Silliness: Python Scrapheap Challenge (Now Complete!)

Here are Parts 7 and 8 - I thought I might as well post them together. The other parts are down below as comments, mostly in reverse order, except Part 1 (which starts with 'Introduction' is between Part 6 and Part 5. Sorry for any confusion, but I decided quite a long way in to put the latest part in the main body post.

Enjoy - and let me know what you think!


BOB: Well, we're in the final hour, and I'm over in the Pythons' camp, with vice-captain Anne Elk (Miss).

ANNE: That's right, Bob!

BOB: So Anne, why don't you tell me about your airship?

ANNE: There is no reason at all, Bob, that is, there would be no cause for me, Anne Elk, brackets Miss brackets, no reason at all, for me not to tell you about my airship. That is mine. That is, my airship.

BOB: So ... tell me.

ANNE: That's right, Bob. The next thing you're going to hear is me telling you about my airship. AHEMHEMHEM! Right. Thank you, Bob. Now I'm going to tell you about my airship. My airship is very thin at one end, much larger in the middle, and very thin at the other end.

BOB: Because your airship is, in fact, shaped like a brontosaurus?

ANNE: It is in homage to my theory. That is, my theory, that is mine, I, Anne Elk, brackets Miss brackets. My theory. Ahem. My theory about brontosauruses.

BOB: And will it fly?

ANNE: That's spot on, Bob!

BOB: And have you and your team completely finished?

ANNE: Thank you, Bob! I have another theory ...

BOB: Anne Elk, thank you very much. Now I think I ...


BOB (walking away): I'm going to talk to Mr Neutron now. Mr Neutron, sir!

NEUTRON: Ah. Hello, Bob. It is very nice to see you again.

BOB: Mr Neutron, where are the rest of your team?

NEUTRON: Ken Clean-Air-System went for a run some time ago, Bob. The last we heard, he was in Kuwait.

BOB: Kuwait? But surely...?

NEUTRON: Oh. Sorry, I meant Kent.

BOB: I see. And Patsy?

NEUTRON: Unfortunately he prodded our electric wheelbarrow ...

NOT-AT-ALL-RANDOM CROWD: Electric wheelbarrow?

BOB: Shut up! Do go on, Mr Neutron.

NEUTRON: Thank you, Bob. He prodded the - machine - and unfortunately it ate him.

BOB: Ate him? You're joking!

NEUTRON: Why yes, Bob, as a matter of fact I am. He has gone to the lavatory. He was in a lavatorial humour. Ha ha ha.

BOB: Uh - yes. Hilarious. Now, I understand your airship is complete?

NEUTRON: That's right, Bob. Though whether or not it will fly remains to be seen.

BOB: As a matter of fact, I've come to deliver a tank of fuel for you to test your device. Is your airship secured to the ground?

NEUTRON: That is correct. But it is currently in the shed, and it must be wheeled out and re-secured.

BOB: Excellent. I'll leave you to it then, our cameras will be standing by to capture your first attempt. I'd better get over to the Montys and deliver their tank!

Bob jogs over to the Montys' area of the scrapyard.

BOB: Montys, how's your last hour going?

ERIC (sulkily): Don't ask me, you loutish parody of a man! If you want me, I'll be ... elsewhere.

Eric flings down the oily rag he's been holding, and flounces out of the shed.

BOB (taken aback): Oh dear, Colonel, what's the matter with Renaissance Man?

COLONEL: I'm afraid he had a run-in with Jenkinson. They were working very hard, but I'm afraid it's just got silly. Jenkinson's bored, Phillips is too busy tinkering to keep an eye on him, and Eric kept fussing around, making, shall we say, less than constructive criticisms about what the engineers were doing. Finally Jenkinson couldn't take it any more, and he pinched Eric on the arm. Eric flicked Jenkinson with the oily rag and walked off. Apparently it's all very serious, but it just seems silly to me. JENKINSON! Stop that! It's silly!

Bob looks over to see Jenkinson running around pretending to be an aeroplane again. Phillips is steadfastly ignoring him.

JENKINSON (stopping): Sor-ry!

Cut to Bob and Vera sitting on their platform thing near the gong.

