As Time Goes By (1992) s06e03 Episode Script

603 - The Dinner Party

# You must remember this # A kiss is still a kiss # A sigh is just a sigh # The fundamental things apply # As time goes by # Will somebody get that? I'm in the sink.
You're not in the sink at all.
Just open the door, will you? Good morrow, sire.
Not today, thank you.
What's going on? Oh, some fool.
- Good morrow again, sire.
- Now, look.
Please, don't close the door again.
I've been sent.
- Is this a religious thing? - No! I deliver messages.
My job.
I see.
Who's the message for? Er let's have a look.
- The, er "fair Judith".
- You'd better come in and wait.
- She's in the bath.
- Thank you, good sir.
Oh, do stop doing that.
Judy! There's somebody to see you.
- I'll be down in a minute.
- You'd better wait in there.
Thank you, good sir Ta.
Can I get you a flagon of mead or anything? - Pardon? - Doesn't matter.
What was all that about? It's a herald.
- I thought you said herald.
- I did.
He's got a message for Judy.
- She's in the bath.
- I know.
I sent him up.
better not be, or I will be late.
- Oh, hello, herald.
- Ooh! Greetings, good lady.
Er "Greetings, fair Judith.
" - No, I'm not fair Judith.
I'm fair Jean.
- Oh.
And I'm fair Lionel.
- Alistair Deacon sent you, didn't he? - Sir Alistair of Swiss Cottage, yes.
How did you know? - He sent me a gorillagram once.
- She shot him.
- You didn't! - No, I didn't.
Stay down there.
Here comes the fair Judith.
- "Greetings, fair Judith.
" - Oh, no.
- No, Judy, don't go.
- Oh, I feel such a fool.
How do you think he feels? - I'm supposed to be an occasion.
- And you are.
There's no doubt about that.
- Don't take your clothes off, do you? - Certainly not.
- Go on then, get it over with.
- "Greetings, fair Judith.
" Just a minute.
I think we're in the line of fire.
- Come on.
That's better.
- Thank you.
"Greetings, fair Judith.
"My heart aches for the sweet pleasure of your company.
"And my pulse races for the touch of your soft lips on mine.
" - Is there much more? - Er No.
"I beseech you to sup with me tonight in a country hos tel That's probably "hostelry".
Oh, hostelry.
Thank you.
"where we may recapture all that is warm and tender between us.
"I tremble with anticipation for your response, "Sir Alistair of Swiss Cottage.
" - Very well done.
- Thank you.
This response of mine.
Do you deliver that? Oh, yes.
I'm a two-way service.
I have a pad here somewhere.
You won't need a pad, its only two words.
Just say, "No, thanks.
" Is that all? You don't want me to flower it up a bit? Yes, all right then.
Say, "Definitely no thanks.
" I'm sorry.
Oh, well.
Nothing to be done.
- It's the way it goes sometimes.
- Yes, I can see why.
Would you like a cup of tea before you go? No, thanks.
I've got the Mondeo on residents' parking.
Well, cheerio.
- Cheerio.
- No need to show me out.
Well, farewell, herald! - Not much of a job, is it? - I wouldn't do it.
You haven't got the knees for it, anyway.
Did I just see what I thought I saw? Yes, it was a heraldgram for Judy.
- Alistair? - Well, who else? He wanted her to dine with him tonight in a quiet country hostelry.
That'll be a five-star country hotel with a suite already booked.
- Well, she said no, anyway.
- I don't blame her.
That's typical Alistair.
He's in Judy's bad books, so he does something flashy to get out of them.
Anyway, she's seeing someone at the moment.
- Oh? - Yes.
She met him at a party.
She seems quite taken with him.
- That's good.
- Oh.
Why make a face like that? Judy's history as a picker of men borders on the disastrous.
Well, thank you for that.
Oh, Judy! Oh, Judy! Judy! I bet you wish you were in a monastery sometimes.
No, I wouldn't like the hours.
- Or the frocks.
- Not really my style.
I wish Jean would just let Judy get on with things.
You know what parents are like.
Oh, I don't know.
My father had a brief chat to me about women and so on then left me to my own devices.
Must have been a very succinct chat.
Not really.
I didn't understand most of what he talked about at all.
- How old were you? - 32.
No, about 15, I think.
Why is Judy a bad picker? I don't know.
It isn't easy these days.
Men have become a rather confused crowd.
Younger men, I mean.
