Only Fools And Horses

A Losing Streak

INT. THE TROTTERS' LOUNGE. DAY. The table is littered with marmalade jars, tea cups, a half empty bowl of soggy cornflakes and all the usual signs of a finished breakfast. The TV's are on, showing the BBC and ITV test cards. In the middle of the room is an enamel bath tub which is a quarter full with a yellow liquid. Rodney is seated on the floor and reacting to the vile smelling liquid. He is filling small perfume bottles from the bath tub and placing them in small cardboard boxes bearing the name: 'Yves Saint Dior' Parfum de Toilette' 'Paris.' Rodney hands the boxes to Grandad who, while keeping a close eye on the TVs, stamps the boxes with a tabbing machine and then places them in an old suitcase. Del (On telephone) ... When did I nick your speaker? Oh that speaker. Yeah, well I only borrowed it for the party didn't I? I gave it back to you the next day. Well, alright, the next week. Anyway, you’re not honestly trying to tell me that you've only got one speaker? What just one!! Blimey, what a way to run a railway station. Anyway, look, never mind about your rotten speaker. Now listen, this is a once in a lifetime offer. How would you like to buy genuine mink coat for 50 quid? No, no, it's not bent. No, the reason why it's so cheap is because it's Ethiopian mink...Ethiopian. Yes, I've got a contact in Babylon. Ah, well, the only difference between Ethiopian and ordinary mink is the colour...Yeah, that's right. Well it's sort of (To Rodney) What colour would you call them fur coats in the garage? Rodney Tabby. Del (On phone) They're sort of tab...They're a sort of mottled grey with delicate black highlights... I'll pop one round to you... You ain't got a dog have you? Winston, I'm only gonna leave it with you, you ain't got to feed it or nothing! Yeah, yeah, alright pal - fair enough. I'll se you around. Del moves away from the phone in deep thought, obviously worried. He sees Grandad and Rodney are observing him and changes instantly into bright, happy-go-lucky Del Boy. Del Oh well, win some lose some - nothing ventures, nothing gained - it's, well, boeuf à la mode, as the French say. Rodney What's wrong Del? Del Wrong? No, nothing's wrong. Things have never been better Rodney. This time next year we'll be millionaires! Right, here put that parfum de toilette in the back of the van, and we'll se if we can make a killing down the old market, alright? Rodney Right-ho. Rodney exits. Del That's it, off you go. As soon as Rodney leaves, Del becomes a worried man again. He checks his wallet. Grandad is watching him. He has seen these signs many times in his life. Grandad D'you play cards again last night? Del Eh? Yeah, yeah, that's right Grandad you know me, eh? He who dares wins. Grandad How d'you get on? Del I lost. I even had Mum's lucky rabbit foot with me. Brought me about as much luck as it did the rabbit. Grandad You wanna ease up with this gambling Del Boy. I've seen too many good men finish up in the gutter chasing 'easy' money. Del It's that Boycie innit? You know Boycie, the second-hand car dealer from Lewisham. I have never seen anyone so lucky at cards Grandad, it's all for big money an' all. Grandad He ain't using a marked deck is he? Del What, no, we're close friends, anyway, he knows I'd break his arms. Grandad Well I were in a card school once where the cards was marked. I lost a fortune. Del What, you knew they were marked? Grandad Oh yeah, I marked 'em...I was never much good at cards. Del Stone me! Never mind. Grandad Here, this Boycie fella, does he like spinning the old coin Del, you know double or quits? Del Well yeah, him, he likes any form of gambling, don't he? Grandad Oh well here Del, you try him with this. It's a double- headed coin. Del A what - double-headed coin? I thought you only saw these in them old British movies. Grandad Scotch bloke gave me this during the war. I remember it like it was yesterday. His hands was trembling and his voice was just a whisper. He said 'I want you to have something to remember me by, Trotter. Take