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(Mrs. Slocombe and Miss Brahms are at the ladies counter. Mrs. Slocombe is serving a customer.)
Mrs. Slocombe:...I hope the lacy bra will give you every satisfaction, and do bring it back if you find the E cup a bit too snug. (Turns to Miss Brahms) Ah, what was I saying?
Miss Brahms: You was tellin' me about the bloke wot you met at the pub last night.
Mrs. Slocombe: Oh, yes! Anyway, he said he'd drive me home, and we had not but just arrived at my house when he started putting his hands all over me!
Miss Brahms: Ooh! I hope you put 'im right off!
Mrs. Slocombe: Oh, I did!...eventually.
(At the men's counter...)
Mr. Humphries: I don't think I ever finished telling you about the party I went to on Saturday.
Mr. Lucas: Oh, yeah, yeah, how was it?
Mr. Humphries: Well, I got there...
Mr. Lucas: Which is unusual for you, Mr. Humphries!
Mr. Humphries: Yes, it is unusual for me, Mr. Lucas! And there were a lot of people there that I didn't know, so I just tried to mingle about.
Mr. Lucas: Ooh, I'll bet you met a whole bunch of birds there! (Chuckles)
Mr. Humphries: What are you talking about? It was a cross dressing party.
(Mr. Lucas rolls his eyes)
Mr. Humphries: Well, I was in my best Marlene Dietrich, you know, and before I knew where I was, I was flat on my back on the floor!
Mr. Lucas: Bit short notice, that?
Mr. Humphries: (Doesn't pay attention) I had walked straight into Raquel Welch!
Mr. Lucas: Raquel Welch! Cor, what was she there as?
Mr. Humphries: No, no, it was the vicar. He apologized most profusely and drove me straight home.
Mr. Lucas: (Mouths) The vicar!
(Lift doors open, and Mr. Rumbold walks in.)
Mr. Rumbold: Captain Peacock, call everybody to the center of the floor, I have an announcement to make.
Captain Peacock: (Gesturing) Ah, Mrs. Slocombe, Miss Brahms, are you free?
Mrs. Slocombe: Yes, Captain Peacock.
Captain Peacock: Mr. Grainger, are you free?
Mr. Grainger: Ah, um, yes.
Captain Peacock: Mr. Humphries, Mr. Lucas, are you free?
Mr. Humphries: I'm free!
Mr. Lucas: Yes, Captain Peacock, I am free as well and have been free all morning on account of not having any customers, Captain Peacock.
Captain Peacock: Don't be facetious, Lucas.
Mr. Lucas: Yes, sir.
Mr. Rumbold: Now that you're all here, I have an announcement to make. (Takes off glasses) We have the honor of being chosen to be on a television programů
Mrs. Slocombe: My word!
Mr. Lucas: Gaw!
Mr. Rumbold: Let me finish. A certain television station is making a documentary of department stores, and we've been chosen as one of the stores. The cameras and set will be set up in this very floor, in the Ladies' and Gents' Ready-Made. Young Mr. Grace, in his wisdom, has made all the necessary arrangements, and tomorrow morning the, uh, people will begin filming.
Mrs. Slocombe: Well what are we supposed to do?
Mr. Rumbold: Nothing that you wouldn't usually do. I have been told to tell you all to act normally tomorrow...
Mr. Lucas: Or as normal as you can get.
(Mr. Humphries looks away.)
Mr. Rumbold: The documentary is to be called 'A Day in the Life of a Department Store'.
Miss Brahms: Sounds very boring.
Mr. Grainger: I still don't understand what you're talking about.
Mr. Humphries: See here, dear. The production team of a television station are going to come in here tomorrow and film our day working at Grace Brothers'.
Mr. Grainger: Oh. Oh I see.
Captain Peacock: What are we to wear?
Mr. Rumbold: What you're all wearing now, of course. Just act like the cameras aren't here at all. Well, that's all I know. Good day. (He leaves)
Mr. Humphries: How exciting! We're to be on television!
Captain Peacock: Well, get back to your counters, everybody.
(The next day)
(The floor is empty. The lift doors open and out steps Captain Peacock. The other lift door opens and Mr. Grainger comes out.)
Captain Peacock: Well, Ernest, you're certainly very early today. My watch says a quarter to eight.
Mr. Grainger: Yes, well I wanted to be early for the cameras.
