They go in for a bit of the sweet stuff Down Under. The Cheesecake Shop, an Australian institution, leads the way on this front. There’s one in most towns all full to the gunnels with cheesecakes, gateaux and all types of different, delicious puds. Coff’s Harbour is no different, so with a bit of time to kill before my trip north to Brisbane, I thought I’d go and have a Butcher’s.
The attentive young lady behind the counter, Sheila, seemed most obliging. On entering the premises I couldn’t help notice a chap in the corner hammering out the classics on a didgeridoo. Thinking nothing of it, I approached the counter in huge anticipation of the tasty treat that awaiting me…..
Henry: Good Morning.
Sheila: Good morning, Sir. Welcome to the Cheesecake Shop!
Henry: Ah, thank you, Madam.
Sheila: What can I do for you, Sir?
Henry: Well, I was, uh, sitting in the Tourist Information Office on Elizabeth Street just now, skimming through My Spin On Cricket by Richie Benaud, and I suddenly came over all peckish.
Sheila: Peckish, sir?
Henry: (adopts silly Aussie accent) ‘Aw, ah wor heaps ‘ungry mate!
Sheila: Ah, hungry!
Henry: In a nutshell. And I thought to myself, “a little whipped up cream cheese & biscuit crumbs based dessert will do the trick,” so, I curtailed my Benauding activities, sallied forth, and infiltrated your place of purveyance to negotiate the vending of some sweet toothed comestibles!
Sheila: Come again?
Henry: I want to buy some cheese cake.
Customer: Oh, I thought you were complaining about the didgeridoo player!
Henry: Oh, heaven forbid: I am one who delights in all manifestations of the Aboriginal muse!
Henry: (the accent again) ‘Aw mate, Ah lahk a nice tuune’, you’re forced too!
Sheila: So he can go on playing, can he?
Henry: Most certainly! Now then, some cheesecake please, good lady.
Sheila: (lustily) Certainly, sir. What would you like?
Henry: Well, eh, how about some lemon?
Sheila: I’m, a-fraid we’re fresh out of lemon, sir.
Henry: Oh, never mind, how are you on black currant?
Sheila: I’m afraid we never have that at the end of the week, sir, we get it fresh on Monday.
Henry: Tish tish. No matter. Well, dear lady, four slices of chocolate, if you please.
Sheila: Ah! It’s beeeen on order, sir, for two weeks. Was expecting it this morning.
Henry: ‘T’s Not my lucky day, is it? Aah, Tiramisu?
Sheila: Sorry, sir.
Sheila: Normally, sir, yes. Today the van broke down.
Henry: Ah. Blueberry?
Henry: Fruits of the Forest? Raspberry?
Henry: Any Norwegian Cloudberry, per chance.
Henry: Plum Duff?
Henry: White Chocolate?
Henry: Danish Apple?
Henry: Double Chocolate?
(While all this is going on, the didgeridoo man is still hard at it….)
Sheila: (pause) No.
Henry: Apricot, Creme de Cassis, Crepe Suzette, Pear Tarte Tatin, Brioche Perdu, Croquembouche, Creme Caramel, Nougat, Champagne Roulade?
Henry: Creme Brûlée, perhaps?
Sheila: Ah! We have Creme Brûlée, yessir.
Henry: (suprised) You do! Excellent.
Sheila: Yessir. It’s..ah,…..it’s a bit runny…
Henry: Oh, I like it runny.
Sheila: Well,.. It’s very runny, actually, sir.
Henry: No matter. Fetch hither the dessert de la Belle France! Mmmwah!
Sheila: I…think it’s a bit runnier than you’ll like it, sir.
Henry: I don’t care how excrementally runny it is. Hand it over with all speed.
Sheila: Oooooooooohhh……..! (pause)
Henry: What now?
Sheila: The cat’s eaten it.
Henry: (pause) Has he.
Sheila: She, sir.
Henry: (pause) Maple?
Henry: Shwarzwalde Kirsche Torte?
Henry: Gulab Jamun?
Sheila: No, sir.
Henry: You…do have some cheesecake, don’t you?
Sheila: (brightly) Of course, sir. It’s a cheesecake shop, sir. We’ve got–
Henry: No no… don’t tell me. I’m keen to guess.
Sheila: Fair enough.
Henry: Uuuuuh, Pavlova.
Henry: Ah, well, I’ll have some of that!
Sheila: Oh! I thought you were talking to me, sir. Miss Sheila Pavlova, that’s my name.
(Taking it up a notch or two, the didgeridoo player plays on…)
Henry: (pause) Citrus Fruits?
Sheila: Not as such.
Henry: Uuh, Granola?
Henry: Cookies & Cream,
Henry: Mississippi Mud Pie?
Sheila: Not today, sir, no.
Henry: (pause) Aah, how about Strawberry?
Sheila: Well, we don’t get much call for it around here, sir.
Henry: Not much ca– it’s the single most popular cheesecake in the world!
Sheila: Not ’round here, sir.
Henry: (slight pause) and what IS the most popular cheese ’round here?
Sheila: Pistachio, sir.
Henry: IS it.
Sheila: Oh, yes, it’s staggeringly popular in this manor, squire.
Henry: Is it.
Sheila: It’s our number one best seller, sir!
Henry: I see. Uuh… Pistachio, eh?
Sheila: Right, sir.
Henry: All right. Okay. ‘Have you got any?’ he asked, expecting the answer ‘no’.
Sheila: I’ll have a look, sir……..nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno.
Henry: It’s not much of a cheesecake shop, is it?
Sheila: Finest in the district!
Henry: (annoyed) Explain the logic underlying that conclusion, please.
Sheila: Well, it’s so clean, sir!
Henry: It’s certainly uncontaminated by cheesecake….
Sheila: (brightly) You haven’t asked me about Amaretto, sir.
Henry: Would it be worth it?
Sheila: Could be….
Henry: Have you–
SHUT THAT BLOODY DIDGERIDOO UP!
Sheila: Told you sir….
Henry: (slowly) Have you got any Amaretto?
Henry: Figures. Predictable, really I suppose. It was an act of purest optimism to have posed the question in the first place. Tell me:
Henry: (deliberately) Have you in fact got any cheesecake here at all.
Sheila: Yes, sir.
Sheila: No. Not really, sir.
Henry: You haven’t.
Sheila: No sir. Not a scrap. I was deliberately wasting your time, sir.
Henry: Well I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to shoot you.
Sheila: Right-Oh, sir.
(Henry takes out a gun and shoots the owner)
Henry: What a senseless waste of human life.
N.B. I didn’t really shoot anyone. And actually, the Cheesecake Shop produce is rather wonderful.
Similarly, the whole thing has been loving ripped off, as they would probably put it from Messrs Cleese and Palin. If you’re reading gents, and let’s face it you’re probably not, but thank you for producing one of the most inspirationally hilarious skits ever made. Classic, classic stuff.
Cheer yourself up, make your week. Get on YouTube and enter ‘Monty Python Cheese Shop Sketch’ today.
And Roachy, a very, very Happy 30th Birthday to you sir. Have a good one.