DEAD PARROT 

     

   

Animation: including dancing Botticelli Venus, which links to pet shop: Mr. Praline walks into the shop carrying a dead parrot in a cage. He walks to counter where shopkeeper tries to hide below cash register. 

   

Praline (J.C.): Hello, I wish to register a complaint...Hello? Miss? 

   

Shopkeeper (M.P.): What do you mean, miss? 

   

Praline: Oh I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint! 

   

Shopkeeper: Sorry, we're closing for lunch. 

   

Praline: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique. 

   

Shopkeeper: Oh yes, the, the Norwegian Blue. What's wrong with it? 

   

Praline: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. It's dead, that's what's wrong with it! 

   

Shopkeeper: No, no, it's resting, look! 

   

Praline: Look my lad, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now. 

   

Shopkeeper: No no sir. it's not dead. It's resting! 

   

Praline: Resting? 

   

Shopkeeper: Yeah, remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, beautiful plumage, innit? 

   

Praline: The plumage don't enter into it - it's stone dead. 

   

Shopkeeper: No, no - it's just resting! 

   

Praline: All right then, if it's restin', I'll wake him up! (shouts into cage) Hello Polly! I've got a nice cuttlefish for you when you wake up, Polly Parrot!Dead Parrot - Hello Polly 

   

Shopkeeper: (jogging the cage) There, it moved! 

   

Praline: No, he didn't. That was you pushing the cage! 

   

Shopkeeper: I did not. 

   

Praline: Yes, you did! (takes parrot out of cage, shouts) Hello Polly, Polly (bangs it against the counter) Polly Parrot, wake up. Polly. (throws it in the air and lets it fall to the floor) Now that's what I call a dead parrot. 

   

Shopkeeper: No, no. It's stunned. 

   

Praline: Look my lad, I've had just about enough of this. That parrot is definitely deceased. And when I bought it not half an hour ago, you assured me that its lack of movement was due to it being tired and shagged out after a long squawk. 

   

Shopkeeper: It's probably pining for the fjords. 

   

Praline: Pining for the fjords, what kind of talk is that? Look, why did it fall flat on its back the moment I got it home? 

   

Shopkeeper: The Norwegian Blue prefers kipping on it's back! Beautiful bird, lovely plumage! 

   

Praline: Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been nailed there. 

   

Shopkeeper: Well of course it was nailed there. Otherwise it would muscle up to those bars and voom. 

   

Praline: Look matey (picks up the parrot) this parrot wouldn't voom if you put four thousand volts through it! It's bleedin' demised! 

   

Shopkeeper: It's not, it's pining! 

   

Praline: It's not pining, it's passed on. This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late parrot. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn't nailed it to the perch it would be pushing up the daisies. It's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-parrot. 

   

Shopkeeper: Well, I'd better replace it, then. 

   

Praline: (to camera) If you want to get anything done in this country you've got to complain till you're blue in the mouth. 

   

Shopkeeper: Sorry guv, we're right out of parrots. 

   

Praline: I see. I see. I get the picture. 

   

Shopkeeper: (pause) I got a slug. 

   

Praline: Does it talk? 

   

Shopkeeper: Not really, no. 

   

Praline: Well, it's scarcely a replacement, then is it? 

   

Shopkeeper: Listen, I'll tell you what, (handing over a card) tell you what, if you go to my brother's pet shop in Bolton he'll replace your parrot for you. 

   

Praline: Bolton eh? 

   

Shopkeeper: Yeah. 

   

Praline: All right. 

   

He leaves, holding the parrot. 

   

Caption: 'A SIMILAR PET SHOP IN BOLTON; LANCS'Dead Parrot - A Sinilar petshop 

   

Close-up of sign on door reading: 'Similar Pet Shops, Ltd.' Pull back from sign to see same pet shop. Shopkeeper now has moustache. Praline walks into shop. He looks around with interest, noticing the empty parrot cage still on the floor. 

   

Praline: Er, excuse me. This is Bolton, is it? 

   

Shopkeeper: No, no it's, er, Ipswich. 

   

Praline: (to camera) That's Inter-City Rail for you. (leaves) 

   

Man in porter's outfit standing at complaints desk for railways. Praline approaches. 

   

Praline: I wish to make a complaint. 

   

Porter (T.J.): I don't have to do this, you know. 

   

Praline: I beg your pardon. 

   

Porter: I'm a qualified brain surgeon. I only do this because I like being my own boss. 

   

Praline: Er, excuse me, this is irrelevant, isn't it. 

   

Porter: Oh yeah, it's not easy to pad these out to thirty minutes. 

   

Praline: Well I wish to make a complaint. I got on the Bolton train and found myself deposited here in Ipswich. 

   

Porter: No, this is Bolton. 

   

Praline: (to camera) The pet shop owner's brother was lying. 

   

Porter: Well you can't blame British Rail for that. 

   

Praline: If this is Bolton, I shall return to the pet shop. 

   

Caption: 'A LITTLE LATER LTD' 

   

Praline walks into the shop again. 

   

Praline: I understand that this is Bolton. 

   

Shopkeeper: Yes. 

   

Praline: Well, you told me it was Ipswich. 

   

Shopkeeper: It was a pun. 

   

Praline: A pun? 

   

Shopkeeper: No, no, not a pun, no. What's the other thing which reads the same backwards as forwards? 

   

Praline: A palindrome? 

   

Shopkeeper: Yeah, yeah. 

   

Praline: It's not a palindrome. The palindrome of Bolton would be Notlob. It don't work. 

   

Shopkeeper: Look, what do you want. 

   

Praline: No I'm sorry, I'm not prepared to pursue my line of enquiry any further as I think this is getting too silly. 

   

Colonel: (coming in) Quite agree. Quite agree. Silly. Silly...silly. Right get on with it. Get on with it! 

   

Cut to announcer eating a yoghurt. 

   

Announcer (E.I.): (seeing camera) Oh...er...oh...um. Oh!...er... (shuffles paper) I'm sorry...and now frontal nudity. 

   

Cut to tracking or hand-held shot down street, keeping up with a man in dirty raincoat (T.J.). His back is to the camera. He passes two Pepperpots and a girl. As he passes each one he opens his coat wide. They react with shocked horror. He does this three times, after the third time he turns to camera and opens his coat wide. He has a big sign hanging round his neck, covering his chest. It says "Boo" 

   

Cut back to announcer eating yoghurt. The colonel comes in and nudges him. 

   

Announcer: Oh, oh I'm sorry. I thought the film was longer. (shuffling papers) Ah. Now Notlob, er, Bolton. 

  

Alternative versions

  

 

 Back to Season One index