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: And that's supposed to entertain the over-sixties. I hope they think it's been worth waiting sixty years. Billy
: Give us a chance. It looks better in costume. Alvin
: And with all the pizazz, the lights, the music... Nora
: The audience leaving.
: Do you think she can smile? Do you think her muscles have gone slack? Alvin
: Huh. Have you seen her corsets? I don't think there's a chance for anything to go slack. Billy
: Hey, she was married to Wally for fifty years. I don't think he raised a smile. Alvin
: He was probably waiting waiting till she was in a good mood.
: Which bits didn't you like? Nora
: The beginning. Alvin
: We're working on it. Nora
: And the end. Billy
: But in between? Nora
: When he gets crowd, what then? Billy
: This mystery voice will come in and guide him. Entwistle
: If he believes stuff like that, it seems shame not to sell him nearly new washer and dryer. Truly
: Control your commercial instincts! This is a man with a message. Entwistle
: Washing machine comes with message, and full instructions. Billy
: But does it work? Entwistle
: If not, he's in luck - I do repairs.
: The thing about Rita Hayworth was she was just my size. Clegg
: Alvin, you shrunk Rita Hayworth? Billy
: What did Aly Khan have to say? Alvin
: It wasn't his Rita Hayworth. This was a lass from Macclesfield.
: Don't stare; it's rude. Billy
: Exactly. Anybody would think we'd never seen a bloke in a dressing gown up to his waist in water strangling a swan before.
: [about Nora Batty
] Where did *that* come from? Did somebody rub an old lamp? Alvin
: You get used to her. Billy
: You what? Alvin
: Well, her husband must of got used to her. Billy
: He *died*! D'you think that's getting used to her?
: Crowcroft. So, I mean, how is he? Truly
: Well, he was looking much better when he said goodbye. Clegg
: Goodbye? Where's he going? Billy
: Into a monastery he said. Truly
: In Peru. Alvin
: Maybe it's nice in Peru. Billy
: Maybe there are no warts in Peru. Clegg
: Huh. I must admit I've never seen a Peruvian with a wart. I was only thinking so this morning. I suppose we've led such sheltered lives. You get to our age and you've never seen a Peruvian with a wart.
: Tha's looking for a female companion; I'm looking to get rid of the wife's sister. It's the perfect solution. Smiler
: Uh, I wouldn't say perfect. Billy
: She's quite... well... very nearly quite attractive. If you don't mind warts. Tom
: We've talked about blemishes; he's not expecting perfection. He- he'd consider loss of leg, going bald. Billy
: You're home free. She's got a full set. Smiler
: What about facial hair? Billy
: Yeah, with nearly every wart! Eee, th've struck lucky again, Smiler. Is this uncanny or what! Tom
: He doesn't mind warts, do you? Smiler
: Depends on the bits in between. Billy
: Ah. The warts are the best bits. But, she'd be company to you in the winter of your years. Smiler
: Sounds like another hard winter.
: Why do you think the Vikings used to come here? Billy
: Looting and violence. Alvin
: I thought that was Manchester United. Truly
: Only on Saturdays. Weekdays it was the Vikings.
: Can I just... summarize the situation here? We've just seen Billy Hardcastle disappear up a tree. Truly
: Yes, I noticed that. Clegg
: Carrying what to the casual observer looked like a length of rope with him. Truly
: Length of rope. Yes, saw that. Billy Hardcastle
: Eh, da- Oh blooming heck. Clegg
: But, don't you think we ought to inquire what his plans are? Truly
: He seemed perfectly cheerful. Clegg
: What, climbing up a tree at his age? That could be construed as another bad sign. Truly
: How're you doing up that tree, Billy? Billy Hardcastle
: I'm doing great. Apart from a bit of trouble with this damn great knot.
: I don't know why they got so mad with Barry. He's just given the golf course a new hole. Billy Hardcastle
: He'd a' lacquered it, that one. Clegg
: I thought Howard was moving well. I hope he puts the kettle on.
