Only Fools And Horses

Sickness And Wealth

INT. TROTTERS' LOUNGE. DAY. STUDIO. Rodney's computer is on the table. Del, wearing his market clothes, is laying asleep on a chair. From the kitchen we can hear the tinny sound of an old spin dryer. Rodney Oh come on, Cassandra...Yeah, I know you've got your studying to do. Can't we just go out for a quick drink or a pizza or something, then you can do your studying when you get home. Well, you know it's 'cos I like being with you. I sort of miss you when we're apart... Alright, I'll tell you the truth. I'm bored stiff in this flat... What? No, that's Albert, he's got himself a new spin dryer, well it was new once! He bought it cheap 'cos of the bomb damage. Yes, at the moment it's jumping around the kitchen like a Dalek with St Vitus's dance. Del? He's laid out asleep in the chair with his dodgy stomach... Yeah, he's still getting them pains. Well, he's going out later for a vindaloo... no, well to him, you see, it's a sort of alternative medicine... I don't want to go out with him for a curry... I'll spend the evening in. Albert's got that old bird of his coming round - Elsie Partridge, I told you about her. We'll most probably play some Max Bygraves platters and then sit and talk about our ailments. Pity Del's going out, he'd have liked that. Oh well, that's very nice of them. Well, tell your parents thank you very much, I'd love to come to tea tomorrow. Seven o'clock tomorrow, lovely... Well, I'll see you tomorrow evening then. We see that Del is sound asleep. Rodney smiles, satis- fied that he will not be overheard. Rodney (Cont'd) You know I love you. Don't I tell you often enough? Do you love me? Oh very funny, Cassandra, I'm laughing this end as well... Alright, alright, I'll see you tomorrow. He blows a kiss down the phone. Now another kiss, then a third one. Albert enters from the kitchen surrounded by a great cloud of steam. Albert Here y'are son. I bought a Chinese take-away earlier, I've just warmed it up. We've got fried pork, fried rice and... something. Rodney How can you stay out in the kitchen with all that steam and noise? Albert I'm an old naval stoker, ain't I? That's nothing to me. I remember coming round Cape Horn once, I was on this merchantman. Rodney The things you and your mates got up to! Albert A merchantman's a ship. Rodney Oh! Albert It was so hot and steamy in the boiler room that when I come out I was shrivelled like a prune. Rodney Oh, that's what caused it. Albert I hate it when you're in a sarky mood, Rodney! D'you reckon Del Boy should eat all this fried food? He's been getting a lot of jip with his guts lately. Rodney There's nothing wrong with him. He had a similar thing years ago. We rushed him into casualty one night. They had ECG machines out, doctors and nurses every- where. Then he burped! That was it, a miracle cure. Albert Well, perhaps you're right. I'll get the knives and forks. Rodney moves computer from table. Instead of then usual computer beep we hear a short, low buzz (like a warning). Del automatically rubs his belly. Del Sorry. You alright, bruv? Rodney Yeah, how you feeling? Del Triffic, Rodders, brill. What's all that whirring noise? Rodney That's Albert's spin dryer. Del His what? Del goes to the kitchen and opens the door. Del (Cont'd) Oi, what is your game? What are you doing buying this old junk? Here, look at it, it's knocking all the paint off the units. Albert comes out of kitchen. Albert I got it as an investment, Del. It cost us 50 pence to get our clothes dry at the laundromat. I bought that off the bloke upstairs for a score. Del You dozy old twonk! That's the one I sold him last week for a tenner. Why didn't you come and ask me first? Albert I didn't like to bother you, boy. Not with you being ill. Del Ill? I'm not ill. There's nothing wrong with me. Albert But you got that stomach trouble again. Del It's not stomach trouble. It's just pains, normal pains. Albert Well, you came in tonight and flopped straight down on that sofa in agony. Del No, you don't understand Unc, it's called PMA. Rodney PM... I thought only women got that. Del No no Rodney, that's PMP. PMA means positive mental attitude. That' my buzzword. It's what us yuppies have got. See, what I was dong was laying on the chair psyching myself up for the challenge of tomorrow. Albert So what was all the sweating and holding your belly about? Del Oh that was nothing. There's nothing wrong with me... Rodney, go to the bathroom and fetch us some Andrews Liver Salts, will you? Rodney goes into the kitchen Albert I'll do you a plate of Chinese, Del. Gawd knows what those local takeaways are gonna do when they know we're gonna move. Del now worried, almost fearful, is like a man facing a confession. Del Move? Albert Didn't you see that letter? It arrived this morning. It says on the envelope it's from the council housing department. Del Oh, that? Yeah, I read it. Albert Is it about them letting us buy this flat? Del No, it's not about them letting us buy this flat. It's about them evicting us from this flat. Albert Evicting us? Del Ssshhh! I don't want Rodney to know about this. I haven't paid the rent on this place for the last three months. Albert Cor blimey! I knew things were a bit tight but I didn't know they were that bad. Del It's all gone wrong for me, Albert. All me investments have gone sidewards. Rodney's been down the market for over a week trying to flog these exclusive women's fashions. But all the frost and sleet seems to have put 'em off buying summer dresses. I've been tucked up by some of my other investments and at the end I just couldn't afford to pay the rent. Albert No, but you're still drinking those pina coladas in the wine bars. You're still eating in the curry houses and the bistros. Del That is all on the slate. I've gotta keep me image up. Once your competitors get an inkling that you're going down the pan, they start queue-jumping to pull the chain. And that plonker Rodney ain't helping me. Albert Yeah, I se what you