One Foot in the Grave (1990–2001): Season 5, Episode 2 - Only a Story - full transcript

Mrs Warboys comes to stay whilst her flat dries out after being flooded and her efforts to help irritate both Meldrews - especially when she turns the heating down and their wall-paper peels off. And they have to go in search of her escaped budgie. Due to an error in the local paper Victor's name has been transposed with that of the editor,who has just run a story on the local M.P.'s supposed gay affair. A vengeful television crew turn up at Victor's house to secretly film him undressing as they assume he is the editor and needs a taste of his own medicine.

# 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 have not yet quite gone to seed

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

# Fading away but I've not yet expired

# Clapped out, run down, too old to save

# One foot in the grave #


Well, that's that over for another year

The joyous ritual of our annual pilgrimage
to see Great-Aunt Joyce

It gets more like entering a mummy's tomb
every time we go there

Is it my imagination or has it got cold in here?

Still, these will be a real godsend, won't they?

A pair of gloves with six fingers in each hand

Trying to tell me I'd grow into them

What's she gonna knit for me next time?
A balaclava with two heads?

Yes Well, if you ever get to that age

Oh! For the love of my

What is it? What's

Why did I open my bloody mouth!

Why did I even think it would be a good idea
to say it needed repapering!

I must want my head testing

Can't understand it

Put enough paste on this to sink a battleship

Slapping it here, there and everywhere,
like Charlie Drake in the Sistine Chapel

What are we gonna do with this?

Save it till we need a giant Elastoplast?

There are some of those refuse bags in the shed
You'd better bring half a dozen


Look at that

Just slept right through it

I'm telling you, if she has to spend
another night here, I may have to kill her

I mean it

Yes Well, she's had a lot of upset this last week

I mean, you wouldn't like it
if your flat was flooded

and you had nowhere else to stay



Oh, for a stick of dynamite


What's happened?

Has there been an earthquake?

No It's just Victor's paper's come down

Here, hang on a second

Oh Oh, what a shame,
after all the work he put into it this morning

Oh, is it so late already?

Those antihistamines are making me
a bit dopey I think


Anyway, you have a nice time over there?

-How was she?
-Yeah Well, same as usual

Where have the curtains gone?

Oh, yes
I took them down to the dry cleaners for you

And the ones in the front bedroom

Talk about long overdue for a wash

Did they come to take that picture back?


The enlargement we had done at the photo shop
that went horribly wrong

-They said they'd pick it up about 4:00
-Oh, yes, yes I remember now, yes

No, they didn't

Unless it was them at the front door
when I was in the bath

About 4:00 time

Oh, and I turned off the central heating

I didn't think it was helping Nicky's tummy bug

Wasn't it?

No, according to my book,
it's not very good for cockatiels

Too much hot air with no moisture

No, quite good for drying out wallpaper possibly,
but not for his little tummy

Anyway, I better be getting on up now, then

Take my face off

See you in the morning, Margaret

Night, Jean!

Now she'll be in that bloody bathroom
for an hour and a half taking her face off

With a bottle of hydrochloric acid,
we could do it in 1 0 seconds

There's a lot worse than her
You've just got to have a bit of patience

So, it seems to be doing the trick then, does it?

What's that?

This, whatever it is that person does to your feet,

that quack you've started going to
in Banbury Crescent

She's not a quack It's called reflexology
It's a recognised science

She just stimulates different parts of your foot
and it reduces all your anxiety and stress

You come away

ready to cope with life's little problems

It'll never last

VICTOR: You cocky little bastard!


You know what you can do with it as well,
don't you?

I don't care! What about my bloody marigolds?


Just thought I'd get some of the filth out
of these cupboards for you

Well, I don't suppose you get the time, do you?

I mean, you couldn't hope
to keep this place spotless

and I wouldn't expect it of you

I take it there's still no news, then,
of when you could move back into your flat?

Oh, no

Well, obviously they can't start pumping it out
until the rains have let out


Oh, yes! Any time you like, matey!

Whenever you like!


-Did you see what he'd done?

That chimney sweep working number 1 2
across the road

He'd only stuck his van in our bloody front lawn

I'll give him ''nowhere else to park''

Cocky bastard

He wasn't going to move it either
if I hadn't threatened to let his tyres down

Sweep his chimney for him
next time he tries that lark

Oh, is that this morning's local?

''Exclusive Pics from MP's gay love nest''

More rubbish they've dug up

Now then, now then, where are we

I don't suppose for one second that they printed

Oh, success

-What? Is your letter in there, then?

Oh, can you believe this? Listen to this

''On Monday night, I wrote to your paper

''complaining about supermarket trolleys
in public lavatories

''I was somewhat alarmed to find my letter signed

''Polly the Penguin of
the Oswestry Park Bird Sanctuary

''While elsewhere on the page
was a report incorrectly stating

''that I'd just laid a five-pound egg
for the first time in captivity

''Greater accuracy by your proofreaders
in future will be much appreciated''

Well, that's what you wrote, wasn't it?

