The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler (of Bexhill on Sea)
by Spike Milligan
Greenslade: This is the BBC Home Service
Fx: Penny in mug.
Greenslade: Thank you. We now come to the radio show entirely dedicated to the downfall of John Snagge.
Secombe: He of course refers to the highly esteemed Goon Show.
Grams: Funeral dirge, wailing people.
Secombe: Stop! Time for laughs later, but now to business. Mr Greenslade? Come over here.
Fx: Rattling chains.
Greenslade: Yes Master?
Secombe: Tell the waiting world what we have for them.
Greenslade: My lords, ladies and other National Assistance holders - tonight the League of Burmese Trombonists present a bestseller play entitled:
Sellers: The Terror Of Bexhill-on-sea or ...
Orchestra: Trombone chord
Secombe: The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler.
Orchestra: Sinister Horns chord
Greenslade: The English Channel 1941. Across the silent strip of greengrey water - in England - coastal towns were deserted, except for people. Despite the threat of invasion and the stringent blackout rules, elderly gentlefolk of Bexhill-on-Sea still took their evening constitutionals.
Fx: Sea washing onto beach
Henry Crun: Ohhh, dear, dear, dear, ohh, it's quite windy on these cliffs Minnie
Minnie Bannister: Yes, yes, what a nice summer evening, typical english evening.
Henry Crun: Mnk yes, the rain is lovely and warm. Minnie, I think I'll take one of my sou'westers off...
Minnie Bannister: You devil you!
Henry Crun: ...here, Minnie, hold my elephant gun.
Minnie Bannister: Oh dear, I don't know what you brought it for, you can't shoot elephants in England you know!
Henry Crun: Mnk? Why not?
Minnie Bannister: They're out of season.
Henry Crun: Oh. Does this mean we shall have to have pelican for dinner again?
Minnie Bannister: Yes, I fear so, I fear so!
Henry Crun: Then I'll risk it. I'll shoot an elephant out of season.
Minnie Bannister: You can't shoot an elephant out of season.
Henry Crun: Yeah, yeah!
Minnie Bannister: Elephants mustn't be shot out of season!
Greenslade: Listeners who are listening will, of course, realise that Minnie and Henry are talking rubbish, as erudite people will realise, there are no elephants in Sussex. They are only found in Kent. North of a line drawn between two points thus making it the shortest distance.
Fx: Penny in mug!
Greenslade: Thank you!
Henry Crun: ... well, if that's how it is I can't shoot any.
Minnie Bannister: Come Henry, we'd better be getting home. I don't want to be caught on the beaches if there's an invasion.
Henry Crun: Neither do I Minnie. I've wearing a dirty shirt and I don't...
Fx: Metal door slides open.
Henry Crun: Ooh oh, Minnie?
Minnie Bannister: What, what, what, what, what, what?
Henry Crun: Did you hear a gas oven door slam just then?
Minnie Bannister: Don't be silly, Henry, who'd be walking around these cliffs with a gas oven?
Henry Crun: Lady Docker?
Minnie Bannister: Yes, but apart from the obvious ones, who'd want to...
Minnie Bannister: Oooooooooooohohohohohohohohohohoh... Yeuhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Henry Crun: No, I've never heard of him.
Minnie Bannister: Help Henry - I've been struck down from behind. Help.
Henry Crun: Mnk - oh dear dear. Poor Minnie. Police, English Police, Law Guardians...
Minnie Bannister: Not too loud, Henry, they'll hear you.
Henry Crun: Police of the law.
Fx: Police whistle
Seagoon: Can I help you, sir?
Henry Crun: Are you a policeman?
Seagoon: No, I'm a constable.
Henry Crun: Oh, what is the difference?
Seagoon: They're spelt differently
Minnie Bannister: Ohhhhhh, help me differently spelt constable.
Seagoon: Oh! What's happened to this dear old silver bearded lady?
Henry Crun: She was struck down from behind.
Seagoon: And not a moment too soon. Congratulations, sir.
Henry Crun: I didn't do it.
