Goon Show Script

The Reason Why

Series 7, Special Episode

Originally broadcast on 22nd August 1957. Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens. Produced by Jacques Brown.


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MUSIC:
Solemn bugle call in A sped up to B flat. Same bugle call in B flat slowed down to A

GREENSLADE:
This is the BBC Light Programme

MUSIC:
Typical 1950s intro music, then under:

GREENSLADE:
“The Reason Why”:
the story of an unexplained phenomena

MUSIC:
Up and out

TOWN CRIER (DYALL):
1876 and all’s well!

GREENSLADE:
1876, and my master, the hon. Harold Bowels MP, was at that time a member of parliament in parliament

FX:
[This scene is very echoic:]

?:
[Fades in coughing]

L. BROWNING (SELLERS):
It has come to my notice that in the region of the tram stop near the plaque of the historical Omnibus track of 1873, there are certain irregularities

POSH SECOMBE:
What about the irregularities in Hyde Park then?

L. BROWNING:
I tell you, I was home all yesterday evening

POSH SECOMBE:
Ooh oh they all say that, ooooh

? (MILLIGAN):
Please, please, honorary members. Lord Browning, continue please

L. BROWNING:
Yes. Well, it appears that there is a large hole or gap in the Thames embankment wall. It only appeared recently and to date, nothing has been done about it

MIN BANNISTER:
Aaaaeeoooooh!

FX:
Body falling to floor

BLOODNOK:
Send a gunboat! Mm, ooh! Erh, sorry, I was dreaming, I…

DYALL:
This hole or gap…

MIN BANNISTER:
What!

DYALL:
…in the embankment; is it really necessary?

L. BROWNING:
No, no, it’s not really necessary

DYALL:
Then I suggest it be abolished as an unnecessary expense

L. BROWNING:
Well this hole isn’t costing us anything

DYALL:
Ah, that sounds reasonable

FX:
Club hits object

MIN BANNISTER:
Aaaaeeoooooh!

L. BROWNING:
Mr Bowels, explain. He has the figures. Mr Bowels?

BOWELS (SECOMBE):
Thank you. Yes, it is as Lord Browning points out…

MIN BANNISTER:
Speak up, young man

BOWELS:
I don’t wish to know that, young…[clears throat]. It is as Lord Browning points out, the dangers this hole presents. I.e. Last winter on certain foggy and dark-type nights, citizens of London town fell through this gap into the Thames and wet their clothes. The crux of the matter is this; these people as the result of their wetting, catch colds

MIN BANNISTER:
Aaaaeeoooooh!

BOWELS:
These citizens in turn are suing the government for the moneys laid out in medical fees. The question is; would it be cheaper to pay up claims or fill in the hole?

MILLIGAN:
[Off:]Fill in the hole!

BOWELS:
Are you in parliament?

MILLIGAN:
[Off:]Only just, sir!

DYALL:
Have many people fallen through this hole?

BOWELS:
Aae oh. Well ah – Sir Mortally Bringe, this is your department

SPRIGGS:
Yes. How many people fell, [sings:]people feeeeell, [normal:]fell into the Thames last year? I have the separate figures for men and women, [sings:]men and woomeeeeen! [Normal:]The figures for men for the months, January, February and March, [sings:]Maaaaaaarch; [Normal:]thirty-two, fifty-six and forty-one

DYALL:
And the figure for women?

SPRIGGS:
[Sings:]Thirty-two, twenty-one and thirty-niiiine!

DYALL:
Ha, an ideal figure for a woman

GRAMS:
Murmurs from crowd

FX:
Thud

L. BROWNING:
May I ask how this hole or gap in the embankment came about in the first place?

BOWELS:
It was left there by the builder. I suppose he forgot to take it away. Ha ha ha! Get it, you see? Hole, he forgot to take it away. Ha ha ha! [Pause] I demand a vote of confidence!

GRAMS:
Murmurs from crowd

DYALL:
[Over grams:]Let’s fill the hole in and be done with it

BOWELS:
Fill it in? How?

BLOODNOK:
How? With fill

DYALL:
Nonsense, with bricks of course

BOWELS:
Bricks? Haha. There’s always a radical somewhere. Oh no, sir Pules. No indeed. England can afford something better than bricks

MIN BANNISTER:
Bravo

BOWELS:
I’ll think of something. There is always a way out

MIN BANNISTER:
[Fades out:]Always a way out

FX:
No more echo

GREENSLADE:
That night, my master, hon. Bowles MP, was having dinner with a friend at number ten, eleven, twelve and thirteen Downing Street

FX:
Rattling cups and teaspoons

GRAMS:
Murmurs throughout this scene:


BOWELS:
[Laughs] I say, I hope the ladies didn’t hear that one

CHURCHILL (SELLERS):
Yes it was a bit loud, wasn’t it?

