Jewellry

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Hugh enters a jewellry shop. Stephen is polishing the back of his hand, for no particular reason, other than that it is screamingly funny.

Hugh Er, good morning.

Stephen Sir, it is a good morning. Sir is handsomely right to say so.

Hugh Yes.

Stephen Is sir aware, I am busy wondering, that I made so bold to remark on the goodness of the morning to the youngest of my mothers earlier today as she wheeled me into an upright position. Was sir in an awareness of that?

Hugh No ... no I had no idea.

Stephen "Here is a morning, mother of my bosom," I averred, "as fine and crisp and gutty as any since the days when Compton and Edrich opened for England and the sun never went down on the British without asking permission first."

Hugh Ha, did you?

Stephen I did, sir! Sir, I did. And if two broad-shouldered, long-fingered men such as ourselves can come independently to the conclusion that the morning they are currently experiencing is one of a goodness, then one of a goodness it must assuredly be.

Hugh Really?

Stephen Yes, sir, and you can spank me quietly with a chamois leather if it isn't so.

Hugh Right, now ...

Stephen But sir hasn't come to trade insults on the state of the morning unless I am more vastly mistaken than a man who thinks Hilaire Belloc is still alive. Do sit down. They both sit.

Hugh No, I've ...

Stephen Sir has brought his handsomely sprung and finely wrought young body into this shop with the express purpose of going about the business of buying jewellry. Am I close to the mark?

Hugh Absolutely. Stephen stands.

Stephen Do you mind if I stand, sir? I think perhaps this "sitting down" idea of yours was a little ahead of its time.

Hugh (Also standing) Right. Yes. The thing is I'm getting engaged and I'd ...

Stephen Would sir like an Opal Fruit?

Hugh Um ...

Stephen A nice strawberry Opal Fruit? Or indeed any flavour?

Hugh Thank you.

Stephen (Reaching for his hat) I won't be long.

Hugh Where are you going?

Stephen There's a sweet-shop not half a mile up the road. I happen to know that they sell Opal Fruits.

Hugh Well in that case, really don't bother.

Stephen Don't bother?

Hugh No, really.

Stephen Is sir in absolute possession of sureness in this regard?

Hugh Look. I really only came in here for jewellry, I thought if you happened to have an Opal Fruit on you ...

Stephen (Feeling about on the top of his head) "On" me? Sir I have no Opal Fruit "on" me. I can and will go further, I have never had an Opal Fruit on me. Eccentric, no doubt. Look, sir can search my head if sir in unconvinced.

Hugh Look, forget the Opal Fruit. The Opal Fruit is irrelevant. I want an engagement ring. Can we concentrate on that?

Stephen Sir, I am chastened and bowed. Ever the man of affairs, sir has reminded us all, all of our duty. An engagement ring for sir.

Hugh That's right.

Stephen What flavour of engagement ring had sir in mind?

Hugh Flavour? What are you talking about?

Stephen Just my little joke. You'll humour a dying man. We have a range of engagement rings that I would ask sir to cast over with sir's eyes, which I cannot help but notice are of a startling cobalt blue that would go very well with the wallpaper in one of my god-niece's back rooms.

Hugh (Leaving) Right, that's it. I'm leaving. Stephen comes round with a range of engagement rings and blocks Hugh's egress.

Stephen What about this one?

Hugh What?

Stephen What about this one?

Hugh It's rather nice, I suppose.

Stephen Sir, the issue of the rather niceness of this particular ring has been raised in Prime Minister's Question Time.

Hugh How much is it?

Stephen I would be wrong to let it go for more than forty thousand of your earth pounds.

Hugh Forty thousand pounds!

Stephen I would be equally at fault if I let it go for less than ninety.

Hugh So it's between forty thousand pounds and ninety.

Stephen Sir is as dogged in his pursuit of detail as Roy Walker, presenter of the never-popular show Catchphrase is dogged in his pursuit of a thick earlet.

Hugh Perhaps you could, in preference to me walking out of here after hitting you very hard in the face, just tell me the frigging price.

Stephen Since sir has been kind enough never to be Peter Sissons I can let sir have it for two hundred and eighteen poundingtons.

Hugh 218?

Stephen If you wish. And if sir will oblige me by promising never to wear green again I will throw in this for nothing. He brings out a velvet jewellry tray with a strawberry Opal Fruit as its centrepiece.

Hugh An Opal Fruit.

Stephen Yes, indeeding. A fruit of the genuine Opal persuasion. Perhaps sir will desist from ripping the kidneys from my nerveless frame if I offer him a taste to authenticate its strawberriness.

Hugh No, no. I believe you.

Stephen May I instead then, pausing only to pause ... Pause. ... congratulate you on your excellent taste?

Hugh Thank you.

Stephen Sir, I was talking to the Opal Fruit. Strawberrine but with a faint tang of small urine.

Hugh Yes, yes. Quite so. Two hundred and eighteen pounds.

Stephen Two hundred and eighteen pounds that should be.

Hugh That's what I said.

Stephen That's what you said. I barely spoke at all.

Hugh Just put it in a presentation box if you would.

Stephen No need. I'll wear it now.

Hugh What?

Stephen And I really think you should speak to my father now, darling. He's upstairs in the cellar.

Hugh Right. I really am leaving, now.

Stephen Leaving?

Hugh Goodbye.

Stephen But we're engaged! Hugh leaves. Stephen turns to camera. Men are such bastards.

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