Not Going Out (2006) s09e06 Episode Script

Lollipop Man

1 # We're not going out # Not staying in # Just hanging around With my head in a spin # But there is no need to scream and shout # We're not going out We are not going out.
Give it to me now! But I love my lolly! Why can't we have it? It's just a lollipop! Because I said no.
It's not fair! I wish we had another mummy! You did have once, but she gave you up because you were evil.
OK, that was a bit much.
Go on, up to your rooms now, and make sure you clean your teeth first.
I'm going to run away from home! No need to run, I won't be chasing.
I hate this house! And don't come down until you've gone through puberty! Why am I always the bad guy who punishes them? I punish them too.
I threaten them with something that you never could.
What's that? I say I'll send them to you.
What's happened? This has happened.
Ooh, lollies.
They've been in the kids' mouths.
So? That one was in Charlie's mouth.
Ugh.
You know the lollipop man who works on Shacklegate Drive? I know the muffin man who lives down Drury Lane.
You know, the one who's always outside the school.
Every day he sees the kids, he gives them a lollipop.
You know, because he's the Lollipop Man.
That reminds me, I must go and see that sex education teacher.
Why not, he's a very nice man.
You had to spoil it, didn't you? Every day he's there, just giving them out.
And? And, I don't want our kids turning into hyper-active psychos and getting distracted by the tiniest thing.
You do know you've just described all children, don't you? Why don't you just tell the kids to say, "No, thanks, we don't want one, "but thank you very much for the offer.
" Wow! Do you even know their names? Well, can't you have a word with this bloke? Maybe use a sign.
A big round one with the word - "stop".
It's the only language these people understand.
I know I should, but it's tricky.
It can't be that hard.
You haven't met him.
He's the sweetest old man ever.
Big white hair and beard.
He's like a big smiley cauliflower.
I don't want to hurt his feelings.
And besides, we're just as bad, we eat way too much junk in this house.
No, we don't.
Lee, the other day Molly asked if green M&Ms were a vegetable.
And Benji asked me how you open an apple.
I've decided that from tomorrow, we're all going to start eating more healthily again.
Oh, not beetroot brownies again.
What's wrong with my beetroot brownies? Brownies are supposed to be brownie, not purply.
It's not the only thing that was supposed to be brownie that went purply.
We're going to the health store in the morning, after we've done the school run.
"We"? Yes, "we".
If you think it's so easy to talk to the Lollipop Man, you can do it.
OK, I will.
Good.
I don't think you realise how difficult it is to say no to a sweet old man who's just trying to be friendly.
Do you fancy an early night tonight, by the way? No.
See, it's not that hard.
See? What did I tell you? He's lovely.
He looks like God's nicer uncle.
Don't worry, that's the last time they'll be doing that.
He looks reasonable.
Any man that's campaigning to "Stop Children" is a kindred spirit.
Morning.
Oh, hello.
Beautiful day, isn't it? Benji, give me your lolly.
No! Give me your lolly.
No! No! Oh! Are you Dad? No, I don't think I ever met your mother, but good luck with the search.
Ha! I bet the kids love having a fun dad like you.
Yeah, it's a laugh a minute in our house, followed by 59 seconds of arguing.
Look, there's something I wanted to say.
You know the lollies There is no need for thank-yous.
To be honest, I think I get more out of it.
The kiddies' sunny smiles make my day.
And what's a lollipop man without lollipops, eh? Actually, there's, um, something I wanted to ask you.
Yes, son? Will you adopt me? Ha.
No, that's not it.
The kids love the lollies, it's very generous of you, thank you.
It's a lovely thing you're doing.
Well, thank you.
And don't worry, I know what you want to say.
I mean, parents come up to me all the time, it's not a problem.
Really? Of course you can have a lollipop.
The thing is Yes? It's just that some parents, they might think it's inappropriate, you know, receiving sweets .
.
from strangers.
Oh, dear.
I never really thought of it like that.
Since my hip operation, I've not been as active as I used to be, and giving the little ones a lolly and seeing their faces light up is one of the few pleasures that I have left in life.
I'm so very sorry.