mean. Don't worry about it, Del. Del Don't worry about it! I ain't had a decent night's kip for the last two weeks worrying about it. It's with me everywhere, all the time. Albert Something'll turn up right out of the blue, you'll see. He who dares wins, eh? Del (Half-hearted and almost defeated) Yeah, he who dares wins. Oh you cowson. Albert You've gotta see a quack with that belly of yours. Del There's nothing wrong with me. They're just normal pains. You keep the doctors away from me, Albert. I don't like doctors. Albert You could go and see that Scottish quack - what's his name? Dr Meadows. He's not like a normal doctor, he's sort of human. You know you can talk to him. He's like a mate. Del Look, I do not want to go and see Dr Meadows 'cos there is nothing wrong with me. Alright? Albert It's your life son. Del Yes, it is my life and I don't wanna hear no more about it. Albert Alright son, I won't say another word on the subject. Rodney enters with the tin of Andrews. Albert (Cont'd) Don't you think Del Boy ought to go to the docot's with his belly? Del Oh Gawd! Rodney He won't go to the doctor's, though, will he? 'Cos he's terrified of doctors. Del I am not terrified of doctors. The reason I am not going to see Dr Meadows is 'cos there's nothing wrong with me. Rodney makes the sound of a chicken clucking. Del (To Rodney) You're starting to wind me up, Rodney. I'll get a glass for this. Albert You seeing Cassandra tonight? Rodney No, not tonight, Unc. Del No, he's going round tomorrow night for tea. Rodney That's right. Her mum and dad said I could... You git, you was ear wigging my conversation. Del 'Of course I love you, Cassandra. I tell you often enough, don't I?' Del then blows three kisses. Rodney That is out of order, Derek. Del is laughing as he enters the kitchen without noticing the steam. Now, from in kitchen (OOV) we hear him cry out in alarm. Rodney That's not fair is it? It was a private conversation. Albert Why d'you speak to her from the living room? It's a cordless phone, Rodney. You could have talked in one of the other rooms. Rodney Like where? I couldn't use my bedroom 'cos the walls are so thin the people next door can hear, and I can't use the kitchen 'cos you've got R2D2 break-dancing in there. Albert You could use the bathroom. Rodney The bathr... Albert, I cannot hold a romantic conversation surrounded by damp towels, Del's soggy espadrilles and a bog with no lid. Besides, it's freezing in that bathroom. Albert You've noticed that as well, have you? Rodney Well, you can hardly fail to notice it, can you? Our bathroom window gets condensation on the outside. Albert Why d'you think that room is so cold? Rodney Well, I don't know, do I? Albert Now listen, son, listen. You may call me a silly old sod... Rodney You're a silly old sod. Albert Look, be serious, Rodney. Us sailors are superstitious, it's sort of an affinity with the supernatural, and I think there's a presence in that bathroom. Rodney A presence? Albert When you're in the shower, don't you feel there's someone else there with you? Rodney Yeah but there usually is. Del's having a shave or you doing your toenails. Albert The reason that room is so cold is it's possessed. Rodney (His protest is feeble) Oh leave off, Unc. Albert Elsie Partridge is a medium. She knows all there is to know about the supernatural, and she said she could sense a presence in that bathroom. Rodney Blimey! Del enters from the kitchen, carrying a glass. Del It's like a sauna out there. Switch that thing off. Albert It'll be finished in a minute, Del. D'you want to put anything in it for you? Del Yes, your head. Del pours himself a brandy. Rodney Have you ever noticed how cold our bathroom is? Del Yeah, yeah I have. It does get a bit tatas out there, don't it? Rodney When you're in there, right, do you ever get the feeling that you're not alone? Del You mean as if there's someone else there with you? Rodney Yeah. Del What, sort of a strange feeling? Rodney Yeah. Del Like as if you're being watched? Rodney Yeah. Del No! Why? Do you? Rodney No, no. It's Albert reckons it's possessed. Del Possessed? Do me a favour. Give us a couple of months and it might be repossessed. Del now stirs a spoonful of Andrews into his brandy. Albert Elsie Partridge reckons it's haunted. Del starts laughing into his drink. This in turn gives a twinge in the stomach. Del Oh stop it, will you? You're making me hurt! Albert Elsie Partridge is a medium. Del Is she? Well, you better whip that round to her, then. That should fit her a treat. Albert I'm not talking about her dress size. She's a spiritua- list. She can contact the departed. Del Yeah, I et that's where she pulled you. Albert She has powers, Del. She in one of the true communicat- ors. Back in the early Sixties she used to hold regular meetings in that hall above John Colliers. People come from miles around to listen to Elsie. They paid thousands of pounds to use her powers of communication. Rodney I think there is more to this occult lark than meets the eye, Del. Del Do me a favour, Rodders. No self-respecting ghost is gonna haunt our bathroom, is it? Specially after he's been in there. Rodney Then why is it always so cold? Del It's either one of two reasons, Rodney. One, it could be as you two say that the phantom of the karzy has struck again. Or, two, it could be something to do with the fact that the council has put our extractor fan in the wrong way round. Rodney Oh yeah. They were supposed to come back and mend it, weren't they? Del Ghosts and ghouls! You two slaughter me. Del exits to the bedroom area. Albert I suppose that extractor fan could have something to do with it. Del now enters from the bedroom area. He is deep in thought as he walks across to Albert. Del Thousands of pounds? Albert Eh? Del You said they paid that Elsie Partridge thousands of pounds? Albert Yeah. But she never took a penny of it, Del. She used to send it all to Battersea Dog's Home. I bet she wished she'd have kept some of it now she's only