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Apr. 21, 2014 Day #68 I Am a Washing Machine Monologue Mania
I Am a Washing Machine
(with apologies to Christopher Isherwood)
For the Senior Channel
by Janet S. Tiger
© 2014 all rights reserved
(A person walks onstage. They can be dressed to fit this role, or in street clothing. Male or female is not important, nor is age, because this is not really a person….it is something else all together. In fact, with imagination, this can be a wild visual. Have fun. The person looks at the audience, stands tall.)
I am a washing machine.
You look surprised.
Not because you do not know what a washing machine is, but just surprised to hear one speak.
You look at us every week, possibly daily, not realizing that underneath the metal and wires and water running through, is a heart and mind and …..soul. And even a sense of humor – don’t believe me? Where do you think all those socks disappear to? Don’t think that‘s funny? Well we do! We find that hilarious – how you all talk about it, get irritated about it, even scream sometimes! It brings us all hours of laughter when we are alone….
Oh, you thought I was a ….(says this with derision)……house machine. No, I was not built in the factory to be cleaning just one family's dirties…..no, I am a washing machine for the people! I am in what you call a……Laundromat, a self-service laundry, launderette, washeteria, or even Zìzhù xǐyī fang. That one is Chinese for Laundromat!
Whatever you want to call me, I clean it all…I see it all…..I…know it all!
That’s right, a washing machine has an ….intimate view of all humanity.
In a private home, those of us relegated to lives of unrelieved repetitious boredom are subjected to the same people’s wash…..day in, and day out. One person, two, three, four…babies sometimes….maybe with luck the residence is sold and someone new is introduced. But that newness wears off quickly, to return to the pushing and pulling and clothing of the same old people……worse than being married, it is as if you are married AND chained to the floor.
(Puffs up like a peacock)
But I and my kin are special. In the course of our long and industrious lives, we clean clothing from not dozens, not hundreds, but thousands of people! Maybe tens of thousands, or hundreds, depending upon how long we live for, how often we can be repaired, how many times people kick us, and damage us, and how soon we are ….(saddens) retired from service…..for …how do you people put it……for transplants……(disgusted) …..parts. Relegated to cemetaries for us….the junk heap….or worse, what is that word? Cremated? Oh, yes, your word for it now…..(with horror)…recycled!
But we cannot worry about our futures, because our presents are such a present. Not that you appreciate us – we are ignored unless we break, and yet we know every little detail about you. (Laughs) I see some of you wiggling…yes, I know your secrets!
And why shouldn’t we? We get to clean all your privates…..your most intimate objects….your….(with glee) …..your underwear!
And, using our powers of deduction, we know everything about you….what you eat…no matter how much bleach or cleaner, the stains tell that story! …..….and how much you eat!...the size of the clothing reveals that! Larger shirts, giant pants!
And what the fashions are, and which ones you like…..and…dare I say it? Everything that goes on….between those sheets!
We are very knowledgeable, we machines, and yet, unless we leak or make strange noises, we are to you …….invisible.
Doomed to lives of incredible immobility. Except for those of us small ones of lucky to be traveling in your vehicles to strange places around the country….which is, from what I hear, not the greatest because it’s not as if we get to leave and go look around these places! The rest of us are born to serve, created in great factories, our only movement through space happening at our births, when we are loaded into darkened machines and transported to the location where we will slave our entire lives.
(Sighs deeply, bows head)
But ours is not to question why, ours is just to clean and dry……
Which brings us to why I am here, today, in front of you, a representative of millions of us….we beg you, we do not want much, just a kind word and a small thank you once in awhile…(gets angry) ..not a kick when our bones are old and tired, and something has broken and we don’t start!
And that is why I wrote this book…….some people ask how did I come to be a writer? To that I say…..in between loads, I have plenty of time to think….and someone left a book by a man named Christopher Isherwood….called I Am A Camera…….no, I did not read it….I prefer the TV….but I loved the title! I identified deeply with the idea! A perfect sound bite! And so …that’s how I wrote…….I Am A Washing Machine….(puffs up impressively) …and with the help of my cyber-publisher, everyone in the audience will be receiving a copy!
(Waves his hands, then stops)
I believe this is where all of you shout and cheer and stamp your feet! Come on now, you’ve all seen TV shows before!
(Encourages the audience to comply)
That wasn’t so bad, was it?
Now, when you leave, you will give the nice people your email, and I Am A Washing Machine will be sent to your computer, along with some lovely coupons for your local Laundromat.
Thank you all, you’ve been a lovely audience!
(Turns to leave, hears something, looks back)
Did you think you were getting a printed copy? Are you kidding? What year do you think this is? 1962? Do you pay with coins or can you use your debit card? Join the modern age!
(As exiting, we hear…)
Next they’ll be wanting to use washboards!
(Exits, the end of this cycle)
Janet S. Tiger 858-274-9678
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8