Thursday, August 7, 2014

Monologue Mania Day #176 by Janet S. Tiger Four Tea Aug. 7 , 2014

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Monologue Mania Day #176     by Janet S. Tiger    Aug. 7 , 2014
                                                  Four Tea
                                         A monologue by Janet S. Tiger   © all rights reserved

            (T is now talking to Sheriff Wilkins and she is with Ella onstage - the Sheriff is visiting with an unpleasant inquiry, although T has the monologue here, everyone has a Southern accent, which can be heard even though the others do not speak a word when T is talking.  This scene takes place in the kitchen, and it has to have lots of kitchen stuff - whether physical or imaginary will be up to the director)

Before I answer your horrible question, Sheriff Wilkins, I am goin to show you what Ella and I have been doin since, oh, musta been about 7 am when Ella got here, because bakin a lot of my special peach pecan muffins means you hafta start early in order to get the biggest part of the work done before it gets too hot, since the ovens'll be workin for many hours non-stop.

          (She holds up a wrinkled, stained index card)

By the way, this is the recipe we use, but it is a family secret, so if it is necessary to make a police report, please do not include all the ingredients!  I will be haunted by my grandmother's ghost if you do!

I see you sweatin, Sheriff, so you can tell these ovens have been on for a long time.  Now when you make my special peach pecan muffins, it is necessary to first to prepare your ingredients, which much be absolutely fresh.  We take twenty-five pounds of fresh peaches and remove the pits,

        (She and Ella show how the peaches are pitted)

.....then cut up, by hand, of course, all these delicious may certainly have one...

       (She hands a peach to him)

....., then we have to pulverize many pounds of these pecans....

        (She and Ella take hammers and smash the pecans together - it is impressive)

We then prepare the streusel.....I just love that word streusel!..... which includes brown sugar, cinammon, flour and melted butter....

You just keep goin Ella, while I explain.....

        (Ella works while T gives the instructions)

Then we do the muffin part, and spoon it into the baking cups......are we doin ok with that vegetable spray, Ella? Or do you need to get more from the pantry?

        (Ella shakes the can and nods)

Good......and then we can put up about 4 dozen into the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes and then we let them cool on racks for ten, fifteen minutes....

        (She indicates the cooling muffins, picking one up and handing it to him)

And - as you can see, and taste! -we have completed about 16 dozen right here, about right for 11 am....I figure

        (She looks at a paper)

.....I was never good at numbers, so I hafta write everythin it is, we have to have 40 dozen to bring up to the church fair that means....

        (She takes her pencil and figures it out)

....... we have about 24 dozen to go -another five- six hours or so, which is why we started early....

         (She hands another one to him)

Good, aren't they? 

        (She smiles and turns to Ella)

Just keep goin Ella, this won't take long.

I showed you all this so can understand what Ella and I have been doin since she got here around 7, maybe 7:15 this mornin.  And she did not leave at any time, I may add, and the evidence is all here in front of you!

So let me understand you, Sheriff Wilkins.  Ol man Fitzhugh says that Ella here, who has never been in trouble with the law, am I right?  That Ella came to his farm at 8 am this mornin and.....with no apparent reason whatsoever, took a meat cleaver and chopped off his fingers on his right hand.  And then she took the cleaver away, so there is no evidence.  Because she is such a criminal mastermind.

       (Starting to get upset)

The same Ella that has been here all day, with me.  The same Ella I have known for decades, and who has such trouble killin a chicken, that I do not ask her to do so anymore.

         (She is no longer happy and cheerful, but bearing down on Sheriff Wilkins, who is leaning away from T)

And this is the same Mr. Fitzhugh who is a notable drunk, a man who can barely remember what day it is!

And you tell me that he was notably inebriated when you spoke to him, and that he refused to go to a doctor......and his house was in a state of disrepair and - your words- pretty damn bloody - and yet you see Ella is here, neat and clean, with no sign of blood on her anywhere - nor did she have any blood on her when she arrived at 7am, or maybe 7:15, I want to be accurate - more accurate than dear Mr. Fitzhugh!

       (She now takes a bunch of the muffins and puts them into a napkin.)

(Darker, not nice at all)  And is this the same Mr. Fitzhugh that is known to have many young people, boys and girls -  both black and white - visit him because he likes to give them..... ice cream.... and .....some have suggested...... more than ice cream!

I was about to say...'I don't know why he would say such a thing about Ella'...but that's not true.  We both know the reason he would pick on Ella.  

I think you know the truth, the same way everyone in this town will know the truth.

We all know his memory may be clouded by the fact that, not only is he drunk, but also, perhaps a bit nervous about telling who really did this to him, especially if it was the parent, probably male, of one of these children, that person might come back and chop off something else.......

So why does he choose Ella?  You tell me, Sheriff.....can you explain the workins of a drunk mind?

         (She hands the napkin to the Sheriff)

You may take some of the evidence of Ella's uninvolvement with our compliments, Sheriff......I am hopin that you catch the real perpetrator...oh, no, that's not the truth.  I really don't care if you catch 'em, Sheriff, and frankly, I don't think you want to catch them either!  

But that'll just be between the three of us......and all the muffins!

        (The lights dim as the Sheriff leaves and we see T and Ella exchange glances.  End of scene)

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

Peach-Pecan Muffins

Yield: Makes 12 muffins


  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans $
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar $
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter $
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar $
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted $
  • 1/4 cup milk $
  • 1 large egg $
  • 1 cup frozen sliced peaches, thawed and diced
  • 12 paper baking cups
  • Vegetable cooking spray


  1. 1. Prepare Streusel: Stir together pecans and next 4 ingredients until crumbly.
  2. 2. Prepare Muffins: Preheat oven to 400º. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Stir together butter, milk, and egg; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Gently stir in peaches.
  3. 3. Place paper baking cups in 1 (12-cup) muffin pan, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full. Sprinkle with Pecan Streusel.
  4. 4. Bake at 400º for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan, and serve warm or at room temperature.

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