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May 28, 2014 Day #105 by Janet S. Tiger Monologue Mania
Into Each Life
(from the Book of Teas)
by Janet S. Tiger
(c) May 28, 2014 all rights reserved
(T comes out, carrying a dustpan and brush. She is shaking her head. She still has a Southern accent, and she sweeps as she talks.)
I don't see what the big problem is with sweepin. When you are young, sweepin can be so much fun! I remember my mama making sweepin into a game - and I did the same with my children. Cleanin the toilets, now that's a different kettle of fish - but the floor is one way you can see results instantly. Many jobs do not have that advantage.
Dishes are finished, but then, as if some God has deemed you as a modern day Sisyphus, the dishes re-appear, like magic. But floors, you can stand back and look at them and tell people to stay off and they will listen.
Now if you are old, sweepin becomes a chore. As so many entertainments of youth become. But as long as I do not have to bend, I still enjoy this. Sweepin has a rhythm, and you can think while you sweep. Not the same as when you are cookin, where one mistake can be very painful to yourself or the people eating.
You tell me that you are upset, well, upset is normal after a big event in a life.
My Aunt Nettie put me straight about that type of thing. It was right before you were born, dear, and there was a tornado. Unusual for these parts, but not impossible, as I found out. We were lucky, it just damaged the garage, but, it just so happened that, before the tornado, in a fit of cleaning, I had put some boxes of letters from friends and relatives into the rafters. And since the roof of the garage was damaged, a large family of unpleasant rats took up residence. Our family cat had disappeared in the tornado, never to return. I guess the term 'flyin' fur' would apply there.
And I did not see that the rats had decided my box of letters was a wonderful place to set up winter housekeeping. I heard noises when I went to start the car, but thought nothing of it until one day, I saw the Daddy rat - he was a big one, and I took a rake and, using my extreme intelligence, poked up into a hole in the rafters in a misguided attempt to dislodge him and his family.
(She uses the broom to illustrate)
The poking opened up a larger hole, and the rats - Daddy, Mama and the whole bunch of baby rats proceeded to.....fall on my head!
It's possible they were more frightened than I was, but I doubt that very strongly. I screamed and everyone came runnin out to see what had happened now to mama. Oooh, did they laugh! It was so funny to see me runnin to take a shower to wash the rat pooh out of my hair! And I was pregnant, remember, so this was yet another great tale to spread throughout the neighborhood.
And the clean-up was the best part - I had to get rid of all the rat pooh, and then the tragedy became apparent, like one of those unfolding Shakespear stories where you find out that just when things were gettin bad, they get worse.
In the dropping of the droppings, my box of letters had fallen - and it turns out rats really enjoy nesting in paper. The letters were covered in rat pooh.
I recall sittin and just shakin my head. My Aunt Netty had come to help with your brothers, and she saw me out there, and wanted to know (as Aunt Netty, rather breathless) Oh, dear, what seems to be the matter?
I told her, and she said, 'well, dear, into each life, a little rat shit must fall.' This was a surprise as I didn't know Netty could use language like that.
But Aunt Netty, everything is a mess! Look at this place!
'As I recall,' she reminded me, 'you have survived a tornado, am I correct?'
'And when you get right down to it, it's better to be sweepin up rat shit than pushin up daisies......am I right?'
She was right, and if you can remember this wisdom without bein reminded, you will go far in happiness in this life.
Now, why don't you tell me what the problem is in your life.....
(She holds out the broom)
And we'll see how big a broom you need.
(End of monologue. Scene continues)
Note to actors-
On June 6th, there will be a meeting at Scripteasers, the longest running new-play reading group in the country (maybe the world!) of selected monologues from this first 100plus. For more info Scripteasers.org, and to read one of these monologues that night, please contact – email@example.com
Janet S. Tiger 858-274-9678
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8