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Monday, 31 January 2011

image for Up The Buses! - Part Two I Hate You Butler!

Act One, Scene 2 - the morning after.

Interior: Stan's place. Mum, Stan (looking hungover) Arthur and Olive are seated at the breakfast table. Arthur is pointedly studying the daily paper, a tabloid.

STAN - Cor blimey... (holds head in hands)

MUM - Ahhh - what's the matter Stan?

STAN - Naffink Mum. Just feelin' a bit fragile, that's all.

ARTHUR (looking studiously at the paper) - That's what happens when you go out till all hours chasing crumpet. You can't get up for work in the morning.

OLIVE - Don't you talk to me about getting up Arthur. You're no expert in the field.

STAN - How did you know I was in a field Olive?

OLIVE - What?

STAN - Who told you I was in a field?

OLIVE - Wot you on abaht Stan?

STAN - Larst night me and Jack copped orf wiv a couple o' bits o' crumpet dahn the chippy. Clippies they was, right couple o' little red hot ravers...

MUM - Ooh Stan! You're a right proper blinkin' terror when it comes to pullin' the crumpet son!

STAN - Anyway, they couldn't wait to get back to Jack's gaff to get dahn to a bit of nookie. So they dragged us orf up that field up there by the lido. Gaggin' for it they wuz...

OLIVE (Wistfully) I know the feeling...

STAN - Never even got a chance to finish me cod n chips!

ARTHUR - (Scornfully) - Must you lower the tone at the breakfast table Stan?

MUM - Leave it aht Arthur! It's bound to lower the tone a bit if my Stan's talking abaht coppin' orf wiv crumpet!

ARTHUR - He could lower the tone on a bassoon.

STAN - Anyway...cor blimey...bonked the boondocks orf o' me she did...went at it like a blinkin' steam hammer...and now I fink me back's gorn...

ARTHUR - Here we go...

STAN - Ere we go wot Arthur?

ARTHUR - You're gonna throw a sicky ain't you Stan?

STAN (Eyes lowered, spoken sotto voce) - I have no intention of throwin' a sicky Arthur...

ARTHUR - Stan, who do you think you're talking to, mate? I'm not one of those crumpet chasing idiots dahn the bus depot...

OLIVE - More's the bleedin' pity.

(CUE CANNED LAUGHTER)

STAN - Although, avin said that...me back ain't half givin' me some gyp. Reckon I've slipped a disc or two...or summink.

ARTHUR - Well you shouldn't have played 78s - I never get far beyond a 33 and a third meself...

OLIVE (Aside) - You never get beyond lifting the lid on the record player.

ARTHUR - That's enough of that Olive. You're winding me up now. See, the thing is - if the record wasn't so bleedin' lumpy and distorted, the needle might fit snugly into the groove.

MUM - Ooh! Our Olive! You shouldn't be takin' that love! You tell 'im! There's many a good beat to be had on a battered old drum kit!

(CUE CANNED LAUGHTER)

ARTHUR - Only if the drummer is desperate to play...

OLIVE - All right Arthur. I get the message. But keen drummers don't generally use wobbly rubber drumsticks.

(CUE HYSTERICAL CANNED LAUGHTER)

ARTHUR (Grimaces) - And they don't usually play with saggy skins...

(CUE FX WIND AND TUMBLEWEED - IN THE DISTANCE THE FORLORN SOUND OF A CHURCH BELL TOLLING MONOTONOUSLY)

ARTHUR - Which just goes to prove that the hack who penned this crap is a plagiarist. He clearly nicked that gag from the Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer show, Shooting Stars, which won't appear yet for at least a quarter of a century in the future...

(CUE AWKWARD SILENCE - THE CAST SIT UNCOMFORTABLY CASTING SIDELONG GLANCES IN ALL DIRECTIONS.)

OLIVE (TO CAMERA) - He's right you know. All these sidelong glances and stuff, he's lifted that off Acorn Antiques off the Victoria Wood Show...

