Fawlty Towers: A room with a view

Basil: Good morning Madam. Can I help you?

Mrs Richards: Are you the manager?

Basil: I am the owner, Madam.

Mrs Richards: What?

Basil: I am the owner.

Mrs Richards: I want to speak to the manager.

Basil: I am the manager too.

Mrs Richards: What?

Basil: I am the manager as well.

Manuel: Mana(h)er, him mana(h)er!

Basil: Shut up!

Mrs Richards: Oh…! You’re What!

Basil: …. I’m the manager.

Mrs Richards: Watt?

Basil: I’m … the … manager.

Mrs Richards: Yes, I know, you’ve just told me, what’s the matter with you? Now listen to me. I’ve booked a room with a bath. When I book a room with a bath I expect to get a bath.

Basil: You’ve got a bath.

Mrs Richards: I’m not paying seven pounds twenty pence per night plus VAT for a room without a bath.

Basil: There is your bath.

Mrs Richards: You call that a bath? It’s not big enough to drown a mouse. It’s disgaceful.

Basil: (muttering) I wish you were a mouse, I’d show you.

Mrs Richards: And another thing – I asked for a room with a view.

Basil: (to himself) Deaf, mad and blind. This is the view as far as I can remember, madam. Yes, this is it.

Mrs Richards: When I pay for a view I expect something more interesting than that.

Basil: That is Torquay, Madam.

Mrs Richards: Well, it’s not good enough.

Basil: Well … may I ask what you were hoping to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom window? Sydney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeeste sweeping majestically … ?

Mrs Richards: Don’t be silly. I expect to be able to see the sea.

Basil: You can see the sea. It’s over there between the land and the sky

Mrs Richards: I’d need a telescope to see that.

Basil: Well perhaps you should consider moving to a hotel closer to the sea. Or preferably in it.

Mrs Richards: Now listen to me; I’m not satisfied, but I have decided to stay here. However, I shall expect a reduction.

Basil: Why? Because Krakatoa’s not erupting at the moment?

Mrs Richards: Because the room is cold, the bath is too small, the view is invisible and the radio doesn’t work.

Basil: No, the radio works. You don’t.

Mrs Richards: What?

Basil: I’ll see if I can fix it, you scabby old bat.

[He turns the radio on to the limit.]

Basil: I think we got something then!

Mrs Richards: What!

Basil: I think we got something then!

Mrs Richards: What are you doing?

Manuel: Qué?

Basil: Madam, ….. don’t think me rude, but may I ask …. do you by chance have a hearing aid?

Mrs Richards: A what?

Basil: A hearing aid!!!

Mrs Richards: Yes, I do have a hearing aid.

Basil: Would you like me to get it mended?

Mrs Richards: Mended? It’s working perfectly all right.

Basil: No, it isn’t.

Mrs Richards: I haven’t got it turned on at the moment.

Basil: Why not?

Mrs Richards: The battery runs down. Now what sort of reduction are you going to give me on this room?

Basil: (whispering) sixty per cent if you turn that on.

Mrs Richards: What?

Basil: My wife handles all such matters, I’m sure she will be delighted to discuss it with you.

Mrs Richards: I shall speak to her after lunch.

Basil: You heard that all right, didn’t you.

Mrs Richards: What?

Basil: Thank you so much. Lunch will be served at half past twelve. … Manuel Manuel!


What’s the matter with you? Che c’é con Lei? Qualé il Suo problema?
to book something prenotare qualcosa
to expect aspettarsi, prevedere
disgraceful vegognoso, scandaloso
to mutter borbottare
view panorama
as far as I can remember per quanto io mi ricordo
a heard of una mandria (di animali)
wildebeest gnu
to sweep dilagare
majestically maestosamente
to consider considerare
satisfied soddisfatto
reduction riduzione
to erupt eruzione
invisible invisibile
scabby crostoso
hearing aid apparecchio acustico
to get something mended avere qualcosa riparato
battery batteria
to run down scaricare
to be delighted to essere felice di
to discuss discutere


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