got her pension to live on. Del But they still paid her all that lovely money, though? Albert Yeah, they'd pay a fortune to talk to their... No, no, Del. She's retired now. Del Maybe she'd like a part-time job. Rodney No, just drop it, Del? Del Don't you see what this means? You were right. Albert Was I? Del You said something would turn up out of the blue. And this is it. Me and Elsie Partridge, what a combination. The old-age pensioner with a priceless gift and a successful yuppy who's brassic flint. We could make a fortune for each other. I do believe that this is God giving me a sign. Del looks up to heaven and smiles piously, now stricken by stomach pains. Del (Cont'd) Cor blimey. Rodney and Albert grab him and force him down into the chair. Albert Sit down here, son. Rodney What can I get you? Del Pina Colada - lots of ice. THE NAG'S HEAD PUB. NIGHT. STUDIO. Nerys is serving behind the bar. Jevon Here Boycie, can we have a word? Boycie What is it? Mike She's here. Mickey You remember that old Cortina you said me and Jevon would never sell? Boycie What Cortina's that then? Jevon That two-tone one - blue and rust. Well me and Mickey flogged it today. Boycie But that Cortina was a death trap. You should be ashamed of yourselves! Mickey But you sold it to us! Boycie Did I? Oh so I did. It weren't a bad little run around I suppose. Are you and Jevon partners or something? Jevon Yeah, we're doing a bit of trading. Mickey We're specialising in any- thing. Boycie Why don't you pop down my showrooms in the week? I've got a few old bangers out the back you could have a go at. Jevon Yeah, thanks Boycie. Mickey Here, would your Marlene be interested in a Crimplene dress with great big flowers all over it? Boycie Well of course she wouldn't. Mickey Oh that's a shame, 'cos Rodney Trotter's got loads of 'em. Mike If there's anything else you want, Mrs Partridge, just give me a shout. (To Boycie) She's here. Trigger Who's here? Mike That spiritualist woman. Here, to tell you the truth, Trigg, I'm having second thoughts about letting Del use upstairs for this sťance. Boycie You don't honestly believe in all that mumbo jumbo, do you Michael? Mike I don't actually believe it. I just don't like taking the chance. Boycie Michael, if Elsie Partridge really could raise the dead, half the money lenders in Peckham would be employing her. No, no, it's all a load of old tosh. Only a simpleton would believe in it. Trigger I believe in it. Boycie Say no more. (To Mike but Referring to Trigger) He still leaves a glass of milk and biscuits out on Christmas Eve. Nerys My mum went to a sťance once. She got a message from the other side. It said she would meet a tall bald man who would change her fortune. A week later she got mugged by a skinhead. Mike There you go Boycie, you can't argue with that can you? There's got to be something in all this supernatural stuff. Trigger My old gran was a bit of a medium. A few years after my grandfather died she made contact with him. Mike Oh yeah? What did he say? Trigger Nothing. Boycie Nothing? Nerys Well he was dead wasn't he? Mike Yes, but she'd just made contact from across the veil. Trigger For the last 15 years of his life they didn't talk to each other. Nerys And he kept the row going? Trigger Yeah. Well, he was a stubborn man. Boycie Well, they must have been interesting sťances. A mad medium and a spook with the hump. Hold up, here comes the Ghostbusters. We see Del, Rodney and Albert enter. Del A pina colada for me Nerys, and the usual for everyone else. Mike Del, a word. Del Alright, Michael. Yes, coming, coming. Mike Are you paying for these drinks or what? Del Michael, please. Mike This slate of yours, Del, is getting out of hand, Del. That Mrs Partridge has just arrived, right, and she's had food and drink all on your slate. Del Don't worry about it, Mike. Mike Over the last few months you've had more cocktails than James Bond and a fried lunch every day and all on the slate. Del Gimme a couple of weeks and I'll sort it out with you. Mike You've had about 10 packs of cigars all on the slate and even the rent for the room upstairs in on the slate. Del Unless your gratitude changes Michael, I may have to consider taking my business elsewhere. Look, sit down. I've been sailing the good ship Trotter through a little patch of fiscal turbulence, right? But as soon as I get old Elsie Partridge firing on all four cylinders I'll be laughing. I mean, within a month from now she'll be bringing 'em back to order. I've worked out a little price list. Neighbours and family friends, three quid. Relatives a fiver, spouses and pets a tenner each, and a score for Elvis Presley. This time next year I'll be a millionaire. Just think what this is going to do to you, Michael. She'll be drawing them in from the four corners of the kingdom, right? So not only will you be getting the rent for the room upstairs but once the show is finished all the pilgrim'll be down here having a jolly-up won't they? Your taking'll treble overnight. You know it makes sense, Mike. Mike Yeah, I s'pose so. Del Sit down, Boyce. Mike I'm still worried, though. Del Oh leave it out, Michael. Mike We're dealing with the powers of darkness here. I mean, are we gonna end up with the table and chairs flying round the bar? Del No more than a normal Friday night. Del and Boycie laugh. Mike You realise that this pub is built on the site of a public grave where the victims of the great plague were buried? Rodney Oh well, that's all we need ain't it, them popping up to celebrate Agincourt, innit? Nerys They'd all be covered in boils and scabs and things. Boycie It'll be like a Singing Detective look-alike contest, won't it? Rodney I agree with Mike. We're messing around with the supernatural. There's no telling what evil forces we might evoke. Trigger Yeah, you could have Satan himself come crashing through the wall. Del Well, it's lucky Rodney's wearing his old jeans, innit? Del and Boycie laugh. There are three loud bumps upon the ceiling. Del