Yes, that's what I wrote,
but look what's underneath

''Yours sincerely, Mildred Herring,
1 3 Bolsover House, Hemlock Street''

I mean, I don't believe
How do they make these mistakes?

Who the hell's Mildred Herring?

I think she's the editor, isn't she?

Yes, look Up here

''If you have any views about local matters
please send them to the editor,

''Victor Meldrew, 1 9 River Bank''

They've done it again Exactly the same thing

Bloody paper

I mean, how do they make these mistakes?
I don't know why I bother

Oh! Oh! What in the name of bloody hell!

-Leave it, Jean Don't touch it I'll do it
-Oh, oh, oh!

I didn't know I still had this ruddy thing

And the points are all rusty as

When did you last have a tetanus?

-Let me see


Just stand there and don't panic
I think we've got some lint upstairs

Don't panic

Just when I was beginning to relax a bit as well

VICTOR: Oh, if it's not one thing, it's another

So it's up to that bloody hospital now, I suppose

Hang around there for three hours

I mean, if you can't come down to breakfast
without getting a spike up your

What in the name of God

Oh, yes, how extremely side-splittingly funny
That's just about the level of your kind

Morning, Mr Meldrew You need a map?



Bit of a maze at the moment, isn't it?

Just up here getting a tetanus booster

So, what about

Oh, yes, fine thank you
Yes, I'm only in for an overnight, not before time

My foreskin's been on the waiting list
nearly three years now

Has it? Yes, oh

Terrible when you get stuck
in a bottleneck like that

I beg your pardon?

I wasn't sorry to see the back of it,
I don't mind saying

Actually, I'm glad I bumped into you,

only we've got a bit of a do on
at home tomorrow night

It's the annual knees-up of
the Dixon of Dock Green Appreciation Society

and things can sometimes get a bit merry
round about 9:30

So, do feel free to bang on the wall, won't you?
I'd hate to think we were causing a nuisance

Ah, yes Well, I'm sure we shouldn't do that

Anyway, better see if I can find
my way out now, I suppose

And good luck with the other

Oh, thank you very much

Can you see down the end
where they've taken all the plaster off?


Turn right there and you'll be out in the car park

Oh, yes

All right, thanks


Well, that was as clear as mud

Two and a half hours and I still haven't
the faintest idea what it was all about

You can't beat a good mystery

Yes, but, I mean, who did it then, in the end?

The short fat one with the ginger moustache

How could it have been her?

She fell out of a helicopter halfway
through going over Cheddar Gorge

Ah, but you never saw her hit the ground, did you?

That's where they were clever

VICTOR: Half the time you couldn't even work out
who they were meant to be

And another thing, if that man
who looked like David Dimbleby

was supposed to know who the killer was,

why did he arrange to meet him
under a bridge at 3:30 in the morning?

And who was that dwarf in the bowler hat

that came running through the woods
in slow motion?

Never did find out what that was all about

Ah, it's only a story

Oh, are you going for another session
with your reflexologist tomorrow?

In Banbury Crescent?

Hmm, I was planning to, yes

Only, I wondered
if you'd just pop by the flat for me

and pick up a few clothes

I've written a list out here

-There we are
-Yes, I expect so

How exactly does it work again, this treatment?

I was wondering if I ought to book myself
a few sessions

Well, there's nothing much to it really

Just lie back and close your eyes
and you go off into a kind of trance

Then she just manipulates different bits
of your feet with her little finger,

and then 20 minutes later,
you come away and it's wonderful

Feeling all relaxed and tickety

Why did those detectives
ask David Dimbleby for his sperm?

To eliminate him from their inquiries

Oh, I see

The police can use sperm now
as a way of fingerprinting people

I don't see what was wrong with the old ink pads

They used to serve the purpose

How is Nicky's tummy today?
Did you take him up to the bird hospital?

Yes They put him on to some antibiotic millet,

which is supposed to be very good

This is nice

Not that I can taste it with my allergy of course

Might be absolutely horrible

But I'm sure it's really delicious

So, whose head was that in the fridge?

That never fitted into the plot, either,
as far as I could see

That was her boyfriend, wasn't it?

So who killed him, then?


I thought he was supposed to have
committed suicide

What, and then stuck his own head in the fridge?

How on earth are you meant
to fathom these things out?

I mean, you say it's just a story
but there's got to be some point to it all

I mean, you can't just have
a lot of weird things all happening for no reason

Why not?

Well, because Otherwise nothing that happens
would make any sense



''Dear editor,

''I wonder if through your columns I might express

''my concern about several loose paving slabs

''outside the off-licence in Gosport Terrace''

Oh, yes, I agree with that one

I wish I was the editor of that thing

There's a few letters I'd print in it straightaway,
I'll tell you

''Dear Mr Meldrew, I was utterly appalled
by your front page article this week

''featuring photos of our local MP and his partner

''taken through a bedroom window

''There is no justification
for this blatant invasion of privacy''

Oh, yes, a lot of letters about that one

When you cleaned this cage out this morning


Are you sure you closed the door properly?

Why, what are you

Oh, my God!

Oh, Nicky


Where is he?