Seagoon: Coward, hand back your OBE. Now tell me who did this felonous deed. What's happened to her?
Henry Crun: It's much too dark to see, strike a light.
Seagoon: Not allowed in blackout.
Minnie Bannister: Strike a dark light.
Seagoon: No madam. Madam we daren't. Why, only twenty eight miles across the Channel the Germans are watching this coast.
Henry Crun: Don't you be a silly pilly policeman.
Minnie Bannister: Bravo Henry.
Henry Crun: Pittle Poo.
Minnie Bannister: Pittle Poo. They can't see a match being struck.
Seagoon: Oh, all right.
Fx: Striking Match... Bomb Whistle... Explosion!
Seagoon: Any questions?
Henry Crun: Yes, where are my legs?
Minnie Bannister:Where are my legs?
Seagoon: Now are you aware of the danger of German long range guns?
Henry Crun: Mnk ahh I have it! I've got it, I've got the answer. Just by chance I happen to have on me a box of German matches.
Seagoon: Wonderful, strike one. Ha, they won't fire at their own matches.
Henry Crun: Of course not. Now...
Fx: Match striking... Descending whistle of a bomb... Shell explodes
Henry Crun:... Curse... the British, the British!!!
Seagoon: We tried using a candle, but it wasn't very bright and we daren't light it, so we waited for dawn, and there, in the light of the morning sun, we saw what had struck Miss Bannister. It was... A batter pudding!
Orchestra: Dramatic chord.
Henry Crun: It's still warm, Minnie.
Minnie Bannister: Oh. Thank heaven, I hate cold batter pudding.
Henry Crun: Come, dear little Minnie, I'll take you home with me Minnie, I'll give you a hot bath, rub you down with the anti-vapour rub, put a plaster on your back, give your little feet a mustard bath, and then put you to bed.
Seagoon: Do you know this woman?
Henry Crun: Devilish man
Minnie Bannister: Naughty man!
Henry Crun: Naughty, naughty, horrible, naughty man! ...of course I do, this, this is Minnie Bannister, the world famous poker player. Give her a good poker and she'll play any tune you like on it.
Seagoon: Well, get her off this cliff, it's dangerous. Meantime, I must report this to the Inspector. I'll call on you later, goodbye.
Seagoon: As I swam ashore I dried myself to save time. That night I lay awake in my air-conditioned dustbin thinking, now who on earth would want to strike another with a Batter Pudding? Obviously it wouldn't happen again, so I fell asleep. Nothing much happened that night, except that I was struck with a Batter Pudding.
Milligan: Mmmmmmm, it's all rather confusing, really!
Greenslade: In the months to come, thirty eight Batter Puddings were hurled at Miss Bannister.
Minnie Bannister: Ohhh!
Greenslade: A madman was at large, Scotland Yard were called in.
Orchestra: Musical Link.
Grytpype: Inspector Seagoon, my name is Hercules Grytpype Thynne, Special Investigation. This Batter Pudding Hurler...
Grytpype: He's made a fool of the police.
Seagoon: I disagree, we were fools long before he came along
Grytpype: You silly twisted boy. Nevertheless, he's got to be stopped, now Seagoon...
Seagoon: Yes yes yes yes yes yes?
Grytpype: ...Please don't do that. Now, these Batter Puddings, they were obviously thrown by hand.
Seagoon: Not necessarily. some people are pretty clever with their feet.
Grytpype: For instance?
Seagoon: Tom Cringingknut
Grytpype: Who's he?
Seagoon: He's a man who's pretty clever with his feet.
Grytpype: What's his name?
Seagoon: Jim Flatcrock.
Grytpype: Sergant Throat!
Grytpype: Make a note of that.
Throat: Right. Anything else Sir?
Grytpype:Now Seagon, these Batter Puddings, were they all identical
Seagoon: All except the last one. Inside it, we found this...
Grytpype: What? An Army Boot. So the dreaded hurler is a military man. Any troops in the town.
Seagoon: The fifty sixth Heavy Underwater Artillery.
