A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Banker Refuted”

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The day after the puttanesca incident when Count Olaf smacked Klaus in the face,  the Baudelaires go to Mulctuary Money Management to visit Mr. Poe. After all, he did say he would help if they need them. But once they get there, the coughing banker is busy and doesn’t have much time for them. So the kids explain how Count Olaf is an abusive monster, gave them only one bed, makes them do ridiculous chores, drinks too much, has terrible friends, and always asks about their money. Now since it’s the first book, you probably assume that Mr. Poe is a sensible adult and take the orphans’ concerns seriously. But he doesn’t. Instead, he states that as their legal guardian, Count Olaf can raise the Baudelaires if he sees fit even if they don’t like some of his methods or lifestyle. Violet is furious since their legal guardian threatened Sunny and smacked her brother across the face. Frustrated, they suck it up and leave. Still, it’s a critical scene showing that despite how well Mr. Poe means, he’s an utterly incompetent adult thanks to his stupidity, condescending attitude, and downright uselessness.

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I think a good number for this scene would be “Farmer Refuted” from Hamilton. The original version involves Alexander Hamilton a loyalist publicly advocating against the American Revolution. This song was inspired by a series of anonymous letters to newspapers in New England, with Bishop Samuel Seabury writing as a “A Westchester Farmer” (1774) describing about how destructive a revolution against Great Britain would be. Hamilton responded with “A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress” and later, “The Farmer Refuted,” (1775). Also, keep in mind that King George III’s nickname was “Farmer George” due to his interest in agriculture. So in this song Hamilton argues against the loyalist Seabury and the soon-to-be mad King George simultaneously. In this version, I have the Baudelaire orphans arguing with Mr. Poe and getting increasingly frustrated of his inability to take their concerns seriously. Because the guy is a complete idiot.

 

“Banker Refuted”

Mr. Poe:
In loco parentis means “acting in the role of a parent.”
It’s a legal term which applies to your guardian, Count Olaf.

Now that you’re in his care, the Count may raise you
However in ways he’ll see fit

Sunny: (subtitled babble) Oh my God. Tear this dude apart

Mr. Poe:
I’m sorry your parents spoiled you rotten
If they didn’t make you do chores
Or never had you see them drink wine

Violet: Yes, they did

Mr. Poe:
Their friends might’ve been better than his
But these are things to get used to
For shame, for shame!

Klaus: Yo!

Mr. Poe:
Now that you’re in his care

Klaus:
You don’t care to understand the way he treats

Mr. Poe:
The—

Klaus:
He’s completely horrible

Mr. Poe:
Count may raise you—

Klaus:
He’s a drunk

Mr. Poe:
However in ways he’ll

Klaus:
There are laws against child abuse

Mr. Poe:
See fit—

Sunny: (subtitled babble)
It’s hard to listen to you with a straight face

Mr. Poe:
I’m sorry your—

Violet:
Our mom and dad

Mr. Poe:
Parents spoiled

Violet:
Didn’t spoil us

Mr. Poe:
You rotten–

Sunny: (subtitled babble)
Honestly, you shouldn’t even talk—

Mr. Poe:
If they didn’t make you do chores–

Klaus:
Count Olaf’s insane!
We made him puttanesca for dinner
But he asked where’s the roast beef?

Mr. Poe:
Or never had you see them drink wine

Klaus:
My baby sister has more sense than thee

Mr. Poe:
Their friends might’ve been better than his

Klaus:
But strangely, you drool just the same!

Mr. Poe:
But these are things to get used to

Sunny: (subtitled babble) Is he in Jersey?

Mr. Poe: For shame—

Sunny: (subtitled babble) What a useless asshole!

Mr. Poe: For shame!

Klaus: What a useless moron!

Mr. Poe: Now—

Klaus:
If you repeat yourself again I’m gonna

Mr. Poe & Klaus:
Scream—

Klaus:
Honestly, look at me, can’t you see?

Mr. Poe: However in ways —

Violet:
Don’t modulate the key then not take us seriously
Jesus, he lifted and threatened Sunny
Before striking Klaus across the face!

Klaus: Violet, please!

Violet:
Klaus, I’d rather be honest than accommodate
Drop the niceties

Mr. Poe:
Sorry, you must get out posthaste.
For I’ve got a lot of work.

Violet:
Since you won’t help, you jerk!

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