Only Fools And Horses

Healthy Competition

BUSY SHOPPING CENTRE. Del is standing outside a large department store. The suitcase is open on a fold-away table and contains seven or eight battery driven toy yap-yap dogs. A crowd has gathered round and Del is into his sales spiel. Del No, they're beautiful ain't they? They're beautiful. And listen, I don't care whether your nipper has got measles, mumps or a scabby eye, because these are guaranteed to bring a smile right back on his face. Now listen, gather round everybody. Listen to me, now listen ladies, I want to tell you something, please don't let it go any further because I'm afraid I might be in breach of the Official Secrets Act. Right. I happen to know that little Prince William has one of these little fluffy toys in his nursery in Buck House; now I'll tell you how I know, shall I? Because his dad gave me a bell last week and he said 'Del Boy - Del Boy,' he said, 'I'm in right lumber, the enemy's doing her pieces because I've forgotten Spud's Birthday.' Now Spud happens to be the nickname for the little Prince William. So what do I do? I walloped straight round there with one of these. And it was end of aggravation, end of story. Rodney is standing a few yards away acting as look-out. He isn't at his most alert, seeming pre-occupied, deep in thought. Del Now they come complete with batteries, they're fully house trained. Whoops. That one isn't, never mind. They are not made in Taiwan and these are not made in Hon Kong. These are 'Made in Burma'. What can't speak, can't lie... By now Rodney has lost total interest. Above the heads of the shoppers there is a policeman's helmet moving nearer like a shark's fin. Del Now listen, the fully recom- mended retail price is fourteen pounds and sixty- five pence. Now, I'm not going to mess about with coppers, now that's a Freudian slip, so I'm not asking for 14 quid, I'm not gonna ask for ten quid. Who'll give me six quid for this little yap. Six quid, come on anybody, six quid. Let me tell you something, if these were fluffy little chickens you'd be saying 'Good Heavens, they're going cheap.' Going cheap, do you get it? But they're not, no, these are little butts and they're going 'Yap, yap'. But they are still remarkably cheap and I'll tell you why I've got to get rid of them, shall I? Del spots the policeman's head moving ever nearer. The policeman pushes Rodney out of the way to get nearer to Del. Del (cont'd) Because I'm going on my holi- days and I need my suitcase, right. Now what I...what I, er, right, listen sorry I can't stay. Tell you what, I just remembered my flight leaves in 'alf an hour. See ya! Del slams the suitcase shut and exits from the department store. THE DEPARTMENT STORE. Del hurries through the store with the barking suitcase. The policeman follows and gives chase. Del Excuse me, excuse...oh. BACK STREET/ALLEY. Del, beginning to tire, hurries along the street. A cat on a wall spits at Del and the suitcase. He exits form the alley pursued by stray dogs. He is kicking and shooing them out of the way. Del Shut up, will ya? At this point the van, driven by Rodney, screeches to a halt. Del leaps into the back. The van roars away. The policeman runs into the street. He stops and listens. There is barking from the alley. He runs into the alley. After a pause, he runs out being pursued by the stray dogs. THE TROTTERS' LOUNGE. Grandad is watching the TVs. Del, carrying the suitcase, enters. He hurls it down and kicks it. Grandad Had a good day Del? Del Had a good day, a good day? Oh the best, Grandad, the very bloody best. I've been chased by a gendarme, attacked by Pussycat Willum and almost caught rabies. And it's all this dipstick's fault. Rodney Oh he don't 'alf exaggerate. Del Exaggerate? You should have been with me in that alley Rodney, it was like Call of the Wild. Why didn't you warn me that that copper was coming? Rodney Because I didn't see him. Del You didn't see him? What d'you want me to get you, radar or something? Grandad Oh you've gotta give him the benefit of the doubt Del Boy. Rodney Yes, thank you Grandad. At least somebody understands. Grandad I mean, they are difficult to spot - with their size 18 boots and their pointed heads. Rodney Why don't you shut your mouth you sarky old goat! Del Oh and that's