A Bit of Fry & Laurie


Stephen and Hugh are seated at a table in a restaurant, holding large menus. Rather bookish; spectacles, tweeds etc. All four of their eyes are closed all the time, in a revolting, condescending sort of a way.

Stephen How nice. How absolutely delightful.

Hugh Charming. Quite charming. A charming restaurant.

Stephen A charming as you say restaurant.

Hugh Quite delightful.

Stephen I think one of my most favourite quite delightful restaurants.

Hugh I agree. I agree. I do. I really do agree. A waitress approaches.

Waitress Are you ready to order? Hugh and Stephen cock their heads.

Hugh Did you say something?

Stephen No.

Hugh I thought I heard ...

Stephen I rather think it may have been a member of the restaurant staff.

Hugh Ah.

Stephen and Hugh reach into their pockets and pull out pairs of half-moon spectacles, put them on, and peer at the waitress.

Hugh Aahh.

Waitress Are you ready to order?

Hugh I will have the melon, followed by the roast lamb.

Waitress Melon, lamb. And you, sir?

Stephen I will have the soupe de poisson, and the roast lamb also.

Waitress Fish soup. Lamb.

Stephen I'm so sorry.

Waitress Yes?

Stephen What did you just say then?

Waitress Fish soup, lamb.

Stephen Mmm. Perhaps I didn't make myself absolutely clear. I would actually like the soupe de poisson.

Waitress Soupe de poisson is fish soup.

Stephen Oh dear.

Hugh Oh deary me.

Stephen Was I speaking too quickly for you?

Hugh You seem to be a little confused.

Stephen I asked for soupe de poisson.

Hugh Soupe de poisson.

Waitress Soupe de poisson is fish soup.

Stephen No. No.

Hugh No no no no.

Stephen I obviously lost you. Soupe de poisson is soupe de poisson.

Hugh D'you see?

Stephen One thing cannot be another thing. And when you advertise soupe de poisson, and I order soupe de poisson, it means, to put it very simply, that I would like you to bring me soupe de poisson.

Hugh And some mineral water.

Waitress Mineral water.

Stephen Thank you.

Hugh Thank you very much indeed. Waitress exits. Stephen and Hugh return their spectacles to their pockets, and close their eyes again.

Stephen What a charming restaurant.

Hugh Absolutely delightful. Waitress returns and puts a bottle of mineral water on the table.

Waitress Mineral water.

Stephen Oh dear.

Hugh Oh waitress? Stephen and Hugh don their spectacles again.

Stephen Waitress?

Waitress Yes?

Hugh Can you remember what it was that I asked for? I think I saw you write it down, did you write it down?

Waitress Yes, Mineral water.

Hugh Bravo.

Stephen Excellent, well done.

Hugh But you have brought us a bottle of mineral water.

Stephen Do you see? (Pointing to the bottle) These are called bottles.

Hugh We asked for mineral water.

Stephen Mineral water. Just as you carefully wrote down on your small pad.

Waitress How much mineral water?

Hugh Some.

Stephen Some mineral water is how much we asked for I believe.

Hugh Some.

Waitress Some?

Stephen But we can check precisely what it was we asked for. We always tape our conversations against just such a contingency. Stephen rewinds a cassette.

Tape "Man: Get out the pair of you, you snotty wankers ..."

Stephen Ah, no. That was the restaurant we were in yesterday.

Hugh A delightful restaurant it was too.

Stephen Quite delightful. Here we are. Fast forwards.

Tape "Hugh: And some mineral water. Waitress: Mineral water?"

Hugh You see?

Stephen Some.

Hugh No mention of bottles.

Waitress Shall I bring it in a jug?

Stephen My suggestion is that you should bring us mineral water in a jug when we have asked for mineral water in a jug, until then, perhaps you would be so kind as to bring us some mineral water.

Hugh All right?

Stephen Thank you.

Exit waitress.

Hugh What a delightful restaurant.

Stephen Quite delightful.

Waitress enters with a pipette. She carefully squeezes a drop in front of each of them.

Hugh Thank you.

Stephen Delightful.

Hugh I wonder, my dear, is there a gents' nearby. I'm rather desperate for a pee.

Waitress Well ... there is one, but it was out of order earlier on. I'll just check.

Waitress disappears.

Stephen Charming waitress, do you see?

Hugh This is right. Simply charming. Waitress enters with a small green pea, which she places in front of Hugh. Um ...

Stephen Er ...

Hugh You really must excuse my stupidity, but ... Waitress takes tape recorder.

Waitress You asked for it. Listen.

Tape "Hugh: I'm rather desperate for a pee ..."

Hugh Ah ...

Stephen Err ...

Vox Pop

Hugh (As policeman) People often ask what we keep under our helmets. Well, I'll show you. (Takes off his helmet and looks very pleased with himself - puts his hand on top of his head and feels around) Hold up, some bastard's nicked it.

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