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(Send to Tomlin's agent but rejected)

Lily Tomlin Monologue - Ernestine Calls the Electric Company

by Ron Kurtus (September 1974)

(Ernestine dials a number)

One  ringy-dingy, two  ringy-dingy.

(Expects answer, but none)

 Three ringy-dingy?

(getting impatient)

Four ringy-dingy!

(Now irritated)

Five !!

Oh, hello. This is Miss...

(put on "hold").
Hello, this is Miss Tomlin from the...

(put on "hold" again)

Hello, this is Miss Tomlin from the Telephone Company and I...



(says real fast before they can transfer her again)

Hello, this is Miss Tomlin from the Telephone Company and I want to make a complaint and if you put me on "hold" one more time I'm going to personally come down there and kick some… Yes, complaint

Fine, thank you

Hello, this is "getting-fed-up" Miss Tomlin from the Telephone Company, and I want to make a complaint concerning my electric bill -- you know, the friendly little notice you send everyone once a month? Well, I want to complain that my last bill was outrageously high

Perhaps I've been using too much energy? I don't think that's possible. In fact, I've been feeling quite lethargic lately, but I don't see what that has to do with

 Oh, you mean electrical energy.

Well, why didn't you say so?! You can't expect everyone to understand your shop jargon. Here at Ma Bell, we're taught to use the Queen's English, buster. And you sound a little like a "queen" yourself (chuckle, snort, snort). Now, what about my bill? And hurry up.

My board's lighting up, and a lot of people are trying to get their calls through.

You say you bill according to the reading made by the meter man? Well, that's another thing I want to complain about -- your meter man peeked in my window while I was dressing.

And then he started to get fresh with me -- after I invited him in. I always was a sucker for a man in a uniform. (chuckle, snort, snort)

You can't do anything about my bill?

Well, that is preposterous and ridiculous. And crazy besides. You forget that I am an employee of the Telephone Company. Did you hear that, or should I turn up the volume?

Now, I've got your meter man's number, and if you don't watch out, I'll send my boyfriend Vito after him. A line man can rip hell out of a meter-reader any day. And if that doesn't get any action from you people, we'll just have to see that your telephone service is disconnected. You're not dealing with any old fool here, buster. I am an employee of the Telephone Company, and we are omnipotent. Shall I repeat that? We are omnipo... (fades as electricity and lights go off.)