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CHRISTMAS IN GOTHAM (sketch) Humour/Comedy Competition #3 Submission

by baumski 

Posted: 29 November 2005
Word Count: 1645
Summary: This is for the December Humour/Comedy group competition.


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SCENE

YULETIDE IN GOTHAM CITY AND THE BATCAVE IS DECKED WITH TINSEL AND CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS. A LARGE CHRISTMAS TREE STANDS PROUD AND BY IT, DRESSED IN FULL BATMAN REGALIA, IS A VERY TROUBLED BRUCE WAYNE. ALFRED THE BUTLER ENTERS CARRYING A TRAY OF FRESHLY BREWED TEA AND A CHRISTMAS CRACKER.

ALFRED: Sir, as you unfortunately missed Christmas luncheon earlier, I thought you now might wish to partake in a cup of Earl Grey. (PAUSE) I also took the liberty of bringing a cracker from the table. Iím told the mottos are very amusing this year.

BATMAN ACKNOWLEDGES ALFRED BY WAY OF A SHRUG AND A NOD.

ALFRED: (PUTTING THE TRAY DOWN) Sir, Iím sorry to intrude but I wondered if I might be allowed a discreet word. To be frank, I could not fail but notice that you have not been yourself over this Yuletide and I was beginning to wonder if all was well.

BATMAN LOOKS AT ALFRED AS IF HE IS ABOUT TO SPEAK BUT THEN TURNS AWAY.

ALFRED: Master Bruce, without wishing to offend, and with all candour you would expect from a thoroughly English gentleman, I must say that for one so usually dapper your appearance is becoming, well, shall we say a trice dishevelled.

BATMAN: (PATIENTLY) Alfred, may I remind you that you are in my employ here at Wayne Manor not as my nursemaid but as my butler - or have you forgotten your position?

ALFRED: But what about your garments?

BATMAN: What about my garments! Alfred, will you stop fussing? Go buttle upstairs and polish the silverware or something.

ALFRED: But sir, as your valet I really must insist or else I would be failing in my duty. Now then, I know of a very good dry cleaning establishment in Gotham City and they can be counted upon to use the utmost discretion.

BATMAN: Thank you, but no.

ALFRED: Master Bruce, I can assure you it will take no time at all to have your Batcape and tights steam cleaned to a pristine quality finish. I can guarantee the service to be a most efficient one. My aunt Dolly swears by it.

BATMAN: Iím sure she does butÖ.

ALFRED: Iíll tell them you have a New Year function to attend at the Gotham Dome Ė a fancy dress party perhaps, and if I take your bat outfit into Gotham tomorrow morning.

BATMAN: But itís Christmas?

ALFRED: Ah, but the proprietor and I are fellow travellers.

ALFRED SMILES AND TAPS THE SIDE OF HIS NOSE CONSPIRATORIALLY. BATMAN LOOKS QUIZZICALLY AT ALFRED AS HE PUTS HIS RIGHT HAND UNDER HIS LIFTED LEFT LEG AND SIMULATES A MASONIC HANDSHAKE.

ALFRED: We move in the same circles. Heíll do a favour for a Ďfriendí! So come along, let me relieve you of the offending articlesÖ.

BATMAN: (SHAKING ALFRED AWAY) ALFRED!

ALFRED: (STILL TRYING TO REMOVE THE CAPE) Come now, donít be shy.

BATMAN: (AGAIN SHAKING AND VIGOROUSLY FLAPPING ALFRED AWAY) Off, off, off!

ALFRED: (CLEARLY SURPRISED) Very well. (LOOKING HURT) I was only trying to help.

BATMAN: Yes, yes, I know you were. (PAUSES) Alfred, now is not a good time. In fact, the way things are, my appearance is the least of my troubles.

ALFRED: (INSPECTING BATMAN'S BOOTS) Yeeesss, well, far be it from me to mention the state of your fine leather footwear, sir, but I fear something quite unmentionable is clinging to the right heel of the Batboot. (POINTING) See?

