Monday, June 05, 2006


BIRD: You're not going to believe this.


BIRD: Doris, at Number 22. I tell you, it's hilarious. This is what happened, verbatim, like...

DORIS:(on telephone) Oh, Estelle, I’m so nervous.

ESTELLE: (also on phone) I don’t blame you, dear. I’d be nervous too if I was about to be impregnated by a strange man from a government agency. How does Larry feel about it?

DORIS: Resigned to it, I suppose, being infertile and all, poor man.
Doorbell rings.

DORIS: Oh, dear, Estelle, there’s the doorbell... it must be him. He’s ten minutes early.

ESTELLE: Well, he’s eager, I’ll give him that... do try to relax and enjoy it if you can, dear. Ciao!

DORIS: Bye...
She hangs up the phone and answers the door.

DORIS: (nervous) Come in, please... I’ve been expecting you.

RANDY: Oh? Well, great! Thank you...

DORIS: I’m Mrs. Baron... and you’re...?

RANDY: Randy Wellington at your service, ma’am.

DORIS: Please,... call me Doris... I mean, under the circumstances.

RANDY: Uh, yes, well, certainly... Doris.

DORIS: What’s in the case... if you don’t mind my asking?

RANDY: Oh, my samples... may I?

DORIS: Samples? Yes... I suppose so... uh, please have a seat. Some tea or coffee?

RANDY: Perhaps later?

DORIS: Later? Oh, yes, I see... of course.
Randy snaps open his sample case.

RANDY: Well, then, here we are, this is some of my best work...
Doris flips through photo albums.

DORIS: Oh, my, what beautiful babies... all your work, you say? So many. How long have you been, you know... at it?

RANDY: Five years now. Slow going at first, until the word got round, but now I’m averaging five or six sessions a day, six days a week.

DORIS: My God. You’re extremely... prolific.

RANDY: Eh? Oh, well, tons of experience, you know. Gets to be second nature after awhile.

DORIS: Yes, I imagine... but it must be awfully fatiguing.

RANDY: Depends. Sometimes it’s difficult but more often it’s a piece of cake. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. You see, there’s often a misconception...

DORIS: I’m sorry... did you say “misconception”?

RANDY: Well, er, I meant that one acquires a certain technique, you know. It’s not just a matter of popping off a few shots at the hip and hoping it turns out all right.

DORIS: Good grief...

RANDY: There’s a lot of preliminary work, if you know I mean. You can’t just jump in and hope for the best... you’ve got to be patient and wait for the right moment... and of course the angle has to be just right... and the lighting... ah, that’s the most important thing of all. If you’re overexposed, it’s a complete washout. On the other hand, a shot in the dark comes out muddy every time... and often you only get one go at it.

DORIS: Lord... Lighting... yes, for the mood, I imagine. Well, I’ve got some scented candles. Will that do, then?

RANDY: ‘Fraid not. We’ll need two or three good floodlights. The more light the better. I like to see what I’m doing... especially for the more intimate close-ups.

DORIS: Oh, my...

RANDY: Yes, Doris, you see, with lots of light you can close the old aperture down all the way, for a really tight shot. You get more depth of field that way, better penetration... higher resolution, if you get my meaning?

DORIS: (swooning) Yes, I think I do... I had no idea it was so... complex.

RANDY: Well, it is, rather, but don’t worry, you’re in good hands. Babies are my business, Doris, says so on my card. So, where is the little darling, then?

DORIS: I beg your pardon?

RANDY: The little bundle of joy. Sleeping, is it?

DORIS: Well,... resting, more like.

RANDY: Let me have a peek. Is there any hair, by the way? A little, or a lot?

DORIS: I don’t know... about average, I guess... I trimmed it this morning...

RANDY: Marvellous. Tell you what, how about you give the little darling a tickle or two to wake it up, see if it’s gone moist, do what you need to get it ready and I’ll pop out to the van and get my equipment in order.

DORIS: Equipment?

RANDY: Yes, my cameras and what-not.

DORIS: You’re going to take pictures?

RANDY: (laughs) That’s the general idea. I thought we’d bang off a few shots for starters - get a feel for it. Puts the little one at ease before I set up the old tripod.

DORIS: Tripod?

RANDY: My equipment is much too heavy to hold for long. Without the support of a good sturdy tripod I have trouble maintaining focus, you know. If you like, we could do it outdoors. The light in the park is exquisite today. Had my first session there already. One of your neighbors, actually... Mrs. Somerset.

DORIS: Lucinda Somerset? But, good heavens... she has twins.

RANDY: And a strapping pair of lads they are, too. Some of my best work. Repeat customer, you know.

DORIS: Oh, my lord... well, that’s good I suppose, that she asked for you again... but in the park?

RANDY: Oh, we had a lovely session. A good half dozen shots on a blanket by the band stand, a couple in the altogether... attracted quite a crowd, in fact.

DORIS: I’m sure it did... and Lucinda, she didn’t mind?

RANDY: Mind? She was delighted. Several women there asked me for business cards... nothing like popping off a few shots in the fresh air. Invigorating. The only drawback, of course, is the ruddy squirrels...

DORIS: Squirrels?

RANDY: Yes, they sneak up on you and start nibbling on the old batteries. Short circuits the old flasher, and bang! Another shot down the old drain.

DORIS: Good heavens!.
Doris faints dead away on the floor.

RANDY: Omigod! Doris, are you OK?
The doorbell rings. Randy rushes to answer it.

RANDY: Mr. Baron?

MR PLUNKETT: No, I thought you were Mr. Baron. I’m Rodney Plunkett from the Ministry of Fertility. Mrs. Baron and I are on for ten o’clock. I say, is that her sprawled on the floor? What have you done to her?

RANDY: Nothing, I swear! It’s all been a horrible mistake! I take photos of babies and stuff. I wondered why she was expecting me...

MR. PLUNKETT: And she thought...?

RANDY: Yes. Think I’ll be off now.

MR. PLUNKETT: Oh, before you go, would you mind awfully helping me carry Mrs. Baron upstairs to the bedroom?

RANDY: Not at all, always glad to help out a civil servant...


BUFFALO: Laffing me ass off here, lad. btw What's with the Google ad? "Overactive bladder?" ? Just HOW old is our readership?

BIRD: Average age... Mature, dude. Mature. Gotta go and look after some sick cats now. Film at eleven.

BUFFALO: Arf, arf!

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