THE INK SHORTAGE
GOON SHOW T5/AG/4417
VINTAGE SERIES: NO 7
RECORDED: 29 Dec 1957
GREENSLADE: The BBC presents ‘Vintage Goons’, another in the series of programmes first broadcast to British listeners in 1954. From the House of Lords we present Sellers, Secombe, Milligan, Geldray, Ellington in ‘Hansard Unexpurgated’, or…
SEAGOON: The Goon Show!
ORCHESTRA: TATTY CHORD.
GRAMS: Unruly crowd. Continue under.
SEAGOON: Ink! Give us ink!
SPRIGGS: What about the ink?
SEAGOON: Ink! Give us ink!
GRAMS: Screeching tyres. Police whistles. Van pulls up.
OMNES: Mumbles and rhubarbs.
POLICEMAN: Stand aside there. Give him air.
THROAT: What happened?
WELSHMAN: Threw himself off the roof with a pistol.
POLICEMAN: Another pen manufacturer.
WELSHMAN: That’s the sixth this week indeed.
ELLINGTON: (Distant) Ink! We want ink!
OMNES: Cries of ‘Ink! We want ink!’ continued under.
ELDER STATESMAN: Please! Will you all go back to your homes.
GREENSLADE: Ladies and gentlemen we give you the authentic story of –
SEAGOON: ‘The Great Ink Drought of 1902’.
ORCHESTRA: DRAMATIC INTRO.
ELDER STATESMAN: Yes, the great ink drought of 1902, the greatest ink drought in living memory. In the city financial wizard Sir Bernard Seagoon is onto his broker.
SEAGOON: Alright Phules get this; buy twelve thousand vaulted clooth, eight thousand in multi-electrics, two hundred chaps textiles and er - just a minute, I’ve got the list here - oh yes, and a small brown loaf.
FX: Phone into cradle.
SEAGOON: Ha ha. That’ll set the market by the ears, nose and throat. They don’t call me ‘Midas’ Seagoon for nothing.
SPRIGGS: You have to pay them folks.
FX: Door opens.
GRAMS: Distant roar of crowd.
FX: Door closes.
MORIARTY: Ah, Seagoon!
MORIARTY: What are you doing on top of this phone box?
SEAGOON: Learning to play the accordion.
MORIARTY: Sacré bleu! Listen, do you want to make a fortune?
SEAGOON: Money! Yes, yes! Money, money! Ha ha ha ha! Anything for money!
MORIARTY: You’re interested?
SEAGOON: (coy) Mildly.
MORIARTY: Then I tell you what to do – buy INK!! Quelle!
SEAGOON: Why, is there an ink shortage?
MORIARTY: Eh, there! Have you seen the morning papers?
SEAGOON: No. What about them?
MORIARTY: They’re written in PENCIL!
FX: Telephone receiver picked up hastily.
SEAGOON: Hello Phules? Buy ink! Ink! Ink shares! Every penny! (Raves)
ORCHESTRA: DRAMATIC LINK
GREENSLADE: (Megaphone) This is the BBC. The Minister of Supply has announced that the ink shortage is very grave. The public are requested to keep calm and not to fill their fountain pens unless absolutely necessary. Until close down, here is a record of a pencil with musical accompaniment.
GRAMS: (Recording) Scratchy pencil on parchment with Sellers on piano in C major.
SEAGOON: Ha ha ha! Well Moriarty, I’ve bought every ink share in the world.
MORIARTY: You fool. Those ink shares are not worth a penny. You see there’s no ink left in the world!
SEAGOON: Then these shares are worthless. I’m ruined!
FX: Frantic dialing.
SEAGOON: Hello Phules! Sell! Sell! Sell! Oh, oh, oh! Ruined….
MORIARTY: Steady! Steady, Neddie Seagoon. No one will buy unless you some ink, a little, just enough to make it as valuable as liquid gold.
SEAGOON: But where can we get some?
GRYTPYPE: (Suddenly very close) Me.
SEAGOON: The voice came from a tall redundant man wearing a rice paper sock. Where do you get this ink, sir? I said.
GRYTPYPE: Before the ink drought I had the foresight to photograph a spoonful of ink powder with my mini-camera.
GRYTPYPE: I enlarged the negative, dissolved it in water and voila! Sixty gallons of ink. Give me ninety-nine percent of the shares and the ink’s yours, laddie.
GRYTPYPE: You certainly have been.