VERA: Well, Bob, there's about a minute to go - why don't you tell us how the last hour's gone?

BOB: Vera, it's been all systems go for our cheeky challengers. They've both finished on time, and they've both had successful test flights. It's now just tinkering until the challenge tomorrow morning. And the time's up! Vera, will you do the honours?

VERA: Gladly, Bob!

Vera sets off the gong, and Bob picks up his megaphone.

BOB: Teams, your time is UP! Stop working now - you'll have twenty minutes' final tinkering time before the challenge tomorrow. Congratulations on great builds. We'll see you tomorrow!


BOB: Welcome back to Scrapheap Challenge! I'm here with both teams and we're about to start the challenge! Tell us about it, Vera!

VERA: Thanks Bob, well, I'm standing in front of the course here. You can see the clearly marked targets. We'll be testing the airships for speed and accuracy - first of all a timed lap of the course, then it will be up to teams to steer their airship over the course, and water bomb the targets! Then comes the third and final challenge, when teams will be tested on the time they take to hit every single target on the course. In the end it's quite simple, Bob - the team that hits the most targets in the least amount of time will be the winner!

BOB: EXCELLENT! Teams, are you READY?


BOB: Then off you go!

Bob runs over to where the Pythons are getting ready to start.

BOB: Mr Neutron, is your team feeling confident?

MR NEUTRON: Yes, Bob, we certainly are feeling confident.

BOB: Excellent! I see Captain Ken still hasn't turned up, however ...

MR NEUTRON: I'm afraid not.

BOB: Well, I'm sure you'll do great as you are. Best of luck!


Cut to Vera, who's approaching the Montys, who seem to be missing the Colonel.

VERA: Captain Renaissance Man, I'm glad to see you back!

ERIC: Thanks Vera, I'm feeling better now I've had a little rest.

VERA: But where's the Colonel?

ERIC: I'm afraid he's not feeling very well. He said he wasn't all there this morning. So we left him at the hotel. Don't worry though, I've got things under control.

VERA: I'm glad to hear it. How are Phillips and Jenkinson?

ERIC: Phillips is as steadfast as ever - Jenkinson's mood has improved.

VERA: Excellent. Well, the very best of ...

She trails off at the sight of Jenkinson clubbing Phillips over the head with a wooden mallet.

ERIC: Oh, Jenkinson, leave that mallet alone!

JENKINSON: Oh dear - are you all right, sir? I don't know my own strength!

Phillips looks stunned for a moment, then shakes his head, and ...


ERIC: Oh no, not again. Excuse me! Who are you?

PHILLIPS: Police Constable Pan Am, at your service sir! RIGHT! COME BACK 'ERE, YOU LAYABOUT!

Police Constable Pan Am chases Jenkinson round and round the airship, brandishing the wooden mallet. He finally catches him and knocks him out. He then knocks out Eric, and as Vera and the cameramen chase after him, he runs over to the Pythons' airship and hits all of them over the head as well. They all lie on the ground, unconscious. Pan Am then makes a run towards Vera, but before he can get to her, Bob hits him over the head with his megaphone, and he falls to the ground.

BOB: Well, Vera, that's quite a turn-up! The first ever Scrapheap Challenge when every team member has been unfit for duty! What are we going to do?

VERA: But wait, Bob! I think they're coming round!

Sure enough, the Montys and the Pythons are all waking up. They look around, confused, then look at each other. Anne Elk is the first to stand up.

ANNE ELK (in a man's voice): All right. What's going on? What am I doing back in this getup?

He looks over at Mr Neutron.

ANNE ELK: Oh God, Graham, this is your doing, isn't it?

GRAHAM (sits up, groaning): Oh my God, what was I drinking last night?

PATSY: Everything, as usual, Graham, this is you we're talking about.

GRAHAM: Oh, shut up Gilliam, I've got a headache.

Terry G looks over at Pan Am, who's still lying dazed on the ground.

TERRY G: Mike! You awake?

Eric hauls Jenkinson (aka Terry J) to his feet, and they both run over to Pan Am.

ERIC: Mike?

TERRY J: Mike, you OK?

