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Apr. 4, 2014 Day #51 for Book of Teas - Jam Monologue Mania
(for the Book of Teas)
by Janet S. Tiger
(c) all rights reserved
(T comes out - she is talking with her daughter at this point in the play, and they are in the kitchen.)
Before I give you any advice, dear daughter, I would have to ask somethin very important.
What kind of jam do you want with your toast?
Of course I made toast - you can't have tea with nothin first thing in the mornin - if you can't eat breakfast, at least have some toast, and toast without jam, is like life without a little sugar.
I thought so - that peach jam was your favorite even when you were a little girl.
It just so happens I put some up last fall.
(She prepares the toast and jam while talking)
Jam has a powerful lesson for people, my dear. Most people do not even understand this lesson, but it is as clear as the nose on your face. Or, in the case of television, other unfortunate body parts, but that is another cable story.
Most people, once they decide on which jam is their favorite, they use that jam for the rest of their lives. And why not? Who wants to be makin a decision first thing in the mornin? It's bad enough getting up early, and the chores....so jam is a constant.....in an everchangin world.
Am I right? Of course I am, mam's always right. That's another constant.
So with your mornin tea - or coffee - you take your toast and butter it up, and put on that same old jam. Year in, year out. And you only notice it when you don't have any, and you have to remember to put it on the shopping list, and the next time you are tunnin low, you remember to put it on the list early.....so you do not get to that jar and find it empty, except for one dab your husband left you.
That, too is another story.
But years march by, and then, one day, you are in a different city, maybe Macon, or wherever. You are in a new grocery store, one you have never shopped in before, and probably never will again.
And there, on the shelf, next to the usual jams- the strawberry, the peach, the grape.. - is somethin new. It is ......an exotic jam. A Jam from far away. (Misty eyed) From....France! And it is a ...RASPBERRY jam.....and right there on the label it says....'made from a secret recipe'......which you know probably means that someone's grandmother told them to put a pat of butter in to stop there from bein too much foamin, but it is so ....different!
And you look at the price - and that tiny jar is ten times the cost of your regular jam!
All right, maybe not ten times, maybe only...three times....you know numbers are not my strong point, dear.
But don't interrupt a good story, let me finish!
Where was I? So you buy this horribly expensive jam, and you bring it home, and you wait until no one is around, because you don't want to share it, and you open it up......
(She shudders, remembering the sensation)
And you smell that delicious aroma and you know it was worth every penny!
And you spread it on the bread, which have toasted exactly how you want, because no one is around to bother you, and you even ignore the phone when it rings, because you want the first taste to be remembered on a piece of perfectly toasted, just the right temperature toast.
(She closes her eyes, shakes her head in happiness)
Mmmmmm.....that first taste, what a sensation! It is everything you were expecting and more! You even have three pieces of toast, because it is so good!
And you have that raspberry jam every day, for weeks and weeks, and when it starts to run down in the jar, you start to get nervous...will you have to run to Macon just to buy a jar of jam? It is certainly not worth that trip - or is it? First you do a little investigatin, and you find out you can actually buy this rare, exotic jam from that strange new store in the next town, that sells all the odd foods - and for less money than you spent in Macon!
And this goes on for months, until one day you wake up, and you go to make your toast, and you realize......the raspberry jam does not taste as fresh….and you want your old peach jam again.
And you take a taste of that peach jam and it is DELICIOUS! And the jar of raspberry jam sits in your refrigerator for years, because it turns out that no one else in your family - including your husband who will eat almost anything - likes raspberry jam.......so it sits there until someone says,'what are you saving this for, anyways?' And you refuse to discard it, because it brings back those memories of tryin somethin new.
And that is ……jam.
Of course there is a point to this story! Weren't your listenin?
Men - and some women, too, for that matter - do not handle sayin 'no' to new jam when it is offered to them.......
They have to try it - as many different kinds as they can.
And that is your husband's problem, and it has been, all along. And you knew it before you married him…… and you know it now.
You just have to decide if you want to be.....the peach jam he comes home to… when the other jam loses its....new flavor.
(End of monologue, not of scene)
Janet S. Tiger 858-274-9678
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8