Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More
Between you and me, Wikipedia describes an arranged marriage as: “a type of marital union where the bride and groom are selected by a third party rather than by each other. It was the norm worldwide until the 18th century. In modern times, arranged marriage has…” blah, blah, blah-dy, blah, BLAH! You ask me, arranged marriages are for the birds. Honestly, you kids have it so much easier today. Well most of you do, seeing as how the time honored tradition of marital slavery still goes on in the ‘modern world’. It was so much different in my day. When I was a young woman, say, two or three hundred years ago, growing up in that wonderland paradise of a remote village in India, you couldn’t just pick and choose who YOU wanted to spend the rest of your life with. Oh, no. It was our-way-or-the-highway time for every woman the ripe old age of twelve. Way to go dad. Which, I guess is great if you like being bartered for two male goats, a flask of wine and six front row tickets to the Rolling Stones for some old guy who lives in the middle of nowhere. Man, the Stones have been around for a long time. Me, not so much. Don’t get me wrong. I like sweaty awkward sex between strangers as much as the next guy, and I do see the value of getting what you can get while you can get it, but at some point you have to take the person into account. I was happy where I was. Couldn’t that be enough? No, of course not. Good-bye friends, so long any season other than winter, ta-ta any chance for an education in a class structure that will never allow me to reach my full potential. The one perk, immortality, and the once a year spa day in Florida. The cons… don’t get me started. Between that prima donna reindeer with all his reindeer games, the gossipy elves and the constant non-stop construction noise going on right outside the bedroom window… I am NOT living the dream. And another thing, where does he get off? Between you and me, Kris is not a bad guy, but there are a few things about him. I get they’re not all his fault. I get that in his line of work an image is key. I get that it’s important to uphold that, but if you knew half of what I know. Did you know his real name is Herbert Goldstein? That’s why he works on Christmas. Did you know that he’s only 5 feet tall and weighs 100 pounds dripping wet. Not a good idea to drip wet in the North Pole, by the way. He’s the biggest elf here. That’s how he can fit down all those chimneys. And the hair. Don’t get me started on the hair. Did I mention the hair? I love big hairy guys, but Kris is as smooth as an egg. Not his fault. He has that alopecia disorder like that guy from that movie and the basketball guy. I’m not blaming him. Kris I mean, not the basketball player or the actor person. I’m sure they’re very nice people. But Kris. Okay, so he can’t grow hair anywhere on his body. So he has to pencil in eyebrows because they don’t grow either and he would look really freaky without them.
So he wears a fake beard and a wig that makes him look like the captain of a crab boat. But sometimes I do get the feeling he’s doing it on purpose. The wig and beard thing not the lack of hair thing, which is not the best in a cold wasteland. Not his fault. Personal preference. It’s my personal preference. I like big strong hairy guys. Like Tim ‘The Yeti’ Jones. Now there’s some fur I’d like to get my hands on. But he’s hardly ever around and all I have are some blurry photos of him. That and a couple of casts of his HUGE footprints… don’t make it weird. I just like big strong hairy men. Not that any of this has anything to do with what I want. No, for the good of my family and my husband I will soldier on in this outdated completely illogical morally questionable institution of arranged marriage that should be abolished from existence and scoured from the face of the planet like a horrendous plague. But between you and me, sometimes I look out in the yard at those majestic burly polar bears and think ‘what if?’. Oh, crap the cookies are burning!
Mark Bate, who resides in Southern California, started writing as a standup performer. Later evolving into a staff writer for sketch comedy shows like B-Movie Bastards, The Comedy Bunker and the late night soap opera Ambition. His contributions to serial theatre shows in Los Angeles have included UFO: Undeniably Funky Objective and Kung-Fu Jesus for Sacred Fools Theatre as well as various monologues performed for Eclectic Voices. Recently, he has completed two full-length plays: I Love A Rainy Night and Ghostwriter.