Series 2, Episode 20: Ratcatcher
MR. CONCRETE Terry Jones
MRS. CONCRETE Michael Palin
RATCATCHER Graham Chapman
CRICKETER John Cleese
(Cut to interior: the Concrete’s sitting room. Mrs Concrete is sitting on the sofa, knitting. Mr Concrete enters.)
Mrs Concrete: Have you been talking to television again, dear?
Mr Concrete: Yes, I bloody told ’em.
Mrs Concrete: What about?
Mr Concrete: I dunno.
Mrs Concrete: Was it Reginald Bosanquet?
Mr Concrete: No, no, no.
Mrs Concrete: Did he have his head all bandaged?
Mr Concrete: No, it wasn’t like that. They had lots of lights and cameras and tape recorders and all that son of thing.
Mrs Concrete: Oh, that’ll be Ray Baxter and the boys and girls from ‘Tomorrow’s World’. Oh, I prefer Reginald Bosanquet, there’s not so many of them. (the doorbell ring) Oh – that’11 be the ratcatcher.
(she lets the ratcatcher in)
Ratcatcher: Hello – Mr and Mrs Concrete?
Ratcatcher: Well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, how very nice. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Leslie Ames, the Chairman of the Test Selection Committee, and I’m very pleased to be able to tell you that your flat has been chosen as the venue for the third test against the West Indies.
Mrs Concrete: Really?
Ratcatcher: No, it was just a little joke. Actually, I am the Council Ratcatcher.
Mrs Concrete: Oh yes, we’ve been expecting you.
Ratcatcher: Oh, I gather you’ve got a little rodental problem.
Mrs Concrete: Oh, blimey. You’d think he was awake all the night, scrabbling down by the wainscotring.
Ratcatcher: Um, that’s an interesting word, isn’t it?
Mrs Concrete: What?
Ratcatcher: Wainscotting … Wainscotting … Wainscotting … sounds like a little Dorset village, doesn’t it? Wainscotting.
(Cut to the village of Wains Cotting. A woman rushes out of a house.)
Woman: We’ve been mentioned on telly!
(Cut back to Concretes’ house.)
Ratcatcher: Now, where is it worst?
Mrs Concrete: Well, down here. You can usually hear them.
(Indicates base of wall, which has a label on it saying ‘Wainscotting’.)
Voice Over: Baa … baa … baa … baa … baa … baa…
Ratcatcher: No, that’s sheep you’ve got there.
Voice Over: Baa … baa.
Ratcatcher: No, that’s definitely sheep. A bit of a puzzle, really.
Mrs Concrete: Is it?
Ratcatcher: Yeah, well, I mean it’s (a) not going to respond to a nice piece of cheese and (b) it isn’t going to fit into a trap.
Mrs Concrete: Oh – what are you going to do?
Ratcatcher: Well, we’ll have to look for the hole.
(We follow them as they look along the wainscotting.)
Mrs Concrete: Oh yeah. There’s one here.
(She indicates a small black mousehole.)
Ratcatcher: No, no, that’s mice.
(He reaches in and pulls out a line of mice strung out on a piece of elastic. Then he lets go so they shoot in again. The ratcatcher moves on. He moves a chair, behind which there is a three-foot-high black hole.)
Ratcatcher: Ah, ,this is what we’re after.
(The baaings get louder. At this point six cricketers enter the room.)
Cricketer: Excuse me, is the third test in here?
Mr Concrete: No – that was a joke – a joke!
Cricketer: Oh blimey, (exeunt)
Ratcatcher: Right. Well, I’m going in the wainscotting.
(Cut to ‘Wains Cotting’ woman, who rushes out again.)
Woman: They said it again.
(Back to the sitting room.)
Ratcatcher: I’m going to lay down some sheep poison.
(He disappears into the hole. We hear:)
Voice Over: Baa, baa, baa.
(A gunshot. The ratcatcher reappears clutching his arm.)
Ratcatcher: Aagh. Ooh! It’s got a gun!
Mrs Concrete: Blimey.
Ratcatcher: Now, normally a sheep is a placid, timid creature, but you’ve got a killer.