MICHAEL (groggily): Oh, it's you two - oh, we're all here! Why? We didn't have a meeting scheduled did we? Where are we?

TERRY G: Looks like a scrapheap.

TERRY J: Looks like some sort of television show.

BOB (tentatively): It is. It's a game show. It's Scrapheap Challenge. Some of your characters agreed to be on it. But now they've turned into you because you all got hit on the head.

MICHAEL: What a stupid concept!

TERRY J (to cameraman): What are you filming from that angle for? You'll never get both the airships in if you do it like that.

TERRY G: I know, I was thinking the same thing actually. If you move about fifteen yards back you'll be able to get both the airships in and that bunch of targets behind.

TERRY J: Yeah, and if you added some smoke ...

ANNE ELK (aka JOHN, of course ...): Right, that's it. I'm not standing for any more of this. It's all been very nice I'm sure, but I'm going home.

GRAHAM: Me too.

ERIC: Hang on, I'll give you a lift.

They walk off, leaving Michael and the two Terrys standing in the middle of the scrapyard, with Bob and Vera watching them nervously.

BOB: Oh. Um ... well, I guess I could join one of you, and we could do the challenge in twos?

TERRY J: Uh, no. Sorry. I'm going home. Are you two coming?


MICHAEL (to Bob and Vera): Sorry.

They walk off into the distance, and out of sight.

BOB: Yes, er ... well ... now what do we do?

STRANGER'S VOICE BEHIND BOB: Well, there are a number of endings you could choose ... the chase, of course ... or the romantic ending ... or of course there's ...


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Here Comes Another One: PART SIX

BOB (through megaphone): Teams, you have THREE HOURS LEFT! Three hours! Thank you!

Bob turns to camera

Well, welcome back to Scrapheap Challenge! As you just heard, time is running out for our plucky Pythons and our magnificent Montys. So let's cross over to the Montys' camp and see how they're doing.

Cut to Montys

COLONEL: Camp, that's a good one. Renaissance Man, will you stop adjusting your tights as if you were some sort of judge, and get on with sewing up that balloon!

ERIC: Ugh, anyone would think you were the captain!

COLONEL: Captain indeed! I'm a COLONEL! And don't you forget it!

Enter Vera

VERA: So, Montys, how are you doing?

ERIC (sulkily): Don't ask me, apparently I've been ousted!

VERA: All right, I'll ask the Colonel. Colonel, are your team on track?

COLONEL: Very much so, thank you. Renaissance Man unfortunately broke a nail while installing a propeller, which was a considerable setback, but we're over that now.

VERA: Oh - surely not!

COLONEL: Yes, I'm afraid so, Miss Shortwoman. He cried for an hour.

VERA: I'm sorry to hear that.

She goes to the other side of the shed, where Phillips and Jenkinson are hard at work.

VERA: You two seem to be going great guns!

Jenkinson mutters something. Phillips shushes him.

VERA: Or not so great?

JENKINSON: I'm bored! I want to go to the pictures!

PHILLIPS: Well you can't! I told you!

VERA: Never mind, Jenkinson, there's only three hours to go, and you'll be off for the night!

Jenkinson giggles shyly.

PHILLIPS: We're doing well, Miss Shortwoman. We're just finishing off installing the seats, and then we'll be tinkering with the steering. Eric said he'd help with that, although the Colonel reckons Eric wouldn't be any good trying to get anything to go straight, whatever that means. Oh, stop your giggling, Jenkinson!

Jenkinson stuffs his hanky in his mouth.

VERA: Alright, I'll leave you guys to it for now.

PHILLIPS: How are the Pythons doing?

VERA: That would be telling.

Jenkinson whispers something in Phillips' ear.

PHILLIPS: Oh yes, before you go, Miss Shortwoman - why do we have these team names? The Montys and the Pythons? We don't understand.

VERA: Now that, too, would be telling.

Jenkinson mutters something.

PHILLIPS: No, Jenkinson! We have to finish this first!


PHILLIPS: Oh well, look, let's take a bit of a break, alright? Tell you what. You can have a ride in the electric wheelbarrow.


COLONEL: Stop that! It's silly!

