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(A customer enters a pet shop.)Customer: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.
(The owner, bent down, does not respond.)
C: 'Ello, Miss?
Owner: What do you mean "miss"?
O: We're closin' for lunch.
C: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
O: Oh yes, the, uh, the Norwegian Blue...What's, uh...What's wrong with it?
C: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it!
O: No, no, 'e's uh,...he's resting.
C: Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.
O: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn'it, ay? Beautiful plumage!
C: The plumage don't enter into it. It's stone dead.
O: Nononono, no, no! 'E's resting!
C: All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up!
(shouting at the cage) 'Ello, Mister Polly Parrot! I've got a lovely fresh cuttle fish for you if you show...(owner hits the cage)
O: There, he moved!
C: No, he didn't, that was you hitting the cage!
O: I never!!
C: Yes, you did!
O: I never, never did anything...
C: (yelling and hitting the cage repeatedly) 'ELLO POLLY!!!!!
Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o'clock alarm call!
(Takes parrot out of the cage and thumps its head on the counter. Throws it up
in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)
C: Now that's what I call a dead parrot.
O: No, no.....No, 'e's stunned!
O: Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin' up! Norwegian Blues stun easily, Major.
C: Um...now look...now look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That parrot is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired out following a prolonged squawk.
O: Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the fjords.
C: PININ' for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did he fall flat on his back the moment I got 'im home?
O: The Norwegian Blue prefers keepin' on it's back! Remarkable bird, id'nit, squire? Lovely plumage!
C: Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.
O: Well, o'course it was nailed there! If I hadn't nailed that bird down, it would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent 'em apart with its beak, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!
C: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this bird wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it! 'E's bleedin' demised!
O: No no! 'E's pining!
C: 'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!!
THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!
O: Well, I'd better replace it, then.
(he takes a quick peek behind the counter)
O: Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we're right out of parrots.
C: I see. I see, I get the picture.
C: (sweet as sugar) Pray, does it talk?
O: Nnnnot really.
C: WELL IT'S HARDLY A BLOODY REPLACEMENT, IS IT?!!???!!?
O: Look, if you go to my brother's pet shop in Bolton, he'll replace the parrot for you.
C: Bolton, eh? Very well.
(The customer leaves.
The customer enters the same pet shop. The owner is putting on a false moustache.)
C: This is Bolton, is it?
O: (with a fake mustache) No, it's Ipswitch.
C: (looking at the camera) That's inter-city rail for you.
(The customer goes to the train station.
He addresses a man standing behind a desk (or wearing a placard) marked "Complaints".)
C: I wish to complain, British-Railways Person.
RAIL GUY: I DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS JOB, YOU KNOW!!!
C: I beg your pardon...?
RG: I'm a qualified brain surgeon! I only do this job because I like being my own boss!
C: Excuse me, this is irrelevant, isn't it?
RG: Yeah, well it's not easy to pad these Python scripts out to 150 lines you know.
C: Well, I wish to complain. I got on the Bolton train and found myself deposited here in Ipswitch.
RG: No, this is Bolton.
C: (to the camera) The pet shop man's brother was lying!!
RG: Can't blame British Rail for that.
C: In that case, I shall return to the pet shop!
(He does. ENTERS Pet Shop.)
C: I understand this IS Bolton.
O: (still with the fake mustache) Yes?
C: You told me it was Ipswitch!
O: ...It was a pun.
C: (pause) A PUN?!?
O: No, no...not a pun...What's that thing that spells the same backwards as forwards?
C: (Long pause) A palindrome...?
O: Yeah, that's it!
C: It's not a palindrome! The palindrome of "Bolton" would be ……. "Notlob"!! It don't work!!
O: Well, what do you want?
C: A replacement for this dead parrot your “brother” sold me.
O: Well then you’ll need to talk to him.
C: He said you’d replace it.
O: He does that. Can’t forgive me flushing his little fire engine when we was little tykes.
C: (Snarling, EXITS.)
(“Owner’s brother” removes moustache, sighs, relaxes. CUSTOMER ENTERS.)
C: Aha! I knew it was you. I demand a refund!
O: Um…um…Can’t do it.
O: Against our policy!
C: What policy?
O: OUR policy.
C: And where is this royal queen-kissed policy posted?
O: There, behind me. On the wall.
C: There’s nothing on the wall.
O: Do say?? Well it was. Must have fallen. Say, have you seen our new line of pet-shaped icebox magnets? Make nice gifts and you don’t have to feed them. Heh heh heh.
C: I don’t think you’ve got any bleedin’ policy except proppin’ up dead things in cages and sellin’ em.
O: Is not! That’s slander! Here, I’ll have a look for it if you’re going to be that way. (Rummages around below counter.) I’m sure it just… fell… off the wall… and slid down here…
C: If it fell down from that wall wouldn’t it be back there?
O (still busy behind counter): Well… it might unless it met an updraft such as … you… might.. get … at a wall….
C: I don’t think you’ve got a policy!
O: (popping up with a hastily written sign) Got it! “No Refunds. Onley just exchanges.”
C: You wrote that just now.
O: Did not. I picked it up.
C: And you misspelled “only”. It’s got no “E”.
O: It doesn’t?
C: See! You wrote it.
O: Didn’t. This is professionally typeset.
C: In a pig’s eye. Am I to understand that you are refusing to give me a refund for this dead bird what you sold me?
O: He’s not dead. He’s pinin’.
C: (Stares, a kettle about to blow.)
O: (a little nervous now) For the fjords?
C: Aaaaaughhh!!! (with incredible self control he turns and EXITS taking bird.) Do not kill him. Turn around. Walk out the door. Keep walking. Keep walking. Don’t stop keep walking….
O: (frozen in startled shock) Good day. (watches door unmoving, breathing slowly.)
(RAILWAY GUY bursts in door.)
RAIL GUY: (panicked) The 5:30 train from Surrey has lost its brakes. It’s goin’ 70 and there’s no stoppin’ it. It’ll hop the tracks at the bend and plow through this block, unless I get something to lay on the tracks to wedge its wheel. Something about the size and shape of…of… of…. (demonstrates with his hands )
O (deadpan): A dead parrot.
RAILGUY: Yes! A dead parrot! That would do it!
O: Sorry, all out.
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