BATMAN: (LOOKING) Is there? (RAISING HIS FOOT) Oh for goodness sake! How the hell did that get there?

ALFRED: Oh, what a shame youíre powers only extend to cleansing the streets of the criminal element, sir? Perhaps you would like me to drop a line to the Gotham Environmental Department at City Hall to complain about the excessive amount of pavement doggy-do? (BATMAN SHAKES HIS HEAD DESPAIRINGLY) Never mind. Now then, if youíll be kind enough to raise your right leg Iíll be able to whip off the boot and wash off the offending piece of canine excrement. (GOES TO REMOVE THE BOOT) And then if youíll allow me, Iíll also relieve you of the other boot and apply some good old-fashioned spit and polish.

BATMAN MOVES HIS FOOT AWAY RAPIDLY.

ALFRED: Master Bruce, will you please stand still. By the time Iím through, youíll be the smartest bat about town. (STANDS UP AND LOOKS BATMAN UP AND DOWN CRITICALLY) Hmmm?

BATMAN: (IMPATIENTLY) What now?

ALFRED: Itís the unsightly stain on the Battrunks.

BATMAN: (LOOKING) What?

ALFRED: (COUGHING DISCREETLY AND POINTING) Just below the Batbelt I think. No, er, lower, sir. (TAKING OUT A TISSUE AND LICKING IT) This will just take a second.

BATMAN: (QUICKLY MOVING AWAY) Donít even think about it!

ALFRED: Oh, sir! (STILL TRYING TO GET TO BATMAN) Master Bruce, this is no time to be bashful. You have nothing Iíve not seen before! I was at Oxford you know.

BATMAN: (STILL TRYING TO SIDESTRP ALFRED) No, no, no, no, no!

ALFRED: ButÖ.

BATMAN: NO!!!!! (ALFRED GIVES A ĎBUTLER KNOWS BESTí LOOK) Iím sorry but you really have no idea what has happened.

ALFRED: I have an inkling itís those arch enemies of yours again. They have no respect for the festive season, do they? Tell me, is it The Riddler who troubles you with yet more of his insane, sinister puzzles? Or the sly, unpredictable and very unamusing Joker perhaps? Maybe even the fiendish Penguin?

BATMAN: (WEARILY) Oh, no, no, no. Not them. If only it were.

ALFRED: Then what? Oh no! Donít tell me youíve finally succumbed to the very sensuous Catwoman with her pert little breasts and engaging yet well developed bottom andÖ.

BATMAN: No, Alfred, itísÖ.


ALFRED: (DREAMILY CUTTING IN) After all, what man could possibly resist? The leather cat suit and the fine curves are really quite something. (SIGHING) Oh yes, the big eyes and seductive come-to-bed purrs are enough to melt the heart of man and bat alike.

BATMAN: ALFRED!!!

REGAINING HIS COMPOSURE, ALFRED LOOKS FLUSTERED, GIVES AN EMBARRASSED COUGH AND FOLDS HIS HANDS IN FRONT OF HIS CROTCH.

ALFRED: What? Oh Iím so sorry, sir, I was coming over all unnecessary. I do apologise.

BATMAN: Itís not that I donít appreciate your help but the truth is you canít. No-one can. All is lost, Alfred.

ALFRED: You meanÖ.

BATMAN: (GRINLY NODDING) Yes.

THEY LOOK AT EACH OTHER IN HORRIFIED SILENCE.

ALFRED: Iím sorry sir, but what do you mean?

BATMAN: Simply that The Dark Night is closing down the batcave and hanging up his cape forever.

ALFRED: But why?

BATMAN: Because, Alfred old chum, Iím broke and I canít afford to be Batman anymore. Yesterday afternoon at two oíclock, Christmas Eve, Bruce Wayne was declared bankrupt by the Gotham City Official Receiver.

ALFRED: (AGHAST) ButÖbutÖ. you canít be! Youíre Bruce Wayne, the obscenely rich industrialist and philanthropist!