I feel awful.
Well, hang on, let me finish what I was saying.
Some parents might think that, but they are idiots, because we think it's great.
All the parents round here do.
You are the best lollipop man in the world.
Really? Yes.
You've made my day.
You really have.
In fact, as a treat, your kids are going to get double helpings from now on.
Oh, good.
I'll tell my wife, she'll be absolutely delighted.
And don't forget to clean your teeth afterwards.
We don't want them falling out.
Don't worry, my wife will be knocking them out anyway! HE LAUGHS You're a funny man! Ah, thanks.
I hate him.
Fancy some butternut squash cake, Anna? It's gluten-free.
Thanks, Lucy.
Nice of you to remember I'm intolerant.
How could anyone forget? We're actually on a bit of a health kick ourselves, so I used dates instead of sugar, carob instead of chocolate, and instead of regular flour, gluten-free almond flour.
Is there salt in it? No.
No, I must be tasting my own tears.
So what are you going to do about this lollipop man? Nothing.
Hurting his feelings would be like slapping a puppy, or something old and lovely and respected, like Judi Dench.
We're probably being a bit unreasonable anyway.
You're not being unreasonable at all.
Surely this man must be aware there's a childhood obesity crisis in this country? Obviously not, otherwise he'd change his name to the Courgette Man.
Although he would look a bit odd stopping the traffic with a massive courgette.
Would you say something if it was Jack? Of course.
But we don't walk Jack to school.
No.
We drive him the 500 yards from our house to the school gates strapped into a top-of-the-range, hypo-allergenic booster seat, in the back of a BMW designed to withstand a land mine blast.
I suppose we just love our child more.
It's just so difficult to say anything to him.
He's such a lovely old man.
Well, then, talk to the organ grinder, not the monkey.
Write an e-mail to the council.
It's a perfectly reasonable complaint.
I am all about reasonable.
And complaint.
Anna's right.
Wow! I expect many things to come out of your mouth, Lee, especially when you're eating, but not "Anna's right.
" We don't have to deal with this, let the Council do it.
Yeah, but what if he knows it was us who complained? The last thing I want to do is sound like one of those hysterical parents who can't appreciate a nice gesture and are forever criticising people.
I can feel you trying not to look at me, Toby.
No, I, I was just staring into the abyss.
As usual.
He won't know it's you who's complained.
Especially if you don't put your names on it.
Are you sure this hasn't got salt in? I imagine there's natural salt in the kelp.
Well spotted, Anna.
What's kelp? It's a kind of seaweed.
Oh.
I thought it was an abbreviation for "cry for help".
I hate doing this, can't you write it? No, you're better at things like this, you'll word it right.
"Dear Sir" That's wrong.
Put "Dear Sir/Madam.
" I have.
Did you put a slash? No, Lee, I put an emoji of a turnip.
"Dear Sir - slash - Madam, I" Put "we".
It's got more gravitas if it sounds like it's coming from more than one person.
Do you actually know what "gravitas" means? Yeah, it's where gravy was invented.
Just write it.
"We are writing because we are curious" Don't put "curious".
I know we don't want to get him into trouble, but it's got to sound a bit like a complaint.
Put "by curious" You want me to say I'm bi-curious? Sorry, "we" are bi-curious.
"By curious, we mean unhappy.
" No, I'm not saying "unhappy", it's too harsh.
I was going to put, "We are curious as to whether our lovely lollipop man is "breaking any rules by generously giving out lollipops to the kids.
" Do you want him to stop or get an OBE? You've got to be a bit more assertive, Lucy.
Fine.
"Dear Sir - slash - Madam, and the bi-curious, we are unhappy" Actually, put "very unhappy".
I will punch you! No, that's a bit too harsh, don't put that.
What if I put "unhappy" but also "understanding"? Yeah, brilliant.
What about this? "Dear Madam/Sir/Madam and Bi-Curious Madam, "we are frickin' livid that one of your lollipop numpties is dealing "out the sugar equivalent of crack cocaine.
And when we say 'livid', "we do of course mean 'completely fine about it'.
" Do you know what, why don't you write it? All right, I will.
