: Excuse me.
Mr. Moore: Oh! Miss Posit: Just one moment, please!...So
Miss Posit: Your account is overdrawn. 200 you earn 35 a week. How much
overdrawn. do you spend?
Mr. Moore: 200 overdrawn. I see. Well, Mr. Moore: 70 a week.
don't worry. I can put that right Robber: Excuse me -
immediately. Miss Posit: One moment, please!!...70 a
Miss Posit: Oh, good. week. So you spend twice as
Mr. Moore: Yes, I'll write you a cheque, shall much as you earn.
I? Mr. Moore: Yes, I earn half as much as I
(He takes out his cheque-book spend.
and begins to write.) Miss Posit: How do you do it?
Mr. Moore: Now... two hundred pounds... Mr. Moore: It's easy. I use my cheque-book.
Miss Posit: Mr. Moore, Mr. Moore, if you Miss Posit: Exactly, Mr. Moore!
write me a cheque for 200, Robber: Excuse me.
you'll be overdrawn more, Mr. Miss Posit: Yes!!
Moore. Robber: I make 2,000 a week.

114 SKETCHES
Miss Posit: 2,000 a week? And how much Mr. Moore: Is that all?
do you spend? Robber: Yes. Mr. Moore.
Robber: 1,000 a week. Mr. Moore: I see.
Miss Posit: Really? So you save 1,000 a (Miss Posit comes back into the
week. office.)
Robber: Yes. Miss Posit: Ah. yes. Now, Mr. Steele
Miss Posit : (Very politely) Would you like to Mr. Moore: Give me all your honey...money,
sit here? or I'll kiss...kill you.
Robber: Thank you. Miss Posit: Money, Mr. Moore? Certainly.
Miss Posit: Mr. Moore, would you sit over Take this bag.
there for a moment? (She gives Mr. Moore the rob-
(The robber and Mr. Moore ber's bag.)
change places.) Mr. Moore: Oh, thank you. That was easy.
Miss Posit: So you save 1,000 a week. Robber: Yes, but
Robber: Yes. Miss Posit: Mr. Moore, your account is still
Miss Posit: Tell me...where do you keep this 200 overdrawn.
money? Mr. Moore: Oh, yes. Well...um...Here you
Robber: Here. In this bag. are.
(He puts a large bag full of (He gives her 200 from the
money on the desk.) robber's bag.)
Miss Posit: Oh. Oh, yes. Very nice. Mr. Moore: 50... 100... I 50.. .200.
Um...would you like to open an Robber: But... But...
account, Mr....? Miss Posit: Thank you, Mr. Moore.
Robber: Mr. Steele. Mr. Moore: Goodbye.
Miss Posit: Steele. I see. S-T-double E-L-E? (Mr. Moore leaves.)
Robber: Yes, that's right. Miss Posit: Now, Mr. Steele - your account
Miss Posit: Well, just excuse me one Robber: But...But...But...
moment, Mr. Steele, and I'll get Miss Posit: Mr. Steele...
the necessary papers. Robber: Just a minute! I think some-
Robber: Certainly. thing's gone wrong. Hey, you!
Mr. Moore: Excuse me... Come back! Bring back my
Robber: Yes? money - and my gun! Come
Mr. Moore: You make 2,000 a week. back!
Robber: Yes. (He runs after Mr. Moore.)
Mr. Moore: How do you do it? Miss Posit: (On the intercom) Monica, would
Robber: I rob banks. you bring me some coffee,
Mr. Moore: Oh, I see. You rob banks and please? Some strong black cof-
steal the money. fee...
Robber: Yes
Mr. Moore: How do you do it?
Robber: It's easy. You take a gun.
Mr. Moore: I haven't got a gun.
Robber: Oh...well, borrow mine.
Mr. Moore: Thank you very much.
(Mr. Moore takes the gun and
fires it.)
Robber: Be careful! You take a gun and
you take a note.
Mr. Moore: Oh, yes, the note. That's very
good. I like that. (Reading) Two
pounds of tomatoes, six eggs
Robber: The other side!
Mr. Moore: Oh, yes. (Reading)
'Give me all your
honey, or I'll kiss
you!'
Robber: 'Money' and 'kill'
Mr. Moore: Oh, yes.
Robber: You take
the note,
go into the bank,
and put the note
on the bank
manager's desk.
SKETCHES 115
The Superlative vacuum
cleaner Salesman: Not a very good one, I'm afraid.
Housewife: I can see that.
Scene: The hall of a house Salesman: No, I'm a very bad vacuum
Characters: A vacuum cleaner salesman, a cleaner salesman. In fact, I'm
housewife the worst salesman in our com-
pany.
The salesman rings the doorbell several Housewife: The worst?
times. Salesman: The worst, I sometimes think
I'm the worst vacuum cleaner
Housewife: Yes, I'm coming. salesman in the world.
(She opens the door.) Housewife: Oh, dear. Do you like your job?
Housewife: Good morning. Salesman: Like my job? No, madam, I
Salesman: Good morning, young lady. Is detest my job. It's the most
your mother in? boring job in the world. Every
Housewife: My mother? I'm the mother in day it's the same: 'Good morn-
this house. What do you want? ing, young lady. Is your mother
Salesman: Dust, madam. in?...The Superlative vacuum
Housewife: Dust? cleaner...The quickest, the
Salesman: Yes, madam. Dust. cleanest, the cheapest, the
Housewife: I haven't got any dust. smallest...'
Salesman: Oh yes you have! Housewife: Well, is it the quickest?
(He shakes dust onto the floor Salesman: No, it's probably the slowest.
from a paper bag.) Housewife: Is it the cleanest?
Salesman: All over your carpet! Salesman: Cleanest? Don't make me
Housewife: Hey! I've just cleaned this car- laugh! I don't think there's a
pet! Why are you putting dust dirtier vacuum cleaner on the
all over it? market. And it certainly isn't the
Salesman: Don't worry, madam. I've got cheapest either.
the answer to all your problems Housewife: No, no, no. This is no good at
here! The Superlative vacuum all.
cleaner! Salesman: Pardon?
Housewife: The Superlative vacuum clean- Housewife: Look, do you want to sell this
er! Why's it called 'Superlative'? vacuum cleaner or don't you?
Salesman: Because, madam, everything Salesman: I suppose so.
about it is superlative. It's the Housewife: Well, your sales technique is all
quickest, the cleanest, the wrong.
cheapest, the smallest, the Salesman: Is it?
smartest, the most economical, Housewife: Yes. I could sell vacuum clean-
the most effective, the most ers better than you,
beautiful, the most revolution- Salesman: No, you couldn't.
ary vacuum cleaner in the Housewife: Yes, I could. I'll show you. You
world. And it's only 65. come into the house, and I'll
Housewife: Are you trying to sell me a vac- ring the bell and sell the vacu-
uum cleaner? um cleaner to you.
Salesman: Yes, madam. Salesman: You'll sell the vacuum cleaner to
Housewife: Well, go on, then. me?
Salesman: I've finished, madam. Housewife: Yes.
Housewife: Finished? You haven't said very Salesman: OK. But it isn't as easy as you
much. What sort of a vacuum think.
cleaner salesman are you? Housewife: We'll see. Go inside and shut
the door.

