A Bit Of A Chat…

Dudley, as Roger, aged almost eighteen, arrives home from school, whistling: All Things Bright and Beautiful

Peter:
(Paterfamilias) Is that you, Roger?
Dudley:
Yes, father.
Peter:
There's a cup of tea in here, boy, if you'd like one.
Dudley:
It's very kind of you, sir, but I've just come in from rugger, and I'm a bit grubby. I think I ought to go and have a shower first, sir.
Peter:
Well pour me a cup, there's a good chap, would you?
Dudley:
Certainly sir, yes, of course.
Peter:
Thank you. How was school today?
Dudley:
Oh, much as usual, thank you sir, but I caught someone having a crafty smoke behind the wooden building. I had to give him rather a ticking off — such a filthy habit, you know.
Peter:
It's a filthy habit, Roger.
Dudley:
There we are, sir; now, if you'll excuse me.
Peter:
Roger.
Dudley:
Yes sir?
Peter:
Er — sit down. Roger, your mother and I were having a bit of a chat the other day, and she thought it might be a good idea if I was to have a bit of a chat… with you.
Dudley:
Er… a bit of a chat, sir?
Peter:
A bit of a chat, yes, Roger, just…
Dudley:
Er…
Peter:
A bit of a chat.
Dudley:
What about, sir?
Peter:
Well, there's nothing to be worried about, Roger, it's just that, er, well, to be perfectly frank… how old are you?
Dudley:
Well, to be perfectly frank, sir, I'm coming up to eighteen.
Peter:
Coming up to eighteen…
Dudley:
Well, on the verge of…
Peter:
On the verge of eighteen… Yes, well, I thought it might be a good idea to have a bit of a chat now, because I remember, from my own experience, that it was when I was just, you know, coming up to eighteen…
Dudley:
On the verge…
Peter:
…on the verge of it, that I first began to take a - a serious interest in the - um - in the - er - opposite… the opposite… number. Now I don't know, Roger, if you know anything about the method whereby - you came - to be brought about.
Dudley:
Well, sir, some of the boys at school say very filthy things about it, sir.
Peter:
This is what I was worried about, and this is why I thought I'd have a bit of a chat, and explain, absolutely frankly and openly, the method whereby you, and everybody in this world, came to be. Roger, in order for you to be brought about, it was necessary for your mother and I - to do something. In particular, it was necessary for your mother… it was necessary for your mother - to sit on a chair. To sit on a chair which I had recently vacated, and which was still warm from my body. And then, something very mysterious, rather wonderful and beautiful happened. And sure enough, four years later you were born. There was nothing unhealthy about this, Roger, there's nothing unnatural. It's a beautiful thing in the right hands, and there's no need to think less of your mother because of it. She had to do it - she did it - and here you are.
Dudley:
Well sir, it's very kind of you to tell me. One thing, actually, slightly alarms me; um, I was sitting in this very chair yesterday sir, and I vacated it, and the cat sat on it while it was still warm. Should we have it destroyed?
Peter:
Its a lovely chair, Roger…
Dudley:
I mean the cat, sir.
Peter:
Destroy… oh, no Roger, you don't understand. This thing of which I speak can only happen between two people who are married. And you're not married.
Dudley:
Not yet, anyway sir.
Peter:
Not to the cat, in any case. Well, Roger, now that you have this knowledge about chairs and warmth, I hope - I hope you'll use it wisely, and take no notice of your school friends, or what Uncle Bertie may say.
Dudley:
Dirty Uncle Bertie they call him.
Peter:
Dirty Uncle Bertie - and they're right, Roger. Bertie's a dirty, dirty man. He's been living with us now for forty years, and it does seem a day too much… You know, if it hadn't been for your mother, Roger, I don't know where we would have been. She's the only person who can really cope with Uncle Bertie, she's the only one who can really deal with him. I don't know if you realise this, Roger, but your mother even has to sleep in the same bed as Uncle Bertie, to prevent him getting up to anything in the night. If only there were more people like your mother, Roger.
Dudley:
Well, I'm very pleased that you've told me this, sir, because, as I say, I'm very glad I don't have to believe all those filthy things that the boys at school say — and only yesterday, Uncle Bertie said to me…
Peter:
Take no notice of Uncle Bertie, Roger! He's a sick, sick man, and we should feel sorry for him.
Dudley:
Well, I'll try, sir… well.. thank you sir. Er - I wonder if I should take a cup of tea up to mother, while…
Peter:
I - er - I wouldn't do that, Roger - she's upstairs at the moment, coping with Uncle Bertie…
Dudley:
Poor Uncle Bertie…
Peter:
Poor Uncle Bertie…