I think that's her sign to say she's ready. Rodney Well, it might not mean that. Del Either that or she's got cramp in her wooden leg. Come on, Rodders, come on, let's go. INT. UPSTAIRS ROOM OF NAG'S HEAD PUB. NIGHT. STUDIO. Elsie Partridge is seated at a round table. She is in her mid-sixties and is a very sweet and genuine lady. She takes her 'gift' and the proceedings very seriously. Rodney, Boycie, Albert, Mike and Trigger are seated around the table. Del carries the last chair to the table and sits down. Elsie Now, I think it's time we began. May I ask you once contact has been made to refrain from interrupting. Now, hands on the table. Fingers touching. Concen- trate. Elsie now stares directly ahead. Her ead drops to one side and rests on her shoulder. Elsie now begins moaning lowly. Mike What's she doing? Trigger She's going... Trigger moans. Mike I mean, why is she doing it? Albert She's gone into a trance. Mike Thank Gawd for that. She had one of my pies earlier. Elsie straightens her head and opens her eyes. She now appears quite normal. Elsie The spirits are with us. A man has stepped forward. A tall, elderly man wearing a black coat and a black hat. He wishes to speak to someone called Audrey... No, no, Aubrey. Del Aubrey? Rodney shrugs. We see Mike and Trigger look at each other, mystified. Boycie I am here. Rodney Aubrey? Boycie It's my middle name. Trigger You never said your name was Aubrey. Boycie Nor would you if your name was Aubrey. Elsie This man seems agitated. He's brandishing a piece of paper. Have you any idea who it could be? Boycie No. This piece of paper, it's not a logbook for a Cortina, is it? Elsie No, it's a photograph. A black and white photograph. It shows this man, but years younger. There's an odd- looking boy standing next to him, five or six years old, evil face. Del Boycie, it's you and your dad. Boycie Yeah, of course. He's the only one who ever called me Aubrey. Elsie There is a sadness about the photograph, as though some- thing is missing. Of course, your mother isn't with you. Boycie No. Elsie Had she passed over to the next world? Boycie No. She was taking the photo. Elsie I see. This man - your father - is worried. He says you must be a good father, you must look after your child. Boycie Is he having a pop at me or something? Albert Elsie. Boycie and his wife Marlene can't have kids. Del They've been trying for years, you know, but nitto. Rodney Yeah, they've had tests, things frozen, everything. Mike The hospital's just about given up with him. Trigger He's low on something. Boycie Do you mind not discussing my personal life in front of strangers? (To Elsie) You tell my old man to keep his nose out of my business. He was always having a go at me for not giving him a grandchild. Del Come on now, take it easy, Aubrey. Boycie And you can wrap up for a start. I'm gonna get a drink. It's a load of old rubbish anyway. I don't believe any of it. Boycie exits. Albert Are the spirits still with us, Elsie? Elsie Yes, yes, yes. They're still here. Close the circle. Someone else as stepped out. It's a woman. Tall and slender, long golden-brown hair. Del reacts - he knows it is his mum. He looks to Rodney who also suspects this. Elsie (Cont'd) The fingers covered in ruby and gold. Bracelets adorn the wrists. Del You know who that is, don't you? Trigger Sounds like Jimmy Saville. Del Jimmy Saville! That is our mother. Trigger Sorry, Del Boy, Dave. Del, fuming, looks to Rodney. Rodney Jimmy Saville! Del Yeah, that's right, bruv. Bloody cheek. Elsie She says she is proud of her children. Del and Rodney smile to each other. Elsie (Cont'd) She says you have worked hard to succeed. But never mind. She wants to know that she is with you always. Del and Rodney smile to each other. Elsie (Cont'd) Wherever you are, whatever you are doing she is looking over you. She says you mustn't mourn her any longer. She is happy. She says she is at peace and... Rodney Mrs Partridge. Del Don't interrupt, Rodney. Rodney I just wanted to clear some- thing up. When she says she's looking over us all the time, right, well, she don't mean all the time does she? Elsie Well I'd think the spirit world would have its own ideas about discretion. Rodney Yes, I was just wondering. Del Yeah! Elsie She is concerned for you, Derek. Del Me? What about me? Elsie She is concerned for your health. Del I'm alright, Mum, never been better. Elsie She says you are not well. She feels your pain. Del Ah no, that's just a bit of jip, that's all, Mum. Most probably an onion bhaji lodged somewhere. Elsie She wants you to go and see a doctor. Del There's nothing the matter with me. Elsie She insists. Del No, I don't want to go and see a doctor. You know I don't like doctors. Elsie Oh they're becoming distant. They're drifting away. Albert Can't you get 'em back, Elsie? Elsie Is there anybody there? If anybody is there, talk to us. Say something. Nerys (To Mike) Lager's off. Del, Rodney, Albert, Mike, Trigger and even Elsie Part- ridge scream with alarm. This in turn makes nervous Nerys scream with alarm. Nerys (Cont'd) You made me jump. Mike What d'you think you made us do? Nerys Well, I had to tell you I've got customers waiting down there. Mike Alright, alright, I'm coming. Albert I'll get your coat, Elsie. Albert exits. Elsie moves to collect her handbag thus leaving Del, Rodney and Trigger alone. Trigger So what you gonna do, Del? Del About what? Rodney About the message from Mum. Del Oh do e a favour, Rodney. You didn't believe all that, did you? Rodney Well, you seemed pretty convinced. At one point I thought you were gonna suck your thumb and throw a paddy. Del I was only doing that for Elsie's sake. I mean, she's a genuine old lady who most probably believes she is getting these messages. But at the end of the day it's a load of old rubbish. Trigger Yeah, I think Del Boy's right, Dave. I mean, she got a message saying that Boycie's gotta look after his kid. Del Yeah, that's right, and everyone knows that Nelson's Column's got more chance of knocking out a nipper than Boycie. Rodney So you're not going to the doctor's? Del No, I am not going to the doctor's 'cos there is nothing wrong with me. Rodney See you in the bar, Unc. Del, Rodney and Trigger exit. Del Come on down, Rodney. Rodney I'll only take you... Albert (To Elsie) Thanks for doing that, Elsie. Elsie That was the first time I've ever led to someone at a sitting. I only gave Derek that message because you asked me to. Albert I'm grateful. He wouldn't take any notice of me and Rodney. The only one he'd ever listen to was his mum. INT. NAG'S HEAD. NIGHT. STUDIO. Del, Rodney and Trigger enter. Mike is putting up a poster: 'The Sťance. Make contact or money back. Tuesday 17th January. 