Language Laboratory

(Cut to a language laboratory. Mr Mann is showing Tick round. There is a line of booths, each lined with pegboard. Each has a person with a pair of earphones on with attached microphones, a tape recorder and a swivel chair)

First Booth: (Eric) Bleck people. Bleck people. Rrrhodesian. Kill the blecks. Kill the blecks. Rrhodesian. Smith, Smith. Kill the blecks within the five principles.

(He starts to rewind the tape recorder. Nods at Mr Mann. They come to the second booth.)

Second Booth: I'm afraid I cannot comment on that until it's been officially hushed up.

Mr Mann: This is our politicians booth.

Second Booth: While there is no undue cause for concern, there is certainly no room for complacency. Ha, ha, ha. He, he, he.

(They pass on to the next booth.)

Third Booth: Well I'll go, I'll go to the foot of our stairs. Ee ecky thump put wood in 'ole, muther.

(Mr Mann taps him. He removes his earphones.)

Third Booth: (normal) Yes?

Mr Mann: Ee ecky thump.

Third Booth: (trying it) Ee ecky thump.

Mr Mann: Ee ecky thump! (indicates more power)

Third Booth: Ee ecky thump!

Mr Mann: Excellent.

Third Booth: Thank you, sir. (puts earphones on, listens)

Mr Mann: It's a really quick method of learning.

Third Booth: Can you smell gas or is it me?

Tick: (who is very different) Looks jolly good.

(They come to the fourth booth where sits a very city-type gent.)

Fourth Booth: Hello, big boy. (very breathy) Oo varda the ome. D'you want a nice time?

Mr Mann: Very good.

Fourth Booth: (butch) Thank you very much, sir.

(They pass the fifth booth, whose occupant is making silly noises.)

Mr Mann: And we control everything from here. (indicating the control desk)

Tick: Superb.

Mr Mann: Well then what sort of thing were you looking for?

Tick: Well, er, really something to make me a little less insignificant?

Mr Mann: Oh, I see sort of 'Now look here, you may be Chairman but your bloody pusillanimous behaviour makes me vomit!' That sort of thing?

Tick: Oh no, no, no, not really no.

Mr Mann: Oh I see, well perhaps something a bit more sort of Clive Jenkins-ish? Perhaps - sort of (Welsh accent) 'Mr Smarmy so-called Harold Wilson can call himself pragmatic until he's blue in the breasts'.

Tick: Oh no, I really want something that will make people be attracted to me like a magnet.

Mr Mann: I see, well, you want our 'Life and Soul of the Party' tape then, I think.

Tick: What's that?

Mr Mann: Well it's sort of 'Ello squire, haven't seen you for a bit, haven't seen you for a bit either, Beryl. Two pints of wallop please, love. Still driving the Jensen then? Cheer up Jack it may never happen, what's your poison then?'

Tick: Fantastic, yes.

Mr Mann: Right, I'll just see if we've got the tape.

(He puts the headphones on. Whilst he looks away, the whole of the back wall of people in booths, swing round on their chairs and do a little thirties routine, with their earphones on, kicking their legs, etc., they sing.)


Boo boopee doo
Boo boopee doo
Scuby duby duby doo-oo!
Hello operator
Is that the central line?
Give me the Piccadilly number
Nine one o nine
Mr operator now that number's wrong
So come on everybody
Let's sing this song...
... Proust in his first book wrote about... etc ....

(Gong sounds.)

Voice Over: Start again.

(The loony leans into shot and waves. Fade to black.)

Continue to the next sketch... The Travel Agent