GRYTPYPE:
Mr Prime Minister, you haven’t introduced me to your guest

CHURCHILL:
Oh yes, certainly. This is the Honourable Harold Bowels MP and Bowles, this is Lord Thynne, the famous builder and sculptor

BOWELS:
Builder and sculptor? What do you sculpt?

GRYTPYPE:
Houses

BOWELS:
Do you use a model?

GRYTPYPE:
My dear old grandmother. You see, it’s a family business

BOWELS:
I see. A sculptor, you say. By jove, you might be the very man

GRYTPYPE:
Oh?

BOWELS:
Let’s, let's go out on the balcony

GRYTPYPE:
Certainly. Excuse me

GRAMS:
Murmurs stop

FX:
Scraping of wooden chairs being pushed back. Rattling metal objects (knives and forks dropping from Moriarty)

MORIARTY:
[Panicking noises]

BOWELS:
I erh – I think your friend has a hole in his pocket

GRYTPYPE:
Jove, so he has. Allow me to introduce him to you:
Count Moriarty, the Honourable Bowles

MORIARTY:
Ah. Please to meet you, hon. Bowles. Mon plegger, mon plegger

GRYTPYPE:
The count is a model much in demand by artists on the continent, you know

BOWELS:
Really?

GRYTPYPE:
Yes, he posed for the original Eiffel Tower

BOWELS:
Gad, how he’s changed!

MILLIGAN:
Ah, pardon me. Would you gentlemen like your coffee on the balcony?

GRYTPYPE:
Haven’t you any cups?

BOWELS:
Now then, Lord Thynne. You may have read in the press, the Thames embankment…

GRYTPYPE:
Has a hole in it? Hahaha, and the whole world is laughing at England. It’s not very pretty, is it?

BOWELS:
Have you a solution?

GRYTPYPE:
Of course:
fill the gap with an edifice

BOWELS:
An edifice? Hahaha, much too big and expensive

GRYTPYPE:
A statue then? My card

BOWELS:
Sculptor. Special summer rates to politicians, England and spon. What is spon?

GRYTPYPE:
A soft porous metal mined in agony by the inhabitants of the Urals

BOWELS:
So it is that all the time

GRYTPYPE:
I could make you a spon statue to fill that hole

BOWELS:
The price?

GRYTPYPE:
With season tickets:
thirty-nine pounds, three dollars

BOWELS:
Why the three dollars?

GRYTPYPE:
I intend finishing the work in America

BOWELS:
How do you mean to travel there?

GRYTPYPE:
Yes

BOWELS:
I see. Thirty-nine pounds, mmmmmmmm, a bit expensive. Could you quote a smaller figure?

GRYTPYPE:
I could:
bust 12, waist 3, hips 48

MIN:
Oooww

BOWELS:
That would never fill the gap

GRYTPYPE:
It must fill somebody’s. After all, it’s spring, you know

BOWELS:
Seasons have no effect on this gap

L. HARRONS (DYALL):
Hello, gentlemen. Do you mind if I join you?

GRYTPYPE:
Why hello, Lord Harrons. Just talking about the gap in the embankment

L. HARRONS:
Ha ha, that’s just what I wanted to see you about. The British ambassador in Alexandria tells me that just outside the town, there is a wealth of ancient statuary going begging

GRYTPYPE:
Begging? That should be stopped

L. HARRONS:
The PM believes that one of these could be used to fill the gap

BOWELS:
What a splendid idea! [Fading out:]That’ll save us spending thirty-nine pounds, three dollars on the one Lord Thynne has…

MUSIC:
Violin melody played at various speeds, continues under:

GREENSLADE:
On the Hon. Mem’s suggestion, that night my master, Hon. Bowels, as was his custom, walked naked in the garden playing the violin, at one at the same time dictating a certain letter to his secretary:


BOWELS:
“Dear Ambassador, I will be coming to Alexandria next month on state business. Signed Hon. Harold Bowels.” [Grams stop.] Read that back, will you, my man?

ECCLES:
Eh?