7.30. Admission two pounds fifty.' Del Right then, come on, Rodney, here, Nerys. Where are them posters? Rodney stick these up in the window. The sooner the devotees know about them the better. Marlene (Deeply concerned) Del. Del Wotcha Marlene, hello. What you doing here? Marlene Boycie's just told me what that Elsie Partridge said. Del Now don't you start. I've been having enough trouble with Rodney and Albert. There is nothing the matter with me. Marlene I'm not talking about your illness. I mean what she said to Boycie. Del Look, darling, you don't wanna take any notice of what Elsie Partridge says because it's all a con, you see. Marlene No, you don't understand. I'm having a baby. Del (Frozen with fear) What? Marlene I've just had it confirmed at the hospital. Boycie So what do you think of that? Del clutches his stomach as the pain returns. Rodney Quickly. Marlene Well what's up with him then? Rodney Sympathy pains. A lot of men go through phantom pregnan- cies. Boycie I thought that only happened to the father. Trigger gives Boycie a little smile. Boycie reacts. INT. DOCTOR'S SURGERY. NIGHT. STUDIO. Dr Shaheed, an Indian woman of about 30, is seated be- hind the desk, making a few notes. Doctor Come in. Del I'm sorry, is Dr Meadows about, the Scottish doctor? Doctor No, Dr Meadows left general practise two years ago. He's working at the local hospital. I've taken over from him. I'm Dr Shaheed. Del You're a woman. Dr Shaheed looks in a mirror. Doctor Well, well, so I am. Nobody ever tells me anything these days. You're Mr Trotter. Del I know. Doctor Well, come in, take a seat. Del moves reluctantly to the desk. Doctor (Cont'd) What's the problem? Del Me? Oh nothing at all. Doctor You're not ill? Del Never felt better. Doctor Mr Trotter, I have a waiting- room full of sick people. Now, what is it? You want a certificate? Del No, no, I don't want a certificate. I mean, I'm self -employed. No, it's just... it's hardly worth bothering you with. Doctor Why don't you let me be the judge of that? What's the problem? Del Well, I've been getting a bit of a Cynthia. Doctor Cynthia? Del Pain Del chuckles. The doctor doesn't get the joke. Doctor Where do you get the pain? Del Well, all over, really. This morning I got in the lift going down to the... Doctor No, no. Where on your body? Del Oh right. Get in the old New Delhi. Doctor New Delhi? Del Yeah, the belly, the belly. You're not from round these parts, are you? Doctor No, I'm from New Delhi. Del Really? Not much point calling you in an emergency then, is it? Del laughs. The doctor doesn't. Doctor I mean I was born in New Delhi and I now live in Peckham. Del Yeah, I know. It was just a joke, you see. Doctor Oh yes, very good. What sort of pain is it? Del (Well... it hurts. Doctor Yes, but is it a sharp pan or a dull pain? Del Well, it's a bit of both really. Doctor Would you strip to the waist, please, Mr Trotter. Del No, no, it's alright, doc, there's no need for that. Just give me some pain- killers. Doctor I'd like to examine you. Please strip to the waist and lie on the couch. Del reluctantly moves towards the couch which is behind a screen. Doctor (Cont'd) (Do you smoke, Mr Trotter? Del Not just now, thank you, doctor. Doctor I wasn't offering, I was enquiring. Del Oh, I see. No, I don't smoke. Well, I ave one cigar a year on Christmas night, but I'm trying to cut down. Doctor I don't think one cigar a year will do you much harm. Do you have any trouble passing water? Del I had a dizzy spell going over Tower Bridge once. Doctor You have bouts of dizziness? Del No, no. It was a joke, doctor. Doctor I think it would be best if we stopped all the joking, I'm finding it rather confusing. Do you ever suffer with constipation? Del No, regular as clockwork. Doctor You have plenty of roughage in your diet? Del Nothing but roughage. Muesli, brown bread, all that. I'm a very organic person. Doctor That's very good. Even in this day and age you'd be surprised the number of people still exist on fried foods and takeaways. Del Eurgh! Not me, doc. I'm like a walking Grobag. When they bury me there'll be rhubarb everywhere within six months. The doctor walks behind the screen and reacts. Doctor Mr Trotter. When I said strip to the waist, I meant the top half. Del Oh, sorry. DOCTOR'S SURGERY. NIGHT. STUDIO. Doctor You can put your shirt back on now, Mr Trotter. I hope my stephoscope wasn't too cold for you? Del Round here, we call 'em deaf- ascopes. Doctor Really? Why? Del Well, if you can't hear nothing, either your deaf or we're dead! Doctor Are you a heavy drinker, Mr Trotter? Del Me? No I'm teetotal. Well, I have the odd mineral water, skimmed goat's milk that sort of thing. Doctor You have a very high pulse rate. Del Oh thank you, doctor. Doctor No, I'm concerned about it. I mean, it's almost as if you're frightened of some- thing. Del Frightened, me? No, I don't know the meaning of the word. No, I know what it was. I jogged down here to the surgery from the gym this evening. Doctor Ah, that would explain it. I wish all my patients were as health-conscious as you, Mr Trotter. Del Oh mais oui, mais oui. What d'you reckon the pains are then, doc? Doctor To tell you the truth I'm not sure. I'd like you to go down to the local hospital and have a few tests