The Adding Machine
By Elmer L. Rice

The Adding Machine is an expressionist work of drama that exposes the minds and souls of the "white-collar slaves" such as Mr. Zero, a type more than a character. This monologue from his wife, a 50's caricature, opens the play.


I'm gettin' sick o' them Westerns. They're showin' too many Westerns at the Rosebud. I think we'll start goin' to the Stuyvesant. The Eights go downown to the Strand. They go downtown all the time. But you wouldn't go downtown - not if wild horses was to drag you. You can wait till the pictures come uptown! Well, I don't want to wait, see? I want to see 'em when everybody else is seein' 'em and not a month later. Now don't go tellin' me you ain't got the price. You could dig up the price all right, if you wanted to. I notice you always got the price to go to the ball game.

And don't go pullin' that stuff about bein' tired. "I been workin' hard all day. Twice a day in the subway's enough for me." Tired! Where do you get that tired stuff, anyhow? What about me? Where do I come in? Scrubbin' floors an' cookin' your meals an' washin' your dirty clothes. An' you sittin' on a chair all day, just addin' figures an' waitin' for five-thirty. There's no five-thirty for me. I don't wait for no whistle. I don't get no vacations neither. And what's more I don't get no pay envelope every Saturday neither. I'd like to know where you'd be without me. An' what have I got to show for it? Slavin' my life away to give you a home. What's in it for me, I'd like to know? But it's my own fault, I guess. I was a fool for marryin' you. If I'd 've had any sense, I'd 've known what you were from the start. I wish I had it all to do over again, I hope to tell you.

If you was any kind of man you'd have a decent job by now an' I'd be gettin' some comfort out of life - instead of bein' just a slave, washin' pots an' standin' over the hot stove. I've stood it for twenty-five years an' I guess I'll have to stand it twenty-five more.

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