another thing. What about last Friday then, when we were knocking out them Italian shirts. Listen to this one, Grandad. That wasn't - that wasn't just one copper you failed to warn me about - it was an entire squad car. I mean, it stood there by the kerb, all big and white with a red stripe running through it like a tube of Signal. Rodney Well, I didn't see it. Del You didn't see must have been a tiny suspicious when this ginormous great big jam sandwich pulled up next to you? Grandad Well, maybe he needs medical help Del. Del Yeah, like psychiatric treat- ment. Grandad Or glasses. Rodney Look, I don't need psychiatric treatment and I don't need specs, right. I've had a lot on my mind just recently. I've been struggling to find a way of making a very important announcement. Del Oh yeah, what important announcement? Rodney Alright, for the last two weeks or so I've been taking stock of my life. Who I am, what I am and where I'm going. Del And that's taken you a fort- night? I could have answered all them questions for you - could have been answered them all during a commercial break. Rodney Will you just shut up for one minute. I am 24 years old, I have two GCEs, 13 years of schooling and three terms at an adult education centre behind me, right. And with all that, what have I become? I'm a look-out. Del No Rodney, you're wrong. You're not just a look-out. You're a bad look-out. Rodney Alright, alright, so I'm not very good at it. Perhaps that's 'cos me heart's not really in it. Del I'm not asking you to put yer heart in it, just yer eyes'll do. Rodney Del, what I'm trying to say is ...I'm thinking of breaking up the partnership. Del What partnership? Rodney Ours. Del Oh. What do you want to do that for? We're doing well. Business is booming, profits are up. What more d'you want? Rodney I want to make my own decisions. I've made one Del, I'm going it alone. Del Who with? Rodney Mickey Pearce. Del Mickey, Mickey Pearce, oh, leave it out. He couldn't keep a rabbit going with lettuce. Grandad You wanna watch that young Pearcey. He's a bit too fly for my liking. He'd rob his own grandmother he would. Rodney Oh don't be stupid Grandad - that was never proved. Anyway you give credit where it's due, right. Mickey's quite an astute businessman. And he's putting capital into this venture. Del Oh, putting money in is he? Rodney Well, no. But he will as soon as his Giro cheque arrives. Del I see, and what are you going to put in? Rodney I've got money, Del. Del Oh, oh, have you? Rodney Yeah, I've got my half of the partnership. Del What partnership? What our part...Alright, if that is the way you want it, my son. Del produces a wad of notes. He removes the elastic band and begins counting out some fivers, etc. Del (cont'd) 'Cos you'll have to understand one thing Rodney. Going it alone means exactly what it says. Right, from now on, you've got to pay your own way in the world. You pay your own way in the pubs and you pay your own way in this house. You make a mistake you stick by that mistake. Alright? Rodney Fine. Del Fine. And if things don't go right for you, I don't wanna hear no moaning or whining from yer. Rodney Look, I won't moan or whine about nothing. Del (Handing Rodney the money) Right, there you go then. Rodney Is this all I got? Del Yeah. Rodney Oh bloody hell, Del, all them years of working, you give me this. Del Yeah, well, I mean, you know, business's a bit shaky - profits are down. Rodney Hold on a minute - just now you said we were doing well. Del Yeah, well, we are doing well, relatively speaking Rodney. I mean we are doing well, compared Iranian gin salesman. Anyway, I had to buy some stock off Alfie Flowers yesterday, and I mean a trader is only as good as his stock, right. Rodney Alright, well, this'll have to do then won't it. But I'm going to prove to you that I've got business acumen, that I am as quick-witted as you, Del. See you down the auction tomorrow. Del Alright. How will I recognise you? Rodney Ah, I'll wear that stripy tie with...See yer. AUCTION ROOM. The Auctioneer stands on a small platform. The traders are seated around the platform, with a few others standing at the back. Del is at the back of the hall, as are Rodney and Mickey Pearce. Auctioneer Lot 35, ladies and gentlemen, is a consignment of