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Monologue Mania Day #96 by Janet S. Tiger Fill Dirt c) May 19, 2014
(from Book of Teas - Southern accent)
by Janet S. Tiger c) May 19, 2014
all rights reserved
(Older Southern woman, T, enters - from full-length play Book of Teas- heavy Southern accent)
My Daddy loved to talk. He was a real politician. He loved fast cars - a remnant of his bootleg days, and he loved my Mama. But he did not have any affinity - ooh, there's another tea - affini - tea. - he had no affiinity for dirt.
Not to get me wrong, he could his hands dirty - he knew how to fix a fence, if need be, or dig a hole for a well. But he just preferred not to - he used to say that's why he risked his life to earn money, so he wouldn't have to ever dig a ditch again.
Mama used to point out his risks almost got him on a chain gang diggin ditches, but he would wave her words away with his hands and say, 'missed by an inch is the same as missed by a mile,' and that would end the discussion.
But my mother's father had a farm, and boy, did he love dirt!
He could pick up a handful and tell you exactly what was in it, what had been in it, and what could grown in it.
The thing that annoyed him most was when people would sit around gossiping - he didn't care about the gossip, that was my grandma's department, but he hated when they called it 'dishin dirt.'
He just hated that expression! He was not a particularly passionate man - politics held no interest outside of how his farm was affected, religion was another area for grandma, and sports were somethin kids did in high school, before they grew up. But say someone was 'dishin dirt' and he would explode!
(Imitates his voice) Don't they have any idea how valuable dirt is? Don't they know we live and die on this dirt - this earth! Mother Earth! They are attackin their own mother!
And he would take me away from the fascinatin discussions around the table where the women would be drinkin their tea and drag me outside to give me a lesson in.....dirt.
Because he also hated the expression....'cheap as dirt'
'Why do they say that?' he would scratch his head and light a cigarette. 'These are the same people who will pay thousands and thousands, maybe millions of dollars for a few square feet of ....dirt! As long as it's in the right spot, that is, if it's called real estate...' And I would listen to him explain how dirt - earth -was the most valuable thing on earth, because without it, there would be no earth!
It was a simple philosophy - and I came to understand it the older I got.
My parents decided to make a swimming pool out of the old swimming hole we had behind our house. And they came with bulldozers and dug up that hole, deep enough so the cement could be poured.
All the dirt they dug up was hauled away, and my grandpa came to watch as they did that. He shook his head, I remember, and just laughed.
'They gonna be pretty upset when they need that dirt for fill one day....just wait and see.' And sure enough, a few years later, when my mama decided she wanted a garden to the side of the house, and it should have a graceful hill, just like she saw in a magazine.....and my Daddy had to truck in pick-ups loaded with...you guessed it, fill dirt.
For all we knew, it coulda been the exact same dirt they trucked out when the pool was made!
Now you are here, and I know you are bringin me some dirt - and it is gonna fill up my brain.
Unfortunately, the dirt you will dish out now will be much harder to remove than any gravel.....
How do I know it's bad?
Because when people have good news they call on the phone.....
(She imitates how the caller can barely speak with happiness)
...... all excited and barely able to contain themselves with the excitement.
Bad news on the other hand - the dirty kind - is brought over and dished out with wringin hands and hangin heads, so, before you begin your tale of woe......which I hope I can help with, but I suspect it will only be to pick up the fallen bits of dirt- before you begin, would you like a cup of tea?
(End of monologue, end of scene)
Janet S. Tiger 858-274-9678
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8