The Great Oxygen Shortage Of 1994


A new GOONS script

 

WALLACE: This is the BBC Home service.

HARRY: Ah Wal there you are you short finely tuned person. Iíve a letter for you which is just arrived by Her Majestyís service.

WALLACE: A letter, for ME.

HARRY: No you fool, not for me for you.

WALLACE: A letter all of my own, MY, Iíve never had one all to myselfbefore. Mr Snagge gave me one of his letters once, said he didnít want it, but that doesnít count. Gosh my very own letter.

HARRY: Well arenít you going to opened it?

WALLACE: Open it. (pause) Ohhh is that what you do with them?

FX: Sound of tearing of paper as letter is hurridly opened. Carry on for a long time.

WALLACE: (out of breath) Why thereís somebody inside it.

SPIKE: Mother stop watering that cat weíve arrived at the BBC. And not a momemt to soon the showís just started. Sirs I bring you important amendments to this weeks script.

HARRY: What are they?

SPIKE: Certain lines have been cut from the show.

HARRY: You mean like the one I just didnít say.

SPIKE: I donít know I didnít hear it

HARRY: How do we know which lines have been cut and which havenít?

(pause)

HARRY: I see, that lines been cut also.

SPIKE: Yes, but the next ones completely safe.

HARRY: Thankgod. Listeners pin back your nostrils and secure a suitable view of your radio set to listen to the HIGHLY ESTEEMED GOON SHOW.

PETER: We present a tale of most singularity. An environmental disaster of a deathly magnitude.

WALLACE: THE GREAT OXYGEN SHORTAGE OF 1994

ORCHESTRA: Three dramatic chords

WALLACE: Err shouldnít that have been four dramatic chords.

ORCHESTRA:  (Shouting) Yes, but one of them has been cut from the show!!

WALLACE:
Oooo I wish Iíd never asked. Now where was I.

HARRY: You were standing just here Wal.

PETER: No he wasnít, he was over there.

SPIKE: No I think your both mistaken, he was crouched behind that cardboard statue of himself looking at that blamonge replica of us telling him where he is.

GRAMS: Harry, Peter and Spike arguing where Wallace is. Gradually speeded up.

WALLACE: STOP!!! Look, can we just get on please. Now ACT ONE of The Great Oxygen Shortage of 1994, A womans work is never done. Especially if thereís a man doing it.

JIM SPRIGGS: Dear listener Jeem, we travel now, by clockwork carrier
pigeon to the ancestral home of Nedddie Seagoon whoís catching up on a spot of light housework.

ORCHESTRA: Home Sweet Home (Out of tune).

GRAMS: Sound of Hoover over Neddie singing.

SEAGOON: Arrrr thatís better, my floors clean again, yes itís true what they say: a mans home is his castle. Itís just a pity I donít live in a castle. All I have are these four walls. Itís a strange place really, no roof, no doors or windows. In fact now that I think about it Iím trapped. A prisioner of my own home. HEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLPPPPPPPP!!!!!

FX: Knocking on wall.

SEAGOON: Iím saved, thereís someone at the wall. Hello there.

GRYTPYPE: (Off mike - shouting) MORIARTY, drop the demolition ball, I do belive this man is trapped.

FX: Almighty crash as wall is demolished.

SEAGOON: (Slight pause) HORRAY!!! Iím saved. Free at last. But wait, look at my floor, itís covered in dirt again. This wonít do Iíll have to hoover it again.

GRAMS: Hoover. (Winds down and explodes)

SEAGOON: Damn, Itís supposed to clean mess not make it.

GRYTPYPE: I say, can we be of some assistance.

SEAGOON: I saw before me two highly questionable fellows, clad in nothing more than the clothes they were wearing. One of them carrying a large sign which read...

ORCHESTRA: Russian dancing music.

SEAGOON: Quite ingenious.

GRYTPYPE: We know. Now could you please direct us toward your meter.

SEAGOON: My meter?

GRYTPYPE: Yes we wish to read it.

SEAGOON: Oh you donít want to do that.

GRYTPYPE: Why?

SEAGOON: Well, itís plots terrible, the charactors are one dimentional and itís far two long. Not unlike this show (laughs).

GRYTPYPE: Yes, well weíll be the judge of that.

SEAGOON: Alright. Itís just there under that pile of rubble.