(They both sign in. Mr. Harman walks in)
Mr. Harman: A romin' round the world, a lookin' for some sunshine...
Captain Peacock: Mr. Harman, get off the floor!
Mr. Harman: Captain Peacock. I have every right to be on this floor as it is still fourteen minutes to nine. It is a positive outrage that the proletariat should have no right or power over our oppressors, namely you. But the time will come when we will overthrow this unfair system and reclaim our rights and set up a new government, one in which you shall be subservient and cater to our every whim.
Captain Peacock: Are you quite through?
Mr. Harman: Yes.
Captain Peacock: We don't need any more of your ramblings. The cameras probably have all this on tape. Now get off the floor.
Mr. Harman: Heh heh heh. No they aven't.
Captain Peacock: How would you know? Are you suggesting that Young Mr. Grace has taken you into his confidence?
Mr. Harman: Heh heh heh. Henry! Seymour!
(Henry and Seymour drag in a large cart on top of which is a gigantic camera.)
Mr. Harman: Here is the camera. How do you like that, eh?
Captain Peacock: Ugh.
(Harman and his helpers leave. Two people come out of the lifts.)
Man #1: Ah, I see the camera is here.
Captain Peacock: Can I help you sir?
Man: Yes...I'm the camera operator. And you must be...(glances down at his paper) Mr. Pocock.
Captain Peacock: No, Captain Peacock.
Camera Operator: I see. We shall begin taping whenever you're ready.
Mr. Grainger: How exciting!
Captain Peacock: Indeed! You may start now, as well as any time.
Camera Operator: Right-o...now.
(Lift doors open again, Mrs. Slocombe steps out. She is wearing a large shocking pink coat covered in feathers and a huge green hat with a wide brim.)
Captain Peacock: Mrs. Slocombe! I certainly hope you'll not be wearing that all day!
Mrs. Slocombe: (In her "posh" accent) Oh, Copton Peacock, of course not. Would you be so kind as to give me the time so I may enter it in the signing-in book? (She smiles at the camera very deliberately)
Captain Peacock: Oh, surely. It's five minutes to nine.
Mrs. Slocombe: Thonk you.
(Miss Brahms comes out of the lift. She is wearing a black fur coat, sunglasses, a pearl necklace, and black hat. Also in her hand is one of those long cigarettes in the holders.)
Mrs. Slocombe: Miss Brahms, you know smoking is not allowed on the floor.
Miss Brahms: Of course! It's not lighted.
(Mrs. Slocombe looks exasperated)
Captain Peacock: May I say how lovely you look, Miss Brahms.
Miss Brahms: Thank you, Captain Peacock.
(Mrs. Slocombe grimaces)
(Lift opens again, Mr. Humphries has arrived...! He is wearing a large red and gold turban, floor length brocaded red robe with gold trim, and glittery gold pumps with five inch heels.)
Mr. Humphries: Hello! (He flounces down the stairs, with a nice little movement at the end.)
Miss Brahms: Blimey! The Prince of Persia.
Mr. Humphries: (Trots over to the signing in book, looks at his watch) Ah! Precisely eight-fifty nine. There!
(The bell rings for store opening time.)
(Mr. Lucas explodes out of the lift and stumbles down the stairs, nearly colliding with the Captain who is making his way to the signing in book.)
Mr. Lucas: Ah, ah...Captain Peacock. I'm very sorry. Very very sorry.
Captain Peacock: Lucas, you're late.
Mr. Lucas: I-I..
Captain Peacock: I don't want to hear your excuses. You will present yourself to Mr. Rumbold and explain to him why you have been late three days in succession.
(Mr. Lucas gulps and walks to Mr. Rumbold's office like to an execution. On the way he throws Mr. Humphries an unbelieving glance.)
(Knocks on Mr. Rumbold's door)
Mr. Rumbold: Come in!
Mr. Lucas: Hel-hello Mr. Rumbold.
Mr. Rumbold: Lucas...are you late again?
Mr. Lucas: Y-yes sir.
Mr. Rumbold: You know this has been your third day late in a row. How do you explain yourself?
Mr. Lucas: Well, well, sir, it's-it's my nerves, sir.
Mr. Rumbold: Nerves? What do you mean?
