The Cat’s Away

The Cat’s away.

A short play.

June 2016:

The saints and all the deities are busy on earth, conducting a review of the impact of a decade of human activity. While St Peter and God are in the UK and Jesus is in the Far East, reviewing life on earth, Mary, God’s mum and her daughter in law, Mary Magdalene (MM) catch up.

Knock Knock.

MM: Coo-ee. MarySenior? Are you decent?

Mary – Don’t stand on ceremony love. Come in, Come in. The door’s on the latch love.

MM – Blimey, Holy Mother of God. You’ve started early. The yard arms hardly over the whatnot – not by a long chalk. I’ve only just had my lunch.

Mary – You young people can be so damned sanctimonious. Pour yourself a glass -and take a pew. It’s a lovely little drop of Sancerre Peter was kind enough to send up – duty free. Picked it up in Calais on their way over – that’ll all change now. All that Referendum malarkey. What does that tell you about Darwin and all that evolution nonsense. They’ve hardly the sense they were born with. They’re devolving at the speed of light. Poor God. I’ve just had her on the phone.

MM – At least she rings. If there’s a fault, and I know you won’t mind me saying – I’m sure, well, you know, Men. I only hear from your lovely son when he wants something. Picks up the phone once in a blue moon else – but, well, there are worse faults. Anyway. You’ve heard from Pete then. (Ooo, this is a lovely drop – nothing wrong with the Loire – tell God, if you speak to her. She’ll need bouying up – she got that bit of geography absolutely spot on – lovely.) You must be ever so proud – except, well – I’m a bit out of date, me. There’s a whisper going round accounts, that Matthew, ooo he does go on – something about the exchange rate – economy on its ear – What’s the latest. Mum? Any news?

Mary: That’s why I’m on the sauce. You know what they say. You’re only as happy as your most miserable deity – something like that and, well, honestly. I’m, ooo dear – pass those tissues love, there’s a dear. I’m not sure I can cope with much more.

MM: Here, have a top up – go on – there you are. Now. Don’t let it get to you. You remember the last time? They always have a bit of a wobble in the first few weeks down there – and a decade’s a long time – stuff changes, doesn’t it? They’ve got to get into their stride. It’ll come right, I promise you Mary Mum. They’re naughty really, even breathing a word – I mean, there’s nothing you can do – can’t even pray in a recess. You’ve got enough on your shoulders up here what with all that business with Luke and John – all that nasty business over Mohammed and, I don’t know. I wouldn’t mind betting that Nick’s got something to do with it all – this year’s been nothing but bloody infighting – I tell you I smell a rat. They’ll sort it Mum, won’t they now? Have a bit of faith – I know it’s hard but, well, we’ve been here before, we’ll be here again.

Mary: Well I’m not so sure. She’s talking of throwing the towel in altogether. Peter’s at his wits end – it’s not doing their relationship any good at all and you know what God’s like when she feels under threat – loses the plot all over the place. Peter’s been asking me to have a word with the Holy Ghost about it – see if we can’t get her some Prozac or something just to see her through you know, because if it does all go tits up and it really is the end of the world – well you know – she’s going to take it hard – I know she will. They’re talking about coming back early – well they can’t – look at this lot – you know I like to have a bit of a do round – a proper do I mean – I’ve got my nets down, sofa covers in the dry cleaners and I’m not even letting you in the kitchen.

MM: Mines just the same. I spent the whole day yesterday defrosting that massive walk in freezer Jesus picked up in the Soviet Union when they went back to cremating their dead in a day. God knows what all those little bags of this that and the other were secreted in the back of it – if there’s one thing I’m sick of asking Jesus to do, and his dad, now mum number two – ooo I do find the terminology baffling – I just wish God would label things properly – and while I’m on, well – I’m all for the extended family, you know, course I am, we love our afternoons and a bit of Countdown don’t we?

Mary: Course we do love – it’d break my heart if you moved away…

MM: but there’s limits and I think really God ought to realise, now we’re you know married – well, in a civil partnership – you don’t want your gender realigned mother – once – father, God, popping in willy-nilly to pick up a bag of last year’s turkey stock on a whim. I’ve asked Jesus I don’t know how many times – would he have a word? – tell her we want her key back? but he feels so uncomfortable with it all. Anyway, Mum, don’t you worry your head dear. It’s early days. They’re not about to throw the towel in yet are they?

Mary: Well they might – and maybe that’s no bad thing. There’s no point flogging a dead horse is there? The Europeans they don’t know they’re bloody well born; the Brits just take the bloody biscuit – and short of mixing it up a bit and sending them all off to Bagdad (did you see that in the paper yesterday?)

MM: No joking matter. Yes. Well no. Well maybe it’s time. Humankind – gift horse – mouth – words that come to mind. Poor Jesus – poor God -and yes, you are so right You’re so right – so right –

Mary: but do try Mary Mags. You know how fond I am but – try and give Jesus a little bit of rope love. He didn’t have the easiest of beginnings – oh I know, I know. It was tricky for you too – you were lucky you found each other I know – and I really couldn’t wish for a better daughter in law – you know that don’t you pet? You know I think the world of you love, don’t you?

MM: back handed compliment that … Only joking. No. Yes. You’re right Mum. It’s just, you know, when they’re all off on a jolly, it’s nice to get a bit straight and, well, you know – have a bit of, what do they call it down there?

MM and Mary: ‘Me time!’

MM: Me time. That’s the one. I just want to be able to put my feet up, watch the Xfactor, crack open a bottle of Proseco and know that when I turn round the place won’t look like a bloody bomb’s hit it. And I don’t want him made redundant, home all the time, getting under my feet but well, we all know what he’s like. He’ll not be still for long will he?

MM and Mary gaze into space.

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