smoke- damaged fire alarms. Now they are industrial models and all guaranteed - sort of - to be in perfect working order. Well, we've written evidence from the nightwatchman to say they all went of when the factory went up. Now there's 70 all-told, and they usually retail around the 30 quid mark. So I can start the bidding at fifty quid the lot. Mickey (Nudging Rodney) Go on, bid for 'em. Rodney What do we want industrial fire alarms for, eh? How many factories do we know are going to catch fire? Del enters. Del Alright Rodney? Rodney Good morning Derek. Mickey Watcha Del. It's good here innit? Del Er, triffic. Mickey This is my first auction. Del I thought it might be. Listen, a word of advice. You've gotta be very careful what you do with yer hands in a place like this. I mean, I know you didn't realise it Mickey, but just now you put in a 40 quid bid for an electric generator when you scratched your bum. Mickey Did I? Rodney He's winding you up. Del The state of him. What are you after? Mickey Cut-glass goblets. Rodney (Alarmed) No, no, we ain't. Mickey But I thought you said... Rodney (Interrupting) No, no - we're not after nothing in particular. Del Oh I see. Now listen, the one that you wanna beware of is Lot 37. It's nothing more than a load of scrap iron, right, so be careful. See you later. Del exits. Auctioneer 130, thank you sir. A 130. Do I hear any more? (Bangs the gavel) 130 - down to young Towser. Now ladies and gentlemen, we come to lot 36, 112 pieces of near perfect cut-glass goblets. Take a look ladies and gentleman. Mickey This is us Rodney. Rodney No, hang on a minute. Let's have another look at Lot 37. Mickey Yeah, but Del told us to be careful of that one. Rodney Yeah and why do you think he did that? Use your noddle Mickey. Del's after Lot 37, ain't he? He's just trying to put us off and leave the field open for him, ain't he. I know how his mind works son. (Checks programme) Right, Lot 37, assorted agricultural machinery. Hey, that could be anything - that could be tractors, combine harvesters. Mickey Yeah, we could take 'em out in the sticks and do them carrot crunchers up. Rodney Hey, shall we go for Lot 37 then? Mickey Yeah. Rodney Yeah. Mickey Yeah. LARGE YARD. Rodney and Mickey are staring at something with stunned expressions. Lot 37 consists of a pile of old lawn-mower engines and other bits of rusting metal. Harry the yard foreman is standing close by. Harry (To Rodney) You bought his son? Rodney Yeah. Harry (Laughing) There's always one at every auction, ain't there Del? Del is passing by to the van parked a few yards away. He is carrying two cardboard boxes. Del Yeah, get two for the same price as one. Rodney Oi you, this stuff is a load of rubbish! Del I know, I did try to warn you Rodders. Rodney Yeah, but I thought when you put... Del Yeah, the trouble with you Rodney, is that you will insist on thinking. Rodney Well, what have you bought then? Del I got those crystal goblets that you were after. Mickey What are these things? Del What those? They are lawn- mower engines. Rodney Lawn-mower engines? Del Yes, listen they're not ordinary lawn-mower engines. Rodney (Optimism rekindled) No? Del No. They're broken lawn-mower engines. Del laughs. Rodney Del. We'll probably have a few problems getting these back to the, er, depot. Mickey Yeah, we come down on the Green Line see. Rodney Yeah. Del Oh well, your best bet is to hire an open back truck then ain't it? Rodney Yeah, but we was wondering whether you could take maybe a few in the back of the van? Del Back of my van? You must be joking - I've only just cleared 'em out of my van. Rodney You mean you was selling 'em in the first place? Del Yeah. That is the rubbish that Alfie Flowers sold me. Normally, I'd never have bought it, you know, but he caught me when I was a bit non compos mentis down the One Eleven Club. Well, look, I never thought I'd ever get shot of them. But you know me Rodney. He who dares wins. Actually it made a tidy little profit on it an' all. Del Well, why don't you do what I did? Find yourself a couple of right little plonkers with cash on the hip. Rodney (Mouths the word) Piss off. (To Mickey) So what are we gonna do? Mickey (Indicating Harry) Wait till he ain't looking and run away. Rodney No, we can't do that, he's got my address. Mickey