AA

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Stephen, Hugh and others are sitting around a large room. It is an AA session. Hugh is chairing the discussion. His chair is at the head, the others are grouped around him. He clears his throat.

Hugh Peter, would you like to start?

Man (Stands) My names is Peter Bales and I'm an alcoholic. I last had a drink two years, seven weeks and three days ago. (Sits to sympathetic murmurs and congratulations.)

Man 2 (Stands) My name in William Gerard. I'm an alcoholic. I haven't drunk for five months and six days. (Sits)

Woman 1 (Stands) My name is Andrea Mclean and I'm an alcoholic. I last had a drink two days ago. I'm sorry. (Sits to sympathy)

Hugh OK Andrea, no problem. We'll talk about it later. Camera has arrived at Stephen who appears to be reluctant to speak. He is shy and embarrassed.

Hugh Would our new member like to speak?

Stephen Um ...

Hugh I know it can be very hard; but everyone here at AA will tell you that the first thing to do is to face your problem. To give it a name.

Stephen Yes, I see that.

Hugh Until you can stand up and say it, we can't help you.

Stephen Right.

Hugh I'm sure the others can confirm that AA is about confidence and about sharing. OK?

Stephen Right. (Deep breath) My problem is basically that the starter motor seems to get stuck. Especially in cold weather. Pause.

Hugh Mm. Have you tried putting it in first gear and rocking it back and forwards?

Stephen Yes. Yes I have.

Hugh We'll send someone round as soon as possible.

Stephen Thank you.

Hugh (Handing Stephen a hip flask) Have a drink while you're waiting.

Vox Pop

Stephen Now when I was at school we had real headmasters. Not clever left-wing scholars in oh-so-smart Trotskyite sandals and Stalinist trousers. Proper, straight-down the-line honest-to-goodness schoolmasters. They didn't indoc- trinate me with a lot of left-wing crap-trap. They indoctrinated me with a lot of right-wing crap-trap. They may have stroked my thighs slightly more than is con- sidered fashionable these days, but they were proper schoolmasters.

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