Goon Show Script

Under Two Floorboards

Series 5, Episode 18

First broadcast on January 25, 1955. Script by Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes. Produced by Peter Eton. Announced by Wallace Greenslade. The orchestra was conducted by Bruce Campbell. Transcribed by Steve (Chipper) Dale, corrections by Alastair Roxburgh, Kurt Adkins and Peter Olausson. Additional corrections by thegoonshow.net


This episode is available on...
Goon Show Compendium 2

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Vol. 9: What Time is it, Eccles?

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Greenslade:
This is the BBC Home Service.

Peter:
Is there no relief?

Greenslade:
Listeners, this is smiling Wallace Greenslade speaking to you. Here's good news: from time to time during the next half hour I will be appearing - hope you like me, kids! If, however, you are determined to hear the rest of it, get well soon.

Seagoon:
You over-paid word strangler! Ladies and gentlemen, he was about to apologize for the highly esteemed, Goon Show!

Orchestra:
[Elizabethan flute and harp duet link, calm and flowing]

Greenslade:
High Towers, with its great ivy-covered windows, relieved by mullioned walls. This was the ancestral home of Lady Seagoon. One butler, two cooks, three maids, six gardeners, eight horses, fourteen cows, seven pigs and... Ned Seagoon.

Seagoon:
Yes, I am the Honourable Neddie Seagoon, eldest son. We had all been to the university, I took law, while my brothers took medicine.

Eccles:
We were ill! [guffaw] [sings] I'm only a strolling vagabond...

Seagoon:
Shut up Eccles!

Eccles:
Well I wasn't in last week.

Seagoon:
I know you weren't. Well, It was the year 1908. We'd just come from Balliol School, Cambridge. Oh, it was pleasant to be home and I walked around the even lawns, pausing only to smooth down the places where my brother had buried a bone. Then I noticed my uncle Grytpype-Thynne. He was idly climbing out of a hammock which hung easily between my two brothers.

Grytpype:
Ah, nephew Neddie! Looking forward to the ball tonight?

Seagoon:
Oh yes, sir.

Grytpype:
Good.

Seagoon:
My mother will be wearing the Blue Shower Necklace, worth a King's ransom! Been in the family three hundred years.

Grytpype:
She's kept remarkably well.

Seagoon:
No, no, no, the Blue Shower.

Grytpype:
Yes. Neddie, I have a little present for you.

Seagoon:
Oh thank you uncle, you're always giving me presents! First a christening mug and now this.

Grytpype:
It's a book.

Seagoon:
A book? Oh yes... I've seen one of these before. Wait! I think I've read this. What's it called? 10/6 net? Yes, yes, I've read this, I've read the sequel too, 12/6 net.

Grytpype:
[Aside] I wonder if it would be wiser to draw pictures for him? [aloud] It's called "Beau Geste", Neddie.

Seagoon:
Lovely. I'll read it tomorrow.

Grytpype:
No, no, no, you must read it all before the ball tonight. Oh, and here's a bookmark.

Seagoon:
I say, that's rather novel. It's a single ticket to Marseille.

Grytpype:
Well done. I say, you're quite sure your mother is wearing the Blue Shower tonight?

Seagoon:
Of course.

Grytpype:
Read.

Seagoon:
Beau Geste, what a wonderful book. During the next five minutes I read it again and again. On the last page was a note from uncle. It read, "Pass it on to your brothers, I've given them both bookmarks". What a kind man uncle was! I passed it on.

Eccles:
Ooh, look! Look what Neddie's given us.

Bluebottle:
Eee-hee! Let's put some wheels on it, then we can pull it round. So enters Honourable Bluebottle, the third son. I like this rich game. Thinks: I'm a happy-go-lucky-lad! Signals butler to wipe my nose.

Seagoon:
Dear brothers, that thing there is a book.

Bluebottle:
Yes, go on, read it to little Bluebottle, Eccles. I like it when you read to me, you know that? Sits in listening pose so as not to miss dinner gong.

Eccles:
Right! It's, um, let me see, it's called um... Booo... Gosht... Unm... Booo...

Bluebottle:
What?

