Series 4, Episode 43: Father-in-law
The sketch:To lyrical music the camera pans across the road, and comes across a couple making love on the pavement. Pedestrians step over them.
Carol Oh Robert, tell me I’m beautiful.
Robert Oh you are, you are!
Carol Oh Robert, do you mean that?
Robert Of course I do.
Carol Tou’re not just saying that because I asked you?
Robert Of course not.
Carol Oh Robert … Robert, are you sure it doesn’t put you off?
Carol My father wanting to come and live with us.
Robert No, of course I don’t mind your father coming to live with us.
Carol He wouldn’t just be living with us.
Robert What do you mean?
Carol Well, he finds it very difficult to get to sleep on his own, so I said he could sleep with us.
Robert He wants to put his bed in our room?
Carol No, no, of course not.
Robert Oh good…
Carol Our bed is plenty big enough for three…
Carol He’d just get into bed and go to sleep.
Robert No. I’m not having that.
Carol Oh Robert, I thought you loved me?
Robert Well I do, but…
Carol Well, he wouldn’t look.
Robert He’s bound to peek.
Carol No, no, he wouldn’t honestly.
Robert No! No! No!!
Cut to the three of them in bed. Robert is in the middle. Father wears striped pyjamas, the others are nude. There is an uncomfortable silence.
Father You young couple just carry on. Take no notice of me … (silence; they smile half-heartedly) I don’t want to feel as though I’m getting in the way.
Carol Oh no dad, you’re not.
Robert No, no.
Carol Well, I think I’ll get to sleep.
Father Are you sure?
Carol Oh yes, I’m a bit tired after the wedding.
Father Bob, what about you?
Robert Oh yes, all right, yes.
Father Oh well, I seem to be O/C lights.
Carol (to Robert) Good night, darling.
Robert Good night.
Father Good night!
He switches the light off. It is pitch dark. There is a long pause, then a strange scraping noise like a pencil being sharpened. The scraping is followed by sawing and is eventually replaced by short sharp knocking sounds. This goes on for some time.
Carol Father. Father, what are you doing?
Father I’m making a boat.
Father It’s the Cutty Sark. It’s a model I’ve been making in the dark for some years now.
Carol Well, wouldn’t it be better with the light on?
Father No, no, I’m making it in the dark, that’s the point.
There is a click. The light goes on. He looks disappointed. In his hands is a completely shapeless mass of wood and nails.
Father Oh dear, not as accurate as I thought.
Robert It’s not the Cutty Sark!
Father Well it hasn’t got its sails yet. Oh well I’ll … I’ll have a look at it in the dark room in the morning. Good night. (grunts from the others who are already snuggling down; lights go off; silence)