Yeah, well he ain't got mine. Rodney Oh thanks partner. Mickey Well, you would insist on bidding for 'em. Rodney Yeah, and who wanted to go out to the sticks and flog 'em to the carrot crunchers? Mickey Well, you said they were combine harvesters and tractors. The way you were talking we were going to do a deal with Weetabix. Rodney Oh get off my back. Mickey ...How we going to get home anyway? THE TROTTERS' LOUNGE. A week later. Grandad is watching the TVs. Del enters through the hall door. He has a Financial Times under his arm and carries a punnet of strawberries. Del Hello Grandad. Here are, look at this. Bought you some strawberries, go on, dip in. Grandad Oh here, they ain't very big are they? Del What do you mean they ain't very big? You wouldn't like one of those up yer nose for a wart would yer. Grandad Well, no. Del Well, go on then, shut up and eat up. I'll put the kettle on. Grandad You're splashing out a bit ain't yer? Del Yeah, well, I've had a right blinding week. I've sold the lot. Here, I even sold those techni-colour woolen tea cosies I bought. Grandad How d'you manage that? Who the 'ell wants woolen tea cosies these days? Del No, no, no, no - look, I got that Mrs Murphy right, to stitch up all the holes. And then I whipped down to the youth centre and I flogged 'em to the West Indian lads as soppy hats. (Handing Grandad some money) There you go, look, there's the housekeeping money, alright, and look at that, there's a tenner for yourself. Grandad Oh cheers Del. Del That's it, don't squander it. Grandad No, no, I'll invest it wisely. How's young Rodney doing? Del Oh well, the opposition are floundering somewhat. Well, to be more precise, they're going down like a one-legged man doing the hokey-cokey. I've seen Rodney skulking around the garden centres and what 'ave yer. Grandad He ain't got rid of them lawn- mower engines yet? Del No, they're still in their depot. Well, depot, that's Mickey Pearce's garden shed. Here talking about that. Do you know what happened last Tuesday night, somebody broke into their shed and nicked two of them engines. Grandad Ah no. That's rotten innit? I feel sorry for young Rodney. Del No, no, no, it's alright, because Wednesday night they broke in again and put 'em back. The front door slams. Grandad Oh here he is. Listen Del Boy, don't say nothing about them lawn-mower engines. I think he's getting a bit embarrassed about it. Del Alright, I won't mention 'em. Rodney enters, at first he has the look of a man who has the worries of the world on his shoulders, upon seeing Del he tries to brighten up and appear more confident. Rodney Alright Del? Del Triffic, brill Rodders, had a blinding week. How about you? Rodney Oh fine - could not be better. Del Sold those lawn-mower engines yet? Rodney Lawn mower - lawn mower? Oh no, no, we've had lots of enquiries, obviously, but we're hanging on for the right price, you know. Del Oh that is the way, Rodney, agent provocateur as the French would say. Rodney Well, that's what I thought. Oh that reminds me, did the paper boy bring my Sun this morning? Grandad Well, we've had to cancel it Rodney. Rodney Cancel it? Why? Del Well, you haven't paid yer bill, have you? Rodney What, I'm paying that separate as well now am I? Del Yeah, well, you're on yer own now, remember? Rodney Oh yeah, yeah. It's alright, I'm just saying, you know, as long as I know. I'll - I'll go and pay it tomorrow. Grandad You hungry Rodney? Rodney Ah well, I had a pretty hefty lunch with a client earlier on. But, yeah, reckon I could manage some egg and chips. Grandad I'll go and put the pan on. Rodney Yeah. Del Just a minute, just a minute. Has he paid his housekeeping money? Rodney Er - (Feeling his pockets) Well, I've got a bit of a cash flow problem at the moment. Del Well, so's half the people on this estate but they don't come in here eating my egg and chips. Rodney No, it's alright, I'll pay double next week. Del Ah well, that's alright then. That's alright, you can have double egg and chips next week. Grandad How can you have a cash flow problem Rodney? I thought you had nearly tow hundred quid left out of your share. Rodney Yeah, yeah, that's right. But - Mickey's holding the money. Well, he's financial director see. Grandad Why don't you pop round is house and get some money? Rodney Yeah, yeah, I would but he's out of town at the moment. Grandad Yeah, I thought I hadn't seen him around for about four or five days. Rodney No, no, well, that's 'cos we're doing this really big deal, you see, and Mickey's gone away to tie up all the loose ends. Del Oh, well that explains it then. Rodney Yeah. Explains what? Del No, it's just that I saw his mum this morning. She said she just got a postcard from him - from Benidorm. Rodney Benidorm? Del Yeah he's doing alright. You know the weather's fine. Food's good. Met this Swedish bird called Helga. Oh, would that be the contact that he went to meet? Rodney What? