Thursday, May 24, 2018

Monologue Mania Day # 1559 Triage (for Memorial Day) by Janet S. Tiger (c) May 24, 2018

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Monologue Mania Day # 1559 Triage (for Memorial Day) by Janet S. Tiger (c) May 24, 2018 
                                                         (for Memorial Day) 
                                  (Not) A monologue by Janet S. Tiger  (c) 2016 all rights reserved

Two actors necessary - one about 60, one in his 30s

          (A man in a uniform enters, he's in his sixties, this is the nephew.  He salutes)

NEPHEW - My uncle was the reason I joined the Army.  He was a medic during World War II - 

             (A younger man in a uniform from WWII enters, but with a cane, he walks slowly, this is the uncle)

NEPHEW - ....and he never talked about it.  Never.  The other men in my family who fought, they had stories.  Not Uncle Jerome.  I used to ask him about it was like and all he would say was....'

             (Uncle Jerome drops the cane and stands tall, he looks very young now)

UNCLE -  Triage.

NEPHEW - ...and when I asked what that meant, he would say.......

UNCLE -  Look it up!

             (The nephew puts on a baseball cap and jacket, he is a kid again now)

NEPHEW - And I was young, and I had no idea what he was talking I kept asking ....
             (younger voice)  Uncle Jerome, what's triage?

UNCLE - (Faster)  Look it up!

NEPHEW - What's triage?

UNCLE -  (Louder)  Look it up!

NEPHEW - (Louder)  What's triage?

UNCLE -  Look it up!

             (The uncle now takes a dictionary from his pocket and holds it out)

NEPHEW-  What's triage?

             (The nephew takes the book and looks)

NEPHEW - (Reading) Triage....from the French verb trier, meaning to separate, sift or select. (more serious) It is the process of determining the priority of patients' treatments based on the severity of their condition. This rations patient treatment efficiently when resources are insufficient for all to be treated immediately.  Those responsible for the removal of the wounded from a battlefield or their care afterwards would divide the victims into three categories:[3][4]
·        Those who are likely to live, regardless of what care they receive;
·        Those who are likely to die, regardless of what care they receive;
·        Those for whom immediate care might make a positive difference in outcome.

             (The nephew sighs and hands the book back)

NEPHEW- That's what you did......

UNCLE -  Every day.....all day.....

NEPHEW -  But I still don't really understand.....

UNCLE - Okay, here it is maybe you can.  You see two of the calves just fell in the river after a storm, so the river's high, and fast, and you can only save calf is the one that's smaller, and weaker, but it's your favorite, with a white patch on her forehead......the other, the larger calf, she's stronger ......but you can only save one - which one do you pick?

NEPHEW -  Oh, boy, that's a tough question....

UNCLE -  Yeah.....if you jump in and pick the weak one, and she dies later from gettin' cold and sick, then you have no milk next winter......and if you try to save both of might not save either....and you might get swept one is it?  Who lives?  ...who dies?

NEPHEW -  (Starting to understand)  Maybe ...maybe I can see why you don't want to tell me the stories......

UNCLE -  When you're older.....

            (The uncle takes the hat off his nephew and looks at it, shaking his head).  The nephew takes off his jacket and puts on the matching officer's cap to his uniform.  He stands up straight, military straight)

NEPHEW -  It must of been hard, making choices like that.....

UNCLE -  Why do you think I don't wanna remember.....every day, I remember, I think about all the guys I had to leave in the field......wonder about their families.....had I made the right choices......  and then.....I come these reunions......and I see guys and they come up to me sometimes.....and they say things like.......

             (The uncle takes a deep breath, trying to choke back the emotion)

NEPHEW -  I heard.....(Imitating)  'I want you to meet someone'.....and he turned to his family 
             'I want you to meet the reason I'm here - this is the man who saved my life....who crawled out and dragged me back and tied up my leg so I didn't die in some pile of mud......'

UNCLE -  (Hard to say) I guess some of the cows I picked made it through the war......

NEPHEW-  A fine herd......

UNCLE -  I just wish I could have saved them all.......

NEPHEW-  You did your best.......

UNCLE -  I suppose.......

NEPHEW-  Let's go back in.....I think it's time for the medal ceremony......I'm glad I could be here for this one, Uncle Jerome......

UNCLE -  Me, too......for all those who couldn't.....

           (They salute each other and walk out, Uncle Jerome now with his cane, very slowly but still straight and tall.)

A big thank you to all those who have given their time - and their lives - to give us the gift of freedom.                                                          

 first posted  Day #830 Triage (for Memorial Day)  by Janet S. Tiger (c) May 22,  2016

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