me lucky coin.' Then he...he went! Del What - he died?! Grandad Deserted. Mind you, you couldn't blame him the way them Germans was carrying on. Someone was gonna get hurt. INT. THE NAG'S HEAD. DAY Stood at the bar are the despondent figures of Del and Rodney. They each have a half-finished half of lager in front of them. The suitcase is leaning against the bar near their feet. Del I don't believe it! I just don't believe it! I mean I thought we'd have got a right result with that scent. You know I thought they'd be queuing - camping out on the pavement like they do at an 'arrods sale. Instead of that... Del makes a sharp pull of a chain gesture. Del (cont'd) How many did we sell in the end? Rodney What, altogether? None! Del As many as that was it. Hang on, but I saw you sell a bottle. Rodney She fetched it back. Del Why? Rodney She smelt it. She said the last time she smelt an odour like that was when the cat sanctuary got bombed during the war. Trigger enters. Trigger Alright Dave? How's yer luck Del Boy? Del Don't ask Trigger. Trigger Still bad eh? I'll have a pint of mild please, love. (To Del) What you on? Del No, I'm alright Trigger. Trigger (To Rodney) I've never seen such bad poker hands as he's been getting. He lost 150 nicker in cold blood last night. Rodney A 150 pounds!! Del Nothing to worry about! I'm just on this losing streak that's all. It'll be over soon, it'll soon pass. Rodney You don't honestly believe all that rubbish about winning and losing streaks do you? You make your own luck in this world, son, there's no such thing as a losing streak. Del You give my arse an 'eadache sometimes Rodney. You don't know anything about cards, do you? You and your little mates are still playing strip-snap, ain't yer? (To Trigger) They're thinking of inviting some girls one day. Trigger You see Dave, a losing streak is like joining the Moonies. Easy to get into but a bark to get out of! Rodney Just how much have you lost Del? Del Got your 'ankie handy? I didn't want to tell you, I didn't want you worrying, I couldn't stand all that dermatitis all over again! We've got 70 quid and that's all that's left of your - profits. Rodney Well at least we can put the central heating back on and get something to eat. Del Eh? You don't think I'm wasting this on food and warmth do you? This is my stake money for tonight's game. Rodney You're playing again tonight?? Del Yeah, tonight 8.30 at our place! Boycie enters. Boycie Trigger. Del. Trigger and Del Hello Boycie. Boycie Hello Rodney. Rodney Boycie. Boycie Oh dear what's up with you, bird trouble? You look as though you've had a promise from a liar...How's yer luck, Del? Del Oh changing, changing, outed two-and-a-half hundred quid's worth of French scent this morning. Boycie Oh good, your in the chair, then are you? Del Eh? Oh yeah, yeah, Trigger? Trigger I'm alright. Del Julie could I have a double cognac please. Del looks Boycie defiantly in the face. Del (cont'd) And I'll have a large, I say, a large chivas Regal with coke! Rodney (Equally defiant) Yeah and I'll have a double Southern Comfort with American dry! Del That's 'alf a lager for Rodney. (To Barmaid) And why don't you have one yourself you know and put the change in the Third World relief bottle will you! (To Boycie) So how's your luck pal? Boycie Well, not too bad to be fair to you. I've sold one today, mind you, a 1980 Simca Estate. Only made 850 out of it though. I mean what's 850 these days? Hardly heats me swimming pool for a week. Rodney Grim innit? Boycie Oh yeah, absolutely. I said to Marlene - the other day, you remember Marlene, Del. Del Oh yeah, yes, all the lads remember Marlene. Boycie Yeah, well I said to her...I said to Marlene, I said, if it wasn't for the fact that I was making o much out of Del and the boys, I'd have to do something really drastic - like only having smoked salmon twice a week. Del You've got more front than Brighton ain't yer? Listen Boycie, I'm telling you that my luck's changing. I'm on a wining streak. Right! No I am, straight up, now listen, alright then, I'll