What A Life
Narrator: Many hours ago, there lived two men, Mr. and Mr. This is a story of a decisive day in their lives, and how they nearly came to grief. The day is today, the time is seven o’clock.
Radio: This is the BBC Home Service, here is the 8 o’clock news. Sir John Ingram speaking of the economic crisis at Worcester last night, warned the people of Britain to face further cuts in the near future. He stressed the importance of a rigid economy, and appealed to everyone to accept the present austerity with fortitude and optimism. A foreign correspondent commenting on the speech said . . . (radio turned off).
Wife: There you are dear, eat it up, it’s your bacon ration for the week so you may as well enjoy it. Sorry about the toast, I don’t know what happened, there wasn’t even enough pressure to light the stove, let alone burn a piece of bread. Oh no, don’t read the paper while you’re eating, you know it always gives you indigestion. Do you know, I spent two and half hours in the queues yesterday, and all I came back with was three sausages and two pounds of artichokes. The vegetable queue got so political, that they had three governments all in power at the same time by the time I got to the front. I don’t know which is worse, the grumbling in the queues, or the rudeness of the trades people. I'm sure I don’t know what’s happening to people these days, and what you’re going to have for your supper tonight I don’t know, you’ll just have to have what’s not there, that’s all. Now hurry dear, or you’ll be late, and don’t get wet, and don’t worry, and don’t forget about Bill.
Man in queue: Morning old man, how’s the situation?
Other man: What do you think, look at us here, waiting like tramps for a lift. When I think of the time everyone just got the old bus out, petrol in the tank, wife and kids inside, there you were off to any damn where, anywhere you please, just imagine, anywhere you please. Look at us now, buses, empty roads, trains packed like sardines without the olive oil. Just look at us, we’ll be sharing houses next.
Woman: What’s the point of a fortnight’s starvation and boredom in some broken down resort, when you’ve got to come back to this, I ask you.
Other Woman: No point in anything that I can see.
Woman: If only one could get out of this hole, take Italy now, nylons, seven and six a pair, as many as you want, black market of course. And here they’re thirty bob.
Other Woman: Black market.
Woman: Of course, damn there it goes again.
Boy: Have one of these, cut down to five a day now, and a sore throat in the bargain, dunno what life’s coming to.
Man in lorry: Watcha gloomy.
Man in car: Everybody’s gloomy these days, why should I be out of fashion?
Man in cafe: Can I have the sausages, thank you.
Man in office on telephone: What, no I haven’t got your letter, I can’t hear a damn thing, no, nothing works, nothing at all, right, blast it.
Another man in office: Walked off my feet, one place didn’t have a bath, and the other place they hadn’t even started building, nowhere to live and no lunchtime looking for it, oh I give up.
Voice on telephone: That application you sent it on form SX424/E, it’s the wrong form to begin with, and it’s quite incorrectly filled in, I simply have not the time to correct all these mistakes, working single handed, with 300 queries a day and 50 people waiting outside my office, I tell you I’m up to my eyes in work! Please will you send in the application again, and get it right!
Woman: And it’s not a bit of use complaining, look what I’ve got to put up with, do you ever hear me grumble?
Man: I tell you, in five year’s time there won’t be any worries, because there won’t be anything left to worry about.
Another Man: Less of everything, except of course work and trouble, how much longer’s it going on?
Man: Do you think we’ve reached the bottom? Not on your life, you wait and see.
Woman: Might as well give up.
Man: Work harder? What the hell with?
Woman: Those were the days.
Man: Things will never be the same again.
Woman: Words, words, words, why can’t they do something?
Man: You can blame it on the weather if you like, but they should have known.
Man: Why should we put up with it?
Another Man: Let’s face it old boy, we might as well call it a day.
Man: Call it a day, I call it a downright scandal.
Another Man: What’s the use?
Man: From bad to worse all boy, from bad to worse.
Another Man: I tell you, we’re through.
Voice: Going, going, gone
Mr: No use, is it? I tell you, things have never been as bad as this. Drink? Seen the headlines? Take a look. It can’t go on you know. It’s the end this time all right. Drink? There’s nothing for it is there. Know how the trains run?
Other Mr: Fenchurch Street, 4.25
Mr’s (both): laughing
Barman: Come along now, last orders
Mr’s (both): laughing