Monday, February 5, 2018

Monologue Mania Day # 1454 The Outhouse (for Crime) by Janet S. Tiger (c) Feb. 6, 2018

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Monologue Mania Day # 1454 The Outhouse (for Crime) by Janet S. Tiger (c) Feb. 6, 2018  

       This is near the end....leading to the end.  I think.  For now.......faithful readers...thank you for being part of this process!

                                            The Outhouse Revelation
                            A monologue by Janet S. Tiger   © all rights reserved                                                                                    

            (Bertha looks at Erica, smiles)

BERTHA - I'll betcha you didn't grow up with an outhouse?

ERICA - You'd win!

BERTHA  - We did.  I remember it well.  Because I remember when we got plumbed for water into the house.  What a miracle that was!  We had water in the kitchen, but a toilet inside the house!  No more frozen hineys!

           (Erica laughs and Bertha puts another piece of pie on the table)

BERTHA -  I loved that toilet.  And I spent many wonderful times on it, because it would be nice and warm after momma sat on it the morning.  And one day I realized something.  In the outhouse, you used ripped up newspaper, or from the Sears catalogue.    And if you wanted paper, you had to bring your own.

But the toilet, no that was modern!  Momma insisted on a special holder for what we learned was another newfangled invention - toilet paper.

On a roll.  A big roll.  Enough for lots of....uses.

And one day I was like that new roll of toilet paper.  When you get it, you think it's never gonna run out.....and for awhile, that looks to be the truth....and then, all of a sudden, it's gone....runned out.....even though you saw it gettin less 'n less.  And you knew there was an end.  Doesn't matter.  It runs out.  And there you are at the end of your life....the end of the roll....with a whole lotta crap left ........thank you for cleaning some of it up, my dear.....

ERICA -  You're welcome, I think.....

        (She takes the apple pie and Bertha leaves as Erica turns to the audience)

ERICA -  And that's why I sent these results to Detective Walton......not the pie.....although we have it here today for another reason.....but first, Detective Walton is going to explain about....the killer.....

         (The detective comes and looks at the pie, removes a fork from his pocket and takes a bite.)

DETECTIVE  -  A good officer is ready for anything!

         (After he takes a bite, he puts the fork back in his pocket)

DETECTIVE -  Well, maybe not do your best, you hope for the best, for the clues that come at the right look for the clues in the right place.....but sometimes, you're busy, or tired, and the person confesses......

           (Light up on a man at a table, shaking his head)

MAN -  I don't remember!  I try, but.....I was drunk!  Really drunk!  All I remember was....waking up covered in blood.....and he was dead.  I don't even remember how I got there......or how the knife was in my hand......I just....don't remember......

DETECTIVE -  Some cases....they stick with you.....there was something.....about this guy, no prior violent history.....when drunk, would get sleepy, maudlin, but no violence.......the problem, no other suspects......and a new DA, lotta pressure to solve things, get them done....if maybe not right, at least...done......

MAN -  I guess.....I guess I coulda killed him.  I don't know why......(wondering)  ......maybe he attacked me.....maybe there was someone else.....

DETECTIVE - Can you describe this other person...

MAN -  No......

MAN               (Together)  I was drunk......

DETECTIVE - (Shaking head)  You had no defensive wounds.....he was asleep when you killed him, he was defenseless.....

MAN -  If I did it....I'm sorry.....really sorry....but I just can't remember....

          (A policeperson comes in a handcuffs the man, taking him away)

DETECTIVE -  He got 20 life......a public defender who was when Erica told me that the killer from Nebraska had murdered a lot of people in a lot of places, I took a chance....ran some DNA found at the scene.....on the hands of the man serving time......and it came back.....a wrong man in prison for 15 happens.....rare.....but it happens.....

             (Spotlight on Erica )

ERICA -  And so, an injustice was righted, and all because of some handwashing and apple pie!  Which, I have the recipe for right here!

            (She holds up a card)

ERICA -  Bertha's famous pie!  I gave the recipe to the hotel chef, and they have made enough for everyone here today!  So, in honor of Bertha....and her pie.....

            (Lights on Bertha on the side)

BERTHA -  And washing your hands before you eat!