Eccles:
...Boooo... Gest-e... Shall I draw a pussycat? [Guffaws]

Bluebottle:
No, go on, read it Eccles, it was just getting interesting.

Eccles:
Yeah, well, um, it starts off...

Bluebottle:
What does it say?

Eccles (struggling over each syllable):
Once... yau... yaupon... a-ee... ta... oiii...

Bluebottle:
Time.

Eccles:
Time. That's it! I knew it was a 'W'.

Seagoon:
Enjoying it?

Eccles:
Yeah, it's a funny book, ha ha!

Bluebottle:
Yeah, it's a funny book, hee-hee!

Eccles:
It's a really funny book, ha-ha-ha!

Bluebottle:
Yes!

Seagoon:
Perhaps I read it wrongly! After all, both my brothers held university degrees. [Ahem] Do you mind if I listen while you read?

Eccles:
Well, um, OK, yeah. Let's see now. "Then the big giant walked over the hill with a big club in each hand".

Seagoon:
Where's that?

Eccles:
Dere!

Seagoon:
There? It says, "The garden was bathed in the cold light of an august moon".

Eccles:
Shall I draw a pussycat?

Bluebottle:
Tee-hee-hee!

Seagoon:
Look, I'll read it for you. [Fast] "Once upon a time there were three brothers..." [speeds up to gibberish and fades out]

Orchestra:
[Mystic harp chords link]

Grams:
[Stately background music, small crowd]

Grytpype:
Ah, nephew Neddie. Enjoying the ball?

Seagoon:
Immensely, I've danced every dance.

Grytpype:
Oh, who's the lucky girl?

Seagoon:
I don't bother with them, I'm much better on my own!

Grytpype:
Charming. By the way, did you read Beau Geste?

Seagoon:
Oh yes, about the three brothers who, having come down from Balliol School, attended a ball where their mother's diamond was stolen, and rather than sneak on each other, joined the Foreign Legion!

Grytpype:
Right lot of charlies weren't... er... I mean um, noble lads.

Seagoon:
[Noble] You know, uncle, that's the sort of thing I'd do. Honouri Tempus and Gratis; up the school; last man in and ten runs to get. [Sings] Boots, boots, boots, boots, tramping over Africa! There's no discharge in the Waaaaarr!!!

Grytpype:
You silly twisted boy, you! By the way have you got the ticket to Marseille... I mean the bookmark?

Seagoon:
Yes.

Ray Ellington (shouting):
Neddie!!!

Seagoon:
Yes, mother?

Ray Ellington:
Come into my room.

FX:
[Door handle turned, door opened and slammed]

Ray Ellington:
OK, now which one of you three layabouts has it?

Milligan (apologetically):
He was alright at the audition.

Ray Ellington:
The Blue Shower Necklace has been pinched!

Seagoon:
Just like the book!

Eccles:
Ooh, has that been pinched too?

Ray Ellington:
If that necklace isn't back by tomorrow, I'll send for the po-lice.

Seagoon:
At the mention of the police we all went white.

Ray Ellington:
Get me a mirror.

Seagoon:
Listen, mother...

Ray Ellington:
I don't want to know. Come on, off you go to your rooms, you've got until tomorrow.

Grams:
[Four whooshes in quick succession, followed by three doors slammed in quick succession]

Grytpype:
To think that the Blue Shower'd cost me only 10/6 net... Oh yes and 3 novel bookmarks! So far so good. [Singing] I'm only a strolling vageabondge... [Talking] So good. Ah, here we are, little Neddie's room.

FX:
[Three knocks on the door]

Grytpype:
Neddie? Oh Neddie, it's your rich uncle.

FX:
[Door handle turned and opens door]

Grytpype:
Ned... Oh splendid, lad, he's gone. And a farewell note to his mother, how charming.

Milligan:
The devilish cunning of it all!

Grytpype:
And that isn't all. Geldray? Play Neddie's journey to Marseille.

