One Foot in the Grave (1990–2001): Season 3, Episode 2 - Dreamland - full transcript

Margaret's friend Mrs. Warboys relates a story, to some women she meets in a cafe, about the Meldrews. After losing to Nick at Scrabble and discovering that the black shoes he wants to buy are still on the feet of their last - dead - owner,Victor is even grumpier than ever,the more so when Margaret disappears without trace. It turns out she just wanted a break and,after she has returned, Victor helps Nick at a garden fete where he is pursued by an amorous chimpanzee.

♪ They say l might as well face the truth

♪ That l am just too long in the tooth

♪ So l'm an OAP and weak-kneed

♪ But l have not yet quite gone to seed

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

♪ Fading away but l'm not yet expired

♪ Clapped out, run down, too old to save

♪ One foot in the grave ♪

As l say, Mrs Meldrew swore me

to complete secrecy
over the entire episode.

l mean, there are some things
too personal and too upsetting



to be just blathered all round
the houses as idle gossip.

Well...as far as anyone could tell,

the roots of it all started
one morning last June.

A few of us were round
having a bit of a chinwag over coffee

and somehow or other,

the subject had drifted
onto weird dreams and nightmares.

Exactly. And then...it must be
for this last month now...

l keep waking up in the middle
of the night in a cold sweat

and it's always the same thing
l've been dreaming.

l'm locked in a prison cell
waiting to be hanged

for battering to death
a balding old man with white hair.

Go on.

And then, at the last minute,
they grant me a special reprieve

on the grounds of justifiable homicide.



But the strange thing is
l don't want to leave the prison.

l want to stay where l am.
l killed him.

l keep hanging on to the cell door,
just clinging to the bars,

kicking and screaming and yelling
that l want to stay where l am.

What does it mean?

- (Door bangs)
- Shh. That must be him.

He only had to go to Sainsbury's
and pick up his shoes from the menders.

Let's see what he has to moan about.

(Victor) Unbelievable.

Absolute... Oh. Good morning, ladies.
Can you believe that?

They've lost the left shoe.

Lost it! And do you know
what he had the nerve to...

He said he'd only charge me half price.

He said he couldn't say
any fairer than that. Can you bel...

They haven't heard the last of that
and l hope they don't think they have.

(Laughter)

Sorry?

More coffee?

You didn't get that hideous
Noel Edmonds sweater after all?

They're out of my size.
l'm picking one up Thursday.

You're seriously going
to buy one, are you?

l am, yes.

- What's this for?
- What's it for? Picking my nose with.

What do you think it's for? l'm going
to nail up that fence panel this morning.

Stop him next door waltzing
into our garden every five minutes.

Oh, yes, by the way, l forgot to tell you.
He's getting some pigeons.

Pigeons! Oh, you must be joking.

That's all we need.

Precision bombing raids
all over the bloody roof.

- When did he tell you this?
- This morning.

He's invited us round there later.

l think he's rather keen to show them off.

This isn't the kind of mustard l buy.

Oh!

How many times do l have to tell you
to pack freshly baked bread on the top?

l'll have to take
a bicycle pump to that now.

- Did you get my tights?
- They're in there somewhere.

These are stockings. And they're blue.

Don't you look at anything
before you buy it?

l'm sure it said tights.

Thick blue stockings...
That's how you see me, is it?

But they might come in handy.

What for?
lnsulating a pair of electric eels?

You can take those
straight back and change them.

l'm not going back to face
all those giggly girlies on the till.

- l'll look a complete idiot.
- You are a complete idiot.

Galloping up and down
the aisles like Ben-Hur,

slinging any old thing into the trolley.

You haven't got the brains
you were born with sometimes.

Oh, right.

Thank you very much.

Thank you, Margaret.

Now, for once, it's Margaret who's
starting to get on Victor's nerves,

all over nothing at all,
the way it so often is.

And as fate would have it,

things were due to get steadily worse
as the day wore on.

- Morning, Mr Meldrew. Hard at it?
- How did you...

l moved it further down to save
trampling your pansies.

How extremely considerate of you.

l popped by to give you this. Saturday
at three, our annual summer fete.

Now, we've got all the old favourites.
Mrs Giddy's home-made Spam

and Mr Dobkin's stall
of neo-fascist insignia.

lt's all in a good cause.

