Sybil, Basil, Mr Johnson, Polly, Dr Abbot / Dr Abbot, Cook
S: Dear Oh Dear
S: What a shame.
B: Hello operator what is going on?
S: Ooh I know.
B: I’ve been trying to get through to the speaking clock.
S: Ooh dear.
B: Well it’s engaged.
S: Ooh how awful!
B: Well its been engaged for ten minutes – how is this possible? My wife isn’t talking to it.
S: Well hold your head right back that usually stops it.
B: Right the speaking clock has obviously taken the phone off the hook.
Either that or there’s been a light shower within twenty miles.
S: Well you’d better not go on if it’s getting on the bedspread.
B: Unobtainable – The clock’s been cut off – obviously didn’t pay its bill.
S: Well call me back when you’ve staunched it. I don’t know why she stays with him. Oh that’s pretty!
P: Oh hello – you got your guide.
S: Good evening Mr. Johnson.
J: Evening. Any messages?
P: Three I think.
S: Three! Everybody wants you don’t they?
J: I wouldn’t say that.
S: Aaooh! You’re only single once.
B: Twice can be arranged!
S: What Basil?
B: Nothing my dear. We got enough bananas this week dear?
S: Ha ha ha ha ha eeeee!
J: So Harry says ‚You don’t like me any more. Why not?’
And he says ‚cos you got so terribly pretentious.’
And Harry says ‚Pretentious Moi?’ ha ha ha ha ha I’ll just try that number.
S: Oh that’s awfully good isn’t it. Moi. Did you hear it Basil?
B: What dear?
S: The joke.
B: Oh a joke – No I heard you laugh. I thought perhaps he was having a tea party.
S: Tea party? Oh now I understand the banana reference. You mean you think he looks like a monkey.
B: Only from some angles.
S: Well from my angle he’s very attractive.
S: You know easy and amusing and charming.
B: Charming eh? Well he’s certainly covered in charms. I’ve never seen so many medals around one neck in my life. He must be the bravest orang-utan in Britain. What’s the point of decorating yourself like that? S: They’re not just for decoration. They have symbolic meaning.
B: Sybil that type would wear a dog turd round its neck if it was made of gold.
S: Basil you’re so ignorant sometimes. One of them happens to be a rhino’s tooth.One’s an ancient Egyptian fertility symbol.
B: Well that must come in handy.
S: It’s not supposed to be handy Basil. It goes back to the dawn of civilization.
B: Well, by the look of his forehead, so does he.
S: Tell me Basil – what is it about the Mediterranean type that antagonizes you so? Is it because women find them attractive?
B: Sybil I…
S: You seem to think that we girls should be aroused by people like Gladstone and Earl Haig and Baden Powel. Don’t you?
B: Well at least they had a certain dignity. It’s hard to imagine Earl Haig wandering around with his shirt open to the waist – covered with identity bracelets is it?
S: Well he didn’t mind the medals did he? The military decorations.
B: That’s not the point.
S: I suppose the reason you confuse them with monkeys is that monkeys have fun. They know how to enjoy themselves. That’s what makes them sexy I suppose. I never thought of that. Good evening.
Dr A: Good evening. I telephoned earlier. The name is Abbot.
S: Oh yes. There hasn’t been a cancellation I’m afraid – So it is still a room without bath.
Dr A: That’s fine.
S: Oh good. Would you just fill that in for me please?
B: Bup bup bup.
S: Yes we’re terribly busy at the moment.
B: Just enjoying myself. Good evening.
Dr A: Good evening.
B: Good evening.
Dr A2: Good evening.
B: Oooo oooo oooh. That feels better.
S: Thank you Mr Abbot. Ooh Doctor Abbot. Sorry.
Dr A: Yes?
B: I’m terribly sorry – we hadn’t been told.
We hadn’t been told you were a doctor.
Dr A: Oh.
B: How do you do doctor. Very nice to have you with us doctor.
Dr A: Thankyou.
S: You’re in room five. Doctor.
B: And Mrs. Abbot. How do you do?
Dr A: Doctor Abbot actually.
Dr A: Doctor Abbot.
Dr A2: Two doctors.
B: You’re two doctors?
Dr A2: Yes.
B: Well how did you become two doctors?
That’s most unusual. I mean did you take the exam twice or…
Dr A: No my wife’s a doctor.
Dr A2: I’m a doctor.
B: You’re a doctor too. So you’re three doctors.
Dr A: No. I’m just one doctor. My wife is another doctor.
S: Manuel! Your room is at the top of the stairs along to the left.
B: Oh I see! Well you see – I thought when you said two doctors – that er…
S: Manuel – Would you take the doctor’s cases up to number five please?
B: Yes – this ways please doctors yes when you said you were two doctors I thought perhaps you were a doctor of medicine perhaps a doctor of er…
S: Did you get through all right?
