(Scene : A couple are seated at a table in a restaurant.)
Wife: It's nice here, isn't it?
Man: Oh, very good restaurant, three stars you know.
Waiter: Good evening, sir! Good evening, madam! And may I
say what a pleasure it is to see you here again, sir!
Man: Oh thank you. Well there you are dear. Have a look
there, anything you like. The boeuf en croute is fantastic.
Waiter: Oh if I may suggest, sir ... the pheasant à la
reine, the sauce is one of the chefs most famous creations.
Man: Em... that sounds good. Anyway just have a look...
take your time. Oh, er by the way - got a bit of a dirty fork, could
you ... er·.. get me another one?
Waiter: I beg your pardon.
Man: Oh it's nothing ... er, I've got a fork a little bit
dirty. Could you get me another one? Thank you.
Waiter: Oh ... sir, 1 do apologize.
Man: Oh, no need to apologize, it doesn't worry me.
Waiter: Oh no, no, no, I do apologize. I will fetch the
head waiter immediatement.
Man: Oh, there's no need to do that!
Waiter: Oh, no no... I'm sure the head waiter, he will
want to apologize to you himself. I will fetch him at once.
Wife: Well, you certainly get good service here.
Man: They really look after you... yes.
Head Waiter: Excuse me monsieur and madame. (examines
the fork) It's filthy, Gaston ... find out who washed this up,
and give them their cards immediately.
Man: Oh, no, no.
Head Waiter: Better still, we can't afford to take any
chances, sack the entire washing-up staff.
Man: No, look I don't want to make any trouble.
Head Waiter: Oh, no please, no trouble. It's quite right
that you should point these kind of things out. Gaston, tell the
manager what has happened immediately! (The Waiter runs off)
Man: Oh, no I don't want to cause any fuss.
Head Waiter: Please, it's no fuss. I quite simply wish to
ensure that nothing interferes with your complete enjoyment of the
Man: Oh I'm sure it won't, it was only a dirty fork.
Head Waiter: I know. And I'm sorry, bitterly sorry, but I
know that... no apologies I can make can alter the fact that in our
restaurant you have been given a dirty, filthy, smelly piece of
Man: It wasn't smelly.
Head Waiter: It was smelly, and obscene and disgusting and
I hate it, I hate it ,.. nasty, grubby, dirty, mingy, scrubby little
fork. Oh ... oh . . . oh . . . (runs off in a passion as the
manager comes to the table)
Manager: Good evening, sir, good evening, madam. I am the
manager. I've only just heard . .. may I sit down?
Man: Yes, of course.
Manager: I want to apologize, humbly, deeply, and
sincerely about the fork.
Man: Oh please, it's only a tiny bit... I couldn't see it.
Manager: Ah you're good kind fine people, for saying that,
but I can see it.., to me it's like a mountain, a vast bowl of pus.
Man: It's not as bad as that.
Manager: It gets me here. I can't give you any excuses for
it - there are no excuses. I've been meaning to spend more time in
the restaurant recently, but I haven't been too well ,..
(emotionally) things aren't going very well back there. The poor
cook's son has been put away again, and poor old Mrs. Dalrymple who
does the washing up can hardly move her poor fingers, and then
there's Gilberto's war wound - but they're good people, and they're
kind people, and together we were beginning to get over this dark
patch ... there was light at the end of the tunnel . .. now this .
.. now this...
Man: Can I get you some water?
Manager: (in tears) It's the end of the road!!
(The cook comes in; he is very big and comes with a meat
Cook: (shouting) You bastards! You vicious,
heartless bastards! Look what you've done to him! He's worked his
fingers to the bone to make this place what it is, and you come in
with your petty feeble quibbling and you grind him into the dirt,
this fine, honorable Man, whose boots you are not worthy to kiss.
Oh... it makes me mad... mad! (slams cleaver into the table)
(The head waiter comes in and tries to restrain him. )
Head Waiter: Easy, Mungo, easy... Mungo... (clutches
his head in agony) the war wound!... the wound... the wound...
Manager: This is the end! The end! Aaargh!! (stabs
himself with the fork)
Cook: They've destroyed him! He's dead!! They killed
him!!! (goes completely mad)
Head Waiter: (trying to restrain him) Mungo...
never kill a customer. (in pain) Oh . .. the wound! The
wound! (he and the cook fight furiously and fall over the table)
(On the Screen a Caption appears - 'AND NOW THE PUNCH-LINE')
Man: Lucky we didn't say anything about the dirty knife...