tell you what, tell you what, look, here's 20 quid right that says the next customer in buy's a pint of something! Boycie You're on! 20 here says the next customer orders a short. Rodney You're pushing your luck a bit, ain't you? Del No, no, I'm not Rodney, I've just seen the next customer who's coming in past the window. The pub door opens and a large Irish navvy enters. Julie Yes, love? Paddy I'll have a dry Martini and a slim line tonic. Boycie (Taking the money from Del) It pains me to take it Del, you know it really pains me... Well cheers, 8.30 round your place is it? Boycie moves towards the door. Rodney Hold it Del. What are you doing?? Trigger Yeah leave him, Del. Del I'm not gonna hit him you fool. Listen I've got a double -headed coin I'm gonna stitch him up, where is he? Boycie. Here, just a minute, just before you go, I tell you what. You're a gambling man, that 20 quid I'll toss you for it - double or nothing! Boycie Go on then. Del Right? Boycie Heads. Del What?? Boycie Heads. You know what Del, I hope this winning streak of yours holds out till tonight. Boycie exits, laughing. Del That's it, that is it, I've just done me stake money for tonight's game, ain't I? Rodney Good! Del What do you mean 'good'?? Rodney Look, you're on the verge of losing everything we've ever worked for in a rotten bloody poker game! What do you expect me to say? 'Good old Del Boy - he knows a short cut to the workhouse!' Del Alright Rodney, alright, don't worry. If the worst comes to the worst you know we can always do ourselves in can't we, eh? Me, you and Grandad can go and jump in the River Thames. Trigger Be quicker to drink a drop of it! Del Looks as though you've already started. Rodney Del, why don't you say to Boycie tonight's off? Say you've caught something! Del Look, let me explain something to you Rodney. Look beneath all this finery - there lies - a berk! Now that surprises you, doesn't it! Rodney No. Del Look, you don't remember the day that Dad left home do you? Course you don't, you was too young. Well Mum she'd, well, she'd only just, you know, left us, and you were just a little nipper with a pink patch over yer national health specs, you know to help that turn in your eye, Grandad, he was sitting in his armchair waiting for colour television to be invented, anyway I came home that evening and found that Dad had gone, taken all his things and gone. He, he took everything Rodney. He took my savings, me three quarter length suede, he even opened your little piggy bank...The only thing that he didn't get was the money Mum had left me and you that was 'cos I'd hid it too well see, anyway he'd left us with nothing Rodney, not even the price of a meal. D'you know what that day was? It was my 16th birthday. He even took my cake! Rodney What a lousy b... Del Oi, oi, oi, that' yer father you're talking about! Rodney Well I'm sorry Del, but that's how I feel about him! Del Well it's alright, well, it's understandable, it's under- standable...But you see, from that day I swore that I would never run away from anything in my life, I mean, you know if a wild lion were to come in here now my old April'd be pouting like a good 'un, but I'd stand me ground. I would, 'cos it's geezers like me that, that capture German machine gun nests! And that's why I've got to play the game tonight, Rodney, you see, because I can't run away! Running away only wears your shoes out...D'you understand me? Rodney Yeah, yeah, I understand you Del! And I'll tell you something else, we're gonna beat Boycie tonight! Del That's the spirit my son, that's it. We'll take him to the cleaners! Rodney Ey, they'll call our place Che Sketchleys by the time we've finished with him. Right, well I'll see you later, I'm gonna get you omen stake money! Del Where from? Rodney Oi, when the chips are down I can be just as sharp as you. Now, remember that party we had at the flat last month? Yeah there was plenty of booze, right? Del Not gonna organize a disco are you? Rodney Eh no. I'm gonna take the empties back for you! Rodney exits. Del