ARCHITECT SKETCH/ HOW TO GIVE UP BEING A MASON
animated item (the Butterfly). The announcer at a desk with propellers rises
for something completely different.
It's Man: (M.P.)
Announcer: (and caption) THE BBC WOULD LIKE TO APOLOGIZE FOR THE NEXT ANNOUNCEMENT
Cut to a group of Gumbies, all with rolled-up trousers and knotted handkerchiefs on their heads, attempting to shout in unison and failing miserably.
Gumbies: Hello, and
welcome to the show. Without more ado, the first item is a sketch about
architects, called The Architects Sketch (pause) The Architects Sketch (pause)
The Architects Sketch...(as the sketch fails to start they point up at a nearby
building) Up there!...Up there!...Up there!:..
The camera pans to
a window in the building. Cut to the office inside, where a board meeting is
taking place. The Chairman is Mr. Tid.
Mr. Tid: (G.C.)
we have two basic suggestions for the design of this... (he is distracted by the
Gumbies still shouting)... Gentlemen, we have two basic suggestions for the
design of this... (shouts out of window at the Gumbies) Shut up! Gentlemen, we
have two basic suggestions... (we hear the Gumbies now shouting 'sorry'; he
throws a bucket of water over them; quick shot of the very damp Gumbies)
Gentlemen, we have two basic suggestions for the design of this for the design
of this residential block, and I thought it best that the architects themselves
came in to explain the advantages of both designs. (knock at door) That must be
the first architect now. (Mr. Wiggin comes in) Ah, yes - it's Mr. Wiggin of
Ironside and Malone.
Wiggin walks to the
table on which his model stands.
Mr. Wiggin: (J.C.)
morning, gentlemen. This is a twelve-storey block combining classical
neo-Georgian features with the efficiency of modern techniques. The tenants
arrive in the entrance hall here, and are carried along the corridor on a
conveyor belt in extreme comfort, past murals depicting Mediterranean scenes,
towards the rotating knives. The last twenty feet of the corridor are heavily
soundproofed. The blood pours down these chutes and the mangled flesh slurps
First Planner: (M.P.)
Mr. Wiggin: Hm?
First Planner: Did
you say knives?
Rotating knives, yes.
Second Planner: (T.J.)
you proposing to slaughter our tenants?
Mr. Wiggin: Does
that not fit in with your plans?
First Planner: No,
it does not. We asked for a simple block of flats.
see. I hadn't correctly divined your attitude towards your tenants. You see I
mainly design slaughter houses. Yes, pity. Mind you, this is a real beaut. I
mean, none of your blood caked on the walls and flesh flying out of the windows,
inconveniencing the passers-by with this one. I mean, my life has been building
up to this.
Yes, and well done, but we want a block of flats.
Mr. Wiggin: May I
ask you to reconsider? I mean, you wouldn't regret it. Think of the tourist
First Planner: No,
no, it's just that we wanted a block of flats, not an abattoir.
Mr. Wiggin: Yes,
well, of course, this is just the sort blinkered philistine pig ignorance I've
come to expect from you non-creative garbage. You sit there on your loathsome,
spotty behinds squeezing blackheads, not caring a tinker's cuss about the
struggling artist. (shouting) You excrement! You lousy hypocritical whining
toadies with your lousy colour TV sets and your Tony Jacklin golf clubs and your
bleeding Masonic handshakes! You wouldn't let me join, would you, you
blackballing bastards! Well I wouldn't become a freemason now if you went down
on your lousy, stinking, purulent knees and begged me.
Well, we're sorry you feel like that but we, er, did want a block of flats. Nice
though the abattoir is.
Mr. Wiggin: Oh
(blows raspberry) the abattoir, that's not important. But if any of you could
put in a word for me I'd love to be a freemason. Freemasonry opens doors. I
mean, I was...I was a bit on edge just now, but if I were a mason I'd sit at the
back and not get in anyone's way.
got a second-hand apron.
to door but stopping) I nearly got in at Hendon.
Mr. Wiggin leaves
and the familiar figure of Mr. Tid comes forward.
Mr. Tid: I'm sorry
about that, gentlemen. The second architect is Mr. Leavey of Wymis and Dibble.
Mr. Leavey comes in
and goes to his model.
Mr. Leavey: (E.I.)
morning gentlemen. This is a scale model of the block. There are twenty-eight
storeys, with two hundred and eighty modern apartments. There are three main
lifts and two service lifts. Access would be from Dibbingley Road. (the model
falls over, and he quickly puts it upright) The structure is built on a central
pillar system (the model falls over again) with (he puts model upright and holds
on to it) cantilevered floors in pre-stressed steel and concrete. The dividing
walls on each floor section are fixed by recessed magnalium flanged grooves. (the model partly collapses, the bottom ten floors giving
way) By avoiding wood
and timber derivatives and all other flammables (the model is smoking and flames
are seen) we have almost totally removed the risk of...
Mr. Leavey: Quite
frankly, I think the central pillar system may need strengthening a bit.
Isn't that going to put the cost up?
Mr. Leavey: It
Well, I don't know whether I'd worry about strengthening that much. After all,
they're not meant to be luxury flats.
First Planner: I
quite agree. I mean, providing the tenants are of light build and relatively
sedentary and er, given a spot of good weather, I think we're on to a winner
Mr. Leavey: Thank
The model explodes.
Quite agree. Quite agree.
Mr. Leavey: Thank
you very much. Thank you. (he shakes hands with them in an extraordinary way)
(at door) It opens doors, I'm telling you.
have a look at that handshake again in slow motion.
Caption: 'BBC TV
They do the
handshake again, only slowly.
First Voice Over:
What other ways are there of recognizing a mason?
Shot from camera
concealed in a car so we get reactions of passers-by. A busy city street - i.e.
Threadneedle Street. In amongst the throng four city gents are leaping along
with their trousers round their ankles. They are wearing bowler hats and
pinstripes. Another city street or another part of the same street. Two city
gents, with trousers rolled up to the knee, approach each other and go into the
most extraordinary handshake which involves rolling on the floor etc. Then we
see a man standing at a bus stop wearing just a bowler hat, an apron and a pair of antlers.
Having once identified a mason immediate steps must be taken to isolate him from
the general public. Having accomplished that it is now possible to cure him of
these unfortunate Masonic tendencies through the use of behavioural
psychotherapy. (we see a cartoon of the chap in the antlers now locked into a
cell) In this treatment the patient is rewarded for the correct response and
punished for the wrong one. Let us begin. Would you like to give up being a
mason? (there are quick flashes of a picture of a naked lady holding a sign
saying 'YES') Think carefully. Think. Think.
Cartoon Mason: No.
A large hammer
attacks the city gent.
Voice Over: No? That's wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! No! No! No! Bad! Bad!