Max Geldray and Orchestra:
[Musical interlude: 'Happy Days and Lonely Nights']

Grams:
[Triple speed 'Black Bear' march music and army marching. mix in battle with military bugle calls sped up (advance and retreat) over screams]

Seagoon:
Stoooooooppppp!! [Grams stop] I haven't joined yet! It had been a pleasant journey in a first-class railway coach marked, "HV-kHz, 40-Ohms and Am-Charlie". And now here I was in the Legion Recruiting Centre at Marseille. I was just reading the second wall, when the door opened.

FX:
[Door handle turned and door opens]

Bloodnok:
Ooohhhh! Moulin Rouge, Folies Bergère, and other naughty French words. So you want to join the legion, eh?

Seagoon:
I gazed at the Legion Officer, his skin was burned fiery red by the hot Algerian brandy. On his breast was a coloured ribbon from which dangled... A penny.

Bloodnok:
We can't all have medals, you know. Now lad, a few questions. Name?

Seagoon:
Ned Seagoon.

Bloodnok (writing):
N... ed S,E,A,G,O,O,O,double-O,N.

Seagoon:
Oui, mon Capitaine.

Bloodnok:
Oh, you're German.

Seagoon:
No, no, no. I'm a true Britisher.

Bloodnok:
Well that's a novelty! Do you, ah... Speak French?

Seagoon (fast):
Oui, mon Capitaine. Je parle français comme un indigène. [tr. Yes, my Captain. I speak French like a native!]

Bloodnok:
Well you'll just have to learn it the same as I did. Now for the jackpot question. Have you any money or valuables on you?

Seagoon:
About £5.

Bloodnok:
Oooh, there'll be joybells in the NAAFI tonight! Hand it over.

Seagoon:
Well, I mean, look... Er...

Bloodnok:
It'll be returned to you on your demob. Off you go, first door on your left.

Seagoon:
This door?

Bloodnok:
That's the one.

Seagoon:
Thank you.

FX:
[Door handle turned and door opens]

Grams:
[Sudden huge battle, shouts, yells, muskets, cannon, thunder of cavalry hooves, etc. Military bugle calls sped up]

Greenslade:
Listeners may well like to know, how one can walk through a door in Marseille, and appear in the thick of a battle in Africa. We're not giving all our secrets away, by Jove we're not!

Grams:
[Battle up, continues for a few seconds]

Moriarty:
Silence! [pron. "see-lence"] [Grams stop] Legion - will - fall - in!

Grams:
[Army falls in, disgruntled voices]

Moriarty:
Silence! Sacré-Bleu, Sapristi nyuckos! You there! You with the size 53 nut. Via nisi! Fier onf! Unf leuf unf leuf...

FX:
[One man marching and shouting time as he goes]

Moriarty:
Shut up! Slooope... Ambre-as!

FX:
[Sound of umbrella being sloped onto shoulder]

Seagoon:
So this was the famous legion. I drew myself to my full height and stared dead-ahead at his belt.

Moriarty:
Tell me mon petite brave, can you march?

Seagoon:
Only with my feet.

Moriarty:
Good! It's only twenty miles back to the fort. I hope, for your sake, you will be able to keep up with us.

Seagoon:
Oui, mon Capitaine! [aside] Keep up with them, indeed. Ha-ha. Did he not know that I was a Britisher?

Moriarty (in distance):
Legion! By the left! Bon marche!

Grams:
[Triple speed 'Black Bear' march and fast marching as before, fades]

Orchestra:
['Englishman lost in desert theme' (as in "Lawrence of Arabia", one man ploughing through the sands of the desert, alone and lost)]

Seagoon:
Alone in the African desert, without a compass or a guide. [out-of-breath] However, by carefully noting the position of the sun, I could tell it was still daytime. But this, this heat was hot! [series of out-of-breath gasps] I unbuttoned my overcoat. [gasp] Then, just as I was about to cry "waaaater!" I saw two people approaching.

Crun:
...Ahh, yes, yes, yes...

Minnie:
...Ohh, dear, dear...

Crun:
...Yes, yes, yes...

Minnie:
...I told you Henry... Ah, nyucka-in... I told you the tide was out, Henry...

Crun:
...Not going back home without having a paddle!..Minnie.

Minnie:
Listen, Henry, the man will want another thrupence for this deckchair, buddy!