116 SKETCHES
Salesman: All right, the most revolutionary vacuum
(The salesman goes into the cleaner in the world.
house and closes the door. The Salesman: (In a high voice again) Ooh!
housewife rings the bell. The How much is it?
salesman opens the door.) Housewife: Just 65 to you, madam
Salesman: Not today, thank you, Salesman: I'll buy one.
(He closes the door. The house- Housewife: Good
wife rings the bell again. The Salesman: (In his own voice) Er...where's
salesman opens the door again, the money?
and speaks in a high voice.) Housewife: It's in my handbag on the
Salesman: Yes? kitchen table.
Housewife: Hello! Salesman: Oh, right. (In the high voice) I'll
Salesman: Hello, just go and get some money.
Housewife: My goodness me, what a beau- He goes to the kitchen to get
tiful house you've got! the money.
Salesman: Ooh, do you like it? Housewife: Good idea, madam. You've
Housewife: Like it? It's the most beautiful made the right decision.
house I've seen for a long time. (The salesman comes back,
Salesman: Thank you very much, may I speaking in his own voice.)
come in? Salesman: Do you know, you're a fantastic
Salesman: Er .. saleswoman.
Housewife: Thank you, Oh, what a colorful Housewife: Ooh!
carpet! Salesman: You've got a fantastic sales
Salesman: Yes, it's lovely, isn't it? technique.
Housewife: It's the most colorful carpet I've Housewife: Do you think so?
seen. I should think it was Salesman: Yes, you've got the best sales
expensive. technique I've seen all day.
Salesman: The most expensive one in the Housewife: Thank you!
shop. Salesman: Thank you, madam.
Housewife: And I suppose you've got a very (He leaves and closes the door.)
good vacuum cleaner to look Salesman: (Speaking to himself, counting
after it. the money) Ten, twenty, thirty,
Salesman: A vacuum cleaner? No, I forty, fifty, sixty, sixty-five. Now
haven't. that's the way to sell a vacuum
Housewife: You haven't got a vacuum cleaner.
cleaner?
Salesman: No.
Housewife: Well, madam, this is your lucky
day, because I have here the
best vacuum cleaner that
money can buy: the Superlative
vacuum cleaner.
Salesman: Is it really good?
Housewife: Good? Good? It's the...the...
Salesman: (In his own voice) Quickest
Housewife: ...the quickest, the...
Salesman: Cleanest,
Housewife: ...the cleanest, the cheapest,
the smallest, the smartest, the
most economical, the most
effective, the most beautiful,

SKETCHES 117
Superman and the
psychiatrist

Psychiatrist: In that case, Mr. Wilkins, I


Scene: A psychiatrist's consulting think you should change your
room job.
Characters: A psychiatrist, Angela (the Mr. Wilkins: But what can I do? No one
psychiatrist's receptionist), Mr. wants a man who can only
Wilkins, Superman shout.
Psychiatrist: You could get a job as an
The receptionist comes in. English teacher.
Mr. Wilkins: An English teacher?
Psychiatrist: Yes, they shout all the time.
Mr. Wilkins: All right, doctor. I'll do that.
Psychiatrist: Who's next, Angela? Goodbye.
Receptionist: There's a man to see you, doc- Psychiatrist: Goodbye, Mr. Wilkins.
tor. His name is Wilkins. He (He leaves, still shouting.)
says he can't talk quietly. He Mr. Wilkins: Hey, you! Write down this
can only shout. verb!
Mr. Wilkins: Can I come in?!! Receptionist: Goodbye, Mr. Wilkins.
Psychiatrist: Hmm. Yes, I see. Ask him to The receptionist comes back
come in. into the room.
Receptionist: Come in, Mr. Wilkins. Receptionist: Is Mr. Wilkins all right, doctor?
(He comes in. The receptionist Psychiatrist: Yes. He's going to be an
goes out.) English teacher.
Mr. Wilkins: Thank you! Hello, doctor. Sorry Receptionist: Oh.
to trouble you. Psychiatrist: Who's next?
Psychiatrist: That's all right, Mr. Wilkins. Do Receptionist: Superman.
sit down. Now... what seems Psychiatrist: Superman?
to be the trouble? Receptionist: Yes.
Mr. Wilkins: Er...Well, doctor, I can't talk Psychiatrist: Oh, I see,. someone who
quietly, I can only shout. thinks he's Superman.
Psychiatrist: (Shouting) How long have you Receptionist: No, doctor. He really is
been like this? Superman.
Mr. Wilkins: Pardon? Psychiatrist: What? The big, strong man
Psychiatrist: (Back to normal) How long who flies through the air?
have you been like this Receptionist: Yes.
Mr. Wilkins: About a week. Psychiatrist: Oh, I see. Ask him to come in.
Psychiatrist: Well, don't worry. I think Receptionist: Yes, doctor. (To Superman)
you've got a very nice shout- Come this way, please.
ing voice. (Superman comes in, very
Mr. Wilkins: But I can't go on like this. I'll tired and out-of-breath.)
lose my job. Superman: Thank you.
Psychiatrist: What is your job? Psychiatrist: Thank you, Angela.
Mr. Wilkins: I'm a librarian. I work in a (The receptionist goes out.)
library. I can't shout at work, Psychiatrist: Good morning, Mr...er...
you know. Superman: Superman.

118 SKETCHES
Psychiatrist: Yes, Superman. Do sit down. Psychiatrist: Yes, of course...Rocky,
(Superman sits down.) (The receptionist comes in
Superman: Thank you. again.)
Psychiatrist: Well, what seems to be the Receptionist: Doctor
trouble? Psychiatrist: Yes, Angela?
Superman: Well, doctor, I'm Superman. Receptionist: Mr. Wilkins is back again,
People think I can do every- (Mr. Wilkins comes in, shout-
thing, but I can't. I can't do ing as before.)
anything any more. Mr. Wilkins: Yes, I am. I've changed my
Psychiatrist: What can't you do? mind. I don't want to be an
Superman: I can't climb buildings, I can't English teacher. What else can
lift cars...and I can't fly. I do?
Psychiatrist: Well, don't worry. A lot of peo- Psychiatrist: Don't worry, Mr Wilkins. I've
ple have that problem. got another job for you. You
Superman: But you don't understand. I'm can work with Rocky
Superman. If you can't fly, you Superdazzle here.
can't be Superman. It's in the Superman: How do you do?
contract. Mr. wilkins: Rocky Superdazzle? That's not
Psychiatrist: Ah yes, I see. Rocky Superdazzle! That's
Superman: In the old days, when people Superman, I saw him in a tele-
called for Superman, I could phone box yesterday.
run into a telephone box, take Superman! Huh! It took him
off my boring grey city suit, fifteen minutes just to take off
and become Superman, all in his trousers.
ten seconds. Yesterday, I went Psychiatrist: Well, he was Superman, but
into a telephone box, and it he's not Superman any more.
took me fifteen minutes just to I think you can both work
take off my trousers. And together...
when I came out, I couldn't (A few weeks later, at a pop
remember where I was going. concert.)
What do you think of that? Mr. Wilkins: Ladies and gentlemen, you've
(The psychiatrist is asleep.) heard of Rod Stewart! You've
Superman: Eh? heard of Mick Jagger! You've
Psychiatrist: (Waking up) Er. What? Pardon? heard of...Queen Elizabeth the
Superman: What do you think? Second of England! Well,
Psychiatrist: I think you should change your tonight we present a new star
job. on the pop scene. He's cooler
Superman: But what can I do? than Rod Stewart! He's wilder
Psychiatrist: Well, you've got a very nice than Mick Jagger! And
face. You could be a pop he's...taller than Queen
singer. Elizabeth the Second of
Superman: A pop singer? England! Ladies and gentle-
Psychiatrist: Yes, I can see it all now. Your men - Rocky Superdazzle!
name will be in lights! You'll be (The audience screams and
famous! applauds.)
Superman: But I am famous. I'm Superman: Thank you! Thank you very
Superman. much! Thank you!
Psychiatrist: Not any more. From today,
you are Rocky Superdazzle!
Superman: Do you think it's a good idea?

