Dammit 1

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Stephen and Hugh are pacing the boardroom.

Stephen Dammit Peter.

Hugh John?

Stephen Dammit four times round the car park and back in for another dammit.

Hugh Do I get the feeling that something's on your mind, John?

Stephen Come on, Peter, you know what the hell I'm talking about.

Hugh At a guess I'd say that this had something to do with the DDL Enterprises takeover bid?

Stephen You know it's funny, Peter. Four years. Four hard years I've put into building up this Health Club. And now I'm supposed to stand by and let a bunch of wet-arsed college kids take it all away from me.

Hugh I know, John.

Stephen If only Marjorie hadn't left us the way she did ...

Hugh Marjorie? Hell John, you can't go blaming yourself for that. You and Marjorie had ...

Stephen Had what, Peter? A marriage that was nothing more than a bad joke, and not even a very good one?

Hugh You made some mistakes, John, that's all. You and Marjorie had different ideas about where the company was headed. End of story.

Stephen But dammit, Marjorie was good, Peter.

Hugh A good wife, or a good business partner?

Stephen Is there a difference, Peter?

Hugh I hope so, John.

Stephen And now, while we're up to our arses in a major takeover scrap, she's sunning herself in the South of France.

Hugh South of Wales actually, John.

Stephen Well, wherever the blue-rinsed hell she is. Oh what a damned fool I've been.

Hugh John, listen to me, this is no time for you to start feeling sorry for yourself.

Stephen But dammit all sideways, Peter ...

Hugh John. Do something for me. Take a look out of this window.

Stephen What is this, Peter? Some sort of game?

Hugh No game, John. Look out there and tell me what you see.

Stephen I see a car park.

Hugh Well that's funny, John. Because the last time you looked out of that window, you saw an idea. Don't you remember?

Stephen Yes. I remember.

Hugh I thought so.

Stephen I remember thinking that that would be the best place for the car park.

Hugh Dammit John, I'm talking about the big idea. The dream that you and I shared. The dream of a health club that would put Uttoxeter on the goddamned map once and for all.

Stephen Yeah, well maybe ...

Hugh Maybe? Maybe? I don't believe I'm hearing this. What the hell's happened to the old John?

Stephen We pulled it down when we built the car park.

Hugh Dammit John, you're not hearing me.

Stephen Peter I ...

Hugh Don't Peter I me! We've got that close. And you're going to lie down and just walk away.

Stephen Peter, don't hassle me. I'm tired.

Hugh Tired be damned!

Stephen A man's got to know when he's licked, Peter. And I know the feeling. I've been licked before.

Hugh The Lord's Saints preserve us.

Stephen Did I ever tell you about the time Marjorie licked me? Licked me good and proper? Well I've got the same feeling now, Peter, and it's sore. Maybe it's time to move on.

Hugh John. I'm going to tell you what I see out of this window.

Stephen Is this another of your games, Peter?

Hugh Same game, John. Different rules. (Looking out) I see Tom and Sally and Debbie ...

Stephen I thought Sally was off with the flu ...

Hugh Exactly, John! Exactly! But she's come in today because she believes in you! God knows why! She believes in what you're trying to do here in Uttoxeter. And you're going to just turn your back on those kids? You're going to walk away from ... dammit, I make no apology, a vision?

Stephen Dammit Peter, maybe you're right.

Hugh You're damn right maybe I'm right.

Stephen Damn, double damn, and an extra pint of damn for the weekend.

Hugh Daaaaamn!

Stephen Right, Peter.

Hugh Damn?

Stephen Get a fax over to Cliff at Harlinson's. Extraordinary General Meeting, 3.00p.m. today. Call Janet, and see if we can pull Martin in from ... where the hell is Martin?

Hugh High Wycombe.

Stephen And get Sarah in here. We've got an agenda to work up.

Hugh Welcome back to the fight, John. Sorry if I was a little rough on you back there.

Stephen Hell, Peter, I deserved it. I was a damned fool.

Hugh And if Marjorie calls ... ?

Stephen If Marjorie calls ... (Pause) Tell her I'm busy.

Hugh DAAAAAAMN!

Vox Pop

Hugh Moira Stewart ... and Jill Gascoigne ... neither of them wrote back. Can you believe these people? I mean how much trouble can it be to just bung a pair of stockings in the post?

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