AS THE JANE AUSTEN WORLD TURNS
In the sleepy town of
Meryton, a suburb of the great throbbing metropolis that is known as , live several families. London
This is their story
The home of Emma Knightley, lovely, rich, and almost as abysmal a cook as she is a matchmaker
Emma Knightley: I am so very pleased that you have all accepted my truly condescending invitation to luncheon. Have you all met? No? Do I care? Not really. Be that as it may, let me introduce you. Strapped into that chair and seated as far as possible from mine as I could without dangling her out the window, is Marianne Dashwood Brandon - self-indulgent emotional, impractical, a pathetic dancer, somewhat feral, cheats at cards, has a club foot...
Marianne Brandon: Well, dear, dear Emma; aren’t you special? How would you like a Maypole up your… Ow! No need to kick me, Elinor!
Elinor Dashwood: I never kicked you, Marianne, what an odd thing to say.
Emma Knightley: Sitting beside Marianne, well she is the only person actually willing to do that, but I digress, is her sister, incredibly plain Elinor Dashwood, dependable, level headed, a veritable pillar of common sense and propriety: and, in point of fact, the only halfway intelligent member of her family. (Emma smiles sweetly) No one really notices your mustache, any longer dear Elinor, so I shouldn't fret about that. She’s engaged, you know; has been for, oh how long dear? Ten years, twelve? If you only given me a free hand, had allowed me to find you a proper match…
Elinor Dashwood: Emma, I should rather stick this fork into my eye. It is true that Edward and I have been engaged nearly twenty-seven years now. However, neither one of us of an impetuous nature, as you know, nor do we feel compelled to marry. We are both in complete control of our emotions, our baser desires, no matter how filthy, debauched, degrading and completely animalistic lusty they may be. No matter how I throb and burn – did I just say all that out loud? Oh dear me, how unfortunate.
Emma Knightley: You do completely terrify me at times Elinor, and I mean that in the most abusive of ways; but, Knightley says I am to be kind to the poorly dressed and imbecilic – so here you and your sister both are. Now, next to me on my right is the absolutely beautiful and angelic Jane Bennet Bingley. That’s quite fun to say, isn’t it. Tickles your tongue as you say it – Jane Bennet Bingley Jane Bennet Bingley Jane Bennet…
Emma Knightley: I am also expecting Lizzy Bennet Darcy, however, not until later. She’s always late, always; usually covered in mud and twigs, flies in her teeth. She has corns you know. Yes. Whoppers on her bunions. Well, it's the walking you see. Walking, walking, walking. Oh well. She did marry well - somehow. He's the handsomest morsel I've ever seen, I can tell you that. Yowzah! HAHAHAHAH!!! Oh and I invited another woman also but I can’t seem to recall who. Small woman with beady eyes…what was her name again...Bess…Sue…?
Anne Wentworth: (muffled voice) I believe that would be me, Emma. I am standing outside - here behind the closed door. Every time I knock the butler opens the door and then grumbles about no one being there. But I am here. He just never seems to notice me behind the hedge. Perhaps I can just pop in on my own, if you don’t mind. Ah. There you all are. Hello, there. No, over here. Behind the pots.
Emma Knightley: Did you hear it? That voice? I’ve been hearing that voice for an hour at least. Quite annoying.
Elinor Dashwood; Emma, I am certain I speak for us all, with the exception of my gagged sister, in that we were quite flattered to receive your invitation as your first catering employment, even though you did inform us that we were summoned only when more acceptable people refused. And this is your first venture into the world of commerce I gather. Unpalatable Catering - what a unique name that is for a food industry business I must say. Refreshingly honest.
Anne Wentworth: If I may speak? Of course, now I may be way off course as my husband continues to say, with this, but would not catering for oneself generally be considered simply…cooking?
Emma Knightley: From where in the world is that voice coming? It’s like a small rodent gnawing on wood. Anne Wentworth! Whenever did you arrive? Finally we can begin. You know, Anne, it is considered very poor form to arrive late like this. We may have to shoot you later. Or perhaps you could be a Pinata at my next function... Oh well. Please everyone, let us begin. I should so like you to taste my first course.
Jane Bingley: Could we wait a few more moments until my sister arrives? She should be here soon. I know! I'll just go out and see if I can find her. Marianne please let go of my ankle, stop it, you little… All right! I’ll stay already! Are you happy! Jeez!
Emma Knightley: I’ll keep a plate warm for her; besides, it is her loss if there’s nothing left. Now this first course is a favorite from my childhood. Vinegar Pie. Bon Appetit. Well look at your faces! It does my heart good to see such strong reactions. You may be assured also that this pie will do nothing bad to our figures. I left out the sugar. I’ll be right back with the tea pot.
As she leaves the room the four women turn and simultaneously spit their food into the tall fern pots behind them. The ferns immediately die.
Marianne Brandon: That bitch swims with the fishes tonight. Someone untie me. You - rodent girl - get over here. Let me kill her, Elinor, please. Ooh. Please, please, please please. I can do it right this time, not like with father. It will be quick and relatively painless. Ok maybe boiling her in cooking oil would sting a bit. Ooh, I know. A small foot to her throat, a small knife to her neck – whom would be the wiser? Kitchen implement accidents are on the rise. I saw it on Dr. Drew.
Anne Wentworth: Could I have a taste please? Perhaps a spoon. Over here – I’m over here.
Jane Bingley: Oh, by the way, before Emma returns I must tell you all who has returned to Meryton.
(Tense music as Elinor, Anne, and Marianne are seen in closeup scrambling to leave. Marianne is stealing silver candlesticks from the table while Elinor is polishing the brass doorknob with her skirt. Anne is running in the wrong direction)
Jane Bingley: Caroline Bingley has returned! Yes! Isn’t that marvelous! I so admire her bravery in the face of losing six husbands.
Marianne Brandon: Sounds more like rank carelessness to me. Jane could you pass me those silver napkin rings? There’s a love. Toss in the brass flower pot too. Open the door and I'll get this lot into the carriage.
Elinor Dashwood: Jane, you have a neck like a quarterback - I'd never noticed before. For heavens sake do not tell Emma about Caroline, please! We don’t want another botched matchmaking thing like when she introduced Jennifer Lopez to the men of Glee. The poor woman hasn’t a clue.
Jane Bingley: I believe she’s seeing someone already anyway. Another one of our old friends we thought was lost to us.
Jane Bingley: No, Anne, not Jennifer Lopez. Go play on the expressway like a dear, would you? I believe Caroline Bingley is seeing…..(tada da dummmm!) Dr. George Wickham, debauched former brother in law of mine and current Gynecologist in training at Meryton Memorial Hospital.
Marianne Brandon: Whew! Slap me daddy! That’s a match made in hell if ever I heard of one. Well, hate to puke and run but we are out of here...where in bloody hell is my sister? Move your butt, Elinor; stop washing the grass! Get in this car! Jane, I suggest that whatever we do, we don’t tell Lizzy Darcy!
Elizabeth Darcy: Tell me what?????
Emma Knightley: Here is our next course everyone - Calves Foot Pudding! What was that? Wicky is back????!!!! Oh, Elinor Dashwood, have I got a match for you...
To be continued…