RUTH FRAMPTON: Britain’s first woman judge and a leading exponent of Women’s Lib.
VICE-POPE ERIC: the No. 2 man in the Vatican.
BRIAN STALIN, eldest brother of the USSR’s late great Dictator.
DR EDWARD KRASZT: American sociologist and author of All Anyone Need Know About Anything.
PYTHON: Good Evening.
ALL EXCEPT KRASZT: Good Evening.
KRASZT: I didn’t say ‘Good Evening’ then because I wanted a line to myself.
PYTHON: We take your point, Dr Kraszt. Vice-Pope Eric?
VICE-POPE: Not at the moment, thank you.
STALIN: I’m fine thanks. How about Miss Frampton?
PYTHON: Well we are going to ask her our first question so that’s not really necessary.
PYTHON: Ruth Frampton, in 1959 you became the first woman to be made a judge of Quarter Sessions in this country.
FRAMPTON: My first line is just to say ‘That’s right.’
PYTHON: Why do you claim to be Sir Edmund Hillary’s mother?
STALIN: What? I’ve never said I...
PYTHON: No, We were talking to Miss Frampton.
STALIN: Sorry, I thought you were looking at me.
KRASZT: It’s a bit confusing you know.
PYTHON: Shut up please. (LAUGHTER)
KRASZT: I didn’t hear anyone laugh.
PYTHON: To return to our question. Why do you claim a maternal situation vis-à-vis the first conqueror of Everest?
FRAMPTON: Because I am his Mum. He is my little Edmund, bless his little pitons, and he has been a wonderful boy to me.
PYTHON: But Sir Edmund has it on record that he knows his mother well and that she and you are definitely separate persons.
FRAMPTON: Then he is being naughty because he is over-tired. All boys are naughty sometimes; to expect them to be perfect is quintessentially daft.
PYTHON: Dr Kraszt?
KRASZT: This is probably correct. The recent survey of 420,000 people, carried out at Michigan University over a period of eight years by Professors Rinehart, Schwartz, Zincstein and Semite, indicates conclusively that people – not just boys, interestingly enough – are by and large not absolutely perfect. A statistically significant proportion of them, at some stage in the 70-odd-years maturation process, do something they ought not to really. These findings constitute something of a breakthrough in this field.
PYTHON: Thank you Dr Kraszt.
FRAMPTON: You see? So I am definitely his mother.
PYTHON: But were you actually present at his birth?
FRAMPTON: No. I can’t claim that. At the time I was unavoidably detained at the Hague, where I had the honour to represent my country in the International Legal Championships. Edmund knows it was impossible for me to be there and has never held it against me.
STALIN: Then why is he applying for an injunction against the publication of your forthcoming book?
FRAMPTON: Because, Brian, I reveal in My Son, the Clambering Knight that before the final assault, he tied a large weight to Tensing so that he could get to the top first.
STALIN: Tensing’s mother has confirmed this story to me. The weight, incidentally, is now in the Tensing Family Museum on K2 along with other Sherpa-connected objects.
FRAMPTON: Anyway Eddie is excrementally scared that when this gets out they will confiscate his knighthood, which would cost him a few bob in directorships. Even so, I think he has overreacted.
KRASZT: This can happen of course. People do sometimes overreact to things – that is to say, when things happen, these people – in fact, all of us – occasionally react over-wise, as it were, to these very things. To put it another way, a perfectly ordinary stimulus produces an overreaction, O. This has been shown time and time again in studies undertaken by the Californian Institute for Making Studies under Luxurious Conditions.
FRAMPTON: Exactly. Anyway Eddie is a Kiwi poppet; it is this woman who happened to be around when he came to light who is playing dog in the manger.
PYTHON: To change the subject, how about sex?
FRAMPTON: Sex is a fine and wonderful gift provided that it is accompanied by a feeling of love and involvement for whoever it is you happen to be banging away with at the time.
PENTHOUSE: How about pubic hair?
PYTHON: Come out from behind those curtains! Now go away and take your ludicrous catchphrases with you.
PENTHOUSE: Sorry. (EXEUNT)
PYTHON: So a feeling of love and involvement is necessary?
FRAMPTON: Or at least a reasonable pretence at it.
KRASZT: I think it’s important to distinguish between premarital sex, that is sex before marriage; extra-marital sex, that is sex outside a marriage, or extra sex within; pseudo-marital sex, which is marital sex where the marriage is invalid due to an oversight in the ceremony or mistaken identity; ultra-marital sex, which is sex over and above the marital sex; quasi-marital sex where the two partners, being married, believe themselves to be making love when in fact they are not; post-marital sex which is sex after the marriage or after the divorce; and amarital sex, which is sheer simple-minded, out-of-context banging. Then there is pre-sexual marriage where the spouses are unusually timid, busy or maladroit; extra-sexual marriage wh...
PYTHON: Vice-Pope Eric? What is the Catholic position?
