Note: Back in November, 2003 I (Jess) posted a fanfic challenge to the Monty Python Wacky Fanfiction Society. The plot was a fic set during the Holy Grail filming, in which one of the Castle Anthrax girls becomes smitten with Michael. The rules were:
- One of the Pythons must say to Mike, "That's a nice bit o' fringe you got there, Mike!" Doesn't matter which one, as long as it's a Python.
- "Oh, shite!!" must be uttered by Graham at least once (although more than once would be more fun, lol)
- Eric must discover a hole in his tights, preferably in the crotch area...
- Jonesy... um... must order a cup of coffee, and spit it out violently when he discovers it's Ovaltine (or something similar)
- John must be grumbling about everything as usual, until Graham slips some "happy pills" into his coffee, and he ends up singing and dancing around the place like a ballerina.

And now, here’s the brilliant story idlebee came up with:


Author: idlebee

Lisa sat down and grimaced. One more day in this horrible, cold place was going to drive her insane. After a full days shoot she was tired, wet and hungry, and knowing that the hot water in the hotel would only suffice for about two centimetres of bath, she found herself wishing she had never taken the job at all.

Slowly the lights went up and she found herself once again in the presence of Michael Palin, who stood reassuringly quiet and eager with his shield over his shoulder and his wet hair stuck firmly to his pink cheeks.

“Cut, cut, cut,” shouted Terry Jones and he pushed his way past the cameraman over to where Lisa was stood.

“Can’t you just stand a little less miserably?” he asked. His dark eyes held hers seriously and Lisa found she couldn’t keep looking at him. He made her feel so small sometimes that she envied the others whose attention he was willing to accept.

She had been completely infatuated with him from the moment she had arrived on set, and at first he had been calm, demure and was a bit of a tease. He had walked her back to the hotel several times, but Lisa realised as she looked back up into his eyes that when he was in control of something, especially something as big as the Holy Grail filming, he became a different person, and would often upset her.

Spinning on his heel Terry walked back over to the camera and motioned for the main lights to be brought up.

“I think we should wrap filming for the day and go back to the hotel. It’s eight-thirty now, and I’m tired. Back here to shoot this film and seven am sharp tomorrow.”

He picked up his huge duffel coat, and this time didn’t even offer to take her to her trailer and headed out through the castle door.

Lisa slumped onto a stone crevice and rubbed her forehead with her hands. She hated feeling so down, and it wasn’t as if she had done anything seriously wrong was it? Sighing she stood up again and was about to walk away when she bumped in a tea-laden Graham, who had returned from his filming with Terry Gilliam to provide Mike with some sustenance.

“Oh shite,” he said as the tea splattered down both his own white smock and her white virgin dress. “That’s another thing old Jonesy’s gotta complain about.”

He stepped back from her and examined the damage. Smirking he placed his mug of tea down and put his hands on his hips. “Trust me I’m a doctor.”

Lisa giggled and felt a relief sweep over her. “I’m so sorry, I’m having such a terrible day.” She said, and then looked down at herself. The tea had run down her entire dress, and it would have to be cleaned ready for the next days shoot.

“What am I going to do? Terry’s already mad at me.” She exclaimed.

Mike peered over Grahams shoulder and let his eye roam over the mess.

“Nice bit o’fringe you got there Mike,” Graham said as he caught him watching. “What do you think we should do? Jonesy’s gonna go mental. He’s already shouted at me four times today, mainly because he wanted some coffee and I gave him Horlicks.”

Mike winced and then chuckled and his eyes went up to Lisa’s. “Terry’s not going to be too pleased with this either.” He said, and then winked at her.

He turned as John approached and smiled to himself as he saw his usual frown and heard his deep voice grumbling under his breath. He managed to catch a snippet about “damn Scottish weather,” “large holes” and also a strange excerpt about “white rabbits,” but other than that John was in a world of his own.

“What’s happened here?” he asked when he saw the mess on the two white-clad figures.

“We decided to have a tea party John.” Graham said, and looked at him sarcastically.

John stuck his tongue out marched off, still grumbling under his breath.

“One day we’re going to see him happy, but I’ll eat my own foot before that day ever comes!” Mike said and then turned back to Lisa.

“Come on, we’d best get you to wardrobe. I’m sure Mavis will have something to say about this!”

He led Graham and Lisa out of the castle and towards the wardrobe caravan. He smiled every now and then at Lisa, who was still feeling considerably depressed, yet felt slightly better than what she had done previously.

