Only Fools And Horses

No Greater Love

A LONDON BACK STREET. IRENE'S HOUSE. DAY The van is parked at the kerb. Del is wearing a brand new camel hair overcoat. Rodney is also wearing a similar overcoat which is far too big for him. Del is buttoning the coat up for Rodney. Rodney But I don't like camel-hair Del! Del This is not camel-hair, it's genuine polyester! There you are. That's it. Go and have a look in the mirror. Del adjusts the wing mirror on the van. Del (cont'd) It's 'ansome innit, eh? Rodney What d'you mean 'ansome? Look, it's miles too big for me! Del Of course it's not, that's the fashion innit? Rodney Well how come yours looks like it's made to measure then? Del Oh, this one. Yeah, it's a bit small for me. I saved you the best one Rodney! Rodney Del, it's horrible! Del Well you could at least wear it for a while, see if you get used to it. I mean, it is a gift Rodney, it is a gift. Rodney closes his eyes and curses his thoughtlessness. Del has the suitcase open at the back of the van. He is filling it with various items of women's clothing. The repentant Rodney appears at the back of the van. Rodney Hey you're right, Del. Once you've had it on yer for a while it really grows on you don't it! Del D'you like it then? Rodney Like it? I love it. I think it's really, really smart you know. Cheers! Del I'm glad you like it. That's a score you owe me. Rodney A score? You said it was a gift! Del Well it is a gift at 20 nicker. Cost you a 180 up Bond Street! Rodney Yeah but... Del Alright, don't worry about the money Rodders, I'll take it out yer wages! Well you said you liked it! Rodney Yeah I know, but...yeah... yeah, cheers Del Del That's alright Rodney. That's what brothers are for...Now listen, I want you to pop down and see that Mrs Singh. 'Cos according to the book she had a dinner service and two Persian rugs off us last month and she ain't paid a penny off 'em since! Rodney Right. Del Right. Oh, and while you're at it. See if you can get her interested in any of this gear. Rodney Del, Mrs Singh's a Hindu! Hindus do not go about in peek -a-boo bras and nifty knickers! Del What are you, some kind of Swami or something? You don't know what goes on under them saris! Go on, I'll see you later. They part and move off in different directions. Rodney arrives at a house. A woman is just opening the front door. This is Irene. She is in her late thirties, speaks with a London accent but is not a 'Cor Blimey' type. Rodney Excuse me, sorry, can you tell me if Mrs Singh's in at all? Irene Mrs Singh don't live here any more! She moved away, about three weeks ago. I've taken her flat. Rodney Great! Did she say where she was moving to! Irene Bangladesh! Rodney Oh good, for a moment I thought we'd lost her! Irene Can I do anything for you? Rodney No, no, not really. It's just that Mrs Singh bought a few items off us and she's supposed to be paying for them on the weekly. Irene I see. What are you, a tally- man? Rodney No, no, no, I'm not a tallyman. It's just that every so often I manage to get me hand on a few...'bargains' you know. Irene Really, what are you selling today? Rodney Women's clothing. You know skirts, blouses,, lingerie, that sort of thing. Irene Bring them inside. I might be interested. Rodney Yeah alright. Irene Are you coming in or not? Rodney Yeah okay... IRENE'S FLAT. LIVING ROOM. It is a reasonably bright and pleasant flat. The furnishing is early MFI. Rodney is alone in the room. He sits nervously on the sofa drinking a scotch. He lays back, forcing himself to relax. He surveys the room with a wry smile - considering all the possibilities. He does a double -take when he sees a wedding photo and goes back to his nervous position. Rodney Bloody hell, he's a big bloke! Irene (Out of view) Sorry, I can't hear you! Rodney Er, no, nothing! Irene enters from the bedroom. She is wearing a very tight skirt with a thigh length split up the side and a low-cut blouse. She does a twirl. Irene Well what do you think? Rodney Triffic! Irene You don't think this split's too revealing do you? Rodney No! No, that's just right! Irene Hey, I can't quite reach the zip. Could you give us a hand. Rodney, obviously