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Self Defence Against Fresh Fruit

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"Self-Defence Against Fresh Fruit" is a Monty Python sketch that appeared in the episode "Owl Stretching Time ". It is about an RSM-type instructor who is teaching a class about self-defence, but all he teaches is how to defend oneself against an assailant "armed" with a piece of fresh fruit.

The first half or so of the sketch was remade for the Pythons' first feature film, And Now for Something Completely Different.

Plot Edit

The teacher (John Cleese) is about to start off his class, but he notices that everyone, save for four students, is absent. He starts off the class by carrying on from where they got to last week, when he was showing them how to defend themselves against anyone who attacks with a piece of fresh fruit. The class complains that for the last nine weeks, all he's been teaching them is fruit. One student (Eric Idle) keeps on insisting that they should be taught how to defend themselves against anyone who attacks with a pointed stick. The teacher yells at the student for thinking that pointed sticks are more dangerous than fresh fruit.

He starts off the class with passionfruit, but the whole class complains that they've done passionfruit, as well as oranges, apples, grapefruit (whole and segmented), pomegranates, greengages, grapes, lemons, plums, mangoes in syrup, and cherries (red and black). The teacher decides to teach them about bananas. He tells them, to defend themselves against a man armed with a banana, first, he has to be forced to drop the banana, then the banana has to be eaten, thus disarming him and rendering him helpless. When another student (Michael Palin) asks about a man armed with a bunch of bananas, the teacher tells him to shut up. Idle again chimes in to ask about a man with a pointed stick, to which the teacher also tells him to shut up. He demonstrates by asking a student called Mr. Harrison (Graham Chapman, whom the teacher calls Mr. Apricot), to attack him with a banana, but just as Harrison is about to attack him, the teacher shoots him dead, and eats the banana (the movie version ends here).

Next, he asks a student named Thompson (Terry Jones, whom the teacher calls Mr. Tinned Peach), to attack him with a raspberry, but Thompson refuses, saying that the teacher will shoot him. The teacher throws away the gun, and Thompson is about to attack him, when a 16-tonne weight comes down on him. He then asks the remaining students to do the same, but they refuse until he promises not to kill them. As the students advance with baskets of raspberries, the teacher releases a tiger which attacks the remaining students. The teacher warns imaginary other students that he's wired himself up to 200 tonnes of gelignite, and blows himself up.


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