I've been out with a bloke a few times and he's confused.
He's a teacher.
You can't blame him.
Kids these days.
Confused about his role, I mean.
He's polite, he's gentle.
But he apologises every ten minutes.
- What for? - Well, you name it.
He seems to think it's his fault if it rains.
It's better than some Neanderthal with a club.
Of course it is, but he's too apologetic.
He's too bendable.
Do you know what I mean? - Probably not.
- Judy? Judy! Don't you think you're overreacting? No, I don't.
I don't like being talked about behind my back.
So I shall resort to public announcements.
His name is Paul and we've been out a few times.
We get on very well and I think he's a nice bloke.
Given my history, I'm probably wrong, but there you go.
Paul is a journalist.
He's 45 years old, separated from his wife, and this evening, I'm having dinner with him and his two children.
End of bulletin.
Two children! I knew you'd say that.
I hope you like this restaurant, Sandy.
I'm sure I shall.
I haven't tried it personally, you see.
A friend recommended it to me.
- Fine.
- Sorry if it's not up to much.
Trevor, you're apologising for a place before we've even tried it.
- Sorry.
- Don't keep doing it.
- Sorry.
- You're doing it again.
Sor Well, it looks quite nice, doesn't it? That's the spirit.
Yes, it does.
But if it's not up to much, you will let me know, won't you? Honestly.
I could hit you sometimes.
Could you really? I've put the plates in to warm.
- Oh, yes? - For the takeaway.
Where's the takeaway? - I just went out for the paper.
- I know that's what you said, and I said, "Shall we have a takeaway?" and you said you'd bring one.
- I didn't.
- Are you sure? You're quoting a conversation which we didn't have.
I must be imagining it.
Hope I don't start making a habit of that.
I know what this is.
Your damn sister-in-law coming to dinner tomorrow.
- We owe her a dinner.
- I know that.
I'm talking about the effect she has on you.
One phone call and you start quoting conversations we've never had.
You know when you've got a sore spot? - Where? - Doesn't matter where.
There's a law.
Whatever you bang into, you hit the sore spot.
That's what Penny is, a thing that bangs into the sore spot.
Apart from your imaginary conversation, we don't have any sore spots.
- What about my decision to retire? - It's your decision.
- Everybody thinks you're right.
- Penny won't.
- That's her bad luck.
- What about Judy? Going out with a married man with two children? That's not a sore spot.
Not even a pimple.
It will be.
"Oh, how's poor Judith?" she'll say.
- Say, "Fine," and stop the conversation.
- Oh, no.
Answering a question from Penny is like trying to stick your finger in a dyke.
You plug up one hole and the question comes pouring out of another.
The girls are out.
Perhaps Judy's popped back to ask us to baby-sit.
- Sandy.
- I'm fed up with men.
Not you, Lionel.
Just men.
I suppose I should take that as a compliment.
- You know I said he was too bendable? - Yes.
- Who is? Who was? - Trevor, this chap I've been seeing.
Well, bendable is the understatement of the year.
He was apologising for the restaurant in case it wasn't good enough.
I said, "Honestly, I could hit you sometimes.
" He said, "Could you really?" The thing is, his eyes came to light as he said it.
Two mouthfuls of taramasalata and he was saying, "I think bad boys should be punished, don't you?" - He was talking about himself and me.
- Oh, Sandy.
Would he enjoy it if I punched him on the nose? Too late.
He's gone.
Wiping taramasalata off his jacket.
Look, let's all go out for a curry.
- Yeah.
Good idea.
- Yes, I'd like that.
I'm quite hungry, actually.
I'll just nip upstairs.
- What's the matter? - It's another hole in the dyke.
Judy doesn't know anything about children.
Why should she need to? She's going out with a man who's got two.
I don't expect they take them out with them.
Do you mean he leaves them behind? - Locked in the cellar, probably.
- Oh, I didn't say that! You made it sound like it.
I don't see what you're getting into a state about.
So he's got two children.
So what? There's no harm in trying to foresee future possibilities.
Yeah, but yours are always so doom-laden.
- I can guess the possibility in your head.
- I bet you can't.
When he divorces his wife, Judy marries this chap.
But he doesn't want her as a wife, he wants her as a mother to his children.
She turns into a drudge, loses her looks, and the kids are juvenile delinquents.
- How am I doing so far? - That's preposterous.
Judy hasn't mentioned marriage, has she? Of course not.