Seagoon:
Excuse me.

Minnie:
I don't want a donkey ride.

Seagoon:
I don't intend to give you one.

Crun:
Young man, can you tell us where the sea is?

Seagoon:
I'm afraid not.

Crun:
And you call yourself a lifeguard?

Seagoon:
I'm not a lifeguard, I'm a legionnaire and I've... I've lost the fort.

Crun:
When did you have it last?

Minnie:
Mnn?

Crun:
I asked him when he had it last, Minnie.

Minnie:
I... I thought he was a donkey man.

Crun:
No, no, no, Minnie... What, nn, not, nn, no...

Minnie:
What?

Crun:
No, no..

Minnie:
You can't get the donkeys...

Crun:
You can't get the donking...

Minnie:
No. You can't get...

Minnie and Crun:
(Minnie and Henry take turns at saying "No you can't get the..." for quite some time).

Seagoon:
I'm sorry to butt in, but I have to find the fort. I'm a legionnaire, you know. The crack fighting force, let them all come. Ils ne passeront pas! [tr. They will not pass!] Ha-ha! Alors mon brave! [sings La Marseillaise as he goes into the distance] Allons enfants de la Patrie, le jour de gloire est arrivé...

Minnie:
I wonder if that... That young man could help us?

Crun:
How, Min?

Minnie:
To find Ned Seagoon.

Crun:
We don't need to ask anybody, Min. We've got his description, it's only a matter of keeping our eyes open.

Minnie:
Yes, we've only got to find a soldier wearing the Blue Shower necklace.

Crun:
Oh, I never thought of that.

Minnie:
And you call your... Self a... a... de... det... Detective?

Crun:
Minnie, keep quiet, dear, or you'll break out in another rash.

Minnie and Crun:
[Fade out, still talking]

Orchestra:
[Same 'Lost In Desert' theme again]

Greenslade:
Ten days later, the weary figure of Ned Seagoon approached the fort.

Seagoon (out of breath):
It wasn't ten days, it was three and a half weeks.

Greenslade:
At the risk of being volatile, I would like to inform the listeners that according to the Radio Times it was ten days. However, after Ned Seagoon's ordeal in the desert we can forgive his inaccuracy.

Seagoon:
I should know, shouldn't I? I was here, wasn't I? It was three and a half weeks!

Moriarty:
Ahhhh! A new recruit. Where have you been for the last ten days?

Greenslade:
And the Radio Times only costs thruppence.

Moriarty:
Thank you! Tell me now, legionnaire, look at the state you're in. Covered in sand! Wherrrrrre have you been!?

Seagoon:
Iiiiiiin the desert!

Moriarty:
Aaaaa likely story!

Grams:
[Lone bugle sounds the 'alert']

Moriarty:
Sacré Fred!! We're being attacked! Up on the wall, men! If you want me, I'll be under the bed.

Seagoon:
Stop!!! Sir, there's only one of them.

Moriarty (off):
Is he unarmed?

Seagoon:
Yes.

Moriarty (on):
Right men, fire.

FX:
[Many guns being fired of varied types (machine guns, pistols, rifles, etc.). lasts three seconds, ends suddenly]

Moriarty:
Missed. I say, keep still out there! These bullets cost money!

Seagoon:
Perhaps he has a message for us. [Calls] Avez vous un meshoise for us?

Eccles:
Oui! [Sings] I'm only a strolling vagabond...

Seagoon:
Sir, sir, this idiot is my brother. Eccles. What are you doing dressed like an Arab?

Eccles:
It's my foreign legion uniform!

Seagoon:
It's not; it's the uniform of the Arabs.

Eccles:
Well! When I joined the Foreign Legion, they gave me this, closed the gates, and said, "Good luck".

Seagoon:
I ran to let my brother in. It was good to see him again. Eccles, you've got tall!

Eccles:
Oooh, this isn't all me.

Seagoon:
Isn't it?

Eccles:
Nope, I'm sitting on mudder's shoulders.

Seagoon:
Mother's shoulders?

Eccles:
I couldn't get a camel.

Ray Ellington:
Neddie! My eldest boy.

