Inspector Venice

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

A woman answers the door. Hugh is standing there, in a raincoat and pork pie hat.

Hugh Good evening, Chief Inspector Venice, Burnham CID. May I come in?

Woman Of course you can, dear. It's your house. She turns and walks away, leaving the door open.

Hugh You stupid woman! You stupid bloody woman! Come back here! Are you mad? I could be anybody! I could be a maniac!

Woman You're my husband, dear.

Hugh How do you know that? I mean how do you know that? Have I produced any identification?

Woman No.

Hugh No, exactly.

Woman But ...

Hugh Ask to see my warrant card.

Woman (Sighs) Can I see your warrant card, dear?

Hugh Certainly madam. A very wise precaution, if I may say so. Hugh produces warrant card, and holds it under her nose.

Woman Good, now do you ...

Hugh Well look at it! You haven't even looked at it! Jesus, I could have bought this in Whitechapel, for all you know. I could be a maniac with a fake warrant card.

Woman Alright. "Chief Inspector ...

Hugh Don't leave the door open! God almighty! Use the chain, woman! What do you think it's there for? She closes door. Hugh stays outside which she reads the card.

Woman (Off) "Chief Inspector Venice, Burnham CID." She opens the door again. Now come in and have your dinner, dear.

Hugh Come in where?

Woman The kitchen.

Hugh I'm sorry. I have no authorisation to enter the kitchen.

Woman You don't need it. It's your kitchen.

Hugh Our kitchen, dear.

Woman Our kitchen.

Hugh You know perfectly well, I cannot enter our kitchen without your special permission.

Woman You have my permission.

Hugh Haven't you forgotten something, dear?

Woman What?

Hugh We agreed that we would both get telephone confirmation of the other's identity, before either of us gave special permission.

Woman Oh Christ.

Hugh Here's the telephone, dear. And remember. Better safe than cut up into tiny pieces by a maniac pretending to be me. She dials.

Woman Burnham CID? Have you got an Inspector Venice in your department? (Pause) Thank you very much indeed.

Hugh Well?

Woman They've never heard of you.

Hugh Damn. Anyway, what's for supper? Smells great.

Woman They've never heard of Inspector Venice.

Hugh Probably just a joke. We're always having jokes, down the station.

Woman You're not a policeman, are you?

Stephen No. No, I'm not.

Hugh What are you?

Stephen A maniac.

Vox Pop

Hugh Desmond Lynam. Yeah, Desmond Lynam. Roughly equivalent to Malcolm Muggeridge in old money.

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