And she's hardly likely to rush into another one, is she? Well no.
Now, on a brighter note, I've got a battle plan for tomorrow evening.
A way to put Penny and Stephen off? No, that would be a headlong retreat.
No, we ask the questions.
We don't give Penny a chance to get in with all of hers.
Don't let her punch holes in this dyke of yours.
- Why didn't they make you a general? - I've often wondered that.
- We'll do it.
- And if Penny should break through - We'll lie.
- No.
We just remind ourselves that there's really nothing to lie about.
Are we sure? Look.
You've decided to retire.
- A sensible and happy decision, right? - Right.
Judy's seeing a chap who just happens to be separated with two children.
That hardly makes him Jack the Ripper, does it? - No.
- No.
And you and I have lurched happily through 18 months of marriage.
- No, 19.
- 19 months.
Without either of us reaching for the carving knife.
I threw some carrots at you.
- Not really in the same category, is it? - I suppose.
In other words, we are happy.
Well, we are.
We are.
What about Sandy? She's going out with a pervert! - Was.
- Oh, yes, was.
- Yes.
- Can I get back to Winnie The Pooh? Yes.
I'm sorry I threw the carrots at you.
That's all right.
- Mum? - Come in, love.
I'm sorry I got ratty earlier.
You were quite right.
It's only because I care but I do stick my nose in sometimes.
- Good night, then.
- Good night.
- Night.
- Night.
How were the children? Very nice.
They had a glass of wine with us and then made a discreet withdrawal.
A glass of wine? Mum, Patrick is 19 and Cora is 16.
- Oh, those sort of children! - Mm-hm.
I didn't have to change a single nappy.
Or read them Winnie The Pooh.
I just look at the pictures.
- Good night.
- Good night.
She used to pop into my bed sometimes when she was a little girl.
Wouldn't really be on now, would it? Oh, grown-up children.
Well, we should have considered that.
Yes, I suppose we should.
Now what? Grown-up children? You're still too far out.
- I don't want to scrape the tyres.
- I could drive a tractor into that space.
- You can't drive a tractor.
- Don't split hairs, Stephen.
The back's further in than the front! - How much further? - I don't have a tape measure with me.
How's that? The front's further in than the back now! Well, it'll just have to do.
Very cavalier.
Stephen? You're only a foot away.
Why don't you use the key? I've never had one of these before.
You're like a little boy sometimes.
Rather fun, this, isn't it? Hello, Penny.
- Is everything all right? - Stephen's playing with his new car.
Hello, Jean, how are you? - Ooh.
You look rather pale.
- It's the light.
- Stephen! - Hello, Penny.
Hello, Lionel.
How are you? - You look rather florid.
- It's the light.
- Stephen.
- Hello, you two.
- You both look very well.
- I'm sorry we're early.
Stephen insisted he knew a short cut.
- Oh, and did he? - He did.
Penny wouldn't believe me, so we left at the normal time.
- Hence being early.
- Come and have a drink.
Of course, if we'd left later and I'd got the short cut wrong, we would have been late.
So it's turned out for the best, really.
Put like that, I suppose it has.
They don't really improve with age, do they, men? I always think they're funny things, short cuts, don't you? Yes.
I mean, I don't know.
Why do you think they're funny? - Nice to see you.
- Well - Even if you are looking pale.
- It's nice to see you.
Do sit - Oh, yes.
What'll you have to drink? - Oh, gin, I think.
And Stephen will have - What would you like, Stephen? - Yes, what would you like? - Scotch, if I may.
- I was going to say that.
Now, Jean.
How are you? - Lemon, Penny? - Please.
Some don't seem very short at all, when you first try them.
- What don't? - Short cuts.
- Oh.
- Why are you still talking about that? Because Lionel asked me why I sometimes think they're funny things.
Yes, I did, Stephen.
I did.
Would you mind telling us again? I missed that.
- Oh, Lord! - Some short cuts don't seem short at all when you first try them - You know how it is, someone says, "Ooh, you can cut off a whole corner if you take the B-something.
" - Or the B-something else.
- Or the A-something.
But an A road isn't normally a short cut, is it? No Well, it could be if you were on a motorway.
That's true.
That is true.
Is there any chance of you coming to the point, Stephen? Yes, of course.
My point was this.
I think the reason that a short cut doesn't seem that short when you first take it is because you're trying to remember directions somebody gave you in case you go wrong.
Turn it into a long cut.
That's that's very interesting.
