Mr Bean in town
Mr Bean in Town contains two very funny stories. Steak Tartare, is about the hilarious events that happen as Mr Bean celebrates his birthday in a very peculiar dinner at a nice restaurant. In The Launderette, a series of mishaps occur when he unsuccessfully tries to do the laundry.
It was Mr. Bean’s birthday, and he wanted to enjoy it! What could he do? ‘How can I make this important day a happy day?’ he thought. ‘I know. I’ll go out to a restaurant for dinner this evening! I’ll enjoy that.’
Mr. Bean didn’t often eat in restaurants. They were sometimes very expensive. And he sometimes did things wrong when he was in a new or strange place.
Oh dear! Life wasn’t easy for Mr. Bean!
That evening, Mr. Bean put on a clean shirt. He put on his best coat and trousers. He put on his best shoes. Then he drove to a restaurant in the centre of town.
He arrived at eight o’clock and went inside. It was a very nice restaurant. Everybody was wearing their best clothes, and there were flowers on every table.
‘I’m going to like it here,’ thought Mr. Bean. ‘This is a good restaurant for my birthday dinner.’
The manager met him at the door.
‘Good evening, sir,’ he said. ‘How are you? Would you like a table for one?’ ‘Yes, please,’ said Mr. Bean.
‘Follow me, sir,’ said the manager.
He walked across the room to a table, and Mr. Bean went after him. ‘Here you are, sir,’ said the manager. ‘This is a nice table.’
He pulled the chair away from the table. Then he waited for Mr. Bean to sit down. Mr. Bean looked at him.
‘Why is he taking my chair away?’ thought Mr. Bean. ‘What’s he doing?’ And he pulled the chair away from the manager and sat down quickly.
When the manager went away, Mr. Bean sat quietly for a minute. Then he remembered something. He took a birthday card and an envelope out of his jacket. Next, he took out a pen and wrote ‘Happy birthday, Bean’ inside the card. Then he put the card into the envelope and wrote his name on the outside of it. He put it on the table, and put his pen back into his jacket.
After a minute or two, Mr. Bean pretended to see the card for the first time. ‘Oh! A card – for me?’ he said.
He opened the envelope and took out the card. He read it carefully. ‘Now that’s nice!’ he said. ‘Somebody remembered my birthday!’ And he stood the card on his table.
The manager arrived with the menu and gave it to Mr. Bean. Mr. Bean started to read it.
‘Oh, dear!’ he thought. ‘Everything’s very expensive! What can I have?’
Mr. Bean got out his money. He had a ten-pound note and some coins. He put the money on to a plate.
‘How much have I got?’ he said, and he moved the money round on the plate. ‘Ten, eleven … And forty, fifty, fifty-five! Eleven pounds and fifty-five pence.’
He looked at the menu again. What could he eat for eleven pounds fifty-five?
The manager came to his table. ‘Are you ready, sir?’ he asked.
‘Yes,’ said Mr. Bean. He put his finger on the menu. ‘I’ll have that, please.’ The manager looked at the menu. ‘The steak tartare, sir. Yes, of course.’ ‘Yes,’ said Mr. Bean. ‘Steak.’
The manager took the menu and went away.
Mr. Bean sat and looked round the restaurant. There were a lot of people in the room. There was a man and a woman at the next table. They ate and talked.
Suddenly, a waiter arrived at Mr. Bean’s table with a bottle of wine.
‘Would you like to try the wine, sir?’ he said. ‘Oh, yes please,’ said Mr. Bean.
The waiter put some wine in Mr. Bean’s glass and Mr. Bean had a drink. It was very nice! He smiled, and the waiter tried to put more wine into the glass.
Of course, the waiter was right. First, the customer tries his wine. When he is happy with it, the waiter gives him more wine. But Mr. Bean didn’t know this, and he quickly put his hand across the glass.
‘No, thank you,’ he said. ‘I don’t drink wine when I’m driving.’ The waiter looked at him strangely – and walked away. He didn’t say, ‘Why did you try the wine when you didn’t want it, you stupid man!’
