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Counsellor (who is practically in a clinch with her) You suspected your wife?

Man Well yes – at first, frankly, yes. (the counsellor points the wife to a screen; she goes behind it) Her behaviour did seem at the time to me, who after all was there to see, to be a little odd.

Counsellor Odd?

Man Yes well, I mean to a certain extent yes. I’m not by nature a suspicious person – far from it – though in fact I have something of a reputation as an after-dinner speaker, if you take my meaning.

A piece of his wife’s clothing comes over the top of the screen.

Counsellor Yes I certainly do.

The wife’s bra and panties come over the screen.

Man Anyway in the area where I’m known people in fact know me extremely well...

Counsellor (taking his jacket off) Oh yes. Would you hold this.

Man Certainly. Yes. (helps him off with it; the counsellor continues to undress) Anyway, as I said, I decided to face up to the facts and stop beating about the bush or I’d never look myself in the bathroom mirror again.

Counsellor (down to his shorts) Er, look would you mind running along for ten minutes? Make it half an hour.

Man No, no, right-ho, fine. Yes I’ll wait outside shall I?...(the counsellor has already gone behind screen) Yes, well that’s p’raps the best thing. Yes. You’ve certainly put my mind at rest on one or two points, there.

Exits through door. He is stopped by a deep rich southern American voice.

Southerner (JOHN) Now wait there stranger. A man can run and run for year after year until he realizes that what he’s running from... is hisself.

Man Gosh.

Southerner A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do, and there ain’t no sense in runnin.’ Now you gotta turn, and you gotta fight, and you gotta hold your head up high.

Man Yes!

Southerner Now you go back in there my son and be a man. Walk tall. (he exits)

Man Yes, I will. I will. I’ve been pushed around long enough. This is it. This is your moment Arthur Pewtey – this is it Arthur Pewtey. At last you’re a man! (opens door determinedly) All right, Deirdre, come out of there.

Counsellor Go away.

Man Right. Right.

He is hit on the head with a chicken by a man in a suit of amour.

Voice Over (JOHN) and CAPTION: ‘SO MUCH FOR PATHOS’

Film Leader:

9... 8... 7... 6... 31... 6... Jimmy Greaves... 6... 3... 2... 1... And Interviewer:

Queen Victoria Film: the texture of the film reproduces as accurately as possible an animated Victorian photograph. Queen Victoria (Terry J) and Gladstone (Graham) are walking on the lawn in front of Osborne.

Voice Over (JOHN) These historic pictures of Queen Victoria, taken in 1880 at Osborne show the Queen with Gladstone. This unique film provides a rare glimpse into the private world of a woman who ruled half the earth. The commentary, recorded on the earliest wax cylinders, is spoken by Alfred Lord Tennyson, the Poet Laureate. (Michael continues with jolly American accent) Well hello, it’s the wacky Queen again! (the Queen repeatedly nudges Gladstone in the ribs and chucks him under the chin) And who’s the other fella? It’s Willie Gladstone! And when these two way-out wacky characters get together there’s fun a-plenty. (they come up to a gardener with a hosepipe) And, uh-oh! There’s a hosepipe! This means trouble for somebody! (the Queen takes the hose and kicks the gardener; he falls over) Uh-oh, Charlie Gardener’s fallen for that old trick. The Queen has put him in a heap of trouble! (the Queen turns the hose on Gladstone) Uh-oh that’s one in the eye for Willie! (the Queen hands Gladstone the hose) Here, you have a go! (she goes back to the tap and turns off the water) Well, doggone it, where’s the water? (Gladstone examines the end of the hose; the water flow returns, spraying him) Uh-oh, there it is, all over his face! (she lifts her skirts and runs as he chases her across the lawn; next we see the Queen painting a fence; Gladstone approaches from the other side) Well, hello, what’s Britain’s wacky Queen up to now? Well, she’s certainly not sitting on the fence. She’s painting it. Surely nothing can go wrong here? Uh-oh, here’s the PM coming back for more. (Gladstone walks into line with the end of the fence; the Queen daubs paint on him) And he certainly gets it! (he takes the bucket from her and empties it over her head; she kicks him; he falls through the fence) Well, that’s one way to get the housework done!

Cut to the Queen and Gladstone having tea on the lawn. She pushes a custard pie into his face. As he retaliates the picture freezes; the camera pulls back to reveal that it is a photo on the mantelpiece of a working-class sitting room.

Cut to sitting room straight out of D. H. Lawrence. Mum, wiping her hands on her apron is ushering in a young man in a suit. They are a Northern couple.

Mum (TERRY J) Oh dad... look who’s come to see us... it’s our Ken.

