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Downton Abbey

The script of Downtown Abbey is
beautifully written, of course, but the subject matter, I feel, could use a
little updating, including perhaps the subtle introduction of the impact of technology


“Might I have a quiet word, m’lud?”

“Yes, Carson,
but make it a quick word.  I’m rather
busy right now.”

“It’s about the new maid, m’lud, Deirdre, she’s …..I’m
afraid she has, er….”

“What about her?  Come
on, Carson, out
with it, man.”

 “Well, m’lud, I’m
afraid she’s been a trifle indiscreet.”


“Yes, m’lud. 
Indiscreet on some new-fangled device the common people are calling a
mobile.  It’s a kind of telephone one can
carry with one.  They are used to send
messages, which are known, I believe, as tweets, as well as photographs.”

“How extraordinary!  And
exactly how, pray tell, has she been indiscreet on this mobile thing?”

“I’m afraid, m’lud, in the realm of photographs.  She has been sending what I’m given to
understand are known, in the popular vernacular, as ‘selfies’.”

“Selfies?  Really, Carson, you’re talking utter
gibberish.  Selfies!  Tweets! 
What in God’s name are you on about?”

“Well, m’lud, I’m not sure where to start, but it involves
taking pictures of oneself and sending them over some type of telephone network
called, I believe, the internet.”

“Really, Carson,
I’m not sure I’m following you.  And what
exactly is wrong with sending pictures over this – what did you call it – this Interthing.”

“Internet, m’lud.  What’s
wrong is that the pictures she sent show her in a state of – how can I put this?
– what the French call deshabille.”

“How deshabiile was she?”

“I’m afraid completely deshabille, m’lud.  Nothing left to the imagination, I’m afraid.”

You mean no clothes at all? 
Naked?  Starkers?”

“Yes, m’lud.”

 “Well, I don’t know
what to say.  You must have a quiet word
– and perhaps not so quiet.”

“I will, m’lud, you can be assured of that.  But there’s more.”

“I’m afraid to ask ….”

“And I’m almost afraid to say, m’lud.  But it appears that Deirdre got the idea
from, um, Lady Mary.”

“Are you telling me that my daughter Mary has been sending
pictures of herself naked over this Internest?”

“It would appear so, m’lud. 
Apparently, it’s all the rage among the young.”

“Well, I’ve never heard anything like it, Carson, really I haven’t.”

“That’s not all, m’lud.”

“Oh God, Carson, what now?”

“Well, m’lud, you must prepare yourself.  It appears that the whole village has seen
the pictures.”

“Really, Carson,
and how could that happen?”

“Well, m’lud, it seems that all the villagers have these so-called
telephonic devices and have – if I may be so bold, sir – taken a peek.”

“So, Carson,
what you’re telling me is that my daughter and Deirdre – and heaven alone knows
who else – are being ogled by the entire village.”

“Not just by the village, m’lud, but the entire country –
and many other countries besides.  I
understand these infernal devices are in use all over the world.”

“Oh, my goodness!  And
you, Carson, are you yourself among those who have – as you put it – ‘taken a

“Yes I have, m’lud, but only I assure you to ascertain the
truth of what I’d been told.”

“And what was your opinion, Carson?”

“It’s not for me to say, m’lud, except that I would not want
a daughter of mine exhibiting herself in such a manner.”

“I should think not, indeed.”

“Sadly, m’lud, this kind of thing is part of something
that’s very popular these days.”

“What kind of thing is that, exactly?”

“If you’ll forgive me, m’lud, pictures related to the
subject of carnal knowledge.  Some are
even portrayed in moving form, as they are in those ‘flicks’ they show at the
church hall.”

“Good grief, Carson.  I’m shocked. 
This simply has to stop.  I want
these infernal mobile things banned from the house.  Banned, do you hear?”  

“I’ll have a quiet word with Mrs. McTavish, Sir.”

“Good.  And meanwhile,
I’ll be having a quiet word with Lady Mary.”

“Thank you, m’lud. 
And if you could be prudent as to the source ….”

“Of course, Carson,
you may rely on me.  Now tell me, where
do I find one of these infernal things?”

“I shall procure one for his lordship.”

“Thank you, Carson.  And, by the way, not a word of this to Her

“You may rely on me too, m’lud.”

(To be continued)


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