One Foot in the Grave (1990–2001): Season 1, Episode 4 - I'll Retire to Bedlam - full transcript

An accident with eye-drops at the opticians leaves Victor in a less than charitable mood when he discovers the local Monster Raving Looney Party candidate,dressed as a giant bee,in his toilet. He is even less kindly disposed towards the two kids Margaret has shoe-horned him into baby-sitting and whom he ties up in the garage. The sort of incident that could only befall Victor involving a mental patient and a trip to Casualty leaves him firmly in support of the Monster Raving Loonies.

♪ They say I might as well face the truth

♪ That I am just too long in the tooth

♪ So I'm an OAP and weak-kneed

♪ But I am not yet quite gone to seed

♪ I may be over the hill now that I have retired

♪ Fading away, but I'm not yet expired

♪ Clapped out, run down, too old to save

♪ One foot in the grave ♪

(VICTOR) # Oh, Danny Boy

♪ The pipes, the pipes are calling... ♪

You must be in a good mood.

Sunday morning.
What is there to be miserable about?

♪ And down the mountainside... ♪

Sunday morning - the first day of a new week.

I'm going to have a potter about in the garden

where the insanities of life
can't possibly upset me.

Even though ''Woman's Own'' is giving away
a free gift pack of human organs this week,

I'm not going to let it put my blood pressure up
because life is too short.

- Will you help me clear out the shed later?
- As soon as the dinner's on.

Ah, gorgeous! The sort of day
that actually makes you glad you're alive.

- Oh, God, I wish I was dead!

- Whose bloody bees are they?
- How do I know whose bees they are?

Are they supposed to have collars
with their names and addresses printed on?

Millions of them! Where do they come from?

I don't know! Why do you keep asking me?

Who else is there to ask in here?

Hello, David Attenborough? Do you think
you could answer a few questions for us?

- I know where they came from.
- Where?

- Mr Parslow, corner of Coker Street.
- Who?

He was thinking of taking up beekeeping.

He hasn't done a very good job of it, has he,

based on the principle
that the idea of beekeeping is to keep them,

not unleash them on the public
like the Seven Plagues of Egypt!

Bugger off, the lot of you! This is my bloody
shed, so get the bloody hell out of here!

Well, that seems to have done the trick,
doesn't it (?)

When you've finished
acting like a baby in a paddy!

- You're getting yourself hot under the collar.
- Right.

There's one getting in under the door there.
There he is. Stand back!

Little bastard, come here! You're not getting
in here, matey. Don't think you are!

- Victor, it's a piece of dead moss.
- Don't pick it up!

All right?

It looked like a bee from a distance.

Well, it wasn't.

- Who the hell's Mr Parslow anyway?
- He lives on the corner of Coker Street.

- We can't even get a message out to anybody.
- Saying what?

What the hell do you think it would say?
''Send more bees'' (?)

''Help'' would be a start!

- We could be in here for the rest of our lives.
- No.

Mrs Althorp stares out of her window every hour
on a Sunday. She'll see them and ring for help.

We'll be out of here in no time.

Three and a half hours!

Three and a half hours!

If you're going to lie there saying
''three and a half hours'' all night,

I'm sleeping in the spare room.

Three and a half hours of absolute death!

We're lucky the fire brigade arrived
when they did. Just be thankful it's all over!

What's that buzzing noise?

- Will you go to sleep?
- How can I go to sleep?

Every time I nod off, I have this hideous dream
that I'm imprisoned in a lunatic asylum

with Arthur Askey singing outside the window!

What time is
your eye clinic appointment tomorrow?

Nine o'clock.

Try and get some rest
or you'll be irritable all day long.

- I'm always irritable all day long.
- I know you are.

There were three Twix wrappers
in the honeysuckle today. Three!

Where do they all come from?

The planet Twix?

In the star system Flat Lager Can?

Two thousand light ales from Earth?

Every night I have to listen to this.

And if we're not stung to death while we're asleep,

we'll waken up covered in ash
from that local cornfield.

That bathroom windowsill was covered in it
this morning!

If they want to burn something,
they should burn the bloody Twix wrappers!

For God's sake, Victor!

15 times I've read this sentence now!

I sometimes think I should've lived in medieval
times. People were more considerate then.

Yes, and then you'd have spent all day wiping
bits of Joan of Arc off the bathroom windowsill!

Goodness sake! Will you give over
and stop moan, moan, moan, moan?

You know, Margaret,
you want to try and relax a bit more.

You're getting very irritable these days.