Unfortunately, l think l've got
something on this Saturday.

As you'll see, we've got a famous
television celebrity opening it for us.

l've forgotten her name.
She's in that coffee commercial.

The two neighbours,
will they or won't they?

We persuaded her
to sell kisses at 50p a time.

So, er...that should be a bit of fun.
She's quite a glamorous lady, l believe.

Yes, l believe...

l'd better dash. l've got my pigeons
being delivered today.

l hope you'll pop round later.
l'm sure you'll want to give your opinion.

Yes, l'm sure l will.

Okey-dokey, so that's Mr Swainey, 259,
Mrs Meldrew, 236,

and Mr Meldrew, 12.

Would he like another game?

l imagine it's probably past
his bedtime by now, actually.

l must say,
that was very bad luck he had.

l don't think l've ever seen
anyone pick up seven E's before.

lt must be a record.

Oh, incidentally, Mr Meldrew,
l meant to warn you,

don't use the white hand towel in there.

l've got a contagious skin disease

that erupts all down
the backs of the arms and legs.

lt's not a lot of fun, unfortunately.

Now, anyone fancy
a game of charades at all?

Oh, well, to be honest, l think it's time we
were getting back. Thanks all the same...

- (Banging, bell rings, horn)
- Shush. Just a minute if you would.

l think Mother's woken up, by
the sound of it. She wants something.

(Banging, bell rings, horn and whistle)

That was two clumps
with her walking stick,

two rings on the bell, two hoots
on the horn and one whistle.

Right, where's the code book?

Clump-clump, ding-ding,
honk-honk, peep.

Er...

Clump-clump, ding-ding,
honk-honk, peep.

''Help. l'm being attacked by two
masked gunmen with blunt objects.''

l don't think that's it.
She probably means

clump-clump, ding-ding,
peep-peep, honk.

''Please bring me up a digestive biscuit.''
l'll be back in two shakes of a lamb's tail.

Well, now might be as good a moment
as any for us to wend our way, actually.

Are you sure? Oh, well, it's been a treat
having you. We must do it again soon.

Yes, we will. You come to us. lt'll be fun.

Thanks, yes. That would be nice.

Are you sure you don't want
to take a pigeon back with you?

They're nice cold.

Er...thanks. l think l've eaten enough
for one night. So, good night, then.

Oh, good night, then,
and bye, Mrs Meldrew.

Bye, and thanks for everything.

(Horn, whistle, bell and crashing)

Right you are but don't aggravate it.
lt probably just needs a poultice.

l'll go and put a flannel
in the sandwich toaster.

The Boston Strangler.

Yes. That was an easy one, l'm afraid.

Do you mind if l pop
a drop more ice in here?

- Help yourself.
- (Coughs)

Thank you very much for that.

Why don't you just mime
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

and put us all out of our misery?

When you said he could come
round here next time,

l didn't expect it to be 15 minutes later.

- Two bloody hours he's been here...
- Here we are.

Now, you will tell me
if l'm keeping either of you up?

Yes, that was a good film,
The Boston Strangler.

- Did you ever see it? Tony Curtis.
- l think we saw it in London.

That's the one where he was
sexually molested by a monkey.

Was he? l don't remember that.

Not Tony Curtis. Victor.

As we were standing
in the queue outside.

You know those buskers with a monkey
that holds out the cap for the money?

Well, it leapt on Victor
like a thing possessed.

lt took three buckets of water
before they could drag it off.

Do you remember?

l'm hardly likely to forget it, am l?

And l think we can spare Mr Swainey
all the lurid details if you don't mind.

Put him anywhere near a monkey
and they go wild with excitement.

Chimpanzees, orang-utans, the lot.

We never have fathomed out
why they find him so erotic.

l did think of writing to Desmond Morris.

- Right. Now l know, don't l?
- Know what?

Why all those biddies were laughing
this morning when l peeled that banana.

lt's so nice to know that
every embarrassing detail of my life

has been broadcast to the world
by those closest to me.

Victor Meldrew, the complete idiot.

He's always good for a laugh,
just ask his wife.