done. Del OK. I'll make an appointment tomorrow morning then, shall I? Doctor No, I'd like you to go now. Del Now? What? D'you mean this minute? Doctor Yes. You may have a grumbling appendix. Now I emphasize the word 'may'. If that should prove to be the case we have to remove it as quickly as possible. Del You mean cut it out? Doctor Yes, I mean cut it out. Del But it might not be me appen- dix? Doctor Maybe. Del So if it's not me appendix, what else could it be? Doctor Well, let's not speculate. Del Let's hope it's not me appendix then, shall we? I don't have to go by ambulance, do I? Doctor No, but I don't want you jogging there. You can call a minicab. She turns her back to Del and collects some files. Del No, that's alright. I'll give my brother a bell. He'll drive me down there. Doctor I'll call the hospital and tell them you're on your way. She turns, arm outstretched to pick up the receiver from her desk phone. She reacts as Del has already picked it up and is about to dial. Doctor I'll use the phone in reception. Del Yeah, alright then, doc. (Into receiver) Rodney? Hello Rodders, it's me, Del Boy. Yes, I'm here at the doctor's. Yes, listen. There's nothing to worry about, but I want you to come down here and give me a lift down to the hospital... Yeah, I've got to go there right away. Listen, listen. I said there's nothing to worry about. I don't want you driving down here at a hundred miles an hour and having an accident, nothing like that... No I can't phone for a minicab! I don't care if Neighbours has just started. Look, I am at the quack's and I just want you to help me a bit... I don't wanna go on me own... Yeah, alright, I'll see you in a minute. INT. THE NAG'S HEAD PUB. DAY. STUDIO. Mike What can I get you, Rodney? Rodney A lemonade with ice, non- alcoholic lager top and a small rum, please. Mike Any news from the hospital? Rodney No, not really. He ain't got a grumbling appendix. They don't seem to know what it is. Still, they're keeping him under observation. Trigger Must be horrible that. Mike What? Trigger Well, lying in bed all day with someone standing there looking at you. Rodney No, Trigg, they don't just keep... Yeah, must be horrible. Mike Years ago I had a mate like that. Doctor's couldn't find out what was wrong with him. Rodney And he died, did he? Mike Yeah... (Realises what he has said) Oh no, I'm not saying that Del's got that. Rodney Well let's hope not, eh? Listen, Mike. We're going to visit him this evening and he asked if you'd do him a bacon sandwich and lots of brown sauce 'cos he can't stand that hospital food. Mike But it'll be cold and greasy by this evening. Rodney Yeah, that's how he likes it, and he also said would you send up a bottle of coke and put some Bacardi in it, so as the old matron won't suss it? Mike Leave it to me, Rodney. Rodney moves to the table where we see Cassandra and Albert. Rodney places the drinks on the table and sits. Nothing is said between them. Cassandra Cheer up a little bit, Rodney. I mean, Del's in the best place, isn't he? Rodney Oh yeah, he's in the best place. I just wish they knew what was wrong with him. Maybe on second thoughts I don't wanna know what's wrong with him. Albert When I was stationed out in New Guinea... Rodney & Cassandra Oh God. Albert A crew-mate of mine went down with a mysterious tummy bug just like Del's. The finest medical brains in Jayapura couldn't make out what it was. Rodney No? (To Cassandra) Your dad still thinking about buying that new jag? Cassandra He's looking at one tomorrow. Rodney Yeah? Cassandra Yeah. Albert Until this American surgeon arrived on the scene. He twigged it straight away. Cassandra And what was it? Albert Green parrot's disease. Rodney Well, that's certainly worth knowing, Albert. Thank you very much. Cassandra Are you going to tell the doctor in charge of Del's case? You know, he might not have thought of it. Rodney No, that would have been one of the first things he would have thought... How the hell's Del gonna get green parrot's disease in Peckham? Albert Well, I admit it's a long shot. I'm just grabbing at straws, I s'pose. Rodney Yeah, yeah, we all are Unc. I'm sorry. Albert I'm gonna put a drop of blackcurrant in this. Cassandra Can I visit Del with you this evening? Rodney Yeah, okay. It's worth the journey just to see his pyjamas. He's never been ill before. Well you know, he's been ill but he's never been to hospital. He's terrified of 'em. He got stabbed once outside a dance hall. There was blood all over his shirt, a four-inch gash in his shoulder. But he never went to hospital. Cassandra He didn't have it treated? Rodney No he did it himself. TCP and a flannel. Cassandra Did he know the person who did it? Rodney Yeah. Cassandra And I bet he didn't report it to the police? Rodney No. Well, he couldn't really. He was engaged to her at the time. I prayed last night, prayed Del wouldn't die. Cassandra Rodney, that's not going to happen. Rodney No, no, I know. Soon as I done it I thought, 'That's stupid, Del ain't gonna die... He's not the type.' INT. HOSPITAL WARD. NIGHT. STUDIO. On Del's bedside table we have a few get-well-soon cards and a large bottle of Coca-Cola. Rodney, Cassandra and Albert are seated around the bed. Del So anyway, they took some more samples this afternoon. Samples of me blood, sample of me... samples of every- thing. Now I'm supposed to fast for 24 hours. Cassandra Well, why's that? Are they running more tests tomorrow? Del Yeah, I tell you what, I'll be 12 pound, three gallons lighter then when I come in, I know that. Now from beneath the bed covers, Del produces the bacon sandwich that Rodney asked for in previous scene. Rodney What you doing? You're not supposed to be eating that. Del I know, Rodney, but this fasting makes you hungry. Cassandra But it could affect the results of the tests. Albert Give over gel. It's only a bacon sandwich and a bit of brown sauce. Del Exactly, besides, it was in the local paper a while back, this is one of the few hospitals