Dad (GRAHAM) (without looking up) Aye, and about bloody time if you ask me.

Ken (ERIC) Aren’t you pleased to see me, father?

Mum (squeezing his arm reassuringly) Of course he’s pleased to see you, Ken, he...

Dad All right, woman, all right I’ve got a tongue in my head – I’ll do t’talkin.’ (looks at Ken distastefully) Aye... I like yer fancy suit. Is that what they’re wearing up in Yorkshire now?

Ken It’s just an ordinary suit, father... it’s all I’ve got apart from the overalls.

Dad turns away with an expression of scornful disgust.

Mum How are you liking it down the mine, Ken?

Ken Oh it’s not too bad, mum... we’re using some new tungsten carbide drills for the preliminary coal-face scouring operations.

Mum Oh that sounds nice, dear..

Dad Tungsten carbide drills! What the bloody hell’s tungsten carbide drills?

Ken It’s something they use in coal-mining, father.

Dad (mimicking) ‘It’s something they use in coal-mining, father.’ You’re all bloody fancy talk since you left London.

Ken Oh not that again.

Mum (to Ken) He’s had a hard day dear... his new play opens at the National Theatre tomorrow.

Ken Oh that’s good.

Dad Good! good? What do you know about it? What do you know about getting up at five o’clock in t’morning to fly to Paris... back at the Old Vic for drinks at twelve, sweating the day through press interviews, television interviews and getting back here at ten to wrestle with the problem of a homosexual nymphomaniac drug-addict involved in the ritual murder of a well known Scottish footballer. That’s a full working day, lad, and don’t you forget it!

Mum Oh, don’t shout at the boy, father.

Dad Aye, ‘ampstead wasn’t good enough for you, was it?... you had to go poncing off to Barnsley, you and yer coal-mining friends. (spits)

Ken Coal-mining is a wonderful thing father, but it’s something you’ll never understand. Just look at you!

Mum Oh Ken! Be careful! You know what he’s like after a few novels.

Dad Oh come on lad! Come on, out wi’ it! What’s wrong wi’ me?... yer tit!

Ken I’ll tell you what’s wrong with you. Your head’s addled with novels and poems, you come home every evening reeking of Château La Tour...

Mum Oh don’t, don’t.

Ken And look what you’ve done to mother! She’s worn out with meeting film stars, attending premières and giving gala luncheons...

Dad There’s nowt wrong wi’ gala luncheons, lad! I’ve had more gala luncheons than you’ve had hot dinners!

Mum Oh please!

Dad Aaaaaaagh! (clutches hands and sinks to knees)

Mum Oh no!

Ken What is it?

Mum Oh, it’s his writer’s cramp!

Ken You never told me about this...

Mum No, we didn’t like to, Kenny.

Dad I’m all right! I’m all right, woman. Just get him out of here.

Mum Oh Ken! You’d better go...

Ken All right. I’m going.

Dad After all we’ve done for him...

Ken (at the door) One day you’ll realize there’s more to life than culture... There’s dirt, and smoke, and good honest sweat!

Dad Get out! Get out! Get OUT! You... LABOURER!

Ken goes. Shocked silence. Dad goes to table and takes the cover off the typewriter.

Dad Hey, you know, mother, I think there’s a play there,... get t’agent on t’phone.

Mum Aye I think you’re right, Frank, it could express, it could express a vital theme of our age...

Dad Aye.

In the room beneath a man is standing on a chair, banging on the ceiling with a broom.

Man (MICHAEL) Oh shut up! (bang bang) Shut up! (they stop talking upstairs) Oh, that’s better. (he climbs down and addresses camera) And now for something completely different... a man with three buttocks...

Mum and Dad (from upstairs) We’ve done that!

The man looks up slightly disconcerted.

Man Oh all right. All right! A man with nine legs.

Voice Off (JOHN) He ran away.

Man Oh... Bloody Hell! Er... a Scotsman on a horse!

Cut to film of a Scotsman (John) riding up on a horse. He looks around, puzzled.

Cut to stock film of Women’s Institute audience applauding.

Cut to the man with two noses (Graham); he puts a handkerchief to his elbow and we hear the sound of a nose being blown.

Cut to Women’s Institute audience applauding.

Cut to cartoon of a flying sheep.

Voice Over (MICHAEL) Harold! Come back, Harold! Harold! Come back, Harold! Oh, blast!

The sheep is shot down by a cannon.

Cut to film of an audience of Indian ladies not applauding.