: [on a makeshift teeter-totter behind a wall
] It's a while since I did this. Clegg
: Didn't do it a lot in the police force, then? Truly
: Problem was keeping your helmet on. Billy
: Didn't you wear a chin-strap? Truly
: Very dangerous, chin-straps. A person could creep up behind, grab your helmet, start pulling back, and there you were being strangled. Billy
: Did it ever happen to thee? Truly
: Fairly regularly. Billy
: Hmm, sounds a bit rough. Where were you stationed? Truly
: It wasn't at work. It used to happen at home. It was the former Mrs Truelove. As soon as I came through the door, wallop, grab your helmet.
: You know what they're like at parties. Entwistle
: Ugly. Tom
: Why ugly? Entwistle
: I don't know why. I just know the one who gets you in a corner always ugly. Tom
: They get better as the night goes on.
: We could take a shortcut. Billy Hardcastle
: What shortcut? There's the road we came on and that's all. Trust me. This is my backyard, tha knows: outlaw country. Alvin Smedley
: You could get lost in a phone booth.
: You know me, I laugh at danger! And this looks hilarious.
: I think I liked Aubrey better when his knees were wobbly, Billy
: True. But I see Aubrey as the kind of person who had legs that would sober up. Truly
: Hunh. Well, it just shows, you can't trust anybody. Clegg
: Well, even wobbly, you couldn't live long with Aubrey's knees.
: Hey, do you think Alexander the Great used to have a pack lunch? Clegg
: Oh, you can't go conquering without a pack lunch. They couldn't drop in to a Jumbo Burger. Truly
: History never gets down to these revealing details, like, uh... did the man have a painful corn, so he had to wear sandals? Alvin
: He'd have a corn specialist amongst his retinue, and an ear, nose and throat guy. Billy
: He died young, though, didn't he? Truly
: Well, maybe his corn went septic. Clegg
: Well, I expect if they were riding all day they probably got their corns somewhere else. Billy
: Stands to reason he'd have a pack lunch. I'll bet his mother said, "You can't go conquering the known world on an empty stomach." Truly
: Aye. "Keep off those oily foreign foods," she said. "Eat your greens." Alvin
: "And don't let me catch you up those mountains without a woolly vest." Clegg
: Do you think that's why he left home? Billy
: Who married Whitehorn's lass? Billy
: Tall kid from Denby Street. Truly
: Venables. Billy
: Took to drink. Truly
: I thought that was you. Clegg
: Didn't we go to his funeral? Billy
: He's still alive! Clegg
: Oh well, we probably didn't then. Truly
: That was another Venables. Billy
: A dead one. You'd think some people'ld know the difference. Alvin
: [climbing out of river
] I'm Alvin, swimmer of rivers.
: Are we getting too old, Billy? Too set in our ways? Losing that playful edge. Billy
: Naw. Truly
: You sure about that? Billy
: Trust me. Truly
: Fair enough.
[they roller-skate off down the road
: I wish somebody'd find the wife's sister attractive, and set up home with her in some far distant land. Truly
: Liverpool? Billy
: Farther than that. Truly
: They're very close are they, your wife and her sister? Billy
: It's not only a blood relationship; they're joined even closer by this common bond. Suspicion of me. Truly
: I see. The blood in the relationship is usually yours.
: Instead of traveling by bicycle, I might have been a Greek shipping millionaire. Billy
: Tha's not even Greek. Truly
: He could lie! I mean if, if people saw him dancing and breaking a few plates he might get away with it. Alvin
: I'm speaking hypothetically. Billy
: That's Greek for a start. Alvin
: Assuming I was born Greek. Clegg
: Uh, did your mother know you were Greek? I mean, as far as I know she never went farther than Bridlington. Truly
: Well, maybe he could be a Bridlington shipping millionaire. Alvin
: It's not the same, is it? I'm talking oil tankers and love affairs with opera singers. Billy
: Have you seen the size of opera singers! Tha'd need the bicycle just to give her a cuddle.
