Mom, April 16, 2011
Town Hall in New York, NY
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Mom

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(PHONE RINGS 3X, PICKUP)

GK: Hello?

SS: Duane?

GK: Hi mom.

SS: I didn't get you at a bad time, did I? ---- (PAUSE, BEAT) I did, didn't I. ----- (PAUSE, BEAT) I'm sorry. ------ Oh boy. Once again. You're in the midst of something important, you're feeling good, your self esteem is soaring, and the phone rings, and you pick it up and it's your monster mother, here to ruin everything, like when the kid suddenly poops in the swimming pool and everybody has to get out. Well I'm sorry.

GK: What's up, Mom?

SS: I just called to see if you filed your taxes, honey. Because I read somewhere that writers ---- if you lie on your bed staring up at the ceiling and thinking about your novel, you can deduct the bed. It's a business expense. Anyway, you probably knew that already. I'm only trying to help, honey. ----- Are you still there?

GK: Actually I put the novel aside, Mom. I'm working on a memoir now.

SS: Oh Duane, please. Not a memoir.

GK: Yes. A memoir, Mom.

SS: With us in it? Your dad and me?

GK: Kind of hard to leave you out, Mom.

(A BEAT)

SS: Well what did you say?

GK: I don't want to talk about it.

SS: That means it's bad.

GK: It just means I don't want to talk about it.

SS: That means it's really bad.

GK: I've just started writing it.

SS: What's it called?

GK: It's only a working title, but right now I'm calling it LOST IN LINGERIE.

SS: Oh, I knew it. I knew you were going to write about that. Honey, I didn't lose you, you walked away from me.

GK: That's not how I remember it. Anyway----

SS: It was fifty years ago! Why do you make such a big deal of it?? Why?

GK: It's just something I remember.

SS: And it wasn't lingerie, it was housewares. You walked away.

GK: You got engrossed looking at black negligees and you walked away from a 6-year-old child and spent an hour and a half trying things on and I stood there and kind of blacked out and a nice man asked me if I wanted to come with him and ---- I was sort of on the edge of a chasm there, Mom----

SS: You are making this up.

GK: And I took his hand and he took me to his office and as it turned out he was a store detective but he could've been a criminal.

SS: You are making this up.

GK: He even asked if I wanted to meet his doggie and I said yes and it was a German Shepherd security dog. He had hip dysplasia. His name was Kenneth.

SS: You are making this up.

GK: I couldn't make it up. I sat in his office and I read comic books and then I laid down and went to sleep on a pile of women's brassieres until you came, some time later, and you acted as if nothing had happened.

SS: That's because nothing had.

GK: I slept on a pile of brassieres at the age of six as my mother was admiring herself in a mirror in a black negligee.

SS: Duane, I am about to hang up---- stop----

GK: Anyway, I probably won't even finish this book, so it doesn't matter.

SS: I can't believe you're bringing this up now. And you're writing it in a memoir???? Oh, this is --here, talk to your father, Duane. (OFF) Hank! Hank! Hank are you down there? (HANK, OFF) Talk to Duane, Hank. (HANK, OFF) Because he's on the phone, that's why. (HANK, OFF) No you can't use that phone. That phone is out of batteries. (HANK OFF) Here he comes, Duane. He's excited to talk to you. Here's your father. (HANDS OFF PHONE, BRUSHING, OFF) Well you've got dust all over you, Hank, just all over you.

TR (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Hello?

GK: Hi dad.

TR: Hi.

GK: Sounds like you've got a project down there.

TR (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Oh, you know. Just working on that model plane.

GK: That balsa wood plane?

TR (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Yep. So.

GK: That plane you started working on when you were a kid?

TR (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Yep. That's the one.

GK: Great. How's that going?

TR (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Pretty good. I thought it was going to fly but it's not the kind that flies.

GK: Oh.

TR: I had it in my mind as a flying plane, you know, but it's just a model. Kind of a letdown. After 65 years.

GK: I can imagine.

TR: Look forward to something and then it doesn't happen.

GK: I guess you could just throw the plane and see if it flies.

TR: Yeah. I might do that.

(FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)

SS (OFF): Hank?

TR: I'll give you back to your mother.

GK: Well good talking to you dad.

TR: You too. Bye now.

(PHONE CHANGES HANDS)

SS: Duane? Honey are you still there?

GK: I'm here mom.

SS: Duane, I think you should get back to working on your novel. The fact that 44 publishers have rejected it is no reason for you to----

GK: Fourteen publishers----

SS: Well, whatever-----

GK: Not 44. Fourteen.

SS: Well, all the more reason not to give up on it. You still have thirty publishers to go. The memoir is a bad idea.

GK: I'm only three pages into it.

SS: You're going to portray me as some sort of a monster-----

GK: I've only written about the lingerie department and Benny the Bunny.

SS: Oh my god.

GK: You remember Benny?

SS: Honey, that was an accident. That was a complete accident.

GK: You gave me a bunny rabbit for Easter and then you sat on him and killed him.

SS: Honey, he got out of the cage.

GK: You killed him.

SS: He crawled down behind the couch cushion. How was I supposed to know?

GK: Mom, facts are facts.

SS: Duane, my whole life is about to explode. Every page of that memoir is one more stick of dynamite under my porch. You might as well just kill me now. Just seal me up in a coffin and push me out to sea. With a pack of Marshmallow Peeps. Yellow ones.

GK: Mom. Come on.

SS: I'm a bad mother Duane! I'm a terrible mother and a terrible person. I've ruined your life. So just throw me in the ocean and let the tide carry me away until the sharks find me and you and your Dad can be happy at last. Me, a predator, eaten by predators. Justice at last, Duane, Justice!!!! (SOBS)

GK: You're not a bad mother, mom.

SS: Yes I am. You slept on a pile of bras, Duane. A pile of double Ds. And that's why you've never been able to form a close loving relationship with a woman.

GK: Mom, please.

SS: Years of therapy, all thanks to your monster mother.

GK: I don't need therapy. I'm a writer.

SS: When that book comes out, your Dad and I are moving to Tasmania. We'll sell the house and cash in the bonds and buy a one-way ticket. We'll get a ride to the airport, you won't even have to drive us.

GK: I've got to go, mom.

SS: I suppose you're not coming to Easter then-----?

GK: I didn't know I was invited.

SS: Of course you're invited.

GK: Well, I have no other plans.

SS: How about Lenore?

GK: She's going to her parents'.

SS: And she didn't invite you?

GK: Nope.

SS: What size bra does she wear?

GK: Mom, please.

SS: Anyway, we'll be here if you want to come.

GK: Do you want me to come?

SS: I mean, don't feel you have to come for our sake. I mean, we have a TV and everything. Dad got the whole cable package. Told him we didn't need it. But maybe we do. Did you know there's a Family Channel? You can watch other families eating dinner together. They talk, they all get along. They call it reality TV but I don't know----

GK: I'll be there. What's for dinner?

SS: I was thinking of breast of chicken, but now I don't know.

GK: What time?

SS: Any time, Duane. We'll be here. We're not going anywhere.

GK: I'll call you later, mom. Okay? When I'm done with my taxes?

SS: Okay honey. Love you Duane, bye.

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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