Kuru – Monologue (Mary Lou)

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A monologue from the play by Josch C. Manheimer

MARY LOU (thirties)

Mary Lou Anderson has followed her fiance, Dr. Arthur Roman, into the heart of the cannibal-infested jungles of Paupau New Guinea. This plucky farm girl from the midwest isn’t in the least intimidated by her new surroundings.

Indeed, she feels a calling to help the people of the village that they inhabit by teaching cooking classes. Here she instructs the native women on the best way to make a Thanksgiving turkey.

(Tying an apron around herself) Okay, ladies. Quiet down now. Yes, let’s begin. Now I understand Arthur…Dr. Roman has taught you all a little English so try and stick with me.

Tonight we’re going to prepare a fun, easy Holiday recipe you and your family will cherish. I tell the girls back home, cooking is more than refilling the old trough. Sure, if you want your kids to drive semis for the rest of their lives,

just blindly go ahead, smear the same old whatever on a loaf of Wonder Bread. But if you want to make a difference in their lives, if you want to Influence World Events, now take notes here.

It takes, yes, courage. Moral fiber. You see, and we are all guilty, we take the easy way, we neglect ourselves, we leave the curlers in, trudge into the kitchen and just throw together whatever.

But this is where we must catch ourselves and ask, “Is this bologna sandwich really a courageous act?” Or in your case is this—what?—this Python grinder, just another example of our own, you know, lack of control over our lives.

Because one day you’ll wake up and find yourself, alone in your hut in all your nakedness. Staring at the same old pie tins asking is this all there is to life? Are we really such criminals if we take a risk and serve, say,

Thanksgiving turkey without stuffing and brown gravy? And this is my point. Who but us is going to change the rules? Certainly not them. Men. Uh! No. It is our duty to ask ourselves, what are others around the world serving for supper?

Not your friends next door. But far away. For me, I have to say, as repulsed as I am, by the idea of Termite Stew, maybe, just maybe, I have to accept the fact it is a tasty treat I may want to serve to my ladies back home.

And you…when I show you tonight how to whip together Little Cocktail Party Frankfurters, you must be brave. You must say, if there is going to be peace in the world, if I am going to accept other cultures,

to see through other people’s eyes, I must first acknowledge there are other Tastes. We must meet halfway at the table. I know this may be hard to swallow. You may think I am a no-good radical.

You may look at me askance. Your husbands may beat you with a branch for changing the menu, but if Progress is to be made, this is as it must be.

Read the play here

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