Are You Being Served: Postcard 1975
(To JoiForber for inspiration)
This is an alternative Universe story based on the Are You Being Served movie as well as a thought on the original plan of Are You Being Served? The original idea was for Mr. Lucas and Miss Brahams to be the main characters (Mrs. Slocombe was to portray an old woman who got drunk and had a crush on Mr. Lucas and Mr. Humphries really didn't have a part) However, Mrs. Slocombe and Mr. Humphries beat both of the original main characters into a supporting role.
"Mama's got a squeeze box she wears on her chest/and when daddy comes home he never.." "Shirley!" Miss Brahams jumped up in her bed and saw her Mother standing in her bedroom doorway. "Come on dear, you're going to be late." "Calm down, mum, I've still got an hour and a half before I have to be at work," said Miss Brahams as she rolled out of bed.
An hour later in the London satellite community known as Little Winging, Captain Stephen Peacock and his wife were having a breakfast in stone cold silence. Mrs. Peacock had discovered several naughty photographs in Captain Peacock's closet. While Captain Peacock said the photographs were from "a friend of his," in reality they were the closest ones he could find to Miss Brahams. At last the clock struck eight a.m. and Captain Peacock happily left the table without kissing his wife.
From the Peacocks we punt over to an apartment in the north west of London where Mrs. Betty Slocombe was having a fight an elderly neighbor, who didn't take to kindly to Mrs. Slocombe's cat eating her pet grass snake. "If you want your snake that badly pull him out of my pussy!" Mrs. Slocombe shouted as she went down the stairs. It was a good thing she ran down them otherwise she would have been hit by a whiskey bottle.
In an apartment towards the center of London, Mrs. Lucas was on the phone with Mrs. Humphries as Mr. Lucas, her son and Mrs. Humphries' son Mr. Humphries were eating breakfast. "All right dear. Yes, I know that Peacock woman is a right terror. All right have a nice day." She then hung up. "What's wrong mother?" asked Mr. Lucas."Oh nothing, Dickie," said Mrs. Lucas. Mr. Lucas winced at being called his childhood nickname. "What do you mean nothing?" "Well," said Mrs. Lucas. "I don't want to ruin a surprise , but it looks like Mrs. Humphries and I will be babysitting Mrs. Peacock again." "Oh yes," said Mr. Lucas. The last time this had happened,, Mrs. Peacock had run into a movie theatre with a machete in her hand screaming for the blood of her husband. Luckily Mrs. Humphries and Mrs. Lucas restrained her, but it had been right embarrassing. "So, why are you babysitting Mrs. Peacock," asked Mr. Lucas. "Oh it's a surprise," she said with a smile. She then looked at the clock. "Shouldn't you get going Dickie? It's 8.15." "Oh don't worry, Mother," said Mr. Lucas. "I've got all the time in the world." Besides that the next time they get a new employee it'll be to help take down the store, he added to himself.
Mr. Cuthbert Rhumbold, who headed the store arrived at Grace Brothers at 8.25. He was most excited as the night before Mr. Grace had called with the most exciting news. He couldn't wait to pass the word onto the rest of the staff about what their kindly benefactor, young Mr. Grace had arranged for the staff.
The first to arrive was Mr. Grainger, a rather elderly man. "Ah, good morning, Mr. Grainger," said Mr. Rhumbold. "Morning," said Mr. Grainger. "You seem awfully tired," said Mr . Rhumbold. "Is everything all right?" "Yes," said Mr. Granger. "Mrs. Granger wasn't happy with the sticky surprise all over her face a clown sprayed on her last night." Mr. Rhumbold's mouth jaw dropped. "What?" "We were walking and some clown thought he'd spray some sticky stuff at her," said Mr. Granger. "It turned out to be melted fudge. I spent about half the night trying to get it off. " "Good morning," said Mr. Humphries, a slightly effeminate man as he walked in. "Morning, Mr. Humphries," said Mr. Rhumbold. "I trust you had a good evening?" "Yes," said Mr. Humphries. "Though I had a bit of a problem at the Stud bull Inn last night. One of the girls there got drunk and started chewing on the Owner's carpet. She about never got her off of it." "Yes," said Mr. Rhumbold as Mrs. Slocombe and Miss Brahams came in. "Morning ladies," said Mr. Rhumbold. "If you could gather over here please." "What's going on?" asked Mrs. Slocombe. "As soon as Captain Peacock and Mr. Lucas get here I'll go into it," said Mr. Rhumbold. "Speaking of which where are they?"
Just then Mr. Lucas came running up the stairs. "Mr. Lucas," said Mrs. Slocombe. "You're three minutes early." "Oh great," said Mr. Lucas. "Sorry about running up the stairs, but the lift wasn't working. What'd I miss?" "Nothing yet," said Mr. Rhumbold. "We're just waiting on Captain Peacock."
