Monday, September 5, 2016

Monologue Mania Day #936 Ben's List of Virtues by Janet S. Tiger (c) Sept. 5, 2015

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Monologue Mania Day #936 Ben's List of Virtues by Janet S. Tiger (c) Sept. 5, 2015
                                       Ben's List of Virtues 
                                            (for the play BEN)
                                       A monologue by Janet S. Tiger 

                                             © 201 all rights reserved

           (Out comes Ben Franklin, reading a list and shaking his head.)

Any of you here fans of history?  Raise your hands please!

            (He looks around and nods)

Then some of you must have stumbled across my funniest work - and no, it is not my own favorite...Fart Proudly!, this was not originally intended to provoke merriment... but self-righteousness always has a bonus side effect of giggles and in this case, outright guffaws!

When I was a lad of just 20 years, I wrote this list to improve worked only in the sense that in writing the list, I identified valuable lessons for myself....whether I actually succeeded, well, that's where the humor emerges!

(Reading quickly from the list)  TemperanceSilenceOrderResolutionFrugalityIndustry.SincerityJusticeModerationCleanlinessTranquillity

(Sighs deeply)  All admirable traits!  How sad that only one of them was I able to actually accomplish!  One by not to dullness, drink not to elevation.....Why live at all? What is the fun of living if you can't stuff yourself like a sausage!  And as for drinking, why beer is the very proof that God loves us!

Now for the second.........(very quiet)   ....Silence.....(roars with laughter)  ME silent!  Now there's a joke!  Speak not what may not benefit you or others...avoid trifling conversation!  My list takes all the fun out of...everything! there's one I wished I had listened to myself about....let all your things have their time has tricked me with that....I used to know where everything just know I knew......little help when the search is on for the missing item!

Resolution....resolve to perform what you ought....perform with fail what you resolve....simply put, do what you promise.......well, maybe I succeeded a bit with that, for I did help forge a country, but I was not!

Frugality....waste nothing......Always easier said than done.....but it is nice to see that today people like to reuse, recycle and revolt......oh, wait, that was us!

Now for Industry.....Waste no time!   I think that the most fun ever had - outside of the physical pleasures! the joy of wasting time.....I may have done much, but much of what I've done was accomplished by....wasting time until the solution appeared......of course, the wasting of said time was accomplished by completely ignoring the parts about temperance!

Sincerity....use no hurtful deceit......think innocently and justly....and if you speak, speak hurtful deceit.....if I'd followed these words, I would never have told King Louis that England would be furious if our new country got to keep the land up to the Mississippi.....and that giving us all that land was worth it, just to make the English mad!  I couldn't believe he would believe it, but believe it he did, and so our country stands whole.....because I was less than wholly sincere......

Justice.....wrong none by doing injuries......or omitting the benefits that are your duty.  (Sighs heavily)  Would that I could fix this one......and go back and do right by my dear wife......I did her no justice by not returning when she was sick, and dying.....yet a country I helped forge with my diplomacy, otherwise known as a lack of sincerity......

      (Wipes his eyes as he looks at the list)

And now moderation.....avoid extremes!  Now there's a laugher! I learned soon that moderation is for the wise.....yet I refused to be wise!  And these three....cleanliness, tranquility, chastity!  Hysterical all!

I liked air baths, and one of my great loves of the French life was parfume!  So I would not have to have the baths that made so many life burbled with events from start to the last days of it!  And the last one of that unholy triumvirate....CHASTITY!  What a hoot!  I loved my lady friends, and they loved me, air baths and all!

So....which of these did I actually accomplish?  The last of course!  Humility!  Imitate Jesus and Socrates.  And so I did!  I may not have shared the humility with them....but I share something deeply with both......
we are all dead!

           (Lights down, end of scene)

This is the complete list -
Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315      
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

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