: Too much man for one woman! I bet if he had to retake a test he'd fail. Clegg
: Well, what's he digging for? You don't think he's still using worms? Billy
: Is that the secret? You come at them with a worm, they go to jelly. Clegg
: Well, they did at school. Truly
: You won't find that in Kama Sutra. Billy
: That's Indian funny stuff. Old Coop's invented Yorkshire funny stuff. Truly
: Heh, he didn't even recognize us. I expect after all he's been through his eyesight's not what it was. Clegg
: Does he carry one with him? I mean, huh, where do you keep a worm between engagements?
: I used to come out here with an old Volvo headlamp, put it to me ear and listen to the universe. Clegg
: In Swedish? Billy
: Feel at one with nature. Clegg
: You feel at one with the ground being hard. Truly
: There's a hallowed police technique for calming unruly prisoners that used to make you feel quite close to nature. Clegg
: You never mentioned it at flower arranging. Billy
: And what did the universe used to say, tha must be wondering. Truly
: It used to say, "Who's that idiot with the Volvo headlamp?" Clegg
: "Oh, it's only Billy Hardcastle," it used to say, "earwigging again." Billy
: It used to say nowt, actually. Makes you wonder whether there's owt there. Clegg
: The question man has been asking since his time began: is there anything beyond the reach of a Volvo headlamp.
: [being carried on a stretcher
] I tell thee what, the ale's improving round here.
[gives 'Cat Creature' cry
: I saw Gavin Hinchcliffe yesterday.
: There's no need to get excited. Tom
: Yesterday I was interviewing a bank manager. Truly
: You, in a bank? Huh. Must have been a river bank. Billy
: I bet I haven't seen Gavin Hinchcliffe since we were at school. Truly
: Huh. Billy
: He looked just the same. Clegg
: Does it suit him, still being in short trousers? Billy
: No, nervous and twitchy. He must have jumped three foot in the air when I clapped him on the back and said, "How do, Gavin?" Truly
: I can understand that. It'd scare me on a sudden appearance, and I've got nerves of steel. Clegg
: Pass. Truly
: What I can't understand is what was Tom doing in a bank. Tom
: I often go to a bank. Truly
: Could one ask what for? It's not as if you had any chance of getting any money. Tom
: It's like Wembley; you go for the atmosphere.
: You fire arrow at sky. Where it falls can tell good luck or bad. Truly
: Sounds like a load of rhubarb to me. Entwistle
: Very ancient rhubarb. Billy
: Right, stand back. Let's give it a whack.
[Billy shoots an arrow straight up
: [staring up
] Looks like bad luck to me.
: I think Wesley's a bit heavy with the oil, especially on his overalls. Billy
: Try as you like, I don't think cookery will ever replace good food. Truly
: Don't you get fed up watching all these cookery programs?
: Every year I fire this arrow with a message on it. Happy birthday, Robin Hood.
: I remember Wagstaff; didn't want to go to Heaven if there was no marmalade. Truly
: No way was he going to live forever without a full English breakfast. Billy
: You have to suspect that Heaven's going to be big on organic and plenty of fibre. Alvin
: Anyway, Wagstaff was looking in the wrong direction if he wanted toast.
: He won't beat me next time, the big gob! He's not past cheating, if you take your eyes off him. Truly
: This man must be ready for a pint. Billy
: Do I hear two? Clegg
: It's his legs. You can't fill legs like that. Boy
: [polishing his scooter
] Any time, Mr Hardcastle.
[Billy snarls at him
: Do you think you can ever really be forgiven for insulting a hat? Truly
: Huh. People used to laugh at me when I was a bobby, but I found if you smiled and were forgiving you could usually get the beggars later. Billy
: Sometimes they laugh at me for wearing such a big feather. Clegg
: Well, you should try wearing it in your hat.
