Mrs. Madrigal says

Memorable quips and comments from San Francisco’s fictional landlady

This piece first ran in Printers Row Journal, delivered to Printers Row members with the Sunday Chicago Tribune and by digital edition via email. Click here to learn about joining Printers Row.

“Tales of the City” (1978)

“I’m Mrs. Madrigal, as in medieval.”

“Well, what do you think of my little bordello?”

“It’s… very nice.”

“Don’t be ridiculous! It’s depraved!”

“More Tales of the City” (1980)

“I was a weasel of a man but I’m one helluva nice woman.”

“You’re a bastard is what you are.”

“Please, call me a bitch.”

“Further Tales of the City” (1982)

“I’m a cranky old hen. I like all my eggs in one basket.”

“Listen dear, when you get this old lady, you get her for life.”

“Babycakes” (1984)

“It’s Arabian Mocha. It’s the sinsemilla of coffees.”

“I don’t do absolutions, dear. But I am glad you told me.”

“Significant Others” (1987)

“I tried that once … growing my nails long. I wasn’t man enough for it.”

“All of life is maintenance, for heaven’s sake. That’s the pleasant part. Taking care of things.”

“Sure of You” (1989)

“I think there are some scenes … we’re simply required to play. If we don’t, we rob ourselves of ever feeling anything at all.”

“Michael Tolliver Lives” (2007)

“You don’t have to keep up dear. You just have to keep open.”

“The point is, dear … to me it wasn’t about sex or pleasure or any of those lovely things. It was about identity. And completion. I couldn’t feel complete with what I’d been given. It just wasn’t possible.”

“Mary Ann in Autumn” (2010)

“What they always say is that there are three ages of man: Youth, middle age and ‘you look wonderful.'”

“The Days of Anna Madrigal” (2014)

“You should be able to entertain without having an anthropological exhibit in the corner.”

“It’s something old people do … apparently. Dwelling on unfinished business. Old ghosts. It’s tiresome, really. No point in it whatsoever. Especially when … what did Gertrude Stein say? … ‘there is no there.'”

“Your regrets, my dear, are all about the things you didn’t do.”–madriga-20140124,0,7671171,full.story

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