Isn't it, Lionel? Yeah.
Very logically thought through, as well.
- Once you've driven it a few times - You realise it is a short cut.
- Exactly.
- I hope we've exhausted this subject.
I shouldn't think so.
No, the trouble is, when some people give you directions for a short cut, they insist on giving you every little detail.
Do you remember that one we took when we were in Wales? - That was hilarious.
- It was disastrous.
- Oh, do tell us about it.
- But Shh.
- Sorry? - I heard footsteps on the stairs.
I heard footsteps on the stairs.
Well, it can't be us.
- Hello, Aunt Penny.
Uncle Stephen.
- You see? - Hello, Judith.
You look really pretty.
- Oh, thank you.
I heard two pairs of footsteps on the stairs.
- Hello.
- See? - My word, you look very pretty.
- Thank you.
We were talking about Wales.
The Welsh Wales, that is.
- Gosh.
- Were you really? Were being the operative word.
Now, how are you both? - Doing fine.
- Fine.
- Couldn't be better.
- There you are.
- Still no That Welsh double L's always baffled me, you know.
I'm never sure whether you call it "hll" or "fll".
Oh, I always pronounce it "chll".
I go somewhere in the middle.
Like "Mmth".
Still no wedding bells on the horizon? Oh, a ding or a dong now and then, but never a ding-dong.
Or a dong-ding.
Neither of you are getting any younger.
No, it's a funny thing, isn't it? Even as we speak, we're all getting older.
- You look very well, though.
- Any current beau? Oh, yes.
Sandy's going out with a journalist and Judith's going out with a teacher.
- Other way round.
- Other way round.
This teacher? What does he teach? Children.
Children! That's a good one, old man.
I think everyone knows that I meant, what subject does he teach? - Physical education.
- Ooh.
And now, Judith.
Your journalist.
He's not gutter press, I hope, is he? Oh, no, he writes all his articles on the pavement.
On the pavement! That's another good one! Why are we all in such a silly mood this evening? Must be the phase of the moon.
- What phase of the moon? - Whatever phase it's in.
We could work that out.
- Ooh, yes! - I daresay we could.
Anyway, it's been very nice to see you both, but we've got to go out now.
We've hardly nattered.
Well, you know how it is, Aunt Pen.
These journalists and teachers.
- Sticklers for deadlines.
- Deadlines.
The bell for assembly.
- Good night.
- Good night.
- Hm.
- Didn't they both look pretty? You don't have to keep saying it, Stephen.
Thanet? Really? - Just coffee to go.
- We're still on Wales.
If we bring in the rest of the UK, we should be able to spin it out.
Failing that, we could try to get back to short cuts.
That's the beauty of Stephen.
He's like a very powerful clockwork toy.
Wind him up and he goes on forever.
And we've still got sumo wrestling in reserve.
Do you know anything about that? No.
Two fat chaps trying to push each other out of a circle.
- But put the thought in Stephen's head - Penny's getting edgy.
For once in her life she's not dominating the conversation.
Do you know, Stephen's back on the Welsh double L again.
- So I've come to help, like it or not.
- No, actually, we're ready.
- If you'd just like to take the tray in.
- Don't we have time for a tete-a-tete? No.
Nobody likes stewed coffee.
- No, come on, Penny.
- Oh, well, all right.
Erm look.
Lionel isn't on medication or anything, is he? Of course not.
Why? Cos I've never heard him chatter so much in the whole of my life.
Sumo wrestling? Sumo wrestling? No, I'm afraid I know absolutely nothing about it at all.
- Ah.
- Why should anyone know about it? It's just two grossly overweight men pushing each other about.
Oh, no, there's much more to it than that, Penny.
- What? - What? - Yes, what? - Well Why don't they ever have any thin chaps in sumo wrestling? - Right.
It's sizeist, isn't it? - Yes.
It is when you think about it.
After all, you have thin boxers.
Some tiny little chaps.
- Yes, paperweights.
- Featherweights.
- Wonder what I'd be if I was a boxer? - A total disaster.
Oh, there must be some people who do something more interesting for a living.
- Yes, well, Stephen, for example.
- Yes.
I've often meant to ask you, when did you first decide to become a dentist? - Oh, God, not teeth! - I can't remember.
Now, Jean, how's your career going? - Yes, I can.
- Oh, very well.
How, Stephen? It was when I had a perforated eardrum.
Well, I'm sorry, I can't immediately make the connection with dentistry.