VERA (exiting): Join us after a short break, when we'll be finding out how the Pythons are faring in the final three hours.


Here Comes Another One: INTRODUCTION

OK, it's late and I'm a bit tired, but when I read the heading of CamelSpotter's 'Screencap Challenge' post I read 'Scrapheap Challenge.' I don't know who else knows about that show or its U.S. equivalent, Junkyard Wars, but basically two teams go head to head on a scrapheap making machines out of junk according to a particular theme, then compete against each other in some sort of game or challenge at the end. And for some reason, in the British version anyway, all the contestants seem to be called Andy.

Since I was of course on Pythonline when this occurred to me, I thought how funny it would be to put the Pythons against each other, either as themselves or some of their characters, in a Scrapheap Challenge scenario. So here goes my pilot episode.


Enter BOB.

BOB: Hello there, my name's Bob Glyndwr. My assistant Vera Shortwoman and I are proud to present a special Monty Python version of Scrapheap Challenge. As usual we have two teams. Let's introduce them.

On the Montys team we have Mr D.P. Gumby, who spends his time arranging flowers and bashing two bricks together. He'll be one of the 'scavengers' on the Montys team. With him is a man of uncertain name - let's call him Eric - who is a sort of idealised version of the complete Renaissance Man. His hobbies include dressing up, getting off sinking ships, and looking very attractive in tights. The Montys' second-in-command is the Rev. Arthur Belling, who spends his time rolling about on the floor going 'P-ting, p-ting!' but also possesses an uncanny ability to understand complex engineering plans, and will of course pray for divine guidance. The team captain is Joseph Montgolfier, whose knowhow and enthusiasm about balloons, and propensity to wear interesting shower caps, will make this a very interesting challenge indeed.

On the Pythons team we have Anne Elk (Miss), the well-known theorist, whose groundbreaking thoughts on brontosauruses are now legendary in the science world. She'll be the second-in-command of the Pythons. One of the scavengers is Mr Neutron, the most dangerous man in the universe, whose hobbies include gardening and interior decorating. He's dedicating his performance today to Mrs S.C.U.M, his child bride. The other scavenger is Patsy, loyal servant of King Arthur, whose hobbies include bashing coconuts together and watching exciting fights to the death between knights. The captain of the Pythons is Ken Clean-Air-System, whose unabashed and unmatchable enthusiasm is sure to be an asset to the team, despite his being almost totally stupid, and hampered by a bit of brain that is lodged in his head.

So here we are at the scrapheap. Our two teams are assembled, and all are dressed in their regulation Scrapheap Challenge overalls except Eric, who insisted on keeping his Renaissance Man outfit on. Mr Gumby, could you kindly stop bashing those bricks together and listen please? Right.

Welcome to Scrapheap Challenge, teams! Today you will have ten hours to build amazing, astounding, astonishing AIRSHIPS!

JOSEPH MONTGOLFIER: Oh, magnifique! We are building balloons!

BOB: It's not a BALLOON! It's an AIRSHIP!

JOSEPH: Oh merde.

BOB: As I was saying in my amazingly alliterative way, you'll be building airships. You know the rules. You can use anything you find on this scrapheap, none of whose components has been placed there strategically for you to find. At the end of the ten hours you will race your airships and attempt to water-bomb marked targets.

JOSEPH: Water-balloons!

A knight with a rubber chicken comes and bashes Joseph upon the head, then walks away.

BOB: Thank you. Well, that's all I have to say, teams, so without further ado ... go on the sound of the gong!



So ... what do you think? Worth continuing? Or is it too desperately dull and tedious and stuffy and boring and desperately dull?


Here Comes Another One: PART FIVE

BOB: Welcome back to Scrapheap Challenge! I'm here with Vera on that funny seat thing we have near the gong, where we sit and discuss things.

VERA: Right you are, Bob.

BOB: Yes. So how are the Pythons doing?

VERA: Well, the last time I checked, scavengers Patsy and Mr Neutron had finished collecting parts, and they were making good progress on the build under the watchful eye of Anne Elk (Miss).

BOB: So have they figured out what her plan is?