"Dear Sir" Slash Madam.
I know! Mum? Why doesn't this cereal make any noise? I like the sort that goes snap, crackle and pop.
Muesli doesn't snap, crackle or pop, son.
It just sighs gently to itself whilst wishing it was Sugar Puffs.
I got an e-mail back from the council.
What did they say? They said they were grateful for us alerting them to the situation and that they would be dealing with it.
Grrrrrreat! Sorry, I think I'm missing me Frosties.
Right, shoes.
What if he knows it was us? He won't.
He might.
I'm terrible at hiding my guilt.
That's not true.
When we're rowing, you act like you haven't done anything wrong, like you don't even know how to delete the semifinal of the World Darts Masters to free up space to record One Born Every Minute.
Look, we did the right thing.
He'll never know it was us.
So you've got nothing to worry about.
Can you take them to school today? No chance.
See? You can't face him either.
Of course I can't.
What if he looks all sad and depressed and lonely? Be like looking at the only one left alive in Last of the Summer Wine.
One man, alone in a bath, no-one to push him down the hill.
Right, we're both going.
I've not had any breakfast.
Well, you can have one of my cucumber and date muffins.
Ugh.
Just close your eyes and think of Mr Kipling.
That's what I do when we're having sex.
Now, if there are no lollipops, I don't want to hear any complaints, OK? OK.
I was talking to the kids.
And if he says anything about being told off by the council, just act ignorant.
In fact, just act normal.
Where's the lollipop man? Didn't you hear? What? Some busybody complained to the council about old Fred giving out lollies to the kids.
BOTH: Nooo! He's been suspended, apparently, a week without pay.
Why do these parents have to interfere? Well, let's not make too many assumptions.
Sometimes it's just one parent and the dad was talked into it.
What exactly did you write in that e-mail? Nothing major.
I just said, "What if one of our kids was glucose-intolerant?" All right, I said one of our kids was glucose-intolerant.
Anything else? I might have mentioned the word "coma".
I know it's terrible, but if it's against council rules.
I know, but what harm was he doing? 20 years he's been doing that job.
Well, he was due a week off.
Plus, now it's really tricky crossing the road.
Oh, well, he'll only be gone for a week.
Yeah, I'm sure there won't be that many kids knocked over before then.
Oh, for God's sake! All this over a stupid little lolly.
I know.
It wasn't even a proper Chupa Chup.
What are these people like? Just because a man wants to give out a few lollipops, somebody has to fire off a bloody e-mail, or write a letter or make a phone call.
Who knows how they made contact.
HONKING MORE HONKING So what do you think of the beetroot cake, Dad? Go on, you can say, you won't hurt my feelings.
I've eaten smoother cat litter.
That'll be the gluten-free almond flour.
Good Lord, Lucy, there's nothing wrong with a bit of gluten.
Yes, if flour is so bad for you, how come the Homepride Men are still going? You can't eat anything nowadays.
Apparently even sugar is poison.
Never did me any harm.
Dad, you've got so many metal fillings, the kids think you're part robot.
That certainly explains the personality.
Drink, Geoffrey? Yes.
Water.
Lots.
And some rehydration salts.
Actually, I do agree with your dad about this whole sugar issue.
In fact, you're not going to believe this, apparently a local lollipop man has just been suspended because some parents reported him for giving out lollipops.
What interfering, stupid killjoys.
Get out of here! It's typical, isn't it? Bloody political correctness gone mad.
It's a nanny state, health and safety.
You can't do anything nowadays with these bleeding-heart liberals.
One more, Dad, and we've got a full house in the Daily Mail bingo.
Poor bloke was probably just trying to bring a bit of joy to the kiddies, and now it's all been ruined by some mollycoddling parents who want to wrap their children in bubble wrap and cotton wool.
Actually, that sounds quite dangerous.
Look, I know what you're saying, Dad, but when it comes to kids' health, you can't be too careful.
Course you can.
When you were young we didn't have any of this clap-trap.
You were quite happy playing all day in the sun with no sunscreen, swinging on home-made rope swings over stagnant ponds.
Stroking strange dogs.