BOWELS:
Read it back

ECCLES:
Oh yeah. Um – what’s that first, what’s that first word?

BOWELS:
Ha ha, it says “Dear Ambassador”

ECCLES:
Oh yeah, “Dear Ambassador”. Um – I can’t make out this next one

BOWELS:
Um – “I will be”

ECCLES:
Oh yeah, “I will be”. That’s right. Well, go on then

BOWELS:
“I will be arriving in Alexandria next month.”

ECCLES:
Fine, fine

BOWELS:
“Signed, Hon. Harold Bowles.”

ECCLES:
Yeah, yeah that’s OK. You’d better run out and post it, my good man

BOWELS:
At once!

FX:
Door closes

ECCLES:
[Sings to himself]

FX:
Door opens

BOWELS:
Take that!

FX:
Thud!

ECCLES:
Aaaaaeeeooougggh!

BOWELS:
You nit. Take this letter out to the post at once!

ECCLES:
OK, OK, OK, OK!

FX:
Door closes

BOWELS:
Foof. Ten to one he won’t find a post box

ECCLES:
Ten to one I do

BOWELS:
Get out!

ECCLES:
Ow!

FX:
Door closes

BOWELS:
Now to prepare for the journey. Willium! Where’s that old wrinkled retainer? Willium!

FX:
Slow footsteps approaching

WILLIUM:
Eoooh. Coming, sir, and the wrinkled retainer

BOWELS:
Willium, I’m going to Egypt

WILLIUM:
Goodbye, mate

BOWELS:
Come back here. I’m not going now, I’ve only just sent the letter informing them of my arrival

ECCLES:
Oh yeah, I’d better post it. No, no!

BOWELS:
GET OUT AND POST IT!

FX:
Door closes

BOWELS:
Haaaa. Now, Willium, I’ll need my Gladstone bag and my Disraeli suitcase

WILLIUM:
Right, I’ll your pawn tickets and collect your pawns

BOWELS:
Splendid. Pack my deer stalker because I’ll be doing some deer stalking. I might do some rabbit stalking too

WILLIUM:
I’ll pack you rabbit stalker as well

FX:
Door opens

GREENSLADE:
Ah Mr Bowels sir. Here are your boat and train tickets. First class sleeper standing up, reduced summer rates for politicians facing east

BOWELS:
I’ve got to stand all the way to Egypt?

GREENSLADE:
Oh no, sir. You’re allowed to sit down at Port Suez for three minutes

BOWELS:
Ah, the wonders of travel, Greenslade. Well let’s drink to a successful trip. Let’s celebrate, chaps. Put on a cylinder of wax

MUSIC:
Old record with a corny woodwind ensemble (20 sec.)

GRAMS:
Ship’s fog horn

MUSIC:
Nautical music, with muttered nautical calls from the cast.

Exotic African music

GREENSLADE:
On the third of May, on a torrid afternoon, me master, Hon. Bowels, arrived at the British embassy Alexandria

FX:
Fly buzzing. Clap of hands. Fly swatted

AMBASSADOR (SELLERS):
Curse these flies

FX:
Door opens. Violin playing under:

ABDUL (MILLIGAN):
Ah, pardon me, sir. There is a naked man playing the fiddle outside

AMBASSADOR:
Sounds like a professional. Send him forward

ABDUL:
[Off:]This way forward, sir

BOWELS:
Ah thank you. Good morning, sir

AMBASSADOR:
Come in; let me take your violin for you

FX:
Violin playing stops. Wood crackling

AMBASSADOR:
Abdul, burn this on the fire. Now then, who are you?

BOWELS:
I am the Honourable Harold Bowels MP

FX:
Penny in tin mug

BOWELS:
Thank you, shall we dance?

AMBASSADOR:
Love to

MUSIC:
Ballroom dance waltz, continues under Bowels and Greenslade:


BOWELS:
You dance divinely

GREENSLADE:
As the two beautiful creatures waltzed through the embassy, my master, hon. Bowels, told of his hoping to find an Egyptian monument to fit the gap, and was passed to the notorious gap filler, Major Bloodnok

BLOODNOK:
[Fading in:]The message says, he’s coming here sideways today about eleven. Let’s see – that’s an hour and a half – time for a little more work. Now where’s that catalogue? Ah, here:
bust 42, waist 20, hips 44, mmn yes

FX:
Pen scratching on paper under Bloodnok’s next line:


BLOODNOK:
“Dear sir, I am – oooooho – I am a keen art student of twenty-one. Oooooho. Please forward to me, in the plain wrappers, - ooooho – your continental selection of student’s art studies. Signed, Augustus Johns.” Oooooho

ABDUL:
Ah, pardon, pardon me, sir

BLOODNOK:
What, what?