VERA: I believe trial and error is pulling them through, Bob. Miss Elk coughs very loudly whenever she thinks they're doing something wrong, and to save themselves being covered in phlegm, they right themselves very quickly.

BOB: So who are you betting on to win the contest at the moment, Vera?

VERA: I'd have to say the Montys, now their two scavengers have turned into engineers. Plus we haven't seen much action from the Pythons' captain, have we?

BOB: No, that's true. I'll agree with you, Vera, unless of course we have any further personality changes in the Montys' camp.

Bob stands up and picks up his mega megaphone.

BOB: Teams, you have FIVE HOURS LEFT! FIVE HOURS! Thank you!

Cut to the Montys

ERIC: Five hours, oh God, we're done for!

COLONEL: Stop that. You've been a good leader, but I'm getting tired of you being slightly effeminate all the time. It's silly! It's time to be a MAN! Do you hear?

ERIC (tosses head): Oh, please. As if anyone could miss that, you loud, uncouth, military ... thing!

COLONEL: Hmph! How are you two doing over there!

PHILLIPS: We're doing very well! I've just finished the internal frame, and Jenkinson's built some smashing shelves. JENKINSON! STOP SMASHING THOSE SHELVES!


Cut to the Pythons


MR NEUTRON: Oh dear. It seems that Anne Elk brackets Miss brackets has detected an error in our building. Quick, Patsy. Move the propellor another six inches that way.

He points. With a grunt, Patsy obeys. Anne Elk sighs contentedly and folds her hands in her lap.

MR NEUTRON: We have made it through another obstacle, my faithful sidekick Patsy. Let us hope that a hydrogen canister has been conveniently left somewhere conspicuous on the scrapheap for us to find completely at random.

BOB (through megaphone): OI! That's enough of that! We never place objects strategically on the scrapheap depending on the theme of the week, without which the builds could not possibly be carried through to success!

MR NEUTRON: I apologise, Bob Glyndwr. My mistake.

PATSY: Ssh! Don't say that, or that strange singing man from the episode you're in will turn up.

MR NEUTRON: Oh dear. I never thought of that.

PATSY: Never mind, he's only a model.


genji at 11:09 am October 13

Haha. Very good. I am getting a bit lost in terms of the objectives of the game, but it's still funny to read all those characters' lines. It's just a pity you couldn't crowbar the mysterious cowboy from the excellent 'Marriage Guidance Councellor' sketch in to deliver the colonel's line: "It's time to be a MAN! Do you hear?"

This suggestion isn't much use now but I've been thinking about the format. When you have a new episode to post you could first copy and paste the previous episode into a new comment and then paste the new episode onto the original post. Then the latest episode is always at the top and people comment on that. Just a thought...

Here Comes Another One at 6:20 pm October 13

That is a thought. I can always do that with any future multiple-episode post.

And yes, I thought of the cowboy too - I could have had him just walk in randomly like the knight with the rubber chicken, but you'll understand in the next part why the Colonel says it. :-)

genji: It hasn't fallen flat - it's just that there's only so much comment readers can make. It's still good and I think you should complete it, take it to its natural conclusion.

Perhaps the rest of us should chip in with Mr. Chapmanesque comments (i.e. those he made during the writing of 'The Cheese Shop')...

It's good, it's good... go on...

Here Comes Another One at 6:46 pm October 09

Well, if it's being read, that's good enough for me. :-)

Here Comes Another One: PART FOUR

BOB: Welcome back to Scrapheap Challenge! The story so far is that the Montys have encountered early difficulties in the shape of a leadership crisis, when Captain Joseph Montgolfier underwent a change of personality and started thinking he was Trotsky. Trotsky then decided he was Clodagh Rodgers. But Eric, a sort of idealised version of the complete Renaissance Man, took over, and with support from the Reverend Arthur Belling, who is guiding Mr D.P. Gumby around the scrapheap with their electric wheelbarrow ...

RANDOM CROWD: Electric wheelbarrow?

BOB: Shut up! So I'm heading over to the Montys' area to see how their airship is progressing.

Bob enters the Montys' shed. Clodagh Rodgers is running around pretending to be an aeroplane, while the other three members of the team are busy trying to catch D.P. Gumby, who is also running around, except with a panicked look on his face. Perhaps this is because Eric is holding a large wooden mallet.

