Journalism is chosen because of the flow of information that comes to us from all sides: social networks, print media, electronic newspapers, etc. No one is specifically targeted. In any trade or profession, there may be people who do not perform their duties properly. The author wanted to draw the attention of young people, who will soon begin an active life, to the fidelity to the spirit of his work be it butcher, florist, president, teacher, journalist, etc.
Véronique: Project leader. Well maintained. About 40 years old.
Olivier Toquet: Journalist
Friend of Véronique
Paumier: Neighbour of Véronique
The curtain rises, lights on.
Véronique, the 40-year-old girl, enters the stage, full of life and jovial. She runs around, prepares, sings, thinks aloud and looks at herself from time to time in the mirror in a hurry. The phone rings.
Véronique: Well, the phone is all that’s missing! I hope Madame Paumier isn’t the talkative one. She can stay for hours to tell me about her roses that didn’t bloom last spring, or her neighbour’s dog making her eyes sweet… oh!
She moves aggressively towards the phone, then changes her mind
Véronique: Ah, no, I’m not answering! Yesterday, I saw her husband groping and examining her wand, and if it is to tell me that the baker is throwing us the bread of the day before… I really don’t have time for this bullshit! Bread is bread. There are many other unfortunate people who will be happy to have it under their teeth!
She sits in front of her screen, then jumps when the phone starts ringing again
Véronique: My God! And if it’s Mr. Toquet, the journalist I’ve been waiting for since I was born!
She runs to the phone, full of emotion
Véronique: Hello sir, I was expecting you…. Oh, it’s you Maryvonne…. No, I thought it was Madame Paumier. You know how she is. She can spend hours holding my leg on her menopause or on her husband’s libido when I don’t even have a minute for myself…
The line cuts, she hurries towards the computer. The phone starts ringing again. She runs there.
Véronique: Yes, Maryvonne! I was telling you… Oh, it’s you, Madame Paumier. How are you?
Véronique: What? The carpenter wants to kill himself?! How did you know? Did he tell you about it?
Véronique: What?! How! Is it because he told you he’s not feeling well this morning that you’re saying he’s in serious trouble with his wife and is going to kill himself?
Véronique: No, and not just that! And what else then?
Véronique: Because he told you that he is thinking of moving, that you are saying that he will divorce?!!
Véronique: Because he told you that your house is in the south without vis-à-vis, you say that he wants to marry you?!!! But sincerely, Madame Paumier! It is amazing how you interpret the words of your interlocutors!
Véronique: Listen, Madame Paumier. I have an urgent call. I’ll call you later. Good afternoon
She’s changing her line
Véronique: Yes Maryvonne!
Véronique: I can’t right now. I’m waiting for a journalist for an interview about my project.
Véronique: Yes, it had to happen one day. He saw that my publishing project is very interesting, and giving him a boost to make it known would be a good thing. Besides, he’ll be here soon. I have to leave you. Call you later.
She hangs up and gets back to tidying up the room meticulously. She checks everything, arranges the paintings on the wall, checks that there is no dust on them and goes from time to time to look out the window. Then, she hides behind a screen, and goes out with other clothes.
Véronique: My God, I have to be presentable. It’s a photo that will be in the «Hope» newspaper anyway! In addition, everyone will see me, and Madame Paumier will not be the only one to criticize me. She interprets everything she hears and sees according to her mood…
She looks at herself in the mirror and notices that her hair is messy. She goes to the phone.
Véronique: I call the hairdresser. Hello, Christelle. Can I come right away for a little refreshment and a simple hairstyle?
On the other end of the phone, you just hear a voice
Christelle: But ma’am, you didn’t make an appointment?!
Véronique: I know. But this is an exception. A journalist is coming in a short time, and I don’t want to look like a jellyfish.
Christelle: A jouuuuuuuuurnalist!!!! You?
Véronique: Yes, the regional newspaper has a duty to support the people of the region, right?!
With a surprising tone, Christelle continues
Christelle: You could put it that way. Come, i’ll make a customer wait.
Véronique leaves the stage, then comes back with her hair and makeup. She sits down, looks at her watch, then gets up and heads for the window.
Véronique: I hope he hasn’t forgotten this appointment.
She picks up her phone and dials the reporter’s number
Véronique: Monsieur Toquet, I hope you have not forgotten that we have an appointment at 3pm. It is already 3:02 pm
The journalist shows up at the threshold of the stage. The spectators must see him. Well-dressed, a satchel, a professional camera. He answers.
Toquet: It took me two minutes to park the car and walk to your home.
She hangs up her phone, puts it on the table and walks towards him.
Véronique: Oh, here you are, sir! I was waiting for you. Take a seat! Welcome.