Mr. Lucas: Well, you see sir, it's my mother. She-she's thinking of getting remarried after-after my father passed away from...from poisoned fish paste, you see. And the man lives in Worthing, you know, and being so close to the channel, you know, the thought of the sea being related to fish...might kill her?
Mr. Rumbold: Horrible! I'm so sorry...well, you must come over to tea and tell me all about it.
Mr. Lucas: Must I?
Mr. Rumbold: Yes, well, you may go.
Mr. Lucas: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
(Back on the floor...)
(Everyone is in their normal clothes)
Mr. Humphries: Did Mr. Rumbold give you much of a dressing down?
Mr. Lucas: Did he! The last thing he said was to invite me over to tea at his house.
Mr. Humphries: Don't tell me you told him the fish paste story!
Mr. Lucas: Desperate times, my friend. (Chuckles)
Mr. Humphries: Isn't that the truth! Watch out, here comes Peacock.
Captain Peacock: Mr. Lucas, Mr. Humphries, we're here to serve customers, after all, not to engage in idle banter.
Mr. Humphries: Of course, Captain Peacock.
Mr. Lucas: What customers?
(Captain Peacock gives him the "forbidding stare". (At that moment, a customer walks in)
Captain Peacock: Are you being served, sir?
(The customer is none other than the vicar, dressed in his vicar things.)
Vicar: Yes, I'd like to have Mr. Humphries serve me, if you will.
Captain Peacock: Certainly, sir. Mr. Humphries, are you free?
Mr. Humphries: I'm free, Captain Peacock.
Captain Peacock: This gentleman specifically requested your services.
Mr. Humphries: Thank you Captain Peacock. (He takes one look at the vicar.)
What are you doing here!
Vicar: Well, (clasping and unclasping his hands) I had a little chat with your mother this morning, and we thought it best if I came to talk to you right away.
Mr. Humphries: Not on working hours!
Vicar: (Sighing resignedly) All right...but she's invited me to a late tea, and I'm expecting you to be there! (He smiles and wags his finger.)
Mr. Humphries: Is that all?
Vicar: Now that I'm here...I'd like a pair of nylon shorts and a leotard, please. For a friend.
Mr. Humphries: (Sharp intake of breath) I'm afraid you'll have to go to the sports department for that kind of thing.
(The vicar leaves and Mr. Humphries goes back to his counter.)
Mr. Lucas: Is it always like that at your place?
Mr. Humphries: (Smiles) Only on the weekends!
(Mr. Rumbold hurries out of his office)
Mr. Rumbold: Everybody, I need you all in my office right now.
Mr. Humphries: (looks at Mr. Lucas) What, all of us now?
(Mr. Lucas shrugs)
(All go into Mr. Rumbold's office and are assembled in front of his desk.)
Mr. Rumbold: I'm afraid there's been some bad news...It seems that the cameraman of our segment in the "A Day in the Life of a Department Store" has suddenly taken ill. I believe he has the mumps...well, that means the show's off.
Mrs. Slocombe: Well, I didn't buy my eighty pound feather coat for nothing...and that was after staff discount. (Looks at Miss Brahms. Miss Brahms nods.) And I am unanimous in that.
Mr. Lucas: (Aside to Mr. Humphries) Blimey, I'd wondered what happened to that flamingo in the Pet Department!
(Mrs. Slocombe glares at him)
Mr. Rumbold: Yes, well, I'm afraid there's nothing more I can do.
Mr. Humphries: Hey, wait a minute, I've done a good bit acting and directing myself. I'd be more than willing to fill in.
Mr. Lucas: Trust you!
Mr. Rumbold: Are you saying that you would actually work the camera?
Mr. Humphries: Yes, but that would mean someone would have to take over my regular position...I think Mr. Lucas would be right.
Mr. Rumbold: Yes, it's times like these that make me feel proud to be head of Ladies' and Gents' Ready-Made.....I think it's a jolly good idea. Does anyone have any objections? No? Excellent! I'm so glad I came up with the idea of one of the staff filling in!
Captain Peacock: (Sarcastically) Of course, sir.
(Back on the floor)
(Mr. Humphries is dressed in his normal clothes, surprisingly enough!)
Mr. Humphries: Right...hold on...
(Miss Brahms walks right up to the camera, not intentionally, and starts to adjust her cleavage.)
Mr. Humphries: Wait a second, the camera was on while you did that!