GRYTPYPE: You mean your wall which we knocked down.

SEAGOON: Yes, yes of course, Iím free. And itís all thanks to you. How can I ever thank you.
 

GRYTPYPE: Oh Iím sure weíll think of something. But first about your
ruined Oxygen meter, itíll have to be...
 

SEAGOON: Wait a minute, did you say OXYGEN meter.
 

GRYTPYPE: Why yes, you have, or should I say did have one donít you?

SEAGOON: Tell me, is it small, black, have two red buttons, a slot and a circular dial with the words AIR TIME REMAINING printed on it in a Times typeface?

GRYTPYPE: Yes thatís it.

SEAGOON: Then I havenít got one.

GRYTPYPE: Well youíd better get one hadnít you sonny.

SEAGOON: But Iíve no need for such a device.

GRYTPYPE: Oh but you do. You see the worlds oxygen supply is diminishing, not because of the decline of the rainforests, but because of people like you, who use a hoover. The truth is that all the oxygen is being sucked up hoovers all over the world and this area has just been officially designated a OXYGEN FREE ZONE.

SEAGOON: So that means all the oxygenís free then?

GRYTPYPE: No it means you havenít any oxygen left.

SEAGOON: Ahh what tosh, Iíve never herd of anything so ludicrous.

GRYTPYPE: Well, your only alive now because your using the oxygen in your lungs, try breathing out and holding your breath.

SEAGOON: Alright.

(Pause)

(Concerned mumblings)

GRYTPYPE: Believe me now.

SEAGOON: Mmmmmmm (Still mumbling)

GRYTPYPE: Would you like my dear friend, confidante and co-inventor of
the Oxygen meter, Count Jim "Flies" Oscilloscope Moriarty to rustle you up such a life saving oxygen meter.

SEAGOON: Mmmmmmm (panic mumbling)

GRYTPYPE: Iíll take that as a yes. Moriarty, to work.

MORIARY: At once, but you know I can only work to the harmonic sounds of Max Geldry.

GRYTPYPE: All in hand my little pneaumatic friend, here he is now, right on time. Care to dance Neddie.
 

MAX & ORCHESTRA: MUSIC.

(Applause)

WALLACE: Ladies and Gentlemen, and those inbetween, we now wisk you straight back to No. 10 Charlie Avnue for act Two, A SPANNER IN THE WORKS...donít ask me, Iím only the announcer.

SEAGOON: Mmmmmm (Deep deathly mumblings)

GRYTPYPE: There you are Neddie, your new OXYGEN meter. Switch it on Moriarty thereís a good fellow.

FX: Clicking sound.

SEAGOON: (Gasping for breath) Itís, Itís a, Itís a miracle, fresh clean air. Iím saved, again. (Breaks into uncontrolable singing).

GRYTPYPE: You silly twisted man.

SEAGOON: Wait a minute you shouldnít have said that, that line has been cut from the show!

GRYTPYPE: I know, thatís why I switched the lines around in the interval.

SEAGOON: (Takes a breath as if to speak).

GRYTPYPE: For your line Neddie, thanks awfully.

FX: Knock on the wall.

WILLIUM: Scuse me mate, Iím from the Guiness Book of Records. Whichone of you just broke the world record for the longest time without oxygen?

SEAGOON: Me, I did. Am I going to be in the next edition then. Fame at last.

WILLIUM: Na mate, I just came round to tell ya we missed it. Bye.

GRAMS: WHOOSH.

SEAGOON: I didnít wish to know that.

GRYTPYPE: Now Neddie, listen very carefully while Moriarty explains the
meters simple user instructions.

MORIARTY: When the dial on the display reaches zero, place a fifty pence in the slot. Each fifty gives you two hours of oxygen.

GRYTPYPE: And weíll of course need the eighty pound installation chargeand twenty pound rental fee now.

SEAGOON: But...

GRYTPYPE: Do wish to go on breathing.

FX: Till

GRYTPYPE: Thankyou. Well weíll be around next week to empty the meter. See you then. Bye charl...I mean Neddie. Come Moriarty.

GRAMS: WHOOSH WHOOSH.

SEAGOON: So there I was, left with my meter. But something told me I was not being told the whole truth. I didnít trust Grytpype even though heíd saved my life, twice. Could the worlds oxygen be diminishing? Iíll find out for sure from my old proffessor friend.

