We Haven't Met

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

A drinks party. Hugh approaches Stephen.

Hugh Hello. We haven't met, Terry Swale. My wife tells me that you're new to Yorkshire.

Stephen Yes, I'm a bit of a southerner, I'm afraid.

Hugh Whoops! Can't have that. (Laughs)

Stephen No! (Laughs) My mother's family came from Sheriff Hutton, though.

Hugh Ah, well perhaps there's some hope for you! (Laughs a great deal)

Stephen (Also laughing a great deal) Yes!

Hugh So.

Stephen Ng. Pause. (At length) I must say everyone seems very friendly.

Hugh Well it's not all whippets and cloth-caps, you know. (Laughs)

Stephen No. No. (Laughs)

Hugh We have heard of avocados and hot and cold running water. (Shrieks with laughter)

Stephen (Also laughing) Hot and cold running water! Avocados! That's lovely. So, you live ... ?

Hugh Boroughbridge way.

Stephen Ah, lovely.

Hugh Well, you know. We've got the Moors handy and the Dales. Ten minutes and you can be in York, Ripon or Harrogate. We like it.

Stephen Right. Lots of good air and lovely walks, I should imagine.

Hugh Ye-e-es. But we have all got cars, you know.

Stephen Well, naturally.

Hugh I mean it's not all fell-walking and climbing boots.

Stephen No. Right.

Hugh You should see some of the traffic we get in Thirsk and Harrogate.

Stephen Oh.

Hugh And the pollution in Leeds can rival anything you've got down south, we like to think.

Stephen Mm.

Hugh Oh yes. Sometimes takes me two hours to get to work there are so many cars.

Stephen Well, right. It can be terrible, can't it? I always used to go to work by bicycle when I was living in London.

Hugh You can't move in Ripon for bicycles. Worst bicycle jams in Britain.

Stephen Right. Still, it's a much better place to bring up the kids. I mean, quality of life and everything. Less of the seamier side of life to ...

Hugh We have heard of sex and violence up here, you know.

Stephen Well, obviously.

Hugh We like to think that there are more drug-related muggings, rapings and beatings in the Vale of York than anywhere outside America. See that woman over there? Sally Oldcastle. She runs the biggest crack ring in Europe. And what's more she's not stuck-up.

Stephen Good Lord. So there's not much that's different from London, really.

Hugh You said it, mate. Whatever they've got down south, there's more of it up here and it's cheaper and more expensive and you can't park.

Stephen Right, right. Well it's getting late, I think I'll just translocate myself home now.

Hugh Beg pardon?

Stephen I must translocate myself back home with my personal translocation podule.

Hugh What the hell's that?

Stephen Well it's basically just the same as a domestic translocation podule, but you wear it on your wrist, that's all.

Hugh Yeah, what does it do?

Stephen I punch in the grid coordinates of where I am now, then the coordinates of wherever it is I want to go, press the button on the side and hey presto.

Hugh Hey presto?

Stephen My molecular structure disintegrates and reassembles within a matter of seconds at my chosen destination.

Hugh Hang on, hang on ...

Stephen What?

Hugh You mean like Star Trek?

Stephen I'm sorry?

Hugh You mean you go all wobbly and then disappear?

Stephen My God.

Hugh What?

Stephen You mean you've never seen one of these before?

Hugh Er ...

Stephen They're all the rage down South. My daughter bought me this at a petrol station. It's the Sinclair version, but some of the Japanese ones are really fabulous.

Hugh Wait a minute.

Stephen What?

Hugh If you've all got these things ...

Stephen Yes?

Hugh What do you need petrol stations for?

Stephen For everlasting life.

Hugh I'm sorry.

Stephen Everlasting life. They discovered it a couple of years ago in Southampton. If you drink a gallon of petrol every day, you'll live for ever. You must have heard that?

Hugh That? Oh yeah. We drink petrol up here, all right. Yeah. Live for ever, we do, sometimes longer.

Stephen Well I should hope so. I'm just amazed you don't have personal translocation podules.

Hugh Who said we don't have them?

Stephen Well I just thought ...

Hugh Bloody designed and built up here, those things. We've had them for years. In fact, they've come and gone.

Stephen Have they?

Hugh Oh yeah. They were a sort of craze for a while, but nowadays ... no, I was just surprised to see people still using them after all this time. It's been years since I've seen one of them things.

Stephen Oh, well would you like to have a go on mine? For old time's sake.

Hugh No thanks.

Stephen Sure?

Hugh I've had a couple of drinks. Don't want to get pulled by the law when my molecules are all over the place.

Stephen Fair enough. Well, I'll be on my way. Stephen grabs a cloth-cap and puts it on his head. He collects a leash on the end of which there is a whippet.

Hugh What are those?

Stephen Cloth-cap and whippet. All the rage down south. Bye. He presses a button on his watch and disappears.

Vox Pop

Hugh (With beautiful woman on arm) Yes, indeed. Very happily married. Very happily married indeed. My wife's away at the moment visiting her sister in Wales, but very ... (suddenly realises) Is this going out on television? (turns to beautiful woman) Who the hell are you? Go away! Honestly ...

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