SKETCHES 119
The lost property office Gangster: Er...Churchill's Circus.
Clerk: Oh, I see. It's a circus elephant.
Gangster: Is it?...Yes. Yes, it is!
Scene: A lost property office Clerk: When did you last see him?
Characters: The lost property office clerk, Gangster: Who?
a gangster, a policeman Clerk: The elephant.
Gangster: Oh, Winston. Well, we were on a
The gangster runs into the lost property bus yesterday
office. There are police cars passing in the Clerk: On a bus?!
street at high speed. Gangster: Yes.
Clerk: How did Winston get on a bus?
Gangster: How did Winston get on a bus?
Clerk: Can I help you? Clerk: Yes
Gangster: Where am I? Gangster: That's a very good question.
Clerk: You're in a lost property office. Well...He waited at the bus stop,
Gangster: A lost property office? and when the bus came along,
Clerk: Yes. Have you lost something? he put out his arm. And when
Gangster: Probably. the bus stopped, he got on.
Clerk: What have you lost? Clerk: I see. And then what happened?
Gangster: I've lost my...umbrella. Gangster: Well, we were upstairs on the
Clerk: Ah, you want the Umbrella bus
Section. Clerk: Upstairs?!
Gangster: The Umbrella Section? Gangster: Yes. Winston wanted to smoke a
Clerk: Yes. Go out into the street, turn cigarette.
left, and it's on the left. Clerk: A cigarette?!
Gangster: Into the street? Gangster: I know - I tell him every day:
Clerk: Yes. You see, this isn't the 'Winston, smoking is bad for
Umbrella Section. This is the you." But he never listens.
Animal Section. Clerk: Hmm. What happened then?
Gangster: The Animal Section? Gangster: Well, I fell asleep.
Clerk: Yes. Clerk: You fell asleep?
Gangster: In that case, I've lost my dog. Gangster: Yes.
Clerk: You've lost your dog? Clerk: I see. And then what happened?
Gangster: Yes. Gangster: I don't know - I was asleep. But
Clerk: Well, in that case, you want the then I woke up, and Winston
Small Animal Section. wasn't there.
Gangster: The Small Animal Section? Clerk: Hmm. Well, I'd better ask you a
Clerk: Yes. Go into the street, turn few questions about him. What
right, and it's on the right. kind of elephant is he?
Gangster: Into the street? Gangster: Oh, he's very nice - generous,
Clerk: Yes. You see, this isn't the Small loving...he likes collecting
Animal Section. This is the Large stamps.
Animal Section. Clerk: No - when I say 'What kind of
Gangster: The Large Animal Section? elephant?' I mean: Is he an
Clerk: Yes. African elephant?
Gangster: In that case, I've lost my ele- Gangster: Oh, no.
phant. Clerk: So he's an Indian elephant.
Clerk: You've lost your elephant? Gangster: No.
Gangster: Yes. Clerk: What kind of elephant is he?
Clerk: I see. Well, I'll need a few Gangster: Scottish.
details. Would you like to sit Clerk: A Scottish elephant?!
down? Gangster: Yes. He wears a kilt.
Gangster: I'd love to. Clerk: I see. What color is he?
(The gangster sits down.) Gangster: Color? Well, he's elephant-col-
Clerk: Now, first of all: Name. ored.
Gangster: Er... Winston. Clerk: And what color is that?
Clerk: Well. Mr Winston - Gangster: Blue.
Gangster: No, my name isn't Winston. The Clerk: Blue?!
elephant's name is Winston. Gangster: It was very cold yesterday.
Clerk: I see. And what is your name? Clerk: Yes, it was. Next question: Color
Gangster: Churchill. of eyes.
Clerk: (Writing) Churchill. Address? Gangster: Well, you know, like an elephant.
Clerk: What color is that?
Gangster: Red,
120 SKETCHES
Clerk: Red?! like Winston.
Gangster: Green. Gangster: What about the banana?
Clerk: Green?! Clerk: Oh, yes. (On the phone)
Gangster: One red, one green. George...I want you to put a
Clerk: One red, one green?! banana in your hand, and say
Gangster: Yes. We call him 'Traffic Lights'. 'Kootchie-kootchie-koo'...No,
Clerk: I see. Color of hair? not to me - to the elephant.
Gangster: Hair? OK?...What?...Oh, no!
Clerk: Yes Gangster: What's the matter?
Gangster: He hasn't got any hair. Clerk: The elephant sat down.
Clerk: I see. (Writing) Bald...So we're Gangster: Good.
looking for a bald, blue, Scottish Clerk: On George.
elephant, wearing a kilt and Gangster: Tell George to give Winston the
smoking a cigarette. banana!
Gangster: Yes. Clerk: Right. (On the phone) George?
Clerk: Is there anything unusual about George! Get up and give the
him? banana to the elephant...Hello?
Gangster: No, nothing at all. What? Oh, no!
Clerk: Good. Now, Mr. Churchill, what Gangster: What is it?
should we do if we find Winston? Clerk: He's eaten the banana.
Gangster: Well...Put a banana in your Gangster: Who? Winston?
hand, walk up to Winston, and Clerk: No. George.
say 'Kootchie-kootchie-koo' Gangster: Oh, no!
Clerk: What will Winston do? Clerk: (On the phone) George, I think
Gangster: Well, if it's Winston, he'll sit you should bring the elephant
down and he'll eat the banana. down here. The owner is waiting
Clerk: All right, Mr. Churchill. Just wait to take him away.. .OK...Bye.
a moment, and I'll call the (The clerk puts down the tele-
Elephant Section. phone.)
Gangster: Fine. Clerk: Don't worry, Mr Churchill. Your
(The clerk picks up the tele- elephant will be here in a
phone and dials a number.) moment.
Clerk: Hello? George?... It's Brenda... Gangster: Look - before this elephant
l'm fine, thank you - and you?... arrives, there's something you
Good. George, have you got any should know -
elephants?... You haven't? Hold (They hear the sound of an ele-
on a moment. (To the gangster) phant.)
He hasn't got any elephants. Clerk: Ah, that must be Winston.
Gangster: No elephants? Well, not to (They hear the sound of some-
worry. Sorry to have troubled one falling over.)
you. Thank you for your help. I'll Clerk: And that's George.
be on my way. Goodbye. (Someone knocks at the door.)
(He gets up. A police car passes Clerk: Go on, Mr. Churchill. Open the
in the street. He sits down door.
again.) Gangster: Oh, all right.
Gangster: Er...Ask George to have another (He opens the door.)
look. Gangster: Hello, Winston. Kootchie-
Clerk: All right. (On the phone) kootchie-koo!
George, can you have another Policeman: Mr. Churchill?
look? Gangster: But...this isn't an elephant. It's a
Gangster: Tell him to look under the table. policeman.
Clerk: Look under the table...What?... Policeman: Very good, sir. Now, if you'd like
(To the gangster) He's got one. to follow me...
Gangster: A table? Clerk: Goodbye, Mr. Churchill. And
Clerk: No, an elephant. don't forget: If you lose your
Gangster: An elephant. elephant again, the Lost
Clerk: Yes. It was under the table. Property Office is here to help
Gangster: Really? you.
Clerk: (On the phone) Yes, George, I'm Gangster: Oh, good. I'll remember that,
listening...Yes...Yes...Yes...Yes... (He leaves with the policeman.)
Yes. Hold on.(To the gangster)
He's got a bald, blue, Scottish
elephant, wearing a kilt and
smoking a cigarette. It sounds
SKETCHES 121
The travel agency Travel agent: Yes, Have you ever been
there?
Martin: No, we haven't,
Scene: A travel agency in London
Travel agent: Well, this is the holiday for
Characters: A travel agent, Martin and
you. Forty-five days in the
Brenda Spencer
middle of the Sahara Desert.
Brenda: In the middle of the Sahara
The travel agent is sitting at his desk in the
Desert? Is there anything to
travel agency. The phone rings.
do?
Travel agent: Oh yes, there's plenty to do.
Travel agent: (On the telephone) Honest
Have you ever been in a sand-
Harry's Happy Holidays. Can I
storm?
help you? Oh, it's you,
Martin: A sandstorm? No, we haven't,
sir...This is Perkins speaking,
Travel agent: Oh well, it's very exciting.
yes...The holidays in Brighton?
There are sandstorms nearly
Well, I haven't sold very
every day. And lots of danger-
many...I'm doing my best, but
ous snakes. Have you ever
people aren't interested in
been bitten by a dangerous
Brighton these days. My job?
snake?
Yes, I do like my job...Yes; I do
Martin- Brenda: No!
want to keep my job...Yes, sir.
Travel agent: Oh well, it's very exciting.
All right, I'll sell some holidays
Brenda: No, I don't think we'd like
in Brighton. Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
Travel agent: Sandstorms, dangerous
Goodbye.
snakes, and, on the last day,
(He puts the phone down.)
a stampede of camels!
Travel agent: Oh, dear.
Martin: A stampede of camels? What's
(Martin and Brenda come in.)
that?
Martin: Go on, Brenda.
Travel agent: Haven't you ever seen a stam-
Brenda: Excuse me, is this a travel
pede of camels?
agency?
Martin: No.
Travel agent: No, madam. It's a fish and
Travel agent: Oh, it's very exciting. You
chip shop.
stand in the middle of three
Brenda: Oh, sorry. Come on, Martin.
hundred camels; someone
Travel agent: No, no, this is a travel agency.
fires a gun in the air - Bang!
Just a little joke.
and all the camels get fright-
Brenda: Oh.
ened and run away.
Travel agent: Yes, welcome to Honest
Brenda: With us standing in the mid-
Harry's Happy Holidays. Do sit
dle?
down.
Travel agent: Yes. Have you ever seen a
Brenda: Thank you.
frightened camel?
Martin: Thank you.
Brenda: No. Is it exciting?
(They sit down.)
Travel agent: Exciting? It's terrifying!
Travel agent: What can I do for you?
Martin: Isn't it dangerous?
Brenda: We'd like some information
Travel agent: Of course it's dangerous!
about holidays.
That's what makes it exciting!
Travel agent: Oh, good.
Martin: Er...how much is it?
Martin: Yes, we'd like to go some-
Travel agent: 800.
where interesting.
Brenda: 800!
Travel agent: Somewhere interesting? Have
Travel agent: And 5 extra for the stampede
you been to Brighton?
of camels.
Martin: Brighton? No, we haven't -
Brenda: That's very expensive.
Travel agent: Really?
Travel agent: Ah, I see. You want something
Brenda: and we don't want to, either.
cheaper. Um...how about the
Travel agent: Why not?
Arctic Ocean? Have you ever
Martin: Well, it's not exciting. We want
been to the Arctic?
to go somewhere exciting.
Martin: No, we haven't,
Travel agent: Oh, I see. How about the
Travel agent: Well, we can give you three
Sahara Desert?
weeks in a small boat in the
Brenda: The Sahara Desert?
Arctic Ocean. Each boat has a
small hole in the bottom.

