Spies/Pigeons

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Hugh knocks and enters the spies' office. It is empty, but the window is open.

Hugh Morning Control, I was just ... oh. He looks round the office, disappointed. He is about to leave when the phone on Control's desk starts ringing; Hugh is unsure about answering it, but eventually does. Hello, this is the Secret Service ... No, I'm afraid Control's not here at the moment, who is this please? Oh hello Mrs Control ... No it's rather strange. I just popped into Control's office to see if he'd like a cup of coffee, because it's nearly eleven o'clock, and there's no one here ... I can't think where he can have got to. I agree with you, Mrs Control, that he'll probably turn up. Bye bye. He hangs up, just as Stephen enters.

Stephen Hello Tony.

Hugh Control, there you are. I was beginning to worry.

Stephen Oh?

Hugh Mrs Control has just been on the telephone, and between me and Mrs Control, neither of us seemed to know where you were.

Stephen Ah. Well let me explain, Tony. But let me first ask whether you notice anything unusual about the office?

Hugh Let's see. The only thing that struck me about it was that you weren't in it, Control. Apart from that ...

Stephen What about the window, Tony?

Hugh The window, of course! The window always used to be slightly further to the left!

Stephen Not quite, Tony.

Hugh Oh. It was a bit of a guess, actually.

Stephen No, the window is in the same place that it's always been. I know we talked about moving it, and you very kindly looked into the feasibility of the whole thing, but after a while I had to make the difficult decision that that particular game just wasn't worth the candle.

Hugh Yes, and after you'd made that decision, I remember you talked at some length about what you saw as the loneliness of command.

Stephen That's right, Tony. No, what's unusual about the window is that it's open.

Hugh You're right, Control. Is this is some way connected to your not having been in the office earlier on?

Stephen Yes, Tony, it is. You see, I fell out of the window.

Hugh Control, I can only say how sorry I am, and ask whether you were hurt in any way.

Stephen To my surprise, Tony, I am in fact not hurt at all.

Hugh Well that is something of a blessing anyway.

Stephen Yes, you're right.

Hugh Because one of the other things about being Control, I've always thought, is that your office is on the sixth floor, so that in the event of something like this happening, you have got slightly further to fall than if you were in the Record department which is located on the first floor of this building.

Stephen Very similar thoughts were going through my mind, Tony, as I travelled towards the pavement with gathering speed.

Hugh But how did this whole sorry business come about, Control?

Stephen Tony, I've a confession to make. One of the things I like to do before you kindly bring me my morning coffee is feed the pigeons who perch on my window sill.

Hugh Control, I can't say I'm surprised. There had been some rumour in the canteen to that effect.

Stephen Well then, I'm glad to be able to silence those wagging tongues one way or another. I do feed the pigeons, and it was while I was doing this that I fell out of the window.

Hugh Control, I think I can picture the scene. There you were, at the open window, so engrossed in what you were doing that you neglected not to fall out of the window. Am I fairly near the mark?

Stephen Spot on, Tony.

Hugh I thought so. And I'll tell you another thing that has resulted from this whole adventure.

Stephen What's that?

Hugh It's after 11 o'clock and you've not had your coffee.

Stephen You're right. Huh. It never rains but it pours, eh Tony?

Hugh Yes, Control, but quite often it rains and pours at the same time.

Stephen Yes. Well on your way to the coffee-making area, could you ask Valerie to pop out and apologise to the old lady who was selling flowers outside the main entrance.

Hugh I'll certainly do that, Control. Did she happen to be the unlucky one who broke your fall?

Stephen No. She was fortunate in that respect, Tony. But she might be a little upset that her young grandson did.

Hugh Fair enough, Control. Tell you what then. She might welcome a cup of coffee too!

Stephen Good thinking, Tony. B-bye!

Hugh B-bye.

Vox Pop

Hugh Both of them. Stark naked and at it like knives. BBC 1 at seven o'clock in the evening. It was disgusting. I don't know what that David Attenborough thinks he's about.

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