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Del Well, I've gotta admire yer bottle Rodders - I must admit. You've been in the business five minutes and already you've opened up a Spanish branch. You've cornered the World market on broken lawn- mower engines - what's your partner doing now, is he buying second-hand pedalos? Rodney No, no, no, nothing like that, no, we're - we're going into the self-catering holiday trade. Del Cor, what on 200 nicker? Rodney Yeah well, we're starting in a small way. Grandad What you got, a Wendy House? Rodney Grandad, I am not prepared to discuss the situation any longer, alright, it's confidential information. Del I understand Rodney, no, no, I understand. Well, I'm off out. Rodney Where you going? Del Well, I thought I might go down and have a couple of light ales down the Nag's Head, and then go on to the Star of Bengal for a Ruby Murray. Coming? Rodney I'm potless ain't I? Del What? Rodney Ah no, no, I really ought to stay in and do the company accounts, I suppose. Grandad picks up one small piece of paper from the side- board and hands it to Rodney. Grandad Oh here they are. Rodney Oh, cheers. Del puts his hands on Rodney's shoulders. Del You don't really think I'm that hard do you Rodney? Rodney Na. Del No, of course I'm not. Rodney stands and takes his coat from the back of the chair believing he's going out for a drink. Rodney Oh, cheers Del. Del Grandad. Do him them egg and chips will you? THE STAR OF BENGAL. Del sits alone at the table finishing his meal. The waiter passes. Del Oi Tony. None of the boys been in? Waiter I haven't seen any of them, Del. Oh young Towser's just come in for a take-away. Del Oh has he, oh yeah. (Shouts) Oi Towser. Towser. (To diner) Sorry madam. Yer onion bhaji's down there by yer foot. Towser arrives at the table. Towser Hello Del, how's it going? Del Alright my son, sit down and have yourself a popadum. Towser Listen, I can't get involved. I'm getting the missus a take- away and I wanna get home tonight. Del Come on, you've got time for a drink. (Pours him a glass of wine) Go on, sit down. Towser Oh cheers. Del Listen, I'm glad I bumped into you...I want you to do me a favour. Towser What's that? Del Sit down, you know those broken lawn-mower engines that dozy twonk Rodney got himself lumbered with? Towser Yeah, what about 'em? Del I want you to buy 'em off him. Towser You want me to do what? Do me a favour Del. Alfie Flowers offered me them engines a month ago. I don't want nothing to do with 'em. Del It's alright, it's alright. Now listen, you don't have to spend any money. (Producing a wad of notes) There are, see that, look 200 quid I want you to offer him that. Towser 200? Here, they're only worth about a score, scrap value. Del I know but I want him to think he's made a good profit. Look, he's had a bad week. He's been tucked up something chronic by that best mate of his and now he's brassic. Towser Why don't you just give him the money? Del 'Cos it'll seem like charity, won't it, eh? Towser Yeah, and he'll be too proud to accept it? Del No, he'd snap it up like a shot. Look, I want him to think that he's been success- ful. I want him to believe that he's proved me wrong... It's important Towser. Towser Alright then Del, if that's what you want. Del You're a pal. 