Golf

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Hugh and Caroline are at a table, having tea with their son Terry, ten years old.

Caroline Something wrong, dear?

Terry Nah.

Caroline You're not eating your tea.

Terry Not hungry.

Hugh Watch it.

Terry What?

Hugh Not hungry. Jesus.

Terry Can't I have an apple?

Hugh No you can't.

Terry But ...

Hugh But? But? No buts in this house, my lad. In this house, we leave our buts outside, where they belong. Alright?

Caroline Eat some of your Pepsi-flavoured chocolate crisps, dear, and then we'll see about some apples ...

The door bell goes. Caroline gets up and goes out.

Hugh Not hungry.

Terry Well I'm not ...

Hugh I'll decide whether you're hungry or not, thank you very much for cleaning my car. The door opens and Caroline comes in with Patrick.

Caroline Mr Furkiss, father.

Patrick Hello.

Hugh I see, I see. Can he state his business, this Mr Furkiss, or is he going to stand there all night like an over-filled bin- liner?

Caroline Father ...

Hugh I speak as I find, Mr Furkiss. You'll realise that, as you get to know me. Now then. What's on your mind you wide-arsed git?

Caroline At least let the man sit down, father.

Hugh Mr Furkiss can do his talking standing up, mother. We had to, at his age.

Patrick Well now, I'm glad that Terry's here for this ...

Hugh Well where else would he be, eh? Tea-time on a Wednesday. Ram- raiding old ladies in the High Street, is that what you think?

Patrick Not at all ...

Hugh I should think not at all ...

Caroline Mr Furkiss is from the school, father. He teaches Terry's form.

A pause and then Hugh jumps to his feet.

Hugh Mr Furkiss, for goodness' sake sit down. Will you take some tea with us? Mother, freshen this tea-pot up with fresh tea, will you? Mr Furkiss teaches at Terry's school ...

Patrick No tea, thank you.

Hugh Pepsi-flavoured chocolate crisp?

Patrick Well perhaps a little one ...

Hugh Mother, fetch up the littlest crisp you can find, and some of our smallest cutlery to go with it. Caroline busies herself. Now then, Mr Furkiss, will you take a pipe of rough shag with me over here by the radiator?

Patrick Thank you, no. I really came to discuss Terry's progress at school.

Hugh He's not been making progress, has he? The little bugger. That lad'll feel the rough end of my watch strap before the day is over, Mr Furkiss, you have my word on it.

Patrick Well no, actually, he's not been making any progress. That's why I'm here.

Hugh Hello? Mother, this sounds like bad news ...

Caroline Just tell us, Mr Furkiss. Terry's no angel, we realise that. If he's done wrong, we'd like to know about it.

Patrick The truth is, Terry has been falling further and further behind with his golf.

Hugh Golf?

Caroline Golf?

Patrick As you know, he's got exams coming up at the end of this year, and I fear that Terry is going to fail his golf unless he bucks his ideas up pretty smartly.

Hugh I don't believe it ...

Patrick I'm afraid it's true.

Caroline But golf was always his strongest subject. He came top in golf last year ...

Patrick Exactly. That's why I wanted to come here, have a little chat, see if I couldn't find out what's been happening.

Hugh I don't understand it. We thought ... Patrick produces some cards.

Patrick These are the scores from his last three rounds, Mr Furkiss. As you can see, he shot an eighty-four last Wednesday, and a ninety this morning.

Hugh examines the cards.

Hugh Bloody Nora. An eight on the fourteenth? Eight? That's pathetic.

Patrick It is disappointing, I agree.

Caroline The fourteenth is the one ...

Patrick It's the dog-leg par four. Couple of sand traps, but well out of harm's way.

Hugh Two hundred and twelve yards from the medal tee. It's a piece of cake.

Patrick The rest of the form managed a six or better, and so you can imagine why I was concerned ...

Hugh Terry, you little bugger ...

Caroline Don't shout at him, father ...

Hugh I shout as I find, as you well know, mother.

Patrick Terry? What's happening? Is there something bothering you?

Terry No.

Patrick Are you sure? Nothing you'd like to tell me about?

Terry No.

Hugh Answer Mr Furkiss, Terry. He's come a long way on a dark afternoon for your benefit ...

Terry There's nothing wrong.

Caroline Well then why, Terry? Why an eight on the fourteenth.

Hugh He did it to spite us, can't you see? All the sacrifices we made, and he's throwing it back in our faces. He's an evil little bastard, that's what he is.

Terry I'm not. I just ...

Patrick You just what, Terry?

Terry Nothing.

Patrick You're slicing the ball much more than you used to. Why is that? Left hand too far over?

Hugh Cocks his wrists too early. I've always said it ...

Caroline Hush, father ...

Hugh Well he does, no getting round it ...

Terry I just ...

Patrick Yes?

Terry I just don't see the point, that's all.

Hugh Don't see the point? Don't see the point of what?

Terry Of golf.

Hugh Don't see the ... that's nice, isn't it? Your mother and I have sweated and sweated and sweated for you. We've sweated so much it's disgusting. Tell him, mother. Tell him how much you've sweated. Show him the stains on your blouse.

Caroline (pointing) There.

Hugh You'd better start pulling your ideas up, my boy. What are you going to do with your life if you fail golf, hm? What kind of prospects do you think there are out there for people who cock their wrists too early?

Terry I came top in French, didn't I?

Hugh French? French? I'll French you, young man.

Caroline No you won't, Father.

Hugh French, indeed.

Patrick The national curriculum is about the real world, Terry.

Hugh (examining reports) Bottom in golf. Bottom in Sonic Two. Bottom in Lemmings. Bottom in Disney studies. But when it comes to something cushy and of no practical use whatever ... mathematics, French, English ...

Caroline Oh Terry ...

Hugh So. A new regime for you, young man. It's the driving range and practice greens with every hour of daylight God sends. And in the evenings you will practice your Sonic Two and your Lemmings and you will study your Disney videos.

Terry But ...

Hugh Uh ... what did I tell you about buts? We do not bring our buts into the tea-lounge.

Terry Mum promised I could go to the library this evening.

Hugh Well, you should have thought of that before you started slicing the ball off the tee and shanking your approaches, shouldn't you? Now. Go inside and watch Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Hugh looks as Terry slouches off.

Caroline Don't you worry, Mr Furkiss, we'll keep an eye on him.

Patrick Oh good. He's a nice lad, Terry, be nice to see him get on in life.

Hugh Now then. What about that rough shag?

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