At Home With the Ant and Other Pets

(Cut to the kitchen in Chris Quinn's home. His mother is putting chopped meat into a line af at least half a dozen feeding bowls with various animal names on them. 'Babboon', 'Dromedary', 'Gorilla', 'Trout', and 'Pangolin '. There is a tiger in a cage in the middle of the kitchen, with a bowl marked 'Tiger' in front of him. A large cobra is hanging from the clothes drier and a wolf is in a cage below the sink. A monkey is on top of one of the cupboards. Chris enters with the box.)

Mother: What have you got now?

Chris: I bought an ant, mother.

Mother: What d'you want one of them for! I'm not going to clean it out. You said you'd clean the tiger out, but do you? No, I suppose you've lost interest in it now. Now it'll be ant ant ant for a couple of days, then all of a sudden, 'oh, mum, I've bought a sloth' or some other odd-toed ungulate like a tapir.

Chris: It's really different this time, mum. I'm really going to look after this ant.

Mother: That's what you said about the sperm whale... now your papa's having to use it as a garage.

Chris: Well, you didn't feed it properly.

Mother: Where are we going to get forty-four tons of plankton from every morning? Your papa was dead vexed about that. They thought he was mad in the deli.

Chris: Well at least he's got a free garage. (growl from the tiger)

Mother: That's no good to him... his Hillman smells all fishy. (we hear a roar) Oh blimey, that's the tiger. He'll want his mandies.

Chris: Are you giving that tiger drugs?

Mother: 'Course I'm giving it drugs!

Chris: It's illegal.

Mother: You try telling that to the tiger.

Chris: I think it's dangerous.

Mother: Listen ... before he started fixing, he used to get through four Jehovah's witnesses a day. And he used to eat all of them, except the pamphlets.

Chris: Well he's not dim.

(A very loud roar and rattling of cage.)

Mother: All right!

(She loads a syringe and starts to leave.)

Chris: Well, I'm going to watch one of the televisions... come on Marcus.

(He puts Marcus in cage and is just about to take it through to the next room.)

Mother: Michael's been on the phone all day for you.

Chris: Michel?

Mother: You know, Michael... Michael. Michael Ellis. He's been on the phone all day ... he came round twice.

Chris: What did he look like?

Mother: Oh, I didn't see him. The orange-rumped agouti answered the door. Only useful animal you ever bought, that.

Chris: Where is he now?

Mother: He's upstairs forging prescriptions for the sodding tiger!

Chris: No, no, where is Michael Ellis now?

Mother: Oh, I don't know.., he said it wasn't important, anyway... all right, here I come.

(She goes to the tiger. Chris looks confused, then shrugs and goes into the sitting room with Marcus. In the room there are about twenty old televisions on shelves. Chris selects one of the televisions, puts it on the table, switches it on and settles down to watch it with Marcus. He is about to watch a 'Documentary on Ants')

Continue to the next sketch... Documentary on Ants