relishing the thought of physical contact within such a short space of time, moves towards her. Remembering the wedding photo, he hesitates. Rodney Er, what time does your husband get home? Irene He doesn't. My husband's away! Rodney Oh! With renewed confidence, Rodney places his left hand firmly on Irene's backside and pulls the zip up with his right hand. Irene Ooh, ain't you 'alf got a strong grip! Rodney It's all that free school milk they keep giving us! So you're on your own then? Irene No! Rodney Oh! Irene There's my son Marcus. Rodney Oh right, what is he asleep in the bedroom? Irene No he's down the snooker hall! He's 16...I hope you don't mind me asking, but have you been ill recently - or lost a lot of weight? Rodney Eh? He realizes she means the coat. Rodney (cont'd) Oh this? No, no you know, it's the fashion. Irene Is it really? Well I'm so out of touch. I seem to spend every hour of the day in this flat. Rodney What you don't know many people round this area then? Irene No. I only moved here a month ago. I come from East London you see. Rodney It must get pretty gutty being in on your own of an evening? Irene Hmm, specially for someone who's used to going out and enjoying herself all the time. Are there any nice places around here? Rodney Na! Oh there's a dinner 'n' dance place over Streatham way, that's supposed to be really good. I was thinking of giving it a try Saturday night. Irene Oh I hope you and your girlfriend enjoy yourselves. Rodney Oh, I haven't got a girlfriend! Well, what I mean to say is I haven't got a regular one! Irene Oh hundreds of casuals I bet! Rodney Yeah, all over the place! The thing is, they're all busy Saturday night! So um, you know I - I was wondering whether you'd um, you know, if you're not too busy, perhaps you'd like - I expect you are - but if you're not - would you like to come with me? Irene Thank you very much, it's just that... Rodney Oh, no, no, it's okay, you've made other arrangements, I understand! Irene No, I haven't made other arrangements! Rodney You're washing your hair! Irene No! Rodney You're mending your bike? Irene No I did that last Tuesday. Rodney So what is it? Irene Well, how old are you? Rodney Well I'm not a kid if that's what you mean! I'm 23 and a half! Irene That's what I mean! You're 23 and a half, and I'm older than you! Rodney So? Irene Well doesn't it bother you? Rodney No! Does it bother you? Irene! Rodney So where's the problem? Irene There isn't one! Thank you very much for the invitation, I'd love to go out with you! See you Saturday night. Rodney Right at 8.30, I'll pick you up in the a mini cab! Irene There's just one thing! You'd better tell me your name, it's gonna get a bit embarrassing if I keep having to call you thingy all night. Rodney Sorry. Yeah, Rodney. Irene Irene. Rodney No - Rodney. Oh sorry, sorry, pleased to meet you Irene. They shake hands gently. Irene Oh yeah. Rodney Well I'd better get me suit down the cleaners then. Irene Rodney. You sure you don't mind? People might stare. Rodney Let them stare! That sort of thing don't bother me Irene. I went out with a Chinese girl once! Rodney exits. THE TROTTERS' LOUNGE. NIGHT. Grandad is watching the TV's, each showing a different programme. Del is at the table having just finished his tea. Rodney's tea of egg and chips remains untouched. He is on the phone talking to Irene in a hushed, romantic tone. Rodney Of course I missed you today. Yeah, I missed you yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that, yeah. Come on you know I'm thinking about you all the time! Are you? Really? Aah! Del Oi! Rodney (To Del in the same gooey voice) Yeah? (More masculine) I mean, yeah? Del Can I dip my bread in your egg? Rodney Help yourself. Del Thanks very much. Rodney ...No, no that's my brother. Oh, yeah, yeah, okay, I'll see you soon, of course I do! I can't. There's people here! Yeah alright. Okay. Se you. Bye. Grandad Who was that Rodney? Rodney Eh? Oh, er, Mickey Pearce. Del Mickey Pearce? Rodney Del, I want your advice. I've got a bit of a problem. Del I don't wanna know, I don't wanna know. I'd rather die in ignorance! There's never been anything like that in our family. Hey