122 SKETCHES
Brenda: A hole in the bottom? Travel agent: What about ten days in
Travel agent: and you have enough food for Paris?...
ten days. Martin: That sounds marvelous!
Martin: Ten days? Travel agent: ...painting the outside of the
Travel agent: That's right. Eiffel Tower.
Martin: But the holiday is for three Brenda- Martin: No, thanks!
weeks. Travel agent: Well, what about two weeks in
Travel agent: That's what makes it exciting! Brighton?
And it's only 600. Brenda: No, thanks!
Brenda: 600! It's still much too Martin: Just a minute. Did you say
expensive for us. 'Brighton'?
Martin: Have you got anything a little Travel agent: Yes. How about two weeks in
bit cheaper? Brighton, staying in a nice
Travel agent: Cheaper...well, I don't know. quiet hotel by the sea?
Let me see...Um...Oh, yes. Brenda: Well, yes...
Now this is a holiday to Martin: Yes, that sounds wonderful!
remember. The Amazon jun- Travel agent: It's not very exciting. No
gle. Have you been to the camels, no snakes, but you
Amazon jungle? can't have everything, can
Martin: No, we haven't. you?
Travel agent: Well, this may be the holiday Brenda: No. That's very nice. We'll take
for you. We drop you into the it.
middle of the Amazon jungle Martin: How much is it?
by parachute. Travel agent: 50 each, please. Could you
Martin: By parachute! just sign this form for the
Travel agent: Yes, we drop you into the mid- reservations?
dle of the Amazon jungle, with (He gives Martin a form.)
a map. Travel agent: Just here, please. Alarm signs.
Brenda: Well, at least you get a map. Travel agent: Thank you. And here. And
Travel agent: with a map of the London here. And here. And... here.
Underground. Thank you.
Brenda: Oh. I don't think we'd like that. Brenda: Thank you very much.
It sounds very dangerous. Martin: Goodbye.
Travel agent: Yes, but it's very exciting! This Travel agent: Goodbye and I hope you enjoy
is the twentieth century. your holiday.
People want exciting holidays. (Martin and Brenda leave. The
You said you wanted an excit- telephone rings.)
ing holiday. Travel agent: On the telephone Honest
Martin: But all your holidays are dan- Harry's Happy Holidays. Can I
gerous, expensive, and too far help you?... Well, we've got
away from home. some very nice holidays in
Travel agent: Oh, I see. Now you want Brighton, as a matter of fact...
something nearer home.
Martin: Er...yes.
Travel agent: Have you ever been to Spain?
Martin: No, we haven't.
Travel agent: We can offer you a month,
fighting the strongest bulls in
Spain.
Brenda: Bullfighting? No, I don't want
to do that.
Travel agent: Oh. Have you ever been to
Paris?
Martin: No, we haven't.

SKETCHES 123
Gerry Brown's driving test Gerry: Yes, I know. But don't worry, every-
thing will be all right. I borrowed
these glasses from my uncle, and he
Scene: A car says they're marvelous.
Brian: Your uncle's glasses! But Gerry, you
Characters: Gerry Brown, Brian Smith, should have brought your own
Gerry's friend, a driving exam- glasses
iner Gerry: I haven't got any of my own. But
don't worry, my uncle has worn
these for twenty-five years, and he's
Brian has just arrived at the test centre in his
a brain surgeon.
car. He is sitting in it, waiting for Gerry.
Brian: Gerry -Gerry!Look, I'll put them on.
(He puts on the glasses.)
Gerry: There, Oh...Um...Brian?...Brian? (He
Brian: Hmm...Three o'clock. Where is he? bumps into the car.)
Ah, there he is. Gerry! Gerry! (Gerry Gerry: Oh.
comes to the car.) Brian: Gerry, look, here comes the examin-
Gerry: Ah, hello! er.
Brian: Hello, Gerry, Gerry: Oh yes, I see. He looks like a very
(Brian gets out of the car.) nice man.
Brian: Well, the big day, eh? Brian: Gerry, it's not a man. It's a woman.
Gerry: Yes, my driving test. It's very good Gerry: Oh.
of you to lend me your car. Brian: Now listen, Gerry. There's only one
Brian: Oh, that's all right, Gerry. You have way you can pass this test.
had driving lessons, haven't you? Gerry: Yes?
Gerry: Oh, yes. Well...I had one. Brian: Be polite.
Brian: One? Gerry: Be polite and
Gerry: Yes, I had one last night. It was very Brian: Shhht, Gerry. Here she is,
good. (The examiner arrives.)
Brian: That's not enough. You should have Examiner: Mr. Brown?
had at least ten! Gerry: Eryes.
Gerry: Now don't worry. I've flown aero Examiner: I'm the examiner. Shall we get
planes, you know, and it's all more in?
or less the same. You just jump in, Gerry: Er...yes. Allow me to open the
switch on, and up she goes! door for you
Brian: Yes, but this isn't an aero plane. It's (He opens the door and the
a car. My car! examiner gets into the car.)
Gerry: Oh yes, I can see that. Examiner: Thank you.
Brian: Hmm...that's another problem. Gerry: Was that all right?
Gerry: What? Brian: Very good, Gerry. But I think
Brian: Your eyes. I'll come with you, just in case.
Gerry: What's the matter with my eyes? Gerry: All right.
Brian: Well, they're not exactly perfect, are (Gerry and Brian get into the
they? car. Brian sits in the back.)
Gerry: Well, I know I can't see very well, Examiner: Now, Mr. Brown. I'd like you to
but - drive the car straight down the
Brian: But you told the authorities that road.
your eyes were perfect. You should-
n't have done that.

