The “I’m Picking My Nose” Song (Anarchy Sketch) c.1982-3

Announcer: And now: Liberace.
Recorded applause. Camera zooms in on Piano. Liberace sits in jewel spangled clothes. As we pan to him, he has a finger lodged deep inside his left nostril. He pulls it out when he notices the camera and starts to play the piano.

Liberace: I’m picking my nose at the piano.
I’m picking my nose at the keys.
I’m picking my nose at the piano and
Rubbing it into my knees.

Massive applause. Camera pulls back to reveal its all been a television show. Watching the show is an Archbishop and Mrs Pastry.

Mrs Pastry: More Cheese, Vicar?
Archbishop: Oh yes please. That would be very nice.

Mrs Pastry goes out of a door. A series of Sound effects follows: Cow mooing, Squirting and splashing, Cement mixer, Hammering, sawing and general carpentry sounds, Chainsaw, Locomotive whistle and finally and explosion with lots of dust blown into the room through the door Mrs Pastry went out of blasting it off its hinges. Smoke pours out and Mrs Pastry enters with a tiny cube of cheddar on a cocktail stick.

Mrs Pastry: There you go, dear. I must say its nice to see you around here, vicar. You haven’t been around for ages.

Throughwhat used to be the door comes a man in scuba diving gear carrying a dog lead.

Man: Mum? Where’s the fish?
Mrs Pastry: Why?
Man: It’s time for walkies.

A series of loud bangs on the ceiling causing plaster to fall down.

Mrs Pastry: I think its upstairs dear.
Man: Oh yes, so it is (goes out)
Mrs Pastry: So Vicar, to what do we the honour of your prescence?
Archbishop: Well its all because I just wanted to be with somebody. Churches are such lonely places, what with inflation and all that. I mean since Martin Luther founded our church, attendance has been appalling. Back to Catholicism, that’s what I say.

A blast of organ music and a pulpit containing the Pope bursts in through a wall.

Mrs Pastry: Well hello John Paul the Satre and how are we today?
Pope: (making gestures of blessing) In Nomine Patris, Filius Dominus.
Mrs Pastry: Would you like a cup of tea?

A cement mixer falls through the ceiling.

Voice from upstairs: Sorry, Mum. I missed him.

Mrs Pastry: That’s alright son. Now then John-Paul would you like anything to eat?

A man dressed in a very silly fashion walks in front of the camera, says “fish” and walks off again.

Voice Over: Well, that was our resident fish expert and now lets go to the seaside.

Cut to a blue sunny sky, pan around to see cliffs and seagulls and people enjoying themselves bathing eating ice cream etc. Pan onto a hideously overcoloured sun umbrella. Pan round it and we are confronted with the ugly vision of Liberace with his finger lodged in his nostril again. He pulls it out and sings pointing to the sea and the people all around him.

Liberace: I’m picking my nose at the seaside.
I’m picking my nose at the beach.
I’m picking my nose at the seaside
And I put it where seagulls can reach.

Liberace wipes his finger on top of his umbrella.

Voice Over: Meanwhile back in Mrs Pastry’s living room.

The Pope is now surrounded by a moslem tribe and is blessing them all. One of them throws a grenade into the pulpit. The resulting explosion blows both pulpit and Pope through the ceiling. Out of the hole in the wall left by the Pope’s original entrance a squadron of SAS men clamber. Meanwhile Mrs Pastry and the Archbishop are sat having a nice hot cup of tea on the couch.

Mrs Pastry: So tell me vicar, what was the sermon about last Sunday.
Archbishop: Oh, about four hours long.

SAS exchange gunfire with Moslem militants, killin gmost of them.

Mrs Pastry: (to the SAS) Excuse me, but can you keep the noise down a bit, please? The neighbours will start complaining.

A bomb is thrown through the front room window. It explodes bringing the ceiling down along with a piano, a whale and the man in the scuba diving gear.

Mrs Pastry: (to the SAS) There you are. Told you so. That’s Mrs Phipps, that is. Not been the same since her operation, she hasn’t. (To man in scuba diving gear) Well, dear, hadn’t you better take Tiddles walkies?

Wall caves in. Dust and plaster everywhere

Mrs Pastry: There you go, a nice big hole for you to take him through.

Man attempts to fit lead around Whale’s neck.

Man: He’s outgrown his lead, mum.
Mrs Pastry: Well, he can’t go walkies then.

The bow of a warship bursts through the remains of the front window. Gunfire is traded between it and the SAS.

Voice over:And so it was thus, at 33 Teasworth Terrace, Fulham that World War Three was started. Meanwhile at a local Naval base.