hang about Mickey Pearce is on holiday in France ain't he? Rodney Oh yeah! Well it wasn't him actually, it was a girl. Del Don't you ever do that to me again Rodney. I'll be up all night with heartburn...So you've got a bird have you? Ah, well, that explains it! Rodney Explains what? Del It explains why you've been lolloping about so much for the last week or so! You wanna pull your socks up my son, it's beginning to affect business! Rodney How can it affect business? Del I'll tell you shall I? (Indicating little black book) Look a tart in here called - Irene Macky right - she's had 17 quid's worth of clothes off you. And you're letting her pay you back at 25 pence a week right. That means you've got to go round there every week for a year! Rodney Yeah, I know. Del Oh I geddit, Rodney's got a mystery! Rodney Irene's not a mystery! We've just been seeing a lot of each other and well, we've become quite close! Promise me you won't laugh? Del No of course I won't! Rodney I think I'm in love. Del bursts out laughing. Grandad Oh, do us a favour Rodney. Only a month ago you was in love with that skinny bird from the dry-cleaners. Now along comes another little girl and you're away again! Rodney Marguerite from the dry cleaners was just an infatuation! This is the real thing! And Irene is not a little girl - she happens to be a woman! Del Oh a woman, eh? He's fell in love with someone who's got the vote this time! How old is she, 20? Rodney No. She's about - 30. Del What d'you mean about 30? How old is he exactly? Rodney 40. Del and Grandad 40? 40? Del You're not being serious are you? Rodney Well what's wrong with going out with a woman of 40? Del Nothing, nothing at all, if you happen to be 50! Blimey she's even too old for me! Grandad Well I'd have to think twice! Rodney Shut up Grandad. Del No, he's right Rodney, he's right. I mean, when she was drinking frothy coffee with some Ted up the Lyceum, you were struggling to keep your gripe water down! Oh no, bruv, this is one problem you're gonna have to solve on your own! Rodney That's not the problem! Del What, something else is it? Rodney Yeah. Her husband! Del She's not married n' all is she? Rodney Oh no he don't live with her. He's away. Grandad Where? Rodney Parkhurst. Del I don't believe you! I don't believe you! You're not going - you're not going case-o with the wife of a convict are you? Rodney You don't 'alf jump to conclusions don't you, I mean just 'cos heís in Parkhurst don't automatically mean he's a convict! I mean he could be a warder, or even a governor! Del And is he? Rodney Is he what? Del Well a warder or the governor? Rodney ...Well, no, he's a convict - but you weren't sure, were you? Grandad What's he in there for Rodney? Rodney Er, you know, this and that. Del Yeah come on, like what? Rodney Well like wounding with intent, GBH and attempted murder. Del He's got a little bit of a temper has he? Rodney Well this is why Irene's had such an unhappy life with him. He used to beat her up Del! She's moved over this way from the East End to get away from him. Del Hang on a minute, hang on a minute. What d'you mean get away from him? He's on the Isle of bloody Wight Rodney! Rodney Yeah, I know that, but he's being released soon! That's the problem. Look, when he comes out do you think I should go and see him, and tell him about me and Irene, man to man? Del Well, let me put it this way. You know one day if you're really fed up with having knees in the middle of your legs, you know, you go and see him. On the other hand, if you've grown quite attached to them, emigrate to Vietnam - you stupid little plonker Rodney. What do you think this is, Jackanory? This bloke's a killer! Grandad Well he only got done for attempted murder! Del Oh did he? Well, maybe that was just a bit of practice, eh? His first big success is going to come with Rodney. Rodney You're just like the rest of modern society, aren't you - frightened! Del What me, frightened of them nutters there in the shadows? Yes, oh yeah, they frighten me Rodney! Rodney Yeah, well, I've got a life to live right and I'm not going to have some mindless little thug like her old man, Tommy Mackay, telling