Grytpype: Get there at once, arrest the first soldier you see wearing one boot.
Seagoon: Ying tong iddle I po
Grytpype: Right, off you go.
Orchestra: Bloodnok theme
Bloodnok: Ohhhhhh, Ohhhh, oh, oh, oh, how dare you come here to my H.Q. with such a ridiculous...
Seagoon: I tell you, Major Bloodnok, I must ask you to parade your men.
Seagoon: I'm looking for a criminal
Bloodnok: You find your own, it took me years to get this lot, oh, oh, I surrender the army...
Seagoon: Ying tong iddle I po.
Bloodnok: Very well then, Bugler Max Geldray? Sound fall in the hard way
Max Geldray - 'They Were Doing The Mambo'
Orchestra: Naval type link
Grams: [Complaining from the soldiers]
Bloodnok: Silence, silence lads, silence! Lads, lads, lads, lads, lads.
Voice: Ya big fathead!
Bloodnok: Lads! My dear lovely, hairy lads, I'm sorry I had to get you out of bed in the middle of the day, but I'll see you get extra pay for this, I promise you.
Grams: Cries of dissent
Bloodnok: Ahhhhhh, that's what I like, spirit. Now Seagoon, which is the man.
Seagoon: I walked among the seried ranks looking for the soldier with one boot, but my luck was out, the entire regiment were barefooted, all save the officers, who wore reinforced concrete socks.
Bloodnok: I say Seagoon, it's getting dark. You can't see in this light.
Seagoon: I'll strike a match
Fx: Striking Match... Bomb Whistle... Explosion!
Seagoon: Curse, I forgot about the Germans.
Eccles: We want our beddy byes
Seagoon: Who are you?
Eccles: Me? I'm Lance Private Eccles, but most people call me by my nickname.
Seagoon: What's that?
Eccles: Nick. Hahahahahaha, that's a joke [aside] I told a joke about a nick!
Seagoon: I inspected the man closely, he was the nearest thing I'd seen to a human being, without actually being one.
Bloodnok: I say Seagoon. Surely you don't suspect this man, why, we were together in the same company during that terrible disaster.
Seagoon: What company was that.
Bloodnok: Desert Song 1933.
Seagoon: Were you both in the D'Oyly Carte?
Bloodnok: Right in the D'Oyly Carte.
Seagoon: I don't wish to know that...
Sellers: [adlibbing] I say I say!
Seagoon: ...but wait!! At last, by the light of a passing glue factory, I saw that Eccles was only wearing, one boot!
Eccles: Well, I only got one boot.
Seagoon: I know, but why are you wearing it on your head?
Eccles: Why? Why? It fits, dat's why! What a silly question to ask.
Seagoon: Let me see that boot. Mmmmm, size nineteen... What size head have you got?
Eccles: Size nineteen.
Seagoon: Curse, the man's defence was perfect.
Eccles: Ho Ho!
Seagoon: Major Blooknok?
Bloodnok: How dare you call me Major Bloodnok.
Seagoon: That's your name.
Bloodnok: In that case, I forgive you.
Seagoon: Where's this man's other boot.
Seagoon: Who by?
Bloodnok: A thief.
Seagoon: You sure it wasn't a pickpocket?
Bloodnok: Positive, Eccles never keeps his boots in his pocket.
Bloodnok: Damn! Damn!
Seagoon: They all, they all had a watertight alibi, but just to make sure, I left it in a fish tank overnight. Next morning my breast pocket phone rang.
Henry Crun: Mr. Seagoon, Minnie's been hit with another Batter Pudding.
Seagoon: Well, that's nothing new.
Henry Crun: It is, this one was stone cold.
Henry Crun: Yes, he must be losing interest in her.
Seagoon: It proves also that the phantom Batter Pudding Hurler has had his gas-pipe cut off! Taxi!
Fx: Bagpipes running out of steam!
MacGoonigall: Yes Sir? Ou re vue, put down your Marilyn Monroe ya poor old Joe!