Eating mushrooms you'd found in the woods.
Throwing Frisbees at power stations.
And if you were playing up, some other child's parent would slap you hard on the legs, and we'd thank them for doing it.
I thought my upbringing was bad.
Yours sounds like the opening scenes in Casualty.
So you think the parents who complained about the lollies were over-reacting, then, Mum? Well, yes, of course they were.
Poor old man.
He's probably sat at home now wondering what he's done wrong.
Alone.
All dignified, yet vulnerable.
His hat and lollipop stick propped up in the corner.
All right! I'm sure the parents only had their children's welfare at heart.
Well, kids are far too sheltered nowadays.
Things used to be a lot different.
Here we go.
There used to be only one winner in pass-the-parcel.
Children didn't have iPads or au pairs to amuse them.
They sat quietly in a pub car park, sharing one Panda Pop between them.
Then Dad would drive home drunk, and let the tallest child sit on his lap and steer.
What are you doing? Just seeing if there's an upper age limit for calling ChildLine.
What's that? Aubergine cake.
If I'd have known that, I'd have slapped my own hand.
It's not for you, it's for Fred, the Lollipop Man.
One of the mums said he's been in the park, just sat there feeding pigeons every day since we got him suspended.
Would you stop saying "we" got him suspended.
He got himself suspended, dishing out sweets like some sort of hi-vis Willy Wonka.
Well, I thought we could take him something nice and check he's all right.
Do you think that's such a good idea? Well, it's better than just sitting here wracked with guilt.
I'm doing denial, that's working for me.
And who knows, one of my cakes might cheer him up.
Maybe.
Actually, have we not done enough to him already? It just needs a bit more wheatgrass.
I'll go and empty the lawnmower bag.
Hello, Fred.
Oh, hello.
I hope your lovely children are getting to school OK .
.
since I went Awol.
I'd hardly say Awol.
Yeah.
You didn't desert your post, Fred, you were court-martialled.
But unfairly.
So it's not you that should be arrested for desertion, it's the .
.
stupid parents, who reported you, that should be rounded up, blindfolded and shot in the head at dawn.
I used to be in the armed services, actually.
I saw action, in Korea.
We lost a lot of very good men during that war, like Sergeant Gregory.
He took me under his wing, he did.
Saw that I was homesick and frightened.
Well, of course I was, I was only a boy.
And every time he saw me looking worried, do you know what he'd do? He'd reach into his tunic and bring out a small tin of sweets, and he'd give me one.
Just like my mum used to do when I was a little boy.
And every time he did, just for a minute, I felt that I was back at home being cuddled by my mum, and everything was going to be OK.
Then, one day, we was ambushed and he gave the .
.
the ultimate sacrifice.
And as he lay there dying, do you know what the last thing he did? He saw how frightened I was, so he reached into his pocket .
.
and gave me a final sweet.
From that day on, I vowed that I would try to put a smile on youngsters' faces, like he did to me.
Just a small offering of a lollipop .
.
but enough .
.
to show the young-uns that I care.
Is he actually taking the piss? Well, we think you're an excellent lollipop man.
In fact, we've brought you something to thank you for all your hard work.
It's a nice aubergine cake.
It's very healthy, just flour, eggs, chopped dates, wheatgrass and aubergine.
I know, Fred, I agree.
What I would give to hear an E-number.
It's lovely and pure and full of goodness.
Just like you.
Now you just sound creepy.
You're very kind, but there's no need.
I couldn't take that.
Of course you can.
Just hold your nose when you're swallowing.
Perhaps you could share it with your grandkids.
You do have grandkids, don't you? Oh, yes.
Good.
But I never get to see them since they emigrated to Canada.
Never mind.
Can't complain.
Well, what about sharing it with your wife? Here it comes.
She died last year.
Course she did.
Oh, please take the cake, Fred.
It'll make us feel better.
I mean happy.
There's really no need.
Take the cake, there's a good fella.
Don't make me tell you about the time my Uncle Pete was fighting in Saigon and wrote down the recipe in his own blood.
That's very kind of you both.
It's made me very happy.
You're welcome, Fred, we'll see you next Monday.