BOB: Montys, Montys! What on earth is going on?

He takes Belling by the arm, pulling him out of the chase.

BELLING: Well, funny thing actually. We've figured out that Montgolfier received a nasty bang on the head from Louis XIV, which is why he keeps changing personality. Gumby there is completely useless, so Eric had the bright idea of knocking him over the head in the hope that he'd turn into Bicycle Repair Man. Honestly, I don't know where he gets these ideas. I'm just going along with it really. SQUAWK SQUAWK SQUAWK SQUAWK SQUAWK!!!

BOB: Well, er ...

At that moment, Eric cracks Gumby over the head with the mallet. He stops running and looks momentarily confused. He shakes his head, blinks, and then ...

GUMBY: Ah, bonjour! I am just delighted to be 'ere in zis fine scrapyard.

BELLING: What's he supposed to be?

ERIC: It's Cardinal Richelieu, Vicar. You are Cardinal Richelieu, aren't you?

RICHELIEU (cheekily): Oui.

BELLING: Well? Is he an engineer?

ERIC: No he is (stamps foot) NOT an engineer! He's a seventeenth-century French cardinal who was first minister to Louis the Thirteenth!

BELLING: Ah, well, I can't see that he would be much good. Hit him again.

ERIC: Right you are.

Before Cardinal Richelieu knows what's happening, Eric hits him over the head with the mallet. As before, he looks confused, shakes his head, and ...

RICHELIEU: Stop that, Jenkinson!

Clodagh Rodgers, or indeed, Jenkinson, immediately stops pretending to be an aeroplane and looks mournfully at the man who until just now was Cardinal Richelieu.

JENKINSON: Sorry Mr Phillips, sir. Have we started yet?

PHILLIPS: Well, just at this moment I'm not entirely sure what this is all about. (Turns to Belling) Ah, sir, you're a respectable minister of the church, would you mind telling me what's going on here?

BELLING: This is Scrapheap Challenge, Mr ... Phillips?

PHILLIPS: Yes, that's right. This is my assistant Jenkinson. We're engineers in the British division of the Concorde project.

RANDOM CROWD: But that's in Do Not Adjust Your Set!

BOB: Shut up! I'm sure, Mr Belling, that you and Eric would find two aeronautic engineers very welcome on your project.

ERIC: Oh yes, certainly. Hello there, gentlemen.

JENKINSON: What are you supposed to be?

ERIC: Well, it's a sort of idealised version of what a sort of Renaissance courtier-artiste might have looked like, you know ...

JENKINSON: Looks more like a Flemish merchant.

ERIC: No it is (stamps foot) NOT a Flemish merchant!

BELLING: All right, all right, don't be so sane! P-ting, p-ting!

ERIC: Oh, be quiet.

He hits Belling over the head with the mallet. Belling looks confused, then blinks, shakes his head, and then looks over at Phillips and Jenkinson, who have started jumping about excitedly at the sight of the airship parts lying around everywhere.

BELLING: All right, you two! Stop that! It's silly. We've got a good project going here, but it's got silly. So get on with it! GET ON WITH IT!

BOB: I'll leave you blokes to it then ...


Here Comes Another One: PART THREE

Vera Shortwoman is crossing the scrapyard, heading for the Pythons' HQ.

VERA: So, the Montys off to a bit of a shaky start there. Let's see how the Python team is doing. Ah - it looks like Ken is out of the shed at the moment, so let's ask his second-in-command. Vice-Captain Anne, are you there?

ANNE ELK: Yes, yes, I am here, Anne Elk, brackets Miss brackets. That is, I, who is myself, am here, that is, in this shed.

VERA: How is your plan going?

ANNE ELK (coughs): My plan, yes, that's right Vera.

VERA: Yes, but how are they going?

ANNE ELK: My plan, yes, my plan, that is mine, yes. The next thing I am going to say is my plan. My plan is this. That is my plan. That is mine. Here is my plan. We, that is, my team and I, who is myself, Anne Elk, brackets Miss brackets, have a plan, that is mine, about how to build an airship from scrap.