Seagoon:
Mother! Mother, what are you doing here? This is a white-man's grave.

Ray Ellington:
What's the matter with you, colour-blind?

Moriarty:
Mother, May I 'ave ze honour of 'earing you play ze music?

Ray Ellington:
But, with pleasure.

Ray Ellington and His Quartet:
[Musical interlude: "The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane"]

Grams:
[Triple-speed Black Bear march as before]

Seagoon:
In the next few weeks we must have marched hundreds of miles a day. During these marches not a word of complaint passed my lips as I sat huddled in Eccles' pack.

Eccles:
Oooh, have you bin ridin' round in my pack?

Seagoon:
You don't mind, do you?

Eccles:
You'd better not let mudder know!

Seagoon:
Why?

Eccles:
I bin ridin' round in hers! [laughs]

Seagoon:
Good old mater!

Eccles:
Yeah. Ooh, by the way Neddie, I saw the Captain last week, and he told me to tell you that he wants to see you in his office right away.

Seagoon:
What? Why didn't you tell me last week?

Eccles:
Well, if I told you last week you'd have forgotten by now.

Seagoon:
Yes. Thank you Eccles. I'm only a week late. A week!

Grams:
[Whoosh]

FX:
[Three swift knocks on the door]

Moriarty:
Come in.

Seagoon:
I'm terribly sorry, sir, really I am, but I know I'm late but it's my own fault. My brother told me last week and I forgot. I... I am completely to blame. I should have reported to you last week when my brother informed me, but it slipped my memory, and the blame is entirely mine.

Moriarty:
Come in!

FX:
[Door handle turned and door opens]

Seagoon:
It's all Eccles's fault, sir.

Moriarty:
Never mind that now. I have a visitor to see you sir.

Seagoon:
A visitor?

Moriarty:
First of all, how much is the Blue Shower necklace worth?

Seagoon:
About er... A King's ransom. All depends on who the King is. [wild laugh] ...ahem...

Moriarty:
So, you are Neddie Seagoon, I have a visitor for you. Entrez! [pronounces the 'z']

FX:
[Door handle turned and door opens]

Grytpype:
Ahh, nephew Neddie.

Seagoon:
Uncle Grytpype!

Moriarty:
Sacre Nom du See, Sapristi Yakabakakas! Then it is true, you are this charlie's uncle.

Grytpype:
I'm afraid so. Now, Neddie, the necklace.

Seagoon:
I haven't got it, uncle.

Grytpype:
Search his neck.

FX:
[Neddie's neck being searched, various grunts, groans, Neddie gurgling, etc.]

Moriarty:
Curse! Nothing except this string of glass beads and a full-length portrait of his mother.

Grytpype:
Listen, Neddie, I took the Blue Shower necklace. At the ball I hung up my jacket to do the Mambo and when I returned, the pocket containing the necklace was gone.

Seagoon:
What a dastardly trick! Who would want to rob you? But I didn't take it, honestly I didn't.

Grams:
[Lone bugle call signals attack]

Moriarty:
Sapristi-Nyuckos! Man the walls! The Arabs are attackon!

Grams:
[Full battle noise with trumpets blaring at different speeds]

Seagoon:
It was a terrible battle. The enemy hurled themselves upon us with swords, rifles, machine-guns, and worst of all, seven hundred rock-cakes!

Grams:
[Battle screams and bugle calling the retreat]

Seagoon:
Then it came. The order to retreat. We didn't know it at the time, but this was one of the greatest retreats in the history of war. Back we went, as far as Morocco.

Grams:
[Battle up, then down...]

Seagoon:
To the African coast, still fighting. The Mediterranean was littered with dhows and dead sampans as we gamely retreated. Twice we had to buy ammunition from the Arabs. Days turned into weeks.

Grams:
[Battle up]

FX:
[Referee's whistle]

Grams:
[Battle stops. sounds of big crowd]

Customs Officer (bored and slightly camp):
Next please. Anything to declare? Watches, clocks, finery?

Seagoon:
Nothing.

Ray Ellington:
Nothing.

Eccles:
Er...

Customs Officer:
Well, anything to declare?