She stands upright with a well-seated air and offers him coffee. She puts on the table dishes of cakes, pancakes, bottles of juice, green tea, soft drinks, and finally, a great feast.
Véronique: What I want to say to you first is that, sometimes, I speak quickly under the pressure of emotion, but don’t worry, I repeat myself several times so that You understand what I am saying.
Toquet: No, you’re not talking fast… Don’t worry, and if I don’t really understand what you’re going to say, I’ll ask you again in another way.
He holds a notepad and a pen and uses the dishes at the same time as he asks his questions.
Toquet: How did the idea of creating this publishing project come to mind?
Véronique: I’ve been attending book fairs for a long time, and every time, I ask myself why we don’t see as many young people as adults. Writing is the translation of the imagination and everyone, young or old, has an imagination that he can transmit to us on paper. In addition, I would like to make young people known to the general public.
Toquet: How do you select an author’s text to award an award?
Véronique: For now, I can assure myself; but in the future, I will call upon volunteers and teacher of literature. I will suggest that they read; we will discuss the selected texts, and we will vote for those which will be published.
Toquet: What award will you give to the winners?
Véronique: I don’t want to talk about it right now.
Toquet: In poetry, young people write what they want or are there conditions?
Véronique: For the moment, I have not installed the poetry section for young people yet. There is only mine where I publish my poetry, but if I receive one, I will ask my Web Master to create one.
Toquet: Why do all your texts have a moral?
Véronique: I worked a lot in schools, I met young people from single-parent families, young people in foster care, and I saw young people in hospital who are fighting the disease. So, I thought I’d make them happy by teaching them.
Toquet: How do you think to make this very interesting project known?
Véronique: I have friends in several countries, especially in Quebec where I get a lot of congratulations for this work that I finance alone. For the time being, I am relying on social media and, in a short time, I will be taking other steps.
By asking the questions and eating at the same time, the journalist spills his coffee cup on the sofa
Toquet: Oh, I’m sorry!
Véronique: It’s nothing. We will clean this up, and we will continue.
The reporter watches her clean and eats at the same time, as if he hadn’t eaten in days.
Toquet: I see that you speak our language well.
Véronique: We were occupied by you, so we speak your language and ours. It is a wealth, but you speak only yours.
The journalist asks his questions standing, waiting for Véronique to finish cleaning to sit down.
Toquet: How will you proceed with young people? What do you want to pass on to them, give them?
Véronique: I did not have the same education as these young people, and this is an opportunity. At the time of my youth, there was not yet all this technological explosion. We took the time to go out with friends and have parties. Young people today are more stressed than we were when we were their age… What I wish to transmit to them through this project are the moral values of life and the healthy habits of daily life which are universal and do not go out of style. Despite the evolution of society, these values must only flourish….
The journalist interrupts her
Toquet: They receive a bad education?
Véronique: We have to understand the parents. Times have changed. They are afraid for their children. They’re trying to do the best they can to protect them. Also, technology has become ubiquitous. Parents are trying to give their best so that they do not fail in their duty.
Toquet: So you mean they give a bad education to their children?
Véronique: A different education than the one I received: know that the education I received from my parents was totally different from the one my parents had received from their parents.
Toquet: A bad education?
There, the journalist must show that he is trying to get Véronique to say what she does not say. He is exaggerating and making a face.
Véronique: A bad education, no, but not like the one I received from my parents. Times have changed. Automatically, education will go through a small turn; not necessarily bad, but simply different.
Toquet: Do you think writing will bring something to these young people that they might miss?
Véronique: We all have something that we miss, and that we want to have. Writing allows the author to free himself, to invent, to create, and to share with the reader everything he imagines: what makes him angry, what makes him laugh and what satisfies him. It’s a moment of creation. When a young person creates a beautiful work, he can be proud of it; and that is my goal: to see in the book’s salons as many young writers as adults. And here I am talking about young people from all over the world.
The writing is healing!
Véronique: Don’t use the word “Heal” because I’m not in therapy. My library is a place of cultural exchange between young people and adults. Young people write and adults comment on their texts. The library is neither a medical office nor a hospital; it is a place of cultural exchange between young people and adults.
Toquet: Yes, but writing heals!
Véronique: That’s what you’re saying. Writing is a huge job that takes months. Some authors need more than a year to give the reader a real moment of pleasure.
The reporter puts down his notepad and asks for another coffee. He eats in a little crazy way, and he lets himself snap his tongue against his palate
Toquet: You know, our newspaper «Hope» is weekly, so the article will stay there for a week.
Véronique: Thank you! that’s what I wanted.
Toquet: Do you mind if I pass your article to a newspaper in the neighboring department?
Véronique always speaks with joy. Well-set. Eenthusiastic. Finally, her dream is fulfilled.