Your Uncle Brian was stung by a bee once
when we were on holiday in Bude.

Took it for an ink rubber.
Terrible he was without glasses.

- Do you see much of him these days?
- When I can.

He hasn't really come to terms
with his wife dying yet.

Riding round on his own on the back
of that tandem - can't quite seem to adjust.

- It is difficult, isn't it?
- How did they get loose in the first place?

We don't know. The man who owns them, Mr
Parslow, hasn't been seen for the last 24 hours,

which is just as well as Victor is planning
to disembowel him with a potato dibber.

I don't know what it is, Iris,
since he stopped working.

He's got so much more time to dither about in.

It's as if he's soaking up every hideous disaster
and piece of misery in the world

like a giant sponge.

So have you asked him yet about um...?

Well, I was hoping to wait
until he was in a good mood.

We could all die first.

Excuse me. I'm sorry to trouble you again.

There's been a bit of a mix-up.

My wife brought me here at nine o'clock
to see the eye specialist

and we went away about an hour ago.

Didn't we?

And then we did a bit of shopping
and went home.

Now I think he's given me the wrong glasses.

Oh? What makes you think that?

This isn't my wife, you see.

I'm not his wife, you see.

I think I've got the wrong glasses as well.

Oh, dear, that is a bit of a mix-up, isn't it?

If you'd just take a seat over there,
we'll try and sort it out for you.

Nurse, have I got to wait here much longer,
stuck with the Mr Magoo Appreciation Society?

I've been sat in this chair now
since half past eight.

There's a lot of other patients besides you,
Mr Meldrew. The doctor's doing his best.

Can I have a look, please, Mr Jellinek?

No, a little bit longer, I think.
Keep your eyes shut nice and tightly.

And you, Mr Gillespie,
then the drops can take effect more quickly.

- So what's your trouble, then?
- They think it might be a blocked blood vessel.

I wasn't talking to you.

Cataract, is it, or what?

Well, they're not really sure yet.
Not until they've done the tests.

How's old Jack keeping these days?

Did he get over that kidney infection?

Oh, yes, yes.

He had one of those tubes put inside him,
didn't he?

- That's right.
- One of those tubes that go right...

Yes, I think we've all got the picture, thank you!

He's all right,
but his Susan's had to go into hospital.

She's got er... you know...

..a woman's problem.


My brother suffers with that.

Kidney trouble, always has done.

They reckon he's got to have
a tube put in now, you know.

Oh, God!

- How big are those tubes?
- Oh, quite big.

Oh, about this long, some of them.

Get away!

And they just push them right in, you know.

They say it's like sliding a straw
into a bottle of Coca-Cola.

Good God above!

Were you there that day his carbuncle broke
in Queensway's Bedding Centre?

Right, that's it!
That's enough for me, I'm afraid.

Carbuncles, kidneys, tubes? His inside
must look like a map of the Metropolitan Line!

Right, Mr Meldrew. We've just got to pop
some drops in first to open up your pupils.

And here's your spectacles, sir.
Sorry about that.

It's Mr Parslow, 17 Coker Street?

Mm-hm. Thank you.

Excuse me. I just forgot something.

Thank you very much.

Right, Auntie Margaret, but I do need to know
one way or the other by tonight.

I'll ring you later. I promise.

- Bye, love.
- Bye.


Good morning. I'm very sorry to disturb you.
I'm from ''BBC Look East''.

Regional news programme?

I'm sure you know there's quite an important
by-election in this constituency on Thursday

and we're doing a film report on the candidates
as they go canvassing.

Oh, yes?

Well, it looks as though
they forgot about the three of us, then.


God, this stuff stings, doesn't it?

Nurse, how much longer
have I got to sit here like King Canute?

- I say, excuse me!
- Yeah?

Can I go in there now, please?

- Yes, I expect so.
- Thank you very much.

And I can open my eyes, can I?


Oh, terrific (!)

- Here?
- What?

- This chair, shall I sit in it?
- Yeah.

Can you see that red mark on the wall there?

Ye... Hang on a minute.

Yes. Yes, I can, yes.

I wonder what the hell it is.

It won't come off with Ajax.

OK, then, Mr Davidson, we're going again.

All right, Mrs Meldrew?

And... cue!


Good morning. How are you?

My name is Vincent Davidson and I'm the
candidate for the Monster Raving Loony Party.

Oh, yes?

We're not an entirely frivolous organisation
any more.

We have a number of clearly set-out policies

and I would ask you
to consider the merits of a protest vote.

