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Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management (Oxford World's Classics)

Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management (Oxford World's Classics) - Isabella Beeton CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH REVIEW*(* entertainment purposes only) Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management v. Mary PoppinsScene opens with wide exterior shot of the Banks' home on Cherry Tree Lane. Mary Poppins comes flying down from the sky on her umbrella, lands lightly on the front walkway, and enters the front door.(switch to interior shot)Mary: (looks around at in several empty rooms, calling) Mr. Banks? Children? I'm back! Children enter from the dining room, chattering excitedly and exclaiming "She's back! She's back!" Mr. Banks follows at a more reserved pace, with a smile on his face.Mr. Banks: Mary, so good to see you again. How was your vacation?Mary: I made some pocket change on the slots, but I lost about a grand on Baccarat. (shrugs) (she gets a puzzled look on her face, as her attention focuses on his shirt) Is that a new shirt, Mr. Banks?Mr. Banks: (looking down) This? No, it's just one of my regular old shirts.Mary: (a bit mystified) Hmmmmmm. Curious. It looks a bit whiter than usual.... and very smartly ironed, I would add. Did you do this yourself?Mr. Banks: (sheepish) Ah, well.. no. (pause) You see, the agency sent along a temp to cover your absence.(Mrs.B's sing-song voice from next room): Come along everybody.. your dinner's getting cold!Mary looks inquisitively at Banks, who lowers his eyes.Mary: Well, a temp? (good-natured) Can her cooking compete with my famous grilled cheese sandwhiches?Mary, Mr. Banks and the children enter the dining room, which is decked out with a lavish multi-course meal, including Duck a l'Orange, calamari, sautee'd mushrooms, Baked Alaska and many other fine-looking dishes. Mary is speechless. Mrs. B stands at the head of the table, beeming, as she carves a turkey.Mrs. B: Welcome, Mary, I've heard so much about you! I look forward to hearing about your trip. (nodding to the others) Pull up a seat, all!The children eagerly take their seats, speaking excitedly over one another, making observations about the fantastic appearance of the meal, and shouting requests; "I want a drumstick!", etc.Mary: I... this looks quite wonderful. Uh.. (to Mr. Banks) I'm glad you've been taken care of properly these few weeks.(doorbell rings)Mary: (distracted by her thoughts) I'll... just get that. (Banks nods, again sheepish)(shot of front entranceway) Mary opens the door, and Bert (played by a 1964 Dick Van Dyke) is standing with an expectant look on his face and a bouquet of flowers in his hand. On seeing Mary, his face drops.Mary: Bert! What a pleasant surprise! (motioning to the flowers) Are these for me? To welcome me back from my trip?Bert: (awkward but pleasant, if a touch formal) Ah, hello Mary. I, uh... very nice to see you again. (looking at the flowers) These? Oh, I... just.... (looking over Mary's shoulder) is Mrs. B here?Mary: (taken aback) She's... in the dining room. (remembering herself) Do come in. (she makes a beckoning motion, and Bert steps past her)(scene back to the dining room) Bert has just handed Mrs. B the bouquet of flowers, and she is smiling and blushing slightly. Bert seats himself next to her and begins eagerly dishing some of the food out onto his plate.Mary: (observing) With Bert here, I'll need to fetch another chair, if I'm to join you.Mrs. B: Oh... will you be staying for dinner?Mary: (turns around abruptly) "Staying?" ...I live here!Mrs.B looks meaningfully at Mr. Banks.Mr.Banks: (very embarrassed) Mary, I've had a conversation with the agency...Mary: (realizing his intent) What!?? YOU'RE LETTING ME GO?!!??!(awkward silence)Mr.Banks: Mary, ahhh... let's not have a scene. It's just that Mrs. B... well... (motioning with his hand) just look at this meal!Mary: (stoic, but clearly wounded) Very well. I won't trouble you with my presence any further. Mary turns on heel and leaves the room. All follow her, children exclaiming "Mary! Mary!"(setting changes to exterior shot) Mary is standing on the walkway in front of the house, the children all around her, looking sad. Mr. Banks is clearly uncomfortable. Bert and Mrs. B look a bit guilty.Jane Banks: (softly) Don't leave so soon.Annabel Banks: (tugging at Mary's sleave) Will you come back to see us?Mary: (looks down at Annabel, touched) No, I'm dearly sorry Annabel; I won't return. I'm off now. (she starts to open the umbrella, but it jams. She fights with it a bit, but it appears stuck. Mary is frustrated now, and fighting tears.) Oh drat! I can't seem to do anything right.Mrs. B: (gently) Please Mary, let me try. I've got some experience fixing these things. (she offers her hand, meaning to examine the umbrella)Mary, defeated, relinquishes the umbrella. As soon as Mrs. B takes it, it opens fully, and instantly takes flight, with Mrs. B clutching desperately at the handle.Mrs. B: (shouting from above, between terrified screams) HELP ME! GET ME DOWN FROM HERE!!!Mary: (calling up to her loudly, hands around her mouth) WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T LET GO OF THAT HANDLE!! The umbrella is now moving at an incredible speed. Mrs. B is soon just a tiny speck in the sky. In a few moments, she has disappeared over the horizon completely.Mary: (turning to the family; businesslike, determined, and completely in control) That's quite the last we'll see of her! (to Bert) Bert, I'll thank you to be leaving. (to Mr. Banks) Mr. Banks, we'll discuss my employment later. (Banks nods, bewildered, intimidated)Children, let's go in and finish that meal!MATCH POINT: Mary Poppins