Véronique: No, on the contrary, I would like to make my project known to young people, and not only because the library brings together young people and adults, and if you do, I would be grateful.
Toquet: You know that our newspaper «Hope» covers the region and neighbouring regions?
Véronique: I’ll be on the front page?!
Toquet: Oh no, I’ll put you on the second or third page, okay?
He gets up and gets ready to leave. Véronique offers him boxes of cakes, patties, and thanks him. Arriving on the threshold, she realizes that he forgot his notepad
Véronique: Mr. Toquet, Mr. Toquet ! Your notepad !!!!!
Toquet: Ah, but it’s not so bad. I have everything in mind, and your article will only be out in a week, so I have time to come back to taste your delicious cakes, and pick it up.
He goes out. She follows him..
The curtain goes down or lights off
Véronique enters the stage with other clothes, holding a newspaper in her hand, very happy.
Véronique: Well, here’s my picture. I’m going to send him an email of thanks. It’s the least we can do, but we have to be courteous, for once I’m listened to…
She puts down the newspaper without having read it and stands in front of her computer pretending to write to the journalist. The phone rings. Véronique stands up and picks up.
Véronique: Ah, it’s you Madame Paumier, how are you?
Véronique: No, I haven’t read the paper yet. Yes, but I know I published an article about my project there.
Véronique: What?!!! I’m a healer? Never! What?
Véronique: I never taught in Quebec!
Véronique : I have never said that either!
Véronique : That either !
Véronique: I never said this either!
Véronique: Well, I must leave you, Madame Paumier! I will settle some things.
Véronique jumps on the newspaper, opens it, we can only hear «Gosh», «But Gosh», «Damn» «but what does he say,» «I never said that!» «From where did he take this information?»
She sat down at her desk and e-mailed the Secateurs newspaper, turned around, and said,
Véronique: I must go quickly to see Madame Paumier; otherwise, she will tell this false information all over the village. She, who understands everything that is told, is going to believe that all these monstrosities about me are real. Even worse, she’s going to change them.
At the end of the scene, the phone rings. Angry, she comes back and picks up
Véronique: Yes, Maryvonne. I saw. I never said this!
On the other end of the phone, you hear a voice
Maryvonne: But was he drunk when he was writing your article?
Véronique: I think he lost his notepad and was content with what remained in his memory.
Maryvonne: Did you call him to ask him for explanations and to rectify the mistakes he made?
Véronique: I will see Ms. Paumier first before she spreads the news. She is not busy by other professions
Maryvonne: Don’t worry about people. They know very well that you have never been foster family, and given your age, it would be crazy for them to think that you lived during the occupation. You should be older!
Véronique : You are right. My house of cards has received a good gust of wind, but hey, I’m going to call him instead of wasting my time with Madame Paumier and those who are like her. I’ll leave you, and I’ll let you know more …
Véronique raccroche et compose un autre numéro.
Véronique : Yes, the newspaper “Hope”! Can you pass me Mr. Toquet?
A voice on the other end of the line
Toquet: Hello! It’s me.
Véronique: Monsieur Toquet, what have I done to you so bad that you take revenge on me like this?
With a calm tone, the reporter answers.
What did I do, ma’am?
Véronique: Can you tell me how long I’ve been a healer?
Toquet: The article is well written, and even my colleagues reread it before publication.
Véronique: Yes, but your colleagues had not heard what I told you. They relied on what you wrote! In all my C.V.s, it is never noted that I did, even an hour, foster care! Why did you then write that I did it?
Véronique: You wrote that I speak your language fluently because I lived the occupation of my country! If that were true, I would have to be older, which I am not! …
Véronique: Hello! Are you listening?!
Véronique: You can check all my resumes that proves I never said I taught in Quebec! If I had really been a teacher in Quebec, why would I have moved here? You should have asked me the question: why did you leave Quebec, teaching, to settle here? This is a question of a confirmed journalist, sir! Did you hear the accent of a Quebecker?
Véronique: Sir, I just want to understand what happened, please!
Véronique: Why did you write that I cure young people? What would I cure them of? It seems to me that I told you that writing is a way to say what we think, to report our discontent and joys on paper, and to look at them from above, for effective reasoning. Writing is a titanic job, to satisfy the reader and to make himself happy at the same time.
Finally, he intervenes
Toquet: It’s the same thing!
Véronique: It is Madame Paumier who must conduct conversations with you, not me! You will both vibrate on the same wavelength.
Toquet: Madame Paumier, is that your boss?
Véronique: Oh no, do me the pleasure of stopping this nonsense. You sabotaged my article and my project, and you are making me look like a moron.
Toquet: No, no! I thought…
Véronique: I can know why you wrote that I would give cheques as a prize? Have you read and understood what you are saying?
