THE SCENE: A GRAND DINING ROOM IN ONE OF MELBOURNE'S OLDEST SUBURBS, WHERE OLD MONEY LIVES AND RARELY VENTURES AFIELD, EXCEPT TO THE BOARDROOMS OF COLLINS STREET AND THE SNOWFIELDS OF FALLS CREEK AND THE SOFT BLUE WATERS OF PORTSEA FRONT BEACH. SOPHIE, TWENTY-ONE AND IN HER FIRST YEAR IN ADVERTISING, IS HAVING DINNER WITH HER MOTHER.
SOPHIE (PLAYING WITH HER SALMON MOUSSELINE WITH A CITRUS JUS AND SMUDGE OF TRUFFLE OIL): Mummy, we had a trip to the seaside today.
MUMMY (TOORAK DAME, ALL JEWELLERY AND TANNED SKIN): Darling! Was it fun? Where did you go? Torquay? Blairgowrie? Brighton Beach?
SOPHIE (SIPPING A 2012 MORNINGTON PENINSULA PINOT GRIGIO, JUST SLIGHTLY CHILLED, IN A CRYSTAL WINEGLASS THAT IS SLIGHTLY TOO LARGE): Frankston.
MUMMY (WITH AN AUDIBLE INTAKE OF BREATH): You mean ... you actually went to Frankston? Or you just had a wayside stop on your way to Red Hill or Shoreham or Merricks?
SOPHIE (ANOTHER TINY SIP OF GRIGIO, PULLS A SLIGHT FACE, IT'S VERY ACID): No, Mummy. We stopped at Frankston and had a meeting there and walked around and got to know the demographic. And this wine tastes like cat's piss, Mummy.
MUMMY (VISIBLY SHOCKED, EITHER AT SOPHIE'S ADMISSION OR HER DESCRIPTION OF THE WINE; OR POSSIBLY BOTH): Sophie! I have told you before, never get out of the car in Frankston! And your language! Really. And Sophie, Frankston does not have a demographic. It has drug dealers and criminals. Why did you have to go there? I thought going into advertising meant you would never have to go further south than St Kilda junction.
SOPHIE: Oh, no, Mummy! We even went to Kilsyth once. A horsy client lived there. Made bridles and saddles. It was quite interesting. Everyone walking around the streets was wearing a check shirt.
MUMMY: Yes, Sophie, but what kind of client would be based in Frankston? I assume it was a client?
SOPHIE (BRIGHTLY): Crime Converters, Mummy! The chain store pawnbroker.
MUMMY SWOONS. SOPHIE JUMPS FOR THE BELL TO SUMMON THE BUTLER.
SOPHIE (SCREAMING): James! James! Come quickly! Mummy fainted!
A TALL GAUNT MAN IN A DINNER SUIT AND WHITE GLOVES MOVES QUICKLY AND SILENTLY INTO THE ROOM.
JAMES (LOOKING WORRIED): The last time Lady Avon took a turn like this was when your older brother Garth told her he was marrying a girl from West Sunshine.
SOPHIE: Hmmm, yes. That would have been a shock to Mummy, poor dear.
LATER, IN THE DRAWING ROOM, A VAST ROOM FULL OF STUFFED CHAIRS AND BOOKSHELVES. SOPHIE AND MUMMY ARE SITTING TOGETHER ON THE COUCH.
SOPHIE: I'm sorry, Mummy. I'll never go to Frankston again. The Crime Converters people are coming up to St Kilda Road next time.
MUMMY: Well, that's one thing.
SOPHIE: Yes. They're bringing some customers with them so we can workshop some creative ideas.
MUMMY (AFTER A PAUSE): Are you sure neuroscience wouldn't have been a better career than advertising, Sophie? You were always so good at playing doctors and nurses with your dolls.