Paul McCartney, Warwick and Seymour are sitting around a small table over cups of tea, sharing a laugh. McCartney's wearing black trousers and a dark grey jacket with narrow pink piping over a black turtleneck sweater.
Seymour: (to McCartney)
Blimey! I knew Warwick used to work in our
Liverpool branch, and he always said he used to play in a jazz
orchestra with your dad years ago, but —
Warwick: You never believed me,
but that's all right. You weren't workin ‘ere
two Christmases ago when our kid ‘ere dropped in, ‘im and his lovely
missus, and we sang a Christmas carol ‘ere in Packin'.
McCartney: Well, dad's always askin' after you.
"Go look in on Warwick," he
says, "You're just ‘round the corner in Cavendish Avenue." He's
forgotten we moved to Scotland.
Warwick: Ah, we ‘ad a grand time back then.
Seymour: What was the band called, then?
Warwick: Well, the Jim Mac Jazz Band.
McCartney: Very popular Merseyside, you know. Dances, socials, and so on.
Warwick: Oh, we'd play anywhere,
for a penny or a pint. Ha! I remember the
time we played the Liverpool Empire, doin' incidental music for a
silent picture. The Queen of Sheba, it was.
McCartney: Oh, dad tells that story all the
time. (to Seymour) When the
chariot race began, the band started playin' "Thanks for the Buggy
Warwick: (laughs) Aye,
and durin' the Queen of Sheba's death scene, we
played "Horsy, Keep Your Tail up."
Warwick: He's a pip, your dad is.
McCartney: He's all that. (finishes tea)
Well, I should go find me mates. Nice
meetin' you, Seymour. (they shake hands)
Seymour: It's been great. Thanks for the autograph!
McCartney: Nice seeing you again, Mr. Warwick. (they shake hands)
Warwick: Oh, stop in anytime a
mob is after ye. And give my best to the
family, and to your mates.
McCartney: Thanks, I will. (looks around) Where's the lift, then?
Warwick: Seymour, show our kid to the lift. There's a lad.
Seymour shows McCartney to the lift, and they enter. But before the doors close, Slocombe's and Brahms' voices come from offstage.
Slocombe: Hold the lift!
Brahms: Wasn't that Seymour? Hold the lift, Seymour!
Slocombe and Brahms, dressed in their coats, run for the lift and get in, puffing, facing front. McCartney stands in the rear, unnoticed.
Slocombe: Oh, thank you, Seymour. We almost didn't get back in the staff door.
Brahms: Ooh! It was
ever so crowded! We couldn't even get close to the
Finsbury. And I so wanted to see the Beatles. Especially Paul!
Slocombe: Tsk! He's married, Miss Brahms.
Brahms: I know. But I still think he's ever so handsome!
Slocombe: (mischievously) Isn't he?
Seymour: (innocently) Didn't see any Beatles, then?
Brahms: Neither ‘ide nor ‘air.
Seymour: Oh, you may get lucky one day. You never know.
Brahms: Ha! When will we ever get this close to a Beatle again?
Slocombe: (sighs) Well, we tried. Canteen, please, Seymour.
Seymour smiles and hits a button. The doors close,
and a second later, two shrieks are heard from within.
Grainger is behind the counter, holding a hand mirror, inspecting his teeth. When he puts the mirror down, George Harrison is standing in front of him. He is clean shaven and dressed in jeans, a blue denim jacket over a black T-shirt and desert boots. Grainger gives a start.
Grainger: Oh! Er. Sorry.
Harrison: (smiling) Hari krishna.
Grainger: Er, hello, Harry.
I'm Ernest Grainger. But I'm afraid the store has
closed early today. You see, the, er, Beatles are coming to the hotel
across the road, and the entire borough seems to be in an uproar.
By the way, er, how did you get in?
Harrison: We came in through the bathroom window.
Harrison: (looks at camera) I
told ‘em that was Paul's line, but they wouldn't
hear it. (to Grainger) Just a little joke, Ernest. Actually, your Mr.
Mash let us in to get away from the crowd.
Grainger: I see. Well, er, as
I say, we're not officially open, but if there's
anything you'd like to see, I'd be happy to serve you. (leans in a bit)
It's been dreadfully slow all day.
Harrison: Oh. So why are you still here, then?
Grainger: Oh, our department is staying behind for our award dinner.
Harrison: You don't say?
Grainger: Yes, the Most Improved
Floor Award. (Harrison looks at floor) Er,
Salesfloor, that is. Mr. Humphries and Mr. Lucas are in getting
changed now. Cpt. Peacock's gone to the Canteen to look after the
arrangements, and I'm, er, not sure where the ladies are, but I thought
I heard them screaming a moment ago.
Harrison: Yeh, there's a lot of that goin' ‘round today.
Grainger. Yes. Well, as long as we're here, is there anything you'd like to see?
Harrison: Well, I wasn't really shopping,
you see. We were on our way to the
solicitor's office, to sign some important papers.
Grainger: Well, it's a good job you
stopped in. You can't sign important papers
looking like that!
Harrison: I can't?
Grainger: Oh, no, no no. Quite
at home in the garden, I'd say, but if you ever
expect to get up in the world, my boy, you've got to dress the part.
Harrison: You think so?
Grainger: Oh, quite. Dress for success!
Grainger: I've a houndstooth check jacket that would look very smart, indeed.
Harrison: Well, (checks his pockets) I don't think I brought any money.
Greainger: I see. Er, do you have an account?
Harrison: Ha! Send it to Apple
on Savile Row. We have an account
Grainger: Splendid. Right this
way, sir. (he leads Harrison to a rack near the
fitting room curtains and picks through a few jackets) I'd say you're
about a 40 medium. Here you are. The fitting room's right through
there, if you'd like to try it on, er, Harry.
Harrison: (chuckles) Thanks, Ernest.
As Harrison approaches the curtains, Lucas and Humphries, dressed in tuxedos, are coming out.
Humphries: Mr. Grainger, come and change into your — oh, hello, George.
Humphries walks a couple more steps, then freezes. He turns to Lucas, who is stunned, then looks at Harrison again.
Humphries: George?! Ohhhh!
Humphries' knees buckle, and he faints.
Lucas: (catching Humphries) Mr. Humphries! Mr. Humphries!
Harrison: (to Grainger) Glass of water for Mr. Humphries!
(c) 1999 John F. Crowley