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Peter Cook Appreciation Society
15 Temple Dwellings
Temple Street, Bethnal Green
London E2 6QG

PC: Good evening.

DM: Good evening.

PC: Good evening.

DM: Good evening.  We're talking this evening to Sir Arthur Greeb-Streebling.

PC. Streeb-Greebling.

DM: Oh, I'm terribly sorry, I thought it was Greeb-Streebling.

PC: No, Streeb-Greebling.  You're thinking of Greeb-Streebling.  The "T" is
        silent, as in "fox".  Good evening.

DM: Good evening.

PC: Good evening.

DM: Good evening.

PC: Good Greebling.

DM: We'd like to ask Sir Arthur actually about his rather unique
        restaurant, the Frog and Peach.

PC: Good evening.

DM: Good evening.  If you would tell us something about it, Sir. Arthur.

PC: Yes, well, ah, the idea for the Frog and Peach came to me in the
        bath.  A great number of things come to me in the bath, mainly
        sort of mosquitoes and adders, but in this case a rather stupendous
        idea.  I suddenly thought, as I was scrubbing my back with a
        loofah, I thought, "Where can a young couple, who are having an
        evening out, not too much money, and they want to have a decent
        meal, y'know, a decent frog and a nice bit of peach, where can
        they go and get it?"  And answer came there none.  And so I had
        this idea of starting a restaurant specializing in these frogs
        legs and, er, peaches, and on this premise I built this restaurant.

DM: These premises, in fact.

PC: In these precise premises.  Good evening.

DM: How long ago did you start this venture?  Was it recently?

PC: It was certainly within living memory.  Shortly after the First
        World War.

DM: Ghastly business, wasn't it?

PC: Oh, absolutely ghastly business.  And, er, I started it shortly
        after that and ever since then, it's sort of been here, y'know.

DM: And how has business been?

PC: Well, ah, business hasn't been, in the strict sense of the world.
        Rather, let me answer that question in two parts.  There hasn't
        been any business and nobody's been.  It's been a quiet time for
        the last 15-18 years, really, in the business.

DM: But don't you feel in a way you're at some disadvantage being stuck
        out in the middle of Dartmoor here?

PC: I think the word "disadvantage" is awfully well chosen there, yes.
        This is what we're at.  We're at a disadvantage.  You see, when I
        had the idea, I weighed up the pros and cons and I came to the
        conclusion, rightly or wrongly, or possibly both -

DM: Or neither.

PC: Or neither, or nye-ther, as they say in some part of the country.

DM: Or cointreau.

PC: Indeed.  I thought that the pros outweighed the cons by two and a
        half ounces, and I thought the people in Britain were crying out
        for a restaurant where there wasn't any parking problem.  In fact,
        I heard somebody in the street crying out for a restaurant without
        a parking problem.  Norwegian sailor, I believe, on leave.  He was
        saying, "Oh, for a restaurant without a parking problem!"  And
        this sort of inspired me to start this one.  There's no parking
        problem here, situated as we are in the middle of a bog in the
        heart of Dartmoor.  No difficulty parking.  Some difficultly
        extricating your car, but otherwise well-situated.  Good evening.

DM: Good evening.  Don't you feel, again, you're at a disadvantage
        because of your menu?  I mean -

PC: The menu!  Oh dear!  Yes, that is - Oh!  This has been a terrible
        hindrance to us building up a business.  The menu is the most -
        have you seen it?

DM: Yes, I have.

PC: It's the most appalling thing.  There's so little to choose from.
        You start with - what's that?

DM: Spawn cocktail.

PC: Spawn cocktail.  One of the most revolting dishes known to man.
        Then there's only two other dishes really.  There's frog a la
        peche, which is a frog done in Cointreau and with a peach stuffed
        in its mouth  And, ah, then, of course, there's peche a la frog,
        which is really not much to write home about.  A waiter comes to
        your table.  He's got this huge peach on it, which is covered in
        boiling liqueur, you see, and he slices it open to reveal about
        two thousand little black tadpoles squiggling about.  It's one of
        the most disgusting sights I've ever seen.  God,  it turns me over
        to think of it.  Squiggle, squiggle, they go.

DM: Rather nauseating.  Who does the cooking?

PC: My wife does the cooking and, luckily, she does the eating as well.
        An amazing creature.  Of course, she's not a well woman.

DM: No.

PC: Not a well woman at all, so she very much resents having to go
        down the well every morning to sprinkle "Swoop" on the toads.  An
        amazing creature, my wife, an amazing creature.

DM: Yes.

PC: I met her during the war actually.

DM: You did?

PC: Yes, she blew in through the drawing room window with a bit of
        shrapnel, became imbedded in the sofa and, you know, one thing led
        to her mother and we were married in the hour.

DM: Um, yes, I suppose actually -

PC: Would you like some pond water?

DM: No, I won't actually.

PC: It's two shillings.

DM: No, no.

PC: It's revolting stuff.  I wouldn't touch it.

DM:, um

PC: Good evening.

DM: Good evening.

PC: What are you about to ask me about?

DM: I'm about to ask you, um, I suppose this sort of menu could, in
        fact, appeal to the French.

PC: It could appeal to the French and I've tried appealing to the
        French over Radio Streeb-Greebling which, as you know, is situated
        in the moat, not a stone's throw from here, but, ah, the response
        has been - oh - it's not been excessive.

DM: No.

PC: It's been nil.

DM: Well, it all sounds rather disastrous to me.

PC: Catastrophic, I think, would be a better word, really, for it.

DM: Do you have any other plans for other business ventures?

PC: Nnnnn-- yes and no.  I thought of starting a sort of sophisticated
        restaurant with kind of, ah, sophisticated music somewhere up in
        Peebleshire.  Somewhere where a young couple who're out for the
        evening, y'see, who've got about 85 guineas to spend to get a
        really decent meal.

DM: Hmm.  What are you going to call it?

PC: The Vole and Pea.

DM: What sort of food?

PC: Well, ah, I was thinking largely:  simple English roast vole, you
        know and, ah, a decent British pea. Put the two together and I
        think you're on pretty good ground.

DM: Y-e-s-s, indeed.  Do you feel you've learnt by your mistakes here?

PC: I think I have, yes, and I think I can probably repeat them almost
        perfectly.  I know my  mistakes inside out.

DM: I'm sure you will repeat them.  Well, thank you very much, Sir Arthur.

PC: Thank you very much.

DM: And good night.

PC: Would you like one for the toad?

DM: No, thank you.

The Estate of Peter Cook 1966, 1996