J: One was busy. I’ll try again in a minute.
Look I forgot to ask. Any news on that room for my mother?
S: Ooh yes. Number sixteen has decided to stay I’m afraid.
I’ve tried another couple of places. But everywhere is full at the moment.
J: Oh well – no hassle She won’t mind sharing with me.
S: Lucky Mum Ha ha ha ha ha.
J: I’ll just go and try that number again.
S: Oh here use this one.
J: Oh thank you.
S: May I ask – the sign on the chain by the Egyptian fertility symbol. What is that?
J: Er Oh it’s um Greek Astrological sign.
S: Oh it’s beautiful. Where did you get it?
J: Um Colchester. I think.
J: Oh! Hello! Can I speak to John Olsen please? Oh oh all right I’ll hold on.
S: So your mother will be arriving tomorrow?
J: Yes first thing. She’s getting the overnight train down from Newcastle. Newcastle?
J: Yeah visiting grandchildren. She’s seventy seven.
S: Seventy seven! Isn’t that amazing? Old people are wonderful when they have so much life aren’t they? Gives us all hope doesn’t it?… My mother on the other hand is a little bit of a trial really. You know it’s all right when they have the life force but mother well she’s got more of the death force really. She’s a worrier. She has these well – morbid fears they are really: vans is one, rats, doorknobs, birds, heights, open spaces, confined spaces – it’s very difficult getting the space right for her really you know. footballs, bicycles, cows and she’s always on about men following her. I don’t know what she thinks they going to do to her. Vomit on her Basil says.
J: Can I leave my number? he can call me back.
S: And death.
J: Oh I see right.
S: She’s frightened of death… I’ve told her there’s nothing she can do about it. On about it the whole time she is. I mean nature can take its course. The only thing you can hope for is that it won’t be long drawn out and painful, but she can’t accept that.
J: Oh excuse me. Hello John? How are you?… No fine. I’m just down for the weekend. Hm.
B: Charming people.
B: The Abbots. Charming couple.
S: Yes all three of them.
J: No. All right for tonight. Hahmmm.
B: You know dear – that um, that outfit that Mrs Abbot was wearing – you should get yourself something like that.
S: What for the gardening you mean?
J: No no I’ll can’t tomorrow night. How about lunch?
B: Yes attractive woman – how old would you say she was Sybil?
S: Fourty eight – fifty?
B: Oh now Sybil.
S: I really don’t know Basil. Perhaps she’s twelve.
J: No favourite – magic!
B: Yes nice to have that kind of person staying isn’t it? professional class, educated, civilized? Got both ends of the evolutionary scale this week. Haven’t we?… Good Evening.
Dr A: We’re just going out for a stroll. What time do you serve dinner?
B: Aah Seven thirty to nine.
J: See you tomorrow then. Ciao!
Dr A: Do you have a guide to Torquay?
B: A guide? Um Oh dear. I think we’re out of them again?
J: Do you want to look at this one? I got it in town.
Dr A: Yes. What’s on in Torquay.
J: Yes. One of the world’s shortest books.
J: One of the world’s shortest books – like the wit of Margaret Thatcher – or Great Engish Lovers S: Ho hhaa – Very funny isn’t it Basil?
B: Are you taking dinner here tonight?
B: Are you dining here tonight here at this unfashionable dump?
J: I wasn’t planning to.
B: No not really your scene is it?
J: I thought I’d try somewhere in town. Anywhere you recommend?
B: Well what sort of food were you thinking of? Fruit? or….
J: You know where they do French food?
B: Yes France I believe. They seem to like it there. The swim would certainly sharpen your appetite. You better hurry. The tide leaves in six minutes.
S: Excuse my husband’s sledgehammer wit Mr Johnson. There is a very nice place. La Pomme d’amour.
J: Aaah the Pomme D’amour – the apple of love.
S: Yes. In Orchard Street.
B: Or that ancient Egyptian place – the golden dog’s something.
S: Do enjoy yourself. See you later…. I have had it up to here with you.
B: What dear?
S: You never get it right. Do you? You’re either crawling all over them, licking their boots or spitting poison at them like some benzedrene puff adder.
B: Just trying to enjoy myself dear.
B: Ah Did you enjoy your beef?
Dr A2: Oh yes thankyou.
B: Ah Good.Would you care for a dessert?
Dr A2: No just coffee thankyou.
Dr A: Just coffee for me.
B: Two coffees Sybil. Er two coffees here please dear.
Would you er care for a little something with us um a little aperitif? cognac? Brandy on us, with us. which we’ll pay for – on the house as it were.
Dr A2: Well thank you yes er I would like a cognac if I may.
B: Dr Abbot?
Dr A: Port thank you.
B: Mon plesir.