Just then the lift opened and Bridgette the lift operator kicked Mrs. And Captain Peacock, who were fighting and swearing at each other out the lift before running down the stairs to Mr. Rhumbold. The last time Mr. Rhumbold had seen her that mad was when a very drunk Old Mr. Grace had kissed her boyfriend. "Cuthbert," said Bridgette dispensing formalities. "I expect everyone who rides my lift to behave. These two tried to jam it between floors with their fighting." "Sorry, Miss Cornwallis," said Mr. Rhumbold. Bridgette flashed him a dirty look before running up as Mrs. Peacock and Captain Peacock continued to fight. "Mr. Lucas, Mrs. Slocombe do you think you can separate them?" asked Mr. Rhumbold as Mrs. Peacock finally sent Captain Peacock flying backwards before walking out. "What was that all about?" asked Mrs. Slocombe. "Oh, uh, Mrs. Peacock had a rough night last night," said Captain Peacock. In reality, he had suggested to her that the staff should join them on their trip to the nudist colony, specifically Miss Brahams.
"All right, now that the excitement is over," said Mr. Rhumbold "I have an announcement from young Mr. Grace. As you know in these hard economic times, stores must remain competitive. For instance, Simpson's of Piccadilly is putting three million pounds into new renovation. Young Mr. Grace has noticed this and has decided that Grace Brothers needs to be renovated. I have lobbied and have gotten the notice that our department will be renovated first. While the renovation takes place, young Mr. Grace has generously agreed to finance a trip to one of three exotic locals where we will be staying for two weeks." "And what are they?" asked Mrs. Slocombe. "The last time he did this we ended up spending a day besides a steel mill in Barrow in Furness." "Well this time, we will be leaving England and going to three destinations. We have Costa Plonka, which is in Spain; Chupar Britancos, which is in Portugal, and Briten Sind Nutzlos, which is in West Germany." "Wait a minute," said Miss Brahams. "Aren't the last two having rebel problems?" "Well yes," admitted Mr. Rhumbold. "But I'm sure they've quieted down by now." "Well," said Mrs. Slocombe. "I don't want to spend my holiday in a war zone. I say we go to Costa Plonka." "I agree," said Mr. Humphries. "So, I guess we're all set for Costa Plonka," said Mr. Rhumbold. "I'll let Mr. Grace know. Oh, you also get the rest of the day off to go pack." "Wouldn't it have been easier to call us by telephone so we could've slept in?" asked Mr. Lucas. "But we wouldn't have had the camaraderie," said Mr. Rhumbold before he left for his office.
After leaving the building the staff of the ladies and gentleman's departments went their own ways. Miss. Brahams and Mrs. Slocombe went to the pub, Captain Peacock, Mr. Rhumbold, and Mr. Grainger went to the Liberal Club, and Mr. Lucas and Mr. Humphries went to a nearby fish and chip shop.
"So," said Mr. Humphries as they sat down with their meal. "You never told me how your date went with Miss Brahams." Mr. Lucas rolled his eyes. "Well it started out nice. Went out to dinner and then went to the movie theatre to see Beyond the Valley of the Dolls." "That doesn't seem to be an ideal date movie," said Mr. Humphries. "Well I didn't pick it out," said Mr. Lucas. "Miss Brahams was a fan of the original so she wanted to see the sequel. So we're there and we start to kiss and then some smart aleky usherette comes along and not only takes us out of the theatre but proceeds to call the police over "two lovebirds going at it hammer and tongs." It was awful." "But did you have fun?" asked Mr. Humphries. "Not much," said Mr. Lucas. "The problem is, is that we're both not that wealthy. There's a reason I'm living with my mother and she's living with her parents and aunt, so we can't really afford nice things all the time. But I did get her a nice present for her birthday." "What was that?" "An indestructible Japanese TV set," said Mr. Lucas. "I got Mr. Dyke down in Electronics to give me a heavy discount after I hooked him up with some tickets to an Electric Light Orchestra concert. Apparently Mrs. Brahams kicks the TV set whenever Gary Glitter comes on because she says he's a dirty old man." "Ah well, can't help that, can we?" said Mr. Humphries. "Did your performance at the theatre go well last night?" asked Mr. Lucas. "Oh it was all right," said Mr. Humphries. "There I was going mad at the thought of my husband Macbeth when suddenly some bat in the audience decides to start arguing over China." "Was she that ugly bird on ITV?" asked Mr. Lucas. "No, not that china," said Mr. Humphries. "I'm talking china with hand painted periwinkles. We had to stop the show and get the situation under control. All I can say is her husband is a patron saint of a man at getting her to shut up." "Yes," said Mr. Lucas. "I feel sorry my mother and your mother having to babysit Mrs. Peacock." "I just can't believe she was convinced she's looking after them," said Mr. Humphries. "Well look who she has to live with, Captain Stephen "Sexy Y Fronts" Peacock," said Mr. Lucas. "From what I here when he was in Men and Boys wear, they said he could do twenty girls in one thirty minute lunch break." "Wow that would keep his pecker up," said Mr. Humphries.
