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December 05, 2022

Dinner With Henry 91: Maria Egg-Splains

By Bruce Memblatt

Maria sat at the table near the stove chopping onions.

"My life could have been so much different if I'd listened to my mother and married Don instead of doing standup in Mexico City, and then becoming slave to a giant cockroach. Oh my God forgive me! I am so sorry, Clarissa!" Tears fell from Maria's eyes. She rubbed her face with the hem of her apron.

Andre, at the stove, tried to cover his ears in vain, "Oh what is the use? What is the matter, Maria, and why are you always apologizing to Clarissa like she is in the room?"

Maria tugged on her apron, "One never knows; she is a giant bug with giant ears."

"And you are a small woman with strange ideas," Shakespeare snapped.

"Oh no!" Maria cried, "You are here now too!"

"Let's just say I am a small blind midget with nothing better to do," Shakespeare retorted and then he slowly stepped closer to Maria and grinned broadly. The sunlight caught his hollow eye sockets in a way that made Maria gasp.

"You are particularly scary today, midget! Oh my God, I am losing my mind!" Maria cried, furiously tugging on her apron some more.

"And you are particularly scary every day, Spanish broad," Shakespeare said snappishly.

Andre threw a pot to the floor near the stove and cried, "Will you two stop it? My nerves are already on edge from all that stuff with Fransau! Can't we have calm here for just one day? CANT WE?"

Maria ripped her wig off, threw it to the floor, and said, "No, damn you all!"

Andre's jaw dropped; his eyes, nose, lips and ears quivered. "Oh my God! Maria wears a wig!"

Shakespeare scampered over to Andre and tugged on his pantsleg. "This is one day I'm glad I'm blind as a herd of bats."

"Andre, covering his eyes, squinted, and said, "If you could only see this, Shakespeare," which caused Maria to stand from her chair, and pointing the knife in her hand at Shakespeare and Andre she said, "Will you two grow up!"

Then Maria threw her knife to the floor where it clanked over the old linoleum, and lay next to her limp wig. "I have something important to reveal, you two monkeys. Something that has been eating away at me for many many many years."

Shakespeare scrunched his nose and said, "Hmmmm, let's see! You are really a man?"

"No, I am all woman, except for my hair!" Tears fell from her eyes and she returned to her chair, sobbing uncontrollably, when Diego entered the kitchen.

Diego marched over to Maria and stared at her, and then she stared at Shakespeare and Andre and said, "What have you two done to her? Where is her hair?"

Andre shook his head meekly and said, "It's on the floor over there next to her knife."

Diego stared at Andre some more and said, "Why are you two always causing some kind of brouhaha around here?"

Andre shook his hands and said, "Listen, Diego, I know Henry is your husband and all, but really, must Shakespeare and I take the blame for all the hahas that go on here?"

"Hahas?" Shakespeare said, sticking his tongue out at Andre. "Because you cause all the trouble. I am merely an innocent, and might I add, and blind, haha."

Andre put his foot down. "Stop it with the hahas!"

"Well, you started it."

"No, I didn't, she did!" Andre cried and then he pointed at Diego, who at that point was staring blankly at Maria.

"Please, someone make her stop staring at me. I beg you, please! "Maria said as tears still poured from her eyes. Her bracelets meekly jingled when she continued sobbing out, "What is the use? What is the use? I try to reveal a deep dark secret and all you gringos can do is argue!"

Then Andre said, "Maria, have you ever heard the phrase "You can catch more flies with honey?"

"Oh please, they are all just bugs to me!" Maria said and she cried some more.

Diego then breathed, "Well, honey, are you going to tell us the secret or what?"

"No."

Andre slapped his head. "Oy and vay. How long will we have to suffer?"

"I say let's just throw her behind the door, too," Shakespeare snapped, "Who's going to notice? Who's going to care?"

"I will!" Diego said and then she rushed to Maria's side, "I will not let you throw this poor Spanish woman through that horrible door."

At once Maria cleared her throat and said, "I will not reveal the secret until Henry gets here, because it involves him!"

Suddenly everyone gasped. Andre looked up at the ceiling as if the answer would fall from the cheap florescent lights and he said, "Involves Henry? What could this all be about? Whatever could this mean? What horrible consequences could it portend?"

"You mean besides a big dramatic moment for you?" Shakespeare groused.

"Quiet, little toad, and speaking of Henry; where is he anyway? It seems he has conveniently disappeared," Andre cautiously whispered while his eyes scoured the ceiling.

Diego pulled out her phone and breathed, "He is having a bug day off, but I will summon him."

And Shakespeare whispered to Andre, "What is a bug day off?"

And Andre whispered back, "I don't know -- it must be some insect ritual," when Henry walked through the door.

As soon as Diego spotted Henry she dropped the phone to the floor and said, "Henry, but I haven't even finished dialing!"

Maria lurched out of her chair like a bottle rocket and cried, her fists in the air, "OH WHAT DOES IT MATTER I HAVE SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO SAY!" and then she strangely peered at Henry and said, "I have kept this terrible secret all these years, but I just can't do it any longer, because the silence is driving me MAD! You are not Clarissa's son! When Clarissa was nesting one afternoon, I think it was in May? Or was it June? Hmmm, doesn't matter. Anyway, on that tragic day I had one of my manic episodes and I switched eggs with your Aunt Ida!"

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2013-05-27
Image(s) © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
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