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LITTLE ATTENTIONS

A LIVING ROOM WELL-FURNISHED IN A SOMEWHAT OLD 
FASHIONED STYLE: A CLAW-FOOTED COUCH, EASY CHAIRS AND 
HASSOCKS, A COFFEE TABLE.  THE ONLY MODERN TOUCH IS A PC 
SET ON A SEMI-CIRCULAR WALL TABLE.  THERE IS A WALL SWITCH 
RIGHT BEHIND IT.

AZALEE, A GREY-HAIRED WOMAN IN A DARK DRESS WITH A 
FLOWERED PRINT, IS STANDING IN FRONT OF THE COMPUTER.  SHE 
ADDRESSES AN INVISIBLE INTERVIEWER BEHIND THE CAMERA.              
               

AZALEE

Oh, I don't now if you'd call it a chat group, really.  Aren't those with 
a bunch of people?  This is just Howard and myself.  That's right, just 
the two of us.  And I don't really `log-in', as you say.  Or rather, I'm 
always logged in.  My little friend here beeps whenever there's a message. 

BEEP

Well, there you are!  Just like that.  Whenever Howard sends me a message.  
Let's see what this one's about. 

READS

Now, why does he do that?  He knows it's too early for his next beer. 

TYPES REPLY

Really! Just because he can't see me, he thinks I'm a soft touch!  Well, 
he's got a lot to learn, now hasn't he?  There now, what was I saying?  Oh 
yes.  When there's a message, Pozzo here - that's what I call my little 
friend, Pozzo - Pozzo gives his little toot and if I'm not too busy, you 
understand, I come right over. I do like that part, you know, that I can 
decide if I feel like it, and not have the old fool pestering me over and 
over again.  When he was up here, that's how it was, over and over again: 
`Azalee, bring me a beer!', `Azalee, where's my paper?',`Azalee, could you 
bring me my teeth?'  And try to ignore him, too, you just try! 

BEEP

Oh, my heavens, what is it now? 

READS

Oh yes.  The ventilation.  Dear me, I forgot all about that.  It was only 
supposed to be off for a minute or so.

 FLICKS ON THE WALL SWITCH

My, it must have been getting a little stuffy down there. Yes indeed! 

BEEP - SHE READS

Well, of course, you ninny! The air won't just start rushing in all at 
once!You have to give it a few minutes!You can see for yourself, can't 
you, how demanding he is?  But maybe you're thinking, `Well, at least he's 
a lively one.  Must be good fun to have around.'  Not a bit of it.  Why, 
Pozzo here's better company, most of the time. 

BEEP

What! Again? My, but he's frisky today!  It's almost as if he knows you're 
here. 

READS

Well, no, Howard, you can NOT have a beer yet.  No is no, and that is 
that. You know, I am SO glad I don't have to listen to that voice of his.  
That's what's so wonderful about Pozzo.  I thought at first we'd have to 
have an intercom.  Now that would have been excrutiating. Anyway, he 
doesn't know you're here, of course.  Hasn't the foggiest idea what goes 
on anywhere else.  Unless it's on a football field. Not that that's such a 
change.  He wasn't the fastest dog running, even when he was sitting here, 
right in that chair.Now there are women who get very upset, who've been 
known to put a little something in the pot roast, if you know what I mean.  
Or get out that hunting gear hubby's kept so well-oiled all the while he 
was ignoring her needs.  But personally, I just don't think violence is 
the answer.  Though I don't imagine there's a gal of any age who didn't 
applaud that young Bobbit woman just the teensiest bit.  Poor thing. 

BEEP -  SHE READS

Oh, for goodness sake. Another B. M.  This from a man who was constipated 
a month running, more often than not. - Put the bucket on the hook, you 
big baby.  I'll bring it up when I'm ready. 

TYPES, CLICKS

Anyway, I just had the basement modified a little - Howard never noticed, 
he always said fixing up the house was my department - and then when 
everything was ready, well, it did take some doing getting him down there, 
I'll admit, but when he came to and there it all was, the TV and his 
crossword, and his first few rations of beer, oh, I imagine he got used to 
it pretty quickly.  At least he hasn't been complaining all that much. Not 
since the first week. 

BEEP - SHE READS

Oh, for goodness sake.  Well, I suppose I'd better go and get him one of 
his silly beers.  I know, I shouldn't indulge him like this.  But really, 
you young people could learn a thing or two from the likes of us.  It's 
these little attentions that make a mariage last!


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