Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Monologue Mania Day #294 by Janet S. Tiger Surprise (revised) Dec. 3, 2014

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Monologue Mania Day #294 by Janet S. Tiger Surprise (revised) Dec. 3, 2014 
Yesterday's monologue, but improved.  Did I improve it?  Please let me know

                                 A monologue by Janet S. Tiger   © all rights reserved

            (A woman enters, she has a card with a bow on it.  She smiles.)

There you are!  I know you're the birthday boy, but I want to have you to myself for just a few moments, to indulge an old lady who is about to give you a very nice birthday present, one with a special surprise.....

            (She reacts as if someone is reaching for the card, and pulls it back quickly)

Not so fast, my young man!  I am pulling rank, and insisting that you listen to the story attached to this gift.

Of course, you may have heard it before from me...or your father, but after all, I am your only surviving grandparent, so I think that allows me a little extra in the 'boring stories you have to listen to' department.

            (Listens, laughs)

Thank you!  I'm glad you like my stories.....Because you are such a lovely young man - and a very convincing liar! - I will try to make this short.

Back in the days when I was your age, I loved to play baseball, just like I hear you do.  And in my time, there were baseball cards, just like now, only then, we would play the matching game - and flip cards against each other, in order to win cards from other children.  

         (She stands and pretends to hold a card next to her hip - she releases it and 'watches' it fall)

Actually, it was to win cards from boys, because only boys - and your grandmother - collected these cards.

And the boys never thought I was any good at flipping the cards.

         (She keeps 'flipping the cards')

In my prime, I practiced for hours until I could flip 100 cards in a row - all face up or face down.  When I met some boys with cards, I pretended I wasn't very good, and let them win the first few times.  Then I would cry, and get angry, and challenge them to 100 cards - and they would jump at the chance to defeat me.  You could see the look on their faces and I could almost hear their thoughts - (imitates)  Wow! I'm gonna win 100 cards from this stupid girl!  This is my lucky day!

I told them the only condition was that, as a girl, I go first.  No problem.  They never objected.  Not once.  Why first?  I studied it and I realized, it was always harder to match than to set the bar.  And I would then flip 100 all the same -  it was impressive.....and very effective.

           (She illustrates the flipping)

They would watch, sure I was about to lose, and how much would I cry then?

For the first ten, there was no reaction, but by the time I reached twenty all in the same direction, their faces had started to change.  By thirty, they were transfixed, by fifty their mouths hung open like dogs, and as I approached the last ten, their heads were shaking, stunned.

Sometimes the other fellow would make a feeble attempt to get some in a row, but as soon as one card differed, it was the end, I won!.....and he would just hand over the cards to me.  One hundred cards.  A veritable windfall! 

But the best part was, after being defeated, the boys would bring friends to go up against me, and they would inform their friends of my strategy, but....and here's where I learned a great deal about men......even though they knew, they didn't care, they still would take the bait, like a fish offered a tasty worm.  And they, too, would lose.

After years of practice- and a reputation that had spread throughout the entire city, I had amassed an enormous collection - thousands of cards, dozens of the rookie Mickey Mantle, many Willie Mays, all assortment of the other fellows, Sandy Koufax, Yoggi Berra, Harmon Killebrew.....

The boxes filled an entire bookshelf in my room.....

          (She holds her arms wide, she is looking at the cards again)

.........which made it very difficult when we had to move, and could only take along one box of goodies.  I will never forget leaving our home, the one where I was born, with all the items we could not carry stacked in front for neighbors to pick through before the Goodwill came to pick up the remains.   

           (She waves and wipes her eyes)
I cried twice - first, the day we had to leave behind boxes and boxes of my youth, the second time, years later, when I found out what all those cards were worth!  One rookie Mickey Mantle was worth $50,000!   And I had had them in a rubber band I had so many!   The third year was only worth $8,000, but I had left behind a whole stack of them!  Who would know they would be worth so much?  (Sighs very heavily) Who would ever know what the future holds?

Now, if you are not asleep, you might be wondering why I told you this story.   .......I have a secret.....I no longer remember.  (Thinks)  Wait a minute, I remember!  I'm telling you because..... you never know......I had cards worth hundreds of thousands of the future.  They were left behind become a part of my past.  And a wonderful story to tell my grandson.

And now, you are beginning your journey through life, and ....just as your youth will be different from mine and you will probably never flip cards, there is something that is similar.  You never know what will be worth something in the future......or who will be worth something to you.

So enjoy the minutes of this birthday, and this small present.

         (She now hands over the card.)

I'm glad you think that cat is funny, I do, too!  And you are more than welcome for the folding money – please do not save it!  Use it for something you truly want!


The key?  That is a key is the key to life……or more specifically….to a special box that you will inherit when I die......all you have to do is remember where the key is.....because I'm hoping to last for a quite a few more years.......

What's in the box?  Ah, but that is the whole point of this story, and this gift! It's a surprise!

 What is in the box?.........Is the box filled with the few valuable baseball cards I saved?  Or does it just have some silly letter that will make no sense for years?  Like life, you don't know, and you won't know....and the circumstances are completely out of your control!  That is the life present I am giving you today....because you have no idea what is coming, ever!....So, you must flip the cards to win!  More important…practice flipping the cards to win!  I may not have kept those cards, but I learned how to work hard to get them….and that was the value that lasted me so well!

 Happy Birthday, my dear boy!  And very many more!

          (She reaches out her hand, turns to leave, stops, looks back)
 And don't forget, no matter what they tell as much cake as you want!
            (She exits.  Not the end of this story)


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

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