It's amazing ain't it Trigger. I've lived with him all these years and I thought I knew him. You know, and then some- thing like this happens - some simple gesture - and then you suddenly realise what a 100 per cent, 24 carat plonker he really is! INT. EVENING. THE TROTTERS' LOUNGE. The table is now covered with a green cloth in readiness for the game. Del in a three-piece suit paces the room. He flashes angry glances at Grandad, who is unmoved and continues watching the TV's. Del Well? Grandad Well what? Del Are you going to lend me that money or not? Grandad I ain't gonna lend you nothing! If I had a million pounds I wouldn't give you a penny of it. Del Come on Grandad, just give me a straight yes or no! Grandad Why should I give you money to lose? And don't give me that old fanny about a losing streak. Del It's true! Today I put 20 quid on a McAlpines navvy who was on a diet! Now what are the odds on you picking the only genuine weightwatcher in London? Grandad What makes you think I've got any money anyhow? I'm an old- aged pensioner Del Boy. Del (Mimics) 'I'm an old-aged pensioner, Del.' You crafty old sod! You had a 25-1 winner at Kempton Park on Monday. I know 'cos I gave you the fiver! And Rodney picked up your winnings, 125 quid. Grandad Oh that? Del Oh yes, oh that! Come on Grandad lend us a hundred pounds! I'll pay you back double! Now be fair, I've always been straight with you haven't I? Remember last month when you said you was feeling the cold weather in bed, what did I do for you? Grandad You bought me an electric blanket. Del Right. Give me that hundred pounds and I'll put a plug on it for you. Grandad Alright. You pay me back double though! Del Yeah, don't worry, alright, alright. Grandad unbuttons his shirt. He is wearing a money belt. He tries to hide it from Del. Del (cont'd) 'Ere, d'you always wear that money belt? Grandad Well it stops me getting a chill on me belly. Del That is most probably why your kidney stones didn't show up on that X-ray! Grandad hands Del a bunch of notes. Grandad There you go - Del Thank you Grandad. Grandad And don't lose it! Del No, alright - alright, I won't. Cheers. Rodney enters the room. Rodney Trigger and Boycie are here! Del Alright, alright, keep calm Rodney, keep calm. Right, now just er, just play it cool, know what I mean? Come on, just er, nice and cool, nice and cool...What you doing? Trigger and Boycie enter. Del (cont'd) Hello Trigger. Trigger Del, Dave, Grandad... Del Alright then Boycie. Boycie Good evening, you don't see many places like this these days Del Boy. Del Oh thanks. I designed it my- self! Boycie Yeah I thought as much! As a matter of fact I saw a place rather like this on a tele- vision programme recently. Grandad Dallas? Boycie No not Dallas - definitely not Dallas. No, it was a charity appeal - had the wife in tears you know. Still Marlene's easily touched. Trigger Yeah, as Del said earlier all the lads remember Marlene. Boycie Yeah, it was one of them programmes that...Well are we gonna stand here rabbiting all night or are we gonna play cards? Del No, we're gonna play cards Boycie. Sit yourself down over there, come on Trigger, That's it. Right, that' it Rodney, get them beers down. Right. The three sit at the table with Del opposite Boycie. Del (cont') Five card draw - usual limit yeah? Boycie That's alright. Del Right good, right, I've got a new pack of cards. Boycie Yes I brought a new deck as well. Del Oh. Well we'll use mine save opening yours, alright. Boycie No we'll use mine. Del No, no, let's use mine! Rodney Del's the host! Boycie And I'm the guest! So we'll use mine! Trigger Why don't you spin for it? Del Oh yeah yeah, that's a good idea, Trigger. Alright with you Boycie? Boycie Yeah, go on then. Del Okay then here you go. Boycie Heads. Del Eh? Boycie I said 'heads'. Del But you called heads in the pub! Boycie And I'm calling heads again! Del We'll use your pack! Trigger takes a small bundle of crumpled notes from his pocket and lays them on the table. Del lays his thousand pounds on the table. Boycie opens