Your RDA of Irony

Savaging Mr. Banks

I imagine that the largest circle in modern Hell is filled with damned souls eternally clicking their remote controls in the desperate search for worthwhile television. Either they will never find anything or stumble upon the last two minutes of something actually good. My recent perdition was catching the very end of Mary Poppins.

Even by our jaded post-Walt Disney perspective and our exacting standards of computer animation, “Mary Poppins” is still quite charming. In fact, given the film’s popularity, I am surprised that there has never been a sequel. Much of the cast would still be available (although Dick van Dyke is older now than Arthur Treacher was in 1964).

Unfortunately, British history would be very uncooperative in the project. Here are the likely fates of the characters:

Bert is killed in World War I. You’d think a chimney sweep would have more immunity to chlorine gas.  The widowed Mary Poppins tries losing herself in physical abandon and that does help D.H. Lawrence with his writer’s block.

Exercising her long-sought right to vote, Mrs. Banks proudly marches to the polling place and contracts the Spanish Flu.  Mr. Banks will always blame Lloyd-George for her death.

Flying over London, Mary Poppins is shot down in the Battle of Britain.  The victorious pilot has an umbrella painted on his Messerschmitt.

Young Michael Banks goes to Cambridge and meets Guy Burgess. Michael is taken under Guy’s left wing…and other appendages. The least of Michael’s transformations is becoming a Soviet spy. He eventually defects and the shabby old pensioner in Moscow will drink himself to death.

Having gone through four husbands, three fortunes, and innumerable scandals, Jane Banks is now in a nursing home near Brighton. Among her escapades, she had affairs with both the Duke and Duchess of Windsor; but who didn’t?  The Golden Flapper is said to be a literary inspiration for Evelyn Waugh and a medical one for Alexander Fleming.

Yes, the history may be a little sordid for Disney but perfect for HBO.  And there are other children’s classics worth a sequel.  How about John Le Carre’s “Wind in the Willows”?  Who is the Mole in MI6?

  1. Fritz Holznagel says:

    I prefer to think that Mrs. Banks has an affair with D.H. Lawrence and becomes the inspiration for ‘Lady Chatterly’s Lover.’ We’ve got to have *some* hope!

    • Edward says:

      Mrs Banks was only released from the “Bin” to visit Walt because her Docs felt she would be happier with wonderful people of a like mind!

      • Eugene Finerman says:

        Hello Edward,

        Actually, the real Uncle Walt was more of D.H. Lawrence disposition. Imagine Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse as “Women in Love”. But I rather like Goofy as Mellors the gamekeeper.


  2. Eugene Finerman says:

    Hello Fritz,

    No, Mary more likely would have been the inspiration for Constance Chatterley. Who knows who magical her umbrella could have been? Nonetheless, I do like the idea of D.H. Lawrence in the story. If I were an Ivy Leaguer, I’d steal your idea. In fact, I will anyway…but you are now my co-author–for at least one punchline.


  3. Rafferty Barnes says:

    Sadly, the boy who played Michael Banks died at 21 from pancreatitis.

    I think you mean Jane Banks, not Karen.

    • Eugene Finerman says:

      Thank you, Megan. I have made the correction. The actress who played Jane was Karen Dotrice; her father is the splendid actor Roy Dotrice. I was delighted to see him recently as an alchemist in “Game of Thrones.”


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