124 SKETCHES
Gerry: Straight down the road. Yes. Examiner: Er...n-n-no, Mr Brown. I think
(He tries to drive away. The I'll get out here.
car stops.) Gerry: Oh. Allow me to open the door
Gerry: Oh. Sorry, for you.
(He tries again, and drives Examiner: No, no, thank you. That won't
away very fast.) be necessary.
Examiner: Turn right, Mr. Brown. (Gerry She gets out of the car and
turns left.) walks away.
Brian: Gerry! You turned left. She Examiner: I should have stayed in bed
said 'Right'. You should have today. I knew it...I knew it was
turned right. going to be a bad day.
Gerry: (Cheerfully) Sorry! Gerry: Oh, dear.
Examiner: Turn left, Mr. Brown. Brian: I told you you should have had
(Gerry turns right.) more lessons, Gerry.
Brian: Gerry! You turned right. You Gerry: Ah, green!
should have turned left. Gerry drives away very fast.
Examiner: The traffic lights are red, Mr. Brian: Gerry! Gerry! Slow down,
Brown. Gerry! Gerry!!
Brian-Examiner: Red!
(Gerry stops the car at the
traffic lights.)
Gerry: Ha, ha! Very good, eh?
Straight on?

SKETCHES 125
Giovanni 's caf Geoffrey: No. Er...yes. Er...what are you
doing in Rome, Teresa?
Scene: A pavement cafe in Rome Dorothy: You're old friends, are you?
Characters: Geoffrey Burton, Dorothy Teresa: Oh yes, I've known Geoffrey for
Burton (Geoffrey's wife), years and years, since we were
Teresa Pilkington, Giovanni both young and innocent.
Geoffrey: Goodness me! Look at that
Geoffrey and Dorothy are sitting at a table in remarkable statue!
front of the cafe. Dorothy: Geoffrey!.Tell me, Miss Pilkington,
what exactly do you mean by
Geoffrey: Well, here we are in Rome. The 'young and innocent'?
sun is shining, and we haven't got Teresa: Well, darling, before Geoffrey met
a care in the world. me, he was just an innocent boy.
Dorothy: Yes, Rome is so beautiful. Geoffrey: Er...yes...we met at kindergarten.
Geoffrey: And it's such a beautiful day. Teresa: Oh, Geoffrey, you know that's not
Dorothy: This square looks lovely in the what I mean.
sunshine. Dorothy: Well, what exactly do you mean?
Geoffrey: And it's so nice, sitting here with Geoffrey: Good Lord! Look at that magnifi-
you. No trains to catch... cent telephone box.
Dorothy: No telephones to answer... Dorothy: Geoffrey!
Geoffrey: No boring business people to talk Geoffrey: Well, you don't see telephone
to...Do you know, this is the first boxes like that in England, do
holiday we've had for five years - you?
since we were married. Teresa: Poor Geoffrey! Before he met me,
Dorothy: And it's our first visit to Rome, his life was so boring. He was a
too. It's like a second honey- student at an awful college in the
moon. mountains, and he hated every
Geoffrey: Yes, and now we're alone togeth- minute of it.
er, with all the time in the world. Dorothy: But Geoffrey - you told me you
Dorothy: Yes. loved that college in the moun-
Geoffrey: Just you, and me, and romantic tains!
Rome. Teresa: Oh yes, that's because he met me
Dorothy: Yes. there.
(Teresa comes to their table.) Dorothy: What - at the college?
Teresa: Excuse me, do you speak Teresa: No, in the mountains.
English? Geoffrey: Er, Dorothy, I think we'd better
Geoffrey: Yes. go. The Colosseum closes at six
Teresa: May I sit here? o'clock, you know.
Geoffrey: Er...oh...yes. Dorothy: Sit down, Geoffrey. It's only half
(Teresa sits down.) past eleven.
Teresa: Thank you. Just a minute it's Teresa: Yes, I remember that day so well
Geoffrey, Geoffrey Burton! - the day that we met. The moun-
Geoffrey: Good God! Teresa Pilkington! tains were so beautiful, the sky
Teresa : Geoffrey, darling! How lovely to was so blue -
see you! It's been so long since Dorothy: and Geoffrey was so green, I sup-
we.. pose.
Geoffrey: Er...Teresa, this is my wife, Teresa: 'Green'? What do you mean?
Dorothy. Dorothy: 'Green.' Young and innocent. Just
Teresa: Oh, your wife. Delighted to meet the way you like them, I suppose.
you. Teresa: Well, really!
Dorothy: So you know Geoffrey, do you? (Teresa gets up.)
Teresa: Oh yes, Geoffrey and I are old Teresa: Excuse me!...Goodbye, Geoffrey.
friends, aren't we, Geoffrey? (Sarcastically) Delighted to have
met you, Mrs. Burton
Geoffrey: Teresa... um...

126 SKETCHES
Teresa: Goodbye, Geoffrey. Giovanni: Dorothy, it's wonderful to see you
(Teresa leaves.) again!
Geoffrey: Oh, dear. Geoffrey: Dorothy, have you met this man
Dorothy: So before you met her, you were before?
just an innocent boy! You told me Dorothy: Well, Geoffrey -
I was the first woman in your life, Giovanni: Dorothy, it must be five years!
and I believed you...and I've been Dorothy: Six, Giovanni, six!
so honest with you. Giovanni: And now you've come back to
Geoffrey: Yes, Dorothy. Dorothy, I've told Rome!
you everything. Geoffrey: Come back? What's he talking
Geoffrey: Yes, Dorothy, I know. I was the about?
first man in your life. Dorothy: Well, Geoffrey -
Dorothy: The first and only man, Geoffrey, Giovanni: Come with me, Dorothy. We've
(Giovanni comes to the table.) got so much to talk about!
Geoffrey: Oh...waiter. I'll have a Martini, Dorothy: Oh...er, yes...um...excuse me,
please. Geoffrey.
Giovanni: Certainly, sir. And for you, (Giovanni and Dorothy leave.)
madam? Oh! Dorothy! Geoffrey: Dorothy! Dorothy!
Dorothy: Giovanni!
Giovanni: Dorothy!
Geoffrey: Giovanni?

SKETCHES 127
Shakespeare's house

Scene:
The living-room of a house
in Stratford-upon-Avon,
the town where Shakespeare
was born

Characters:
Sidney and
Ethel (tourists),
a man

Sidney and Ethel come into


the room.