BATMAN: Was, Alfred, was.

ALFRED: This cannot be Ė itís absurd! Preposterous! A man of your stature is never short of the odd tax haven or two.

BATMAN: (INCREDUOUSLY) Alfred, have you any idea what it costs to be the Caped Crusader?

ALFRED: Well, sir, I, erÖ.

BATMAN: The expense alone of running the Batmobile would blow your socks off! Weíre not talking unleaded here! The same goes for the Batcycle, the Batcopter and the Batboat too. They have to be made covertly in top secret locations by highly trained and trusted experts and let me tell you it donít come cheap! (WITH A SWEEPING GESTURE) Just look here! Iím surrounded by state-of-the-art computers and other highly complex and expensive gadgets that even Bill Gates couldnít afford. And do you know what the worst thing is, Alfred? Well? Do you?

ALFRED: ErmÖ. Dust?

BATMAN: Because Batmanís identity has to remain secret, I canít write any of this lot off to tax! And now itís over. Gone.

ALFRED: Is there nothing that can be done to save the day? After all, sir, youíve overcome adversaries before have you not? The icy cool of Mr. Freeze failed to get the better of you as did Two-face, Poison Ivy and The Scarecrow.

BATMAN: They werenít the Official Receiver, Alfred. (PAUSE) I never stood a chance.

ALFRED: (PAUSES THEN PICKS UP THE TRAY) In trying times like this, master Bruce, a nice cup of tea always does the trick.

BATMAN: Not this time because unfortunately thereís something else Iíve yet to tell you. Brace yourself trusted family retainer, because alas, Iím sad to say, I have to let you go.

ALFRED DROPS THE TRAY IN SHOCK. HE QUICKLY PICKS UP THE TRAY AND ALL OF ITS CONTENTS.

ALFRED: Iím so sorry, sir. I donít know what came over me.

BATMAN: And the receiverís stopped this monthís salary from going through.

AGAIN ALFRED DROPS THE TRAY. HE GOES TO PICK IT UP.

BATMAN: Leave it, Alfred. Itís not important.

ALFRED: But, sirÖ

BATMAN: I really wouldnít bother. I donít even own it any more. (SADLY) Just like all of this. Theyíve taken it all away from me. (EVEN MORE SADLY) Oh, Alfred, what is to become of us?

ALFRED: Well, Master Bruce I have something for you upon my person which just might help.

ALFRED TAKES A SMALL WRAPPED PACKAGE FROM HIS POCKET AND HANDS IT TO BATMAN.

ALFRED: Merry Christmas, sir.

BATMAN UNWRAPS HIS GIFT. ITíS A TAPE CASSETTE.

ALFRED: (HOLDS OUT A HAND TO TAKE THE TAPE) Sir?

BATMAN HANDS THE TAPE OVER TO ALFRED WHO THEN SLOTS INTO ONE OF THE MACHINES AND PRESSES THE PLAY BUTTON. AT THAT MOMENT THE INTRODUCTION TO THE SONG ĎLETíS FACE THE MUSIC AND DANCEí BEGINS.

ALFRED: There may be trouble ahead
But while thereís moonlight and music and love and romance
Letís face the music and dance.

ALFRED LEADS BATMAN INTO A DANCE ROUTINE AND A BIG FINISH WITH BATMAN ENDING UP IN ALFREDíS ARMS.


END






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Comments by other Members



bjlangley at 21:14 on 07 December 2005  Report this post
Thoroughly enjoyable, Baumski. My personal favourite bit was Alfred speaking of Catwoman.

The build up is good, I was really curious about what the problem was, and the pay off works well. I like the way it develops from there too, with Batman explaining why, to the extent that Alfred has to be let go. Not sure about the finale though - on a purely logical front, why would Alfred have the tape if he didn't already know?

Thanks for the laughs,

all the best,

Ben

baumski at 14:09 on 08 December 2005  Report this post
That's a point..... Never did trust that butler anyway.

Cheers Ben.


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