SEAGOON: Now, at last I control all the world’s remaining ink supply. I’m rich! Rich! Ha, ha, ha! Rich! Rich! (Laughs &c)
ORCHESTRA: DRAMATIC LINK
GREENSLADE: The ink drought brought disaster in its wake. But to one man and his business it spelt ruin.
OMNES: Massed rhubarbs.
CRUN: Gentlemen, I fear the blotting paper industry is ruined.
SHAREHOLDER: We know. We’re ruined.
CRUN: Yes. We’re ruined.
SHAREHOLDER: I just said that.
CRUN: I said it.
SHAREHOLDER: You did not say it.
CRUN: I distinctly said we’re ruined.
CRUN & SHAREHOLDER: (Argument continues.)
OMNES: Murmurs of dissent.
SHAREHOLDER: Silence! Let there be silence!
CRUN: Ah, silence.
CRUN: Yes, quiet!
CRUN: Silence! Let us have silence.
SHAREHOLDER: Let us have silence.
CRUN: I just said that.
SHAREHOLDER: I said it first.
CRUN & SHAREHOLDER: (Argument continues.)
OMNES: Murmurs of dissent grow..
GRAMS: Mix in swords clashing, cavalry charge, rifle fire, natives attacking and heavy artillery. Finish with large explosion.
CRUN: Silence. Eccles!
ECCLES: Aye! Oh. Yeah?
CRUN: Eccles, turn on the ticker-tape machine.
ECCLES: Oh, ok.
GRAMS: Ticker-tape machine. Continue under.
ECCLES: (Sings) Dum dum de dum.
CRUN: (Heart attack) Ahhhhhhurrrrgh! It says the stock market’s crashed.
ECCLES: Anybody hurt?
CRUN: Look here, it reads; ‘Thousands bankrupt.’ All the news of the ticker-tape says we’re ruined. All bad news.
ECCLES: Not for me.
CRUN: Why? What do you sell?
OMNES: Groans and moans.
CRUN: Silence gentlemen. If we are to save the blotting paper industry it is essential that we find a new source of ink supply.
BANNISTER: Braaaaavo buddy!
GREENSLADE: Well said Laddie. Well said!
SHAREHOLDER: Well said. But joking apart we must find a new source of ink supply.
CRUN: I just suggested that.
SHAREHOLDER: Lies! Lies! All lies I tell you.
(Short sharp argument)
CRUN: Thank you Eccles. A very good job.
SPRIGGS: Wait a minute Jim. Wait a minute Ji-immmmmm! May I suggest we send an expedition, and expediti-ionnnnnnn!... to drill for ink in Arabia. In Arabi-aaaaaa!
CRUN: We shall have to send a man out there right away. Now, who’ll…….
ECCLES: I’ll, ah, go.
CRUN: Splendid. Put these boots on. Now then Eccles, forward to step into the breech. In you get lad.
GRAMS: Cannon fires.
CRUN: Bonny voggie! Now gentlemen, we must follow up with an expedition. Max Geldray –
GELDRAY: (Harmonic arpeggio.)
CRUN: …lead the way.
SEAGOON: Moriarty! Turn that radio up. Listen to this in the Daily Shirker; ‘Blotting Paper Firm Sends Expedition to Locate Ink Wells in China!’ I wonder what it means?
MORIARTY: Sapristi pompett! Your shares will be worthless.
SEAGOON: So that’s what Sapristi pompett means. I often wonder.
MORIARTY: Seagoon, you must get to China at once. Here, hold this rocket.
FX: Match being struck.
SEAGOON: I say, what the blazes…?!!
GRAMS: Guy Fawkes rocket in flight.
MORIARTY: (Distant) Bon voyage!
GREENSLADE: Meantime, the blotting paper manufacturers expedition was already crossing the boarders into China. I say, isn’t this exciting?
ORCHESTRA: BLOODNOK THEME
GRAMS: Massed raspberries.
BLOODNOK: Oh! Ohhhhh! Oh! The strain! The strain! Oh, Ellinga.
CHIEF ELLINGA: Yim bom balla boo, chum.
BLOODNOK: Where are my knees?
CHIEF ELLINGA: Round the back, facing east.
BLOODNOK: Curse! The wind must have blown them round. Get me a fresh pair made from ‘PING’.
CHIEF ELLINGA: Ohhhh! Kidneys.
BLOODNOK: Stop those military jokes will you! We’re lost I tell you. Look here, ask this Jong Chinaman the way.
