Mom and the Insect Play

My mother was getting very hard of hearing later in life. Mom didn’t speak English until she started school. She wrote her Master’s Thesis on the Playwriter Karel Capek and his R.U.R play. Shouldn’t be related, right? Well, they are!

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In 1992 Mom and I fulfilled a dream of hers that we would be able to take a trip to Prague together, the trip of a lifetime! We set up to stay a month and “touristed”, shopped, toured, dined and took in various theater entertainments.

One of these was a play by Karel Capek (yup, that guy) called, Zivot Hmyzu, or “The Insect Play”. It’s a satire where cockroaches are germans, butterflies are jet-setters and there’s a caterpillar who refuses to become a chrysalis.

zivot hmyzu

Well, the plot doesn’t matter too much to this story except that in the 2nd act, one of the butterflies, who has been flirting outrageously, throws herself on her back with her legs in the air, spread and yells, “Oh, someone f*** me right now!”. The audience tittered politely.

Then Mom, in the too-loud voice of someone who doesn’t hear well, said, “*What* did she say?” …and the audience roared….

Mom laughed too when I explained what had happened, later.


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Page Created and published 2/24/23 (C) M. Bartlett
Last update 2/24/23