- No, I can see that.
- But there is one? Hm? Oh, yes, yes.
I remember the doctor peering into my ear, I remember thinking, "They can't be very pleasant places to peer into, ears.
" But there she was, young woman doing it with such dedication.
She was a very pretty girl.
I remember her hair brushing against my cheek.
So soft.
It's sex again, isn't it? - I was only eight.
- I still can't see the connection.
Well, unpleasant places to peer into, you see.
I mean, I suppose mouths come into that category, and if a pretty girl can do it, I thought, "So can I.
" You see? It's quite logical, really.
- Yes.
- Yes.
That was a very short answer, Jean.
- Very interesting, though.
- Thanks.
Not yours.
I made a caring enquiry as to how your career was going and all you say is, "Very well.
" - Yes, well, it is.
- I had an ear infection a few years ago.
Lionel, may I please have a slightly fuller reply from Jean? - She's fine.
- Yes, I am.
The fuller reply is, I made a decision to stop working.
There! - But you're only a very - Yes.
Just 21.
It isn't a question of age.
It's a question of spending more time with Lionel.
- Lucky old Lionel.
- It'll be a wrench, of course.
Our GP retired six months ago and I haven't seen him in the village since.
I think he must have become a recluse.
No, he hasn't.
He's gone on a world cruise.
- Did he? Are you sure? - Positive.
Poor chap.
Nothing better to do with his time than go on a world cruise.
- But Jean is not a GP.
- We all know that.
Yes, but, I mean, you've always been such an active woman all your life.
- You're not going to just wither away? - Of course I'm not! I see your hand in this, Lionel.
- Now, look, Penny.
- Lionel exerted no pressure at all.
The idea had been in my head for some time.
We talked about it.
Then without any fuss or friction, I simply made the decision to retire.
- That's all there is to it.
- If you say so.
I'd be appalled at the thought of doing nothing.
I don't see why, Pen.
After all, you've never done a day's work in your life.
- Bye! Drive safely.
- Bye! You enjoyed that, didn't you? Call me a flawed human being if you like.
I never thought of Stephen as a vitriolic, vituperative viper before.
It'll be a long drive back to Hampshire.
- No, they're staying in London.
- Thank God it's not here.
Still, objective achieved.
Even if it did land Stephen in the doghouse.
- Not a single hole in your dyke.
- It must be something of a record.
Would it be very sluttish if you left the clearing up till morning? Totally.
Let's both be sluts and go to bed.
Back! Back! Back! Forward.
Forward! - Well, which? - Both.
- In which order? - Oh, look, leave it there.
- We shan't be long.
- I thought I was the cavalier parker.
I misused the word.
Cavaliers had manners.
I can probably manage, thank you.
I really don't see the point of this.
And I still resent being called a viper.
Your resentment is of no interest to me whatsoever.
- Good morning, you two.
- I have very little to say.
- She's in a mood.
- Yes, I can see that.
And rightly so.
I know what you and Lionel were up to last night and I do not approve.
- Well, we are married.
- Oh, spare me the smutty humour.
I mean, last night, any sympathetic enquiry as to your wellbeing and you and Lionel steered Stephen onto some impossible subject which took up the whole evening.
I am family and I do think I deserve a little more honesty than that.
- I see.
- Well? You're right.
It was deceitful and dishonest.
Well, just tell me the truth.
Very well.
The truth is, Judy is going out with a married man with two children.
Sandy was seeing a teacher with strange ideas about corporal punishment.
And I got into such a state about retiring that I had to see a psychotherapist.
Well, thank you for taking me for a complete fool.
Personally speaking, Jean, last night was one of the nicest, chattiest evenings I've ever had.
- Stephen! - Better go.
Oh, bye, Stephen.
Don't forget the short cut.
I shall be glad to get back to the sanity of Hampshire.
Do you really think that Hampshire is a particularly sane place? Compared to this part of the world, yes.
I simply want Good Lord.
Good morrow, guys.
- How are you? - What on earth are you doing? Well, the herald didn't work, so I thought I'd send the knight himself.
- I see.
- Fare thee well.
- What do you see? - Nothing, actually.
I'd like you to drive home quite quickly, please.
# You must remember this # A kiss is still a kiss # A sigh is just a sigh # The fundamental things apply # As time goes by # And when two lovers woo # They still say I love you # On that you can rely # The world will always welcome lovers # As time goes by #