me what I can do and what I can't do! It's one battle I'm gonna have to win ain't it! Del Alright, alright. Go on, you go and do that then Popeye. What are you gonna do? Carry a couple of tins of spinach round with you? Listen, you wanted my advice right - well here it is. Steer clear of Irene Mackay otherwise sleep with one eye open alright? Rodney Yeah, well, I'll think about it Del. I'll see you both later, I'm going round Irene's! Rodney exits. Del (Calls) Yeah, go on then - go on. You go round there. Off you go - on your bike. I wouldn't bother to put that on 'cos when we come to pay our last respects to you, you'll be wearing a concrete overcoat. You'll be helping to support a flyover on the M26! Grandad What are you gonna do Del Boy? Del Nothing! I mean you know - you know what he's like with the birds don't you, falls in and out of love more times than Starsky and Hutch. Anyway, they always give him the elbow after a fortnight. Grandad But in case she don't? Del I'm gonna put his name down for BUPA! THE NAG'S HEAD. DAY. The bar is sparsely crowded. A few young punks are playing the Space Invader. Rodney sits alone at a table sipping a scotch. He is depressed - his life has kicked him in the stomach. Del Good morning my little pot pouri. Julie Good morning. Del Giss a Tia Maria and a pineapple juice and, er, 'alf a lager for lover boy will you. Julie He's on scotch and that's his fourth! Del Is it? Alright give him one more and that's his lot! Julie Right. Del Alright Rodders? I knocked out all of them Georgian digital clocks. Rodney Yeah? Del Yeah. Rodney Triffic! Del Leave that there, right. Don't sit on it. What's the matter with you? Rodney Nuffing! Del Now come on, don't give us that. What's the matter now? Rodney It's Irene! Del Oh don't tell me. They've turned down her free bus pass? Rodney She's finished with me! Del Oh! Oh well, all's well that ends well I suppose. Rodney What d'you mean 'all's well that ends well'? It hasn't ended well for me has it! Del Oh now, come on Rodney. Come on you've had a good time, ain't yer - you know, a few drinks, bit of the old Humpty Dumpty and now it's finished ain't it, eh? Rodney You're a pig ain't yer? That is the pinnacle of your aesthetic appreciation innit - a few drinks and a bit of Humpty Dumpty! Del Yeah...No I was just trying to put it into perspective that's all. I mean, you didn't honestly think that anything was gonna come of it did you? Rodney I loved her Del! Del Now come on Rodney, believe me bruv, it's - you know, it's all for the best in the end. I mean I know exactly what would have happened. You know, one day you'd have gone down that roller disco and met some blinding 18-year-old sort who'd have knocked your eyes out. And she would have fell head over heels for you, wouldnít she? Rodney allows himself a mile and a shrug. Rodney Well... Del Yeah and then you'd have had to go and break the news to Irene! How do you think a 40- year-old woman would feel, knowing that she's lost in love to a younger woman? She wouldn't be just losing any man. She'd be losing you! Rodney I've never thought of it like that. Del That scar would never heal! Rodney No! Oh poor chick! Del Exactly! It's che sara, sara as the French say. Anyway, her old man was released yesterday, so it's saved you from all that didnít it. Rodney Yeah! You're right. Look I'm sorry if I've bin a bit of a pain lately. Del No, of course you ain't, no! Rodney Oh do leave off! Look at me - I've been acting like a right wally! Del Oi, now I don't want you talk- ing like that Rodney! Emotions that you've been experiencing are the things that separate you from well from those morons. (Indicates the punks) No it's alright. It just shows that you're a human being, in the fullest sense of the word. You proves you've got a heart Rodney, and them feelings deserve respect and dignity. Don't feel ashamed of them - you feel proud of them. Rodney Yeah! Del That's it. Rodney Cheers Del. Del It's alright. I'll get our drinks, eh? Rodney Yeah. Del Right. Del moves to the bar. Julie What's up with him? Del Oh some old tart's given him the sack - you know what he's like don't yer? Del returns to the table. Del