Mr. Bean took the knife from the table and started to play with it. He pretended to be a bad man. He pretended to push the knife into somebody. But he didn’t really want to kill anybody, of course. It was a game.
The woman at the next table looked at him angrily, and Mr. Bean quickly moved the knife. Next, he hit the glasses and plate on his table with it. Ping, ping, ping they went! And after a minute, he played the song ‘Happy Birthday’ on the glasses. He smiled and thought, ‘I’m very clever!’
But the woman at the next table didn’t think, ‘That’s clever!’ or ‘Oh yes, that’s funny!’ She thought, ‘That man’s really stupid!’ And she looked hard at Mr. Bean.
Mr. Bean put the knife down and looked at his napkin. ‘It’s a very nice napkin,’ he thought.
The waiter saw Mr. Bean looking at his napkin. He didn’t say anything, but suddenly —flick! — he opened it for Mr. Bean.
‘That’s clever,’ thought Mr. Bean. ‘I’ll try that!’
And he began to move his napkin. Flick! Flick! Flick!
Suddenly, the napkin flew out of his hand. It flew across on to the next table. The woman at the table looked round again. But Mr. Bean pretended not to see her. His face said, ‘It’s not my napkin!’
A minute later, the waiter arrived with his food. There was a large cover on the plate and Mr. Bean couldn’t see the food. But he gave the waiter the money on the table.
Customers don’t usually give a waiter money when he arrives with the food.
But the waiter didn’t say anything. He took the money and put it in his jacket.
Mr. Bean was happy. ‘I’m doing everything right,’ he thought.
The waiter took the cover off the plate and walked away. Mr. Bean looked at the food in front of him. He put his nose near the meat and smelled it. Then he put his ear next to it.
‘What’s this?’ he thought.
He put some of the meat into his mouth. Suddenly, the manager arrived at his table.
‘Is everything all right, sir?’ he asked. ‘Are you happy with everything?’ ‘Mmmmm,’ said Mr. Bean. He smiled.
The manager smiled, too. He walked away — and Mr. Bean’s face changed.
There was no smile now. ‘Aaagh!’ he thought. ‘They didn’t cook this meat!’
But he had to eat it. ‘I don’t want people to think that I’m stupid,’ he thought. ‘But I’ll never ask for steak tartare again! Never!’
He pushed his plate away.
But then the waiter went past his table. ‘Is everything all right, sir?’ he asked.
‘Oh, yes,’ said Mr. Bean. He smiled. ‘Yes, everything’s very nice, thank you.’ He smiled and pretended to eat some meat. But the waiter went away before
Mr. Bean put it into his mouth.
‘What can I do with it?’ he thought. ‘I can’t eat this. Where can I hide it?’
Then he had an idea. Carefully, he put the meat into the mustard pot and put the cover on it.
‘Where can I put some now?’ he thought. ‘I can’t eat it, so I’ve got to hide all of it. Oh, yes, the flowers!’
He took the flowers out of the vase. But then the manager went past, so Mr.
Bean pretended to smell the flowers. ‘Mmm, very nice!’ he said.
The manager smiled and walked away.
Quickly, Mr. Bean put some meat into the vase and pushed the flowers in on top of it.
He looked round the table.
‘Where next?’ he thought. ‘Yes! The bread!’
He took his knife and cut the bread roll. Then he quickly ate the middle of it. Now he could push some meat inside the roll. He did this, then he put the roll down.
He looked at the meat on his plate. ‘There’s a lot of it,’ he thought. ‘Where can I hide it now?’
He looked at the small plate on the table. Perhaps he could hide some meat under the plate. He looked round.
‘Nobody’s watching me,’ he thought.
So he took more meat from the big plate in front of him, and put it under the small plate. Then he pushed down hard with his hand.
The waiter walked past his table again. Mr. Bean smiled at him and put his arm on the plate. After the waiter went away, he pushed down on the small plate again.
‘That’s better,’ he thought. ‘Now you can’t see the meat. Good. But there’s more meat. Where can I hide it?’
He looked round the table.
‘The sugar pot!’ he thought. ‘But it’s got sugar in it. What can I do?’
