#75: In the Living Room with Iris Abernethy

[TOM and IRIS are in the living room. They both have wooden spoons that they use as microphones.]
IRIS is hiding behind a curtain.]

TOM: Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, Ellie Panklehurst.

IRIS: (off) It’s Pankhurst.

TOM: Right. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, in the flesh, in all her glory, a real life feminist.

IRIS: (off!) Tom!

TOM: Please welcome to the stage, Emmeline Pantface.

IRIS: (off) Say it properly!

TOM: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, the woman, the man, the legend, Emily Pankhurst.

[IRIS appears from behind the curtain.]

IRIS: Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello, Sidcup! It’s so wonderful to be here.

[She pauses.]

TOM: No!

IRIS: What?

TOM: You can’t pause.

IRIS: Ok.

TOM: They’re not going to give you a chance.

IRIS: You don’t have to be a dick about it.

TOM: Hey, hey. I’m trying to help you.

IRIS: Ok. I’m sorry.

TOM: Just, try again. A bit more punch this time.

[IRIS hides behind the curtain.]

TOM: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, the domestic goddess herself, Emily Pankhurst.

[IRIS appears from behind the curtain.]

IRIS: Good evening. My name is Emmeline Pankhurst. During the course of the show, I’ll be showing you how you can make my West Country Farmhouse Cheddar and Marmite sandwiches with a crusty loaf. A definite must for a suffragette on the move. There’s nothing like a bit of escalation guerrilla warfare to get the tummy rumbling. It’s the get up and go, smash patriarchy snack.

And everything you need is available at your local grocer. You can truly become the modern day woman that you want to be…on the go…breaking all those important windows is child’s play…

TOM: Um…

IRIS: What?

TOM: You’re thinking about it too much.

IRIS: What?

TOM: What’s the next line?

IRIS: After modern day woman?

TOM: Yeah.

IRIS: Um… [thinks]

TOM: This is what I’m talking about. It’s a great start and you just…it drops off. Confidence. As soon as I stop trusting you. As soon as I lose faith in what you’re saying. As soon as I start to worry about you. I’m gone. I’m heckling you on the way out.

IRIS: Everything needs to punch.

TOM: Yes. You need to be certain.

IRIS: But I’m not certain.

TOM: That doesn’t matter. You are not you. You are Emily Pantsface! This is a woman at the top of her game. She is articulate beyond imagination. She knows!

IRIS: Ok.

TOM: Ok?

IRIS: Yes.

TOM: Right, show me your gameface.

[She grimaces and weakly holds up her fists.]

TOM: That’s terrible. Get behind that curtain. Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night! And please welcome your host, Emmeline Panky-hands.

[TOM woops and cheers excessively.]
[IRIS appears from behind the curtain. She stares at him.]

TOM: What?

[IRIS goes behind the curtain.]

TOM: Ladies and Gentleman, the one, the only, Emmeline Pankhurst.

[IRIS appears from behind the curtain.]

IRIS: Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you. You are far too kind.
Yes, it is I. Emmeline Pankhurst.
The life, the legend, the author of many great works, including Starving Yourself: One Difficult Step into Law-Making.

[She pauses.]

TOM: Don’t wait for the laugh.
If it’s not there, it’s not there.
Move on.

IRIS: What if they don’t laugh?

TOM: They don’t laugh. Don’t take it personally.
The worse thing you can do is expect.

IRIS: Expect?

TOM: Until you get them on side. Until they are throwing their heads back and clapping, you have to win it. Until then you have to work it, work it, work it. Win it. You have to win their affection. Don’t look desperate. Work hard, but make it look easy.

IRIS: Ok…

TOM: You have to take charge. Dominate. Overpower them. Live it. Love it. Whip them with your witticisms. Fuck them in the face with your ferocious energy. Dominate their faces!

IRIS: Jesus…

TOM: Do you want to this?

IRIS: What?

TOM: Do you fucking want this? Cause I’ll just leave if you’re…

IRIS: No, no, no, I want it. I do.

TOM: How much do you want it?

IRIS: I want it.

TOM: You want it?

IRIS: I want them to laugh.
I want them to fucking laugh.

TOM: You have to be prepared for everything going wrong.

IRIS: I’m ready. I’m ready to fuck it up. I’m ready to get shot down.

TOM: Ok. You show me that you fucking want it!

IRIS: I want it. I want it so fucking bad.

TOM: Yes, you do. You want to fuck them up.

IRIS: Yes. I am going to FUCK YOU UP SIDCUP. I WILL FUCK YOU UP. AND JUST WHEN YOU THINK I’VE FUCKED YOU ENOUGH, I’M COMING RIGHT BACK FOR ROUND 2, SO FUCK YOU.

TOM: YES!!
[Beat]
Holy shit. That was good.

IRIS: Hells yeah, it was. Suck my dick, assholes.

TOM: Yes, they shall.
Now get behind that curtain!

[IRIS storms behind the curtain, head held high.]

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