Mom, July 2, 2011

Koussevitzky Music Shed, Tanglewood Music Festival

Lenox, MA


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Mom

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(PHONE RINGS, 3X)

GK: Hello?

SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Duane honey? It's your mother.

GK: Hi mom.

SS: I'm not getting you at a bad time, am I?

GK: It's fine, mom.

SS: If it's not a good time, I can sit here by the phone and call you back in five minutes, or fifteen, or whatever you need.

GK: I was just making an egg-salad sandwich.

SS: Oh good, honey. I'm glad you're eating. After Carleen dumped you the last time, and that nasty editor wrote back and said your novel was a piece of junk, your dad and I worried.

GK: I'm okay, Mom.

SS: Is it fresh egg salad?

GK: It's fine.

SS: You didn't buy it from a gas station, did you? Sometimes you see egg salad sandwiches with expiration dates back in the 70s.

GK: It's fresh. What can I do for you, Mom?

SS: Well, feel free to say no to this, no pressure at all, but your dad and I are out of town, and we forgot to mow the lawn. Wondering if you could bop on over there and just give it a haircut. (EAGLE SCREECH, OFF, DAD MURMURS)

A BEAT

GK: Where are you, mom?

SS: We're in Alaska. We're climbing Mount McKinley. (DAD GRUMBLES, PEBBLES FALL)

GK: Mount McKinley?! Why?!

SS: It was on Dad's list, Duane, and we figured it was now or never. So we flew out, and wouldn't you know it, we forgot to mow the lawn.

GK: And you're climbing it?

SS: We're at six thousand feet on the north peak, and it's fine except my cellphone is running out of juice.

GK: Mom, call 911. Get help. This is not good.

SS: What Duane? Sorry, reception is a little spotty, let me climb up on this ledge, maybe it's better up there.

GK (LOUD): Call 911 mom. Tell them where you are. (EAGLE SCREECH).

SS: I know where we are, Duane. We're on a little ledge overlooking a gaping crevasse. And an eagle is diving at your father who is limping on a twisted ankle from when he slipped on a glacier but it's no big deal. We just have to stop a lot. And there's that bear who's following us. (BEAR, OFF, SS OFF) Shoo! You git now!

GK: Mom----

SS: Did you know this mountain was named for President McKinley, before he was elected?

GK: Mom, we need to get you down from there.

SS: My battery is about to go, honey, so I can't talk long. The lawnmower is in the garage. Remember to lower the blade with that lever thing, otherwise it won't work.

GK: Put dad on the phone.

SS: Dad's just going to tell you the same thing. I know how to mow a lawn, honey.

GK: Just put dad on the phone, okay?

SS: I don't like your tone, Duane. I don't like it at all.

GK: Mom, please put dad on the phone, okay? Please?

SS: Well that's better. Manners are everything, Duane. You know that.

GK: Okay, whatever.

SS: (OFF) Hank? Hank? (HANK MURMURS) It's Duane. He wants to talk to you. (HANK MURMURS) Well I don't know what he wants but it sounded urgent. (CLATTERING) Whoops. I dropped it. I dropped the phone, Hank. Where'd it go? I can't see it. I told you we should have gotten the yellow one. (HANK MURMURS) Oh there it is. (CLATTERING) Well don't kick it, Hank. (HANK MURMURS, OFF) It's gonna fall in the hole, that's why. (CLATTERING, STRUGGLE, OFF) Gosh it's slippery up here. (PHONE PICKUP, ON PHONE) Duane? You still there honey?

GK: I'm right here mom.

SS: Here's your dad, honey. He's right here, you wanna talk to him, here he is.

TR (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Hello.

GK: Dad—are you okay?

TR: Oh, you know. Could be worse.

GK: How's your ankle?

TR: Not bad. The cold keeps the swelling down.

(BEAR, OFF)

SS (OFF): Git now! You git!

GK: Dad, you need to get off that mountain.

TR: Oh, I don't know. We're almost there.

GK: It's not safe, dad. This is not a good idea.

TR: We can see the top. So, you know. As long as we're here. Figure we might as well get the whole experience.

GK: It's not worth it, dad. What are you even wearing?

TR: Boat shoes. Windbreakers. And those matching dolphin sweatshirts. With the drawstring hoods.

GK: Just turn around and go down, dad. Don't make this worse.

TR: We're almost there. We're not quitters, Duane.

GK: There's quitting and there's coming to your senses.

(EAGLE SCREECH, FLAP, BEAR, OFF)

SS (OFF): You git, too! Both of you! (EAGLE AND BEAR) Get outta here!

TR: Well it was nice talking to you Duane.

GK: Dad-

TR: I'll give you back to your mother. Thanks for taking care of the lawn.

GK: Dad—

TR: We'll see you when we get back. We'll have a slideshow.

GK: Wait, dad--

TR: Here's your mother.

SS (OFF): Take this stick, Hank. Just beat them back. (THUMPING, EAGLE AND BEAR) Duane honey? Are you still there?

GK: Mom, I can't believe you didn't tell me you were going to climb Mount McKinley. You just left?

SS: We didn't want to worry you, honey.

GK: You didn't want to worry me? You don't think this phone call is worrying?

SS: Don't yell at me, Duane.

GK: I'm not yelling at you, I just can't believe you would do this.

SS: It's our last chance, Duane. Our Last Hike. We wanted to make it a good one. (ROCKS FALL, SS LOUD, OFF) Uh oh Hank! A little avalanche. (TR MURMURS, OFF)

GK: Don't yell mom.

SS (LOUD): What?

GK: Don't yell! Yelling causes avalanches.

(ROCKS FALL)

SS: You're breaking up, Duane. (BEAR, EAGLE, HANK MURMURS, THUMPS) So you'll mow the lawn?

GK: I'm calling 911.

SS: Don't hang up, Duane. I need to tell you something else. And I'm running out of batteries, so we might get cut off. I'm in the red. (OFF) Now you git! Git! (BEAR CRY) Hang on just a second, Duane. (OFF) What, Hank? Why are you poking me? Oh my gosh now there's two of them.

GK: Mom-

SS: If we don't make it back, Duane, I do not want that bureau dresser to go to Margie, she has been lusting after that ever since Mother died ---- I would rather you busted it up with an axe than for Margie to have the satisfaction ----- you hear me---- (STRUGGLE, EAGLE, BIG BEAR ROAR) and

(BEEP BEEP)

GK: Hello? Hello? Mom? Oh my gosh. Hello---- Hello—

FN (RECORDED VOICE): I am sorry. The Verizon customer you are trying to reach is no longer available. Please try your call later.

GK: Later!!!! They're on a mountain top!!! There may be no later----

FN (RECORDED VOICE): I am sorry. I am only a recording. I don't have the answers to your personal problems. Thank you for calling.

(THEME)

TR (ANNC): Join us next season when you'll find out what happened to Mom and Dad on the treacherous north slope of Mount McKinley. Were they eaten by grizzlies? Will Duane publish his new novel and marry Deirdre? Join us in September to find out.

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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