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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Friday (7/10/09) 1:00pm - ... wherein Peter writes a sketch for Friday Sketch War.

This week's Sketch War theme is "Murder Mystery".

               Sketch War
               Murder Mystery Edition
               "The Detectives' Club"

               FADE IN:  

               EXT. LONDON STREET - NIGHT

               STREET NOISE.

               CLOSE IN on a small PLAQUE that reads "The Detectives' Club" 
               - below it in smaller type, "Founded 1887."

                                   AFFABLE ARISTOCRAT (V.O.)
                         Tonight inks a black mark on the
                         Detectives' Club's record, I'm

               INT. THE DETECTIVES' CLUB, 1937 - NIGHT

               In a staid English club, an ENGLISH BOBBY lies sprawled and
               motionless on the floor.

               Next to him, the AFFABLE ARISTOCRAT gives a speech to the
               other members.

               Several detectives -- a LITTLE OLD LADY, a CHEERFUL INDIAN
               DOCTOR, an ELEGANT RUSSIAN COUNTESS -- sit in overstuffed
               chairs, while a LARGE DRUNK MAN sleeps fitfully in the chair
               closest to the fireplace.

               Behind them, a large crowd of MISCELLANEOUS DETECTIVES stands
               and listens.

                                   AFFABLE ARISTOCRAT
                         One of our own has suffered the
                         receiving end of Fortune's billy
                         club, murdered in this very hall. 
                         But this is the club where
                         England's finest detective minds
                         come to let down their h and tipple
                         back their g's and t's, so we
                         should have this well sorted before
                         Chief Inspector Comstock --

               Everyone GROANS at the name.

                                   AFFABLE ARISTOCRAT
                         -- makes his usual dog's breakfast
                         of things.

                                   LITTLE OLD LADY
                         I am certain we can find the
                         wrongdoer in a week.

                                   CHEERFUL INDIAN DOCTOR
                         Even to solve it in three days
                         would seem reasonable.

                                   ELEGANT RUSSIAN COUNTESS
                         Me?  Twenty-four hours.

                                   CHEERFUL INDIAN DOCTOR
                         Oh, my dear, that is very much

               The aristocrat produces a sheet of paper.

                                   AFFABLE ARISTOCRAT
                         He did have this annotated railroad
                         timetable in his pocket, but that's
                         all we have in the way of physical

                                   CHEERFUL INDIAN DOCTOR
                         Even the greatest sweater can be
                         unraveled by the slenderest thread,
                         my good sir.

                                   LITTLE OLD LADY
                         I solved the Branching Hills Murder
                         with no physical evidence at all!

                                   ELEGANT RUSSIAN COUNTESS
                         Know what I think of 'evidence'?

               She nabs the timetable and throws it in the fireplace.

                                   AFFABLE ARISTOCRAT
                         Why on earth did you --

                                   ELEGANT RUSSIAN COUNTESS
                         I like a challenge.  This crime
                         scene shall lead me to the
                         perpetrator via inexorable logic.

                                   CHEERFUL INDIAN DOCTOR
                         Oh, you need the scene of the
                         crime, countess?

               The Indian gentleman begins tampering with the crime scene,
               moving the body around, shifting furniture.

                                   CHEERFUL INDIAN DOCTOR
                         Only an amateur has the requirement
                         of a proper crime scene!

                                   ELEGANT RUSSIAN COUNTESS
                         Very well.  I shall rely only on
                         forensic evidence from the corpse.

                                   LITTLE OLD LADY
                         Ooh!  Forensic evidence!

                                   ELEGANT RUSSIAN COUNTESS

                                   LITTLE OLD LADY
                         Yes of course, you may use forensic
                         evidence if you're a drooling,
                         child-like cretin.  I shall only
                         require conversing with my fellow

                                   AFFABLE ARISTOCRAT
                         I rather think we should focus on
                         solving the crime as effectively as

                                   LITTLE OLD LADY
                         Do you think you could handle that
                         limitation, countess?

                                   ELEGANT RUSSIAN COUNTESS
                         You're on.

                                   CHEERFUL INDIAN DOCTOR
                         You are on with me as well.  From
                         here on out, interview evidence

               Meanwhile, the large drunk man rouses himself awake and gets
               unsteadily to his feet.

               He takes in the scene.

                                   LARGE DRUNK MAN
                         Excuse me.  I shall now retire to
                         my well-appointed study, whereat I
                         shall lock myself inside and root
                         out the malefactor using only my
                         imagination and copious quantities
                         of cocaine.  Good day.

               He gets up and staggers towards the door.

                                   ELEGANT RUSSIAN COUNTESS
                         That dipsomaniac will solve

               An uproar!  The seated detectives and the extras AD LIB
               agitated responses pro and con.

               Meanwhile, the English bobby wakes up with an obvious

                                   ENGLISH BOBBY
                         Oh, me loaf of bread hurts like

                                   CHEERFUL INDIAN DOCTOR
                         Look!  It would appear our
                         unfortunate victim is not entirely

                                   LITTLE OLD LADY

                                   ENGLISH BOBBY
                         'fraid I carried out a lengthy
                         investigation into the club's
                         brandy collection last night.

                                   ELEGANT RUSSIAN COUNTESS
                         This is ridiculous!

               Everyone but the aristocrat AD LIBS indignation.

               The aristocrat helps him up.

                                   AFFABLE ARISTOCRAT
                         Up you go.  Let's close the
                         distance between yourself and a
                         foul-tasting restorative.

                                   ENGLISH BOBBY
                         Does this mean I'm out of the club?

                                   AFFABLE ARISTOCRAT
                         With this pleasant brouhaha you've
                         caused?  You're practically the

               The detectives continue BICKERING in the background.

                                                         FADE TO BLACK.

(I've cross-posted this to the Sketchwar site.)

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