Post Box Ceremony

(A street in Ruislip, morning. A scrap cart is going down the street.)

Scrap Man: (Terry Jones) Let's bring 'em out! Any old iron! Any old iron!

(A door opens and a homewife brings out a rather sophisticated-looking ground-to-air missile system, and dumps it on the cart.)

Scrap Man: Thank you.

(Another door opens and a couple of rather respectable-looking old ladies bring out two bazookas and assorted shells and put them by the gate. There are further contributions of arms from householders. A GPO van comes up the street, passes the scrap cart and comes to rest up by the camera. There is a pillar box with a cover on it on the pavement, plus a rostrum with PA and bunting. A lord mayor is ushered out of the van by a post office official. The mayor and several ladies sit on the rostrum. Clearing his throat, the GPO official gets up, tests the microphone and starts to speak in a slightly strange voice.)

GPO Official: (Michael Palin) We are here today to wimess the opening of a new box to replace the box which used to stand at the corner of Ulverston Road and Sandwood Crescent. Owing to the road-widening programme carried out by the Borough Council, the Ulverston Road box was removed, leaving the wall box in Esher Road as the only box for the Ulverston Road area. This new box will enable the people of the Ulverston Road area to post letters, post-cards and small packages without recourse to the Esher Road box or to the box outside the post office at Turner's Parade which many people used to use, but which has now been discontinued owing to the opening of this box and also the re-organization of box distribution throughout the whole area, which comes into force with the opening of new boxes at the Wyatt Road Post Office in July. (a moment's pause) Nous sommes ici ce matin pour loire témoin à l'ouvermre de la nouvelle boîte pour reinplacer la boîte qui autrefois était placée au coin d'Ulverston Road et Sandwood Crescent. Porte que du projet pour l'égissement de la hie qui fait par le Borough Council, la boîte dam Ulverston Road est remplacée, et la boîte de tour dons Esher Road, est la seule boîte pour le région d'Ulverston Road. Cette boîte nouvelle rendra capables les hommes d'Ulverston Road de merue dons la poste les lettres, les cane-postales, et des petits paquets sans avant besoin de la boîte de tour dons Esher Road, ou les boîtes de la Turner's Parade bureau de poste, qui beaucoup des hommes one fait usage mais qui est maintenant disconfinuée parce que l'ouverture de cette boîte ici, et le réorganisation régionale que commence avec l'ouverture des boîtes au bureau de poste en Wyatt Road le juillet. (a moment's pause) Wir kornmen bier heute Morgen fur die Einfang auf dem neue Kabinett fur die Poste.

(The first two sentences of the next voice over are laid over the end of the French speech.)

Voice Over: (Michael Palin) A perfectly ordinary morning in a perfectly ordinary English suburb. Life goes on as it has done for years.

(Cut to a suburban railway station.)

Voice Over: But soon this quiet pattern of life was to change irrevocably. The commonplace routine of a typical Monday morning would never be the same again, for into this quiet little community came ... Mr Neutron!

Continue to the next sketch... Mr. Neutron