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Monty Python Scripts

Ratcatcher / Wainscoting

The cast:

Terry Jones
Michael Palin
Graham Chapman
John Cleese

The sketch:

(Cut to interior: the Concrete's sitting room. Mrs. Concrete is sitting on the sofa, knitting. Mr. Concrete enters.)

Mrs. Concrete: Have you been talking to television again, dear?

Mr. Concrete: Yes, I bloody told 'em.

Mrs. Concrete: What about?

Mr. Concrete: I dunno.

Mrs. Concrete: Was it Reginald Bosanquet?

Mr. Concrete: No, no, no.

Mrs. Concrete: Did he have his head all bandaged?

Mr. Concrete: No, it wasn't like that. They had lots of lights and cameras and tape recorders and all that son of thing.

Mrs. Concrete: Oh, that'll be Ray Baxter and the boys and girls from 'Tomorrow's World'. Oh, I prefer Reginald Bosanquet, there's not so many of them. (the doorbell ring) Oh - that'11 be the ratcatcher. (she lets the ratcatcher in)

Ratcatcher: Hello - Mr. and Mrs. Concrete?

Both: Yes.

Ratcatcher: Well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, how very nice. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Leslie Ames, the Chairman of the Test Selection Committee, and I'm very pleased to be able to tell you that your flat has been chosen as the venue for the third test against the West Indies.

Mrs. Concrete: Really?

Ratcatcher: No, it was just a little joke. Actually, I am the Council Ratcatcher.

Mrs. Concrete: Oh yes, we've been expecting you.

Ratcatcher: Oh, I gather you've got a little rodental problem.

Mrs. Concrete: Oh, blimey. You'd think he was awake all the night, scrabbling down by the wainscoting.

Ratcatcher: Um, that's an interesting word, isn't it?

Mrs. Concrete: What?

Ratcatcher: Wainscoting ... Wainscoting ... Wainscoting ... sounds like a little Dorset village, doesn't it? Wainscoting.

(Cut to the village of Wains Cotting. A woman rushes out of a house.)

Woman: We've been mentioned on telly!

(Cut back to Concretes' house.)

Ratcatcher: Now, where is it worst?

Mrs. Concrete: Well, down here. You can usually hear them.

(Indicates base of wall, which has a label on it saying 'Wainscoting'.)

Ratcatcher: Sshhh

Voice Over: Baa ... baa ... baa ... baa ... baa ... baa...

Ratcatcher: No, that's sheep you've got there.

Voice Over: Baa ... baa.

Ratcatcher: No, that's definitely sheep. A bit of a puzzle, really.

Mrs. Concrete: Is it?

Ratcatcher: Yeah, well, I mean it's (a) not going to respond to a nice piece of cheese and (b) it isn't going to fit into a trap.

Mrs. Concrete: Oh - what are you going to do?

Ratcatcher: Well, we'll have to look for the hole.

(We follow them as they look along the wainscoting.)

Mrs. Concrete: Oh yeah. There's one here.

(She indicates a small black mouse hole.)

Ratcatcher: No, no, that's mice.

(He reaches in and pulls out a line of mice strung out on a piece of elastic. Then he lets go so they shoot in again. The ratcatcher moves on. He moves a chair, behind which there is a three-foot-high black hole.)

Ratcatcher: Ah, ,this is what we're after.

(The baaings get louder. At this point six cricketers enter the room.)

Cricketer: Excuse me, is the third test in here?

Mr. Concrete: No - that was a joke - a joke!

Cricketer: Oh blimey, (exeunt)

Ratcatcher: Right. Well, I'm going in the wainscoting.

(Cut to 'Wains Cotting' woman, who rushes out again.)

Woman: They said it again.

(Back to the sitting room.)

Ratcatcher: I'm going to lay down some sheep poison.

(He disappears into the hole. We hear:)

Voice Over: Baa, baa, baa.

(A gunshot. The ratcatcher reappears clutching his arm.)

Ratcatcher: Aagh. Ooh! It's got a gun!

Mrs. Concrete: Blimey.

Ratcatcher: Now, normally a sheep is a placid, timid creature, but you've got a killer.

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