Here you are. If you're looking for answers you won't find any in the bottom of a glass! Rodney No, I just fancied a drink that's all! Del That's alright, that's alright - just you know, you just lay off the bottle. Alright? Right cheers then anyway. Rodney Cheers. Del Good luck. Marcus enters. He is another punk with particularly spikey hair. He is wearing one of the camel hair overcoats. Marcus Hello Rodney. Rodney Oh hello Marcus. (To Del) This is Irene's son. This is my brother. Marcus Alright Del! Del Yeah - hello son. Smart looking kid ain't he, eh? I bet he could pick up BBC2 on that hair. BBC2 on his hair... What's the matter with you now? Rodney Ah, no, nothing, but how did you know Irene's husband was released yesterday? Del Ah well you - you must have said! Rodney Did I? But I didn't know! Del You must have said I mean - how else would I have known? Rodney Yeah, I s'pose I must have! Del 'ere well, come on, come on, let's get going. Drink up, eh, see if we can do a bit this afternoon. Rodney Yeah, alright, how did Marcus know your name? Del You introduced us didn't you, eh? Rodney No I just said you was my brother, I didn't say your name! Del Well, he must have heard it before somewhere mustn't he? Rodney He's never met you before! Del (Indicating his medallion) Well it must have been me 'D' look. I'm wearing a big 'D' ain't I, it's obvious me name's Del innit? Rodney No, that could stand for David, Daniel, Douglas. He's wearing one of your coats. Del I know that - I know that, we're all wearing them ain't we, eh? Look it's the fashion, ain't it eh? Come on - come on let's go! Rodney Oi Marcus! How did you know his name? Marcus I met him on Thursday when he took Mum out for a drink! Rodney You took Irene out? Del Now look Rodney, it's not what you think. I just wanted to talk to her about you. Rodney Me? What did you tell her about me? Del I didn't tell her anything about you. I was - I just - I just told her a few home truths, that's all. I just - I just said, you know, if she thought anything of you, she ought to leave you alone! Rodney (Spitting the words) Thanks Del! Where would I be without you, eh? Happy maybe! Del Now come here Rodney. Now Rodney, just a minute. Look, I did it for you. I mean, what do you wanna do - end up dead? Rodney No! But it's nice to have a choice innit. One of these days Del - just one of these days! Rodney exits. Del Rodney, come - Rodney, I did it for you. (To Julie) That's the thanks I get! LONDON BACK STREET. NIGHT. The van is parked at the kerb. Del, wearing his new coat, is at one of the doors talking to a young Indian. Ahmed is also wearing one of the coats, which is far too big for him. Del Oh yes, it was made for Ahmed my son. Ahmed It's too big man! Del No, no, no, it isn't. No, that is the fashion. Let's have a look at the back. Oh that's beautiful that is. Ahmed Yours isn't too big! Del Ah but - this is small on me! Anyway, I reserved the best one for you Ahmed my son. Now come on at 25 nicker you can't go wrong, can you, eh? Ahmed Alright man, I'll take it. Del That's it. You know it makes sense! Now, d'you want to pay now or do you want it on the old... Ahmed I'll pay you two pounds a week Del. Del Alright. I'll see you next week. Ahmed Alright. Del You won't catch cold in that. THE ALLEYWAY. NIGHT. Del passes a small alleyway. As he does, a West Indian leaps from the alley and drags the struggling Del into the alley. Del Oi, what's your game! Leroy Take it easy man, you might hurt yourself! There's someone here who's been dying to meet you. Del Oh yeah - who's that then? Tommy Macky, with a face that makes McVicar's seem angelic, steps from the shadows. Tommy Me! Mackays the name. Tommy Mackay. Ring a bell does it? Del Yeah, I think I've heard of it before. Tommy You bet you're life you've heard it before sunshine! You've been seen out with my wife Trotter! Guilty or not guilty? Del Oh no, it was jut only a friendly dink! Tommy But I'm not a friendly geezer. And that kind of thing makes me very 'angry'! I'm gonna teach you a lesson you'll remember for the ret of your life, Rodney my old son! Del Now listen, listen now, let's not be hasty, er? Rodney? Did