his briefcase and places three thick wads on the table. Boycie Is that all you've got Del? Del Er no, no, no, I've got more than that you know, Rodney's got the rest for me. Rodney Oh, yeah, Del, there's the four pounds and thirty-seven pence from the empties. Del closes his eyes in abject embarrassment. INT. NIGHT. THE TROTTERS' LOUNGE. It is almost the end of the evening and the atmosphere is now one of a smoke-filled gambling den. Jackets have been removed and hung on the backs of chairs, ties are loosened and waistcoats unbuttoned. Ashtrays are filled with cigar butts and dog-ends. Del and Boycie smoke fat cigars, Trigger a tipped cigarette. Rodney and Grandad puff nervously on roll-yer-owns. All three players are studying their hands. Del Down to you Trigger. Trigger Too heavy for me Del Boy. I'm calling it a night. Boycie Looks like it's down to you and me then Del Boy. Right, your 30, and I'll raise you 30 ...It's gonna cot you 30 quid to stay in, Del. Del I ain't got 30 quid left Boycie. Boycie Well what can I say? Del Alright, hang about, hang about. Go on, 30 quid and I'll see you. Boycie I have a running flush. Four, five, six, seven, eight of hearts. Del Jeeze and I've got three tens! Cor, stone me. Boycie Not good enough then, is it Del Boy? (Scooping the kitty in) Well that seems to be the end of the evening. Shame, really I was just getting into me stride...Well I'll bid you adieu then. Del Hang about, Boycie, no, hang about. I ain't finished yet. Del goes over to the telephone. Grandad (Quietly to Trigger) He knows more card tricks than Paul Daniels don't he! Trigger D'you reckon he's been switching 'em? Grandad Course he's switching 'em! He's done you two up like a couple of kippers. Del pulls a wad of money from the phone receiver. Rodney Del, oy where d'you get that from?? Del Buzzby sent it down the line didn't he? Rodney How come for the last fort- night we've been off Queer Street and suddenly all them notes materialize? Del This is the money that Mum left you and me. She said it was only to be used in a life- or-death situation. Rodney Oh, now come on Del, this ain't a life-or-death situation, it's a bloody game of poker! Del No it isn't Rodney. This is not a game - this is a duel! Alright Boycie I've got 500 quid here that says that this game ain't over yet. Boycie Nice one, Del Boy, I like yer style. I tell you what let's make this a bit exciting, shall we? No limit! Del That suits me Boycie. That suits me right down to the ground...Alright dealer takes one...Go on your bid. Boycie A century. Trigger 100 notes? You're coming it a bit ain't yer Boycie? Boycie This is a no limit game between me and Del Boy, so keep yer nose out Trigger! Del Don't worry, don't worry Trigger. He's bluffing, alright here you are, there's your 100 and I'll raise you 100. Boycie Your 100 - and I'll raise you 100. Del You're bluffing! Boycie Only one way to find out ain't there Del Boy. Del Oh he's bluffing - he's definitely bluffing, I can tell by his eyes, he's bluffing. Rodney It's gonna cost you another 100 to find out Del. Del Trust me Rodney trust me, he's definitely bluffing! I've got him by the short n' curlies! Your 100 - and I'll raise you 200. Want to see me Boycie? Boycie Oh no, no, no, no, Del Boy that's your 200 - and I'll raise you a grand! Trigger Knock him out, Del. Boycie It's gonna cost you a thousand notes to see my cards Del. Del I'm skint Boycie! Boycie Well you shouldn't play big boys' games then should you? Grandad (To Boycie) Oh play the game son. That's the money their mum left 'em. That's all they've got! Boycie Well, Del, do something or get off the pot. Del Yeah, yeah, alright. (Removing jewellery) All my jewellery, right and um... Del looks to Grandad who indicates he has nothing. Del (Appealing) Trigger! Trigger I'm boracic mate. Del (Turning to Rodney) Ro...Forget it you. Trigger Here are you can have me car. Trigger reluctantly hands over the keys. Del Cheers Trigger you're a real pal. Right, so that's my jewellery right and Trigger's car - it's a good 'un! Boycie