(Sniggers)

(Door slams)

Where have you been,
up since the crack of dawn?

l thought l'd beat the rush at
the supermarket. One pair of tights.

Where's the, er...street map?

lt should be there, in that drawer.

l've just spoken to Mum.
She said she's read somewhere

the world's coming to an end
Saturday morning

and do we want to buy
her electric kettle?

l think l'd better go up there
Saturday afternoon, have a quiet word,

if you don't mind being left on your own.

You could always go
to Mr Swainey's fete.

What fete's that?

He said they're going to have that
coffee commercial girl there this year.

That glamorous blonde with the pouting
lips you're always moaning about.

(Tuts) Really? Her.

Well, l suppose l'd better go along,
or l'll never hear the last of it.

What are you looking up?

l saw a card on the wall in Sainsbury's
advertising a pair of black shoes.

See what they're like at any rate.
Magwych Crescent, right.

And then l'm going up to town
to buy that Noel Edmonds sweater.

l see.

Just to be obstinate,
you're going to pollute the environment

with that eyesore, are you?

Off a knitting pattern from hell.

lt's a wonder the girls who handle them
aren't given safety goggles.

You wear what you want, Margaret.
l'll wear what l want.

- Yes.
- Oh, hello.

l believe you've got a pair
of black shoes for sale.

Oh, yes. Please come in, won't you?

Thank you.

That was very quick. l only phoned
the details through an hour ago.

Well, l just lost a perfectly good pair
myself at the shoe menders.

And you say they're almost new?

Oh, brand-new.
They're just about a week old.

You see, l'm afraid
my husband's just died

and well, l shan't have
any use for them, obviously.

Oh, dear. l'm sorry to hear that.

- Come through and try them on.
- Thanks very much.

Yes, it's all been a bit
sudden and upsetting, of course,

but you have to pluck up
the courage, don't you?

Go on with life.

That's what he was always
drumming into me

and...l'm sure that's
what he'd have wanted.

Er...eight and a half,
that was your size, wasn't it?

Mmm?

Yes. Yes.

(Doorbell)

(Mrs Warboys)
Evening, Mr Meldrew. l can't stay long.

(Victor) Right you are. Bye.

(Doorbell)

(Mrs Warboys) Erm...Margaret did say
she wanted to borrow this recipe book.

(Victor) You'd better wait for her.
She's not back from work yet.

Oh, really. Why's that?

l haven't the faintest idea. Ask her.

She's probably recording
a Newsnight interview with Peter Snow

about how much l snore in bed.

Unusual for her to be this late.

Perhaps l'll give the shop a ring,
see if she's still there.

Perhaps she's planning to sell me off to
a circus. That's all l'm fit for these days.

Marriage...l can see why
people don't bother with it any more.

''Yes, l agree to take this man for richer,
for poorer, in sickness and in health,

''till death do us part, when l can
get a good price for his shoes.''

l can throw myself under a steamroller,
she can use me as a hearth rug.

- Mr Meldrew...
- Do you want a cup of tea?

Mr Meldrew, l just spoke
to the manageress at the florists.

She was still there,
doing some paperwork.

She said Margaret never turned up
for work there this morning.

Nobody's seen
or heard anything of her all day.

Naturally, it was a terrible shock.

We couldn't imagine what had happened.

She'd left the house at 8:30 as usual.

Where could she have got to?

Well, for the next couple of hours,
we were hardly off the phone.

ringing everyone we could think of.

Her mother, friends,
relatives, neighbours.

Nobody had seen
or heard from her or anything.

By midnight, she still hadn't come home

and naturally, by then,
we had to call in the police.

l volunteered to stay over
in case there was anything l could do.

But, of course, there wasn't.

Neither of us got
a wink of sleep all night long.

The morning came round,
there was still no sign of her.

And then, it must have been about half
past five in the afternoon, l suppose,

we got a phone call that just about

scared the living daylights
out of both of us.

Hello?

lt's the police.

They've found Margaret's raincoat
down by the canal.

(Police radio)

We fished it out and, er...

we found an old receipt in the pocket.

We matched it against
her Access number.

l'm sorry to have called you
out here like this, Mr Meldrew.

Yes, it's...her coat.

There's nothing
we can do here, Mr Meldrew.

Why don't you come
to my place for a bit?