in Britain that has not been equipped with a bacon sandwich detector! Rodney I don't believe you, Derek! When a doctor says you're supposed to fast for 24 hours then you should fast for 24 hours. Del Well, what you bring this sandwich in for then? Rodney 'Cos I didn't know you were supposed to be fasting. And you're not supposed to be drinking that either. It's got Bacardi in it. Del Ssshhh! Keep your noise down, will yer? Listen, with the sort of measures Mike gives, there's less spirits in that than there was at our sťance. Oh that reminds me. Wasn't last night the pukka sťance night? Rodney (Half-hearted) Yeah. Del Did it go well? Rodney Er... not quite as well as we'd expected. Albert It was a total cock-up from where I was standing. Del Well, somebody tell me. Cassandra Well, you now those posters you put in the pub windows with The Sťance and the ghostly face? Del Yeah, yeah. Cassandra Well a lot of people got the wrong impression. They thought The Sťance was a group. Rodney The place was packed with punk rockers. There was Special Brew everywhere, people shouting 'Aceed', all that. Cassandra They were expecting to see an 'Iron Maiden'-type band. Rodney Then Elsie Partridge walked out in her hat. They weren't best pleased, Del. Fortun- ately she remained in a trance throughout the riot. Albert She was still in it this morning when I went round to her flat. Del Innit amazing? I only organised that sťance out of the goodness of my heart. I just wanted to help people to overcome their loss, and how do they thank me? They chuck it in my face! Rodney Still, at least you tried. A bell rings. Albert Visiting time's over. Can't say I'm disappointed, I hate these places, death and sickness everywhere. Del Yeah, they ain't all they're cracked up to be, Unc. Take care. (Kisses Cassandra) Bye-bye, sweetheart. (Referring to Rodney) Thanks for coming. Look after him now, will you? Cassandra Yeah, I'll see he's alright. I hope you feel better soon, Del. Del There's nothing wrong with me. I don't know what I'm doing in here. Rodney I'll see you tomorrow, mate. Del (To Cassandra and Albert) Yeah. (To Rodney) Hang around a minute, bruv. Cassandra and Albert exit. Del is smiling as he waves goodbye to them. Rodney I'll see you outside. What's up? Del suddenly turns into a frightened schoolboy. Del I'm scared, Rodney! Rodney Oh come on, Del. You're in hospital. Del That's why I'm scared! Rodney I mean, can you think of a better place to be? Del Yes, down the market, in the pub, anywhere but here. I think I might know what's wrong with me. A short pause. Rodney What? Del I think I might have... you know. Rodney You mean? Del No. Rodney What! Not... Del Yes. Rodney Don't be silly. What makes you think that? Del Because the doctors found out I was a bachelor and they started asking questions about my social activities. Rodney Bloody 'ell. Del It's alright. I didn't tell 'em nothing. I made out I was like an amateur monk. But I've been lying here thinking about my past. Rodney What's the point in depress- ing yourself? Del I've bin thinking back to some of the birds I've knocked about with. Cor blimey, Rodney, some of 'em have bin round the track more times than a lurcher. Rodney Del, you're just being irrational. Del What about that unisex hair- dresser's. down the high street? Rodney Well, what about it? Del Well, I went in there last month for a trim, didn't I? And I thought I was going to get one of the dolly birds in the miniskirts, you know, and all that, but who did I get? They gave me some mush called Jason. Rodney So? Del So, say he was a bandit. Rodney I don't believe... Del, you cannot go around making accusations against innocent people. Anyway, you can't catch it off a comb. Del No, but say he nicked my neck with his razor or something. Rodney So long as he doesn't kiss it better, you're laughing, ain't you? Del Then there's Uncle Albert - blimey, he's been round the world more times than Phileas Fogg. There's no telling what he might have picked up. And there's you and that computer. Rodney My computer? Del Yes. I was reading about all those computer viruses. Rodney Look, calm down, right? Look, I understand your concerns and fears. But you're just letting your imagination run away with you. If you'd had 'that' or anything as serious as that, they would have known by now. They're experts you know. Del Yeah, yeah. I didn't think of that, bruv. It can't be that serious, can it? Rodney Well, of course not. So you just remember that next time you're lying here at night, thinking of all them women and male hairdressers you've known... Del They've got a spare bed downstairs if you're interested. Rodney I'll see you. They share a smile. Rodney stands to leave. Del leans back in bed. We now hear Del moan as if in great pain. Rodney rushes back to him. Rodney Del, hold on. I'll get the nurse. Nurse! Hold on, Del, don't you die. Don't you bloody die. Del I'm not gonna die, you plonker. I've just sat on me bacon sandwich. INT. HOSPITAL WARD. DAY. STUDIO. Del is sitting upright in bed. A tray holding his lunch is across his lap. A nurse arrives at Del's bed. Nurse Aren't you eating that? Del No, I'm not in the mood, sweetheart. Nurse That's fresh fish. Del I know it's fresh, it just winked at me. Nurse I'll have to tell matron. Del No it's alright. It didn't really ink at me. Nurse No, I mean if a patient doesn't eat his food I have to report it. Del Oh go on, then, you go and grass me up. I'm not fright- ened of the old cow. Oh, by the way, any news about my application for a bed bath? Nurse Sorry. Dr Meadows enters. He is in his mid-to-alte thirties. Meadows is a dedicated doctor who relaxes with the occasional punch-up. Dr Meadows You've gotta make a decision, Mr Trotter. We can either save you or the baby. Del Robbie Meadows, you old git. Dr Meadows Please, Del, not in front of the staff. Del Oh yeah, sorry. Dr Meadows, you old git. What brings you up here? Dr Meadows I've got good news and bad news, Del. The good news is