You must be joking, I sold it to him! Del Right you'll get your money back won't you, so that's my jewellery, Trigger's car, the stereo and the tellies! Boycie It still doesn't come to a thousand notes Del. Del Alright, alright, tell you what I'll do, it's my jewellery, Trigger's car, the stereo, the tellies and everything in the flat, right, the cooker, the fridge, the deep-freeze, the beds, and wardrobes, our clothes... Rodney Now what's our bloody game Del? Del It's alright, trust me Rodney, he's bluffing. Have faith in me. Boycie Alright Del Boy, seeing as we are friends, I'll accept all of that as a bid of a thousand pounds. Del What have you got? Boycie I've got Kings. Del How many? Boycie lays them one at a time on the table. Boycie Un - deux - trois - quatre. Del (Stunned) Four!! Boycie I didn't know you were good at Maths Del. Del I thought you were bluffing! Boycie Oh no, no, no, no, no, Del Boy. Not on your Nelly. Del I thought he was bluffing! Rodney You berk! Trigger What did you have Del? Del Two pairs. Grandad Two pairs? You went all that way on two rotten pairs? Del I thought he was bluffing? Grandad Well he was bloody well was wasn't he? Grandad exits to the kitchen in disgust. Trigger Couldn't give us a lift home could you Dave? Rodney Yeah, I could as it goes, I'll drop you of on our ay to the river. Del's head is bowed in defeat. Boycie Well Del I'll send the boys round in the morning for the stuff. It really pains me Del, it really does pain me. Boycie is about to scoop up the winnings when Del's hand shoots out and grabs his wrist. Del What are you doing? Boycie What d'you mean what am I doing, I'm picking up the winnings Del, that's what I'm doing! Del Oh, no, no, no, me old mate, no, no, not on your Nelly! You know the rules of the game. All cards must be shown before the winnings are collected. Trigger Leave it out will you Del, you've only got two pairs. Boycie No, no, Trigger. It's alright, let Del have his little moment, come on Del let's see your two pairs. Del (Laying two cards onto the table) I've got one pair of aces. Boycie (Bored) Yeah. Del And I've got... (Laying another two cards onto the table) ...another pair of aces. Boycie is stunned as he realizes he has been beaten. His cigar falls from his open mouth. Del smiles sweetly at him. Rodney, Grandad and Trigger stare disbelievingly at the four aces on the table. Boycie That's four aces!! Del I didn't know that you were good at Maths either Boycie. Trigger Four aces! I ain't never seen it before! Rodney Four aces! Four bloody aces! Rodney turns to shout Grandad in from the kitchen, not realizing he is stood beside him. Rodney (cont'd) Grandad! Sorry! He's got four aces, SEE! Grandad I thought Del Boy might have something up his sleeve! Del reacts to Grandad's comment, indicating that is exactly where the other two aces came from. Rodney Oh look at all that lovely money! Del I told you I could do it, didn't I, eh? Rodney Well done. There is general celebration, back-slapping, etc. Del Oi Rodney now careful what is your game? Boycie Well done Del. Del Thanks. Boycie Nicely played. (Hissing) Where d'you get those our bloody aces from? Del Same place you got them Kings! I knew you were cheating Boycie. Boycie Oh yeah, how? Del 'Cos that wasn't the hand I dealt you! Boycie moves towards the door. Rodney Del, let's take him again. Del No, no I don't want to push my luck. Rodney Oh come on you're on a winning streak! Del Eh yeah, yeah you're right. Oi Boycie. Hang about, hand about, listen I always like to see a man get a chance to get some of his money back. Right, tell you what I'm going to do, look, there's 200 quid. I'll spin you for it. Del produces the double-headed coin. Boycie No way Del. I've already beaten you twice with the coin. By the law of averages you've got to win it. Del Alright, I'll make it fair. Rodney'll call for me. Rodney Yeah, yeah, I'll call. Boycie 200? You're on. Del Alright Rodders, call it. Rodney spins the coin. Rodney Tails. Del What?

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