Bourgeois English interior. English Evening. The English couple are Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
The English clock beats seventeen English punches. Mrs. Smith says that it’s already nine o’clock. She lists everything they ate for dinner, and builds gastronomic plans for the future. She is going to buy Bulgarian yogurt, because it works well on the stomach, kidneys, appendicitis and “apotheosis” – so said Dr. Mackenzie-King, and he can be trusted, he never prescribes funds that he did not try on himself. Before the operation to the patient, he first went to the same operation himself, although he was absolutely healthy, and that the patient died, he was not guilty: his operation was successful and his patient’s operation was unsuccessful.
Mr. Smith, reading the English newspaper, is amazed why the age of the deceased is always indicated in the heading of civil status and never indicates the age of the newborn; it seems to him absurd. The newspaper says that Bobby Watson died. Mrs. Smith gasps, but her husband reminds her that Bobby died “two years ago,” and a year and a half ago they were at his funeral. They discuss all the family members of the deceased – they are all called Bobby Watson, even his wife, so they were always confused, and it was only when Bobby Watson died that it became finally clear who was who.
There is a servant Smith – Mary, who had a pleasant evening with a man: they went to the movies,
Mary slowly reveals to the audience one secret: Elizabeth is not Elizabeth at all, and Donald is not Donald, because Elizabeth’s daughter and Donald’s daughter are not the same person: Elizabeth’s daughter has a red eye and a white one on her left, and Donald’s daughter, on the contrary. So despite the rare coincidences, Donald and Elizabeth, not being the parents of the same child, are not Donald and Elizabeth and are mistaken in imagining themselves as them. Mary informs viewers that her real name is Sherlock Holmes.
Smith’s wife comes in, dressed exactly as before. After nothing meaningless phrases, Mrs. Martin says that on the way to the market saw an extraordinary picture: near the cafe one man bent down and tied shoelaces. Mr. Martin watched an even more incredible sight: one person was sitting in the subway and reading a newspaper. Mr. Smith suggests that perhaps this is the same person.
The doorbell rings. Mrs. Smith opens the door, but there is no one behind her. As soon as she sits down again, another bell rings. Mrs. Smith opens the door again, but there is no one behind her again. When they call for the third time, Mrs. Smith does not want to get up, but Mr. Smith is sure that if someone rings at the door, then there is someone behind the door. In order not to quarrel with her husband, Mrs. Smith opens the door and, seeing no one, comes to the conclusion that when the door is ringing, there is never anybody there. Upon hearing the new call, Mr. Smith opens himself. The Captain of the fire brigade stands behind the door. The Smiths tell him about the dispute that has arisen. Mrs. Smith says that someone was outside the door only for the fourth time, and they are considered only the first three times. Everyone is trying to find out from the Fireman who called the first three times. The fireman replies that he stood outside the door for forty-five minutes, I did not see anyone and only called twice myself: for the first time he hid himself for laughter, the second time he came in. The fireman wants to reconcile the couple. He believes that both of them are partly right: when they call at the door, sometimes there is someone, and sometimes nobody is there.
Mrs. Smith invites the Firefighter to sit with them, but he came on business and is in a hurry. He asks if something is burning in them; he was ordered to extinguish all fires in the city. Unfortunately, neither the Smiths nor the Martins have anything to burn. The fireman complains that his work is unprofitable: almost no profits. Everyone sighs: everywhere the same thing: in commerce, and in agriculture. Sugar, it is true, is, and even then because it is imported from abroad. With fires it is more difficult – they have a huge duty. Mr. Martin advises the Firefighter to visit the Zephylde priest, but the Fireman explains that he has no right to extinguish fires from clerics.
Seeing that there was nowhere to hurry. The fireman remains at the Smiths on a visit and tells anecdotes from life. He tells a fable about a dog that did not swallow its trunk because he thought she was an elephant, a story of a calf that had drifted through pounded glass and gave birth to a cow that could not be called “mom” because he was a boy and could not call him “Daddy”, because he was small, why the calf had to marry one person. The rest also tell jokes in turn. The fireman tells a long, pointless story, in the middle of which everyone gets confused and asked to repeat, but the Fireman is afraid that he has no time left. He asks what time it is, but no one knows: the Smiths have wrong hours, which, out of the spirit of contradiction, always show the opposite time. Mary asks permission to also tell a joke. Martins and Smiths are indignant: the servant does not have to interfere in the conversations of the hosts. The fireman, seeing Mary, joyfully rushes to her neck: it turns out that they have long been acquainted. Mary reads poems in honor of the Fireman, while the Smiths do not push her out of the room. It’s time for the fireman to leave: in three quarters of an hour and sixteen minutes at the other end of the city a fire should begin. Before leaving, the Fireman asks how the bald singer is, and when she heard from Mrs. Smith that she had the same hairstyle, she calmly bids farewell to everyone and leaves. After three quarters of an hour and sixteen minutes at the other end of the city, a fire must begin. Before leaving, the Fireman asks how the bald singer is, and when she heard from Mrs. Smith that she had the same hairstyle, she calmly bids farewell to everyone and leaves. After three quarters of an hour and sixteen minutes at the other end of the city, a fire must begin. Before leaving, the Fireman asks how the bald singer is, and when she heard from Mrs. Smith that she had the same hairstyle, she calmly bids farewell to everyone and leaves.
Mrs. Martin says: “I can buy a penknife for my brother, but you can not buy Ireland for your grandfather.” Mr. Smith replies: “We walk with our feet, but we heat up electricity and coal.” Mr. Martin continues: “Whoever took the sword, he also scored the ball.” Mrs. Smith teaches: “Life should be watched from the window of the car.” Gradually, the exchange of remarks becomes more and more nervous: “Cockatoo, cockatoos, cockatoo…” – “How I go, I go as I walk, so I go…” – “I walk on the carpet, on the carpet…” “You go until you tell lies while you lie…” – “Cactus, crocus, cock, cockade, cocktail!” – “The more redheads, the fewer cobs!” Replicas become all koro-che, all yelling to each other in the ears. The light goes out. In the darkness it’s heard faster and faster: “E-that-not-there-e-then-that-yes…”
The curtain falls.