Are You Being Served? (1972) Episode Scripts

N/A - Cold Comfort

1 are you being served? cold comfort - good morning, ladies.
- morning.
- how are we this morning? - my chamois’ gone stiff.
it’s so cold, i have to keep breaking the ice in my bucket.
- what’s happened to the heating? - it’s been turned off.
haven’t you heard? there’s a fuel crisis.
typical.
they would choose the coldest morning of the year.
oh, it’s a little brisk this morning, ladies.
what’s happened to the heating in here? it’s been turned off, by order.
whose silly idea was that? it was mine.
but surely, sir, this is one of the days that we’re allowed heating? grace brothers’ fuel stocks are practically nil.
it was a boardroom level discussion, and it was agreed to make this further sacrifice in the interests of eking them out.
i shall be making a general announcement as soon as the rest of the staff are here.
- hello, cheeky.
- saucebox.
oh– it’s the masked stranger.
take my body, but leave my jewels alone.
- good morning, mr.
humphries.
- i withdraw the offer.
very useful for keeping out the cold.
whatever has happened to the central heating in here? my ballpoint will never function in this weather.
oh, oh! it’s like an igloo in here.
i think it’s warmer outside.
- morning, mrs.
slocombe, miss brahms.
- good morning, captain peacock.
one minute late.
you’re lucky to have me at all, captain peacock.
i had to thaw my pussy out before i came.
it’d been out all night.
good morning, mr.
grainger.
good morning, mr.
grainger.
ooh, he’s the rudest man i ever clapped eyes on.
- morning, mr.
grainger.
- oh, good morning, mr.
humphries.
i’m so sorry i’m late, captain peacock, but my pipes were absolutely frozen solid.
never mind, mr.
grainger.
a nice hot cup of tea will soon get them working again.
mr.
lucas not here, i see.
he’s just coming.
oh, look, it’s sonja henie.
i’m sorry i’m late, captain peacock.
don’t tell me you skated here, mr.
lucas? no, i went skating last night with a girlfriend, and she’s got thin blood.
what has that to do with your being late? i had to stay the night with her to keep her circulation going.
it’s a bittatersin here this morning, isn’t it? you needn’t concern yourself with the heat, mr.
lucas.
mr.
rumbold is going to make an announcement in a few moments.
we’ve got nothing to worry about then, have we? the sheer excitement of an announcement by mr.
rumbold is sending blood pounding through my temples already.
that’s not excitement, that’s a hangover.
- is everyone here? - finally, yes.
gather round.
mr.
rumbold wishes to address you.
departmental staff only, not cleaners.
oh.
buckets.
mr.
grainger, will you join us? oh, yes, it is very parky, isn’t it? yes, i had to put my long underpants on this morning.
allow me.
he’s ready to receive.
would you mind joining us, mr.
grainger? i’m sorry, but i have to keep this wool in my ears.
otherwise, the wax goes hard.
we must keep the wax flowing, mustn’t we? perhaps you could just keep it out while i make my announcement? as you know, the natural fuel resources of the world are in jeopardy.
that’s about 10 miles north of mecca.
i used to go dancing there, you know.
listen to this.
listen, now.
“it took 70 million years for nature to build these resources of coal and oil.
in the space of 70 short years, man has ravished them.
” it’s typical of men.
the fact is, we cannot get enough.
- true.
- true.
“stocks of world oil have never been at such a low ebb, the situation never more desperate.
” we should never have pulled out of suez.
uh, quite.
- now, where was i? - “desperate.
” ah, oh, yes.
“world oil has never been at such a low ebb.
” and neither has grace brothers’ coke source.
we shall all have to do what we can to combat this critical crisis.
does that mean we’ve got to go down the mines? - mr.
humphries.
- present.
it has been decided at boardroom level that the central heating of grace brothers will be turned off one additional day per week, starting with today.
couldn’t we wait until the summer? i know that you’re all behind me to help pull this country through.
these are dark days, but i feel sure the end of the tunnel cannot be far away.
before long, i’m certain we shall burst forth into the light again.
oh, when i hear words like that, it makes me proud to be british.
thank you, mrs.
slocombe.
but can’t we just have a little electric fire behind the counter? no, certainly not.
electric heaters are absolutely forbidden.
- can we keep our coats on, then? - no, no, no, really.
you must remember, after all, it’s the same for all of us? so, carry on, and good luck.
i wish i’d put on thicker knickers this morning.
you young girls today don’t wear enough clothes.
and how would you know? i keep warm with this.
see? the commandos used to wear them during the war.