“Are you ok?” he asked, his serious face making her want to giggle. It was very rare that she had seen Michael be so straight-laced, and she had more than once seen him pranking others or messing about. Lisa felt sure that he was the other, more genial side to Terry, and that they were a whole person in themselves. One was serious and power mad, and one was happy and a little bit carefree.

Graham headed off towards the caravan and Mike slowed behind, still awaiting a reply from Lisa.

“I know Terry can be difficult to work with, but that’s just because he’s a perfectionist and wants to get this right. It’s a big break for us to do a film, and he wants it to be the best thing that’s ever happened to British comedy. He doesn’t mean to be rude, or mean.”

Lisa smiled gratefully and nodded her head. “I know that he’s under a lot of pressure, I’m not silly. It’s just he sends me such mixed messages sometimes. I feel that one moment he likes me and another he hates me.”

Mike smiled. “I’m not sure that anyone could ever hate you. You’re far too nice.” He paused and took one of her hands as Lisa blushed. “Don’t give up so easily Lisa. He may be a tyrant, but he’s a wealthy one.”

She laughed, feeling the moment had passed, and knowing that she had half expected for him to kiss her, and almost enjoying the sensation.

Graham had reached the caravan and was about to go in when he turned back to see where his companions had got to, tripped, and fell back down the steps.

Mike ran over to him to find him sprawled on the floor, and laughing. “Oh shite,” he said again and laughed some more.

When he finally stood up Lisa could see his back was splattered with the darkest mud she had ever seen, and Graham was in uncontrollable tears of laughter.

Mike shook his head and pushed Graham into the caravan. “Terry’s gonna love this,” he said and sighed, motioning for Lisa to follow.


Lisa sat back in a bathrobe as Mavis took her white gown and sighed.

“What have you kids been up to now?” she asked and looked at Graham’s mud streaked face and the tears of laughter still on his cheeks.

“It was an accident Mavis,” Mike said and grinned sheepishly. “Do we have to tell the Control Freak? He’d go ballistic!”

Mavis chuckled and shook her head. “I’ve got some bleach that’ll take this out,” she said, and motioned for Graham to remove his clothing.

“Let’s be having you,” she said, her kindly face looking amused as Graham began removing his clothing.

Lisa wasn’t sure whether to look away or not, but no one else was embarrassed, so she didn’t see why she had to be either.

“I should get paid for this you know,” Graham said, laughing again. “I don’t take kindly to doing things for free you know.”

Mike chuckled. “You fell over in the mud for free, I think you owe us this one!”

Lisa smiled at him and he grinned at her, making her feel all tingly inside. Was she going off Terry? She hadn’t considered it before, but his counterpart seemed so much nicer to her now and she wondered briefly what she would have done if he had of kissed her in the field.

The door of the caravan burst open interrupting her fantasy and Eric stumbled in, his shield clanging loudly against the door and butting Mike in the back.

“Hey watch it!” he said as Eric entered the caravan, and then stared dumbly around at the host of people sat there.

“What are you all doing in here?” he asked, and looked Graham over who was now only stood in his woollen smock.

“Graham spilt tea over our virgin Lisa and then fell in the mud.” Mike offered, and winked at Lisa who knew that it had been her fault they were heading to the wardrobe department at all.

Eric grinned mischievously. “Does Terry know?” he asked, his green eyes glinting.

Graham shook his head and then sniggered.

“Ooohh good,” Eric said and continued to grin.

“What brings you here then?” asked Mike.

Eric smiled sheepishly and then pointed to his crotch area. “I got a hole in my tights!” he said and then looked offended when Lisa, Mike and Graham began to giggle.

“It’s not funny!” he exclaimed, “it gets quite cold in that area!”

Mike bellowed and Lisa felt herself relax even more.

“I don’t want anything to drop off!” he said and wondered at the red faces before him as they laughed harder.

Mavis grinned and motioned for Eric to take off the tights so she could re-stitch them.

They sat in the caravan for a while and waited to hear the verdict.

Eric was given his tights back, and Lisa her dress, but Graham’s smock was going to take a little longer to sort out.

“What am I going to do now? I have to go back to the hotel in this thing?” he asked.

They bundled him into Eric’s car, and as Eric drove with Graham up front, Mike sat in the back with Lisa, every now and then glancing at her and smiling.

