ARCHITECT SKETCH/ HOW TO GIVE UP BEING A MASON

 

Opens with animated item (the Butterfly). The announcer at a desk with propellers rises into view.

 

Announcer: (J.C.) And now for something completely different.

 

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

 

Animated titles.

 

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

 

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.) Gentlemen, 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.) Good 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 into these...

 Architect 1

First Planner: (M.P.) Excuse me....

 

Mr. Wiggin: Hm?

 

First Planner: Did you say knives?

 

Mr. Wiggin: Rotating knives, yes.

 

Second Planner: (T.J.) Are 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.

 

Mr. Wiggin: Ah, I 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.

 

Second Planner: 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 trade.

 

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.

 

Second Planner: 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.

 

First Planner: Thank you.

 

Mr. Wiggin: I've got a second-hand apron.

 

Second Planner: Thank you.

 

Mr. Wiggin: (going to door but stopping) I nearly got in at Hendon.

 

First Planner: Thank you.

 

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.) Good 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...

 Architect 2

Superimposed caption: 'SATIRE'

 

Mr. Leavey: Quite frankly, I think the central pillar system may need strengthening a bit.

 

Second Planner: Isn't that going to put the cost up?

 

Mr. Leavey: It might.

 

Second Planner: 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 here.

 

Mr. Leavey: Thank you.

 

The model explodes.

 

Second Planner: Quite agree. Quite agree.

 

Mr. Leavey: Thank you very much. Thank you. (he shakes hands with them in an extraordinary way)

 

Mr. Wiggin: (at door) It opens doors, I'm telling you.

 

Voice Over: Let's have a look at that handshake again in slow motion. Masonic handshake replay

 

Caption: 'BBC TV ACTION REPLAY'

 

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.

 Mason in therapy

Second Voice Over: 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!


 

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