CAPTION: ‘THE EPILOGUE, A QUESTION OF BELIEF’

Interview studio: interviewer in the middle. There is a monsignor in full clerical garb with skull-cap, and opposite him a tweed-suited, old Don figure.

Interviewer (JOHN) Good evening, and welcome once again to the Epilogue. On the programme this evening we have Monsignor Edward Gay, visiting Pastoral Emissary of the Somerset Theological College and author of a number of books about belief, the most recent of which is the best seller ‘My God.’ And opposite him we have Dr Tom Jack: humanist, broadcaster, lecturer and author of the book ‘Hello Sailor.’ Tonight, instead of discussing the existence or non-existence of God, they have decided to fight for it. The existence, or non-existence, to be determined by two falls, two submissions, or a knockout. All right boys, let’s get to it. Your master of ceremonies for this evening – Mr Arthur Waring.

The participants move into a wrestling ring.

MC (ERIC) Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to a three-round contest of the Epilogue. Introducing on my right in the blue corner, appearing for Jehovah – the ever popular Monsignor Eddie Gay. (there are boos from the crowd) And on my left in the red corner – author of the books ‘The Problems of Kierkegaard’ and ‘Hello Sailor’ and visiting Professor of Modern Theological Philosophy at the University of East Anglia – from Wigan – Dr Tom Jack! (cheers; gong goes for the start)

CAPTION: ‘ROUND l’

They are real wrestlers. They throw each other about.

Interviewer (commentating) Now Dr Jack’s got a flying mare there. A flying mare there, and this is going to be a full body slam. A full body slam, and he’s laying it in there, and he’s standing back. Well... there we are leaving the Epilogue for the moment, we’ll be bringing you the result of this discussion later on in the programme.

Interviewer Oh my God! (pulls out a revolver and shoots something off-screen)

ANIMATION: We see a cowboy just having been shot. This leads into cartoon film, which includes a carnivorous pram and music from Rodin’s statue ‘The Kiss.’ Then a protest march appears carrying banners. Close in on banners which read: End Discrimination: Mice Is Nice; Ho Ho Ho Traps Must Go; Hands Off Mice: Repeal Anti-Mouse Laws Now; Kidderminster Young Methodists Resent Oppression: A Fair Deal For Mice Men.

CAPTION: ‘THE WORLD AROUND US’

Photo of newspaper headlines: Pop Stars In Mouse Scandal; Peer Faces Rodent Charges. A man in mouse skin running into police station with bag over head.

CAPTION: ‘THE MOUSE PROBLEM’

Cut to a policeman leading a man in mouse costume into a police station. Photo of headline: Mouse Clubs On Increase.

Cut to: photos of neon signs of clubs: Eek Eek Club; The Little White Rodent Room; Caerphilly A Go-Go.

Cut to studio: ordinary grey-suited linkman.

Linkman (MICHAEL) Yes. The Mouse Problem. This week ‘The World Around Us’ looks at the growing social phenomenon of Mice and Men. What makes a man want to be a mouse.

Interviewer, Harold Voice, sitting facing a confessor. The confessor is badly lit and is turned away from camera.

Man (JOHN) (very slowly and painfully) Well it’s not a question of wanting to be a mouse... it just sort of happens to you. All of a sudden you realize... that’s what you want to be.

Interviewer (TERRY J) And when did you first notice these... shall we say... tendencies?

Man Well... I was about seventeen and some mates and me went to a party, and, er... we had quite a lot to drink... and then some of the fellows there... started handing... cheese around:.. and well just out of curiosity I tried a bit... and well that was that.

Interviewer And what else did these fellows do?

Man Well some of them started dressing up as mice a bit... and then when they’d got the costumes on they started... squeaking.

Interviewer Yes. And was that all?

Man That was all.

Interviewer And what was your reaction to this?

Man Well I was shocked. But, er... gradually I came to feel that I was more at ease... with other mice.

Cut to linkman.

Linkman A typical case, whom we shall refer to as Mr A, although his real name is this:

Voice Over (JOHN) and CAPTION: ARTHUR JACKSON

32A MILTON AVENUE,

HOUNSLOW, MIDDLESEX.

Linkman What is it that attracts someone like Mr A to this way of life? I have with me a consultant psychiatrist.

The camera pulls balk to reveal the psychiatrist who places in front of himself a notice saying ‘The Amazing Kargol And Janet.’

Kargol (GRAHAM) Well, we’ve just heard a typical case history – I myself have over seven hundred similar histories, all fully documented. Would you care to choose one?

Janet (Carol), dressed in showgirl’s outfit, enters and offers linkman the case histories fanned out like cards, with one more prominent than the others; he picks it out.

Kargol (without looking) Mr Arthur Aldridge of Leamington.

