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Socialized Medicine

by Ron Kurtus (15 Jan 1971)

NOTE: This is not my own original skit. I found this from another unknown source. It is a good example of misunderstanding humor.

(It is early morning with a young married couple. The wife is standing near the front door in her bathrobe, while her husband is picking up his lunch bag and putting his coat over his arm. He is ready to leave for work. Both of them are very gloomy and quiet.)

MC: The year is 1975, and the British Government's policy of socialized medicine has been extended to include "Proxy Papa's". That is, any married woman not having a child in the first five years of marriage must receive the services of a Government Man, who will attempt to be the means of her becoming a mother.

(The man goes over to his wife at the door and dutifully gives her a peck on the cheek.)

MC: (watching this kiss) The Smiths have no children, and today the Government Man is due.

SMITH: I'm off. The Government Man should be here early.


(Mrs Smith pretties herself, and then takes off her bathrobe. She is wearing a seductive negligee underneath. Now that she is ready for the Government Man, she sits nervously and waits.)

MC: But... instead of the Government Man, a door-to-door photographer, specializing in baby pictures knocks on the door.

(MC exits)

(Knock, knock, knock.)

MRS. SMITH: Oh, good morning.

MAN: You probably don't know me, but I represent...

MRS. SMITH: Oh yes. You needn't explain. My husband said to expect you. Come right on in.

(Salesman enters the room. He is carrying a large album under his arm. He surreptitiously looks over the seductive Mrs Smith.)

MAN: I make a specialty of babies; Especially twins.

MRS. SMITH: That is what my husband said. Please sit down.

MAN: Then your husband probably told you that...

MRS. SMITH: Oh yes! We both agreed that it is the best thing to do.

MAN: Well, in that case, we may as well get started.

MRS. SMITH: (Embarrassed) Just...just where do we start?

MAN: Just leave everything to me madam.

(He gets up and excitedly is pointing around the room.)

I recommend two in the bathtub, one on the couch, and a couple on the floor.

MRS. SMITH: (Exasperated) Bathtub! Floor! No wonder Harry and I...

MAN: Well, my dear lady, even the best of us can't guarantee a good one every time. But, say out of six, one is bound to be a honey. I usually have the best luck with shots in the bathtub.

MRS SMITH: (Taken back) Pardon me, but... it seems a bit informal.

MAN: No indeed. In my line a man can't do his best work in a hurry.

(He opens the album and shows the baby pictures to her.)

Look at this baby. It's a good job - took four hours - but isn't she a beauty?

MRS. SMITH: Yes, a lovely child.

MAN: But for a tough assignment, look at this baby. Believe it or not, it was done on the top of a bus in Piccadilly Circus.

MRS. SMITH: My god!

MAN: It's not hard, when a man knows his job. My work is a pleasure. I spent long years perfecting my technique. Now, take this baby.
I did it with one shot in Alexandre's window.

MRS. SMITH: (Exasperated) I can't believe it.

MAN: And here is a picture of the prettiest twins in town. They turned out exceptionally well, when you consider their mother was so - so difficult. But I knocked off the job in Hyde Park on a snowy afternoon. It took from two in the afternoon until five in the evening. I never worked under such difficult conditions. People were crowded around, four or five deep, pushing to take a look.

MRS. SMITH: Four or five deep?

MAN: Yes, and more than three hours. But I had two bobbies helping me. I could have done another shot before dark, but by that time the squirrels were nibbling at my equipment, and I had to give up.

Well, madam, if you're ready, I'll set up my tripod and get to work.

MRS SMITH: Tripod?

MAN: Yes, I always use a tripod to rest my equipment on. It is much too heavy for me to hold for any length of time.

(At this, Mrs Smith collapses on the sofa.)

MAN: Mrs Smith! Good grief! Mrs Smith, have you fainted?!