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Scene 1 :: Scene 2 :: Scene 3
It is the usual day in Grace Bros. It has just opened and the customers are buying stuff.
Mrs Slocombe: There you are madam. And don't worry if the blouse shrinks it'll ride up with wear. (Customer walks off) Although by the look of you it's doubtless that it won't ride up with wear.
Miss Brahms: Ere. Have those scarves arrived yet?
Mrs Slocombe: Oh yes. They're under the counter. You know, this year's been dreadful money wise. Ever since that last election in May my money's been down the drain. I can hardly afford to feed my pussy let alone clean it.
Miss Brahms: Year. Me too. I don't know if I can go on holiday this year. I was thinking of going with a friend to Spain with my wages I couldn't even go to Southend.
Mrs Slocombe: Well. Things are bound to pick up eventually. I was talking to Mrs Axelbury about going to France this year for a change. Spain is so common these days.
Miss Brahms: Ere. I hope you're not referring to my taste.
Mrs Slocombe: Oh. No, no. What I mean is that as I'm in my early forties now I have to make the most of it.
Mr Lucas: Mr Humphries. Where are the fishing jumpers?
Mr Humphries: Under the counter beside the size fours. You know. I can't remember how much money I managed to get for my bonus last week. How much was it?
Mr Lucas: Er. (Looks at a notepad) £2.35. 1 pound off for emergency redundancy money.
Mr Humphries: But there isn't such a thing.
Mr Lucas: Only with Mr Grace there is.
Mr Humphries: Oh that's it then. (Puts an elastic band around his black book and puts it in a draw) I can't afford to go on holiday this year. It's all because of the election you know. You know my mother now has to go to bingo 6 nights a week now to get the money in. I said to her I said "Mother. If you carry on like this we won't be able to afford out yearly trip to Barnsley." She replied saying that Mr Grace was a tight old git and should be luck I had a mother who cared.
Mr Lucas: Well. I can't afford to go on holiday either. I've got to save up for a season ticket for the autumn. I can tell you that Mrs Thatcher has really done it. Mind you Mr Grace is conservative so that's probably the case.
Mr Humphries: (Phone rings. He picks it up) Menswear. Oh. Hello. Yes. Okay yes. Right. Captain Peacock. Are you free?
Captain Peacock: (Looks around) At the moment Mr Humphries.
Mr Humphries: Well it's Mr Rumbold on the phone for you sir.
Captain Peacock: Oh. Right. (Takes the phone) Thank you. Hello.
Mr Rumbold: Ah. Hello Captain Peacock.
Captain Peacock: Hello Mr Rumbold.
Mr Rumbold: Yes. I wondered. Could I have the staff in here in five minutes. (Some equipment in the background is being set up) I want to bring the staff together for a meeting. It's very important.
Captain Peacock: Yes. I'll tell them sir. (Puts the phone down)
Mr Humphries: What was all that about?
Captain Peacock: I don't know. All he said was that we were to come in for a meeting. HE says that it's very important.
Mrs Slocombe: (Walks over) What was that?
Mr Lucas: Mr Rumbold wants us in there for another meeting.
Mr Humphries: (Gasps) You don't think it would be about our pay packets do you?
Miss Brahms: They can't dock our wages again. We're all down as it is.
Captain Peacock: I know. Mrs Peacock wants a new car. You know one of those new Ford Granada's. I say to her "I can't. We've only got 30 pounds in the bank and that's for shopping until December." And it's only July now.
Mr Humphries: Well. I don't see how they can expect any of us to work on these wages. It's a disgrace.
Mrs Slocombe: Well I suggest we go up to Mr Grace and say that if we don't have a pay rise we'll sew him for tax reduction.
Mr Lucas: Yes. I don't think in your case it would be sexual harassment.
Mrs Slocombe: (Gives a despising look) Shut up.
Captain Peacock: No. What we need to do is go to Mr Rumbold directly and say that we are not going to put up with the wages any longer. We'll force him to become part of a protest. After all we are his staff. He's hate it if he lost us.
Mr Lucas: Well for once I'm in agreeance with Captain Peacock.
Mr Slocombe: Me too. Now. I'll go and change and you 3 think of what to say. WE have to be sophisticated you know.
To Scene 2
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