Series 4, Episode 42: Woody and Tinny Words
SECOND PLANNERMichael Palin
SECURITY MANTerry Gilliam
- Exterior, a large, tasteful, Georgian rich person’s house with extensive gardens beautifully tended, croquet hoops on the lawn — all in superb taste, nothing vulgar. The sun shines tastefully. The atmosphere is calm. Birds sing. Sound of lawnmowers and cricket in the distance. Laughter from the tennis court. Sound of gardener sharpening spades in the potting shed. Out of vision, a Red Indian struggles to free himself from the rope bonds that bind him. We hear `Where does a dream begin’ being played on a cracked record.
Egypt crossed out
Ecuador crossed out
Ethiopia crossed out
The caption fades and we cut to an upper-class drawing room. Father, mother and daughter having tea. Four motionless servants stand behind them.
Father I say …
Daughter Yes, daddy?
Father Croquet hoops look damn pretty this afternoon.
Daughter Frightfully damn pretty.
Mother They’re coming along awfully well this year.
Father Yes, better than your Aunt Lavinia’s croquet hoops.
Daughter Ugh! — dreadful tin things.
Mother I did tell her to stick to wood.
Father Yes, you can’t beat wood … Gorn!
Mother What’s gorn dear?
Father Nothing, nothing, I just like the word. It gives me confidence. Gorn… gorn. It’s got a sort of woody quality about it. Gorn. Gorn. Much better than `newspaper’ or `litterbin’.
Daughter Frightful words.
Mother Perfectly dreadful.
Father Ugh! Newspaper!… litterbin… dreadful tinny sort of words. Tin, tin, tin.
The daughter bursts into tears.
Mother Oh, dear, don’t say `tin’ to Rebecca, you know how it upsets her.
Father (to the daughter) Sorry old horse.
Father Sausage … there’s a good woody sort of word, `sausage’ … gorn.
Father Where? On the lawn? (he picks up a rifle)
Daughter No, no, daddy … just the word.
Father Don’t want an antelope nibbling the hoops.
Daughter No, antelope … sort of nice and woody type of thing.
Mother Don’t think so, Becky old chap.
Father No, no, `antelope’, `antelope’ — tinny sort of word (the daughter bursts into tears) Oh! Sorry old man …
Mother Really, Mansfield.
Father Well, she’s got to come to terms with these things… seemly… prodding… vacuum… leap…
Daughter (miserably) Hate leap.
Mother Perfectly dreadful.
Daughter Sort of PVC-y sort of word, don’t you know.
Mother Now you’re talking.
Father Bound … Vole … Recidivist.
Mother Bit tinny. (the daughter howls) Oh! Sorry, Becky old beast. (the daughter runs out crying)
Father Oh dear, suppose she’ll be gorn for a few days now.
Father Splendid word.
Mother No dear … nibbling the hoops.
Father (he fires a shot) Caribou gorn.
Mother (laughs politely)
Mother Later, dear.
Father No, no, the word, `intercourse’ — good and woody… inter… course… pert… pert thighs… botty, botty, botty…
(the mother leaves the room)
…erogenous …zone …concubine …erogenous zone! Loose woman …erogenous zone…
(the mother returns and throws a bucket of water over him)
Oh thank you, dear… you know, it’s a funny thing, dear… all the naughty words sound woody.
Mother Really, dear? … How about tit?
Father Oh dear, I hadn’t thought about that. Tit. Tit. Oh, that’s very tinny isn’t it?
(the daughter returns)
Ugh! Tinny, tinny…
(the daughter runs out crying)
Oh dear… ocelot… wasp… yowling… Oh dear, I’m bored… I’d better go and have a bath, I suppose.
Mother Oh really, must you dear? You’ve had nine today.
Father All right, I’ll sack one of the servants… Simkins!… nasty tinny sort of name. Simkins! (he exits)
A pilot from the RAF banter scene enters.
I say, mater, cabbage crates coming over the briny.
Mother (frowns and shakes her head) Sorry dear, don’t understand.
Pilot Er… cowcatchers creeping up on the conning towers…
Mother No… sorry… old sport.
Pilot Caribou nibbling at the croquet hoops.
Mother Yes, Mansfield shot one in the antlers.
Pilot Oh, jolly good show. Is ‘Becca about?
Mother No, she’s gorn off.
Pilot What a super woody sort of phrase. `Gorn orff’.
Mother Yes, she’s gorn orff because Mansfield said `tin’ to her.
Pilot Oh, what rotten luck … oh well … whole afternoon to kill … better have a bath I suppose.
Mother Oh, Gervaise do sing me a song …
Pilot Oh, OK.
Mother Something woody.
The pilot launches into a quite enormously loud rendering of `She’s going to marry Yum Yum’ from the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta ‘The Mikado’. The impact of this on the mother causes her to have a heart attack. She dies and the song ends.
Pilot For… she’s going to marry Yum Yum… oh crikey. The old song finished her orff.
Father (entering) What’s urp?
Pilot I’m afraid Mrs Vermin Jones appears to have passed orn.
Father Dead, is she?
Pilot ‘Fraid so.
Father What a blow for her.