ORCHESTRA: SHORT LINKING CHORDS

WALLACE: Soon every home in the greater London area owned a similarmeter to Seagoonís. Except one.

PROF CRUN: (shouting off mike) Get out you fiends and donít come back. Mmmmm Mmmnk think they can swindle old Henry Crun.

FX: Phone rings.

PROF CRUN: Hello.

MINNIE: Hello buddy, itís me.

PROF CRUN: Min, is that you?

MINNIE: Of course itís me Henry. Iím calling you from the bedroom. Iímtesting out our new phone extensions.

PROF CRUN: What are you doing in the bedroom Min?

MINNIE: Iím not in the bedroom anymore. Iíve moved to the Attic extension. Why have we a phone up here Henry

PROF CRUN: In case our ghost wants to use the phone you stupid woman.

MINNIE: Ghost!! Oooooo Aaaahhhh. Hold on cocky Iím getting out of here.

PROF CRUN: Min. Min.

MINNIE: Henry, I think the ghost is following me. Ahhhh.

PROF CRUN: Where are you now?

MINNIE: I was in the Kitchen, now Iím in the bathroom. Henry I think Iíve wet myself.

PROF CRUN: (Raising voice) Min stop moving about, your making me dizzy.

MINNIE: I think Iíve lost it Henry.

PROF CRUN: Mmmmm lost what Min?

MINNIE: The ghost. Iím in the conservatory now.

PROF CRUN: (Angry) But mmmm mnk we donít have a conservatory.

MINNIE: Oh I must be next door then!!

PROF CRUN: (Shouting) Min come back here this instant.

FX: Slaming phone down.

FX: Ringing phone.

PROF CRUN: Min, stop this foolishness and get back here you stupid dilapidated old crony.

SEAGOON: Hello is that Proffessor Henry Einstein Crun, ancient, inventor, scientist and part-time astronaught.

PROF CRUN: Yeeeeeeeeees.

SEAGOON: Ah my name is Neddie Seagoon.

PROF CRUN: So, what do you want me to do about it?

SEAGOON: Well, Iíve been told that the Earthís oxygen supply is beensucked dry by hoovers, is it true.

PROF CRUN: Of course not you fool.

SEAGON: Phew thatís a relief.

PROF CRUN: (Getting irate) Itís being being sucked down our plug holes by the evil order of The Metropolitan Waste Refuse Authority, the little blighters have had it in for me ever since I refused to have that inside toilet fitted...

SEAGOON: The years had obviously taken there toll on the poor proffessor, for he was quite cleary mad. I hastily replaced the reciever.

FX: Phone replaced

PROF CRUN: Hello, Hello. Mnk Mnk wheres he gone.

FX: Phone rings

PROF CRUN: (Shouting) Mmmmkk WHAT IS IT NOW!!!

RAY: Get off the line man, this is my bit.

RAY & ORCHESTRA:Music.No Applause)

RAY: Whereís my applause man.

WALLACE: Iím afriad itís been cut from the script.

RAY & ORCHESTRA: (Shouts of protest) Weíll be on to the musicians union about this.

WALLACE: Thankyou, Thankyou, quiet please. Itís only important announcers like me who donít get there lines dropped. Now,

ACT Three: The...

BLUEBOTTLE: Iím sorry Mr Greenslate that line has been cutted. Hi Hi Yee he. Enter Bluebottle, sissors in hand. Pausing slightly for rapturous audience applause. Now how did this Oxygen meter that Mr Monanarties and Mr Grytpips fitted for me, work. I put my coin in here and...

GRAMS: EXPLOSION!!
 

BLUEBOTTLE: You Rotten swines. Iím all charred around the edges. Thinks: Iím all charred around the edges.

WALLACE: Hm serves the little rascal right. Now to continue, Mr Seagoon continues his search for the truth.

SEAGOON: A search which was leading me no where, and fast. Once there I met up with this man...

ORCHESTRA: BLOODNOK THEME.

BLOODNOK: Ohhhhhhh arrrrhhhh Ohhhhh Ooooooo. Signed Major Dennis Bloodnok Leader of the Green Party etc etc...Right have you got all that down Miss Halfpenny. Weíll see what the PM makes of that.

ECCLES: Er could you repeat the bit after Dear Prime Minister?