Sidney: Well, Ethel, here we are in


Shakespeare's front room. This
must be where he wrote all his
famous tragedies.
Ethel: I'm not surprised, with furniture like
this.
Sidney: What do you mean?
Ethel: Well, look at that armchair. He can't Sidney: No, of course he didn't. He was a
have been comfortable, sitting very busy man. He didn't have time
there. to sit in front of a typewriter all day.
Sidney: Don't be silly! He probably sat at He probably used a tape-recorder.
this table when he was writing Ethel: A tape-recorder?
tragedies. Sidney: Yes. I can see him now. He must
Ethel: Oh. yes...Look! have sat on this chair, holding his
(She shows Sidney a typewriter.) microphone in his hand saying: 'To
Ethel: This must be Shakespeare's type- be, or not to be.'
writer. Ethel: What does that mean?
Sidney: Shakespeare's typewriter? Sidney: Ah well, that is the question.
Ethel: Yes. He must have written all his Ethel: Sidney, look!
plays on this. Sidney: What?
Sidney: Ethel! That can't be Shakespeare's Ethel: Over here. This must be
typewriter. Shakespeare's television.
Ethel: Why not? Sidney: Shakespeare's television?
Sidney: Because Shakespeare didn't use a Ethel: Yes. It must be. It looks quite old.
typewriter. Sidney: Shakespeare didn't have a televi-
Ethel: Didn't he? sion.
Ethel: Why not?

128 SKETCHES
Sidney: Why not? Because he went to the Sidney: Look at it!
theatre every night. He didn't have (He is holding an ashtray.)
time to sit at home, watching televi- Ethel: Ooh, Shakespeare's ashtray!
sion. Sidney: Yes, William Shakespeare's ashtray!
Ethel: Oh. Mr. Shakespeare, I would like to buy
(They hear someone snoring.) this ashtray as a souvenir of our visit
Ethel: Sidney, what's that? I can hear to your grandfather's house.
something. Oh, look! Man: For the last time, my name is not -
Sidney: Where? Sidney: I'll give you ten pounds for it.
Ethel: Over there. There's a man over Man: Now listen...Ten pounds?
there, behind the newspaper, I think Sidney: All right then - twenty pounds.
he's asleep. Man: Twenty pounds for that ashtray?
Sidney: Oh, yes. He must be one of Ethel: Well, it was William Shakespeare's
Shakespeare's family. He's probably ashtray, wasn't it?
Shakespeare's grandson. Man: William Shakespeare's...Oh, yes, of
Ethel: Ooh! course. William Shakespeare's ash-
Sidney: I'll just go and say 'Hello'. tray.
(He goes over to the man and (Sidney gives the man twenty
shouts.) pounds.)
Sidney: Hello! Sidney: Here you are. You're sure twenty
Man: What? Eh? What's going on? pounds is enough...
Sidney: Good morning. Man: Well...
Man: Good mor- Who are you? Sidney: All right then. Twenty-five pounds.
Ethel: We're tourists. (He gives the man another five
Man: Tourists? pounds.)
Sidney: Yes. Man: Thank you. And here's the ashtray.
Ethel: It must be very interesting, living (The man gives Sidney the ashtray.)
here. Sidney: Thank you very much.
Man: Interesting? Living here? What are Ethel: I hope we haven't disturbed you too
you talking about? much.
Sidney: Well, it must be interesting, living in Man: Oh, not at all. I always enjoy meet-
a famous house like this. ing people who know such a lot
Man: Famous house? about Shakespeare. Goodbye.
Ethel: Yes, there must be hundreds of peo- Ethel: Goodbye.
ple who want to visit Shakespeare's (Ethel and Sidney leave.)
house.
Man: Shakespeare's house? Look, there
must be some mistake.
Sidney: This is Shakespeare's house, isn't it?
Man: This is Number 34, Railway
Avenue...and I live here!
Ethel: Yes. You must be Shakespeare's
grandson.
Man: Shakespeare's grandson?
Ethel: Yes.
Sidney: Ethel! Look at this!
Ethel: What is it?

SKETCHES 129
Mr. Universe Arnold: No! I don't like cleaning windows - I
love it!
Scene: The Mr. Universe Competition Gloria: You love it.
Characters: Gloria Sparkle: Arnold Higgins, Arnold: Yes, I love it. Big windows, small
Elvis Smith, Ernest Bottom windows, broken windows -
(the contestants) Gloria: Yes, I see.
Arnold: Windows are my life! I've cleaned
The competition is just beginning. windows all over the world.
Gloria: Really?
Gloria: Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's time Arnold: Yes. Do you know Buckingham
once again for the 'Mr. Universe' Palace?
competition - the competition to find Gloria: Yes
the most fantastic, the most incred- Arnold: Do you know the windows of
ible, the most amazing man in the Buckingham Palace?
world. Who will be this year's Mr. Gloria: Yes. Arnold, have you cleaned the
Universe? Our three judges will windows of Buckingham Palace?
decide. But first let's meet the con- Arnold: No - but I'd like to.
testants. Contestant number one - Gloria: Ah, so your ambition is to clean the
Arnold Higgins! windows of Buckingham Palace.
(Arnold Higgins enters, carrying a Arnold: Yes.
bucket and a sponge.) Gloria: Thank you, Arnold.
Gloria: Ladies and gentlemen, this is Arnold (She wants Arnold to go.)
Higgins. Arnold: Before I go, I'd like to tell you about
Arnold: Hello! my hobby.
Gloria: (Reading from a card in her hand) Gloria: What's that, Arnold?
Arnold is 63 years old. Arnold: My hobby is writing poetry. I'd like to
Arnold: What? No, no, no. 36, not 63. read one of my poems.
Gloria: Sorry, Arnold. Gloria: Oh.
Arnold: That's all right. Arnold: It's about windows.
Gloria: Arnold is 36 years old. Tell me, Gloria: Ah.
Arnold - what do you do? Arnold: (Reading) 'Oh, windows! Oh, win-
Arnold: I'm a window cleaner. dows! Oh, windows!'
Gloria: He's a window cleaner, ladies and Gloria: Oh, no!
gentlemen! And tell me, Arnold - Arnold: 'Windows, windows, big and small!
how long have you been a window Windows, windows, I love you all!'
cleaner? Gloria: Thank you, Arnold.
Arnold: Well, Gloria, I'm 36 now, and I start- Arnold: There's a bit more.
ed cleaning windows when I was 33. Gloria: No, thank you, Arnold - that's quite
So I've been cleaning windows enough. Ladies and gentlemen, the
for...er... first contestant: Arnold Higgins!
Gloria: Three years? (Arnold leaves.)
Arnold: Yes. How did you know? Gloria: Now let's meet the second contest-
Gloria: It's written on this card. Do you like ant, who also wants to be this year's
it? Mr. Universe! Elvis Smith enters. He
(Arnold looks at the card.) is wearing short trousers and is
Arnold: Yes. It's a very nice card. rather shy.
Gloria: No, no - not the card. Do you like Elvis: Er...Hello.
cleaning windows? Gloria: What is your name?
Arnold: Do I like cleaning windows? Elvis: Elvis.
Gloria: Yes. Gloria: Elvis?
Arnold: Do I like cleaning windows? Elvis: Yes. Elvis Smith.
Gloria: Yes. Gloria: How old are you, Elvis?
Arnold: Do I like cleaning windows? Elvis: 42.
Gloria: Yes. Gloria: And what do you do?
Elvis: Nothing. I'm still at school.
Gloria: Still at school?
130 SKETCHES
Elvis: Yes. Gloria: Well, Ernest, it's wonderful to have
Gloria: What do you want to do when you you here -
leave school? Ernest: All right, get on with it!
Elvis: Go to university. Gloria: Oh. Well...Ernest, would you like to
Gloria: I see. And what is your hobby, Elvis? answer a few questions?
Elvis: My hobby? Ernest: No.
Gloria: Yes. What do you like doing in your Gloria: Oh, come on, Ernest!
free time? Ernest: All right - just a few.
Elvis: Oh well, I like meeting people. Hello, Gloria: Thank you. Tell me - what do you
Gloria. do?
Gloria: Hello, Elvis, Ernest: What do I do?
Elvis: And I like fishing Gloria Gloria: Yes.
Elvis: And swimming. Ernest: Nothing. I'm unemployed.
Gloria: Thank you, Elvis. Gloria: Oh.
Elvis: And collecting stamps, and playing Ernest: I used to be a bus driver.
football, and dancing - Gloria: Did you?
Gloria: Thank you, Elvis. Ernest: Yes. But I lost my job.
Elvis: And climbing mountains, and water- Gloria: Why?
skiing, and boxing - Ernest: I can't drive.
Gloria: Thank you, Elvis! Ladies and gentle- Gloria: Oh, I see. What do you like doing in
men, Elvis Smith! your free time?
(Elvis leaves.) Ernest: Nothing.
Gloria: Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was Gloria: Oh, come on, Ernest! Haven't you
Elvis Smith. Now let's meet the last got any hobbies?
contestant. Ernest: Well... I've got one. I like gardening.
From Liverpool: Ernest Bottom! Shall I tell you about my garden?
(Ernest Bottom enters. Gloria: Yes!
He is not very friendly.) Ernest: Well...it's...
Gloria: Yes
Ernest: It's...
Gloria: Yes?
Ernest: It's green!
(Gloria sighs.)
Gloria: Well, thank you, Ernest. That was
fascinating. Ladies and gentlemen,
Ernest Bottom. Ernest leaves.
Gloria: Well, now we've met the three con-
testants, and our judges are ready
with their votes. For Arnold Higgins:
one vote. For Elvis Smith: one vote.
And for Ernest Bottom: one vote.
Well, this is sensational, ladies and
gentlemen! This year, we have three
Mr. Universes! So, congratulations to
our three contestants, and thank
you to our judges: Mrs. Doris
Higgins, Mrs. Brenda Smith and Mrs.
Margaret Bottom. From all of us
here, good night!

