February 19, 2011
University of Minnesota-Morris, Physical Education Center Gym, Morris MN
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Mom

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(PHONE RINGS, 3X, PICKUP)

GK: Hello?

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Duane honey? Is that you?

GK: Hi mom.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): It’s your mother, Duane.

GK: Yes, I know.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): I hope I didn’t get you at a bad time, honey.

GK: It’s fine, mom. I’m just trying to finish up my novel here.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): This is the novel about boredom?

GK: Right.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Enormous Afternoons?

GK: Right.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Well, your dad and I have been waiting years for you to finish that book. Years and years and years. Going on a decade.

GK: It’s been slow going, mom, I know.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): I had a wonderful idea, Duane, for how you can get the peace and quiet you need to finish your book. That’s why I called you up.

GK: I’m doing fine, Mom.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Why not get yourself a place in the country where there’s no distractions. Where you can just sit in your studio and write, write, write.

GK: Mom, I don’t like it in the country.

SS: Well, I found a place for you. It’s near Morris.

GK: Where?

SS: Morris. The daughter of a friend of mine lives on a farm there and she has a chicken coop that she’s made into a guest house and she wants to rent it out.

GK: Mom---

SS: She lives all alone, and she’s a little older than you, but not much—

GK: Mom.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): She trains cats to be companion animals for people with low-self-esteem issues. I just thought, what a lovely place for you to finish up your novel. Out there in Morris. With Margie.

GK: Mom, I’m fine where I am.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Margie’s sweet. And her husband died so she’s lonely. But it was three years ago so she’s ready to move on. And he left an 800-acre farm and a big house in town.

GK: I don’t care, mom.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): I just want you to talk to her.

GK: I don’t want to talk to her.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): I’ve got her here on the other line. She’s on hold.

(A BEAT)

GK: What????

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): She’s on the other line.

GK: Mom, I can’t talk to her now.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Just talk to her, Duane. Here she is—

GK: Mom-

(CLICK)

SS (SMALL, VULNERABLE, ON PHONE): Hello?

(A BEAT).

GK: Margie?

SS (SMALL, VULNERABLE, ON PHONE): Is this Duane?

(A BEAT)

GK: Yes.

SS (SMALL, VULNERABLE, ON PHONE): Your mom says you’re interested in the guesthouse. (CAT) Git down. Go away. (CAT)

GK: Well I don’t know.

SS (SMALL, VULNERABLE, ON PHONE): I fixed it up real nice. There’s no bathroom but the house is pretty close. But it’s real private. If you want it to be.

GK: I see.

SS (SMALL, VULNERABLE, ON PHONE): Do you like cats?

GK: I’m not sure. (CAT)

SS (SMALL, VULNERABLE, ON PHONE): I love cats. They’re my family. (CATS) (TO CATS) Shhhhh. Mummy’s on the phone. Mummy’s going to feed you soon as she’s done talking to Duane. (CATS) Okay? You be nice and Mummy’s going to give you a very very very special treat. Yes, she is. A very special treat. (CAT) Give Mummy a kiss, Snowball. C’mon. Give Mummy a kiss. (CAT, SS KISS) Hello?

GK: Margie, one thing my mother may not have told you about me is that I have an extremely rare communicable disease that causes me to go into wild spasms and shriek and break glass. I’m a compulsive glass breaker.

SS (SMALL, VULNERABLE, ON PHONE): You don’t sound sick.

GK: Well, it comes and goes. You know.

SS (SMALL, VULNERABLE, ON PHONE): You sound like you need someone to take care of you.

GK: I’m also flat broke. I’ve got no money.

SS (SMALL, VULNERABLE, ON PHONE): Well, your mom offered to pay.

GK: My mom has early-stage dementia, Margie. She isn’t living in the real world.

SS (SMALL, VULNERABLE, ON PHONE): Well, the guesthouse is here if you want it, Duane.

GK: Thanks. (CLICK) Mom?

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE, OFF): --because paper towels will clog up the pipes.

GK: Mom?

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Well what do you think? She’s a peach.

GK: She sounds sort of fragile.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): So you didn’t like her.

GK: I didn’t say that.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Just say it Duane. Don’t hold back. Rip that poor woman to shreds. Let it all out. Crush her dreams in the dirt.

GK: Mom-----

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): I go to all the trouble of finding you a nice place to live and you just spit in my face. Oh I can’t talk about this right now. I am too upset. Talk to your dad, Duane. (OFF) Hank! Hank! (TR MURMURS, OFF) Just take the phone, Hank. Take it. I have to go lie down. (FUMBLING WITH PHONE)

(A BEAT, RHYTHMIC BREATHING, OFF)

TR (MIDWESTERN): Hello?

GK: Dad?

TR (MIDWESTERN): Hi son.

GK: Hi. Everything going okay, dad?

TR (MIDWESTERN): Oh sure. Just working in the basement.

GK: Oh? What are you working on down there?

TR (MIDWESTERN): Digging a tunnel.

GK: A tunnel to where, Dad?

TR (MIDWESTERN): Not sure yet.

GK: What’s the tunnel for?

TR (MIDWESTERN): That remains to be seen.

GK: How long is the tunnel now?

TR (MIDWESTERN): About ten feet.

GK: Well. Good luck with that dad.

TR (MIDWESTERN): I just like to go in there and lie down.

GK: Okay dad. Nice talking to you.

SS (MIDWESTERN, OFF): Give me the phone, Hank. Give it to me. (FUMBLING WITH PHONE, ON PHONE). Duane? Duane are you still there Duane?

GK: I’m here, mom.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Duane honey, I need to tell you something.

GK: How long is it going to take?

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): I didn’t hear that. Duane, I’ve cried so many tears over you, it’s a wonder I don’t have deer following me around, licking the salt off my blouse.

GK: Mom—

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Just put some rocks in my pockets and throw me in the river, Duane. Why draw it out? I’ll pay for your defense attorney and the psychiatrists who will testify that you were driven mad by your own mother. I’ll pay for new clothes you can wear at the trial. (SOBS)

GK: Mom.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): (SNIFFLES, CHOKES) What?

GK: I’ll go live in Morris, okay?

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): You will? Really?

GK: But just for a month. Until I finish my book.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Well that’s perfect because that’s how long I put the down payment for. And you can see what happens! You know, what develops…..

GK: Okay mom. Thanks for thinking of me.

SS (MIDWETERN, ON PHONE): I’m going to Sears right now if you need more underwear.

GK: I can get my own underwear, mom.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Okay honey. So good to talk to you. I should let you write now.

GK: Okay.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): We want you to get that book done, Duane. Your dad and I are waiting. We’re gonna buy the first 10 copies. And I’m so excited for you to meet Margie.

GK: Thanks mom.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Okay honey. Bye, love you.

GK: Love you mom.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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