A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Shoe Shop

Hugh Morning.

Stephen I beg your pardon?

Hugh I said good morning.

Stephen Good morning to you sir. (Calling) Mr Dalliard, we have a gentleman in the shop. I have parried his opening remark, and we are now having a pleasant conversation. (To Hugh) Mr Dalliard will be joining us as soon as is likely. Though of course, one says good morning, does one not, Mr ... ?

Hugh Er. Pardoe.

Stephen One says good morning Mr Jowett, but if you would be delicious enough to pop your head out of the door (inexplicably impatient) conveniently situated just over there for God's sake! - it's far from good. It is very very win ... try.

Hugh Yes. Yes it is, isn't it?

Stephen Very win ...

Hugh ... try.

Stephen That's right. Certainly. So. From win ... triness to you, young master Jowett. How may we serve?

Hugh Yes. I was after a pair of shoes.

Stephen Ah very well. I shall serve them first.

Hugh No, no. I meant I am looking for a pair of shoes.

Stephen To buy?

Hugh To buy.

Stephen Mr Dalliard. The gentleman wishes to buy a pair of shoes. (Pause) Oh, what rotten decomposing luck. Mr Dalliard tells me we have no shoes.

Hugh I must say, you've got very good hearing.

Stephen I beg your pardon?

Hugh I didn't hear your Mr Dalliard at all.

Stephen My Mr Dalliard?

Hugh Yes, the fellow you ...

Stephen Oh sir, I've confused you.

Hugh Have you?

Stephen Indeed, yes. I should make it clearer than a Waterford bed-pan, that Mr Dalliard is most assuredly not my Mr Dalliard. He's everybody's Mr Dalliard. A gift to the nation, if you like. As much my Mr Dalliard as your Mr Dalliard, or, dare I say it, and I think I dare, Gary Lineker's Mr Dalliard.

Hugh Gary Lineker?

Stephen So it looks as if you've come to exactly the wrong place. I should advise you to turn around, leave by the door which is (angry again) still conveniently situated just over there for God's sake! (Nice again) Walk seventeen paces to your left and enter the shoe shop you will find next to a branch of Finlay's the tobacco people.

Hugh This isn't a shoe shop?

Stephen Good lord and lots else beside, no, Mr Jowett.

Hugh Well, wh ...

Stephen This is a place where people come to meet privately and talk in an informal, intimate atmosphere with a view to enjoying a massage and several rounds of sexual intercourse.

Hugh What?

Stephen THIS IS A PLACE ...

Hugh You mean a brothel?

Stephen I dislike the word brothel, Mr Jowett. I prefer to use the word brothels. Yes, this is a brothels.

Hugh But ... the shoes.

Stephen Shoes?

Hugh These - (indicating the large collection of shoes around the place)

Stephen Those are my prostitutes, Mr Jowett.

Hugh Prostitutes. You mean people pay to have sex with those?

Stephen Very much of course they pay, Colonel Jowett. I am not a charitable organisation, much though the evidence may point to my being reasonably tall.

Hugh Lots of people?

Stephen Ah. I fancy I detect a wrinkle of concern on your otherwise smooth and toboggonable brow. Business is not what it was, nor even what it is. It may not even be what it will be. We shall see. If it is. If it isn't, I may have to consider an early retirement. Mr Dalliard, I'm drivelling!

Hugh Well, I mean really, having sex with shoes.

Stephen Sir?

Hugh It seems very ...

Stephen Very?

Hugh Very ...

Stephen Very?

Hugh Well, very ...

Stephen Well very?

Hugh Oh I don't know.

Stephen Yes it does, doesn't it? VERY oh I don't know.

Hugh I mean this ... (he picks up a large moccasin)

Stephen Fredericka is perhaps the most popular moccasin in this brothels, Professor Jowett, and I don't care who knows it.

Hugh (Feeling inside with his hand) Well I grant you that the lining is very ...

Stephen Twenty pounds.

Hugh I'm sorry.

Stephen Master Anthony Jowett, you have just inserted your hand right inside Fredericka's most intimate interior partlets. You cannot be expected to do such things gratis.

Hugh Yes but ...

Stephen Twenty pounds.

Hugh And that's all I get for twenty pounds is it. A feel?

Stephen No, no. If you would like to go into the copulatorium thither you may take Fredericka and an escort of your choice therein and sauce her to your heart's con ...

Hugh ... tent, I see. Well, in that case, I suppose ... (He reviews the selection of shoes and holds up a small sandal)

Stephen (Shocked) Sir! It is more than my job's worth. If you want that kind of thing, I suggest you go to the Philippines.

Hugh Ah, right. Well, I'll take Fredericka and ... this one. (He selects a Chelsea boot)

Stephen Very good, sir. Fredericka and Colin. Through there. You have half an hour.

Hugh Er ... Colin?

Stephen I won't tell sir, discretion is my middle letter. (Hugh exits. Stephen shouts off) Mr Dalliard, we have a three way, see you at the peep-hole!

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