SKETCHES 131
The new James Bond film Hank:
Romeo:
(To Linda, quietly) He's...er...he's ...
I'm very pleased to meet you.
Linda: I'm sure you are.
Scene: Hank: Romeo is...er...starring in the film
Hank with you.
Cannelloni's Linda: What?
office Hank: Yes. He's going to be the new James
Bond.
Characters: Linda: The new James Bond?
Hank Romeo: Yes. I'm very excited about it.
Cannelloni; Linda: (To Hank, quietly) What happened to
the director of Tom Cruise?
the film, Hank: (To Linda, quietly) He's busy.
Linda Stone, Linda: Oh, no!
Romeo Higgins Hank: OK, let's talk about the film. The film
:the stars of the takes place in Honolulu.
film, a painter Romeo: Great! Honolulu, Linda!
Hank: But we're not going to film it in
Hank is in his office. There is a Honolulu.
knock at the Linda: We're not going to film it in
door. Honolulu?
Hank: No.
Hank: Come in! (Linda comes in) Linda: Where are we going to film it?
Linda: Hi, Hank! Hank: In Manchester.
Hank: Linda! Hi! Romeo: Great! My grandmother lives in
Linda: So, Hank, why do you want to see Manchester. Er...Mr Macaroni?
me? Hank: Cannelloni! The name is Cannelloni!
Hank: Linda, I want you to be the star of Romeo: Oh, I can't tell the difference
my new film. between macaroni and cannelloni.
Linda: Great! Tell me about it. Hank: What is it?
Hank: I am going to direct the new James Romeo: Well, I know they're both types of
Bond film. pasta...
Linda: The new James Bond film! Hank: No, I mean: What do you wont?
Hank: Yes. It's going to be a great film - Romeo: Am I really going to be the new
and you're going to be a big star! James Bond?
Linda: I am a big star, Hank. Hank: Yes, Romeo. Here's your script.
Hank: Yes, Linda, of course you're a big (Hank gives Romeo a script.)
star. But you're going to be an even Romeo: Oh, thank you,
bigger star! Hank: And Linda...
Linda: Great! Er...Hank... Linda: Yes, Hank?
Hank: Yes, Linda? Hank: You play Barbara, another secret
Linda: Who's going to play James Bond? agent.
Hank: Well, we decided that we wanted (Hank gives Linda a script.)
Tom Cruise - Linda: Thanks, Hank.
Linda: Tom Cruise? (The painter enters with a ladder.)
Hank: Yes Painter: Is there anyone here called
Linda: That's great! Macaroni?
Hank: But there's a small problem. Hank: Cannelloni! The name is Cannelloni!
Linda: What's that, Hank? Painter: Is that you?
Hank: Well Hank: Yes!
(There is a knock at the door.) Painter: Telephone call for you, Mr.
Hank: Come in! Cannelloni
(Romeo opens the door.) Hank: Tell them I'm busy.
Romeo: Hello! Is anybody there? Painter: It's Hollywood.
Hank: Oh, hi, Romeo. Come in. Hank: Hollywood! Right - (Starting to
Romeo: Hello, Mr. Macaroni. leave) - I'll be back in a minute,
Hank: Cannelloni. Painter: Mr. Hollywood - your bank manager.
Romeo: Cannelloni, yes. Sorry. Hank: Ah. (Coming back) Right, Never
Hank: Romeo, come over here. mind.
Romeo: Right. (To Linda] Oh, hello. I don't Painter: Can I finish painting this wall?
think we've met. I'm Romeo Higgins. Hank: Go ahead!
Linda: Romeo who? (The painter sets up his ladder and
Romeo: Higgins. H-I-G- starts painting.)
Linda: Hi, Romeo. (To Hank, quietly) Hank, Linda: Hank!
who is Romeo Higgins? Hank: What is it, Linda?
Linda: I've just noticed the title of this film.
It's called 'Bond Eats Mr. Big'.
132 SKETCHES
Painter: 'Bond Eats Mr. Big.' What a great 'Ah-ha,
title! Bond!: This is the moment I've been waiting
Hank: That's a typing mistake. for!"
Romeo: A typing mistake? Romeo: Thanks.
Hank: Yes. It should be 'Bond Meets Mr. Linda: Look out, Bond! He's got a gun.'
Big'. Painter: No, I haven't. It's a paintbrush.
Romeo: Oh, yes - a typing mistake. There Romeo: I'm not afraid of you, Mr. Pig.
are hundreds of typing mistakes. Painter: Mr. Big!
The typing is really terrible. Who Romeo: 'Mr. Big.'
typed this rubbish? Linda: 'Bond! Look out!'
Hank: I did. Romeo: 'What is it, Banana?' Er...Barbara?
Romeo: Oh! Linda: 'He's got a gun. He's going to shout!'
Hank: Just do your best. Now, let's look at Painter: Not 'shout' - 'shoot'! 'He's going to
one of the important scenes. Scene shoot' - with his gun!
6 -(Hank, Linda and Romeo find Romeo: 'Don't shoot, Mr. Bag!' - 'Mr. Big!'
Scene 6 in their scripts.) Hank: ' Ah-ha! Why not!'
Hank: where Bond - Romeo: 'Because...'
Romeo: Yes. (Hank, Romeo and Linda all turn
Hank: and Barbara - over a page in their scripts.)
Linda: Yes. Romeo: '...I've got something I want to show
Hank: go into the office of Mr. Big. you. It's here - in my rocket.'
Romeo: Mr. Who? Painter: Not 'rocket' - 'pocket'! 'It's here in
Hank: Mr. Big. my pocket.' Oh! Stop everything!
Romeo: Who's Mr. Big? I've got something I want to show
Hank: He's the biggest, most dangerous you! It's here in my pocket!
criminal in the world, (The painter takes a telegram from
Linda: Who's playing Mr. Big in the film? his pocket.)
Hank: I am. Painter: It's a telegram for you, Mr.
(The painter laughs.) Cannelloni - from the producer, Mr.
Hank: What's the matter with you? Broccoli.
Painter: Changing his laugh into a cough) Hank: From the producer?! Read it!
I've got a cold. Painter: OK. (Reading) 'Hello, Stop. How are
Hank: OK, remember: I'm Mr. Big. you? Stop. Have you started the film
So...lines, everybody. yet? Stop. If you've started -
Romeo: (To Linda) What did he say? Comma - stop. Stop. If you haven't
Linda: I don't know. (To the painter) What started - Comma - don't start. Stop.
did he say? Stop. Stop, Signed: The Producer.
Painter: I think he said 'lions'. Stop.'
(Romeo and Linda make the sound Romeo: I didn't understand a word of that.
of lions roaring; the painter joins in.) Linda: It means there's no film. (Leaving)
Hank: I said lines, not lions!! Bye, Hank.
Romeo - Linda: Sorry, Hank. Hank: Er...Bye, Linda.
Hank: OK, let's begin. (Reading from his Romeo: No film?
script, in a strange voice) 'Ah-ha! Hank: That's right.
Who are you?' Romeo: Do you mean I'm not going to play
Linda: (To Romeo) What did he say? James Bond?
Romeo: I don't know. (To the painter) What Hank: I'm afraid not, Romeo.
did he say? Romeo: Oh, no! That means I haven't got a
Painter: 'Who are you?' job.
Romeo: Romeo Higgins. Hank: You haven't got a job! What about
Painter: How do you do? me? I haven't got a job either!
Romeo: How do you do? Painter: Hank, Romeo, don't worry.
Hank: Romeo! Lines! Just read the lines] Hank: What do you mean?
Romeo: What? Oh. Yes. (Reading) 'My name Painter: I can give you both a job.
is Pond 'James Pond.' Romeo: Really?
Hank: What did you say? Painter: Yes. Hank, you take this paint-
Romeo: 'My name is Pond - James Pond.' brush...
Linda: It's not James Pond, it's James (He gives Hank his paintbrush.)
Bond! Idiot! Hank: What?
Romeo: (Pointing of his script) It says Pond' Painter: And Romeo, you take the ladder...
here He gives Romeo his ladder.
Hank: Just get on with it! 'Ah-ha, Bond! Romeo: Eh?
This is the moment I've been waiting Painter: Call me when you've finished. I'll be
for!' in the canteen.
Romeo: (To the painter) What did he say?
Painter: I'm not sure, but I think he said:
(Imitating Hank's strange voice)
SKETCHES 133
World record Michael: Albert, you've been standing on
one leg in that bucket of soup for
almost seven hours now.
Scene: A TV studio Albert: That's right, Michael.
Michael: Tell me - is the soup still hot?
Characters: Michael Moonshine, Albert Albert: Yes. My wife's been coming in
Hargreaves, Daisy Hargreaves every half-hour with more hot
(Albert's wife), Mabel Phillips, soup. Here she comes now.
a man (Mrs Hargreaves comes in.)
Daisy: Here you are, Albert.
(She pours some hot soup into the
Michael: Thank you. thank you, thank you. bucket.)
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is Albert: Aaaargh!
the program that gives you the Michael: Well, I'm glad it's your leg in the
chance to break a world record. We soup. Albert, and not mine.
have here in the studio tonight two (The audience laughs.)
people who are trying to break Michael: Now we have another contestant in
world records. Let's meet them the studio, a very charming young
and see what they're doing. Tell lady. Can you tell the viewers your
me, sir, what is your name? name?
Albert: Albert Hargreaves. Mabel: Mabel Phillips.
Michael: Albert Hargreaves. Well, Albert, Michael: Mabel Phillips. Well, Mabel, what
what are you doing? are you doing?
Albert: I'm standing on one leg in a buck- Mabel: I'm leaning on this brush.
et of hot soup. Michael: She's leaning on a brush, ladies
Michael: Ladies and gentlemen, he's stand- and gentlemen!
ing on one leg in a bucket of hot (The audience applauds.)
soup! Michael: Mabel, how long have you been
(The audience applauds.) leaning on that brush?
Michael: Albert, how long have you been Mabel: I've been leaning on this brush for
standing on one leg in that bucket three hours and seventeen min-
of hot soup? utes.
Albert: I've been standing here for six Michael: She's been leaning on the brush for
hours and fifty-eight minutes. three hours and seventeen min-
Michael: And what is the world record for utes. What is the world record for
standing on one leg in a bucket of leaning on a brush, Mabel?
hot soup? Mabel: Thirty-seven hours and fifty-six
Albert: The world record is seven hours minutes.
and three minutes, Michael. Michael: Thirty-seven hours and fifty-six
Michael: Seven hours and three minutes! minutes! And you've been leaning
And you've been standing there for on that brush for three hours and
six hours and fifty-nine minutes seventeen minutes, Well, Mabel,
now. Well, Albert, you've only got you've got...three, four, five, six -
four minutes to go! you've got a long way to go!
(The audience applauds.) (The audience laughs.)

