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Maids Abroad: A Monologue
by Scot Walker (November 2019)
The Maid, Fernando Botero, 1974
Peg Middleton, ageless, any race. The CEO of Maids Abroad, a feisty but friendly lady who sells consumers on the need of having daily maid service for a mere $35 a week!
A desk and a chair or a sofa
(sound of phone ringing or buzzing or vibrating)
Welcome to Maids Abroad, where we educate and train the best maids in the world. Is this Billy Johnson? (beat) Excellent, I read your application and everything’s in order. So tell me, are you interested in the once a week service or the deluxe six days a week? (beat) Excellent, daily cleaning is always the best. How many rooms are in your abode? (beat ) I see. Two bedrooms, one bath, dining “L” and living room. Are you generally a messy person or a neat person? (beat) I understand, that’s why we’ve made this procedure so easy. You can rate yourself A, B, C, D, E, F or H. (beat) Ah, H stands for hellish—most of the clients who call are in that condition! (beat) Very few start off as above C level (beat) so tell me about your place and speak candidly. (beat) No sir, I never judge. I just want you to be as honest as you can. (beat) Yes, that’s good, I like that, just pretend I’m Father O’Malley and you’re confessing (beat) that’s right, like the Lord God is listening in. (beat) First, let me ask you about the general appearance of your home. Stand up, walk to the front door and look around, describe what you see. (beat) Underwear, Pepsi cans, pizza boxes on the floor. Good, thank you for being honest. What else? Take a look under the sofa. (beat) Yes, on your hands and knees—this is exactly like confession, isn’t it? (beat). Dust, socks, pretzels—no, the five second rule is way past due. What else? (beat) Bottles, roaches, a dead mouse. Okay. Now stand up. (beat) I know. We go through this all the time. Many of our customers are never able to get off their knees. I’ll wait. You’re paying for the call, not me. (beat) Good, now how would you judge yourself? (beat) An F. Okay, that’s way better than an “H”. Good job. I can help solve this problem and turn your F into an A but first I want you to go to the kitchen and describe what you see. (beat) You can’t get in? Why is that? (beat) Dishes all over the place. Door jammed. How bad is the smell? (beat) Like a backed up sewer. Hmmm we may have to re-evaluate sir. Perhaps you are an “H” after all. Where do you eat? (beat) On the sofa! Well, I assumed that. Where do you prepare your meals? (beat) Domino’s! (beat) Ah yes, they do deliver! Now go to the bedroom. (beat) I see. You haven’t slept in the bedroom in six weeks. No room for you, right! Got it. Go look in the bathroom. (beat) Yes you may put on your gas mask. (beat) Woah! That's way too much information! How often do you clean in there? (beat) Once a week-if it needs it or not! (beat) Really! You’re a real wit, aren’t you? (beat) Yes, yes, I know: Honesty is the best policy. (beat) You didn’t realize you needed to clean it. Well, did you think it was going to clean itself? (Laughing hysterically) Sir, honestly, moms do not fly 3,000 miles across country just to clean their son’s bathroom. (beat) Yes, I’m totally serious. Okay then, how often do you, not mom, but you use the vacuum? (beat) You don’t own a vacuum? . . . How about a mop? (beat) Somewhere in the bathroom! I see. Is your apartment mostly furnished with carpets or are the floors hardwood? (beat) You don’t know. Can’t see. Okay, so knowing your own rating and the size of the disaster your home has become, do you honestly believe once a week will begin to do anything to solve your problem? (beat) Finally, we agree, I like that—a meeting of the minds so to speak. . . So wouldn’t you like to have a dust-free showcase home? A home where your friends and family can enjoy themselves? A home where you feel excited about coming home? (beat) Good, so re-evaluate. Ah, you’re wondering how far you are away from the “H” category. (beat) Not far, yep, you’re 100% right about that. How’s your health? Weak knees? Heart problems? Do you play sports? (beat) You sound like a perfect prospect for Maids Abroad. So, I’m going to recommend the deluxe eight-hour service, six days a week and at only $35 a month, it’s the most economical plan for you and your lifestyle. (beat) You heard me right, $35 a month, assuming you sign up for our non-refundable lifetime program. (beat) Yes, the prices are guaranteed until the day you die and we automatically put your charges on your credit card. (beat) Then try not to be a pig on Sundays, you’ll have to live in it until Monday. What’s your credit card number? (beat) Thank you, you’ve just agreed to our life-long daily, except Sundays, cleaning service. Remember, this agreement is non-cancellable on either part until you die. Yes, we do periodical quality control checks and if an apartment fails to meet all the standards as spelled out in our 89 page agreement—the results are severe. (beat) You don’t want to know, sir, but we have executed hundreds of our maids. And they are gruesome deaths, sir, lingering, and gruesome—normally lasting several weeks before the maid lets out the last agonizing death groans. (beat) Let’s not talk about that sir. Everything is set to go, but one final word of warning Billy Johnson, on the seventh day, the day of rest, you will need to stock up on all cleaning supplies: cleansers, lye, soap, mops, brooms, droplights, elbow grease, plumber’s helper, pails, buckets, flash lights, etc. (beat) Good you’ve seen the addendum of required supplies and yes, you pay for those out of your own pocket. You have to pay in the long run anyway, don’t you sir? We have an agreement – a perpetual agreement that cannot be broken by any court in the world. (beat)When do I send you the maid? (laughing uproariously) Sir! Did you not read the agreement? There is only one maid abroad—and that’s you. I’m the mentor! I encourage, and often scream, but you can bet I take care of wayward maids—we have a dungeon for that, Billy Johnson and a torture chamber. (beat) I have other clients, so put your pants on, get out your scrub brush and cleanser and get your ass moving. I’ll be on Skype in five minutes and I expect to see you on your hands and knees in that bathroom. (beat) How do you get in there? Billy, Billy, Billy, I didn’t block that door, did I? You have five minutes. (beat) And why do I care that you’re in your boxer shorts? This is not a sex service, sir. I expect you in proper cleaning clothes when I Skype you. (beat) We have surveillance cameras everywhere and if you do not totally clean your apartment for eight hours every day, six days a week, we shall come and find you and you shall spend eternity in the dungeon . . . cleaning the toilets as everyone’s maid.
END OF PLAY
Scot Walker is celebrating his 60th year as a published author with hundreds of published novels, short stories, essays, poems and plays. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild and his plays have been produced throughout the USA.
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