- you’d do well to do the same.
- what, string knickers? i think it’s ridiculous, expecting us to fit a customer with a bra in this weather.
now, remember, as mr.
rumbold says, it is the same for all of us.
yellow and green.
this must be earth.
switches off.
here we go.
coffee, mr.
rumbold.
having trouble with your electric fire, are you? fire? what fire? that fire.
oh yes, that fire.
i’ve just taken the plug off to make sure that no one can use it by accident.
never mind, mr.
rumbold.
i won’t mention the special privileges of the managerial classes while the poor old workers are out there freezing their… knees off.
now, then… how would you like to invest in a bottle of scotch, eh? - fell off the back of a lorry.
- certainly not.
oh, all right, then.
i’ll just have to tell them out there that… you don’t need it ‘cause you’ve got your fire to keep you warm.
mr.
mash.
- yes? - how much? i think you’ll find these imitation rabbitskin gloves to your liking, sir.
we’ve had quite a run on them.
imitation rabbit? yes, they’re just like the real thing, aren’t they? we daren’t put two pairs in the same drawer together, sir.
thank you, mr.
lucas.
- i suppose i’d better take them then.
- certainly, sir.
captain peacock, are you free? at the moment, yes.
- could i have a word with you? - yes, certainly.
well… it’s rather personal.
miss brahms has just been and it’s frozen over.
i beg your pardon? the ladies’ it’s solid.
i see.
but what exactly do you expect me to do about it? i– i thought i’d ask you– if we could use the gents’.
- it’s rather urgent.
- yes, well, i’ll– i’ll have a word with mr.
grainger.
you must go through the right channels, you know.
well, don’t be too long.
are you free, mr.
grainger? yes, i’m free.
a slightly delicate situation has arisen.
it appears… he’s asking grainger.
oh, fancy telling grainger i wanted to go.
yes, i understand, captain peacock.
of course, i shall have to consult my colleagues.
mr.
humphries, mr.
lucas, are you free? - we’re free.
- we’re free.
oh, we’ll be sending for dr.
kissinger in a minute.
it’s degrading.
he’s telling them all now.
why can’t she use the one in the bargain basement? yes, or the public one on the sports floor? no, no.
you know those are out of bounds to staff.
i think, captain peacock, in view of the apparent urgency of the emergency, that we could allow the ladies to have access to our facilities.
- agreed? - i agree, mr.
grainger.
- mr.
lucas? - yes, and may i say, what a triumph for democracy.
then i will convey your unanimous decision to the party concerned.
- well? - they’ve agreed.
there you are, miss brahms.
i don’t want to go now.
mr.
humphries, what are you doing? i’m warming my hands in the cashmere.
it was so cold last night, i had to iron the sheets before i got into bed.
i’ll tell you, these power cuts make me wish i was married.
here, lads.
what about a cup of under-the-counter cocoa? - oh, yeah - don’t let peacock see.
if he complains, he won’t get one.
he’s one of us.
- 10 pence each.
- he’s not one of us.
you want to get a fire like old rumbold.
he ain’t one of you either.
fire? rumbold’s got a fire? that does it.
- what are you going to do? - cover for me.
you’re wanted in the fitting room, mr.
lucas.
i’m just going to the fitting room, mr.
humphries.
mr.
mash.
what are you doing? little comfort for the troops, sir.
you’re not allowed on this floor after 9:30.
nice hot cup of cocoa, captain? leave the floor.
i’ll leave one round the back for you.
i didn’t hear that.
i said i’d leave one round the back for you! may i congratulate you ladies on the way you’re bearing up under these arctic conditions? thank you, captain peacock.
i hope you’re not too cold, miss brahms.
no, i borrowed a pair of earmuffs.
i trust you’re not i trust you’re not contemplating wearing them in the department? i already am.
mrs.
slocombe, do you allow that? i really don’t see how i can complain, considering i’m wearing these.
what on earth are those? a pair of mr.
grainger’s longjohns.
mr.
grainger’s? they’re from mr.
grainger’s department.
apparently, they shrank in the wash and were returned as a complaint.
i’m not surprised.
i’m afraid i shall have to ask you to remove them.
captain peacock… wild horses wouldn’t drag them off me.
a pretty picture indeed… but staff regulations require that you wear stockings or tights.
but it doesn’t say i can’t wear anything over them.
anyway, nobody can see me when i’m behind the counter.
i’m afraid i must insist.
i see.
then i shall have to go over your head.
you won’t find it easy in those.
