Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Absurdity of Life

Life is absurd. It's even more absurd when you think how much time we spend trying to make sense of it. Sometimes things happen that are so bizarre or distressing that the situation becomes almost comical. I reckon if someone recorded the conversations in my house (particularly in my kitchen) people would probably ask which Samuel Beckett play they were listening to.

Mr T: Have you had enough?
Mrs: Yes! Of what?
Mr T: Of
Mrs T: I always had. (Pause) Not you then?
Mr T:(gloomily) Then there's no reason for it to change.
Mrs T: It may end. (Pause.) All life long the same cooking, the same recipes.
Master Sam: Why this farce, day after day?
Master Jacob: I've lost my tooth in the bolognese.
Mrs T: When?
Master Jacob: I had it yesterday.
Mrs T: Ah yesterday! That was when it was fresh.
Master Jacob: I've lost my tooth. And my appetite.
Mrs T: Well I never!
Master Ben: Is my tea ready?
Mrs T: What tea?
Master Ben: The bolognese.
Master Jacob: Look for my tooth. In case she scraped the leftovers back in the pot.
Master Sam; Oh my God. Why this farce day after day?
Mr T: I've had enough. I'm going into the lounge.

Samuel Beckett. What a genius. Master of the Absurd. Have you ever seen his work? Here's a clip from Endgame.

When I was about 17, I directed a production of Endgame. ( I was nuts back then too.) On the last night the lead actor fell ill and I decided, being the true luvvie I was, to step in so we didn't have to cancel. Yes, that's right I played a blind, middle aged man in a wheelchair. Now that is absurd. Seriously absurd. Beckett would probably have loved it! Might even have made a radio show about it called Jane's Last Act.

Unfortunately, I've no pictures to show you of that momentous occasion. In fact, I looked back in my box of photos and there's nothing but the programme. Phew! No one will be able to dredge up a piccy of me looking a complete twat.

So all that remains is to mention Cornish pasties...

Mr T: Is it Cornish pasties tonight? With beans?
Mrs T: With beans? We had that Thursday.
Mr T: On Thursday? Surely not?
Master Sam: Yes. Beans and chips.
Master Jacob: Yes. Chips and beans.
Master Benedict: Yes, Cornish pasties, chips and beans.
Mr T: On no. Not again.
Mrs T: What's the matter?
Mr T: It's pasties again.
Mrs T: Never mind.
Mr T: What did you say?
Mrs T. I said Never Mind. The end is near.
Mr T: Thank God.
Mrs T: What if he doesn't exist?
Mr T: Who? God?
Mrs T: No. The baker who's supposed to make these pasties: Mr Tasty.
Mr T: I don't know.
Master Jacob: I've found my tooth.
Mrs T: Where?
Master Jacob: In the beans.
Mrs T: Thank God. Now we can have the bolognese.
Mr T, Master Ben, Master Sam and Master Jacob (in unison): Oh no!

Oh PS - if you wondering if the actor paying Hamm (in the chair) in the video clip is the William Peterson from CSI - yes, actually it is!


  1. Is that Mr Tass-ty's Pasties or Mr Tasty's Paste-ies?

  2. I duuno Mrs A:) But it definitely sounds like a line from Beckett!

  3. Am just re-reading 'Waiting for Godot'!

  4. How bizarre Fran!

    I hope you are suitably confusing those students:) ( Unless, of course, you are reading for pleasure!)

  5. Mrs. T, the conversations sound surprisingly like days past ('cept hillgrandad rarely said anything, just looked injured!) Things are a bit better these days, since there's just the 2 of us.

  6. Sue: I like that comment about Hillgrandad looking injured!! Hmm.. I'm not sure if Mr T looks injured ... maybe just queasy?!

  7. Glad you liked it PB - I thought it might appeal to you!!


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