ABDUL:
There’s two men called Honourable Bowels outside, sir

BLOODNOK:
Honourable Bowels?

ABDUL:
This way, sir

BOWELS:
Ah, how do you do, sir?

BLOODNOK:
Ah, how are you? Welcome to freedom. We must have a drink, lad, eh

BOWELS:
No, no, I’m sorry, Major, I’m dreadfully tired. I think, as we’re rising early tomorrow, I’d like to get to bed

BLOODNOK:
You’re right, Bowels, you’re perfectly right. Abdul! Make up the ironing board in the spare room, will you?

BOWELS:
Never mind, please, I’ll sleep on the floor

BLOODNOK:
Will you? Good. ~~~~. Goodnight, lad

BOWELS:
Goodnight. [Snores]

FX:
Metal ting

BOWELS:
[Whispering:]What’s that?

BLOODNOK:
[Whispering:]Ooh, there’s someone at the foot of my bed

BOWELS:
[Whispering:]Light the candle

BLOODNOK:
[Whispering:]I can’t, the wick’s fused

BOWELS:
Right. Hands up, you, there in the dark. Don’t move; I’m holding a loaded sock in my hand and a lace club on my foot. Bloodnok, tie him to a chair with ties

BLOODNOK:
Yes. Keep still, whoever you are. You hear me? I’m an Englishman, sir. One false move and I’ll shout bang, oooh

BOWELS:
Get these chains on the swine

FX:
Rattling chains

BOWELS:
Around his legs

BLOODNOK:
Stuff this gag in his mouth.

BOWELS:
Yes, strap him (???) to the chair there.

BLOODNOK:
Now then, tell us who you are!

BLUEBOTTLE:
I’m Bluebottle!

BOWELS:
Gad, yes, Bluebottle. He came over on the clipper with me

BLOODNOK:
Really?

BOWELS:
Yes, he’s my ADC

BLOODNOK:
He looks nothing like one, I’ll have him destroyed!

BOWELS:
Oh no, no, he very useful in spotting teradacta(?)

BLOODNOK:
Fine, we haven’t had one of those for years

BLUEBOTTLE:
I have brought this message from the London

BOWELS:
Let me see. Letter from Mr Gladstone, the Prime Minister! I’ll put my court uniform on and read it

GLADSTONE (SELLERS):
“Dear Honourable Bowels, I have just heard that – ah – you are bringing back and Egyptian-type statue to – ah – fill our beloved gap in the Thames wall. Ah – But the ministers have been instructed to give all the aid in their power. We should like to have the hole filled in to commemorate the Silver – Jubilee

BOWELS:
The Silver Jubilee? Gad, we must hasten! Bloodnok, order the camels!

BLOODNOK:
Two camels, please!

MUSIC:
Elephant-type music with tuba and flutes, continues under Greenslade:


GREENSLADE:
So my master, the hon. Bowels, journeyed to the great desert of Guyra(?), outside Karnack. Karnack, ancient city of the third dynasty, abounding in remains of a once great civilisation. [Music stops] A sort of Oriental Cleethorpes

GRAMS:
Camel mooing and gibberish shouting. Continues under:

GREENSLADE:
On this scene arrived my master, the honourable Bowels and escort

CRUN:
Aaaahh, honourable Bowels and escort. We are the curators of the archaeological findings in this area

BOWELS:
What are your findings?

CRUN:
Not guilty

BOWELS:
Splendid. How do you do?

BANNISTER:
How do you do, sir?