- mrs.
slocombe.
- yes, mr.
humphries? it’s engaged at the moment.
mr.
grainger’s adjusting his thermal pad.
i wasn’t going there.
sorry i spoke.
just a moment! enter.
mr.
rumbold, i’m so sorry to disturb you, but captain peacock asked me to remove these, so i said i’d ask you.
you appear to have got them halfway down already.
where exactly are they stuck? no, no.
they’re not stuck.
i just want to know how you feel about them.
to be perfectly frank, they don’t do anything for me.
they’re not supposed to do anything for you.
they’re supposed to be keepingmewarm.
- i see.
and are they? - yes.
then what’s the problem? do you mind if i don’t take them off? - i would prefer it.
- thank you.
always glad to be of assistance.
i wonder what the problem was? hold the fort, will you? i just want to get a plug for this electric blanket.
have a nice coffee break, mr.
grainger? yes, but it’s just as cold in the canteen, you know.
i don’t think my thermal pad is working at all.
here, let me warm it up for you.
where did you get? it makes a lovely handwarmer.
- where did you get it? - mr.
lucas did a foray to the electrical department.
he’s done us proud.
- may i? - yes.
don’t be silly.
it’s only me.
now, then, you’d better take my hot-water bottle just for the time being.
it’ll take the chill off your kidneys.
thank you.
you shall go to the ball.
are you free, mr.
humphries? free, captain peacock.
good, we mustn’t keep a customer waiting.
- the iron.
- it’s all right, i’ve fixed the electric blanket now.
- no, but, you don’t seem– - mr.
humphries.
i think you’re very wise, madam, to buy two pairs of the wooly ones.
it can get very chilly up the cairngorms.
it can indeed.
thank you so much for your help.
you’ve had a long coffee break, haven’t you? i didn’t have a coffee break.
i was too busy queuing up in wines and spirits for your order.
keep your voice down.
they didn’t have any half bottles.
i had to get a whole one.
it’s on your account.
a whole bottle? how can i take a discreet nip out of a whole bottle of brandy? i meant a miniature.
can you put a drop of it in something? yes, pass me one of those dummy perfume bottles.
no, no.
that one at the top with the spray on.
now put it there.
mrs.
slocombe, it’s free if you want to go.
that’s lovely.
are you being served, sir? i’d like to look at some trousers , please.
one moment, sir.
mr.
humphries, here’s mr.
lucas? excuse me, sir.
he’s round the bend, captain peacock.
the circulation’s coming back again.
mr.
lucas, wake up.
you have a customer.
have i? where? over here.
hurry.
ah, yes.
can’t he come over here? he wants a pair of trousers, not shirts and ties.
right.
yes.
hang on.
where’s my shoes? what’d i do with my shoes? - come on, come on.
- i’m just coming, captain peacock.
he won’t be a moment, sir.
it’s a very busy day, you know.
lucas, your customer.
ah, there you are.
yes.
can i help you, sir?! yes, please.
i’d– ahem– i’d like a pair of trousers! bring your tape over here, lucas.
my tape.
yes.
yes.
i suppose the gentleman couldn’t come stick his leg up on the counter and i could do it from here? no, i suppose i couldn’t.
don’t worry, sir.
he’ll be with you any minute.
- lucas! - i just dropped my tape measure, sir.
i’ll just take your inside leg, sir.
mr.
lucas, what have you got on your feet? - on my feet, captain peacock? - yes, mr.
lucas.
ah, yes, well, it’s a new line, you see, sir.
continental novelty footwarmers.
they look like gloves.
quite right.
yes.
they’re dual-purpose, you see.
they were designed especially because of the crisis in the middle east.
i don’t quite see what gloves have got to do with the middle east.
yes.
well, it’s– it’s– it’s– it’s quite– it’s quite simple, really.
you see, because of the oil shortage, we’re using more coal to make electricity, and we need the electricity to boil our electric kettles to make the hot water for our hot-water bottles to keep our feet warm.
if you wear these novelty footwarmers, you don’t need a hot-water bottle to keep your feet warm, thereby saving electricity and saving the fuel that our country… so desperately needs.
well, if it’s going to help the economy, i’ll take a pair.
in factmake it two pairs.
well done, mr.
lucas.
oh, it was nothing, captain peacock.
try this one, madam.
it has a feeling of spring about it.
it has, rather.
i'll try it.
by jove, i needed that.
excuse me.
you don’t think this hides too much of my face, do you? - definitely not.