Meanwhile at the Liberal club, Captain Peacock was discussing the youth of the country. "It's a shame really that not that many youth have a father figure," said Captain Peacock. "Why I bet Mr. Lucas and Miss Brahams could use one. I know that Miss Brahams could use one." "How are we going to be sleeping, Mr. Rhumbold?" asked Mr. Grainger who always tried to steer the conversation away every time Captain Peacock started rambling about women. "We've booked four rooms and they will be divided by office," said Mr. Rhumbold. "Room one will be the ladies, Room two will be Mr. Lucas and Mr. Humphries, Room three you and Captain Peacock, and Room 4, will be my room." "Wait a minute," said Captain Peacock. "Why do you get your own room?" "Because," said Mr. Rhumbold. "In case something happens, I need thinking space." Yeah, thought Captain Peacock. "But there is some good news for you, Peacock," said Mr. Rhumbold. "What?" asked Captain Peacock. "The beach we're staying at has a clothing optional section. I know how you and your wife go to the nudist resort so it should be nice." "Thank you, sir," said Captain Peacock, who had never mentioned that the resort was technically a woman's only resort and the only reason he was there was due to being friends with the owner and Captain Peacock's thirteen inch long "second in command."
At the pub Mrs. Slocombe who was quite drunk after fourteen bottles of gin and tonic was talking to Miss Brahams, who had wisely stopped after one glass of beer. "I'm the Queen of the castle and you're all dirty," "That'll be enough, Mrs. Slocombe," said Mrs. Brahams looking around for help." Finding none, she picked up Mrs. Slocombe and led her out the door.
After a bus ride (In Which Mrs. Slocombe's beat Richard Dawson's record at kissing people), a short ride on the Underground(in which Mrs. Slocombe beat Eric Idle's record at singing dirty songs about censorship on the radio) they finally got to Mrs. Slocombe's apartment. As they walked up stairs, the owner of the building told Mrs. Brahams to come see her after she got Mrs. Slocombe to bed.
Mrs. Slocombe was not easy to get to bed. First she tried to make Miss. Brahams comes to bed with her, referring to her as Miss Wigglesworth. Then she asked for Mr. Lucas to "Scrub her pussy until it was red' before grabbing a binder and throwing it at Miss Brahams and then passing out.
Miss Brahams opened the book before shutting it with embarrassment. Though she didn't see anything, the binder had a tab called "Sexy Y fronts at the Nudist Colony." Miss Brahams did not want to see Captain Peacock at a nudist colony; She didn't really want to see any of her coworkers at one besides Mr. Lucas and maybe Mr. Humphries.
Downstairs, the Owner of the building told Miss Brahams that the elderly woman whose snake Mrs. Slocombe's cat had eaten was now in police custody and Mrs. Slocombe's cat was now inside the body of a Python molurus bivittatus a.k.a a Burmese python. "I'm going to try to get her another cat," said the Owner, "but the specific breed is found only in the northern part of the country and all of the stores stopped selling it years ago. Can you keep it a secret that this happened?" "Yes," said Miss Brahams. "Thank you," said the owner.
It was no secret that Francisco Franco was one of the most hated men on the Iberian Peninsula along with Carlos Amormin, who had been made president of Portugal after Antonio Salazar died. Both men opposed various freedoms and had tight regimes. However, the people of their respecting countries did not like this and had declared an underground effort to dispose of their leaders. In Spain, this was happening in the charming tourist trap known as Costa Plonka.
The leader of the Rebellion was Cesar Rodriguez, brother in law to Don Carlos Bernardo who ran a chain of hotels in the area. Cesar had the backing of a number of families and had also been working on deals with the Soviet Union to get plainclothes troops into the area. The Soviet Union had agreed in exchange for plans to the Spanish Negro Maria project. Cesar, using various methods had gotten the plans to the Russians and now was waiting on troops to begin arriving into Spain. These troops would be coming from places like Nicaragua and Colombia, which did concern Cesar just a tad, but he realized that most Spaniards would assume they were visiting family members, not about to overthrow the government.