Yes, well, I don't think...

- Can I leave you a copy of our manifesto?
- All right, but I don't...

- Nice talking to you anyway.
- Yes, and you. Bye.

Bye. Thank you.

Terrific. That's all we need.
Thank you very much indeed, Mrs Meldrew.

Got it. That's lovely. Thanks.

- Was that OK?
- That was fine. Thanks for your help.

Lots of luck, then. Bye!

Actually, I was wondering
if I could ask a quick favour.

It's a bit embarrassing, really.
I wonder if I might use your loo.

- Of course. It's up the stairs.
- Thank you.

- One or two too many cups of tea this morning.
- First on the right.

Unbelievable, this country's medical system!

Unless it's me that's going mad.
That would certainly explain it all.

Yes, it's me. I've gone completely gaga!

Now, listen, mate, it's not you.

You're the only sane one left,
so don't you start cracking up!

- All right?
- Yes. Thank you.

Do you know
there's a rather strange man in your house?

Strange man? Victor?



Oh, Iris... No, I haven't asked him yet.

(VICTOR) Aaaaaagh! God!

Well, it's not exactly the best moment
in the world, no.

Was it my imagination

or have they just started building the world's
biggest sub-atomic particle accelerator

to explain the very origins of the universe?


Strange that they can't make a toilet roll

where the perforations are in the same place
on either side of the paper!

Look at this abomination of modern technology!

You try and tear it here and you're left
with the other half hanging about there.

Every time you do it, every time you tear it.
Well, I've had enough of it, I can tell you!

You're not going to start running that through
my sewing machine again at this time of night!

How else am I supposed to...?
I don't believe these bloody rugs!

How do they keep moving across the floor?
What do you do? Oil the carpet?

Every time I come into this room,
I have to move this mat back six inches.

- Well, don't, then.
- If I didn't, it'd be halfway to Abergavenny!


Tummy trouble again?

Insides turning over all told.

Butterflies in the stomach, I expect.

Butterflies in the stomach,
bees in the potting shed, loonies in the lavatory.

I wonder what bounteous joys
the rest of the week has in store!

Bubonic plague?
A nest of scorpions in the hoover bag?

Late-night shopping at Budgen's?

Young Iris called round this morning.

- I hope she didn't bring those two brats.
- Not this time.

No, I gathered that. The house is still standing.

She has to go to Dorset tomorrow
to visit her Uncle Ted in hospital.

That's all the poor bloke needs.
A visit from Iris and the children of the damned!

It's like being cheered up by the Luftwaffe.

Well, ordinarily, she'd leave them
in the local day nursery like she has in the past,

but since that's been closed down...

What did you say to her?

It's just for one day, Victor.

And she's promised
that they'll be on their very best behaviour.

Oh, no!


I'm gonna take him to the Bat Cave
and bash his head in!

- I'll bash his head in first!
- Elliott, I've told you!

And, Dylan,
take that off your Uncle Victor's neck!

You know his face shouldn't be that colour!

Are you sure you've got time to drop me off?

Don't be silly. The station's on the way
to the shop and we've got bags of time.

(VICTOR) That's the pride of my collection!


Dylan, I won't come back for you.
I'll leave you here for ever!

You bloody won't!

And stop doing that!

I blame all these variety shows on the television.
They're a real corrupting influence.

They should put them on late at night
after they've gone to bed.

He's very good with them, isn't he?
He's got, I don't know, a knack somehow.

♪ Batman! Batman! ♪


It's a real comfort
knowing you can leave them in safe hands.

- Especially these days.
- You have to be so careful these days.

- (VICTOR) Bloody swing for the pair of you!
- You'll be all right, Victor? We're off now!

Ta-ta, then, Uncle! See you all this evening!

And you two behave yourselves!



- You're back early.
- They had to close the road.

Due to a jack-knifed Nivea tanker,
so we shut at four. Where are they?

- What?
- I didn't expect the house to be so quiet.

In the garden, are they?

Dylan! Elliott!

I can't see them out here, Victor.

Elliott? Dylan?

Where are you hiding?

Perhaps they're in the garage.

Yes, perhaps they erm...

Boys! Are you in there?

Come out of there, you little tearaways!

You leave them alone for a second and...
What would you do with them?

It was only a game, Margaret,
for goodness' sake!

You know what sticklers children are
for realism these days.

You only call me a killjoy
when I don't join in and then... Oh!

Oh, don't come that pathetic act with me,
Victor. I'm not in the mood!

Talk about being married to WC Fields!