That's when you're due back at work, right? No more lollipops, I'm afraid.
Just high-five for the kiddies from now on.
You know, Fred, a few months after my granny died, my grandad got a dog.
They're great company, you know? I used to have a dog, actually.
Until recently.
There was this lorry reversing We're going.
What's this? It's my home-made cereal.
I don't like these glass jars.
Why not? Because then we have to see what's in them.
Oh, it's Monday today, which means old Fred will be back on lollipop duty.
Yeah, unless he's lost a leg since we last saw him, or his budgie's developed rickets.
But that'll be good that we get to see him again, won't it kids? No.
He won't have any lollipops.
Benji, there's more to life than sweets, you know? That man is a war hero who offers you a big smile when he sees you, and keeps you safe when you cross the road.
What could be better than that? Lollipops.
Where's Fred? He was due back today, wasn't he? Didn't you hear? He's in hospital.
Food poisoning.
He's had a terrible allergic reaction to nuts.
Apparently one of the parents gave him a cake.
Imagine! In this day and age, giving someone a cake with nuts in and not putting a warning label on it.
What idiot does that? What exactly did you put in that cake? Well, I didn't put any nuts in it.
I told him the ingredients.
Aubergine, dates, eggs and flour.
Gluten-free almond flour.
Almond is a nut.
Is it? Well, some people say it's actually an insect, but I'm not convinced.
Is Fred OK? Well, they don't know yet.
They found him in the park, trousers round his ankles and vomiting into a fountain.
Well, we've all been there.
Poor man.
He wouldn't have been sat in the park eating cake in the first place if those busybodies hadn't reported him.
Well, I'm sure whoever wrote the e-mail about the lollies probably thought they were doing the right thing.
Well, they shouldn't have interfered.
He was just trying to spread a little happiness.
Yeah, but the parents were probably worried about their kids having too much sugar.
That's fair enough, right? Yeah, but why should Fred suffer because some parents can't control their children? He didn't deserve to be suspended.
You know he's just lost his wife.
And his family have just moved abroad too.
He must be so lonely.
And his dog died.
He was just doing his job.
And now we've got nobody to help us cross the road.
I don't know how these people sleep at night.
It's awful, really awful.
War hero, apparently.
Awful! And did you hear about his poor sister? All right! Enough! Don't you think you're all being a bit dramatic? All right, yes, the parents probably should have just said something if they weren't happy about the lollipops.
And, no, perhaps they shouldn't have reported him.
But, they did what they thought was right for their kids.
Is that so wrong? And OK, now it's a bit more difficult to cross the road, but maybe, in this world of health and safety gone mad, we can all learn to cross the road without help.
It's not that difficult.
We all remember the Green Cross Code, don't we? Look right, look left, and look right again.
TYRES SCREECHING, LOUD CRASH I've brought you a nice cup of tea.
And a Mars bar.
Oh, no, are we out of quinoa and toadstool flapjacks? I thought you deserved a treat.
How's the leg? It's fine.
But the doctor says I'll never Riverdance again.
I suppose it's ironic, given the week we've had.
What is? Being hit by a Holland and Barrett van.
At least you saw Fred when you were in the hospital.
Yeah.
It's nice knowing he'll be out next week and back to work.
And even better knowing he still doesn't suspect it was us that reported him in the first place.
And he definitely forgave us for poisoning him? Course he did.
You know Fred, he just smiled warmly, apologised for worrying us and gave me a bag of cola cubes.
What a twat.
I might go and see him tomorrow.
Yeah, well don't take him a cake.
Maybe something unhealthy like a Mars bar.
Yeah, or a Snickers.
BOTH: No! Well, I think we've both learned something anyway.
What's that? We should have just said something to him in the first place.
I mean, as long as you're completely straight with someone in a truthful but firm manner, they can't really take offence, can they? I'm glad you said that, because there's something I wanted to say.
Can we stop all this healthy eating stuff? The food you've been making this week has been absolutely minging.
Aaargh! # We're not going out # Not staying in # Just hanging around with my head in a spin # But there is no need to scream and shout # We're not going out We are not going out.