Eccles:
Um... oh... It's good to be alive!

Customs Officer:
Yes. Pass along please. Next?

Arab 1:
[Furious Arabic]

Customs Official:
Thank you. Next?

Arab 2:
[Furious Arabic]

Customs Officer:
Cor, there's thousands of them. Alright, go straight through.

FX:
[Referee’s whistle]

Grams:
[Battle up again]

Seagoon:
And still the battle raged. Down the Southend Road and up the Guildford Bypass!

Orchestra:
[Harp plays mystic chords link]

Greenslade:
Meantime, in the ancestral home of Lady Seagoon, a lone figure lay in bed idly dangling the Blue Shower necklace.

Bluebottle:
Eee-hee! I'm a happy-go-lucky rich boy. Thinks: Now that everybody is in the Foreign Legion, I'm next in line for the title. Eee-hee-he! Stares at pimply reflection in the Blue Shower and at the same time, also thinks: Here in the countryside I'm safe. It's the others who will get the dreaded deading.

Grams:
[Battle drawing nearer]

Bluebottle:
What is that noise that tickles little Bluebottle's ear-holes?

FX:
[Door handle turned, door opens, grams get louder]

Butler:
Sir, it appears that your brothers have returned home, and furthermore...

Seagoon (entering):
Hello, Bluebottle, I'm glad to see... Wait... You've got the Blue Shower. Stooooooop!!! [Grams stop immediately] Gentlemen, I'm sorry, but you'll have to cease the battle now.

Omnes:
[Disappointed crowd moaning]

Seagoon:
I know you're upset, I'm... I'm... I'm sorry, but this is our home, you know. [laughs seriously] And what's more, we've found the necklace!

Omnes:
[Cheers]

Bluebottle:
But the necklace is mine! Nay-nay, nay-nay, nay...

Eccles:
Nay, nay, nay, here you are, Bluebottle, in return here's a rock-cake.

Bluebottle:
Oooh thank you, Eccles. I like rock-cakes I do, I like them. Yes. Thinks: I've never seen a rock-cake with a pin in it before. Ah well, I've had a good long run this week. Stands to one side and pulls pin out.

Grams:
[Explosion, bits of metal and glass hitting the ground]

Orchestra:
[Same pretty little Elizabethan flute and harp duet link]

Greenslade:
High Towers, the home of Lady Seagoon.

Grams:
[Descending whining sound as in bomb falling from a plane]

Greenslade:
One butler, two cooks, four maids, eight-hundred-and-forty-two Arab gardeners, six horses and...

FX:
[Heavy object falls on top of Wallace (thump noise)]

Greenslade:
Ooooh!

Bluebottle:
Oh I'm sorry, did I fall on you?

Greenslade:
Yes, you small knobbly ham!

Bluebottle:
Oh, you're smiling Wallace Greenslade ain't you?

Greenslade:
That's right.

Bluebottle:
Well, could I have a signed phottygraph of you? 'Cause I like you on the wireless.

Greenslade:
So do I. Have a toffee.

Bluebottle:
Thank you. 'Cor, fancy you. You're bigger than I thought you was...'Cause I like you on the wireless!

Orchestra:
[End theme]

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 Stott, script by Eric Sykes and Spike Milligan, announcer Wallace Greenslade, the programme produced by Peter Eton.


Notes:

'Beau Geste' is a novel from 1924 by P.C. Wren. A movie version was released in 1926 (silent film), then again in 1939 and later in 1966. In the best known version from 1939, the story centers around Michael "Beau" Geste, who admits to the theft of "the Blue Water" sapphire, to save the honor of his adoptive and impoverished mother - Lady Brandon. He leaves and joins the Foreign Legion, and is later joined by his brothers. The jewel turns out to be fake.

HV-kHz and 40-Ohms are electrical terms. When Seagoon mentions travelling in a first-class railway coach marked, "HV-kHz, 40-Ohms and Am-Charlie" – it implies he was actually on the engine of an electric train.

A 'dhow'is a traditional Arab sailing ship with triangular sails.

A 'sampan' is a flat-bottomed Chinese wooden boat.