S: Coffee for you Dr and for you Dr. Have you been to Torquay before? Dr A2: Well not for a few years, no. We had a free weekend and we suddenly thought we’d like to get out of London.
S: Lovely. White or black?
Dr A2: Black thankyou.
S: And black for you doctor.
Dr A: Thankyou.
B: Cognac for you doctor. It’s rather fascinating your both being doctors – port for you Dr – because at one stage I was contemplating becoming a surgeon.
S: A tree surgeon. Ha ha.
B: Thank you Sybil.
S: Had to give it up – couldn’t stand the sight of sap. Haaa.
B: That’s a bit old. Isn’t it dear?
B: Um my great grandfather on my mother’s side was a doctor – so it was always felt that I might er…
S: Run a hotel. Are you… are you both in general practice?
Dr A2: No I’m a pediatrician.
Dr A2: Children.
B: Well Children have feet. Don’t they? That’s how they move around my dear. You must take a look next time. It’s most interesting.
And you doctor are you um ..?
Dr A: I’m a psychiatrist.
B: Very nice too. Well cheers!… I’ll get you another one – sorry.
S: A psychiatrist – how fascinating. We’ve never had a psychiatrist staying here before. We had a faith healer the first month we were open.
Dr A: Really?
S: It’s a relatively new profession psychiatry. Isn’t it?
Dr A2: Well Freud started about 1880.
S: Yes but it’s only now we’re seeing him on the television.
B: Here we are. I must… just excuse…
Dr A: How long have you had this hotel?
S: Well my husband and I…
B: Keep back keep back!
P: Well what is it?
P: What’s the matter with him?
B: Psychiatrist!Look at him. Look! Look at the way he’s listening. See! He’s taking it all in. She doesn’t realize. Look – Look at the way she’s talking. They’ve got photographic memories…
S: Yes Basil?
B: Could I just bother you dear? Just a little problem, nothing personal, nothing of a private nature. Just ..
S: Excuse me, would you? What is it Basil?
B: Just Just take it easy. OK?
B: Just keep your distance I mean Remember who you are. All right?
S: Remember who I ..?
B: Just don’t tell him too much about yourself. All right?
S: Basil, I’m perfectly capable of…..
B: All right all right. What’ve you told him?
S: Nothing. We were talking about Scotland.
B: Scotland? What’s he want to know about Scotland? S: Oh Basil.
S: Why are you so nervous?
B: I’m not nervous. I’m just saying take it easy. All right! All of us.
Just take it easy. Right?
S: What has got into you?
B: Nothing has got into me. I’m just saying take it easy. Can’t I say take it easy without starting a panic. I mean what is going on here?
S: Basil look ..
C: Mr Faulty take it easy.
B: Now Now look! Get one thing clear. All right! You don’t tell me to take it easy. Right? I don’t pay you to tell me to take it easy. I pay you to take it easy. No I pay you to tell you to take it easy.
So take it easy all right?
S: Listen. Why are you getting so upset?
B: I’m not.
S: You liked him when he arrived and then just because you find out he’s a psychiatrist .
B: I’m not bothered about that… I’m not bothered about that – If he want’s to be a psychiatrist – that’s his own funeral. They’re all as mad as bloody March hares anyway. But that’s not the point. Look! How does he earn his money? He gets He gets paid for sticking his nose ..
S: Oh Basil ..
B: No I’m going to have my say! .. In peoples private um details. Well just speaking for myself I don’t want some total stranger nosing around in my private parts… details. That’s all I’m going to say.
S: They’re here on holiday. They’re just here to enjoy themselves.
B: He can’t!
S: Can’t what?
B: He can’t tell me anything about myself that I don’t know already. All this Psychiatry – it’s a load of tommy rot!
B: You know what they’re all obsessed with. Don’t you?
B: You know what they say its all about, don’t you? Hm?
Sex – everything’s connected with sex! Cor! What a load of cobblers.
Dr A2: Yes but you see if they wanted to do that. Well they’d have to close the hotel, wouldn’t they?
B: Yes. If you Would just sign that? Thank you so much.
Dr A: Yes We were just speculating how people in your profession arrange their holidays. How often you can get away.
B: Hm? Dr A: How often do you manage it?
B: Beg your pardon.
Dr A: How often can you and your wife manage it?… If you don’t mind my asking.
B: Not at all. Not at all… about average since you ask.
Dr A: Average?
Dr A: What would be average?
B: Well you tell me. Uhuhuhu.
Dr A2: Well um A couple of times a year?
Dr A: Once a year? Well we knew it must be difficult. My wife didn’t see how you could manage it at all. You know with…
B: Well as you’ve asked – two or three times a week actually.
Dr A: A week?
B: Yes pretty normal isn’t it? We’re quite normal down here in Torquay you know.