(SFX - A KNOCK AT THE DOOR)

MUM - Whoever can that be?

STAN - How the blinkin' flip would I know Mum! I'm too busy thinking about crumpet and slipped LP's up me blinkin' back to bovver abaht who's knockin' at the bleedin' door!

ARTHUR - Are we allowed to say 'bleedin'? I mean, this is the 1970s, and I know we're allowed to say stuff like nig-nog and honky - but I'm not so sure abaht 'bleedin'...

(Mum exits to answer the door, and re-enters with horse-faced lecher Jack, the bus conductor and Stan's best mate.)

(JACK ENTERS WITH MUM)

(CUE HYSTERICAL CANNED APPLAUSE AS JACK ENTERS AND SUCKS ON A CIGARETTE, POSTURING AND MILKING THE APPLAUSE)

JACK - Mornin' Stan! Wotcher! Good night larst night wonnit, wiv the cod and chips, the Brew Ten bitter and the crumpet up in the field by the lido eh mate? Cor blimey Stan - that bit o'crumpet I 'ad - that Pepsi? Cor! Right little raver she was. Sorted me aht good n proper! Blimey - feels like I've been on a buckin' bronco aht the rodeo for a week!

MUM - Ooh Jack! You are a one for the crumpet mate! Worse than my Stan, you are!

ARTHUR That's not saying much. Bloody crumpet mad these two...

JACK - Mornin' Arthur mate! Still runnin' the railways on time are ya? From the Lost Property Office?

(CUE HYSTERICAL CANNED LAUGHTER)

JACK (BEAT) - Only if anybody hands any crumpet in at the Lost Property Office, it probably belongs to me and Stan!

(CUE EVEN MORE HYSTERICAL CANNED LAUGHTER)

(ARTHUR SCOWLS AND SLAMS HIS NEWSPAPER DOWN ON THE TABLE, CLEARLY AGITATED)

MUM AND OLIVE (IN PERFECT HARMONY) - Well it couldn't possibly have anything to do with Arthur! Not if it's to do with crumpet!

ARTHUR (STANDING - TAKING A DEEP BREATH IN A FRUITLESS ATTEMPT TO PRESERVE THE LAST VESTIGES OF DIGNITY) - I shall get my coat and bid you bastards adieu.

MUM - 'Ere Stan?

STAN - Wossup Mum?

MUM - Can our Arthur say 'bastards' on 1970s television? I mean, I know you can say coon and honky and nig-nog and chink and blood clot and pig meat and stuff like that - but isn't 'bastards' a little bit strong? For the times like?

JACK - (DRAWING ON HIS THIRD CIGARETTE) - I shouldn't worry abaht it Mrs Butler. Just do what Stan and meself do - fink abaht nuffink but crumpet. That'll sort it. 'Ere Stan - you coming to work or wot?

STAN - Dunno if I'll make it Jack me old mucker. All that cod and chips and crumpet larst night's put me back right out. I fink I might have to call in a sicky...

JACK (DRAWING HEAVILY ON FOURTH CIGARETTE AND LOOKING CYNICAL) - Blakey won't like that.

STAN - Blakey's going to have to bleedin' lump it then innit! I can't drive a blinkin' bus wiv mah back 'ow it is on account of the crumpet and the cod and chips larst night innit!

JACK - Please yourself mate. Long as you know that Blakey will pay you a home visit...

STAN - But me back's knackered Jack! You know wot it's like...how it gets...when you're doing nothing but chase crumpet all day and all night!

JACK - I do indeed me old mucker. Anyway, 'm orf or I'll be late, and I can't afford to have Blakey 'avin kittens on my behalf...

STAN - Have a good day mucker...

JACK - Oh I will mate. Just think - all that crumpet, and no competition...

(CUE CANNED LAUGHTER)

DISSOLVE...

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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