BOWELS:
Not guilty

L. THUNN (DYALL):
I’m Lord Thunn, also not guilty. I joined hon. Bowels yesterday

BANNISTER:
How nice for you! Nice for you

L. THUNN:
We’ve been informed that there is a giant obelisk around here

CRUN:
Ah yes, that’s the Cleopatra’s Needle; sixty-seven feet high and ten-foot square – at the base

L. THUNN:
Jove, hon. Bowels, those are the exact measurements of the gap in the Thames embankment!

BOWELS:
We might’ve hit it first time! Just think, what was that sculptor trying to charge us? Thirty-nine pounds, three dollars and we can get it all for free, ha ha ha

L. THUNN:
Knighthoods will be in order, Bowels

BOWELS:
Indeed, Thunn. Come, [Fades out:]let’s examine this obelisk and…

BANNISTER:
How nice for them

GRAMS:
Stop

MUSIC:
Egyptian music, under:

GREENSLADE:
My master, hon. Bowels, along with lord Thunn, made camp at the side of the great obelisk and a series of examinations of it were made by the engineer royal, Mr Thong

THONG (SELLERS):
Mmmmm…

FX:
Hard object hitting brick

THONG:
Yes, well, it appears to be in one piece, made of red sandstone. Weighs about, let me see… [strains] … about 150 tons, I should say

L. THUNN:
It’d be a bit of a devil to get back to the old country, wouldn’t it?

BOWELS:
Don’t worry, gentlemen, I’ve arranged for it to be given a buoyant wooden jacket and [Fades out:]towed home behind the S.S. Carthania

MUSIC:
Egyptian music and singing; under:

GRAMS:
A rotary sound effect to simulate obelisk being lifted; under:

GREENSLADE:
It was a great sight, as my master, hon. Bowels, observed two thousand labourers sweating and straining, as the great colossus was lifted and dusted [Effects stop]. Finally, after three months, it was put in its wooden container and launched

GRAMS:
Sliding down ramp. Splash! Water bubbles

L. THUNN:
I say; it sunk

MUSIC:
Same Egyptian music and singing; under:

GRAMS:
Same rotary sound effect; under:

BOWELS:
How long will it take to raise it?

BLOODNOK:
Oh, only about a week, lad

BOWELS:
A week? Mhmhm mhmhm. This is starting to cost money. To date with wages and the salvage is one thousand five hundred pounds!

BLOODNOK:
Yes, yes, yes, but you don’t realise that this obelisk is free

L. THUNN:
You couldn’t get an obelisk for that price any where in England!

BOWELS:
Yes. I… I keep forgetting

NATIVE (MILLIGAN):
[Gibberish]

L. THUNN:
I say, Bowels, the overseer said he doesn’t think we can raise the obelisk by hand. Says we’ll need deep water salvage vessels

BOWELS:
Oh. Well we’ll contact naval base Alexandria and request immediate aid. We’ve got to hurry. [Fades out:]Remember the silver jubilee is only a month away!

MUSIC:
Dramatic allegro orchestral music; under:

GRAMS:
Chugging engine and seagull calls

CREIDEN:
[Scottish] Haul away!

GRAMS:
Chugging engine

BOWELS:
Admiral Creiden, how much longer to lift this thing?

CREIDEN:
The divers say it’s difficult to see to attach the cables, sir. The water’s getting very muddy

BOWELS:
Well can’t we go where the water’s clearer?

CREIDEN:
Arh, we did that, but we discovered that the obelisk wasn’t there, sir

BOWELS:
What terribly bad luck

CREIDEN:
Don’t you worry, sir. We’ll soon have her up

HIGH VOICE (MILLIGAN):
Sir! A proper hurricane's bearing down on this position

CREIDEN:
Ouch, up anchors, head for safe harbour!

BOWELS:
Nonsense, Scottish captain. I have the perfect plan for saving the obelisk with no danger to life, limb or Herbert Lom

MUSIC:
Dramatic allegro orchestral music for 15 sec. then fades out

FX:
Pen scratching paper; under Gladstone’s line:


GLADSTONE:
“Dear Honourable Bowels, I hear that the obelisk is at the bottom of the sea. I’m afraid this just [Angry:]WON’T DO! [Not angry:]Signed, Gladstone”

BOWELS:
[Tut, tut, tut] They’re getting impatient. Now there’s a fresh bill for 12,000 pounds for the admiralty for the two ships wrecked in the hurricane

L. THUNN:
Don’t worry. Skipper says the needle should be lifted by nightfall

BOWELS:
Nightfall? We’ll have to wait ‘till it gets dark for that

L. THUNN:
Well, can’t we do it at nightfall while it’s still light?

CREIDEN:
Huuurgh!

GRAMS:
Splash

CREIDEN:
I’m sorry, sir, but that’s the best place for him

L. THUNN:
[Off:]I say! Was it something I said?

BOWELS:
Don’t worry about him. He’s off the current persona non-grata list. Now, couldn’t we move the obelisk to clearer water, then we could see it?

CREIDEN:
Huuurgh!