VERA: And are you going to tell me what it is?

ANNE ELK: Yes, that's spot on, Vera.

VERA: Well?

ANNE ELK: Well what?

VERA: What is your plan?

ANNE ELK: My plan, yes. Here it is. That is, my plan. I am going to take some pieces of scrap, then my team and I are going to make them into an airship. That is my plan, that is mine. It is my own.

VERA: Um - maybe I'll speak to your teammates.

ANNE ELK: I have another plan ...

Vera hastens out onto the scrapheap, where Mr Neutron and Patsy are busily hauling various materials onto their electric wheelbarrow.

BOB: Electric wheelbarrow?

NARRATOR: Shut up. Vera?

VERA: Me. Well, I'm here with Mr Neutron and Patsy, the Pythons' two super scavengers. Do you two understand Anne Elk's plan?

MR NEUTRON: Yes we do. It is a very good plan. It is sure to result in an airship that will win the challenge. And I will be able to honour my bride, Mrs S.C.U.M., with my great victory.

VERA: So what is the plan, Mr Neutron?

MR NEUTRON: We will take these pieces of scrap, and make them into an airship.

Patsy laughs and claps his hands in what seems like agreement.

VERA: And does your plan detail in any way how you will bring this about?

MR NEUTRON: Of course. But you need to be the most dangerous man in the universe in order to understand it. Fear not, Miss Shortwoman. We will win this challenge.

VERA: Well I think I'll leave you two to it, and see if ... ah yes, I think I see him coming along now.

Vera runs with outstretched microphone to catch up with Ken, who is jogging and doesn't seem to notice her.

VERA (breathlessly): Captain Ken Clean-Air-System, are you out scavenging for scrap too?

KEN: Uhhh.

Vera stops and gives up. Ken jogs on and out of sight. A man in a suit who looks quite a lot like Mr Neutron enters the scene.

VERA: Oh, you'd be Ken's manager, is that right?

MANAGER: That's right, yeah. Ken's currently preparing for building the airship by jogging round and round the scrapyard. Then he'll be going to bed, and his trainer will be waking him up by driving a pick through his head. Then he'll be right on task.

VERA: Well, as you can see, the Pythons are off to a ... fine start. I think. Bob?

Cut to Bob, who is walking purposefully towards the Montys' area of the scrapyard.

BOB: That's right, Vera, it's shaping up to be quite a challenge here on our scrapheap. And while Vera was off interviewing the Python scavengers, the Montys found lots of the little bits that you peel off Elastoplast before sticking it on, and they are planning to use them to construct the envelope of their airship. They also found an old motorboat rudder that they intend to use for the keel. I'm just arriving back at the Montys' HQ now - and Eric, I hear you've been making some changes to group roles?

ERIC: That is correct, Bob, yes - and I found some boots that, despite evoking more of the feel of an early 19th-century English gentleman than a sort of idealised version of the complete Renaissance Man, are really quite fetching, and they do so help with the muddy terrain.

BOB: I'm glad to hear that, Eric. What other changes have you made within the group?

ERIC: Well, Bob, I'm now the captain, since Mr Trotsky is now labouring under the misconception that he is Clodagh Rodgers, the Irish songstress, and is far more intent upon rehearsing for the Eurovision Song Contest than winning this challenge. Mr Gumby has enlisted the help of Mr Belling for scavenging, and since then we've come along very nicely. They're looking for either wood or metal to make the skeleton of the airship, and they're also keeping their eyes peeled for a suitable engine.

BOB: It sounds like you're coming along nicely. I'll leave you and the team to get on with things.

ERIC: Thanks, Bob. Ta-ra.

BOB: So there you have it - things are certainly hotting up on this week's Scrapheap Challenge. Does Mr Neutron really have the ability to understand Anne Elk's plan? Will Ken Clean-Air-System ever take on the captaincy of his team? Will Eric remove his tassled turban when he starts working on the build? And who will the smallish dark-haired one turn into next? Join us soon for Part Four!


Here Comes Another One: PART TWO

BOB: And they're off! Teams are hurrying to their designated areas, and the captains will soon be sending off their super scavengers to seek some scrap! Let's hand over to Vera to see what's going on.

