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Buying a Bed

The cast:

HUSBAND
Terry Jones
WIFE
Carol Cleveland
MR. LAMBERT
Graham Chapman
MR. VERITY
Eric Idle
MANAGER
John Cleese
ASSISTANT
Michael Palin

The sketch:

Husband: Hello, my wife and I would like to buy a bed, please.

Mr. Lambert: Certainly sir, I'll get someone to help you.

Wife: Thank you.

Mr. Lambert: Mr. Verity!

Mr. Verity: Can I help you, sir?

Husband: Yes, we'd like a bed, a double bed, and I wondered if you'd got one for about fifty pounds.

Mr. Verity: Oh no, I'm afraid not, sir. Our cheapest bed is eight hundred pounds, sir.

Husband & Wife: Eight hundred pounds?

Mr. Lambert: Excuse me, sir, but before I go, I ought to have told you that Mr. Verity does tend to exaggerate. Every figure he gives you will be ten times too high.

Husband: I see.

Mr. Lambert: Otherwise he's perfectly all right.

Husband: I see. Er... your cheapest double bed then is eighty pounds?

Mr. Verity: Eight hundred pounds, yes, sir.

Husband: I see. And how wide is it?

Mr. Verity: It's sixty feet wide.

Husband: Yes...

Wife: (whispers) Sixty feet!

Husband: (whispers) Six foot wide, you see.

Wife: (whispers) Oh.

Husband: ...and the length?

Mr. Verity: The length is ... er ... just a moment. Mr. Lambert, what is the length of the Comfidown Majorette?

Mr. Lambert: Ah. Two foot long.

Husband: Two foot long?

Mr. Verity: Yes, remembering of course that you have to multiply everything Mr. Lambert says by three. It's nothing he can help, you understand. Otherwise he's perfectly all right.

Husband: I see, I'm sorry.

Mr. Verity: But it does mean that when he says a bed is two foot long, it is in fact sixty foot long, all right?

Husband: Yes, I see.

Mr. Verity: That's without the mattress, of course.

Husband: How much is that?

Mr. Verity: Er, Mr. Lambert will be able to tell you that. Lambert! Could you show these twenty good people the dog kennels, please?

Husband: Dog kennels? No, no, the mattresses!

Mr. Verity: I'm sorry, you have to say 'dog kennel' to Mr. Lambert, because if you say 'mattress' he puts a bucket* over his head. I should have explained. Otherwise he's perfectly all right.

Husband: Oh. Ah. I see. Er, excuse me, could you show us the dog kennels, please, Hm?

Mr. Lambert: Dog kennels?

Husband: Yes, we want to look at the dog kennels, hm.

Mr. Lambert: Ah yes, well that's the pets' department, second floor.

Husband: No, no, no, we want to see the DOG KENNELS.

Lambert: (irritated) Yes, second floor.

Husband: No, we don't want to see dog kennels, it's just that Mr. Verity said that...

Mr. Lambert: Oh dear, what's he been telling you now?

Husband: Well, he said we should say 'dog kennels' instead of saying 'mattresses'.

(Lambert puts bucket on his head)

Husband: Oh dear. Hello? Hello? Hello?

Mr. Verity: (approaching) Did you say 'mattress'?

Husband: Well, yes, er...

Mr. Lambert: (muffled) I'm not coming out!

Mr. Verity: I did *ask* you not to say 'mattress', didn't I?

Husband: But I mean, er...

Mr. Lambert: (muffled) I'm not!

Husband: Oh.

Mr. Verity: Now I've got to get him to the fish tank and sing.

Husband: Oh.

Mr. Verity: (sings) And did those feet, in ancient time...

Manager: (walking up, hearing the singing) Oh dear, did somebody say mattress to Mr. Lambert?

Husband: Yes, I did.

(Manager gives nasty look at Husband)

Mr. Verity: (still singing) ...walk upon England's mountains green... (Manager joins in) ...and was the Holy Lamb of God...

(Lambert removes bucket; Verity and Assistant immediately stop singing; Manager leaves.)

Mr. Verity: He should be all right now, but don't...you know...*don't*!

Husband: No, no. (to Lambert) Excuse me, could we see the dog kennels please?

Lambert: (irritated) Yes, pets department, second floor.

Husband: No, no, no. Those dog kennels, like that. You see?

Mr. Lambert: Mattresses?

Husband: (relieved) Yes.

Mr. Lambert: But if you want a mattress, why not say 'mattress'?

Husband: (nervously) Ha ha, I mean...

Mr. Lambert: I mean, it's a little confusing for me when you say 'dog kennel' if you want a mattress. Why not just say 'mattress'?

Husband: But you put a bucket over your head last time we said 'mattress'.

(Lambert puts the bucket over his head again)

Mr. Verity: (running on the scene again) Oh dear! (stands in box and sings) And did those feet...

Manager: (to Husband) We *did* ask!

(Manager & Mr. Verity sing together) ...in ancient times, walk upon England's mountains green...

(singing continues throughout the next few lines of dialogue)

Assistant: (running in) Did somebody say 'mattress' to Mr. Lambert?

(Manager points angrily towards the Husband and Wife)

Mr. Verity: *Twice*!

Assistant: (shouting throughout the store) Hey, everybody! Somebody said 'mattress' to Mr. Lambert -- *twice*! (joins in the singing)

(Organ music swells and they carry on singing)

Mr. Verity: It's not working, we need more!

(The entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir begins to sing in the background. Sounds of water splashing; eventually Lambert removes the bucket again and they stop singing)

Mr. Lambert: I'm sorry, can I help you?

Wife: (brightly) We want a mattress!

(Lambert puts the bucket over his head again. Verity, husband and assistants all groan and glare accusingly at wife)

Wife: But it's my only line!!!

Note: In the television version it was a paper bag; on the album version it was a bucket (better sound effects?).

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