Praline: Hello, I wish to register a complaint... Hello? Miss?

Shopkeeper: What do you mean, miss?

Praline: Oh, I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint.

Shopkeeper: Sorry, we're closing for lunch.

Praline: Never mind that my lad, I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.

Shopkeeper: Oh yes, the Norwegian Blue. What's wrong with it?

Praline: I'll tell you what's wrong with it. It's dead, that's what's wrong with it.

Shopkeeper: No, no it's resting, look!

Praline: Look my lad, I know a dead parrot when I see one and I'm looking at one right now.

Shopkeeper: No, no sir, it's not dead. It's resting.

Praline: Resting?

Shopkeeper: Yeah, remarkable bird the Norwegian Blue, beautiful plumage, innit?

Praline: The plumage don't enter into it -- it's stone dead.

Shopkeeper: No, no -- it's just resting.

Praline: All right then, if it's resting I'll wake it up.   [SHOUTS INTO CAGE]   Hello Polly! I've got a nice cuttlefish for you when you wake up, Polly Parrot!

Shopkeeper:   [JOGGING CAGE]   There it moved.

Praline: No he didn't. That was you pushing the cage.

Shopkeeper: I did not.

Praline: Yes, you did.   [TAKES PARROT OUT OF CAGE, SHOUTS]   Hello Polly, Polly...   [BANGS IT AGAINST COUNTER]   Polly Parrot, wake up. Polly.   [THROWS IT IN THE AIR AND LETS IT FALL TO THE FLOOR]   Now that's what I call a dead parrot.

Shopkeeper: No, no it's stunned.

Praline: Look my lad, I've had just about enough of this. That parrot is definitely deceased. And when I bought it not half an hour ago, you assured me that its lack of movement was due to it being tired and shagged out after a long squawk.

Shopkeeper: It's probably pining for the fjords.

Praline: Pining for the fjords, what kind of talk is that? Look, why did it fall flat on its back the moment I got it home?

Shopkeeper: The Norwegian Blue prefers kipping on its back. Beautiful bird, lovely plumage.

Praline: Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot, and I discovered that the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been nailed there.

Shopkeeper: Well of course it was nailed there. Otherwise it would muscle up to those bars and voom.

Praline: Look matey...   [PICKS UP PARROT]   this parrot wouldn't voom if I put four thousand volts through it. It's bleeding demised.

Shopkeeper: It's not, it's pining.

Praline: It's not pining, it's passed on. This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late parrot. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn't nailed it to the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies. It's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-parrot.

Shopkeeper: Well, I'd better replace it then.

Praline:   [TO CAMERA]   If you want to get anything done in this country you've got to complain till you're blue in the mouth.

Shopkeeper: Sorry guy, we're right out of parrots.

Praline: I see. I see. I get the picture.

Shopkeeper: I've got a slug.

Praline: Does it talk?

Shopkeeper: Not really, no.

Praline: Well, it's scarcely a replacement, then is it?

Shopkeeper: Listen, I'll tell you what,   [HANDING OVER A CARD]   tell you what, if you go to my brother's pet shop in Bolton he'll replace your parrot for you.

Praline: Bolton eh?

Shopkeeper: Yeah.

Praline: All right. He leaves, holding the parrot.


Close-up of sign on door reading: 'Similar Pet Shops Ltd'. Pull back from sign to see same pet shop. Shopkeeper now has moustache. Praline walks into shop. He looks around with interest, noticing the empty parrot cage still on the floor.

Praline: Er, excuse me. This is Bolton, is it?

Shopkeeper: No, no it's, er, Ipswich.

Praline:   [TO CAMERA]   That's Inter-City Rail for you.   [LEAVES]  

Man in porter's outfit standing at complaints desk for railways. Praline approaches.

Praline: I wish to make a complaint.

Porter: I don't have to do this, you know.

Praline: I beg your pardon?

Porter: I'm a qualified brain surgeon. I only do this because I like being my own boss.

Praline: Er, excuse me, this is irrelevant, isn't it?

Porter: Oh yeah, it's not easy to pad these out to thirty minutes.

Praline: Well I wish to make a complaint. I got on the Bolton train and found myself deposited here in Ipswich.

Porter: No, this is Bolton.

Praline:   [TO CAMERA]   The pet shop owner's brother was lying.

Porter: Well you can't blame British Rail for that.

Praline: If this is Bolton, I shall return to the pet shop.


Praline walks into the shop again.

Praline: I understand that this is Bolton.

Shopkeeper: Yes.

Praline: Well, you told me it was Ipswich.

Shopkeeper: It was a pun.

Praline: A pun?

Shopkeeper: No, no, not a pun, no. What's the other thing which reads the same backwards as forwards?

Praline: A palindrome?

Shopkeeper: Yes, yes.

Praline: It's not a palindrome. The palindrome of Bolton would be Notlob. It don't work.

Shopkeeper: Look, what do you want?

Praline: No I'm sorry, I'm not prepared to pursue my line of enquiry any further as I think this is getting too silly.

Colonel:   [COMING IN]   Quite agree. Quite agree. Silly. Silly... silly. Right get on with it. Get on with it.

From All the Words: Volume One, by Graham Chapman, et. al., copyright 1989 Random House, Inc.