‘There’s No One Quite Like Onya’

PicsArt_07-12-09.18.09

This is intended with love, seriously.

Scene: The living room of an old, well to do English family. There is a couch on which a grandfatherly figure sits, swilling port from a bottle. A middle aged man, the current power in the family, wearing a dark suit, stands to another side, staring at himself in a mirror, occasionally striking Churchillian poses, flexing his arms and mouth as though making a speech.

His wife kneels on the floor over an enormous jigsaw puzzle. Their son, a floppy haired, absurdly enthusiastic young man with a jumper folded across his chest, leans around the huge fireplace at the back of the room. All except Grandpa have wine glasses, filled with wine.

Son: Listen. I want everybody to be jolly nice to Onya when she comes down. Don’t forget, she’s French.

Mother: I don’t like her.

Grandfather: Oh she’s a good, good, good thing Horace my boy. I tell you, I wouldn’t mind giving her a good old [makes obscene gesture with arm]Rajahstan style.

Son: Contain your elderly lechery Grandpa.

Mother: I don’t like her.

Son: [To man staring in mirror] Father, Onya is … I mean, you’d have to admit, wouldn’t you, man to man I mean … She’s pretty hot, isn’t she? I mean, you wouldn’t kick her out of bed for eating after dinner mints, would you?

Grandfather: She can eat a fried bloody walrus with onion rings for all I care.

Mother: I don’t like her.

Son: Father, what say you?

Father: [Finally looking away from mirror] Onya is – uh. Well, she’s um, she’s um … she’s bluh.

Mother: See? He doesn’t like her either.

Son: She’s bluh?

Father: Muh.

Son: Is that even a word?

Father: It’s um … It’s uh…

Grandfather: I bet she gives great bluh.

Son: Grandpa, really.

Grandfather: I’m sorry Horace. It’s just that I’m so bloody pleased is all. We were all so worried you’d gone gay at Eton, and here you come back with a sizzling piece of French crumpet. Well done my boy. Hooray for our side.

Son: You thought I’d gone gay? You never said.

Mother: Nobody ever says, darling. It’s the private pain of the upper classes, one of those things mucky poor people will never understand. Sigh!

Son: Father? You too?

Father: Well I – uh – it never…

Mother: Oh Horace, your father was head gay three years running, or was it deputy chief underling to the head gay? It took me eleven years to talk him round to heterosexuality.

Son: What?

Father: Bluh.

Grandfather: Anyway, the point is that it’s all worked out for the best. Here we are, gathered around your grandfather’s fireside, ready to welcome your smouldering frenchy, your formerly gay father on the verge of becoming Foreign Secretary, your mother pouting inanely on the floor. What could possibly go wrong?

Mother: She’s coming.

Son: How do you know?

Mother: I can sense it, like a werewolf about to weewee on my grave.

Son: Mother!

Mother: Have I mentioned that I don’t like her?

[Onya enters. She is wearing a black suit, black trousers and carrying a small stick, possibly a riding crop. Her black hair is slicked tightly back. Her face is deathly pale.]

Son: Darling. You look ravishing.

Mother: [Getting to her feet and speaking very rapidly, as if calling out the specials at a restaurant. There is no time for Onya to reply to anything.]

Sigh! Onya darling, you’re so welcome. How lovely you look. Would you like a grapefruit? Some paracetamol? You look pale. What about some rare beef? Would you like some tea? Have some wine. What about a hot water bottle? It gets so cold here in Winter, and in Summer. Sigh! Do you like the English weather? What’s Horace like in bed? Let’s have a girly chat. I can show you embarrassing pictures of when he was little and then we can get drunk and I’ll tell you all about his tiny little penis and then I’ll have to be carried to bed. Sigh!

[Mother returns immediately to her former position of kneeling on the floor.]

Grandfather: Never mind that mad cow. Come here and sit by me. Warm yourself next to my ageing libido.

Son: Just a moment, Grandpa. Onya, I don’t think you’ve been properly introduced to my father. Onya, may I present Sir Julian Rhys-Malcolmson, the almost Foreign Secretary.

Father: Onya. [He takes her hand and lifts it to his mouth, sniffing it with entirely inappropriate passion.]

Onya: ‘Ave we met before, Monsieur?

Father: I – uh – well – uh – um – bluh.

Onya: I could be confused. You ‘ave your clothes on zis time.

