I think the 'me too' movement,
particularly the revitalised incarnation that kicked off after the Harvey
Weinstein affair, it pricked quite a few male consciences. In all honesty,
who amongst us can say they have never treated a woman with
less respect than she deserved? Me neither. So, this may be a rather
light-hearted take on it, but don't get me wrong, I do
recognise this as a very serious subject.
The roots of this particular
piece go back the best part of 40 years, to a one act play I wrote for an
amateur dramatics group in Surrey that Shona and I were members of at the
time, The Priory Players. It was a two handed (though the waiter got some
good lines too) light comedy about a young couple whose marriage was coming
apart at the seams, and all over a frothy coffee and a slice of fruitcake.
He was a completely self-obsessed and inconsiderate individual who would
proudly tell his friends; "I'm no male chauvinist pig, I love women, I think
every man should own one!" She had put up with it, until over the 15 minute
duration of the play, it finally dawns on the poor girl that she could do
better. Let's call it semi-autobiographical, I'd already screwed one
marriage up by the age of 20, and that's pretty much why. Disappointingly,
it was never performed and the original script ultimately vanished into the
great black hole that is life.
I don't know what it was about
Vladimir Vpdodo's "Faff" theme that brought it back to mind again after so
long, possibly the fact I've thoroughly faffed a couple of marriages in my
time! Whatever it was, I was conscious that I wasn't going to have a quarter
of an hour to get the idea across on this occasion, but it would be possible
to condense it if the lion's share of the concept was achieved by making the
females kitchen appliances, an idea I owe to a couple of ladies in Blackpool
a few years back. I was having a brew in a café there one rainy morning,
there were a couple of women on a nearby table complaining bitterly about
the men in their lives, how they treated them like machines, et voila, our
lead lady became a food processor. Skit wanted her to be a power tool, but
it somehow undermined the irony. Of course, I realise that not everybody
speaks machine language, so I've reproduced the script (right) with more or
less what was in my head when creating her 'lines', hope it helps!
Meself in The Priory Players production of
"Wanted One Body" (1985)
In the Café
Too Late, a food processor sits at a window table, impatiently waiting for
her eternally unpunctual fiancée...
Food Processor: What time do you
Man: Hi, sweetheart, I'm so sorry I'm late
Man: Again, yes, it really wasn't my fault.
Man: I'll make it up to you, I promise. How long have you been
FP: The best part of an hour.
Man: Shit, I am so sorry, I'm sure there's something wrong with the
alarm on my phone.
Barista: Good morning, what can I get for you?
Man (to barista): Oh, good morning, Americano with milk, please.
(to FP): Seriously, how about I take you for a nice meal this
evening, just the two of us, somewhere special?
FP: You'd better not be talking about the kebab wagon again.
Man: No, not the kebab wagon, somewhere special, you choose.
FP: I'm over here, hello?
Man: Sorry, I just got distracted. Talk to me.
FP: By the new coffee machine?
Man: A new coffee machine? I hadn't noticed.
Barista: Your coffee, sir.
Man (to barista): Thank you.
(to FP): Okay, she's attractive, very sleek design, but you know I
only have eyes for you.
FP: Attractive, very sleek design, fancy that.
Man: Why would I want a coffee machine when I am already engaged to
the most beautiful food processor in the world?
FP: And that toaster?
Man: Come on, you know the toaster was a mistake, she was just a one
FP: ALL one night!
Man: Okay, and made me breakfast, but it meant nothing.
FP: You're looking again.
Man: No, I wasn't looking at the new coffee machine again, it's just
that the coffee she makes...
FP: Shut it!
FP: Shut up!
FP: Blah blah!
FP: I'm gone!
FP: And you can stick your 'nice meal' where the sun doesn't shine.
Barista: Sir, can I get you anything else? Is the lady coming back?
Man: No, I don't think she is.
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