Vera is walking towards the Montys' area of the scrapyard.

VERA: Well, the Montys have come up against their first obstacle. Eric keeps getting his delicate Renaissance slippers stuck in the mud, and will have to find some boots if he wants to be an effective scavenger. Captain Joseph, are there any spare shoes onsite?

JOSEPH: You're asking me? I, who Lenin called his greatest friend? I, who risked my life that my people should live? I must reach Moscow!

VERA: Um - Mr Gumby?

GUMBY: I think ... that Eric ... should find ... some boots!

VERA: Well that's great. Eric, what do you think about changing into a pair of wellies?

ERIC: What, with these tassles?

VERA: But don't you think you ought to get out there and start looking for things to use for your airship?

ERIC: Well. I like that. Someone with my level of intellectual enlightenment should be working out the plans, not scavenging for scrap. I think we should rearrange our group roles. And I don't know what's happened to Montgolfier. He seems to be undergoing some sort of change of personality.

Ominous music sounds somewhere in the distance.

VERA: Captain Joseph, are you all right?

JOSEPH: Who is this JOSEPH? My name is TROTSKY! And I must reach Moscow! LENIN! My friend!

VERA: I'll ask the Reverend Arthur Belling. Arthur, how is the project progressing?

BELLING: Quite well, thank you. Don't worry about Montgolfier, he's just beginning to overcome his sanity. I do try and help, but it's an uphill battle a lot of the time, you see. Er - Mr Trotsky, excuse me?

TROTSKY (looks around frantically): Yes? Yes?

BELLING: We'll help you get to Moscow after the show, but be a good chap and find us something we can use to make a balloon, won't you?

ERIC: I thought it was meant to be an airship, personally.

BELLING: Oh, don't split hairs, boy. P-ting, P-ting!

TROTSKY: Well, all right. Come, Mr Gumby, let us go to work.


Gumby hits himself over the head with a brick, and follows Trotsky out into the scrapyard.

BOB: Join us for Part Three, when we'll find out what sort of start the Pythons made.


mrsCutout at 2:12 pm October 05


genji at 1:08 pm October 05

Brilliant again, and even moreso because you now have the Python Scrapheap thread. Posting updates on the same thread so we don't have to go off searching for part one when part two has been posted - brilliant. Plus you're not wilfully and maliciously suppressing any other Python discussions by posting a new thread for every update and clogging up the board. Good grammar, too. I'm a fan.

Here Comes Another One at 6:00 pm October 05

Thanks, that's really nice. I'm glad I did the right thing having it in one thread, too - I wondered abt that because there are muliti-chapter things on here in the same post.

Here Comes Another One: Thanks guys :-) More to come!

Genji, it's interesting that you ask 'whose voice'. The short answer is: mine! I've been writing sketches and silly newspapers for my family for years so it's sort of developed from there. Mind you, I've been a fan of Python for so long it'd be a bit weird if some of it hadn't been absorbed somewhere!

genji at 4:27 am October 04

Well - I think you've successfully made it Pythonesque.

mrsCutout: Never heard of it but I'd love to see more ":D

genji: I have no idea what you're talking about. I've never heard of Scrapheap Challenge are there are probably some good jokes in there that I don't get.

I really like your style of writing though. It's very light and friendly and I especially enjoyed the use of Python characters as the protagonists rather than trying to force a round Palin into a square plot. Game shows were, of course, a Python standard and using a modern-day game show to host some well-loved characters is a really silly idea (and I mean that in good way).

I think it's definitely worth continuing and branching out into other scenarios.

May I ask whose voice it's written in? A lot of it sounds very Palinesque to me (e.g. "The captain of the Pythons is Ken Clean-Air-System, whose unabashed and unmatchable enthusiasm is sure to be an asset to the team, despite his being almost totally stupid, and hampered by a bit of brain that is lodged in his head."), although I think there's a lot of the manic Election Night kind of voicing there, too.

Excellent work.

arkennedy: I've heard of Scrapheap challenge but I didn't know what the show was about. I had no idea there was an American version (which is strange because I am American).

As for continuing your version, I enjoyed it and would love to read more episodes :)