Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Monologue Mania Day #174 by Janet S. Tiger The Mug Collection Aug. 5 , 2014

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Monologue Mania Day #174     by Janet S. Tiger  The Mug Collection  Aug. 5 , 2014

THE MUG COLLECTION is written for and dedicated to Jonathan Dunn-Rankin, who, in addition to many other talents, has a great mug collection. In its first draft, it was read at Scripteasers, this is the revised edition, with changes from suggestions given by the listeners - thank you!
                                         THE MUG COLLECTION ©
                                         A monologue by Janet S. Tiger   © all rights reserved

                     (The set is simple, a chair a small table with a couple of coffee mugs, some photos on a wall - or it   can all be in the imagination.   A man comes onstage.  He is smiling and carrying a sugar bowl.  He is the collector)

Please forgive me, I should have had the sugar on the table - this coffee can be bitter, but it's very special, from a place in South America where the natives are actually paid for picking the beans!

                    (He puts some sugar in his coffee, then picks up his own mug and sips.)

Mmm, that is good.  I can't decide if I started collecting mugs because I liked coffee so much, or vice versa.....

I'm so glad you could come today.....and share in my collection.  I'm sorry we got off on the wrong note when you moved in last year.  Neighbors should be friends, don't you think?  Especially such an illustrious reporter! By the way, did you get all those mugs straight?  After all, there are over 500 of them! 

                  (Looks over the notes)

Very good!  You are an exceptional notetaker!  I am impressed.  One could even say, 'noteworthy' if one wanted, which is what this one does!

Now, are you ready for the extra special part of this interview? 

                 (Leans in, almost conspiratorially)

You see, the mug collection has two parts -there's the mug you drink from, and the other....
                (Leans back, pleased with the reaction.)

Intrigued are you?

Do you see these photos behind me?  They are my other....collection of mugs!


You get it?  Mug shots?    Good!   Let me introduce you to them -

              (He goes to the wall, points at one of the pictures.)

Here's a photo of my father.  He was a very strong man.  He's dead now, a sad accident.  We were out rowing a boat and he fell in the lake and drowned!

My mother was devastated - and I felt bad, too, because maybe if I'd been able to reach him with the oar to pull him into the boat. His head must have hit the oar when he was flailing about, very tragic.
           (He takes out a handkerchief and dabs his eyes, pointing to another photo) 
Anyhow, this one is my mother.  She died after my father's death - I think it was probably a broken heart, but the doctors said it was too much of her medicine at once.  I wish I had watched her more carefully.

How's that coffee?  Would you like more sugar?

           (He goes to pour some, then indicates another photo)

And this is my favorite teacher from high school - Ms. Longberry.  We used to make fun of her name!  She was the one who opened my eyes to coffee....and collecting.....but I don't think she meant to write anything mean about me in that recommendation.  I really did want that job in the library....and I would have been good, too.  But I'm happy doing what I do now, collect mugs, travel around looking for mugs, write about mugs.  I guess I'm just...(has said this before)  bugs about mugs!


Why is there a black frame around each photo?  Oh, that's because everyone in my mug collection is dead.  Ms. Longberry is honorary - she went on a vacation to someplace strange in Asia - I think it was Orachin-Buri,Thailand, where they have unusual coffees..........and the strangest thing happened, although I suppose it is not strange in that part of the world....she went on a day trip to someplace......and never returned! 

          (Listens again) 

Yes, you’ve figured it out!  All of these mug shots are of people who are dead – (very careful) and who really annoyed me toooooo much.

         (Listens, smiling)

I'm leaving behind all my money to take care of my darling cat, Leslie, and make this place into a memorial museum for me and my mugs!  There will be a lifesize statue of me!....in a lifelike material, that people can actually touch, and there will be a sign.....ready?  (With delight)  Hug a mugger!  
Oh, yes, I have been thinking about this for quite a while! 


These two empty ones in the middle.  Well, this one is for me, when I pass on.  I am also very annoying to myself, so I feel I deserve the main spot on the wall!  

        (Listens, this time with a strange look on his face)

The other empty one?  Funny you should ask....
        (Comes closer to the audience, has changed from upbeat.)

It's specially reserved for a person – a neighbor actually - who has been annoying me a great deal, a person who complains about a large but beautiful cat that only very occasionally gets into that neighbor's garden and only bothers a very few of the herbs and vegetables!

        (Quiet, then leaning forward)

Are you a little tiny bit shaky?  Maybe you had too much..... sugar in your coffee....

        (Listens and laughs)

My parents - as all parents are! - were very annoying, and so easy to take care of - Daddy was strong, but metal oars are stronger.....and momma, she just loved her pain killers!  You see, it's all a function of opportunity.....you have to wait until opportunity knocks........Mrs. Longberry?  She never recognized me as an adult...it was so easy to get on the same silly tour with her.....and then, opportunity knocked her off a mountain when no one was looking!

       (Goes over and leans closer)

And now you think that..... maybe there was something else in the coffee?   Oh, no!  I'd never give a bad cup of coffee!  I 'd rather think of it as opportunity knocking again, when you knocked at my front door for this interview......your fingers touched the door knocker.......

You see, I have been looking for that new picture for my collection.....and you have such a nice one from the magazine.....the magazine where you wrote all about your very odd allergy......an allergy that is potentially fatal........to alcohol, even when it just touches your skin.......like the powdered alcohol that was on the door knocker......

        (He starts to laugh as the lights go down  - the end.)


Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

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