Cut to a harbour, ships in dock, seagulls etc

Voice Over: Plymouth, a harbour with a history of bloodshed, suffering and misery. But enough about Navy Days. At the moment all is peace and quiet, not one scintilla of its chequered history can be seen. But, still there is a sense of foreboding, a feeling of some hideous prescence casting its gloomy shadow everywhere.

Camera pans round from a ship onto a harbour wall and we see Liberace seated at a piano on the side of the quay. Finger lodged in usual place. He smiles and sings.

Liberace: I’m picking my nose at the dockyard.
I’m picking my nose at the boats.
I’m picking my nose at the dockyard to
See if any of it floats.

Burst of gunfire from nearby ship kills him.

Voice Over: Well that’s got rid of that. And now this, Butcher Shop Sketch.

Cut to butcher shop. Man in apron stands behind counter chopping some meat up. Another man enters.

Butcher: Good Morning, sir. Can I help you?
Man: Yes, I have a complaint.
Butcher: Yes, well go and see a doctor.
Man: Oh, thank you. (exits)

Cut to a door, it opens and we see we are in a bathroom. Pan around bath etc. Cut to a pair of legs. Pan up to find the bullet ridden Liberace sitting on a toilet. Finger in usual place. Smiles and sings.

Liberace: I’m picking my nose on the toilet.
I’m picking my nose on the bog.
I’m picking my nose on the toilet and
Feeding it all to my dog.

Pan back to see a incredibly fat and overstuffed poodle licking Liberace’s finger. Liberace withdraws finger and dog explodes. Liberace smiles but is silenced by another burst of gunfire from the cameraman.

Cut to the sky, drifting through clouds etc. Eventually we settle on two angels sitting in a cloud.

1st: Well this is it is it?
2nd: Suppose so.
1st: Not how I thought it would be.
2nd: No?
1st: No. I was expecting something a little more stupendous.
2nd: What? (pause) Like Cleethorpes?
1st: Well something like that, only more exciting.
2nd: Have you ever been to Cleethorpes?
1st: Yes, once, nice isn’t it?

A choir of angelic voices is heard, a golden throne descends in the background.

1st: Yes, we went there last year. Stayed at Mrs Pastry’s.
2nd: Oh yes. Overlooking the beach?
1st: That’s right. Spectacular sight. The sun rising in the morning.

(Behind them a glorious light shines from the throne. All the angels bow before it)

1st: (still caught up in reverie) Lovely. Of course it was rather expensive, but the activities more than made up for it.

In the background hordes of people are gathering. To the left of the throne a chasm opens, to the right a golden gate appears.

2nd: Oh yes, the swimming and shopping certainly made up for any expense.
1st: Do you remember that cat they had? Tiddles?
2nd: Oh yes, lovely little thing wasn’t it?
1st: Yes, I remember feeding the cat was a popular local pastime in Cleethorpes.
2nd: Oh yes, always attracted the locals with their little tins of Kit-e-Kat didn’t it?
1st: I seeem to recall it was particularly fond of kipper.

In the background a procession passes before the throne. Some of the people go through the gate, the others descend into the chasm.

1st: Well. What do you actually think of it here anyway?
2nd: Rather boring actually. I mean after all that build up and the evangalising stuff, this really seems a bit of a let down. I mean, look at what they’ve given me. (He takes out a lyre). I mean, I can’t even play the blooming thing.
1st: Have you seen him yet?
1st: You know. HIM.
2nd: Oh no. Not yet anyway. Probably won’t turn up.
1st: Not if he knows whats good for him.

Procession in the background is nearly finished.


1st: So this is the meaning of life then is it?
2nd: I guess so.
1st: Bit of a con really isn’t it? I mean after all that “Love thy neighbour” stuff.
2nd: Well, it was a lovely idea at the time.
1st: (sighs) Guess so. Shame not everybody cottoned on though.

The chasm in the background closes, the gates close and the throne and the angelic hosts disappear.

1st: This is it for eternity then.
2nd: Guess so, I suppose we’ll get used to it.
1st: God, I miss Cleethorpes.

We pan away from their cloud and focus on another. An angel sits with his back to us. We pull up close. He turns around. Liberace with finger in usual place. Smiles then sings.

Liberace: I’m picking my nose up in heaven.
I’m picking my nose in the skies.
I’m picking my nose up in heaven and
I flick it in everyone’s eyes.

A heavenly foot descends from the clouds and squashes him.

Much of this sketch was written in a tent camping with an evangelical youth group called the “Crusaders” and my dating of it is significant because it records the impact of the cult comedy show “The Young Ones” had on my teenage brain. Also residual traces of the original shepherds scene from “Life of Brian” inform the last sequence.

My imagination was running riot at the time and I would simply go off by myself and simply write what it told me to. This is one result.


About alanspage

what about myself?
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