Linkman Well, that’s amazing, amazing. Thank you, Janet. (chord; Janet postures and exits) Kargol, speaking as a psychiatrist as opposed to a conjurer...

Kargol (disappointed) Oh.

Linkman ...what makes certain men want to be mice?

Kargol Well, we psychiatrists have found that over 8% of the population will always be mice. I mean, after all, there’s something of the mouse in all of us. I mean, how many of us can honestly say that at one time or another he hasn’t felt sexually attracted to mice. (linkman looks puzzled) I know I have. I mean, most normal adolescents go through a stage of squeaking two or three times a day. Some youngsters on the other hand, are attracted to it by its very illegality. It’s like murder – make a thing illegal and it acquires a mystique. (linkman looks increasingly embarrassed) Look at arson – I mean, how many of us can honestly say that at one time or another he hasn’t set fire to some great public building. I know I have. (phone on desk rings; the linkman picks it up but does not answer it) The only way to bring the crime figures down is to reduce the number of offences – get it out in the open – I know I have.

Linkman (replacing phone) The Amazing Kargol And Janet. What a lot of people don’t realize is that a mouse, once accepted, can fulfil a very useful role in society. Indeed there are examples throughout history of famous men now known to have been mice.

Cut to Julius Caesar (Graham) on beach. He shouts ‘Veni Vidi, Vici.’ Then he adds a furtive squeak. Napoleon (Terry J) pulls slice of cheese out of jacket and bites into it.

Cut to linkman.

Linkman And, of course, Hillaire Belloc. But what is the attitude...

Cut to man in a Viking helmet.

Viking (ERIC) ...of the man in the street towards...

Linkman ...this growing social problem?

Vox pop films.

Window Cleaner (ERIC) Clamp down on them.

Off-screen Voice How?

Window Cleaner I’d strangle them.

Stockbroker (JOHN) Well speaking as a member of the Stock Exchange I would suck their brains out with a straw, sell the widows and orphans and go into South American Zinc.

Man (TERRY J) Yeh I’d, er, stuff sparrows down their throats, er, until the beaks stuck out through the, er, stomach walls.

Accountant (GRAHAM) Oh well I’m a chartered accountant, and consequently too boring to be of interest.

Vicar (JOHN) I feel that these poor unfortunate people should be free to live the lives of their own choice.

Porter (TERRY J) I’d split their nostrils open with a boat hook, I think.

Man (GRAHAM) Well I mean, they can’t help it, can they? But, er, there’s nothing you can do about it. So er, I’d kill ‘em.

Cut to linkman.

Linkman Clearly the British public’s view is a hostile one.

Voice Over and CAPTION: ‘HOSTILE’

Linkman But perhaps this is because so little is generally known of these mice men. We have some film now taken of one of the notorious weekend mouse parties, where these disgusting little perverts meet.

Cut to exterior house (night). The blinds are drawn so that only shadows of enormous mice can be seen, holding slices of cheese and squeaking.

Linkman’s Voice Mr A tells us what actually goes on at these mouse parties.

Cut to Mr A.

Mr A (JOHN) Well first of all you get shown to your own private hole in the skirting board... then you put the mouse skin on... then you scurry into the main room, and perhaps take a run in the wheel.

Linkman The remainder of this film was taken secretly at one of these mouse parties by a BBC cameraman posing as a vole. As usual we apologize for the poor quality of the film.

Very poor quality film, shadowy shapes, the odd mouse glimpsed.

Mr A’s Voice Well, er, then you steal some cheese, Brie or Camembert, or Cheddar or Gouda, if you’re on the harder stuff. You might go and see one of the blue cheese films... there’s a big clock in the middle of the room, and about 12.50 you climb up it and then... eventually, it strikes one... and you all run down.

Cut to a large matron with apron and carving knife.

Linkman’s Voice And what’s that?

Mr A’s Voice That’s the farmer’s wife.

Cut to the linkman at desk.

Linkman Perhaps we need to know more of these mice men before we can really judge them. Perhaps not. Anyway, our thirty minutes are up.

Sound of baa-ing. The linkman looks up in air, looks startled, pulls a gun from under the desk and fires in the air. The body of a sheep falls to the floor.

Linkman Goodnight.

CAPTION: ‘SEX AND VIOLENCE’ WAS CONCEIVED, WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY:... (CREDITS)’

Voice Over (JOHN) And here is the result of the Epilogue: God exists by two falls to a submission.



The entire second episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, originally broadcast on 12 October 1969. From Monty Python’s Flying Circus: Just the Words, Methuen, London, 1989




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