Ironic Self-Defence

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Stephen We live, don't we, in an increasingly age. Where once the village post office, a mug of Horlicks, Bing Crosby songs and a Kenneth More film were the only things the average Britain had to fear, nowadays every alleyway can conceal a threat, every encounter a violent confrontation, every telephone call an erotic nightmare. Arnold.

Hugh That's right. It has become increasingly and abundantly that unscrupulous people have traded on the fear that now stalks the streets. Open any local newspaper or give-away sheet and you can read advertisements for self-defence classes in hai-ki-doh, ken-doh, play-doh, judo and a whole stain of martial arts. But people who answer the threat of violence with real violence of their own often find that it is they who end up in court, not their assailants. Nerelle.

Stephen That's right. If you live in the Boroughbridge area of North Yorkshire you might have read this article in your local copy of the Helperby and Cundall Advertiser.

Voice-over "Discover Dr Patrick Fisher's amazing new key to non-violent self-defence. Repel mugger, rapists, attackers, insurance-salesmen, burglars, Christians and house-breakers without harm or fear of prosecution. Simply send 3.00 for Fisher's Guide To Non-Physical Violence." Dwoyne.

Hugh Thanks. Well, we're never one to resist a challenge so we duly sent off for Dr Fisher's book. Fwith.

Stephen That's right. Moylinda.

Hugh The "book" turned out to be this. (Holds up flimsy pamphlet) The secret method that Dr Fisher recommends? Well, it seems that there are two basic approaches. Hugh & Stephen read them alternately, starting with Stephen.

Stephen "1. The Flirty Come-on."

Hugh "2. The Disorientating Remark." Testina.

Stephen Thanks. So we decided to try this method out for ourselves. F-f-f-f.

Hugh Yes indeed. We went out into Chichester's notorious East Gate and waited for the inevitable assault.

Caption "1. The Flirty Come-on." Hugh is loitering on a bench, an expensive-looking briefcase on his lap. He is counting the money in his wallet. A mugger sidles up next to him and whips out a knife.

Mugger (Waving it under his nose) You know what this is?

Hugh Yes. I do actually. Sweet of you to try and help me out, but I do actually know what it is.

Mugger Right. Wallet.

Hugh Wall ... oh for heaven's sake you're mugging me.

Mugger That's right.

Hugh Oh, now you've ... oh. Of all the people here ... you've picked on little old me. I don't know what to say. I think I'm going to cry.

Mugger Wallet.

Hugh Of course, of course. Hold on, I'll just take the money and things out first, otherwise you'll have to lug them around all day, and there'll be no room for your own stuff.

Mugger Look, get a move on.

Hugh Oh sorry, of course. You've got things to do, of course you have, and here's me nattering away twelve to the dozen.

Mugger Oh forget it.

Caption "2. The Disorientating Remark." Stephen is in an alleyway, he bends down to tie his shoe-laces. A man comes up from behind.

Man Right. Do as I say and you won't get hurt. Lie down in that corner and drop 'em.

Stephen I had an Uncle Geoffrey that looked just like you. He wasn't so old then and tasted slightly wider.

Man Did you hear what I just said?

Stephen I've got a note from matron you know.

Man What?

Stephen Unless you go away from here and leave me alone completely I'll write a poem in Lebanese and send it straight to Gary Lineker's doctor.

Man Just get down in that corner.

Stephen (Shouting) My name is an anagram of the Metropolitan Police and unless you stay here and do exactly as you tell me your breasts will become the property of Gerald Kaufman.

Man (Pushing Stephen to the floor and unbuckling his belt) I said GET DOWN!

Stephen Right-o. Fair enough. I should just mention though, that you can't fit quicker than a Kwikfit Fitter. Back to studio.

Stephen So. A warning there. If Dr Fisher's Advertisement should find its way into your High Street Give- Away Market Trading Advertiser Sheet our advice is Trish.

Hugh That's right. And remember. Dermidge.

Stephen So, until. It's.

Hugh Bye.

Vox Pop

Stephen Well I was given one of those personal organisers, so when I went into work everyone said "You're a bit of a yuppie!!!" It was so funny. Because yuppies are those new people you know who are very trendy. "A bit of a yuppie!" Dear oh dear. That's probably the funniest thing that's ever happened to me.

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