He thought quickly, then he put some sugar into a wine glass. Next, he put some of the meat into the sugar pot. Then he put the sugar from the wine glass on top of it.
‘Good!’ he thought. ‘Nobody can see it in there.’ Suddenly, Mr. Bean could hear music. ‘Where’s that coming from?’ he thought.
He looked round — and saw a man with a violin. After a minute or two, the man came across to Mr. Bean’s table and played for him.
Mr. Bean smiled. ‘This is nice,’ he thought.
Then the man saw Mr. Bean’s birthday card, and the music changed. The man started to play ‘Happy Birthday’!
The people at the other tables looked round when they heard the song. ‘Who’s having a birthday?’ they thought. Then they saw Mr. Bean and smiled at him. Mr. Bean smiled back at them.
He pretended to eat some of the meat, but he didn’t put it into his mouth. The man with the violin walked round Mr. Bean’s table and watched him. He played his violin and waited for Mr. Bean to eat the meat. And he waited … and waited … and waited …
‘I’ll have to eat some,’ thought Mr. Bean. ‘He’ll only go away when I eat it.’ So he put the meat into his mouth.
And the man with the violin turned away to the next table.
The meat was in Mr. Bean’s mouth, but he didn’t want to eat it. He wanted to put it somewhere. But where? He looked at the man with the violin. He moved quickly. He pulled open the back of the man’s trousers and opened his mouth. The meat fell inside the trousers!
He smiled. ‘That was clever,’ he thought.
The man with the violin moved round the next table. He played a song to the man and the woman. The music was very beautiful. They listened and drank their wine. They watched the man with the violin, so their eyes weren’t on Mr. Bean. Nobody’s eyes were on Mr. Bean. He saw this, and he had an idea.
Mr. Bean quickly took the woman’s bag from the floor. He opened it and pushed some meat inside it. Then he put the bag on the floor again.
But when he did this, he accidentally put his foot out.
The waiter walked past with some plates of food — and he fell over Mr. Bean’s foot! The plates fell on to Mr. Bean’s table, and on to the floor. There was a loud CRASH!, and the people at the other tables looked up quickly.
‘What happened?’ they said. Then they saw the waiter on the floor. ‘Oh, dear!’ they said.
Now Mr. Bean had another idea. Here was the answer to his problem!
He moved very quickly. He pushed the meat from his plate on to the table with the other food. Then he pretended to be very angry.
‘Look, you stupid man!’ he said to the waiter. ‘Oh, look at this!’ The waiter got up from the floor.
‘I’m sorry, sir,’ he said. ‘I’m really very sorry.’ The manager arrived at the table.
‘I’m very sorry, too, sir,’ he said. ‘Oh, the food—!’
‘Yes, it’s everywhere!’ said Mr. Bean. ‘Look! It’s in the mustard pot. It’s in the bread roll. It’s in the vase of flowers.’ He took the woman’s bag from the floor. ‘And it’s in here!’ He pulled open the back of the violin player’s trousers. ‘And here!’
The waiter couldn’t understand it.
‘Go back to the kitchen,’ the manager told him, and the waiter went away.
Then the manager turned to Mr. Bean. ‘Please, sir,’ he said. ‘Come with me.’ ‘What?’ said Mr. Bean. ‘Oh, yes, all right.’
The manager took Mr. Bean to a clean table. ‘Sit here, sir,’ he said.
Mr. Bean sat down. ‘Thank you,’ he said.
The manager opened Mr. Bean’s napkin. Then he got the birthday card from the other table. He put it on Mr. Bean’s clean table.
‘Thank you,’ said Mr. Bean.
The man with the violin came across and played ‘Happy Birthday’ to him again. Mr. Bean smiled. Now everything was all right.
‘Now I can start again,’ he thought. ‘And this time I’ll do everything right.’ The waiter arrived at Mr. Bean’s table. He put a plate in front of Mr. Bean.
The manager smiled and took off the cover.
Mr. Bean looked down. And he stopped smiling.
There, in front of him, was a very large plate — of steak tartare!