With everything set, Cesar met the leaders of the group in the hotels wine seller would have made the Chicago bootleggers proud with it's six hidden passageways, self locking mechanism, and the ability to flood the place with wine with a very high acid content. The nine men who met were known by numbers. Cesar was number 1, followed by number 2, and then so on down the line. "All right," said Cesar as the men met in the basement of the hotel. "Today is Tuesday, in three days time we will have enough troops in both Portugal and Spain to begin the operation." "Are you sure it will be enough?" asked Number six. "The smaller our numbers are the better," said Cesar. "Now, from my brother in law there are a group of British citizens coming to the hotel tomorrow. I don't know if they are plainclothes British Agents or not, but why they would pick this backwater town is very suspicious." "Could be cheapness," said Number 5. "After all it costs in their money eighty Pound Sterling a night for a hotel in Madrid." "Yes, but the fact is is that I am pretty sure no one in England has ever heard of this town," said Cesar. "Now onto our next order of business. Numbers 3, 4, and 8. Please come forward. The three stepped forward. "I heard tell you had an interesting conversation with a few government officials on how there was an underground terrorist group," said Cesar. The three men looked at each other. "And if you don't believe I know," said Cesar. "I have the tapes to prove it. It's a good thing I planned on you three ratting us out, otherwise it could've spelt disaster. I wonder if you noticed that those three men had a unique pronunciation on their Rs." "You mean?" "They're plants," said Cesar. "Now, I could kill you for your treason, but I thought better of it." With that the three men fell to the floor. "Are they dead?" asked Number 6. "No, the sleeping medicine kicked in," said Cesar. "We're to haul them out to the railway and they're going to be picked up for transport to Siberia. They're single men and they won't be missed. Now gentlemen I want you to head out to your vantage points and wait for the signal this Friday at eleven sixteen. I'm going to remain here and watch this British Group. Also, I have some insurance in case you decide to betray me." He pulled out a small vial, which had five pills. "I have poisoned one of your children. This is a slow acting one that won't cause any damage until this Saturday. Now, if you betray me, I might accidentally drop these pills down the toilet. Do we understand each other?" The men nodded and then walked out. Cesar smiled wondering if after the revolution if he should tell the men that he had never seen their stupid children and that the pills where placebos.
Mr. Lucas, who had volunteered to drive Mr. Humphries and Miss Brahams to the airport drove his mother over to the Peacocks, where Mrs. Humphries was waiting with Mrs. Peacock. "Well it should be a fun week," said Mrs. Humphries. "Yes," said Mrs. Peacock who looked annoyed. "Where's Mr. Humphries?" asked Mr. Lucas. "He's coming out of the closet," said Mrs. Humphries as she looked in. "Oh," said Mr. Lucas. He was then shocked to see Mr. Humphries wearing a pink leisure suit with matching hat. "What do you think?" asked Mr. Humphries. "It suits you," said Mr. Lucas while his mother stared at the site of Mr. Humphries. "All right, Mother enjoy your week," said Mr. Lucas. "I will dear," said Mrs. Lucas after she kissed her son goodbye. Mr. Humphries put his bag in the boot and they got in and sped off.
After collecting Miss Brahams the group drove to the airport. "Captain Peacock's picking up Mrs. Slocombe," said Miss Brahams. "Of course Dad nearly killed him last night." "What did he do?" asked Mr. Humphries. "Captain Peacock came to our door at midnight in his underwear drunk as a skunk asking for my hand in marriage," said Miss Brahams. "Dad responded by grabbing his cricket bat and chasing him down the block." "Wow," said Mr. Humphries. "Hang on!" yelled Mr. Lucas as he swerved hard. A red Ford with missing hubcaps and a broken window came flying by. "That's Captain Peacock's car," said Mr. Humphries. "I bet Mrs. Slocombe, Mr. Rhumbold, and Mr. Grainger are having a blast," said Miss Brahams.
Captain Peacock was driving fast. He enjoyed doing it, but he normally did it alone. With four passengers in the car things were about to get ugly. "Stephen, for the love of God slow down!" yelled a near green in the face Mr. Rhumbold as Mrs. Slocombe wore an expression of happiness, rebellion, and mild motion sickness. Mr. Grainger was sound asleep, muttering stuff about selling a man a lacey evening gown. However, Captain Peacock, who had had six cups of Irish coffee that morning to get over a fight with his wife and getting chased down the block by Mr. Brahams wouldn't listen to reason. Up ahead was the turnoff for the airport . Captain Peacock sped off the highway and sped towards the parking area. "Stephen! Hit brake!" yelled Mr. Rhumbold. Captain Peacock but the pads were worn and the car wouldn't slow down. Stephen then ran the car through the gears and at last brought the car to a stop. "All right," he said as Mr. Lucas pulled up. "We're walking from here." Mrs. Slocombe followed him, while Mr. Lucas and Mr. Humphries loaded the bags into Mr. Lucas car and helped a shell-shocked Mr. Rhumbold into the backseat as Miss. Brahams woke up Mr. Grainger
The group boarded the plane and flew from the airport to Madrid and then went by train to Costa Plonka. It was a beautiful summer morning and the sound of people out on the beach could be heard from the train. At last the train reached Costa Plonka station. Little did the staff of the ladies and gentleman's departments know what they were getting themselves into.