Silly Noises / Sherry-Drinking Vicar

(Black screen and a collection of really silly noises. Then fade up on a country church. Cut to interior, a vestry. A sign reads 'No Papists'. The door opens and the vicar enters as if from the end of a service. He takes off his cassock and is hanging it up. At one side of the set is a sculpture on a plinth. It is the vicar's head, but with an enormously long nose. Mr Kirkham has followed the vicar in. He is an earnest, quiet, self-effacing soul, with a tortured conscience.)

Vicar (Michael Palin): Come in.

Kirkham (Graham Chapman): I wondered if I could have a word with you for a moment.

Vicar: By all means, by all means, sir. Do sit down. (they look round for a chair) Ah, sit on the desk here.

Kirkham: Thank you.

Vicar: Now then, a glass of sherry?

Kirkham: No... no thank you.

Vicar: (getting a bottle from the cupboard) Are you sure? I'm going to have some.

Kirkham: Well, if you're having some, yes then, perhaps, vicar.

Vicar: (slightly taken aback) Oh... well there's only just enough for me.

Kirkham: Well in that case I won't, don't worry.

Vicar: You see, if I split what's left, there'd be hardly any left for me at all.

Kirkham: Well, I'm not a great sherry drinker.

Vicar: Good! So, I can have it all. Now then what's the problem?

Kirkham: Well, just recently I've begun to worry about...

(The vicar has been looking through his desk. He produces a bottle of sherry in triumph.)

Vicar: Ah! I've found another bottle! You can have some now if you want to.

Kirkham: Well... yes, perhaps a little.

Vicar: Oh you don't have to. I can drink the whole bottle.

Kirkham: Well in that case, no.

Vicar: Good! That's another bottle for me. Do go on.

(The vicar opens the bottle and pours himself a glass. As soon as he has drunk it he replenishes it again.)

Kirkham: I've begun to worry recently that...

(There is a knock on the door.)

Vicar: Come in!

(A smooth man, Mr Husband, enters carrying a smart little briefcase.)

Vicar: Ah, Mr Husband, this is Mr Kirkham, one of my parishioners, this is Mr Husband of the British Sherry Corporation.

Kirkham: Look, look, perhaps I'd better come back later...

Vicar: No, no, no do stay here. Have a sherry, you won't be long will you, Husband?

Husband (Eric Idle): Oh no, vicar, it's just a question of signing a few forms.

(The vicar pours Husband a sherry)

Vicar: There we are... there we are, Mr Husband. Now, how about you, Mr Kirkham?

Kirkham: Well only if there's enough.

Vicar: Oh well, there's not much now.

Kirkham: Oh, in that case, no... I won't bother.

Vicar: (pouring himself one) Good. Right. Now, then, what is the problem, Husband?

Husband: Well, Vicar, I've made enquiries with our shippers and the most sherry they can ship in any one load is 12,000 gallons.

Vicar: And how many glasses is that?

Husband: That's roughly 540,000 glasses, Vicar.

Vicar: That's excellent, Husband, excellent.

Husband: Yes, it means you can still keep your main sherry supply on the roof, but you can have an emergency supply underneath the vestry of 5,000 gallons.

Vicar: Yes, and I could have dry sherry on the roof and Amontillado in the underground tank!

Husband: Absolutely.

(The vicar signs a form that Husband hands to him.)

Vicar: Excellent work, Husband, excellent work.

Husband: Not at all, Vicar, you're one of our best customers, you and the United States. Well goodbye. (he leaves)

Vicar: Terrific. Now then, Mr Kirkham (pouring himself anothter sherry) I am so sorry, do go on.

Kirkham: Well, it's just that recently I've begun to worry about...

Vicar: Well, look...

Kirkham: I sometimes ask myself- does the Bible intend...

(A group of Spanish singers in full national costumes with guitars bursts into the Vestry, noisily singing a song praising Amontillado. A man in an extravagant Spanish costume rushes in. His hat has a sign on it saying: 'Sherry, the drink of champions'. Two girls come in bearing maracas and Carmen Miranda style hats. Mr Kirkham looks fed up. The Spaniards finish their song, noisily.)

Singer: What did you want?

Vicar: Dirty books please.

Singer: Right. (pulls out a stack of pornographic magazines.)

Continue to the next sketch... 'Boxing Tonight' - Jack Bodel vs. Sir Kenneth Clark