APOLOGY (POLITICIANS)/ EXPEDITION TO LAKE PAHOE

  

Superimposed caption: 'POLITICIANS - AN APOLOGY'  

    

The camera pans across a landscape. Roller caption starts to come up, superimposed. The words are quite large and easily readable, but well spaced so that the roller will seem to go on for quite some time. Voice over reads.   

    

Voice Over (and caption:) (E.I.) 'WE WOULD LIKE TO APOLOGIZE FOR THE WAY IN WHICH POLITICIANS ARE REPRESENTED IN THIS PROGRAMME. IT WAS NEVER OUR INTENTION TO IMPLY THAT POLITICIANS ARE WEAK-KNEED, POLITICAL TIME-SERVERS WHO ARE CONCERNED MORE WITH THEIR PERSONAL VENDETTAS AND PRIVATE POWER STRUGGLES THAN THE PROBLEMS OF GOVERNMENT, NOR TO SUGGEST AT ANY POINT THAT THEY SACRIFICE THEIR CREDIBILITY BY DENYING FREE DEBATE ON VITAL MATTERS IN THE MISTAKEN IMPRESSION THAT PARTY UNITY COMES BEFORE THE WELL-BEING OF THE PEOPLE THEY SUPPOSEDLY REPRESENT NOR TO IMPLY AT ANY STAGE THAT THEY ARE SQUABBLING LITTLE TOADIES WITHOUT AN OUNCE OF CONCERN FOR THE VITAL SOCIAL PROBLEMS OF TODAY. NOR INDEED DO WE INTEND THAT VIEWERS SHOULD CONSIDER THEM AS CRABBY ULCEROUS LITTLE SELF-SEEKING VERMIN WITH FURRY LEGS AND AN EXCESSIVE ADDICTION TO ALCOHOL AND CERTAIN EXPLICIT SEXUAL PRACTICES WHICH SOME PEOPLE MIGHT FIND OFFENSIVE.   

    

Pause  

    

WE ARE SORRY IF THIS IMPRESSION HAS COME ACROSS.   

    

Cut to a similar landscape. Lots of men in Royal Navy whites preparing for an expedition - equipment being loaded into Land Rovers etc. An interviewer walks into shot.   

    

Interviewer: (J.C.) Hello. All the activity you can see in progress here is part of the intricate... aah! (he steps into a man-trap, but continues bravely) preparations for the British Naval Expedition to Lake Pahoe. The leader of the expedition is Sir Jane Russell (the interviewer in slightly different spot with the admiral; we now see that the interviewer has a wooden leg and a crutch) Sir Jane, what is the purpose of your expedition?   

  

Sir Jane is wearing a white Navy uniform, but also a daisy chain around his neck and a badge reading "Navy lib"

    

Sir Jane: (M.P.) Well this is a completely uncharted lake with like hitherto unclassified marine life man, so the whole scene's wide open for a scientific exploration.   

    

Interviewer: (now with a parrot on his shoulder) One can see the immense amount of preparation involved. Have there been many difficulties in setting up this venture?   

    

Sir Jane: Well the real hang-up was with the bread man but when the top brass pigs came through we got it together in a couple of moons. Commodore Betty Grable, who's a real sub-aqua head, has got it together diving wise and like the whole gig's been a real gas man.   

    

Interviewer: (now with Long John Silver hat) Thank you (now with eye patch as well) Lieutenant Commander Dorothy Lamour.   

    

Parrot: Pieces of eight.   

    

Interviewer: (now with Long John Silver jacket) Dorothy you're in charge of security and liaison for this operation.   

    

Dorothy: (E.I.) Right on. (he is smoking something and is really cool)   

    

Interviewer: (now with a white wig, completing the Long John Silver look) You've kept this all rather hush-hush so far shipmate.   

    

Dorothy: Yeah, it's been really heavy man with all these freaks from the fascist press trying to blow the whole scene.   

    

Interviewer: (to camera and increasingly breaking into pirate speak) There's no doubt about it, this expedition does have some rather unusual aspects, Jim lad. For a first, why does the senior personnel all bear the names of Hollywood film stars of the forties ... and female ones at that, shiver me timbers 'tis the black spot, and secondly, I be not afraid of thee Blind Pew ... why do they talk this rather strange stilted, underground jargon, belay the mainbrace Squire Trelawney this be my ship now. (he is hit by a dart) Argh! A tranquillizing dart fired by the cowardly BBC health department dogs ... they've done filled me full of chlorpromazine damn!   

  

He falls. A second interviewer comes into shot and catches the microphone.   

    

Second Interviewer: (T.J.) I'm sorry about my colleague's rather unconventional behaviour.   

    

Sir Jane: (running towards the camera) The navy's out of sight man come together with the RN it's really something other than else.   

  

Animated psychedelic advert for the Royal Navy.   

    

Animated Voice: You dig it, man?   

  

Cut back to second interviewer.   

    

Second Interviewer: Hello. I'm sorry about my colleague's rather unconventional behaviour just now, but things haven't been too easy for him recently, trouble at home, rather confidential so I can't give you all the details... interesting though they are... (quietly to himself) three bottles of rum with his Weetabix, and so on, anyway... apparently the girl wasn't even ... (to camera) anyway the activity you see behind me... (quietly to himself) it's the mother I feel sorry for. I'll start again. (to camera) The activity you see behind me is part of the preparations for the new Naval Expedition to Lake Pahoe. The man in charge of this expedition is Vice Admiral Sir John Cunningham. Sir John, hello there.   