CHIEF ELLINGA: Ah, chillajee?
CHINESE SEAGOON: (Rapid chinese extemporization)
BLOODNOK: Does he know where we are?
CHIEF ELLINGA: Yes. He says we are here.
BLOODNOK: I know, but what district? Chop, chop!
CHINESE SEAGOON: (Further rapid Chinese extemporization which includes excerpts from "Loch Lomond", "Mia quanta bella," "Brazil" and ending with "Danny Boy".)
BLOODNOK: What does he say?
CHIEF ELLINGA: He says he’s a stranger round here.
BLOODNOK: He deserves to be. Wait a moment! What naughty thing is he doing with that spent rocket in his hand? Damn suspicious.
SEAGOON: (Aside) Little does he know that I am not John Chinaman at all but Sir Bernard Seagoon, the financial lizard, who has traveled hither by rocket and even now is laying plans to thwart the paths of the expedition to find new supplies of ink. Now, read on…
BLOODNOK: (Aside) Spon me hairies, and flatten me thudder! Little does he know that he is not John Chinaman but Sir Bernard Seagoon the financial lizard, who has traveled hither by rocket and is even now laying plans to thwart the attempt on behalf of the expedition to find new supplies of ink.
SEAGOON: (Aside) Little does he know that I know that he knows that I am Sir Bernard Seagoon, the financial lizard, disguised as John Chinaman that I know that he is really Major Bloodnok.
BLOODNOK: (Aside) Ha ha! Little does he know that I know that I am Major Bloodnok.
SEAGOON: (Aside) Curse! He knows who he is!
BLOODNOK: Go on! Off with you John Chinaman!
CHINESE SEAGOON: (Goes off with oriental muttering)
BLOODNOK: Now Eccles, we shall start drilling in this area. We shall put up our riggings and, er… Do you know anything about that?
ECCLES: Riggings? Oh yeah. My first name is Rigger.
BLOODNOK: Not Mortis, is it?
ECCLES: Rigger Mortis.
BLOODNOK: Now, let’s check the stores first. One box containing one invisible tiger.
ECCLES: One invisible tiger. Mmmm. Can’t see him, so he must be there.
BLOODNOK: Good, good good! Two tons of Arabian monkey boots.
BLOODNOK: Good, good. One long brown lump with a thick knot in the side of the thing.
ECCLES: Oh yeah.
BLOODNOK: And there’s this. This is the important thing. One feather nibblic and concerteen crossed senna siggsquer, with mulled limipod reciprocating automatic bingle and rackers mixed with two a-thingall thungall mitt matt mutt mon petty too, pitta patta putta, pit-pat-poul! And a touch of the knick knack knock, wrapped in three sheets of refined Greek tissue. Have you got that?
BLOODNOK: Never mind. We’ll use a spoon.
CHIEF ELLINGA: Hey Boss! BOSS!
BLOODNOK: Knock before you speak to me.
FX: Knocking on door.
CHIEF ELLINGA: We’re ready to start drilling for the ink.
BLOODNOK: Right. Holes in the ground for ink wells – MAKE!
GRAMS: Massed jack hammers.
GREENSLADE: So the giant drills bored their way down through the rock, down through the shale, down, down, down. Meantime, in a Wedgwood tent on the edge of the ink wells, a hellish plot was being brewed.
GRAMS: Massed jack hammers in distance.
(MORIARTY & SEAGOON laughing insanely.)
SEAGOON: I didn’t come on this trip without the means to end Crun’s little jaunt.
MORIARTY: Ha! What do you mean?
SEAGOON: Mean? (Laughs) Lad, hand me that steel bound, lead lined oak chest with the double padlock.
MORIARTY: What’s in it?
SEAGOON: A key.
MORIARTY: The key to what?
SEAGOON: The key to the steel bound, lead lined oak chest with the double padlock.
MORIARTY: Sapristi! What a clever hiding place!
SEAGOON: (Laughs) Yes. Now open it up and get the key out.
FX: Chains and padlocks.
MORIARTY: Sapristi nabowlas! The steel bound, lead lined oak chest with the double padlock - is locked!
SEAGOON: Curse! And the key’s inside. There’s only one thing – hand me the axe.
FX: Splintering wood.
SEAGOON: That’s smashed a hole in the top. And here’s the key, safe inside. Now to open the padlock.
FX: Key in padlock.
SEAGOON: Lift the lid up.
