BUYING A BED
Cut to an idyllic countryside. Birds sing etc. as the camera starts a lyrical pan across the fields.
After about ten seconds of mood setting the camera suddenly comes across the art critic strangling his wife in middle foreground. As the camera passes him he hums nervously and tries to look as though he isn't strangling anybody. The camera doesn't stop panning, and just as it goes off him we see him start strangling again.
Voice Over (T.G.): (and superimposed Caption)
'BUT THERE LET US LEAVE THE ART CRITIC TO STRANGLE HIS WIFE AND MOVE ON TO PASTURES NEW'
The pan carries on and catches up with a bridegroom carrying his bride across a field and finally arriving in a high street where, breathless and panting, he carries her through traffic and into a large department store.
Finally cut to the furniture department of the store. The bridegroom and bride enter, he puts her down and addresses one of the assistants.
Groom (T.J.): We want to buy a bed, please.
Lambert (G.C.): Oh, certainly, I'll, I'll get someone to help you. (calling off) Mr. Verity!
Verity (E.I.): Can I help you, sir?
Groom: Er yes. We'd like to buy a bed...a double bed...about fifty pounds?
Verity: Oh no, I'm afraid not, sir. Our cheapest bed is eight hundred pounds, sir.
Groom: Eight hundred pounds!
Lambert: Or, er, perhaps I should have explained. Mr. Verity does tend to exaggerate, so every figure he gives you will be ten times too high. Otherwise he's perfectly all right, perfectly ha, ha, ha.
Groom: Oh I see. I see. (to Verity) So your cheapest bed then is eighty pounds?
Verity: Eight hundred pounds, yes, sir.
Groom: And how wide is it?
Verity: Er, the width is, er, sixty feet wide.
Groom: Oh... (laughing politely he mutters to wife) six foot wide, eh. And the length?
Verity: The length is ... er ... (calls off) Lambert! What is the length of the Comfydown Majorette?
Lambert: Er, two foot long.
Groom: Two foot long?
Verity: Ah yes, you have to remember of course, to multiply everything Mr. Lambert says by three. Er, it's nothing he can help, you understand. Apart from that he's perfectly all right.
Groom: I see, I'm sorry.
Verity: But it does mean that when he says a bed is two foot wide, it is in fact sixty foot wide.
Groom: Oh, yes I see...
Verity: And that's not counting the mattress.
Groom: Oh, how much is that?
Verity: Er, Mr. Lambert will be able to help you there. (calls) Lambert! Will you show these twenty good people the, er, dog kennels, please?
Lambert: Mm? Certainly.
Groom: Dog kennel? No, no, no, mattresses, mattresses!
Verity: Oh no, no you have to say dog kennel to Mr. Lambert because if you say mattress he puts a bag over his head. I should have explained. Apart from that he's really all right.
They go to Lambert.
Groom: Ah, hum, er we'd like to see the dog kennels please.
Lambert: Dog kennels?
Groom: Yes, we want to see the dog kennels.
Lambert: Ah yes, well that's the pets' department. Second floor.
Groom: Oh, no, no, we want to see the dog kennels.
Lambert: Yes, pets department second floor.
Groom: No, we don't really want to see dog kennels only your colleague said we ought to...
Lambert: Oh dear, what's he been telling you now?
Groom: Well, he said we should say dog kennels instead of mattress.
Lambert puts a bag over head.
Groom: (looking around) Oh dear. Hello?
Verity: Did you say mattress?
Groom: Well, a little yes.
Verity: I did ask you not to say mattress, didn't I? Now I've got to stand in the tea chest. (he gets in the chest and sings) 'And did those feet in ancient times, walk upon England's mountains green...'
The manager enters.
Manager (J.C.): Oh dear, did somebody say mattress to Mr. Lambert?
Verity indicated the Groom. The manager joins Verity in the tea chest and starts to sing. Lambert takes bag off head. Manager exits after pointing a warning finger at bride and groom.
Verity: (Getting out of chest) He should be all right now, but don't, you know...don't! (exits)
Groom: Oh, no, no, no. er,, we'd like to see, see the dog kennels please?
Lambert: Yes, second floor.
Groom: No, no, look these (pointing) dog kennels here, see?
Groom: Oh (jumps)...yes.
Lambert: Well, if you meant mattress, why donít you say a mattress? I mean, it's very confusing for me if you go and say dog kennels when you mean mattress. Why not just say mattress?
Groom: Well, I mean you put a bag over your head last time I said mattress.
Bag goes on. Groom looks around guiltily. Verity walks in. Verity heaves a sigh, jumps in box. Manager comes in and joins him, they sing 'And did those feet...'. Another assistant comes in.
Assistant (M.P.): Did somebody say mattress to Mr. Lambert?
Assistant: Hey, everybody, somebody said mattress to Mr. Lambert, twice.
Assistant, groom and bride join in the therapy.
Verity: We need more!
Cut to crowd in St. Peter's Square singing 'Jerusalem'.
Cut to department store. Lambert takes the bag off his head and looks at groom and bride.
Lambert: Now, er, can I help you?
Bride (C.C.): We want a mattress.
Lambert immediately puts bag back on head.
All: Oh. What did you say that for? What did you say that for?
Bride: (weeping) But it's my only line!
All: Well, you didn't have to say it.
They all hop off. She howls.
Cut to vox pops.
African Native (T.J.): Full frontal nudity - not in this part of Escher.
Chartered Accountant (J.C.): I would only perform in a scene in which there was full frontal nudity.
Cut to Colonel.
Colonel (G.C.): Now, I've noticed a tendency for this program to get rather silly. Now I do my best to keep things moving along, but I'm not having things getting silly. Those two last sketches I did got very silly indeed, and that last one about the bed was even sillier. Now, nobody likes a good laugh more than I do...except perhaps my wife and some of her friends...oh yes and Captain Johnston. Come to think of it most people likes a good laugh more than I do. But that's beside the point. Now, let's have a good clean healthy outdoor sketch. Get some air into your lungs. Ten, nine, eight and all that.
Notes: In the audio version of this, the shop assistants get into a fish tank rather than a tea chest.