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Monologue Mania Day #178 by Janet S. Tiger Alternate Tea Aug. 9 , 2014 This monologue is being considered instead of the one from three days ago - but both can stand on their own
A monologue by Janet S. Tiger © all rights reserved firstname.lastname@example.org
(T is talking, with Ella and Ella’s daughter, who also has a Southern accent. T takes a deep breath.) So the Sheriff comes to visit and says, is your momma here, and I say, yes, she's been here all mornin, we've been cooking up pies and settin up jams for our big family reunion picnic this weekend. When did she get here? Oh, about 7:30 this mornin - we have a lot to do.
Are you sure it was that early? Of course I'm sure, I can tell you exactly how we spent the time - these apple pies started at 8 am - takes a bout thirty minutes to prepare for them, so, we started right around 7:30.
And this blueberry jam started to boilin right around 8:30, so it's just about ready to take off for puttin in jars - Ella, did you get all the jars out? Right here Mz T, your Momma answered, and we proceeded to show him all we had done since 7:30am Do you want a taste, Sheriff? He looked at me funny..... Why do you ask all this? What difference does it make if she was here or not? Is somethin wrong? Old man Jeffries says your Ella done chopped off the fingers on his right hand. We had talked about this, and I told Ella this is when we should laugh. And we did. What are you talkin about? Why in God's name would Ella do that? And why would he say she did? Could he have been just a tiny bit drunk? Well, yes, Ma'am, I think he is usually in that state.... We all know that - are his fingers chopped off? Did you check? Yes, Mz T, we checked, they are gone. Well, maybe he had an accident of some variety and is embarrassed to say what it was, so he figures he can blame someone else, like he did when his dogs attacked the Armstrong chickens that time. Well, that's a possibilitiy....
I pretended to think, then I said, wait a minute, wasn't there any blood? Yes, ma'am, lots of blood. Wouldn't a person who did that be covered in blood? Yes, ma'am, they would. Then there you go, Ella showed up here, just as clean as you please - now you say he claimed she was there at 8 o'clock, let's say he was wrong, is that possible? With the drinkin and all? He laughed and said, I think it may be. Let's just say she did it and then went home and cleaned up and came here, that would have had to be after 9 or so, with travel, right? Makes sense. You could check her - she's clean as a whistle and she was here at 7:30am I will swear on that - on my father's grave. And Sheriff, why do you think it's Ella ? Why would she be mad at him? Aren't there a lot of people who have a lot of grudges against him? I know most of them are negro, he did not treat a lot of children well, but what if there was a white person who was angry at him. Maybe you could dig a little bit into what goes on there with no around around, and why poor children like candy, even if it's never free. The Sheriff looked at me, nodded. Maybe I will ask a few more questions...... I think that's what a good sheriff does...and as he left, we started giggling, and I said loud enough for the sheriff to hear...if it was you Ella, I bet you woulda chopped off somethin' else.....
The secret to a lie that holds is in the details. People remember details. Our makin a joke as the sheriff was leavin, my makin sure we had a lot of pies and jams goin, it all helped. Had the Sheriff looked closely - or known about bakin, he woulda seen the pies were hot, but not done, and the jam wasn't ready to put up, but bein a man, he just assumed no one would put in that much work to a lie. We burned Ella's bloody clothes in the stove to heat the pies. And we had a great reunion.
My father was the one who taught me the value of a good lie.
Sometimes you have to know when to lie - and when that time comes, you have to know HOW to lie. But Daddy, you and momma told me never to lie! Never is a long time, T, and the secret to getting away with a good lie is simple - tell the truth......most of the time.
If you tell the truth, if people know you are honest, if your word is your bond, then if you have to lie, for one reason or another- and it had better be a good reason! - then people are more likely to believe you. Of course, you have found out the reverse is true- a person who lies all the time is not trustworthy - and if they tell the truth, no one will believe them when they do.
Like the boy who cried wolf, Daddy?
Exactly, T. That's exactly what I mean.
(Lights down. End of scene)
Janet S. Tiger 858-736-6315
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8