European Deal

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Hugh, Stephen and Mrs Carrybannerchief sit around a boardroom table. Stephen is the interpreter between Hugh and the woman.

Hugh First may I say what an honour this is for my company. I hope this will be the start of a long and fruitful business relationship. Now shall we begin? First of all, Mrs Carry Bannerchief.

Stephen Tistrada mempot cloonystart, wekwester memenchyfud, lililili hi mau Carrybannerchief ...

Hugh My company ...

Stephen Hip lokerbelly wimey wimey bobular custole fiper ...

Hugh Would ...

Stephen Stisterharbulan cotrotty bububub whesker ...

Hugh ... like ...

Stephen Marpy fanholer crikerbomb yelymasterman incy gobtratter ...

Hugh ... to tie up a European deal with your company.

Stephen Ti.

Hugh But I hope you'll agree ...

Stephen Wop bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum ...

Hugh That the price must be fair to both parties.

Stephen Linhakky tutular ... er ...

Hugh Problem?

Stephen I'm afraid there's no such word as price in Strom.

Hugh Oh. Er ... cost?

Stephen Not really.

Woman (Worried) Hinty p-pepular?

Stephen (Reassuring her) Streen hathock.

Hugh You must have a word for the amount that is to be paid for something.

Stephen Not really. There's "hifty bewn-hate".

Hugh What does that mean?

Stephen It means price in the sense of "exploding vest".

Hugh There's no sense in which price means exploding vest.

Stephen It's the closest we get.

Hugh All right - the exploding vest must be fair to both parties.

Stephen Hifty bewn-hate. Happy hip-wipe.

Woman Niling clover bolips weethle-fwisk prenty arse.

Stephen That's perfectly sofa factory.

Hugh Now - any long-term contracts? Stephen & woman laugh.

Stephen Long-term contracts - ha ha ha.

Hugh Wha ...

Stephen You see "long-term contracts" in Strom means "wee-wee".

Hugh Really?

Stephen Yes ... ha ha ha.

Hugh Yes, well, the only thing left is the outstanding "long-term contracts", ha ha, for after sales service.

Stephen What?

Hugh After sales service. Woman stands up looking furious.

Woman Fudd nob. She smacks Hugh hard in the face and stalks out of the room.

Hugh What!!!???

Stephen I do apologise.

Hugh What on earth did she do that for?

Stephen Well I think that she is not so happy that you would be insulting her.

Hugh All I said was "after sales service". Stephen slaps Hugh.

Stephen So you do speak Strom after all.

Hugh No. What does it mean?

Stephen What?

Hugh After sales service.

Stephen Ah well. I could show you, but I'd have to have a goat and four pairs of Marigold washing-up gloves.

Hugh Oh dear.

Stephen Oh you really are cruising for a bruising.

Hugh Now what? What does "dear" mean?

Stephen In Strom, dear means a large animal with wet noses, the soft brown eyes, and the antlings. I suggest you speak with your principals, and I will go and try and placate Mrs Carrybannerchief.

The set is empty. There is a longish pause.Caption: "I expect they'll be back in a minute"Pause.Caption: "Oh dear"Pause.Caption: "In a way, it's surprising that this doesn't happen more often."Pause.Caption: "After all, rooms spend a lot of their time being empty, don't they?"Pause.Caption: "Not that this is a real room, of course."Pause.Caption: "I mean, since there's nothing else going on you might as well take a peek round the sides." The camera slowly pans off the set and shows a bit of wall. It return to the centre and looks off the other side. We catch a glimpse of the rear of a naked man just slipping behind a flat. Camera returns to the centre again.Caption: "There's an audience as well"The camera goes all the way round and looks at the audience. Returns to the room.We hear Hugh and Stephen re-entering the set.

Hugh (Off camera) Ah. Any luck with Mrs Vetsach?

Stephen (Off camera) I'm afraid she's inconsolable. Caption: "Hello. Sounds like they're off again." The camera pans round to the set again: Hugh and Stephen are back.

Hugh Well this is more than a little embarrassing. I'd certainly hoped to have this entire deal wrapped up by the end of today.

Stephen You don't know where to stop. Caption: "There's quite a good film on the other side, if you're interested." Pause. Caption: "I think it's got Rod Steiger in it." Pause. Caption: "And I believe there's a thriller on Channel Four."

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