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Praline: Hello, I would like to buy a fish license, please.


Man: A what?


Praline: A license for my pet fish, Eric.


Man: How did you know my name was Eric?


Praline: No no no, my fish's name is Eric, Eric the fish. He's an ‘alibut.


Man: What?


Praline: He is... an... halibut.


Man: You've got a pet halibut?


Praline: Yes. I chose him out of thousands. I didn't like the others, they were all too flat.


Man: You must be a loony.


Praline: I am not a loony! Why should I be tarred with the epithet loony merely because I have a pet halibut? I've heard tell that Sir Gerald Nabardo has a pet prawn called Simon and you wouldn't call him a loony; furthermore, Dawn Palethorpe, the lady show-jumper, had a clam, called Stafford, after the late Chancellor, Allan Bullock has two pikes, both called Chris, and Marcel Proust had an haddock! So, if you're calling the author of 'A la recherche du temps perdu' a loony, I shall have to ask you to step outside!


Man: Alright, alright, alright. A license...


Praline: Yes.


Man: For a fish.


Praline: Yes.


Man: You are a loony.


Praline: Look, it's a bleeding pet, isn't it? I've got a license for me pet dog Eric, and I've got a license for me pet cat Eric...


Man: You don't need a license for your cat.


Praline: I bleeding well do and I got one. Won’t be caught out there…


Man: There's no such thing as a bloody cat license.


Praline: Yes there is!


Man: Isn't!


Praline: Is!


Man: Isn't!


Praline: I bleeding got one, look! What's that then?


Man: This is a dog license with the word 'dog' crossed out and 'cat' written in in crayon.


Praline: The man didn't have the right form.


Man: What man?


Praline: The man from the cat detector van.


Man: The loony detector van, you mean.


Praline: Look, it's people like you what cause unrest.


Man: What cat detector van?


Praline: The cat detector van from the Ministry of Housinge.


Man: Housinge?


Praline: It was spelt like that on the van. I'm very observant. I've never seen so many bleeding aerials. The man said that their equipment could pinpoint a purr at four hundred yards! And Eric, being such a happy cat, was a piece of cake.


Man: How much did you pay for this?


Praline: Sixty quid, and eight for the fruit-bat.


Man: What fruit bat?


Praline: Eric the fruit bat.


Man: Are all your pets called Eric?


Praline: There's nothing so odd about that. Kemal Atatürk had an entire menagerie called Abdul!


Man: No he didn't!


Praline: Did!


Man: Didn't!


Praline: Did, did, did, did, did and did!


Man: Oh, all right.


Praline: Spoken like a gentleman, sir. Now, are you going to give me a fish license?


Man: I promise you, there’s no such thing. You don't need one.


Praline: In that case, give me a bee license.


Man: A license for your pet bee?


Praline: Yes.


Man: Called Eric? Eric the Bee?


Praline: No.


Man: No?


Praline: No, Eric the Half-Bee. He had an accident.


Man: You're off your chump.


Praline: Look, if you intend by that utilization of an obscure colloquialism to imply that my sanity is not up to scratch, or indeed to deny the semi-existence of my little chum Eric the Half-Bee, I shall have to ask you to listen to this! Take it away, Eric the orchestra leader.......


Eric the Orchestra leader: A-one, two, a-one two three four


[Piano intro]


Praline: Half a bee, philosophically,

Must, ipso facto, half not be.

But half the bee has got to be

Vis a vis, its entity. D'you see?


But can a bee be said to be

Or not to be an entire bee

When half the bee is not a bee

Due to some ancient injury?



La dee dee, one two three,

Eric the half a bee.

A B C D E F G,

Eric the half a bee.


Is this wretched demi-bee,

Half-asleep upon my knee,

Some freak from a menagerie?

No! It's Eric the half a bee!


Fiddle de dum, Fiddle de dee,

Eric the half a bee.

Ho ho ho, tee hee hee,

Eric the half a bee.


I love this hive, employee-ee,

Bisected accidentally,

One summer afternoon by me,

I love him carnally.


He loves him carnally,



The End


Man: 'Cyril Connelly?'  


Praline: No! 'Semi-carnally'


Man: Oh!


(sings) Cyril Connelly (whistles to fade)




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