Son: Perhaps you met him in the correspondents’ lobby of the House of Commons. Onya’s a crack French reporter you know.

Grandfather: Is she really?

Mother: Sigh!

Grandfather: Never mind closet boy and all this crappy chatter. Come on over to the couch. I can listen to your French accent and force you to listen to my war stories while I fondle you lecherously.

Onya: I require noo-rish-ment.

Mother: Oh dear, does that mean it’s hungry?

Father: Sarah, really.

Son: Yes, it – she – she means she’s hungry.

Mother: [Not getting up] Oh dear, would you like me to get you something?

Onya: Yes please, it ‘as been seven days since my last meal.

Grandfather: Yes [aiming a kick at Mother] Get up you lazy cow. Get her a rack of lamb and half a kebab. Move it!

Onya: No no please. I am on a strict ultra-vegan diet. A glass of chilled Himalayan water please.

Mother: [Not moving] I’ll get right on that.

Grandfather: So dear, tell me all about yourself. What’s it like being a sizzling piece of French totty?

Son: Oh, Onya’s terribly accomplished, aren’t you darling? She has a Phd or something, haven’t you dear? What’s it in again?

Onya: Bringing back ze dead.

Grandfather: Can all that. Let’s get straight to the dirt. An old chap like me can’t wait around forever, you know. Tell us darling, I’ll bet you’ve been, you know, round the block a bit and all that, eh? Eh?

Son: Grandfather.

Mother: I don’t like her.

Onya: [Robotically] I ‘ave been in-tam-it mit four ‘undred and sixty seven men.

Grandfather: [Admiringly] Have you really?

Onya: ‘Orace ees mein 27th official boyfriend. Ze previous 26 all killed zemselves because zey could no longer be mit me.

Grandfather: Did they really? Bad luck on them, eh?

Onya: I am looking forvard to settling down mit Horace in Normandy, vere vee vill raise vegetarian eels und participate in partner svapping und stamp collecting. ‘Owever, I am worried zat my meddling muzzer vill spoil it all by telling you about mein dark past as ein aerobics instructor.

Grandfather: Bloody mothers, eh? Damn the lot of them. Off with their bloody heads.

Mother: Wasn’t your mother with you when you arrived?

Onya: Yes. I ‘ave forced sleeping pills down her throat and locked her in ze bedroom so she cannot verk her evil until I ‘ave forced ‘Orace to marry tonight.

Grandfather: Damned pro-active, that’s what I say. Start as you mean to continue.

Onya: [Rising] I grow veary of zis idle chitter chatter. I have ein headache. I need to meditate before I go outside mit ze chain saw. I find ze carnage relaxes me.

Grandfather: Me too.

Onya: ‘Orace, you vill meet me in 37 minutes vearing nuzzing but ein pink carnation.

Son: Yes dear.

[Onya moves to go, but is blocked by Father.]

Father: Enough of this, I can stand it no longer. Onya, Onya darling, I have been in love with you since the moment we met. Take me. I’ll go alligator fishing in Normandy. I’ll partner svap and stamp collect till the cows come home. I don’t mind about your dark past, because … you see, underneath my brooding exterior lurks a deeply complex character anxious to explore the darkness of his own pouting soul.

Son: Father!

Mother: I told you I didn’t like her.

Onya: Buz, buz Yoo-lian, zis is so zudden. Vas about ‘Orace?

Father: I’m telling you he’s a weeny. You know he still sleeps with his teddy?

Son: Father!

Father: Forget about him. Embrace a real man. Well, sort of a real man, more of a real man than that weeny anyway.

Mother: What about being Foreign Secretary?

Father: Oh, hang being Foreign Secretary. I want to swim with vegetarian eels, write bottom clenching poetry on the beach, drink wine with heavily bearded fishermen until my head explodes, or they beat me up.

Onya: I require time to zink zis over. I find ze chain saw ‘elps clear my mind. I vill return in ein quarter of ein hour.

[She goes. The four are left in awkward silence. After a few moments comes the distant sound of a chain saw.]

Mother: I’ll go make tea.

Grandfather: I wonder is Parky on tonight?

[Horace looks lost for a moment, then joins Grandfather on the couch.]

Grandfather: I said it before and I’ll say it again, well done my boy. Hell of a girl.

Horace: Yes, there’s no one quite like Onya.

PicsArt_07-12-09.18.09

The End.

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