Miss Brahms: Sorry!
Mr. Lucas: Well, it's only a little bit. We'll see if we can cut it out later.
Miss Brahms: Disgusting!
Mr. Humphries: Everyone, everyone, act normally...starting now.
Captain Peacock: It's time for lunch now.
Mr. Humphries: Very well, very well! We'll finish this when we get back. (Sighs)
(In the Canteen...)
(Mr. Lucas and Mr. Humphries are the last to sit down)
Mr. Humphries: Hey, what's that?
Mr. Lucas: Canteen chicken soup.
Miss Brahms: Well, it looks like water...
(The cook enters)
Cook: If you've got any more complaints, I've been slavin over a hot fire in there!
Mr. Lucas: What, did the toad-in-the-hole light again?
Cook: Shut up!
Mr. Humphries: We merely wanted to know what goes into this soup!
Cook: It's chicken soup in its infancy.
Mrs. Slocombe: What do you mean by that?
Cook: It's made out of the water the eggs were boiled in! (Leaves in a hurry)
Captain Peacock: Well, she's in a bad mood this morning.
Mr. Humphries: We really must get down to what we were going to discuss-the television program.
Miss Brahms: Oh, yeah...well, I don't even like the idea so much anymore. I mean, in the beginning, I thought it would be fun to be on television.
Mrs. Slocombe: Yes, and what's more, it's the whole world being able to see into our personal lives. I find it very disconcerting!
Captain Peacock: I must agree with Mrs. Slocombe. It's very uncomfortable to expose the more private parts to prying eyes.
Mr. Humphries: True!
Mr. Grainger: What are we going to do about it?
Mr. Lucas: You don't think we could tell Rumbold, do you?
Mr. Humphries: After that display of togetherness and public spirit? Hardly!
Mr. Lucas: I may have an idea...a little mischief, if you will.
Captain Peacock: I'll have no part of it!
Mr. Lucas: And have the whole of England see you pinching Miss Brahms' rear this morning?
Captain Peacock: Um, what I was going to say was I'll have no part of it unless I'm certain it will benefit everyone.
Mrs. Slocombe: Well, let's hear it!
Mr. Lucas: We could turn the picture off, but leave the sound on. That way, no one would be able to see, and the tape would be deemed useless.
Mr. Humphries: I suppose that would work...
Captain Peacock: But we must try it, after all.
(Doo doo doo do, doo doo doooooooo......)
(Back on the floor...)
Mr. Lucas: Mr. Humphries! Are you ready?
Mr. Humphries: Ready and willing! (He switches on the camera)
(At that moment, the lift doors open)
Young Mr. Grace: Uh, hello everybody!
All: Good afternoon, Mr. Grace!
Young Mr. Grace: Yes, well, I took a look at your tape this morning, and now
I don't think that anyone should see it.
Captain Peacock: Why not? Isn't it good?
Young Mr. Grace: The part where Miss Brahms adjusts her cleavage...unsuitable for public viewing.
Mr. Humphries: Couldn't you just edit that out?
Young Mr. Grace: No, no, my decision is final.
Mrs. Slocombe: Well, I suppose all that tape will be destroyed, now.
Young Mr. Grace: Oh, no, I will be keeping it. You've all done very well!
All: Thank you, Mr. Grace!
Mr. Lucas is fiddling with the camera.
Captain Peacock is standing there, looking dignified and resigned.
Mr. Humphries is wearing his turban and waving, and just generally being very cute.
Miss Brahms is smiling and looking cute, as usual.
Mr. Grainger is just standing there.
Mr. Harman has an arm around each of his two assistants.
Mr. Rumbold is sitting in his office, puzzled.
Young Mr. Grace is smiling with Goddard at his side.
Cook is looking murderous.
Vicar is examining his leotard and nylon shorts.
Cameraman is sneezing into a handkerchief.
John Inman - Mr. Humphries
Mollie Sugden - Mrs. Slocombe
Trevor Bannister - Mr. Lucas
Frank Thornton - Captain Peacock
Wendy Richard - Miss Brahms
Arthur Brough - Mr. Grainger
Nicholas Smith - Mr. Rumbold
Arthur English - Mr. Harman
Harold Bennet - Young Mr. Grace
Cook - Doremy - Vernon
Vicar - Gordon Kaye
Cameraman - Raymond Bowers
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