GRAMS:
Splash

CREIDEN:
That’s two of you off the persona non-grata list

BOWELS:
[Off:]You’ll pay for this!

CREIDEN:
Sound the bell and haul away!

GRAMS:
Rotary effect

MUSIC:
Fanfare; continues under Greenslade’s line:


GREENSLADE:
On May the 8th, the master sent the following message to the PM

FX:
Pen scratching paper under Bowles’s line:


BOWELS:
“At last the cylinder containing Cleopatra’s Needle has been raised. It set off this morning towed by the ship S.S. Harbour. We will conclude unfinished business and follow in a week’s time. We have to break camp and smash crockery and hurl elephants. Lord Thun has been cured of sulphur drugs. Please send eight thousand pounds to pay all the outstanding bills. This may sound a lot, but remember the obelisk hasn’t cost us a penny.” There. Now, read that back

ECCLES:
What’s this first word?

FX:
Thud!

ECCLES:
Oooooooow! OK, I’ll post it!

BOWELS:
Now for England, home and beauty!

MUSIC:
Naval music for 10 sec. followed by record off needle

GREENSLADE:
Mr Prime Minister, the hon. Bowels has been captured by a savage Bedouin tribe. They demand a ransom of thirty thousand pounds

GLADSTONE:
We’ll pay it. Thirty thousand pounds is very cheap for an Englishman

GREENSLADE:
Yes, sir

GLADSTONE:
Um, ah – any news from the admiralty about the obelisk?

GREENSLADE:
Yes, sir. Er – it is at this moment passing the straits of Gibraltar

GLADSTONE:
Straits of Gibraltar? They sound like nice people

GREENSLADE:
They are, sir

MUSIC:
Extend piano C chord

GREENSLADE:
Meantime, in the Bedouin camp…

MUSIC:
Exotic music; continues under:

BEDOUIN (MILLIGAN?):
Master Seolleagues. There is a British coolie outside from London

SHEIKH (DYALL?):
Send him in

BEDOUIN:
I do…

SHEIKH:
This will be the ransom. Yewel, go behind this screen

BEDOUIN:
[Garbled gibberish]

FX:
Knock on door

SHEIKH:
Come in

FX:
Door opens

MUSIC:
Stops

BLUEBOTTLE:
Greetings, Sheikh. I have brought the ransom money for the release of honourable Bowels

SHEIKH:
Show me the money

BLUEBOTTLE:
No! I will not! I have been warned of the mysteries of the east. I will show you half of the money

SHEIKH:
Alright. Bring me my salt and I will show you half of Mr Bowels

BLUEBOTTLE:
No, no! Do not chop-ped him into two! Here’s the money, for you, twenty thousand pounds!

SHEIKH:
Alright, Bowels, you can come out

BOWELS:
Hah. Haaaaaaaaah! We’re free!

ECCLES:
Yeah, let’s go to the pictures

BOWELS:
No, no, it’s London for us and the erection of Cleopatra’s Needle

L. THUNN:
Well there’s bad news about that. It’s got cut off from the tow ship during the storm and it’s lost, I fear

BOWELS:
Oh dash

MUSIC:
Low and sad Double Bass, Bassoon and Oboe ensemble; continues under Greenslade’s line:


GREENSLADE:
So my master, the hon. Bowels, charted a squadron of Arab dhows to scour the seven seas. Total cost of the venture to date:
thirty-nine thousand pounds

DYALL:
Yes, but as the Honourable Bowels had said so often:


BOWELS:
It’s worth it. After all we’re getting it for nothing, aren’t we? [Laughs, fade, clears throat]

GRAMS:
Waves lapping and water splashing

C. STENCH (SELLERS):
Object in sea ahead! Three points to starboard!

L. THUNN:
Did you hear that?

C. STENCH:
Yes, sir, I said it!

L. THUNN:
You, Bowels?

BOWELS:
I’ve just got the spy glass on it. It is. It… it is, it’s the obelisk. Captain Stench, heave two. No, you’d better heave three to be on the safe side

C. STENCH:
There’s starboard side and port side, but there’s no safe side, sir

L. THUNN:
Well don’t argue, it’s drifting aft. Hurry!

MUSIC:
Very faintly; nautical music; under:

STENCH:
(over, calls) Scran stir the scurndel nay!

SEAMAN:
[Very faintly:]Aye, aye, sir!

STENCH:
Spon gurl the mezzen, arn crungell the wak dorp!

