MOLLUSCS - 'LIVE' TV DOCUMENTARY  

  

Cut to an ordinary suburban living room. Mr. and Mrs. Jalin are sitting on a sofa, dressed in ballroom dancing gear. The end of the animation we've just come out of is visible on their TV set. Mrs. Jalin is stuffing a chicken. Mr. Jalin is reading the telephone directory. The picture changes and we hear voice from TV.  

    

Voice: (E.I.) The 'Nine O'Clock News' which was to follow has been cancelled tonight so we can bring you the quarter finals of the All Essex Badminton Championship. Your commentator as usual is Edna O'Brien.  

    

Commentator: (M.P.) (Irish accent) Hullo fans. Begorra an' to be sure there's some fine badminton down there in Essex this afternoon. We really...   

    

Mr. Jalin picks up an old medieval spiked mace and smashes the TV set to bits. There is a ring from the doorbell. Mr. Jalin sits, Mrs. Jalin goes to the door, exits and comes back.   

    

Mrs. Jalin: (G.C.) George.   

    

Mr. Jalin: (T.J.) Yes, Gladys.   

    

Mrs. Jalin: There's a man at the door with a moustache.   

    

Mr. Jalin: Tell him I've already got one. (Mrs. Jalin hits him hard with a newspaper) All right, all right. What's he want then?   

    

Mrs. Jalin: He says do we want a documentary on molluscs.   

    

Mr. Jalin: Molluscs?!   

    

Mrs. Jalin: Yes.   

    

Mr. Jalin: What's he mean, molluscs?   

    

Mrs. Jalin: MOLLUSCS!! GASTROPODS! LAMELLIBRANCHS! CEPHALOPODS!   

    

Mr. Jalin: Oh molluscs, I thought you said bacon. (she hits him again) All right, all right. What's he charge then?   

    

Mrs. Jalin: It's free.   

    

Mr. Jalin: Ooh! Where does he want us to sit?   

    

Mrs. Jalin: (calling through the door) He says yes.   

   

Mr. Zorba enters carrying plywood flat with portion cut out to represent TV. He stands behind flat and starts.   

    

Zorba: (J.C.) Good evening. Tonight molluscs. The mollusc is a soft-bodied, unsegmented invertebrate animal usually protected by a large shell. One of the most numerous groups of invertebrates, it is exceeded in number of species only by the arthropods ... viz. (he holds up a lobster)   

    

Mrs. Jalin: Not very interesting is it?   

    

Zorba: What?   

    

Mrs. Jalin: I was talking to him.   

    

Zorba: Oh. Anyway, the typical mollusc, viz, a snail (holds one up) consists of a prominent muscular portion... the head-foot... a visceral mass and a shell which is secreted by the free edge of the mantle.   

    

Mrs. Jalin: Dreadful isn't it?   

    

Zorba: What?   

    

Mrs. Jalin: I was talking to him.   

    

Zorba: Oh. Well anyway... in some molluscs, however, viz, slugs, (holds one up) the shell is absent or rudimentary...   

    

Mr. Jalin: Switch him off.   

    

Mrs. Jalin gets up and looks for the switch unsuccessfully.   

    

Zorba: Whereas in others, viz, cephalopods the head-foot is greatly modified and forms tentacles, viz, the squid. (looking out) What are you doing?   

    

Mrs. Jalin: Switching you off.   

    

Zorba: Why, don't you like it?   

    

Mrs. Jalin: Oh it's dreadful.   

    

Mr. Jalin: Embarrassing.   

    

Zorba: Is it?   

    

Mrs. Jalin: Yes, it's perfectly awful.   

    

Mr. Jalin: Disgraceful! I don't know how they've got the nerve to put it on.   

    

Mrs. Jalin: It's so boring.   

    

Zorba: Well ... it's not much of a subject is it... be fair.   

    

Mrs. Jalin: What do you think, George?   

    

Mr. Jalin: Give him another twenty seconds.   

    

Zorba: Anyway the majority of the molluscs are included in three large groups, the gastropods, the lamellibranchs and the cephalopods...   

    

Mrs. Jalin: We knew that (she gets up and goes to the set)   

    

Zorba: However, what is more interesting, er ... is the molluscs's er ... sex life.   

    

Mrs. Jalin: (stopping dead) Oh!   

    

Zorba: Yes, the mollusc is a randy little fellow whose primitive brain scarcely strays from the subject of the you know what.   

    

Mrs. Jalin: (going back to sofa) Disgusting!   

    

Mr. Jalin: Ought not to be allowed.   

    

Zorba: The randiest of the gastropods is the limpet. This hot-blooded little beast with its tent-like shell is always on the job. Its extra-marital activities are something startling. Frankly I don't know how the female limpet finds the time to adhere to the rock-face. How am I doing?   

    

Mrs. Jalin: Disgusting.   

    

Mr. Jalin: But more interesting.   

    

Mrs. Jalin: Oh yes, tch, tch, tch.   

    

Zorba: Another loose-living gastropod is the periwinkle. This shameless little libertine with its characteristic ventral locomotion ... is not the marrying kind: 'Anywhere anytime' is its motto. Up with the shell and they're at it.   

    

Mrs. Jalin: How about the lamellibranchs?   

    

Zorba: I'm coming to them ... the great scallop (holds one up) ... this tatty, scrofulous old rapist, is second in depravity only to the common clam. (holds up a clam) This latter is a right whore, a harlot, a trollop, a cynical bed-hopping firm-breasted Rabelaisian bit of sea food that makes Fanny Hill look like a dead Pope... and finally among the lamellibranch bivalves, that most depraved of the whole sub-species - the whelk. The whelk is nothing but a homosexual of the worst kind. This gay boy of the gastropods, this queer crustacean, this mincing mollusc, this screaming, prancing, limp-wristed queen of the deep makes me sick.       

Mrs. Jalin: Have you got one?   

    

Zorba: Here! (holds one up)   

    

Mrs. Jalin: Let's kill it. Disgusting.   

    

Zorba throws it on the floor and Mr. and Mrs. Jalin stamp on it.   

    

Mr. Jalin: That'll teach it. Well thank you for a very interesting programme.   

    

Zorba: Oh, not at all. Thank you.   

    

Mrs. Jalin: Yes, that was very nice.   

    

Zorba: Thank you. (he shakes hands with her)   

    

Mrs. Jalin: Oh, thank you.   

    

Cut to a studio presenter at a desk.   

    

Presenter: (T.G.) And now a word from the man in the...   

   

Cut to Glencoe vox pop: a loony.   

    

Loony: (G.C.) ...street. 

  

Cut back to the presenter who looks confused.

Cut to the It's Man.

 

It's Man: (M.P.) Anyway

 

Cut to an animation - a baby who sucks the world in when its dummy is removed.

 

  

  

Back to Season 3 index