Monty Python, Travel Agent Sketch

“Yes, I quite agree with you, I mean, what's the point of being treated like a sheep? I mean I'm fed up going abroad and being treated like sheep. What's the point of being carted around in buses, surrounded by sweaty mindless oafs from Kettering and Boventry in their cloth caps and their cardigans and their transistor radios and their Sunday Mirrors, complaining about the tea, 'Oh, they don't make it properly here, do they, not like at home', stopping at Majorcan bodegas, selling fish and chips and Watney's Red Barrel and calamares and two veg and sitting in cotton sun frocks squirting Timothy White's suncream all over their puffy, raw, swollen, purulent flesh 'cause they 'overdid it on the first day', and being herded into endless Hotel Miramars and Bellvueses and Bontinentals with their international luxury modern roomettes and their Watney's Red Barrel and their swimming pools full of fat German businessmen pretending to be acrobats and forming pyramids and frightening the children and barging into the queues and, if you're not at your table, spot on seven you miss your bowl of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, the first item on the menu of International Cuisine, and every Thursday night there's bloody cabaret in the bar featuring some tiny emaciated dago with nine-inch hips and some big, fat, bloated tart with her hair Brylcreemed down and a big arse presenting Flamenco for Foreigners, and then some adenoidal typists from Birmingham with diarrhea and flabby white legs and hairy bandy-legged wop waiters called Manuel, and then, once a week, there's an excursion to the local Roman Ruins where you can buy cherryade and melted ice cream and bleedin' Watney's Red Barrel, and then one night they take you to a local restaurant with local colour and colouring and they show you there and you sit next to a party of people from Rhyl who keeps singing 'Torremolinos, Torremolinos' and complaining about the food, 'Oh, it's so greasy, isn't it?', and then you get cornered by some drunken greengrocer from Luton with an Instamatic and Dr. Scholl sandals and Tuesday's 'Daily Express' and he drones on and on and on about how Mr. Smith should be running this country and how many languages Enoch Powell can speak and then he throws up all over the Cuba Libres, and sending tinted postcards of places they don't know they haven't visited, 'To all at number 22, weather wonderful, our room is marked with an 'X'. Wish you were here. Food very greasy but we have managed to find this marvellous little place hidden away in the back streets where you can even get Watney's Red Barrel and cheese and onion crisps and the accordionist plays "Maybe It's Because I'm a Londoner"', and spending four days on the tarmac at Luton airport on a five-day package tour with nothing to eat but dried Watney's sandwiches and you can't even get a drink of Watney's Red Barrel because you're still in England and the bloody bar closes every time you're thirsty and there's nowhere to sleep and the kids are crying and vomiting and breaking the plastic ash-trays and they keep telling you it'll only be another hour although your plane is still in Iceland and has to take some Swedes to Yugoslavia before it can load you up at 3 a.m. in the bloody morning and you sit on the tarmac till six because of 'unforeseen difficulties', i.e. the permanent strike of Air Traffic Control in Paris - and nobody can go to the lavatory until you take off at 8, and when you get to Malaga airport everybody's swallowing "enterovioform" and queuing for the toilets and queuing for the armed customs officers, and queuing for the bloody bus that isn't there to take you to the hotel that hasn't yet been finished. And when you finally get to the half-built Algerian ruin called the Hotel del Sol by paying half your holiday money to a licensed bandit in a taxi you find there's no water in the pool, there's no water in the taps, there's no water in the bog and there's only a bleeding lizard in the bidet. And half the rooms are double booked and you can't sleep anyway because of the permanent twenty-four-hour drilling of the foundations of the hotel next door - and you're plagues by appalling apprentice chemists from Ealing pretending to be hippies, and middle-class stockbrokers' wives busily buying identical holiday villas in suburban development plots just like Esher, in case the Labour government gets in again, and fat American matrons with sloppy-buttocks and Hawaiian-patterned ski pants looking for any mulatto male who can keep it up long enough when they finally let it all flop out. And the Spanish Tourist Board promises you that the raging cholera epidemic is merely a case of mild Spanish tummy, like the previous outbreak of Spanish tummy in 1660 which killed half London and decimated Europe, and meanwhile the bloody Guardia are busy arresting sixteen-year-olds for kissing in the streets and shooting anyone under nineteen who doesn't like Franco. And then on the last day in the airport lounge everyone's comparing sunburns, drinking Nasty Spumante, buying cartons of duty free 'cigarillos' and using up their last pesetas on horrid dolls in Spanish National costume and awful straw donkeys and bullfight posters with your name on 'Ordoney, El Cordobes and Brian Pules of Norwich' and 3-D pictures of the Pope and Kennedy and Franco, and everybody's talking about coming again next year and you swear you never will although there you are tumbling bleary-eyed out of a tourist-tight antique Iberian airplane.”

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