Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Monologue Mania Day # 413 by Janet S. Tiger The Short End of the Hoe April 1, 2015

Welcome to Monologue Mania- one new free monologue a day- for a whole year-and still going!
                                                                    first year -  Feb. 13, 2014 - Feb. 13, 2015
I've continued with a monologue a day until the spirit moves me to stop, so if you have any ideas for a monologue you want me to write, please let me know at tigerteam1@gmail.comSome days - like today - will be reruns that are re-written a bit.  Hope they are improved!
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     To start at the beginning - Feb. 13, - 
click here.
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click here  There are now over 400!

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Monologue Mania Day # 413  by Janet S. Tiger Short End of the Hoe  April 1, 2015

                                                     Short End of the Hoe
                                                        by Janet S. Tiger  (c) 2015 all rights 
               (The older man who enters is dressed in a suit, but not comfortable in it.  His hands show years of work, and the suit is itchy.  He removes his hat as he approaches the front of the stage, puts a hand into a pocket and takes out a handkerchief to wipe his brow.  He has a slight Mexican accent, just enough to be heard when he gets angry)

 Hello, thank you for letting me speak in front of the council.  I know how busy it is, I have been listening for two hours, I understand.

I, uh, am here to ask that you do not rezone the neighborhood in which I live.  When I moved in, I was the youngest farmer, and now, I am the last.  When I moved in, the other farmers were not that friendly to start, but they saw I had good workers, and so we became friends over the same problems - water, always, workers, every day, the insects that eat our precious crops, why the tires always go when you don't have money for new ones!

As you know, I grow oranges, and some tomatoes, mostly citrus, because I love the trees.  To understand why I am here today, I need to tell you about who I am.

I started out in the fields with my parents, with a short handled hoe, weeding the lettuce so people could have good healthy sandwiches.  That's why my parents always told me.  We worked hard so we could eat, but also, that others could eat.

Because I was a child, it was not so bad, but I saw what it did to my parents.  I used to ask my father, 'why do we have to use this, it fits me, but for you and mama and the others, maybe something longer?'  Because the short handled hoe was only 24 inches.  And he would laugh and say, 'Because we always get the short end of the stick!  Only this is the short end of the hoe!' 

When Cesar Chavez fought to get rid of the short handled hoe, my father helped him, and my father made us children help, too.  It took a long time, and I kept asking my father why, always,(imitates) 'this is the short end of the hoe!' and my father would get mad at me, but then one day, my father said....maybe I was he had decided to switch to tree work, oranges, lemons - also with danger, bees and falling,but not as much pain.

We came to this city when it was mostly farm, and the man who hired us, he was the man who sold my father and me his farm, Mr. Danworth, a good man.   We worked hard, the whole family together, and we survived.

Thirty years now I have had this farm, it is paid off, things change and now....I am the old-timer.  Things change, I understand, some good, like no more short handled hoe.  Some funny.  (Laughs)  My father died angry at me because I actually voted for a Republican in the last election.

        (He smiles, then sighs, gets a hold of himself and points)

He is there, one of you - a friend of mine!  He is the only vote I can depend on to help me now, but he is only one of seven!

Yes, I understand my neighbors complain about the smell of manure and the sound of the pickers coming in their cars early in the morning before it gets hot.

(Getting annoyed)  But I did not complain when their houses were built and all the construction made dust that I had to wash off all my plants! And  I did not complain when their bulldozers clogged the roads, making it hard to bring my oranges to the market!

(Really angry) Now they want me to leave.  But they are not men, they are cowards.  They come to me in a back way, with laws I do not have money to fight! 

So I am asking you, please to listen to me.  Without the oranges I grow, this community is no longer the place people will want to come to, to visit, to live.  You pave over my trees, and you will pay the price!  Maybe not today, but might get, el extremo corto de la azada.....

        (He turns to leave, stops, looks back)

.....the short end of the hoe.......

        (He exits, never the end of the fight)

This may be April Fool's Day, but the short handled hoe was no joke - for more info -

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

1 comment:

JennyRedbug said...

Another good story I learned from you. Thanks!