'Ere don't let him know that I'm behind all this. Look you say to him that you got this contact in the GLC parks department and, er, they can't get enough lawn- mower engines, something like that. You see the thing is I'm not going to lose out on the deal, because come this time tomorrow Rodney'll want to be my partner again, and I will get my money back. See? Towser Hey, wait a minute. What am I going to do with all these engines? Del Well, I don't know, dump 'em somewhere. Towser Oh no, no, I couldn't do that Del. I mean, I got nicked for fly-dumping a couple of months ago, I mean, they're gonna chuck the book at me this time. Del Right I'll tell you what to do, take 'em back to Alfie Flowers and tell him that he can have 'em for nothing. Towser Yeah, alright Del. Here, hang about, what's in it for me? Del Give you 15 for it. Towser looks at the money but doesn't pick it up. Towser Oh yeah. Del 20? Towser That'll do. Del Thank you. Towser Anything for a mate. Del I wouldn't pay that bill if I were you. Del exits. Waiter Thank you Del - good morning. THE NAG'S HEAD. Rodney sits alone at a table with his feet up on another chair. Del Alright Rodders? Rodney Yeah. Del Here, look I've had a right blinding day. Here look at that... (Flashing a thick wad of money) Er, I must tell ya. There's a really silly bloke down the market today. Think he must have come from the funny farm he was really silly. I said to him I said. 'Here do you wanna buy some broken lawn mower engines?' Then he said to me, 'I ain't that silly.' Rodney For your information, Derek, this morning I successfully negotiated the sale of them engines to Young Towser. Del You're kidding me? Rodney No, on my life. He's bought the lot - he's got a contact in the parks department at the GLC. Del Cor, well that's a stroke of luck then innit? Rodney No, no, it's not luck Del - that is good business sense. I knew all the time if I held on long enough I'd get my price. Del Yeah, well, I must say I admire your courage Rodders. Rodney Oh well, he who dares wins. Del Yeah, that's right. So well, that Mickey Pearce he's going to be pleased when he comes back off holiday ain't he, eh? Rodney Now, don't you talk to me about that Mickey Pearce. I've liquidated our partnership. Del Oh, so what you gonna do then? I mean still carry on, on your own like? Rodney Well - I was thinking - oh, you know. Del Go back as we was, eh? You and me? Rodney Yeah. You and me Del, eh? And now I've got experience of buying and selling meself. Del Yeah, that could be invaluable Rodney. Yeah, okay then, come on let's pool our resources. There we go. Now then, how much did you get for them lawn-mower engines? Rodney One hundred and sixty five quid. Del Is that what all you got for 'em Rodney? Rodney Well it's not bad Del, 'cos they're only worth what, a score, scrap value. Del You certainly have learnt a lot, ain't you Rodders? Okay, let's see the colour of your money. Rodney Oh, I ain't got it. Del What d'you mean, Towser didn't pay you? Rodney Oh yeah, he paid me. But I've invested the money. Del You did what? Rodney I went down to Alfie Flowers yard, got us another load of lawn-mower engines. Del You're joking? Tell me that you're joking? Rodney No, well if Towser's bloke at the GLC, well he can't get enough of them engines. Oh I'll tell you I was dead lucky down at Alfie's. He'd had another load delivered this morning. But don't worry though 'cos they're exactly the same as the others. Del You bet your life they're the same. What a 42-carat plonker you really are. Rodney Come on Del, don't you think it's time you showed a bit of faith in me? Del Yes, anything you say Rodney. Anything you say. Rodney Good. Oi, Del, I was wondering now that we're partners again d'you think you could help me out? Eh, 'cos I ain't had a pint all week, all I've had to eat is Grandad's coking and look, the sole's coming off me best Guccis. Look. Del Yeah, I'll help you out Rodders. Del takes the wad of money, removes the elastic band and gives it to Rodney. Del (cont'd) Put that round yer Gucci, it will stop the sole coming off!

                                'Ere, these pages are for lack of education purposes 
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                                 pages for your own hooky sites, at least try an' give us 
                                 a mention, will yer?'

                                                                   Bonjour. Derek Trotter 
                                                                       President (T.I.T.)


British Broadcasting Corporation

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