    

Sir John: (G.C.) Ah, hello. Well first of all I'd like to apologize for the behaviour of certain of my colleagues you may have seen earlier, but they are from broken homes, circus families and so on and they are in no way representative of the new modern improved British Navy. They are a small vociferous minority; and may I take this opportunity of emphasizing that there is no cannibalism in the British Navy. Absolutely none, and when I say none, I mean there is a certain amount, more than we are prepared to admit, but all new ratings are warned that if they wake up in the morning and find any toothmarks at all anywhere on their bodies, they're to tell me immediately so that I can immediately take every measure to hush the whole thing up. And, finally, necrophilia is right out. (the interviewer keeps nodding but looks embarrassed) Now, this expedition is primarily to investigate reports of cannibalism and necrophilia in... this expedition is primarily to investigate reports of unusual marine life in the as yet uncharted Lake Pahoe.   

    

Second Interviewer: And where exactly is the lake?   

    

Sir John: Er 22A Runcorn Avenue, I think. Yes, that's right, 22A.   

    

Second Interviewer: Runcorn Avenue?   

    

Sir John: Yes, it's just by Blenheim Crescent... do you know it?   

    

Second Interviewer: You mean it's in an ordinary street?   

    

Sir John: Of course it's not an ordinary street! It's got a lake in it!   

    

Second Interviewer: Yes but I...   

    

Sir John: Look, how many streets do you know that have got lakes in them?   

    

Second Interviewer: But you mean... is it very large?   

    

Sir John: Of course it's not large, you couldn't get a large lake in Runcorn Avenue! You'd have to knock down the tobacconist's! (looking off camera) Jenkins ... no!   

  

We see a rather sheepish rating about to sink his teeth into a human leg. Sir John puts his hand in front of the lens. Cut to Runcorn Avenue, an ordinary street with houses now turned into flats. The land-rover arrives with the equipment.   

    

Second Interviewer: I'm now standing in Runcorn Avenue. Sir John ... where exactly is the lake?   

    

Sir John: Er, well let's see, that's 18... that's 20 so this must be the one.   

    

Second Interviewer: Er, excuse me...   

    

Sir John: Yes, that's the one all right.   

    

Second Interviewer: But it's an ordinary house.   

    

Sir John: Look, I'm getting pretty irritated with this line of questioning.   

    

Second Interviewer: But it doesn't even look like a lake...   

    

Sir John: Look, your whole approach since this interview started has been to mock the Navy. When I think that it was for the likes of you that I had both my legs blown off...   

    

Second Interviewer: (pointing at perfectly healthy legs) You haven't had both your legs blown off!   

    

Sir John: I was talking metaphorically you fool. Jenkins - put that down. (Jenkins returns the leg to the land-rover) Right, is the equipment ready?   

    

Rating: (E.I.) Diving equipment all ready man. (gives hippy salute)   

    

Sir John: (warning finger) Right. Now quite simply the approach to Lake Pahoe is up the steps, and then we come to the shores of the lake. Now, I'm going to press the bell just to see if there's anyone in.   

    

Man: (M.P.) (answering) Hello?   

    

Sir John: Good morning - I'm looking for a Lake Pahoe.   

    

Man: There's a Mr Padgett.   

    

Sir John: No, no a lake.   

    

Man: There's no lake here, mate. This is Runcorn Avenue. What's the camera doing?   

    

Woman: (E.I.) (coming out) Camera? What's he want? Oooh, are we on the telly? (grins at the camera)   

    

Man: He's looking for a lake.   

    

Sir John: Lake Pahoe.   

    

Woman: Oh, you want downstairs, 22A the basement.   

    

Sir John: Ah! Thank you very much. Good morning. Come on men, downstairs.   

  

They walk down to the basement. The interviewer intercepts Sir John.   

    

Second Interviewer: Were you successful, Sir John?   

    

Sir John: It's in the basement.   

    

Second Interviewer: In the basement?   

  

He sees a parrot on his shoulder.   

    

Parrot: Pieces of eight.   

    

Second Interviewer: Eugh! (he knocks it off)   

  

Sir John goes to the front door of 22A and rings. Then he looks into the living room through the window. A middle-aged couple are sitting inside. The room is full of water. The man reads the paper and the woman knits. Both wear breathing apparatus. Sir John knocks on the window. The woman looks up.   

    

Sir John: Hello.   

    

Woman: (J.C.) Ooooh. I think it's someone about the damp.   

    

Sir John: Hello.   

    

Man: (E.I.) Tell 'em about the bleeding rats, too.   

    

Woman: I'll go (she swims to window and shouts out) Yes?   

    

Sir John: Good morning, is this Lake Pahoe?   

    

Woman: Well, I don't know about that, but it's bleeding damp. Are you from the council?   

    

Sir John: No. We are the official British Naval Expedition to this lake. May we come in?   

    

Woman: Hang on.   

  

She submerges and picks up a big sign showing it to the man. The sign reads 'It's not the council, it's a British Naval Expedition to Lake Pahoe or something and can they come in'. The man reads the card. An enormous shark looks over his shoulder appearing from a cupboard. The man sees it and hits it with a newspaper.     

  

Man: Bloody sharks.   

    

Woman: Get in.   

  

He holds up a sign reading 'Tell them to go away'. The woman swims to the window and gives a V-sign to Sir John.   

    

Sir John: Well um... that would appear to be the end of the expedition.   

    

     

     

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