Oh, my God! I knew this would happen some day

-Oh, where are you, Nicky?
-No, no

Now, keep calm, Mrs Warboys
We don't know he fled

Mrs Warboys!

No, Mrs Warboys I'm sorry but no

I just thought I saw something
fluttering up there

I'm not climbing up another bloody tree

just to bring down
a piece of soggy white toilet paper

I mean, how did it get up there anyway?

What if he's been eaten by a cat?

Well, at least he'll be in the dry

Can you just give me the keys so we can get
back indoors? I feel like a drowned rat

Key, Mr Meldrew?

This morning, you asked if you could
borrow my key for the day so you could

I left it on the hall table for you to


-Margaret will be back soon
-Not for another hour, she won't

I'm not staying here to freeze to death

NICK: Dear, oh, dear, oh, dear, oh, dear
Sounds like a right old to-do, doesn't it?

Anyway, now you're inside, you can get dried off
and come inside and join in the fun

Everybody, this is Mr Meldrew from next door

and his friend Mrs Warboys

They've been looking for their cockatiel
and got locked out of the house,

if you can believe such a thing

What do we say to them?

Evening all

Now, would either of you like a nice,
strong drop of whisky to warm yourselves up?

Oh, yes, that wouldn't go amiss,
thank you very much

No, no, no, you have to say,
''No, thank you, sir Not while I'm on duty''

It's all just part of the silliness

Mr Christmas, would you pop through
and put the kettle on again, will you?

And now, Mr Partridge and Mr Gallimore,
if you'd both like to budge up,

so that they can sit down

There we are That's the ticket

Oh, now, I don't know
if you're into party games at all,

but we were just in the middle of
a bout of hangman,

so do feel free to join in

Now, whose go was
It was yours, Mr Gallimore, I think


No, no, I don't think he's going to make it, is he?

Mr Meldrew, you care to have a stab at it at all?

NICK: See you very soon

Where have you been until this hour?

God, 9:20

I'm ready for a bath

Is that this evening's local?

Don't expect they've printed
that second correction yet

I went for a drink with Meg after work

-I did ring but, of course, there was no answer
-JEAN: Oh, you're back!

Can you believe it?

All the time we've been out searching for

Oh, you little terror

We've been climbing up trees and everything

Come along, let's get you upstairs

My God!

I feel as though I've been up the Amazon
and back today, I do straight

Oh, yes

The old tension coming on again, is it?

I expect you need another session
with your reflexologist in Banbury Crescent

Quite soothing, is it,
the treatment you get up there?

Yes Why?

As you're lying on a bed with your eyes closed,

drifting into a trance

Quite soothing as she runs her little finger
over your feet

I told you, yes Why?

And you're quite sure, are you,

that it's her little finger she's using?

-Yes, of course What do you mean?

Just something I read in here

In this article

on the growing problem of suburban prostitution

I wonder if this strikes a chord at all

''An interview with bored housewife Vicky, 32,

''who entertains a wide variety of clients

''behind the lace curtains of her bungalow
in Banbury Crescent

'''I get all kinds coming round, young and old

'''They all look normal but you'd be surprised
at the things they ask you to do

'''One bloke likes me walking across
his back in high-heeled shoes

'''Another, elderly gent,

'''pays me just to stroke the soles
of his feet with my breasts

'''I suppose it takes all sorts'''


Just remind me, will you,

how this all started in the first place?


Well, it was, uh, Big Jeff at the chip shop

He said he went to this woman
who had a magic touch with feet

And he got rid of all his stress and tension
and did I want her telephone number?

So you went round and asked
if she would do the same for you

as she did for him?

Well, yes, I mean, I just

I don't know what to say

''Come away all relaxed and tickety''

Five times you've

But, I mean, where did I get the idea
that she was a reflexologist?

Where do you get any of your ideas, Victor?

You tell me, because I just


Nobody would believe it, would they?

That someone could lie there
with a nipple between their toes

and not even realise

And you talk about things making sense!

Well, I mean, I don't understand

I mean, she just


My punctures are giving me gyp again

I suppose I'd better go
and put some ointment on them

Look, Margaret, I'm

Ah, well, that's a happy ending, isn't it?

After all

I wonder where he'd got to all that while

I suppose it'll just have to remain
a mystery like a lot of

-Oh, excuse me
-Not getting any better, then?

-Your hay fever

Oh, no I'm fine with pollen

That's not the problem at all

It's the feathers that set me off


Yes, I've always been cursed with that
since I was a girl

Then why on earth have you got a bird
as a pet if you're allergic to feathers?

Never really thought about it like that

The pleasure it gives me and the companionship

are the important things

Well, I mean,
you put up with all the misery, don't you?

If it's something you love

-You ready for a cup of tea?
-Oh, yes, Jean

I could just do with that



What is it? I'll be down in just a second
as soon as I've done this

MAN: In five Two

Tonight, as the furore mounts over
a local newspaper's

unwarranted intrusion into the privacy of its MP,

we give the paper's editor, Victor Meldrew,
a taste of his own medicine

We ask the question, ''You can dish it out
to others, but can you take it yourself?''

# 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 #

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