Smoke Alarm

Here’s a sketch I wrote a few years ago, initially for a live show, but it made its way onto The Ten Minute Sketch Show for Resonance FM.

It plays with the tried and tested meme of people having inappropriate reactions to events going on around them. In retrospect, I think it’s a little too long, but it does have one line in it that I’ve always been proud of.

INT.A SMALL OPEN-FRONTED HARDWARE STORE IN A SHOPPING MALL.

ONE

Um ... yeah ... I uh ... I’m after a, you know, smoke detector.

TWO

Yeah, we do those.

ONE

Right ... and they detect smoke do they?

TWO

Uh, yeah. That’s what smoke detectors do.

ONE

Okay, so if I had a smoke detector, then well, it would detect smoke?

TWO

(blinks)

Yeah.

ONE

Is, is, is that all they do?

TWO

Well you know, um, they’re like a prevention device, sort of to help prevent fires and stuff.

ONE

Now that sounds more like what I’m after.

TWO

Right okay, so, one smoke detector?

ONE

Just to be clear, if I have a smoke detector, will that prevent the fire that is currently raging through my house right now?

TWO

Sorry?

ONE

(slowly)

If I have a smoke detector, will that prevent the fire happening in my house right now?

TWO

Theoretically yes.

ONE

What about literally? It’s just that my couch is really nice, and I’m worried the flames that are decimating it right now might you know, damage it a bit. So I was hoping, you know, this clever smoke detector thing might stop the fire ... happening ... now.

TWO

Your house is on fire?

ONE

Well, it’s covered in hot orange wobbly stuff ... does that constitute an “on fire”?

TWO

Is there smoke?

ONE

Yes. Yes. There is smoke. Hence, you know, the smoke detector thing.

TWO

I think you need the fire brigade.

ONE

The who?

TWO

The Fire Brigade.

ONE

And what do these “The Fire Brigade” do?

TWO

Um, they, they put out fires.

ONE

Well that does sound like the sort of thing I’m looking for yes. Do you sell any “The Fire Brigade”?

TWO

No, no, you need to phone them.

ONE

Oh it’s a mail order thing? Have you got a catalogue I can look at?

TWO

No. They’re an emergency service. They’ll come round with hoses.

ONE

Hmm. See, I think hoses would clash with my new Ikea shelving.

TWO

You’re new Ikea Shelving is burning to the ground!!

ONE

Yes. That’s the quandary I’m in. Ideally, what I need is someone to stop the fire happening.

TWO

That’s the Fire Brigade.

ONE

Right. I’ll tell you what, I’ll have a think about it, and I’ll come back.

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Smoke Alarm
It was either a photo of a smoke alarm, or a photo of a cute kitten. Kitten wins.
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