: Is this it, then? We've come all this way just to stare underwater. Truly
: Your father used to enjoy it. But then, he used to enjoy Nora Batty. Billy
: I suppose secretly we all have these weird ideas. Truly
: We noticed you do. Clegg
: I think that's true. I once went through this really bad patch when I thought I wanted to be the minister of agriculture. Billy
: That's really weird. Tom
: I have to ask: what is it exactly we're supposed to be looking for? Billy
: Tell him to keep an eye out for these weird wriggly things. Truly
: Sounds just like my time with the vice squad.
: Hem, ahem. Billy Hardcastle
: My, it's a right bow, is that. I'll bet tha could really overcharge for a bow like that. Auntie
: Make me an offer. Billy Hardcastle
: Ah, if I do I'm dead. The wife wants a new table lamp. Auntie
: Well, that's amazing! Funnily enough, this bow comes complete with a *free* table lamp. Billy Hardcastle
: That is amazing. Think I'm being sucked in here. Auntie
: Belonged to a champion archer, won all the competitions. Billy Hardcastle
: Accurate, is it? Auntie
: Accurate! Huh. He used to post his letters with it from his bedroom window. And they lived three hundred yards from the nearest postbox. Billy Hardcastle
: Wrapped 'em round his arrows, did he? Auntie
: Ah, well, *they* were stamped with his own address; the postman delivered them back. Billy Hardcastle
: Crafty! So how come he sold this amazing bow? Auntie
: Arthritis. In his elbow. Affected his aim. Shot a traffic warden and had to flee from all the messages of congratulation. Billy Hardcastle
: Is it a good free table lamp? The wife wants summat different. Auntie
: Well, the difference is you'll have your bow. Billy Hardcastle
: Tha can't argue with sound logic.
: I know what the wife's sister's getting for Christmas. A pimple - side of her nose! It's developing really nicely. Alvin
: You make it sound like she's entering it for a competition.
: I don't do knitting by choice. Just Lincoln green tights. The wife flatly refuses, and you can't buy 'em. You ask for Lincoln green, they look at you as if you're thick. Truly
: I can understand that. Billy Hardcastle
: That's just what the wife says. Clegg
: I can understand that. Billy Hardcastle
: Well, must be off. If you weren't really strong willed around here, people would talk you out of being stupid.
: How come she was chaining herself to railings? Truly
: Seemed rude to enquire. Billy
: Pity. It might of been some sort of club the missus could have joined. Clegg
: Bring your own railing. Billy
: I could have bought her some, for her birthday. Clegg
: I think that's sweet. Truly
: If you're going to keep spoiling her, she's always going to be difficult. Billy
: That's true. Let her buy her own railings.
: I couldn't sleep last night for the wife snoring. Truly
: Didn't you give her a nudge? Billy
: She's in the next bedroom. Clegg
: Have you always been that close? Billy
: She sleeps with her sister. She says I'm the wrong temperature for sleeping with. Clegg
: Well, I think she's hinting that your thermostat has gone. Truly
: What temperature does she like? Billy
: Sub-tropical. I keep thinking there's a monsoon any minute. Clegg
: Yeah, they like to be warm. That generation had more clothes on in bed than than they wear for going out these days. You needed a honeymoon just to find your way about.
: The car! Isn't that Barry's car over there? Billy
: I think it is. It is Barry's car. Truly
: Call me suspicious, but I wonder what he's doing lurking out there among the trees? Billy
: Barry doesn't lurk. He works for a building society. Truly
: So did the Leicester Square strangler. Clegg
: I bet he was in the claims department.
: Do you think God keeps an eye on everything? Truly
: No, that's special branch. Clegg
: I thought it was her behind the curtains at number twenty-three. Billy
: It's very difficult round here to get a serious conversation. Truly
: Yeah. We've noticed that. Clegg
: We think it's because we mostly meet idiots. Billy
: I expect they think the same.
: I can't believe Smiler knew a barmaid. Even one that squeaked. Smiler
: She was from Newcastle. Billy
: Oh well then, that explains it. Truly
: And what's all this about carrying the wife over the threshold? Clegg
: You can see where second marriages get more difficult. Truly
: I got a little too much to drink at the reception. I believe it was the former Mrs Truelove who carried me.