The Man Who Finishes Other People's Sentences


(sketch continues from 'Appeal on behalf of extremely rich people'...............)

Mrs Long Name (Terry Jones): All right, I'll go.

TV Voice(Michael Palin): There now follows a Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the Liberal Party.

(She turns it off. The TV set just folds up as if empty and collapses on to the floor. Dust rises. She goes into the kallway to the front door [singing 'Anything Goes' by the other Cole Porter to herself] and opens it. A man with a briefcase stands there.)

Mr Vernon (Eric Idle): Hello, madam. (comes in)

Mrs Long Name: Ah hello... you must have come about...

Mr Vernon: Finishing the sentences, yes.

Mrs Long Name: Oh... well... perhaps you'd like to...

Mr Vernon: Come through this way, certainly. (they go through into the sitting room) Oh, nice place you've got here.

Mrs Long Name: Yes ... well ... er... we...

Mr Vernon: Like it?

Mrs Long Name: Yes ... yes we certainly...

Mr Vernon: Do... Good! Now then, when did you first start...

Mrs Long Name: ...finding it difficult to...

Mr Vernon: Finish sentences, yes.

Mrs Long Name: Well it's not me, it's my...

Mr Vernon: Husband?

Mrs Long Name: Yes. He...

Mr Vernon: Never lets you finish what you've started.

Mrs Long Name: Quite. I'm beginning to feel...

Mr Vernon: That you'll never finish a sentence again as long as you live.

Mrs Long Name: Exact...

Mr Vernon: ly. It must be awful.

Mrs Long Name: It's driving me...

Mr Vernon: To drink?

Mrs Long Name: No, rou...

Mr Vernon: nd the be...

Mrs Long Name: en...

Mr Vernon: d...

Mrs Long Name: Yes...

Mr Vernon: May I..,

Mrs Long Name: Take a seat.

Mr Vernon: Thank you. (he sits) You see, our method is to reassure the patient by recreating normal... er...

Mrs Long Name: Conditions?

Mr Vernon: Yes. Then we try to get them in a position where they suddenly find that they're completing other people's sentences...

Mrs Long Name: (with self-wonder) Themselves!

Mr Vernon: Spot on Mrs...

Mrs Long Name: (hesitantly) Smith?

Mr Vernon: Good! Well, try not to overdo it to...

Mrs Long Name: (with growing confidence) Begin with?

Mr Vernon: Good. Just keep it to one or two...

Mrs Long Name: (faster) Words ....

Mr Vernon: To start off with, otherwise you may find that you're...

Mrs Long Name: Taking on too long a sentence and getting completely ... er...

Mr Vernon: Stuck. Good. Yes. Well that's about it...

Mrs Long Name: (completely confident now) for now, so...

Mr Vernon: Thanks very much for calling.

Mrs Long Name: Not at all.

Mr Vernon: And, er...

Mrs Long Name: Just like to say...

Mr Vernon: Thank you very much for coming along.

Mrs Long Name: Not at all

Mr Vernon: And good...

Mrs Long Name: Bye, Mr...

Mr Vernon: Vernon.

(Mrs Long Name leaves. Mr Vernon shuts the door. A girl's voice comes from sitting room.)

Girl's Voice: Carl?

Mr Vernon: Yes, dear?

Girl's Voice: I've just had another baby.

Mr Vernon: Oh, no! How many's that now?

Girl's Voice: Twelve since lunch. Oh! There's another one!

(Cut to exterior of Mrs Long Name's house. She comes out and sets off purposefully up the road, passing four pepperpot nannies digging up the road. They are wearing the usual slippers, paisley dresses and knotted handkerchief. One wears a halmet. One works a pneumatic drill. She is stripped to the waist wearing a big pink bra. Behind, heroic shots of Mrs Long Name walking out of town, through suburbs, into neat country, then into wilder country. She finally stops in close up, and looks up with inspiration in her eyes.)



Continue to the next sketch... David Attenborough / Walking Tree of Dahomey

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