Friday, August 21, 2015

Monologue Mania Day #555 9:50 is not ten to ten (for Book of Teas) by Janet S. Tiger Aug. 21, 2015

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Monologue Mania Day #555 9:50 is not the same as ten to ten by Janet S. Tiger  Aug. 21, 2015

          This is the same character from Days # 15, 41-53, 69, 84, 96, 105, 118, 156, 173, 175-8, 181-5, 269, 331, 361, 452, 506.  Southern accent.

              Chapter -  9:50 is not the same as ten to ten
                                            (for Book of Teas)
                                A monologue by Janet S. Tiger   © all rights reserved  2015                                                                           
        (T enters, still an older woman with a Southern accent)
Nine fifty is not the same as ten minutes to ten.
It never was and never will be.
Nine fifty is some strange mathematical term that requires thought on the part of the speaker and listener.

The speaker needs to look at a clock and decide - based on the teachings of long ago parents and school, where the clock hands reside.
Is it nine forty nine or has it reached that 10 to become nine fifty.

I recall arguing with the teacher about just such things.  If it is ten minutes to ten, what does fifty have to do with it at all?
There are sixty minutes in an hour, T, and there are only ten left. 
So why mention the ones that are gone?  Can you get them back somehow?  And where did they go?
That question usually signaled the end of my chance to ask questions - and often the end of the clock lesson as well, which was wonderful, and appreciated by most of my friends.
Ten minutes to ten is, oh my God, I have to be someplace at ten and I only have ten minutes!  Ten minutes to ten is an urgent time - nine fifty is just numbers.
It's all the way you look at it.
Angles and geometry - that I could understand.  From one angle, something always looks very different than from another.
I first learned this at a lunch counter while eating a milk shake with my Auntie Dee.  She was one of my 'not-blood- aunts, of which there are many in any Southern family.
Auntie Dee was very funny - a friend of my mother's from when they were children.
She and my mother could sit and one of them would say a word - just one word - and they would both burst into laughter.  Sometimes, they would laugh so hard, they would cry.  And, as they got older, they would have to run to the bathroom, too, which they would fight about who got to sit down first, which would make them laugh all the harder.
One day, Auntie Dee actually wet her pants - I was there, i saw it.  And, contrary to what I thought as a child would be one of the most horrifyingly embarrassing moments of your life, actually had the effect of making them both laugh even harder.
It makes me laugh just to think about them laughing, and wetting their pants, because once Auntie Dee wet hers, my mother laughed so hard, she could not even make it to the bathroom.
They collapsed on the floor outside the door, and I swear, if you could die laughing, that would have been a time they could've done just that.
Anyhow, to return to the original story, Auntie Dee and I were talking about how upset I was that I had not gotten what I wanted for Christmas, and why didn’t my parents give me what I wanted, and why did the Cunningham boy keep pulling my braids?  And…
Auntie Dee stopped me somewhere in my complaints to say that all these problems were the kinds that could be helped by looking at things from a different angle.
What does that mean, Auntie Dee?
Your parents might not have wanted you to have a new dress for Christmas because you just had gotten a whole bunch of new clothes from Granpa and Ganma.  I hadn’t considered that, as I felt one could never have enough new clothes, but it did give me pause to wonder.
And the Cunningham boy – did he pull all the braids of all the girls?  Or just mine?  And did I ignore him until he pulled my braids?  Maybe if I talked to him nice one in awhile, he would stop.
This was another avenue I never considered.
She then said, I’m gonna show you something.
 There was a man at the next table.
She indicated the man, who could see us from and was watching us out of the corner of an eye.
Do you know how to do a fake slap?  Like the Three Stooges in the movies do?
Yes, Auntie Die, but why?
Because, I’m gonna start to act like a giant baby, cryin, and I want you to take your right hand and pretend to hit me, then slap your other hand to make the slap noise.  I’m gonna turn my head and pretend to cry, then smile and say, ‘thank you’ and give you a hug.  Got it?
I liked her games- Auntie Dee always had something silly to do.
So we did it.  Auntie Dee started to whine, just like my younger brother.  I told her to stop and she just whined some more.  So I took my right hand and aimed it to her face, where she turned before my hand hit her.  But I continued the slap onto my left hand  so it sounded like I had actually connected with her cheek.  She stopped cryin and hugged me.
The man at the next table was horrified – he turned to another patron at the next booth and we could hear him say –‘Did you see that?  That girl hit her Auntie!’  What is the world coming to!
He must’ve said other things, but we didn’t hear, because we ran out, Auntie Dee flinging some money at the poor waitress.

We ran to the park nearby where we, too, collapsed in laughter.  I now understood why my mother and Auntie Dee could laugh so much.  Some people just have that kind of ability.

It's like math, only much more useful.

And, after we stopped laughing, Auntie Dee pointed out that, from where the man was sitting, it looked as if I’d hit her, but that was not the truth at all.  Yet that man would swear on a stack of Bibles that was what he saw.
In a flash I understood – everyone has a different vantage point in life.  The trick is to know that, and to understand that – and no matter how you try to see another person’s point of view – it is never 100% possible.  That slap may just have been a joke...... and you may be wrong about everythin you think you know.
         (Lights down.  End of scene)

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

1 comment:

Jennifer Silva Redmond said...

Another great monologue, funny and true. You're on a roll!