ERICA -  And washing your hands so you can solve a mystery......please join us!

(Bertha and Erica go into the crowd handing out pie.  As they exit, lights on the detective)

DETECTIVE -  What is crime?  Hey they charged me $5.00 for that cheese and it was on sale for
 $3.99 - what a crime!  Well, actually, if they did it deliberately to all the customers it is a crime.  Otherwise, it's just an accident.  A mistake.I've been in this business for almost 35 years, and it's still a mystery exactly how to define crime.  Okay, the agreement is pretty universal- murder is a crime.

But what about if you take away someone's life.....because they get put in jail for something 
they didn't do?  Is that a crime - or a mistake?

       (Lights up on DAUGHTER, she is in her 40s)

DAUGHTER -  (Upset)  Oh, please!  I know you did a lot of work on my father's case......
it wasn't your fault!

DETECTIVE -  I guess, I just wonder, if maybe, I'd spent a little more time...

DAUGHTER -  (Laughs)  On what?  He was there, he was covered in the victim’s blood, you had fingerprints and a dead body....

DETECTIVE -  But I guess....he had no history of violence ....I always knew he 
was innocent...

DAUGHTER -  (Laughs)  Innocent?  My father?  I always knew he was guilty!

DETECTIVE -  (Surprised)  But....he didn't do it......the reason he couldn't remember killing 
that man.....was because....he didn't .....we caught the man who did....

DAUGHTER -  You don't understand at all, do you?   He was guilty!  He was guilty of being a drunk! My whole childhood, we never knew who was gonna walk in the door....
 my father or the drunk!  He may not have stabbed anyone, but why was he there in that place?  Why wasn't he home with his family?  Why did he have to take the money that would've given us  a decent  life and piss it away!  No, he was guilty, and I didn't go and visit him one day in prison!  And I have no regrets!  
My Mom went, and my brother, but not me.   And from I understand, you're the reason
he's getting out.....when, in three days?

DETECTIVE -  Sorry it takes so long, but there are all types of procedures....

DAUGHTER -  Please.....I do not plan to see him when he gets out.  Guilty is guilty.  Thank you for seeing that justice of some kind was done.....but.....I just don't care.
  because....him being in prison all these years, well, it was the best thing for
  our whole family......we did better in school, we went to college, we got jobs, and neither of us is a drunk.  So......  I hope you don't spend one minute   wondering if you did the right thing.....because it's a waste of your time......

                   (The detective hangs his head as the lights go down on her)

(The detective is seen with a box of puzzle pieces.  He is smoking.  The others are now all talking at the same time – but we can’t clearly hear what they are saying – snippets come through)

-'there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about…'

-'I wonder if she’s still alive.........

 -.......'even though I know he can’t be'.....

-'We still celebrate the birthday… it’s been  years….'

-'My husband committed suicide five years later, he couldn’t stand the guilt of not having protected his baby…'

-'People say you have to forgive, but that's easier said than done.....'

(The speakers slowly fade from view but the sounds still echo until they blur into a mist of words, slowly disappearing into a faint background hum.

The detective starts to walk off, then looks back at the audience.)

DETECTIVE -  Did you expect some massive understanding?     Life, death, revenge, forgiveness......Did you think  the climax would solve all these issues? (Laughs)  That’s optimistic!  Crime continues around us – we are all touched by it every day – even if just on the news.    Whether it ever happens to us like here – or if it’s a stolen car or break-in, we can never let it go completely.  Ignoring it is possible, but ...unless you live on a desert island......not really.We are all part of the same society.  When one of us is cut, we all bleed.

     (He puts out the cigarette and goes to leave.)

DETECTIVE – It’s all Biblical in the end -    And the Lord said unto Cain – Where is thy brother Abel?  And he said…I know not……… am I my brother’s keeper?

        (As he walks to exit, the lights fade from him and we hear)

DETECTIVE -  Yes.....Yes, I am my brother's keeper.

          (The end)


Note: A few words about 'free' -  all these monologues are protected under copyright law and are free to read, free to perform and video as long as no money is charged. Once you charge admission or a donation, or include my work in an anthology, you need to contact me for royalty 

Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315      
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983

Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

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