When they arrived at the hotel Graham hopped out and Eric followed. If Terry caught them they would need an explanation why Graham only had half of his costume, and why he was wandering around in a brown knitted dress.

Mike helped Lisa out of the car and then walked with her up the steps, forgetting to release her hand.

When they reached the hotel lobby he slipped his hand from hers and she felt her heart flutter.

“I have to go and get changed,” he said, and then smiled gently at her. “Will you meet us for a drink in about half an hour?”

She grinned and nodded, immediately beginning to pick out her outfit from her sparse wardrobe in her room.

“I’d love to.” She said, and as she headed up the stairs she relished seeing him again.


The bar was gloomy and not very well lit as Lisa made her way downstairs about forty-five minutes later. She had chosen a soft grey gypsy top, which let her dark curly hair fall about her bare shoulders, and she had picked her black jeans with the gorgeous grey swirls at the base. Lisa had been waiting for such an occasion to wear this outfit, and tonight seemed perfect.

She approached the bar and ordered herself a glass of vodka orange, and glanced around to see if the group were there. She saw Terry huddled in a corner sipping from a pint of Guinness, but there was no sign of any of the others yet, and she made a mental note to look out for Mike when he arrived. She was keen to pursue her feelings for him, and wondered if he felt the same way.

As Lisa headed towards Terry he looked up and smiled gently, the afternoons troubles seemingly lifted from his face and now he looked relaxed and friendly.

“Where are the rest?” she asked, trying to be cool but feeling guilty for now liking Mike so much.

Terry shrugged. “They said they were going to be here, I guess they will be along soon.”

Lisa smiled and sat down, and they sat in silence for a while, the air between them uncomfortable and deathly quiet.

After a while Terry coughed and leant forward, resting his elbows on his knees and looking pointedly at her.

Lisa felt that familiar stirring and began to wonder whether her eagerness to fall for Mike had come from her hurt at Terry’s treatment. It all seemed to be jumbled into one at the moment.

“I’m sorry for the way I behaved earlier today.” He said, and Lisa saw that he meant it. It almost pained Terry to admit he was wrong as she had seen previously when takes had to be re-cut because they weren’t right, and she saw it again in his face now.

“I know that I was being funny with you and I didn’t mean it. I don’t mean it ever. I’m sorry because I like you so much, and I know that sometimes I can be really pig-headed and awful, and that when I start ranting it hurts you.”

Lisa smiled gently at him and touched his face with her hand.

“Can we start again do you think?” he asked.

“Of course.” She said, and wondered if what she had felt for Mike had ever been real.

Terry leant forward and kissed her gently, and then jumped as an almighty raucous went up behind them.

The group had come down and were now gathered in the bar waiting for the two to make it up, just as Mike had planned that very afternoon. It was obvious to everyone that they belonged together.

“Drinks all round,” Graham exclaimed, and then headed towards the bar.

John sat down quietly scowling, and Mike followed suit, smiling happily at Terry and Lisa who were now sat side by side holding hands.

“Well it’s about time,” said Gilliam as he sat down too. He had been away from Terry and Mike for most of the day as he filmed with John and Graham, and he had heard all about the tension between Lisa and Terry from the others that evening.

Graham returned with the drinks and winked naughtily at Eric who appeared at his side. He handed out the drinks and finally came to John.

“There you go John, that should loosen you up a bit.”

John almost snatched the drink from him and drank it in one go. He had had enough of Graham’s quips at being so stuffy and moaning.

He put the glass down and then smiled at the company around him. He felt better already.

The lights in the bar went up and the bar man picked up a microphone from one of the stands.

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Hotel Thistles Karaoke night!”

Terry and Mike groaned and Graham clapped his hands. He loved a good sing song.

The bar man began offering the mike to someone for the first song, and soon found it was snatched out of his hands by none other than John himself who began pirouetting about the stage and bursting into the ballad “I Will Always Love You.” Every now and then he would point at each other them in his group and sing the words meaningfully at them.

Graham turned around and winked at Eric who gave him the thumbs up.

“What have you done to John?” Terry asked, his face cracked in a wide smile.

Graham shrugged. “I made him happy for a brief moment in his miserable life.” He said and laughed.

Lisa grinned. “What was that you said Mike? About eating your foot?”

Graham clapped his hands and laughed. “Come on Mike, a deal’s a deal!”

Mike grimaced and began to remove his shoe as everyone around him watched John prancing about and laughed at the absurdity of it all.