Sunday, December 2, 2012

Berowne's 146B

Here’s this week’s quiz answer.
In the play “Caesar and Cleopatra,” by George Bernard Shaw, Cleo gets to meet Caesar by being rolled up in a rug and then being unrolled before him.
They make such a perfect couple: she’s 21 and he’s 52. Evidently the meeting went well. Nine months later she had a baby boy she named Caesarion, “Little Caesar.”
In the 1960s there was the spectacular film epic in which Elizabeth Taylor played Cleopatra and went through the same routine: rolled up in a rug, unrolled before Caesar.
It appears, by the way, that this was historically accurate. The original Cleo actually did the rug thing, it wasn’t just thought up by G B Shaw. The French artist Jerome painted the famous event (below): Cleopatra has just daintily emerged from the carpet and presented herself to Caesar. She seems to be dressed, one might say, for the occasion.


Our three winners for this week are Dick Jones, Nicholas V and daydreamertoo, and I can now publish their posts.

Here's the original post for this week::
(For Three-Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "U" is for "Ursula")
The above prompt got me to thinking about time and perhaps another weekly Berownial quiz. So I wrote the little skit that follows, based on a famous scene from a play by George Bernard Shaw. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is, which play?

Andy: Time is the problem! We don’t have enough time to do all this work!
Fred: Don’t worry; I’m hurryin’. Between you and me, you’d think President Elmore had enough to do without acting as interior decorator for the Oval Office.
Andy: Oh, he’s someone special, all right. There have been few presidents of the U S as interested in all aspects of life in the White House as this one.
Fred: So what does he want done here?
Andy: Well, his idea is to make it a completely new Oval Office – new wallpaper, furniture, carpeting, the works.
Fred: What about that little room there, on the left? You know, where he might take a girlfriend from time to time.
Andy: Fred, stop what you’re doing and come here! Now listen carefully. If you hope to hold on to this job, you’ve got to understand. Any remarks about the President and “girlfriends,” or anything like that, and you’re out of here.
Fred: Sure, I understand. It was just a joke. Sorry.
Andy: Since that last – uh – incident three weeks ago, this has become a kind of battle ground around here. We’re here to do the remodeling job; we keep any wisecracks to ourselves.
[Door opens]
Mr. Wheeler: You’re still here? Take a break for a half-hour or so. The President’s coming to go over the plans.
Andy: You bet, Mr Wheeler. [They leave]
Wheeler: Ah, good morning, Mr. President.
President Elmore: Hi, Paul. How’s the work going?
Wheeler: In a way it's harvest time and we seem to be right on schedule. The wallpaper samples are on your desk. And I believe the carpet has arrived. Would you like to have them bring it in?
President: Yeah, let’s have a look at it.
[A large roll of carpet is brought in and laid on the floor. Wheeler unrolls it. Out pops an attractive young woman.]
President: What in God’s name…
Wheeler: Good Lord!
Ursula: Hi, Mr. President! I’m Ursula, and happy birthday to you! I’m your birthday present.
President: Wheeler, get her out of here!
Wheeler: Come with me, Miss! You’ve got to leave here immediately!
Ursula: Sure, I’ll go. No problem. But first I want to be sure the President has a good look at his present. [She stands, and with a kind of fluid movement she adopts a more or less seductive pose.] They didn’t vote me Miss Far Rockaway for nothing!
Wheeler: Come on! Out, out! Don’t make me get rough with you!
President: Wait a second, Wheeler, let's not be too hasty. They keep criticizing me for spending most of my time with the upper classes. Maybe this is a chance to get to know an average American.
Ursula: Trust me, Mr. President. I’m not average!

(Also submitted to Sunday Scribblings)

42 comments:

Listening Daisy said...

The last few lines made me laugh. Thanks for sharing!

christopher said...

*snort*

unfortunately, I am not enough familiar with Shaw to play. My take is Kennedy and Monroe. But that comes direct from your use of dialogue and reference to popular story.

Helen said...

Pygmalion ????

Catfish Tales said...