they've put me in charge of your case. Del What's the bad news? Dr Meadows I specialise in amputation. Dr Meadows laughs like a drain. Del produces a very false and weak laugh. Del Oh that's a good 'un. Here, d'you still get down the One-Eleven Club? Dr Meadows No, not any more, Del. I've packed gambling in, it's a mug's game. D'you still go down there? Del Oh yeah. Anyway, how comes they've put you in charge? Dr Meadows It was an accident, really. I just happened to be talking to some colleagues when the name Derek Trotter cropped up. So I asked if I could read your GP's report and have a look at your tests. I was amazed. I found myself reading about this non- smoking, teetotal, celibate vegetarian health freak. I thought, 'Can this be the same Derek Trotter that I know and begrudgingly admire? That uptight, wheeling-dealing, pina colada lout? The Castella king, the curry connoisseur? The same an who has lived his life on nervous tension, fried bread and doubtful women? Del And was it? Dr Meadows Yes, it was. Why did you lie to your GP, Del? Del 'Cos she's a doctor. Dr Meadows I don't understand. Del Well, you never tell doctors the truth, do yer? Otherwise you'll end up in hospital. Dr Meadows But you are in hospital. Del No, but I didn't mean that to happen, did I? I just wanted her to give me a bottle of jollop. Dr Meadows Del, if you'd told the truth in the first place, my colleagues could have diagnosed your problem in a quarter of the time. As it was, they thought they were dealing with the perfect man - but all the time it was you! It confused them Del. It threw 'em onto the wrong track. Del Well, I told her I did admit to having a cigar at Christmas time. Dr Meadows What about the other 10,000 throughout the rest of the year? Oh that reminds me, we found your cigar-holder in the body-scanner. Del Oh cheers Robbie. Must have fallen out of me robe. Dr Meadows We know what's wrong with you, Del. Del Right... Let's hear the worst. I can take it, I'm not frightened. Don't pull any punches. I want it straight from the shoulder. Dr Meadows Yeah, I think it's best in the long run. Well, basic- ally, Derek, there's nothing wrong with you. Del Oh, oh thank God! Thank God. Thank Allah, thank Buddha. Thank you, thank you, God. Dr Meadows Relieved, eh? Del Well, you know. So what about all these pains I've been getting? Dr Meadows You have an irritable bowel. Del Well, I'm not surprised with you lot pulling me about. Dr Meadows No, no. That's what your condition is called. You have irritable bowel syndrome. It's nothing serious. I'll put you on a course of drugs. Your condition has been caused by your lifestyle. The late nights, the booze, the nicotine, the fried fast foods. Do you ever think about all the saturated fat floating around your arteries? Del I try not to. It puts me off me grub. Dr Meadows One of the major contribu- tory factors of this syndrome is stress. A lot of yuppies suffer from it. Del Yeah? Dr Meadows Del, I took the liberty of phoning the director of housing about your rent arrears. Del How'd you find out? Dr Meadows I phoned your flat. I'm sorry, mate, I had to find out what the hell was going on. I spoke to your uncle. The council have agreed to give you some breathing space, a bit of time to get yourself together. Del Cheers, Robbie. Dr Meadows You've been given a warning, Del. Nature's little way of telling you to eat muesli for breakfast. Cut right down on the drink and cigars. Start eating whole- some, real food and above all else learn to relax. Doctor's orders. Del Whatever you say. Dr Meadows Pop this into the pharmacy on your way home. Del I can go? Dr Meadows Yes, and don't come back. I want you convalescing for the next three weeks. I don't want you working or getting excited. Sit in a chair, eat boring foods and live a boring life. Del Well, that'll be easy. I can talk to my Uncle. Dr Meadows See you around, Del. Del Yeah, and... thanks, Robbie. (To himself) I knew there was nothing wrong with me. Dr. Meadows smiles and exits, and the relief and gratitude comes flooding out. Del's bottom lip quivers. He moves momentarily puts his hands to his eyes. Then quickly pulls himself together. Del (Cont'd) (Telling himself off) Silly old sod. INT. TROTTERS' LOUNGE. DAY. STUDIO. Del is sitting in the armchair watching TV. He is wear- ing pyjamas and has a blanket over his legs. He is bored, bored, bored, bored, bored. Albert enters from the kitchen carrying a breakfast tray. Albert Here you are, Del, breakfast. Del Oh good. What is it? Albert It's muesli. Del Blimey! It looks like some- thing that's bin swept out of a pigeon loft. Albert You can at least try it. Del eats some of the muesli. Del It tastes like it's been swept out of a pigeon loft. I can't eat this for the rest of my life. I'd rather croak it than eat this rubbish. Albert Well, don't get excited, you'll bring your pains back on. All the quack said was you've got to get a sensible diet, and muesli's just part of it. Del Alright, alright, Unc, alright. Albert I'll do you a cup of tea, son. Albert exits to the kitchen. Del reaches for his pack of cigars. Del How many cigars am I allowed a day? Albert She said three. Del How many have I had? Albert Four. Rodney enters from hall. Rodney Alright? Del Yeah, triffic, Rodders. Rodney Oh what's up with you now? Del I am not ill, okay? All that happened was that I caught a syndrome. But you two are treating me like an invalid. Rodney We are not treating you like an invalid Del, we are just trying to do our best by you. Del Yes, I'm sorry, Rodders. Rodney That's alright. (To Albert in kitchen) Albert I've got the Complan. Rodney places the packet of Complan on the table and then turns to Del. Rodney (Cont'd) So you feeling relaxed? Del Yes. All over, thank you. Rodney Good, 'cos I have got some really great news. Del What's that? Rodney Guess what? I'm getting married! Del clutches his stomach as the pain returns. Rodney (Cont'd) Albert!


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