Toquet: My colleagues reread and saw that it was very interesting!
She’s raising her voice
Véronique: But damn it! Your colleagues were not at my house! But you were, and you saw that I can barely make ends meet that I told you about my unemployment! My home is nice, but there is nothing about financial means that would allow me to give out cheques as a prize!
Silence. Véronique sighs
Véronique: And I can tell you, since I no longer understand your bullshit, why did you write that I told you that parents give a “bad” education to their children? When did I tell you this? Do you understand what I’m saying?
Toquet: Yes, yes !
Véronique: If I speak fast, I repeat myself!
With a low tone
Toquet: No, no! I understand you.
Véronique: And you pressed this “bad education” as if what you wrote was true!
Toquet: I wrote it to get readers’ attention. It is a provocation which will lead to a reasonable number of readers to consult your project
Véronique: You are trying to sell and make yourself known to the detriment of a person who works hard and honestly, who loses his health, his money and his circle of friends because he no longer has time for anyone, and who trusted you!!!! A person who believed you were honestly serving your profession. You are dishonouring journalism in its entirety because of your dishonesty. Do you understand? No, I don’t think so! Only Madame Paumier could live with you and all your kind.
Toquet: Who is Madame Paumier, a journalist?
Véronique: When you decided to become a journalist, you made a direct commitment to the proper service of your profession. You don’t have to deflect people’s words to provoke or sell… You’re worse than Madame Paumier!
Toquet: Who is Madame Paumier?
Véronique: It’s your …. It’s your….. It’s your…. Damn it!
Véronique can no longer say a word. She hangs up the phone and, very angry, sits on the couch, Maryvonne enters the stage and takes her in her arms.
Maryvonne: Don’t worry, these things happen. You should have researched what’s going on in journalism and that reporter who was going to interview you.
Véronique: But there are honest journalists, reassure me?
Maryvonne: Certainly. But there are also people in other professions who don’t honour their commitment.
Véronique: He destroyed me! He destroyed my project!
Maryvonne: He didn’t destroy anything. Given the flow of information that comes to people every minute, they will immediately move on to something else.
We hear the ringing. Véronique shouts angrily:
Véronique: Come on in!
Madame Paumier enters the stage, apparently compassionate, takes Véronique in her arms
Paumier: But why did you come from Quebec? It was good to teach there, right? You have the right to live with us? If not, you must ask for it before you are turned away.
Laid down, Véronique whispers
Véronique: Shut up, Madame Paumier !
Paumier: My God, now the whole village knows that you are a Quebecker! We will immediately denounce you in the prefecture and you will be repressed… my God, I will lose a good Quebec neighbour…
Véronique pulls out of Madame Paumier’s arms and breathes
Véronique: My God, she’s all that’s missing!
Maryvonne: Sit down, Madame Paumier, and stay out of it. These are things that happen because, really, there are journalists who are unworthy of their profession, and it’s like in any profession.
Véronique: It is not only in journalism that we find people. When you have a job, you have to be true to your rules, which is what I’m trying to teach young people who are going to replace us in a few years.
Paumier: But the journalist did his job well. All the newspapers in the village’s tobacco office are sold in less than an hour! And the whole village is talking about you, Veronica!
Véronique: My God, what have I done to you to make Paumier my neighbor?
Paumier, Relaxed and enthusiastic
Paumier: I don’t bother you too much! I’m going to sit on the terrace of the café in the other side. The whole neighborhood has arranged to meet there.
Maryvonne gets up
Maryvonne: Come with me! don’t stay alone here. You’ll see that, in a few days, people will realize that there are things in this interview that are not true.
Véronique’s getting a little calm.
Véronique: I’m not mad at him anymore. It’s my fault. Carried away by my enthusiasm, I did not inquire about him or what might happen. Besides, I hurried to thank him in an email when I hadn’t even checked to see if everything was written as I had said.
She turns to Maryvonne
Véronique: Do you think I’m talking fast? Maybe that’s why he wrote everything down wrong? Yet I have repeated myself several times.
Maryvonne: No, you feel like you’re talking fast! And if that were the case, why wouldn’t he have been wrong in your other words?! So, he made the mistake.
As soon as they arrive at the exit, the phone rings. Véronique runs to the phone
Véronique: Maybe it’s him. He wants to correct his mistake.
She runs to the phone and picks up
Véronique: Hello! Yes, hello… You are a journalist with the newspaper “Culture”… Do you want to write an article about my project? Yes, I will, but give me time to think, and I will answer…. And if I ever agree, I want to see the article before the publication and sign a coupon. Is that possible? No…. You say it’s a matter of trust; well, thank you. I’m not wasting your time. I don’t want to publish articles in your home…. Once bitten, twice shy.
She hangs up, and both get off the stage..