GRAMS: Creaky hinges.
SEAGOON: Oh no!
SEAGOON: The key’s gone.
MORIARTY: Gone? But how?
SEAGOON: I wonder. Ah see, someone’s slashed a hole in the lid.
MORIARTY: That’s how they must have got it out. The fools. But what’s in the box?
SEAGOON: Dynamite. Enough to destroy the whole ink field. We’ve got to stop them.
CRUN: (In distance.) Major Bloodnok!
SEAGOON: Ooh! That’s Crun. Grytpype, I thought you said you’d dealt with him?
GRYTPYPE: Yes I did you see, but the plan misfired. He booked on the S.S. Spon and on the third day out from London at midnight I locked him in his kibin; I put bars across his porthole; next I planed a bomb in his stokehold; ten minutes later – whoosh, up went the ship.
SEAGOON: Up? I thought ships went down.
GRYTPYPE: You think it was easy?
SEAGOON: But Crun?
GRYTPYPE: Yes, Crun. He cleverly escaped being drowned.
GRYTPYPE: He went by mule train disguised as a mule.
SEAGOON: Sapristi yukkabuckkakka! You know what that means?
MORIARTY: Yes, it means that you’ll find your ink supplies will be worthless.
SEAGOON: So that’s what ‘yukkabuckkakka’ means. Ellington…
CHIEF ELLINGA: Yim bom balla boo!
SEAGOON: We’re nipping round the back for the old brandy there.
GRAMS: Massed boots running off.
BLOODNOK: Halt foreman Bob.
BLOODNOK: Any signs of ink yet?
FOREMAN: No. We’ve drilled for three months and I do not think there is any ink in the area. It is a dead loss.
CRUN: Yes. We’re ruined. I’ve spent every penny I’ve got on these…
FOREMAN: Yes. If only we could sell our blotting paper shares.
CRUN: Yes, but only an idiot would buy them. I mean….
ECCLES: (Approaching) Yum da da da da. Oh what a beautiful…Oh!
CRUN: Oh. Good old Eccles.
CRUN & FOREMAN: (Singing) For he’s a jolly good fellow
And so say all of us.
Ha ha ha!
CRUN: Oh, Eccles! Jolly Eccles. Good man, good man…
ECCLES: (Aside) There’s something funny going on here.
CRUN: Listen Dan Eccles. You made quite a bit of money on the ticker-tape business, didn’t you?
ECCLES: I made two pounds.
CRUN: (Fibrillations) Ahhhhhhaghgha! Two pounds! Eccles, look. All these blotting paper shares - hold them lad, feel them. Feel the good solid leather blotting paper there. They’re all yours for…ur…well um, two pounds?
ECCLES: Two pounds? Yeah. Oh, I got two pounds. Yeah ok! Here’s the money. This means that I’m the boss, eh?
CRUN: Yes, you’re the boss. Now get out.
ECCLES: Eh? Ok! But don’t forget, I’m the boss.
CRUN: Yes. You’re the boss. Now get out you idiot.
ECCLES: Lift dat barge! Tote dat bale! Get a little…I’m the boss Crun! (Eccles goes off saying "I’m the boss" )
CRUN: Yes. Get out of here! Get out!
GREENSLADE: Meantime the BBC microphone at Seagoon’s end is made ‘live’ that we may hear from him.
SEAGOON: Right Moriarty. You got the dynamite?
MORIARTY: Yes. We’ll blow up the entire drilling area. Now, what fearless man can we employ?
BLUEBOTTLE: I heard you call, Captain. I heard you call. Moves left-stage, strikes heroic ‘scout’ pose, but effect is ruined by tear in seat of trousers.
SEAGOON: Bluebottle, we want you to do a job.
BLUEBOTTLE: Any job, my Captain. Any job I will do. My strength is as the strength of ten! Moves left, raises ear-trumpet to catch this line.
SEAGOON: It’s – dangerous.
BLUEBOTTLE: Dangerous? (Gulps) Goes white, grips wall for support. Knees turn to jelly, cold sweat breaks out on brow. Legs buckle, sinks to floor, but springs up at mention of money. How much?
BLUEBOTTLE: Sixpence? No, no, no! You cannot bribe me with money. I only work for honour. Filches sixpence, places same in money belt. Re-adjusts braces. Oooh! Steps back, strikes new pose.
SEAGOON: Right. Take this TNT. Now get out there and destroy those ink wells.