I'm just speechless. That's all. Speechless!

How you can just sit there and...

What is it, Victor?

I think you'd better call an ambulance.

Oh! Ah...


- Is it irritable bowel syndrome?
- Sorry?

What did that doctor say that examined me?
He didn't look too well himself.

He has been manning the fort for 36 hours.
I expect he's exhausted.

Doesn't help your confidence when someone
nods off while they listen to your heartbeat!

Am I to stay over or what?

- Didn't they tell you?
- They didn't tell me anything.

''Wait here, Mr Meldrew.''
That's all you ever do in hospitals, isn't it? Wait.

Wait and wait and wait.

Or worry. Just leave you lying around
like a piece of haddock on a fish counter.

- What are you doing?
- We've got to remove your appendix.

What? Aren't you going to put me to sleep first?

I'm just here to shave you.
They do the other bits in the operating theatre.

Now just lie back and relax.



Just like being at the hairdresser's, isn't it?

Well, now you come to mention it, no!

I don't know what sort of hairdresser you go to!


We've certainly come a long way
in the last hundred years.


- Men on the moon, eh?
- Yes.

I was up there myself last week.

Yes... What?

Shocking, you know,
property prices up there now. Shocking!

I tell you what.

Three-bedroom semi-detached
I bought four years ago... 30,000 lunar dollars.


Well, you can't buy a crater
for that up there now.

It's something to do with the cost of
the special heavy bricks because of the gravity.

I don't understand it myself,
to be honest with you, but...

- Mr Meldrew?
- Yes?

Don't make any sudden moves.

And you'll be fine.

No sudden moves.

Now, then, Mr Brocklebank...

if you'd just like to put down that razor for us.

- Almost finished with him.
- Yes.

You certainly have.

And you've done a splendid job, Mr Brocklebank.

One of your best ever.

But I think it's time
you were getting along home now, don't you?

Nurse, can we get that organised for him,

Back with you in just a few minutes, Mr Meldrew.

I couldn't find the coffee machine.
They seem to have moved it.

The doctor says it's what he reckoned.
There's nothing wrong. It's just stress.

They're going to get an ambulance
to take us home in a minute.

That was a close shave, wasn't it?

Another five minutes they reckon, Victor,
and then we'll be off.

How is it now? Still gyppy?

Gyppy? I've had a gutful this week, Margaret,
a gutful!

This soup tastes like the stuff
you spray on plants to make the leaves shine.

Good evening. Hello.

Good evening to you. Will you be getting along
to vote on Thursday at all?

I hope so. And are you going to vote for me?

Jolly good. That's what I like to hear.
You're a sensible lady.

You know that the National Health Service
is safe in our hands. Nice to talk to you.

Good evening to you, sir. Gerald Linklater.

- Are you planning to vote on Thursday?
- I shall, yes.


I shall be voting
for the Monster Raving Loony Party.

I find their political platform
the most sensible of all the major parties.

That's a shame, sir,
that you should waste your vote like that

on the crackpot element in this campaign.

Yes, they should all be locked up,
put away in homes to have their heads examined.

There's plenty of room because those that
really need help are chucked out into the street!

Call this a Health Service? Do you know
how long I had to wait yesterday for an eye test?

(LAUGHS) Thank you.

And thanks to you closing all the nurseries,

I was beaten up in my own living room
this morning by two five-year-olds!

I may never play the comb and paper again!

- It's be an absolute joy...
- You ask me if I'm going to vote for you?

I'd sooner stick my head
in a pan of boiling chip fat!

Ah! It seems my taxi has arrived,
so I'll bid you good day.

To the dark side of the moon,
my good man, and quickly too.

♪ Oh, Danny Boy

♪ The pipes, the pipes are... ♪



♪ Oh, Danny Boy... ♪


Perhaps you should just have
an early night tonight.

You'll feel better in the morning.

Yes, I expect I will.

Good night, then.

Oh, if you should hear any sudden screams,
it's just me smacking on some aftershave.

♪ They say I might as well face the truth

♪ That I am just too long in the tooth

♪ I've started to deteriorate

♪ And now I've passed my own sell-by date

♪ Oh, I am no spring chicken, it's true

♪ I have to pop my teeth in to chew

♪ And my old knees have started to knock

♪ I've just got too many miles on the clock

♪ So I'm a wrinkly, crinkly, set in my ways

♪ It's true that my body has seen better days

♪ But give me half a chance
and I can still misbehave

♪ One foot in the grave

♪ One foot in the grave

♪ One foot in the grave ♪