An old actor has fallen on hard times and has taken to travelling from town to town on passing canal barges. After a particularly thrilling stint at the Skegness or Burnley Rep, he finds himself on a barge carrying a load of manure. As it passes through a lock one day, the keeper asks the bargeman what he's carrying. 'Oh just a load of manure and an old actor', he replies. 'Billing, my boy!' the actor interrupts: 'An old ACTOR and a load of manure.'