BLUEBOTTLE: I shall do that Captain. I shall do that! Picks up bowl of TNT and moves forward to door. I’m not afraid to handle this. It’s perfectly safe. (Nervously) He he he. It is safe, isn’t it Captain?
SEAGOON: Of course it is quite safe.
BLUEBOTTLE: I knew it was. Heeheheheeee! Tosses TNT gaily from hand to hand. Opens door and says, ‘Farewell! Farewell!’ Tosses dynamite to other hand. Catchy, catchy! Hehehe! Exits left. Closes door.
FX: Door closes
GRAMS: Enormous series of explosions.
BLUEBOTTLE: You rotten swine you. You went off even before I got it there. Ooohoohoo, the agony! Look at my blackened face in the mirror.
CHIEF ELLINGA: Man, that’s me at the window.
BLUEBOTTLE: Get out of it you! Cruel fate. Feels body to see if sixpence is still safe. I’m dying! I’m dying! Falls heavily to floor, (onto cushion already placed there.) Writhes in death agony. Head slumps to floor, looks up to see if people are still watching. Yes. Dies. Gets up. Goes home.
GRAMS: Scratchy recording of solo violin and piano. Continue under.
SEAGOON: (Over) Poor fellow. He was a game lad, a credit to anybody who owed him money. Now, where’s he put that sixpence?
BLUEBOTTLE: Here, put that back. I’m not dead yet!
SEAGOON: I beg your pardon. Unhappy man. There he lies, his face all blackened by the explosion. Come, let me wipe the soot off that noble brow with my silken kerchief. Wait a minute! It’s not soot. It’s ink. INK! INK! We’ve struck ink and I own every ink share in the world! Now if only I had Crun’s blotting paper shares I’d be able to corner the market, fix the prices, and get a knighthood for my services!
FX: Door opens.
ECCLES: Hello Neddie. Look what I’ve brought. Mr. Crun’s blotting paper shares and I’m the boss. Ha ho! I’m the boss…(Extended. Very rapid.)
SEAGOON: This is where Mad Dan Eccles gets his lot. (Laughs) Eccles. Noble Eccles!
ECCLES: What! What? What?
SEAGOON: How would you like to have all the ink shares in the world as well?
ECCLES: Oooooooo! Fine.
BLUEBOTTLE: Careful Eccles, it’s a trick.
ECCLES: Ooo! Hello ‘bottle. What you laying on the floor for?
BLUEBOTTLE: I’ve been killed by death.
SEAGOON: Take no note of him. He’s in our financial class. Now let’s have a little gamble. I’ll bet my ink shares against your blotting paper ones.
ECCLES: OK. (Thinks) What game?
SEAGOON: What game can’t you play?
ECCLES: Um…um. Draughts. I always lose at that.
SEAGOON: Draughts it is.
FX: Draught pieces tumbling on board. Clicking of pieces being arranged.
ECCLES: Oh oh oh! Good! We’re going to have a game, folks. We’re going to have jolly game.
SEAGOON: You have the blacks.
ECCLES: Oooo good. They don’t show the dirt.
SEAGOON: Right. You move, and winner takes all.
ECCLES: Ok! Ok! (Thinking noises. Extended.)
BLUBOTTLE: Hurry up Eccles.
ECCLES: Shut up! What’s the matter?
BLUEBOTTLE: I’m getting cold lying here. My dinner’s ready.
SEAGOON: Shut up!
ECCLES: Shut up!
SEAGOON: Your move Eccles.
FX: Draught pieces click.
SEAGOON: Sorry Eccles. I’ll have to take these three of yours. Hahahha!
FX: Draught pieces move.
SEAGOON: Another two over there.
FX: Draught pieces moving. Continue under.
GRYTPYPE: And so the poor untutored oaf played the cunning, scheming-minded power-mad tycoon, and lost.
SEAGOON: Yes. I’ll never know how he beat me.
ECCLES: Neither will I.
SEAGOON: Well, that’s the end of this week’s isn’t it?
BLUEBOTTLE: Can I go home now?
SEAGOON: Yes. Your dinner’s in the oven.
ORCHESTRA: SIGNATURE TUNE.
GREENSLADE: That was the Goon Show. A BBC recorded programme featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan with the Ray Ellington Quartet, Max Geldray and the orchestra conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan. Announcer, Wallace Greenslade. The programme produced by Roy Speers.
Transcribed by Yukka Tukka Indians - January 2005