4 min read





From “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”

Transcribed by Jonathan Partington; Edited by Bret Shefter

Husband (Terry Jones): Hello, my wife and I would like to buy a bed, please.

Mr Lambert (Graham Chapman): Certainly sir, I’ll get someone to help you.

Wife (Carol Cleveland): Thank you.

Lambert: Mr Verity!

Mr Verity (Eric Idle): Can I help you, sir?

Husband: Yes, we’d like a bed, a double bed, and I wondered if you’d got one for about fifty pounds.

Verity: Oh no, I’m afraid not, sir. Our cheapest bed is eight hundred pounds, sir.

Husband & Wife: Eight hundred pounds?

Lambert: Excuse me, sir, but before I go, I ought to have told you that Mr. Verity does tend to exaggerate. Every figure he gives you will be ten times too high.

Husband: I see.

Lambert: Otherwise he’s perfectly all right.

Husband: I see. Er… your cheapest double bed then is eighty pounds?

Verity: Eight hundred pounds, yes, sir.

Husband: I see. And how wide is it?

Verity: It’s sixty feet wide.

Husband: Yes…

Wife: (whispers) Sixty feet!

Husband: (whispers) Six foot wide, you see.

Wife: (whispers) Oh.

Husband: …and the length?

Verity: The length is … er … just a moment. Mr Lambert, what is the length of the Comfidown Majorette?

Lambert: Ah. Two foot long.

Husband: Two foot long?

Verity: Yes, remembering of course that you have to multiply everything Mr Lambert says by three. It’s nothing he can help, you understand. Otherwise he’s perfectly all right.

Husband: I see, I’m sorry.

Verity: But it does mean that when he says a bed is two foot long, it is in fact sixty foot long, all right?

Husband: Yes, I see.

Verity: That’s without the mattress, of course.

Husband: How much is that?

Verity: Er, Mr Lambert will be able to tell you that. Lambert! Could you show these twenty good people the dog kennels, please?

Husband: Dog kennels? No, no, the mattresses!

Verity: I’m sorry, you have to say ‘dog kennel’ to Mr Lambert, because if you say ‘mattress’ he puts a bucket* over his head. I should have explained. Otherwise he’s perfectly all right.

Husband: Oh. Ah. I see. Er, excuse me, could you show us the dog kennels, please, hm?

Lambert: Dog kennels?

Husband: Yes, we want to look at the dog kennels, hm.

Lambert: Ah yes, well that’s the pets’ department, second floor.

Husband: No, no, no, we want to see the DOG KENNELS.

Lambert (irritated): Yes, second floor.

Husband: No, we don’t want to see dog kennels, it’s just that Mr Verity said that…

Lambert: Oh dear, what’s he been telling you now?

Husband: Well, he said we should say ‘dog kennels’ instead of saying ‘mattresses’.

(Lambert puts bucket on his head)

Husband: Oh dear. Hello? Hello? Hello?

Verity: (approaching) Did you say ‘mattress’?

Husband: Well, yes, er…

Lambert: (muffled) I’m not coming out!

Verity: I did ask you not to say ‘mattress’, didn’t I?

Husband: But I mean, er…

Lambert: (muffled) I’m not!

Husband: Oh.

Verity: Now I’ve got to get him to the fish tank and sing.

Husband: Oh.

Verity: (sings) And did those feet, in ancient time…

Another assistant (John Cleese): (walking up, hearing the singing) Oh dear, did somebody say mattress to Mr Lambert?

Husband: Yes, I did.

(Assistant gives nasty look at Husband)

Verity: (still singing) …walk upon England’s mountains green… (Assistant joins in) …and was the Holy Lamb of God…

(Lambert removes bucket; Verity and Assistant immediately stop singing; assistant leaves.)

Verity: He should be all right now, but don’t…you know…don’t!

Husband: No, no. (to Lambert) Excuse me, could we see the dog kennels please?

Lambert: (irritated) Yes, pets department, second floor.

Husband: No, no, no. Those dog kennels, like that. You see?

Lambert: Mattresses?

Husband: (relieved) Yes.

Lambert: But if you want a mattress, why not say ‘mattress’?

Husband: (nervously) Ha ha, I mean…

Lambert: I mean, it’s a little confusing for me when you say ‘dog kennel’ if you want a mattress. Why not just say ‘mattress’?

Husband: But you put a bucket over your head last time we said ‘mattress’.

(Lambert puts the bucket over his head again)

Verity: (running on the scene again) Oh dear! (sings) And did those feet…

Assistant: (to Husband) We did ask! (duet) …in ancient times, walk upon England’s mountains green…

(singing continues throughout the next few lines of dialogue)

Yet another assistant (Michael Palin): (running in) Did somebody say ‘mattress’ to Mr Lambert?

(Cleese points angrily towards the Husband and Wife)

Verity: Twice!

Other Assistant: (shouting throughout the store) Hey, everybody! Somebody said ‘mattress’ to Mr Lambert – twice! (joins in the singing)

(Organ music swells and they carry on singing)

Verity: It’s not working, we need more!

(The entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir begins to sing in the background. Sounds of water splashing; eventually Lambert removes the bucket again and they stop singing)

Lambert: I’m sorry, can I help you?

Wife: (brightly) We want a mattress!

(Lambert puts the bucket over his head again. Verity, husband and assistants all groan and glare accusingly at wife)

Wife: But it’s my only line!!!

*N.B. In the television version it was a paper bag, on the record it was a bucket (better sound effects?)