Try and get some rest.

No, thank you, Mrs Warboys.
l think, erm...

l'd rather be on my own
for a bit, if you don't mind.

(Police radio)

Shut the door properly,
or it'll just flap in the draught.

Sorry.

l...

Wh...

Where the bloody hell have you been to?

Why? Were you worried about me?

Worried? Where have you been?

- Margate.
- Where?

- You know, on the north coast of Kent.
- l know where sodding Margate is.

What the hell were you doing there? l...

l-l've had police dragging rivers

and combing the countryside
with sniffer dogs for you.

l mean... l... What in God's name
did you think you were playing at?

- Come to bed.
- What?

Come to bed.

l... You mean...

What... What happened?
Are you all right or what?

Of course l'm all right.

l just needed to escape for a bit.

You know, how you do sometimes.

lt was a complete
spur of the moment thing.

l was walking past that office yesterday
morning, the one that does coach tours,

and l saw a sign, ''Two days in Margate.''

So l just got on it and went.

l did think of ringing you
when l got there

but that would have
defeated the whole object.

Defeated what object?

We went there for our third anniversary.

Do you remember?

And you took me to
that huge funfair place. Dreamland.

We were a couple of excited children.

We got stuck in
the hall of mirrors for over an hour.

The man had to come in and get us.

And you said you didn't mind.

You said you were happy to stay there
and look at all the reflections of me.

Did l?

Funny how the sea can stir up memories.

Cos that's where l remembered it,

sitting there
on the front yesterday afternoon.

Suddenly it all came back to me.

And suddenly l understood it.

You know, that nightmare.

What all came back to you?

When l was five years old,
we had two budgies

that l always felt sorry for,
locked up all the while in the same cage.

And one day, l tried to let them out
for a fly round the room.

But one of them wouldn't come.

And l got hold of its wing and tried to tug
it but it just kept clinging on to the bars

and squawking and just refused
to come out of the cage.

The other one flew
straight out like a rocket,

straight across the room,
crashed into the window and killed itself.

The next day at school,

we were asked to write a story about
something that had happened to us

and...l wrote my story about the budgies.

And the teacher, Mr Philips,

made me read it out loud
in front of the whole class.

And everyone laughed.

And l knew he'd done it deliberately.

Just to be cruel to me...

because, basically, he was a bastard.

And he was bald with white hair.

And l remember thinking,
even at that age,

how much l wanted
to batter him to death.

And the next day,
when Mum tried to take me to school,

l refused to go.

She kept smacking me
and trying to drag me out

and l kept hanging on to the front door,
screaming and kicking,

because now l knew how horrible
everything was out there.

And l knew why the other budgie
hadn't wanted to leave the cage...

because l suppose he knew
he was better off where he was.

But...they found
your green raincoat by the canal.

Did they?

What do you mean, ''Did they?''
How did it get there?

l haven't worn that coat for two years
and last week l gave it to a jumble sale.

You never did notice
anything l was wearing.

Well...night-night.

Night.

Tomorrow afternoon, at the fete, when
you go up to that girl for your kiss...

have a couple on me.

OK, ladies and gentlemen,
the big moment now.

The lovely actress and star of
all those famous coffee commercials

couldn't make it after all today
due to a mix-up over her booking dates.

But at very short notice, we're thrilled
to welcome another young lady,

just as famous, l think,
from a tea commercial.

So l'm sure you'll all give her
a very warm welcome as l introduce...

Sorry. Erm...

She was here a minute ago.

Where's she wandered off to?

(Monkey chattering)

Oh, erm...

(Monkey screeches)

Oh, dear.

And l gather it took three buckets
of water before they could get her off.

l'd better dash.

As l say, l'd rather all this
didn't go any further, if you would,

because a lot of it was told to me
in the strictest confidence, so....

All the best to you both, then.

- Bye.
- Bye.

Bye.

- Nice woman.
- Yes.

l wonder who she was.

♪ They say l might as well face the truth

♪ That l am just too long in the tooth

♪ l've started to deteriorate

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

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

♪ l have to pop my teeth in to chew

♪ And my old knees
have started to knock

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

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

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

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

♪ One foot in the grave

♪ One foot in the grave

♪ One foot in the grave ♪

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