HAROLD : I’m not going unless you come with me. That's what I can‘t understand. I'm not going off on my own, we can spend Christmas together round at Olive's place. I'm asking you to come with me.
ALBERT : And I’ve said no. Let‘s pull another cracker.
(HAROLD LOSES HIS TEMPER AND THROWS THE PROFFERED CRACKER AWAY)
HAROLD : I don‘t want to pull another cracker. I want to go out and enjoy myself.
ALBERT : Well go on then.
HAROLD : You come with me.
ALBERT : No.
HAROLD : Right then, I’ll go on my own. You can‘t say I haven't asked you. Right then. I‘ll go and have a good time on my own. Right then.
(HE PUTS HIS COAT ON AND GOES TO THE DOOR. HE OPENS THE DOOR THEN TURNS BACK)
Oh Dad . . . what's the difference between spending Christmas round here and spending it round there.
ALBERT : If there‘s no difference what do you want to go for?
HAROLD : Well there is a difference, but it‘s the same as spending it here . . . except we'd enjoy it much better. Lots of people and drink and games . . .
ALBERT : I like Christmas to be quiet , . . . peaceful . . . spent in my own home. If you'd spent as many Christmases away from home as I have, you wouldn’t . . . . wouldn‘t want to go spending it nowhere else. Did I ever tell you about the Christmas Day I spent in the trenches in France?
HAROLD : Yes.
ALBERT : When the truce was called . . .
HAROLD : Yeah.
ALBERT : That was in the first year of the war, of course, when it was still gentlemen fighting gentlemen . . . there wasn‘t a gun being fired along the whole of the front.
HAROLD : Yeah. You told me.
ALBERT : Then all of a sudden, like as if a signal had been given, we looked over the top of our trench...
HAROLD : And they looked over the top of theirs
ALBERT : And they looked over the top of theirs . . . and then we sort of waved
HAROLD : And they waved.
ALBERT : And they waved. And we climbed out of our trenches with our Christmas puddings from home and we slowly walked over towards their trenches . . . right out in the middle of no-man’s land
HAROLD : Yeah and they brought their sausages and sauerkraut and their bottles of wine . . .
ALBERT : And we met in the middle of no man’s land, and we had our Christmas dinner together , . . in the midst of death there was peace, that's what our Padre said . . . he was right too . . . me and this German bloke . . . we prayed together drank together, showed each other pictures of our families . . . I drank from his bottle and he drank from my bottle . . . Germans and English drinking from the same bottle . . . because it was Christmas . . . we weren‘t enemies, we were men . . . and then we went back to our trenches
HAROLD : And you shot him.
ALBERT : Yeah, And his mate. We advanced twenty-five yards on the Boxing Day and we only lost seven thousand men, it wasn't bad, was it? And that's why I like to spend Christmas Day on my own.
(HAROLD IS AT A COMPLETE LOSS TO SAY ANYTHING. HE STARTS, BUT CAN'T THINK OF ANYTHING)
HAROLD : Look, I’m going round to Olive's. Are you coming?
ALBERT : No.
HAROLD : Well I’m going then . . . all right?
ALBERT : Yes, you carry on . . . if you must.
HAROLD : Yeah, well I'm not sticking in here all day . . . I got to get out . . . you're sure you won’t come?
ALBERT : No, I’m staying here.
HAROLD : Right. Cheerio then.
ALBERT : Cheerio.
(HAROLD STANDS IN THE DOORWAY)
HAROLD : Shall I turn the telly on for you? Only she'll be on in a minute.
ALBERT : No, I'll turn it on. You get off . . . you don‘t want to be late.
HAROLD : No, right. Right. l’ll be off then.
ALBERT : Cheerio.
HAROLD : I'll wait for you, if you want to come . . . I don’t mind waiting till after the speech.
ALBERT : No, I'll stop here thank you.
HAROLD : They'll have it on round there. Oh well . . . I'll see you later then. Cheerio.
ALBERT : Cheerio.
HAROLD : I mean, I'm only popping round there, I’m coming back. You know . . . wish them Happy Christmas.
ALBERT : Don’t hurry back for me, I‘ll be all right.
HAROLD : Well . . . ta ta then.
(HAROLD GOES OUT OF SIGHT. THEN COMES BACK)
You can help yourself to my cocktail cabinet if you want.
ALBERT : Oh thanks.
HAROLD : So you're definitely not coming then?
ALBERT : No thanks.
HAROLD : Right. Well I'll see you later then.
ALBERT : Cheerio. Have a good time.
(HAROLD GOES OUT INTO THE HALLWAY. PUTS HIS NEW CRAVAT ON. THE PHONE RINGS. HE PICKS IT UP)
HAROLD : Hallo, Steptoe and Son. Harold Steptoe speaking. Oh Neville, Merry Christmas. Tell Olive I’m just . . . eh? She asked you to phone me . . . why, why couldn't she phone me herself? She's frightened to tell me what?
(HIS FACE DROPS AS HE LISTENS)
Oh. Congratulations. Yeah, I hope you’ll both be very happy. No, no hard feelings . . . . why should there be? We had no arrangement. You knew her longer than I did, anyway. Oh no, I won’t be coming round. it’s Christmas Day. I always spend
Christmas Day with my father. Oh no, I wouldn't dream of leaving him . . . after all Christmas Day should be spent with the family, I always say. If you see Olive . . . well of course you will now . . . give her my regards. Look after her.
(PUTS THE PHONE DOWN. SHATTERED. HE GOES SLOWLY BACK INTO THE LIVING ROOM. TAKES HIS CRAVAT OFF. PUTS HIS PAPER HAT BACK ON. GOES AND SITS DOWN. THE OLD MAN OFFERS HIM A CRACKER. THEY PULL IT.
ALL THIS WITH A GAY VERSION OF GOD REST YE MERRY, GENTLEMEN' OVER IT.
HAROLD REACHES OVER, TURNS THE TELEVISION ON AND THEY LEAN FORWARD TO WATCH THE QUEEN'S SPEECH.
HAROLD SPOONS BITS OF CHRISTMAS PUDDING OUT OF THE TIN)