Seagoon: The Bexhill Gas Works, and step on it.
MacGoonigall: Very good Sir, alright here we go!
Fx: Bagpipes filling up with air and speeding up...
Greenslade: Listeners may be puzzled by a taxi sounding like bagpipes. The truth is, it is all part of the BBC new economy campaign. They have discovered that it is cheaper to travel by bagpipes. Not only are they more musical, but they come in a wide variety of colors. See your local bagpipe officer and ask for particulars, you won't be disappointed.
Milligan: It's all rather confusing really...
Narrator: Meantime, Neddie Seagoon had arrived at the Bexhill Gas and Coke Works.
Seagoon: Phewwww blimeyyy, anyone about.
Seagoon: I'd like a list of people who haven't paid their gas bills.
Seagoon: Oh thank you. Now here's a good list, I'll try this number
Fx: Dialing telephone
Seagoon: Think we've got him this time; hello?
Winston Churchill: Ten Downing Street here?
Seagoon: [gulp] Ooh, I'm terribly sorry.
Fx: Handset clicks down
Seagoon: No, it couldn't be him, who would he want to throw a Batter Pudding at?
Fx: Telephone rings.
Seagoon: Hello? Police here.
Attlee: This is Mr. Attlee, someone's just throw a Batter Pudding at me.
Orchestra: Sinister drum roll (Timpani)
Seagoon: Months went by, I couldn't stop them. Still no sign of the Dreaded Hurler. Finally I walked the streets of Bexhill at night disguised as a human man. Then suddenly...
Orchestra: A sinister and dramatic fanfare.
Seagoon: ...Nothing happened. But it happened suddenly mark you. Disappointed, I lit my pipe.
Fx: Striking Match... Bomb Whistle... Explosion!
Seagoon: Argh, curse those Germans.
Moriarty: Pardon me, my friend.
Seagoon: I turned to see the speaker. He was a tall man wearing sensible feet, and a head to match. He was dressed in the full white outfit of a Savoy chef. Around his waist were tied several thousand cooking instruments. And behind him he pulled a portable gas stove from which issued forth the smell of Batter Pudding.
Moriarty: Could I borrow a match? You see my gas has gone out and my Batter Pudding was just about to start browning.
Seagoon: Certainly, here...no, no, no...keep the whole box, I have another match at home.
Moriarty:So rich! Well, thank you m'sieur, you have saved my Batter Pudding from getting cold. There's nothing worse than being struck down with a cold batter pudding.
Seagoon: Oh yes, of course.
Moriarty: Well, Good night m'sieur.
Seagoon: I watched the strange man as he pulled his gas stove away into the darkness. But I couldn't waste time watching him, my job was to find the Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler.
Greenslade: Those listeners who think that Seagoon is not cut out to be a detective, please write to him care of Rowton House.
Seagoon: On December 25th the Hurler changed his tactics. That day Miss Bannister was struck with a Christmas Pudding. Naturally, I searched the workhouse.
Inspector: Mmmm. Mmmm. Mmmmm. Mmmm. Mmmm. Seagoon? The hurler is abroad.
Seagoon: What's that Sir?
Inspector: Hmm, a Miss Bannister has just received this letter. It was postmarked 'Africa', and inside was a portion of batter pudding
Minnie Bannister: Yes, he hasn't forgotton me, buddy!
Seagoon: So he's in Africa, now we've got him cornered. I must leave at once. Where is my power packed, giant assistant... Bluebottle
Bluebottle: Yahaaaaay! I heard you call me, my Capitain, I heard my Captain call me, waits for audience applause, not a sausage, puts on I don't care expression as done by Aneurin Bevan at Blackpool Conservative Rally.
Seagoon: Bluebottle, you and I are going to Africa.
Bluebottle: Goody goody, can we take sandwiches?
Seagoon: Only for food. Any questions?
Seagoon: I can't answer that, can you?
Seagoon: Ignorant swine! Got that down, Sergeant Throat?
Seagoon: Right, we catch the very next troop convoy to Algiers. And who better to drive us out of the country than Ray Ellington and his Quartet?
