Mystico and Janet - Flats Built by Hypnosis

(Mystico removes his cloak, gloves and top hat and hands them to Janet, who curtsies. He then makes several passes. Cut to stock film of flats falling down reversed so that they leap up. Cut back to Mystico and Janet. She hands him back his things as they make their way to their car, a little Austin 30.)

Voice Over (Michael Palin): The local Council here have over fifty hypnosis-induced twenty-five story blocks, put up by El Mystico and Janet. I asked Mr Ken Verybigliar the advantages of hypnosis compared to other building methods.

(Cut to a man in a drab suit.)


Mr Verybigliar: (Michael Palin) Well there is a considerable financial advantage in using the services of El Mystico. A block, like Mystico Point here, (indicating a high-rise block behind him) would normally cost in the region of one-and-a-half million pounds. This was put up for five pounds and thirty bob for Janet.

Voice Over: But the obvious question is are they safe?

(Cut to an architect's office. The architect at his desk. Behind him on the wall are framed photos of various collapsed buildings. He is a well-dressed authoritative person.)


Architect (Graham Chapman): Of course they're safe. There's absolutely no doubt about that. They are as strong, solid and as safe as any other building method in this country provided of course people believe in them.

(Cut to a council flat. On the wall there is a picture of Mystico.)

Tenant (Eric Idle): Yes, we received a note from the Council saying that if we ceased to believe in this building it would fall down.

Voice Over: You don't mind living in a figment of another man's imagination?

Tenant: No, it's much better than where we used to live.

Voice Over: Where did you used to live?

Tenant: We had an eighteen-roomed villa overlooking Nice.

Voice Over: Really, that sounds much better.

Tenant: Oh yeah, you're right.

(Cut to stock shot of block falling down in slow motion. Cut back to tenant and wife inside. Camera shaking and on the tilt.)

Tenant: No, no, no, of course not.

(Cut to stock film again. The building rights itself. Cut back to interior again. Camera slightly on tilt. They are holding bits of crockery etc.)

Tenant: Phew, that was close.

(Cut to tracking shot from back of camera car again. This time El Mystico striding through the towering blocks, his cloak swirling behind him.)

Voice Over: But the construction of these vast new housing developments, providing homes for many thousands of people, is not the only project to which he has applied his many talents. He also has an Infallible Pools Method, a School of Spanish Dancing and a Car Hire Service. (cut to Mystico at wheel of his little Austin 30, his amazing eyes riveted on the road ahead; Janet occasiona1ly tactfully guides the steering wheel) What is the driving force behind a man of such restless energies, and boundless vision? Here as with so many great men of history, the answer lies in a woman. (the camera pans over on to Janet and starts to zoom in on her as she watches the road ahead; cut to a nineteenth-century engraving of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra) As Antony has his Cleopatra... (cut to picture of Napoleon and Josephine) as Napoleon has his Josephine... (cut to Janet lying on a bed in a negligie in a rather seedy hotel) So Mystico has his Janet.

(Mystico leaps from top of the wardrobe on to the bed with a lusty yell. Cut to montage of black and white photos of Janet in various stage poses: three poses against black drapes; one against a building; one posed outside a terrace house with notice reading 'School of Spanish Danring- Dentures Repaired'.)

Voice Over: Yes Janet. A quiet, shy girl. An honours graduate from Harvard University, American junior sprint record holder, ex-world skating champion, Nobel Prize winner, architect, novelist and surgeon. The girl who helped crack the Oppenheimer spy ring in 1947. She gave vital evidence to the Senate Narcotics Commission in 1958. She also helped to convict the woman at the chemist's in 1961, and a year later (cut to Janet shaking hands with a police commissioner) she gave police information which led to the arrest of her postman. In October of that same year (cut to photo of Janet with a judge and a policeman standing on either side of her smiling at the camera) she secured the conviction of her gardener for bigamy and three months later personally led the police swoop (cut to Janet in a street with goggles of policemen clustering round her grinning at the camera and two people obviously naked with blankets thrown over them) on the couple next door. In 1967 she became suspicious of the man at the garage (cut to a photo of a petrol attendant filling a car) and it was her dogged perseverance and relentless enquiries (another rather fuzzy photo of the man at the garage peering through the window of cash kiosk) that two years later finally secured his conviction for not having a licence for his car radio. (final photo of five police, Janet and the man bm the garage in handcuffs all posing for the camera) He was hanged at Leeds a year later (cut to Janet posing outside a prison) despite the abolition of capital punishment and the public outcry. Also in Leeds that year, a local butcher was hanged (cut to a blurred family snap of a butcher in an apron with a knife) for defaulting on mortgage repayments, and a Mr Jarvis (photo) was electrocuted for shouting in the corridor.

(Cut to Superintendent Harry 'Boot-in' Swalk.)

Swalk (Terry Jones): We admit that there have been outbreaks of hanging rcently, but the police are trying to keep the situation under control. (his radio is making a lot of noise) You must remember the courts are very busy at the moment and the odd death sentence is bound to slip through. Um ,electrocutions are another big worry. But we hope that guillotining has been eradicated from the urban areas, and garrotting has been confined almost entirely to Luton. So if you have a friend in prison or under a sentence of death, be sure to let us know at this address.

Voice Over (Eric Idle): The Police Force, Sunnyview, Yeovil, Somerset.

Continue to the next sketch... 'Mortuary Hour'