SEAMAN:
[Very faintly:]Aye, aye, sir!

STENCH:
Crage the lagurd and wurtell the cacbid nurl!

SEAMAN:
[Very faintly:]Aye, aye, sir!

STENCH:
Wurgle the tanker yardel Miles the Moby batten the

hatch an' tel the k-neel!

SEAMAN (MILLIGAN):
[Very faintly replies gibberish]

C. STENCH:
[To audience:]I don’t know how he does it, but he’s always so willing you know

SEAMAN (MILLIGAN):
[Very faintly:]Aye, aye, sir!

L. THUNN:
Good news, Bowels. We’ve got the obelisk in tow again, but we have to beach it as soon as it’s waterlogged

BOWELS:
Make for the nearest coast

C. STENCH:
That’s Portugal, sir, and we all know what comes from there. [To seaman:]Hard ablon on the gurd ptneel and vargle the goals!

SEAMAN (MILLIGAN):
[Very faintly replies gibberish] [Stops when FX occurs]

FX:
Something collapsing

C. STENCH:
I don’t know how he does it, sir. I don’t…

MUSIC:
Allegro orchestral end-of-epic link

GLADSTONE:
“Dear Honourable Bowels, We hear that the obelisk is now” – cah – “resting on a Portuguese beach. This will never do. The Silver Jubilee is but a stone’s throw away.”

BOWELS:
Send a reply

FX:
Sawing throughout Bowel’s line:


BOWELS:
“Dear Mr Gladstone, Fear not.” [Fading out:]“The obelisk will be in the pool of London in a stone throw’s time

GRAMS:
Rotary effect from ship; under:

GREENSLADE:
And so my master, the hon. Bowels, brought the great obelisk safely home and supervised its erection

SELLERS:
Ah, pardon me, Mr Hon. Bowels. I believe you have a certain amount of things, which are to be lodged in the base of the old obelisk there

BOWELS:
Yes indeed, there are quite a few things to go in the time capsule. Lord Bentine, check them off on this list, will you?

MUSIC:
Orchestra playing relaxing version of “Land of Hope and Glory”; under Bentine’s line:


BENTINE (SELLERS):
Articles in two large earthenware jars at the base of Cleopatra’s Needle; standard foot and pound; bronze model of the obelisk, scale:
half inch to the foot; copies of the magazine “Engineering”, printed on venom; piece of the obelisk, stone; empress of India rupee; parchment copy of Dr Burch’s translation of the obelisk’s Hieroglyphics; portrait of Queen Victoria; Bradshaw’s Railway Guide; Mapin's (???) skulling razor; box of hairpins and ladies ornaments; Tangeis(?) hydraulic jack as used in raising the obelisk; wire ropes and specimens of submarine cables; map of London; photographs of one dozen pretty English women; two-foot rule; London directory; Whitaker’s Almanac [fades out] and a copy of The Times the day the obelisk was set up

GREENSLADE:
And on the Tond of Mule Eighteen-Onty-Two, the obelisk, Cleopatra’s Needle, was unveiled by Anna Neagle and Anton Walbrook

GRAMS:
Cheering!

L. THUNN:
This must be a proud day for you, hon. Bowels

MUSIC:
Sorrow violin playing; under:

BOWELS:
Thursday. Yes, yes, at last the gap is filled. Filled with an obelisk that we got for nothing

L. THUNN:
Oh, here’s the bill for erecting it

BOWELS:
Twenty-thousand pounds

L. THUNN:
That makes a grand total of a hundred and eighty thousand pounds, eight shillings

BOWELS:
Heh. I… I, um… I, I suppose it was worth it

L. THUNN:
Every penny of it

MUSIC:
Band warming and tuning up. Then starts corny march song; under rest of show:


SECOMBE:
I’ll see you outside then, Pete

GREENSLADE:
Perhaps you have been listening to the authentic story of Cleopatra’s Needle. Historical consultant Professor Toinby that is Professor Jim Toinby of Hyde Park Railings. Write now for full details

SECOMBE:
Is that your shoe on the floor there, mate?

FX:
Fork drops to floor

MORIARTY:
Hohohohoho!

GREENSLADE:
Taking part in “The Reason Why” were Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Valentine Dyall. The script by Spike Milligan. Announcer:
Wallace Greenslade and this recorded production was by Jacques Brown

FX:
Occasional raspberries by Secombe and Bloodnok aeoughs until music ends