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An interesting single-story episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Episode 41 from Season 4.

The story starts at a department store, where there are many people shopping, having treatment for nasal injuries, etc. One of these unsuspecting people is Chris Quinn, who has come to buy an ant (yes, an ant). When he reaches the department, the assistant appears with a silly goblin mask and makes noises at him. The assistant soon removes the mask, explaining to Chris that he thought he was someone else. To be exact, a mysterious man by the name of Michael Ellis.

Assistant: "...would you remember a man six foot nine inches high, fortyish, and he's got a long scar from here to here and absolutely no nose?"
Chris: ...I think I do remember somebody like that...
Assistant: Well, that's not Michael Ellis...he's a small man about this high with a high-pitched voice.

Chris, finding this to be too silly, tells him to go get a proper assistant for him, but the assistant simply puts on a mustache, and acts even sillier. Chris tells him again to get a proper manager, and this time, another man with a goblin mask comes out, making noises. Chris is now understandably fed up with this, and asks to see the manager. The second assistant identifies himself as the manager, but Chris ignores him and calls out for the real manager. As soon as the manager arrives, the two assistants leave undetected, so he is unable to help Chris. Fortunately, the manager gets an assistant to help Chris buy an ant, and after a rather silly information-form filling process, Chris leaves with his new pet ant, Marcus.

Chris arrives at his house, which is a total mess, full of wild animals, and one room has TVs piled to the ceiling. At this time, strange as it sounds, Chris' mother is feeding a tiger, to whom she later administers drugs to. Chris goes in the living room, and turns on one of the tellies, just in time to see the beginning of a documentary on ants, in which Ant communication gestures are explored. The program is interrupted by a news report which is about to tell something about Michael Ellis, when Mrs. Quinn turns off the TV, telling Chris that it's scaring the tiger. When she returns to the kitchen to take care of the tiger, Chris turns the telly back on, only to find he missed the announcent. Fortunately, the ant documentary continues, with an animation showing the anatomy of an ant, and how it fails to protect itself against the dissector's scalpel. At this moment, Chris discovers Marcus is missing two legs and has a false feeler. Angered, Chris leaves, to return the ant to the store (and to possibly pick up a few tellies).

Upon Chris' return, he finds the assistants are acting sillier than ever in the ant department, and calls the manager to make a complaint. The manager tells him the Complaints Department is located in the Toupee hall.

But now let us leave Chris for a moment, and direct our attention to a poetry reading hall, where several poets, including William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, and Alfred Lord Tennyson, recite poems about ants, before a crowd of ant lovers, and a very drunken hostess. All this comes to an end when Queen Victoria enters, and declares poetry of ants verboten banned, before succumbing to the smell of feces and leaving. And now for something completely different...

Chris has found the Toupee hall, disguised as a hall of electric kettles. Upon entering, he discovers that the men there actually believe he is wearing a toupee, and as they struggle to remove it, Chris is pushed into a room marked "Strictly no admittance", and finds, at last, the Complaints department. But before he can register his complaint, an announcer announces that it is now the end of Michael Ellis week and Chris Quinn week has now started.

Chris objects to this rotten ending, and goes to the End of Show department, where an assistant gives him some ending choices:

  • A long, slow, pull out...
  • An exciting chase scene (There he is! Get him!)
  • Walking into the sunset...(music swells...)
  • A happy ending (Chris! Thank god you're safe!)
  • Summing up from the board ("I think the Michael Ellis character was a little overdone...")
  • A slow fade...
  • A sudden ending--

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