Why the infamous Shaw play "Oval Throat and the Persian Flaw", of course. Didn't miss a beat. :)

Michael said...

oh those wacky presidents

Kathe W. said...

I am a heathen when it comes to theatre- so I haven't a clue- but I too immediately thought of Kennedy and Marilyn

Berowne said...

Nobody's got it so far. Anyone else like to try?

Rene Foran said...

I would love to know the answer because I'd love to read more of this

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

Arms and the Man?

Berowne said...

Rene Foran: "I would love to know the answer." And so you shall. The answer will be posted on Thursday.

ReBelle said...

I don't know but the end makes me think Pyg...

Margaret said...

Hmm... don't know! Will look forward to Thursday. (Those Presidents, they are all the same :)

Roger Owen Green said...

Yes, the JFK allusion is VERY strong/

Tumblewords: said...

I'm not going there. Too funny!

Wayne Pitchko said...

nicely done

Berowne said...

Roger O G: "The JFK allusion is VERY strong."
But Shaw never wrote a play about JFK.

Berowne said...

We've had some awfully good guesses, but so far no one has come up with the correct answer. Who's next to try?

oldegg said...

Sounds a bit like "Man and Superman" which was based on the Don Juan story.

Dick Jones said...

'Caesar and Cleopatra'. A neat piece, this!

Berowne said...

Stop the presses! Hold the front page for replate! Dick Jones just came up with the correct answer! Congratulations, Dick. Who else would like to try?

Tess Kincaid said...

I have no idea...but my ggg-grandmother's name was Ursula...does that count?

Berowne said...

It does with me. :-)

Linda said...

Was it The Apple Cart?

Berowne said...

No, but a good try, Linda. Thanks.

Carrie Burtt said...

I will be back Thursday awaiting an answer....love the way you always make us think Berowne! :-)

kaykuala said...

Kennedy and Monroe or was it Clinton and Lewinsky? Oops! That's stretching it too far! Better not say anything more that might incriminate an ex-President. I don't know GBS at all to make a wild guess! Nicely Berowne!

Hank

Other Mary said...

Er...what Catfish said.
Sorry, place the dunce hat on my head and I'll go sit in the corner now.

Leslie: said...

I had no idea but am not that familiar with Shaw's plays. Sounds like a good one, though. Well played!

Leslie
abcw team

Nicholas V. said...

The carpet scene is the clue...
"Caesar and Cleopatra" 1898
Cleo and Caesar dressed in modern attire of course and relocated in the Oval Office. Things change little through the centuries...

Island Rambles Blog said...

We need some humour, I have no idea..but it is such a fun posting...love all the wonderful u words and pictures people are sharing this week. cheers

Berowne said...

News flash! Nicholas V has also given us the correct answer. Who else would like to have a go?

Dave King said...

It's brilliant, it's a little known play called "The Average American".

Robyn Greenhouse said...

Loved this! I'm still smiling! How nice of the President to take time to get to know his guest!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Not being well-versed in Shaw's plays, I'm afraid I lose this round. :(

Her Three Poems

Meryl said...

Oh was this fun! I think reading the comments and your responses to them is almost as much fun as reading the play above. Hat's off to you and we'll all be back Tuesday!

Sheilagh Lee said...

sorry i have no idea.

Berowne said...

Meryl: "Hat's off to you and we'll all be back Tuesday!"
Thanks so much for the enthusiastic comment - (and it will be Thursday).

jaerose said...

But he wrote so many! What a task..All i can think is Ursula reminds me of Marilyn..is it Pygmalion?

Daydreamertoo said...

I would have to say 'Caesar and Cleopatra' because apparently, she (Cleopatra) was rolled into a carpet and presented to Mark Anthony, who was there as a representative of Caesar's and it was her way of making a very seductive introduction or, selling herself.
Hmm... other than that, I'm not sure.

jakob said...

Same a jearose.

Berowne said...

Another winner! Daydreamertoo has also given us the correct answer. Congrats, Daydream...

Nico said...

Well, I'm too late to play, but I did have the honor of reading some fine writing here! Thanks Berowne.

 
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