Of television housekeepers and nannies, most come in different forms. Sometimes they are incredibly stylish and troublesome like Fran Fine (Fran Drescher) from The Nanny, other times they can’t seem to catch a break as seen on Maid, and last but not least, the nanny/housekeeper may run the household just like Berta ( Conchata Ferrell) from Two and a Half Men. As Charlie’s right-hand woman, Berta came with the sharpest of tongues, and when anyone threw words at her, she had a witty response prepared. Her comebacks were legendary. No one ever saw them coming. Here are her very best jabs:
1. “ My Alcoholic Husband Ran Off With My Daughter’s Parole Officer”
Prior to Allan ( Jon Cryer) and Jake moving in with Charlie, Berta was the glue that held Charlie’s life together. As was the norm, Charlie lived the bachelor life unapologetically. In his own words, ‘ as long as I got someone to clean my house and some action on a regular basis, I don’t need a wife.’ Berta was responsible for keeping Charlie’s Malibu beach house neat, and all was well until Allan showed up with his controlling ways. “ You lied to me, Charlie. You said it was just gonna be the two of us.” She complained. Allan had gotten on her nerves, and she was ready to call it a day. Out walked Berta with her head held high, and it didn’t take long before Allan came knocking to apologize for his behavior. “ I’m going through a really tough time right now. My marriage is collapsing, my business is slow. My little boy is being dragged back and forth from his mother’s house to Malibu,” he lamented. Allan shouldn’t have used his own problems to argue because Berta’s happened to be bigger. “ My alcoholic husband ran off with my daughter’s parole officer and I clean rich people’s toilets for a living.” She told an already frustrated Allan.
2. “Going In Or Coming Out?”
Of Charlie’s many girlfriends, most chose to mind their own business. They abided by the rules of the house, often leaving as fast as they came. Most importantly, they never crossed paths with Berta and respected her place as the one who kept the house running. Then Lydia ( Katherine LaNasa) came along. Lydia was not fond of being bossed around. If anything, she was the ultimate boss. Not just any boss, an Evelyn kind of boss. Just like Charlie’s mother, she was in real estate and had a mean girl persona. It goes without saying that things did not go well when Lydia met Charlie’s family. Allan was first in line. Lydia had learned that Allan was divorced, broke, and living on Charlie’s couch. She expressed how sorry she was to hear about his ‘troubles’. She teased Jake about his problems at school. By the time she was ready to take on Berta, she got a stern, “ Choose your words carefully, slim.” Lydia proceeded to tell Berta that she watched what she ate, to which the no-nonsense housekeeper replied, “ Going in or coming out?”
3. “ Botox”
Evelyn ( Holland Taylor) had a love for plastic surgery and she was not in any way subtle about it. One too many times, she referenced a new procedure she wanted to get done. It’s through those circles that she learned Charlie ( Charlie Sheen) was interested in a vasectomy. Perhaps she took it a little too far when she got herself a set of new lips. According to Jake ( Angus T. Jones), given that fat from her bottom was taken and injected into her lips, should Evelyn have burped, it could also be considered a fart. Evelyn’s procedure left her looking a little puffy than usual. It came at a time when Charlie had a revelation that he should take care of his mother. Taking care of her he did, but it didn’t slip past the eyes of Berta, the fly on the wall. One time, Evelyn walked into Charlie’s kitchen to find Charlie and Allan’s girlfriends getting ready to make breakfast. “ Good evening ladies…Berta,” She saluted. Not one to let a chance to clap back go to waste, Berta greeted Evelyn back in the most Berta-like way: “ Botox.”
4.“And Yet My Raise Is Permanent”
While Charlie was Berta’s boss, nine times out of ten, it was hard to figure out who was who. On one hand, Berta ran the household like it was her own, on the other hand, Charlie was the one who was writing her cheques. In the event that Charlie was short on cash, Berta made it her duty to pay herself. She did that in a way only Berta could. Charlie was once hammered, lying on his couch when Berta walked in and sprayed water all over his face. She announced she was going home, but when Charlie asked whether she wanted to get paid, Berta replied, “ Not necessary. I took the money out of your wallet.” Charlie said it was fine, but Berta added a key piece of information. “ Guess what? I got a raise.” Berta had decided to give herself additional income because Jake had shown up. While she’d accepted Allan for the clean freak he was, his child was not impressive in the hygiene department. “ He’s just here for a week, It’s a temporary situation,” Charlie told Berta. She had other plans in mind. “ And yet my raise is permanent!” She asserted.
5. “ So She’s Bringing You A Four-Year-Old”
Charlie enjoyed every bit of his philandering life, except for one aspect of it: Pregnancy scares. He’d been with so many women and couldn’t keep count. At the same time, his habit of drinking did not help his memory. As his mother put it, Charlie drank so much, he could barely remember walking down the stairs. Once in a while, life would remind him of his reckless ways. One time, it happened through a nine-year-old boy named Chuck who was in every way a replica of Charlie. Sometimes, a pregnancy scare would come in the form of an email. One such time, Charlie’s ex-girlfriend sent an email stating that she wanted to ‘see him’. Charlie made the mistake of telling that to Allan and Berta. “ No kidding, I wonder if she’s ‘knocked up.’” Berta mentioned. When Charlie told her he hadn’t heard from the girl in five years, Berta was quick to go for the kill. “ So she’s bringing you a four-year-old?” She asked.
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