VICE-POPE: Well I’ve never personally, er... so I wouldn’t...
PYTHON: No, no, on sex and marriage.
VICE-POPE: Oh. Well our main worry at this stage is intra-marital sex.
PYTHON: Oh. Sex within the marriage.
KRASZT: I missed that.
VICE-POPE: Oh yes! You see, it’s within marriage, people tend to forget, that most of this carnal knowing takes place.
PYTHON: But that isn’t wrong from a Catholic point of view?
VICE-POPE: Well, actually... it is. Yes. I mean we don’t often come straight out with it because our problem is that... like it or not, sex, at this moment in time, is still the best method we’ve got of reproducing ourselves. I mean we certainly recommend virgin births where possible, but we can’t rely on them, so for purely practical reasons we’ve been forced to turn a blind eye to intra-marital sex for the time being. But only of course for outnumbering purposes; not for fun.
KRASZT: Which is why you will not allow any form of contraception.
FRAMPTON: But you allow the rhythm method!
VICE-POPE: Ah, but only because it doesn’t work.
PYTHON: But are you not worried that the population explosion may lead to greater poverty, disease and eventually war?
VICE-POPE: Well you must remember, our concern is for the next world. So the quicker we can get people there the better.
FRAMPTON: Your vice-holiness, can you advise me how I should tell Eddie about sex. Whenever I try to bring the subject up casually, he becomes embarrassed.
VICE-POPE: Well, frankly, it’s not easy. I mean, take the sex act. Please. (LAUGHTER) Well, none of us can work out what God must have been thinking of when He dreamed it up. I mean... you know what these people actually do, do you? It’s a mind-boggler isn’t it! Going to the lavatory is bad enough but...
KRASZT: That’s not a sin though.
VICE-POPE: Only if indulged in to excess. Voluntarily that is. Bona fide diarrhoea is morally impeccable, but, if deliberately self-induced, can be a venial one.
PYTHON: To return to sex. (CHEERING)
STALIN: What about Communism?
PYTHON: Later, later. Vice-Pope, did Christ himself say anything about sex being sinful?
VICE-POPE: Apparently not, no. This was obviously an oversight on his part, which fortunately we have been able to rectify, with the help of the teachings of Paul...
PYTHON: The Pope?
VICE-POPE: No, no, the saint. The woman-hater.
PYTHON: Oh, the pouf.
VICE-POPE: So they say, yes. Anyway, we’ve managed to pass this off as Christ’s teaching, rather successfully as I think you will admit.
ALL: Absolutely. First class job.
FRAMPTON: Had me fooled.
VICE-POPE: So that even where sex has been... well, permitted, the guilt’s been in there, doing its job.
FRAMPTON: Does this necessity to sub-edit Christ sometimes worry you?
VICE-POPE: Not really. After all, you can’t treat the New Testament as gospel. And one must remember that Christ, though he was a fine young man with some damn good ideas, did go off the rails now and again, rich-man-eye-of-camel for example, which is only to be expected, because he came from a difficult background... an under-privileged Jewish family, his father, God, God the Father that is, was all over the place, in addition to which He wasn’t married to Christ’s mother.
FRAMPTON: But Joseph was.
VICE-POPE: Yes, but Mary was a virgin you see, so the marriage could never have been consummated and so was not legally valid.
PYTHON: So, either way, Christ was a bit of a bastard?
VICE-POPE: Yes, an almighty bastard of course but... This sort of thing helps to explain, too, why he became polygamous in his after-life; all nuns being brides of Christ, as you know.
KRASZT: But with certain exceptions, you accept his teaching?
VICE-POPE: Oh yes, it’s been an invaluable basis for our whole operation really. Of course people accuse us sometimes of not practising what we preach, but you must remember that if you’re trying to propagate a creed of poverty, gentleness and tolerance, you need a very rich, powerful, authoritarian organisation to do it.
FRAMPTON: I’m afraid I must go now. I have to get Eddie’s tea ready.
PYTHON: Well we’ve almost finished. Could you just hold on till we get to the bottom of the page.
STALIN: What? You mean we have to finish there?
PYTHON: Yes. The next page is full of some very good drawings.
STALIN: But I want to tell you about being Joe Stalin’s elder brother. What it felt like to grow up in a family where a tiny child was organising purges the whole time! The knock at the nursery door in the middle of the night, the way Joe got rid of Dad and had Auntie Vanya installed as a puppet-father, how he got our smallest sister, Catherine, made eldest brother by giving the dog an extra vote! How can I tell all that in seven lines?
STALIN: Well I soon realised the way things were going after all the shooting at Boris’s Christening, so I packed my worldly goods and with jaunty step set off for the legendary city of Dundee, in Scotland.
PYTHON: Sorry. That’s it.
STALIN: Can’t I go on down here?
PYTHON: No. It doesn’t look nice.
From The Brand New Monty Python Papperbok