Puss in Boots

(Enter a pantomime principal boy holding a stuffed cat. All the rest of the group break back in a well-choreographed panto arrowhead and raise their hands toward her.)

All: It's ... Puss!

Audience: Hello, Puss!

Principal Boy: Hello, children!

Police Chief: Stop! Stop this adaptation of 'Puss-in-Boots'! This is the Police Department of the State of Venezuela!

Principal Boy: Oh no it isn't!

Police Chief: Oh, yes it is!

Principal Boy: (kids joining in voice over) Oh no it isn't!

All: (plus kids) Oh yes it is!

Principal Boy: (plus kids) Oh no it isn't...

Police Chief: Shut up! Shut up! (getting up, holding a pistol; he has no trousers; silence) Now I'm going to ask you some questions, and remember, if you do not give me correct answers, we have ways of making you answer!

Voice From Back: Like not paying twenty-eight guineas.

Police Chief: Shut up! Now, what ship are you from?

Captain: We are from the SS Mother Goose, we were twelve days out from Port of Spain, and I ...

(The door is flung open and the second - trouserless - guard rushes in.)

Second Guard: I got thirty bob for the trousers!

Captain: We are from SS Mother Goose. We were twelve days out from Port of Spain, and one night I was doing my usual rounds, when I had occasion to pass the forward storage lockers...

(Slightly eerie music has crept in under his words and the screen goes into a ripple. It gets right out of focus and continues to ripple as it pulls back into focus. Ripple stops and they are still in the same set as they were.)

Police Chief: Go on!

Captain: Well, I noticed something unusual, the main bilge hatches had been opened... (at this point three men in brown coats come in and start taking pictures off the wall, clearing props and chairs from the set, etc.) and there, crouching amidst the scuppers was the most ghastly creature I'd ever seen in my life. (the flats start to be flown up, revealing behind a sitting room - so that we can see the police office has been built in the Kelly's sitting room) As soon as it saw me, its horrible face split aside in a ghastly look of terror. His head, which was like ...

Scene Shifter: Could you sign this please? (handing the captain a piece of paper) Thank you.

Captain: A small, small rat was ghastly and horrible and befurred... its little red eyes glinted in the unaccustomed glare of the midday sun and before I could shut the hatch, it sprang upon me with one almighty...

(By this time the whole office set has been removed revealing the Kelly's boarding house sitting room. Mr and Mrs Kelly come in through door and put their heads round.)

Mrs Kelly: What's this about doing the 'Horse of the Year Show' in here tonight?

Chief Officer: I'm sorry, Mrs Kelly. We don't know, I'm afraid - this is drama.

Mrs Kelly: Mr Fox told me, before he went down to the pub, that they were doing 'Horse of the Year Show' in here tonight at 9.10.

Chief of Police: This is BBC 2.

Captain: I think BBC 1 are in the kitchen.

Mrs Kelly: Well, I'm not having Harvey Smith jumping over my binette.

Mr Kelly: No, come on. (they go)

Captain: ... tearing at my throat, ripping my clothes...

(Mr Kelly puts his head round the door.)

Mr Kelly: And turn the gas off before you leave!

Police Chief: All right!!

(Mr Kelly goes.)

Captain: I fought it with all my strength, but it was too much for me...

(Cut to Mr and Mrs Kelly coming through the hall. We can hear the captain's voice growing faster. Mr and Mrs Kelly go towards the kitchen door and stop and listen. We have lost the captain's voice by now, but from inside the kitchen we hear 'Horse of the Year Show' sound track.)

Dorian Williams: (voice over) Another clear round for Harvey Smith on 'Orealley'.

Commentator: (voice over on tannoy) And now it's Mrs David Barker riding 'Atalanta' Number 3.

(Crash of breaking pottery, falling pots and pans, horse neighing.)

Mrs Kelly: Right! That's it! (they throw door open and march into the kitchen; a horse plus Pat Hornsby Smith and the commentator and the wreckage of a jump) Come on now, out! All of you - get out of my kitchen, all of you - come on! Harvey Smith, get out of here!

(She chases them out and down the hall.)

Paul Fox: (emerging from another door) It's one of our most popular programmes.

Mrs Kelly: That's what you think, Mr Fox!

(She shooshes them all out down the passage and out of the front door. The newsreader with a blanket over him joins them and tn'es to read off a piece of paper.)

Newsreader: Well, that's all from BBC Television for this evening...

Mrs Kelly: (slamming door on him) Shove off! Go and find yourself another flat! Get out!

(As she slams the door, a piece of paper (obviously a tax return form) is shoved through the door. It has the credits scribbled hurriedly on it; the camera pans into it. After the credits Mrs Kelly stamps on the paper. Fade out.)

Continue to the next sketch... The Money Programme