BLOODNOK: Hold on a minute your not Miss Halfpenny, youíve got all your
own teeth.

ECCLES: I know. Miss Halfpenny is pregnant.

BLOODNOK: What!! Itís a lie I tell you, I was nowhere near her!!

FX: Intercom buzzer.

ECCLES: Thereís a Mr Seagoon to see you sir, says itís a matter of life and death.

BLOODNOK: Why are you using the intercom, your standing right next to me?

ECCLES: So I donít have to go outside to my desk and use it silly.

BLOODNOK: You just canít get the staff you know. Does this Seagoon fellow sound very rich?

ECCLES: Well, heís got his own speaking voice sir.

BLOODNOK: Well send him in lad.

FX: Door opens and closes.

SEAGOON: Ah Mr Bloodnok.

BLOODNOK: Oh forget the formalities lad, just call me Sir.

SEAGOON: Ok, Sir I urge you to tell me all you know of the oxygen shortage.

BLOODNOK: Which oxygen shortage?

SEAGOON: The one sweeping through London at this very minute.

BLOODNOK: Oh that one, I thought you ment last weeks.

SEAGOON: Last Weeks?

BLOODNOK: Mmmm errr nothing.

SEAGOON: Wait a minute, whereís your Oxygen meter?

BLOODNOK: Err itís at the cleaners.

SEAGOON: Then how are we breathing?

BLOODNOK: Ah

SEAGOON: Then there is no oxygen shortage. I think youíd better explain.

BLOOKNOK: No, Iím sworn to secrecy, Iíll never talk.

SEAGOON: Talk, or Iíll leave and youíll never see me again.

BLOODNOK: Alright, in that case I will. There is an oxygen shortage organised every week in a different city, last week it was Birmingham this week itís London.

SEAGOON: And what do you get out of this arrangement.

BLOODNOK: 20% of nothing.

SEAGOON: But surely thatís nothing.

BLOODNOK: Ah, but 20% of nothing is better than nothing at all. Plus the oxygen shortages get me support for the Green Party.

SEAGOON: How many supporters do you have?

ECCLES: We got two, me and him.

BLOODNOK: Shut up Eccles and get out.

SEAGOON: Well Iíd love to stop and watch you count your 20% of nothing. But Iím off to dismantle a meter.

FX: WHOOSH

SEAGOON: I arrived back home, found an axe, and was just about to swing it down upon the meter when...

GRYTPYPE: Ah Neddie, I hope your not doing what I think your doing.

SEAGOON: Ah but I am, I know about your little scheme Grytpype.

MORIARTY: Supristi, heís found us out.

GRYTPYPE: Stay calm my little sugar coated friend, everything is under
my control. Neddie, weíve come to collect our meter money.

SEAGOON: But you only fitted it a few hours ago.

GRYTPYPE: No we didnít, a whole week has passed since then.

SEAGOON: When.

WALLACE: One week later we find Moriarty and Grytpype back at Seagoonís home.

GRYTPYPE: Just then. Clever isnít it, you see Iím in control of this script. I was the one who sent the letter of changes to Mr Greenslade. You canít beat me this time Neddie. Moriarty, empty the meter.

FX: Sound of coins rustling.

SEAGOON: But I...

GRYTPYPE: Itís no good trying to speak, all your remaining lines have been cut. Ingenious arenít I. (Laughs) Needle Naddle Noo.

SEAGOON: Thatís where your wrong Grytpype, you should know by now that on this show we never stick to the script.

FX: Sound of tearing paper.

MORIARTY: Heís ripped up our script.

GRYTPYPE: Damn thatís torn it.

FX: Sound of axe crashing on metal.

MORIARTY: Oooooo heís mashed the meter and my hands were in it.

GRYTPYPE: Come Moriarty were done for.

GRAMS: Moriarty and Grytpype arguing "It was your fault" etc. Speeded up into the distance.

WALLACE: And that was that. Now heís some real acting: Is this a dagger I see before me...

HARRY: Wal what are you doing.

WALLACE: I just thought Iíd do my shakespearian bit, beings as were all straying from the script.

HARRY: (Shouting) Oh no not that, Wally, play the signature tune. QUICK!!!!

ORCHESTRA: SIGNATURE TUNE

(Applause)

WALLACE: That was the Goon Show etc...



Copyright Nicholas Treadwell 2001

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