- i’m not too sure.
- perhaps you could show me some others? - certainly, madam.
this way.
oh, most exotic.
that’s better.
there we are, sir, one pair of trousers and two pairs of warmers.
if your wife’s don’t fit, we can always give you another size– warmers, that is, not wife.
oh, yes.
thank you very much.
idiot.
we’ve sold right out of wooly comforters.
what did you do with the iron? i haven’t used the iron.
i’ve been using my electric blanket.
- oh, no.
mr.
grainger’s thermal pad.
- what about it? - it’s under the iron.
- where’s the iron? - under the hat.
- where’s the hat? on the counter.
are you free, mr.
grainger? yes, i’m free, captain peacock.
how long have we been displaying electrical equipment in the cardinal wolsey cabinet? are you free, mr.
humphries? i’m afraid i am, mr.
grainger.
mr.
lucas is free, too.
thank you.
mr.
lucas, i’m sure that you, of all people, can tell us how an iron came to be in the sock cabinet.
an iron? well, it’s a new sales gimmick, captain peacock.
yes, keep your toes as warm as toast.
and what is that? my thermal pad.
glass of water for mr.
grainger.
mr.
rumbold, something of a very serious nature has arisen.
i do wish you’d wait for me to say “come in” before you come in, captain peacock.
i’m sorry, sir, but i would like you to have a look at these– all discovered by me in the gentleman’s outfitting.
i would suggest that the lost property department would be more appropriate.
no, sir, these are not lost.
but i would draw your attention to the fact they are all heating devices.
it’s hardly a startling revelation.
isn’t half hot in here, isn’t it? if that’s all, captain peacock, i am rather busy.
perhaps, sir, if i explained it step by step it might perhaps help to clear the air.
i wouldn’t bank on it.
oh, i say, they’ve been in there for 10 minutes.
there’s nobody to attend to their customers.
but there aren’t any customers.
that’s neither here nor there.
that’s no way to run a store.
we could always give them a hand.
i’m not measuring a man for a pair of trousers… unless it was steve mcqueen.
you’d never get him in grace brothers.
true.
you mean that, contrary to my instructions, all these heating appliances have been used behind my back, under my very nose? it doesn’t seem possible, does it, sir? i regret to say that mr.
lucas procured this equipment.
well, i wasn’t only thinking of myself.
i mean, there was– there was mr.
humphries and mr.
grainger to consider.
were you a party to this, mr.
grainger? me? most certainly not.
of course he wasn’t.
he thought i took his thermal pad just to breathe on it.
i’m appalled.
then what are you going to do about it, sir? can you smell something in here? if you’d all like to leave now, i’d like a few moments to think it over.
it’s rather close in here, mr.
lucas.
i’m coming over faint.
- i’m sure - i give off a lot of body heat.
must be his metabolism.
- it’s on fire! - what? - it’s all right! - good heavens! it’s all right! i’ll get it! it’s all right, mr.
rumbold! let me congratulate mr.
lucas on his timely action.
i think we should congratulate mr.
rumbold on his explanation of how he put the electric fire in the drawer so nobody could use it, then accidentally switched it on by kicking his foot against the wall switch.
it’s a most extraordinary chain of events.
i think, in the circumstances, we should close the department for the day due to the extreme cold.
hear, hear.
i shall notify mr.
grace of my decision.
now’s your chance.
morning, everybody.
good morning, mr.
grace.
i think you’ve all done very well working in these cold conditions.
thank you, mr.
grace.
i’ve brought you good news.
we’ve had good news.
we’re going home.
i’ve just got the heating turned on again.
but i thought there was no fuel left.
well you see, i happen to own the wharfside coke company.
how very fortuitous, mr.
grace.
but i thought your men were all on strike, mr.
grace.
ah, yes.
yes, but i’ve sacked the men and had the warehouse chopped up.
that should keep our boilers going for a bit.
that’s the way to treat the workers, mr.
grace.
well, carry on.
- you’ve all done very well.
- thank you, mr.
grace.
well… i think in the circumstances, we can overlook the illicit use of heating appliances.
back to your places, everyone.
actually, i have a confession to make.
i took the liberty of having a little nip of something to keep me warm.
i wouldn’t have minded a drop myself, betty.
be my guest, stephen.
it’s secreted in the perfume display.
how ingenious.
open your mouth.
as there are no customers around… this’ll put the roses back in your cheeks.