Reading George Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara taught me two things: poverty is a crime and Lucille Bluth is eternal. Picture, if you will, Lady Britomart saying “I mean, it’s one banana, Stephen. What could it cost? Ten dollars?” Besides, neither Gob nor Buster is quite foundling enough for Lucille (though she won’t say so).
This is even more fun if you substitute George Senior for Undershaft, but I don’t tell you how to live your life. Going forward, keep in mind the implied martini in Lady Britomart’s hand.
STEPHEN [troubled] I have thought sometimes that perhaps I ought; but really, mother, I know so little about them; and what I do know is so painful—it is so impossible to mention some things to you—[he stops, ashamed].
LADY BRITOMART. I suppose you mean your father.
STEPHEN [almost inaudibly] Yes.
LADY BRITOMART [nonchalant] Don’t worry, sweetie. No one is fighting over you.
LADY BRITOMART [amazed] Another son! I never said anything of the kind. I never dreamt of such a thing. This is what comes of interrupting me.
STEPHEN. But you said—
Flashback to: Lady Britomart, drunk and stumbling, scolding Stephen, signing adoption papers.
LADY BRITOMART [slurred] Well! Maybe I’ll get a son who will finish his cottage cheese!
LADY BRITOMART. You can free up a little company money to get back our golf privileges. If you can’t free up the cash, have your father call the club president.
STEPHEN. We cannot take money from him. I had rather go and live in some cheap place like Bedford Square or even Hampstead than take a farthing of his money.
LADY BRITOMART [outraged] That is disgusting! Talk to your father!
“If I wanted something your thumb touched, I’d eat the inside of your ear!”
–Lady Britomart (kind of)
STEPHEN. Mother: you have no consideration for me. For Heaven’s sake either treat me as a child, as you always do, and tell me nothing at all; or tell me everything and let me take it as best I can.
LADY BRITOMART. Treat you as a child! What do you mean?
Earlier that day-
LADY BRITOMART. I don’t care for Stephen.
LADY BRITOMART. I want to talk to you about Stephen.
UNDERSHAFT [rather wearily] Don’t, my dear. Stephen doesn’t interest me.
LADY BRITOMART. It’s his glasses. They make him look like a lizard. Plus, he’s self-conscious.
STEPHEN. Then it was on my account that your home life was broken up, mother. I am sorry.
LADY BRITOMART. If that’s a veiled criticism about me, I won’t hear it and I won’t respond to it.