Ray Ellington - 'Ole Man River'
Orchestra: Nautical musical link
Sellers: And now...
Fx: Waves against wood
Greenslade: Seagoon and Bluebottle travelled by sea. To avoid detection by enemy U-boats they spoke German throughout the voyage, heavily disguised as Spaniards.
Narrator: As an added precaution they travelled on separate decks and wore separate shoes on different occasions.
Seagoon: The ship was disguised as a train, to make the train sea-worthy it was done up to look like a boat and painted to appear like a tram.
Milligan:... all very confusing really.
Seagoon: Also on board were Major Bloodnok and his regiment. When we were ten miles from Algiers we heard a dreaded cry.
Eccles: Mine ahead woohoowoo, dirty big mine ahead.
Bloodnok: I say I say I say, what's happening here, why are all these naughty men cowering down on the deck, the cowards?
Seagoon: There's a mine ahead.
Fx: Footsteps running away...Splash!
Seagoon: Funny, he wasn't dressed for swimming.
Eccles: Heeeerrrreee, dere's no need to worry fellers about the mine. It's one of ours
Seagoon: Bloodnok and I floundered in the cruel sea.
Fx: Lapping waves.
Bloodnok: Fortunately we found a passing lifeboat and dragged ourselves aboard.
Seagoon: We had no oars, but luckily we found two outboard motors and we rowed with them.
Seagoon: For thirty days we drifted to and fro, then hunger came upon us.
Bloodnok: Aeioughhhhh, if I don't eat soon I'll die of hunger, and if I die I won't eat soon. Wait a moment, [sniffs the air] ohohohh, can I smell cooking or do my ears deceive me?
Seagoon: He was right, Something was cooking. There in the other end of the lifeboat was... a gas stove! Could this be the end of our search.
Bloodnok: I'll knock on the oven door.
Fx: Knocking on metal
Moriarty: [faintly] Just a minute please, I'm in ze bath...
Fx: Footsteps down metal stairs. Door scrapes open.
Moriarty: Good morning, I'm sorry, you!!
Seagoon: Yes, remember Bexhill? I lent you the matches.
Moriarty: You don't want them back?
Seagoon: Don't move, I arrest you as the Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler.
Moriarty: Sacre Bleu!
Seagoon: Hands up you devil, don't move, this finger is loaded.
Moriarty: If you kill me I promise you, you'll never take me alive.
Bloodnok: Wait, how can we prove it?
Seagoon: That Batter Pudding in the corner of the stove is all the evidence we need. We've got him.
Orchestra: Dramatic fanfare
Fx: Lapping waves.
Greenslade: But it wasn't easy, forty days they drifted in an open boat.
Orchestra: 'Hearts and flowers.'
Bloodnok: Oooaeioughhhh, I tell you Seagoon, let's eat the Batter Pudding or we'll starve!
Seagoon: No, d'yer hear me, No! That's the only evidence we've got. Though I must admit this hunger does give one an appetite.
Bloodnok: We must eat it or die.
Bloodnok: Very well then, I shall stop playing my violin
Greenslade: And that, we fear, is the end of our story, except of course, for the end. We invite listeners to submit what they think should be the classic ending. Should Seagoon eat the Batter Pudding and live, or leave it and in the cause of justice, die? Send your suggestions on a piece of batter pudding. Meantime, for those of you cretins who would like a happy ending, here it is.
Orchestra: Romantic music
Secombe: Darling... Darling will you marry me?
Bloodnok: Of course I will... darling.
Greenslade:Thank you, good night.
Orchestra: End tune
Greenslade: That was The Goon Show. A recorded programme featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe, and Spike Milligan; with the Ray Ellington Quartet and Max Geldray. The Orchestra was conducted by Wally Scott. Script by Spike Milligan. Announcer Wallace Greenslade. The programmer produced by Peter Eton.
Orchestra: Playout with 'Crazy Rhythm'
Transcription and HTML by Kurt Adkins: firstname.lastname@example.org