Series 3, Episode 37: Off-Licence
McGOUGH Eric Idle
MR. BONES John Cleese
GRANTLEY Michael Palin
BUCKINGHAM Terry Jones
FIRST LADY Carol Cleveland
DENNIS MOORE John Cleese
MALE PEASANT Michael Palin
FEMALE PEASANT Terry Jones
(Cut to close up of a man’s face.)
McGough: Yet fear, not like an aged florin, can so disseminate men’s eyes, that fortune, straining at a kissing touch may stop her ceaseless search to sport amidst the rampant thrust of time, and bring the thing undone to pass by that with which the cock may chance an arm.
(Cut to a wider shot to show that he is in an off-licence. Mr Bones is behind the counter.)
Mr Bones: Well that’s all very well, sir, but this is an off-licence.
McGough: Oh. Just a bottle of sherry then, please.
Mr Bones: Certainly… Amontillado?
McGough: Yes, I think Amonfillado, finely grown … well chosen from the casque of Pluto’s hills, cell’d deep within the vinous soil of Spain, wrench’d thence from fiery regions of the sun…
Mr Bones: Yes, yes sir. Just one bottle?
McGough: Just one bottle. Just one jot. Just one tittle. That’s the lot.
Mr Bones: There we are, sir. That’ll be a pound, please.
McGough: A pound a pound and all around abound A pound found found Lost lost the cost till was’t embossed…
Mr Bones: Excuse me, sir.
McGough: Yes, good victualler, nature’s trencherman, mine honest tapster…
Mr Bones: I was just wondering. Are you a poet?
McGough: No, no, I’m a solicitor… well versed within the written law of man, can in those who need…
Mr Bones: Oh shut up.
McGough: I’m sorry. I’m afraid I’ve caught poetry.
Mr Bones: Oh really? Well, don’t worry, sir- I used to suffer from short stories.
McGough: Really? When?
Mr Bones: Oh, once upon a time… there lived in Wiltshire a young Chap called Dennis Moore. Now Dennis was a highwayman by profession…
(we ripple through to Dennis Moore riding along with a big bag of swag) … and for several months he had been stealing from the rich to give to the poor. One day…
(Mix through to a shot of Dennis Moore arriving with another bag of goodies. The peasants who greet him are by now very smartly dressed and the cottage has been refurbished.)
Moore: Here we are again, Mr Jenkins.
(Dennis leaves the bag and wheels his horse around) There we are… I’ll be back.
(he rides off again purposefuly)
(Cut to ballroom, in fact it is the same one featured in ‘Dennis Moore Rides Again‘. The walls are bare and the people are down to their undergarments. They sit around the table gnawing pieces of bread and dipping them in a watery soup. The central bowl of soup contains a lupin.)
Buckingham: Meanwhile Frederick William bushy engaged in defending against the three great powers the province of Silesia…
Grantley: …which he had seized in the War of the Austrian succession against his word.
First Lady: Yes, I remember.
Man: …was now dependent on Pitt’s subsidies.
(Moore swings in through the window. They all respond to him with listless moans of disappointment.)
Moore: My lords, my ladies, on your feet, please.
(he is ignored and therefore says commandingly) I must ask you to do exactly as I say or I shall be forced to shoot you right between the eyes.
(they stand up hurriedly) Well not right between the eyes, I mean when I say between the eyes, obviously I don’t have to be that accurate, I mean, if I hit you in that sort of area, like that, obviously, that’s all right for me, I mean, I don’t have to try and sort of hit a point bisecting a line drawn between your pupils or anything like that. I mean, from my point of view, it’s perfectly satisfactory…
First Lady: What do you want? Why are you here?
Moore: Why are any of us here? I mean, when you get down to it, it’s all so meaningless, isn’t it, I mean what do any of us want…
Buckingham: No, no, what do you want now?
Moore: Oh I see, oh just the usual things, a little place of my own, the right girl…
Grantley: No, no, no! What do you want from us?
Moore: Oh sorry. Um, your gold, your silver, your jewellery.
Buckingham: You’ve taken it all.
First Lady: This is all we’ve got left.
Moore: That’s nice. I’ll have them. Come on.
(he takes all the spoons)
Buckingham: You’d better take the bloody lupin too.
Moore: Thank you very much, I’ve gone through that stage.
(he grabs the rope and swings out again)
(Short montage of Dennis riding accompanied by the song.)
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
(He leaps off his home and runs to the door of the hut, throws the door open and enters. The little hut is now stuffed with all possible signs of wealth and all imaginable treasures.)
Male Peasant: What you got for us today then.
Moore: Well I’ve managed to find you four very nice silver spoons Mr Jenkins.
Male Peasant: (snatching them rudely) Who do you think you are giving us poor this rubbish?
Female Peasant: Bloody silver. Won’t have it in the house.
(throws it away) And those candlesticks you got us last week were only sixteen carat.
Male Peasant: Yes, why don’t you go out and steal something nice like some Venetian silver.
Female Peasant: Or a Velasquez for the outside loo.
Moore: Oh all right.
(Usual montage of Dennis Moore riding plus song.)
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Riding through the land
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Without a merry band
He steals from the poor and gives to the rich
(Dennis Moore reins to sudden halt and rides over to camera.)
Moore: What did you sing?
Singers: (speaking) We sang… he steals from the poor and gives to the rich.
Moore: Wait a tic … blimey, this redistribution of wealth is trickier than I thought.
(Women’s institute applause.)