Circus friends association stay at Maulty Powers Hotel Torquay (Do not mention the acts!).
What hotel is the Committee arranging this year Vee? Hope it is better than the one at Torquay who wheel-clamped our Mascot circus lorry! Their experience the last time!
Basil Fawlty enters the hotel. ‘Sybil! What is this block booking in the ledger – ‘CFA (Rally Party)’. What Party? You know we do not do politics! What does it mean, Crab Fishers Anonimous? Careers for Anarchists? You should know how I detest these block bookings with their theme nights. Feeding them is a nightmare, none will speak quietly, they must shout from table to table endless boring anecdotes. And what may I ask is that loudly painted lorry doing on the frontage? I want that shifted or it will be wheel clamped’!
(Sybil Fawlty) ‘Calm down Basil, they are very nice polite people and the CFA means ‘Circus Followers Annual’, get-to-gether. they are keen followers of the circus, specially vehicles, and have chosen our hotel this year because the Circus Utopia is in town and they wish to have a big party and take lots of transport photographs. Now, I must stress upon you Basil, you should be pleased that they have chosen our hotel, you should know we need the money at this time and if you carry on insulting people we will soon be out of business. I must stress upon you not to use your usual sarcasms and above all avoid mentioning circus acts!. Or artistes!!.’
(Sybil) ‘Sorry Basil, the Secretary has explained to me, categorically, that our staff must avoid any such references. Apparently it inspires heated arguments about what particular act is the best or appreciated socially so they tend to discuss circus tents, proprietors and transport for the sake of mutual harmony. So, whatever you do don’t mention these best avoided words – promise Basil’.
(Basil) ‘So, that is why I can see all those posters of circus vehicles around the lounge walls! Well they can all come down for a start. (Basil enters the lounge bar) ‘Hello everyone, I am Basil, your receiver of all complaints generally ignored. Welcome to our one star hotel my joyful camp followers!. Welcome!. We have a star rating because you may see it through the bathroom ceiling – just a little joke. Now, who might be the acting, sorry ring master, sorry master of ceremonies. Must not mention ‘act’, HonSec, of the touring troupe?
(Hon Sec) ‘I am Mr. Fawlty and I must say that I was promised a view of the Circus Utopia from my bedroom window but I fail to see it’.
(Basil) ‘It is there madam, between the sea and the trees. This is Torquay, and not Monte-Carlo for the Circus Festival. And what may I ask is that outrageous fairground painted truck doing on my frontage?. Also, you are not definitely not allowed to use the hotel sound system for any video attachments – we can not have Entree of the Gladiators over and over at 200 decibels!
(Hon Sec) ‘Please Mr. Fawlty, that is our prize exhibit, our mascot. That is a priceless Chiappa Fairground Organ built over 100 years ago in Clerkenwell, London by the famous organ building family of Chiappa and Sons. It goes everywhere with us on rallies!. (Basil) ‘Is that so, well do not start grinding it here or sell Hot Dogs or Popcorn. Furthermore, our music license covers the lounge bar only so we can not allow it to be played or any festive Carnival dancing out there either. (Hon: Sec;) We are happy to comply Mr Fawlty, and you need have no worries about a sound system, none of our show videos have audible sound because we avoid giving identities to circus persons – our best (only kept!) rule. You can check on YouTube. The latest would need an Emigma machine!
(Basil) GOOD! About the The Menu: you will see today’s fodder menu posted on the board and the third act, sorry I mentioned act, I must remember never to mention act, I meant to say ‘Acton’ and I am so pleased that you came to my hotel instead of that terrible place in Acton. I was confused about the word act, it reminded me of that dreadful party of actors we had once, constantly walking around looking into mirrors and talking to themselves! Now the fourth item on the bill, programme, sorry, list will be the choice of sweet. Today it will be Apple Tumbler, sorry Crumble or Horse Routine, sorry, Radish, or Rolly Skating, sorry Rolly Poly Pudding, and the clowning glory sorry, crowning glory will be our trick cycling, sorry, Treacle Tart’!
(Hon Sec) ‘Please, PLEASE Mr. Fawlty!. Will you stop refering to acts!!. That lady over there is becoming quite upset’.
(Basil) ‘Huge apologies. I will not mention circus acts or act again’ Now for the flying act, sorry, Fire Drill, we must arrange the Fire Drill for 10 a.m. tomorrow morning when all the artistes, sorry, guests, must come down in full costume, sorry, clothing from their respective dressing rooms, sorry, rooms, for assembly in the ring doors, sorry the main entrance doors where you will be fired from the cannon’!.
Polly, I have just been speaking to the special party of circus following guests. Please whatever you do don’t mention circus acts or act I nearly did but I think I got away with it’
Grateful acknowledgement to the BBC, Connie Booth and John Cleese.
Well Vee, that roll of the dice contest between us has produced the result. You lose so you will have to do the revue of Circus Utopia for Quarter Pole magazine! In any case Vee, I think it is out of order to suggest we totally favour Circus Transport over Circus Artistes! (Vee) Couldn’t agree more Chip, no idea where it comes from. Could I have a borrow of that book when you have read it?