134 SKETCHES
Michael: Well, Albert has been standing on Daisy: Here you are, Albert.
one leg in his bucket of hot soup (She pours some more soup into
for seven hours and one minute, so the bucket.)
he's only got two more minutes to Albert: Aaaargh!
go! Poor Mabel's got a long way to Michael: Tell me. Albert, how does it feel?
go...And here is another young Albert: Hot!
man - and he hasn't got any (The audience laughs.)
trousers on. Michael: No, no, no! How does it feel to be
(The audience laughs.) approaching the world record?
Michael: Now, sir, what are you doing? Albert: Well, Michael, I've been dreaming
Man: I'm looking for my trousers. about this moment, I've been
Michael: I can see that. And how long have thinking about nothing else
you been looking for your Michael: Yes, Albert.
trousers? Albert: I've been practicing every day
Man: I've been looking for my trousers Michael: Yes, Albert.
for five minutes. Albert: Twice on Sundays!
Michael: And what's the world record? Michael: Yes - and here comes Mrs.
Man: Pardon? Hargreaves
Michael: What's the world record for looking Albert: Oh no, not again!
for trousers? Michael: It's all right, Albert, she's only
Man: I'm not trying to break a world looking at her watch!
record. I took my trousers off to (The audience laughs.)
have a bath, and when I got out of Daisy: Albert! Albert! Only ten seconds to
the bath, my trousers were gone. go! Ten, nine, eight, seven (Mabel
Michael: I see. Get out of the way! We're on pushes Albert.)
television! The audience laughs. Mabel: (Ironically) Congratulations,
Michael: Sorry about that, ladies and gen- Albert!
tlemen. Now back to Albert Albert: Aaaargh!
Hargreaves. Albert, you've been Albert falls over.
standing in that bucket of hot soup Michael: Well, ladies and gentlemen, Albert
for seven hours and two minutes. Hargreaves hasn't broken a world
Only one more minute to go, and record, but he has broken...his
you will break the world record. leg!'
And here comes Mrs. Hargreaves
with more hot soup!

SKETCHES 135