you say Rodney? Tommy Yeah that's right, Rodney Trotter, that's you innit? Del Yeah, yeah, I'm Rodney Trotter yeah. Tommy Good! Okay Leroy give him some air. Tommy and Leroy remove their jackets. Del removes his overcoat. Tommy and Leroy throw their jackets to the ground. Del throws his overcoat into the darkness behind him - he turns to see that it has landed in a muddy puddle. He turns back, now snarling and seething with anger. Del Now look what you've made me do! That was a brand-new coat that was. We can hear groans and thuds after Del dives in to fight. A dustbin clatters in the struggle and rolls out of the alley and comes to a halt on the kerb. A police constable walking down the street has his attention drawn to the alley by the sound of a scream. He rushes down the road and arrives at the alley. He observes the blood-letting going on inside. He turns and runs away out of sight. Eventually the sound of the fighting subsides to the sound of just the occasional thud. Del, dragging his over- coat behind him, staggers from the alley. His face is swollen and bruised, blood runs from his lips. His shirt is speckled with blood and is hanging out, his tie has been ripped. He leans against the wall and takes great gulps of cold air. THE NAG'S HEAD. NIGHT. The bar is crowded - somewhere a pop record plays, mingling with the drone of conversations and general pub sounds. Rodney, now in a suit, sits alone at the bar clutching an almost finished lager. Del, in a bad condition and still slightly unsteady, pushes his way through the crowd. Del Rodders. Guess what I've done for you Rodders? Rodney Well if it's another example of your so-called brotherly love, you just forget it, right. As far as I'm concerned Del you're no longer my... (He turns to see Del) What the bloody hell's happened to you? Del It's alright. It's alright. No, it's just - you know, I just walked into a door. Rodney It did all that? Del Yeah, it was a revolving door! Listen, listen to this. I had a bit of luck tonight. I bumped into Tommy Mackay. That was lucky weren't it, eh? Rodney Did he do that Del? Del No, no - he didn't do it, no - no - no, it's just that I had - you know - I had one too many like, and I fell down the stairs at Monkey Harris's house. Rodney He lives in a bungalow. Del Yeah, well, he's moved now ain't he, eh - he's moved. Just shut up and listen will you. Well I had a chat with Tommy Mackay, tonight you see and, um, I managed to do what all the psychiatrists and social workers have failed to do! I've rehabilitated him. He's seen the error of his ways. You know, he'll give you no more problems. I've left the path clear for you and Irene! Rodney Me and Irene? Oh that's all over Del! Del What? Rodney Well we both had a long talk about it, and then we decided it was never gonna work. Del It will - it will work. I got, er, I've got a box of Black Magic in the back of the van, I've only had one of it. Go on, whip - go on whip it round to her now. Go on. Rodney No, itís no good Del! I mean, it was just circumstances that threw us together weren't it? She was lonely in a strange part of town, and well I was just looking for a mother- figure I suppose, anyway you was right Del. Del No, no, no, no, I wasn't - I wasn't. Rodney I don't mean about me and Irene! Del Well what d'you mean then? Rodney Well, this afternoon I went down the roller-disco and I met this bird, Zoe. Del Zoe? Rodney 18 she is, with a body that makes Bo Derek look a cert for plastic surgery! Irene was just infatuation, but this is love! Oi, here she is now. (Zoe enters) Alright babe? This is Zoe. This is my brother, he fell down some stairs. Zoe Nice to meet you. Del (Stunned) 'Lo! Zoe (To Rodney) Are we going then? Rodney Yeah, yeah, right I'll see yer later on Del. Alright? You can finish that if you want it. Del Yeah! See yer Rodders...See yer Zoe. Rodney (Calls from the door) Oi Del! I'd have that head looked at if I was you! Rodney exits. Del It's the truest bloody words you've spoke for ages Rodney! Julie What happened to you? Del Me? No, no, nothing happened to me. Rodney got a bloody good hiding though.

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