(PHONE RINGS 3X, PICKUP)
SS (ON PHONE): Duane honey? Is that you?
GK: Hi mom.
SS (ON PHONE): I just called to make sure you had your air conditioner on--
GK: Right. It's on, Mom.
SS (ON PHONE): Because I was reading a story about a man who didn't turn his on and he passed out while he was carrying his supper dishes into the kitchen and he fell down and a dinner fork went right into his chest.
GK: It's on, Mother.
SS (ON PHONE): The dinner fork went right straight into his chest and it missed his left lung by one-quarter inch. A quarter-inch, Duane. It missed it by a quarter-inch. That's what it said in the paper.
GK: Okay, mom.
SS (ON PHONE): Unfortunately it went straight into his heart. Killed him. He'd been eating a steak with that fork and then it went into his heart. Isn't that something? I tell ya. That's the sort of thing that if you made it up, nobody'd believe you. Speaking of Not Believing, how's your novel coming along?
GK: It's fine.
SS (ON PHONE): You going to make your deadline or are you going to have to pay back that that measly advance they gave you?
GK: Don't worry about it, okay. It's fine.
SS (ON PHONE): I keep meaning to read your last book but I never seem to get around to it and then I found out that your dad was using it to shim up the kitchen table. Anyway, I called to see if you're going to come up to the cabin for the 4th of July and our big family wiener roast and fireworks.
GK: Let me think about it.
SS (ON PHONE): It's beer and brats and we're going to light those little black snakes that curl up that you love so much.
GK: I love them?
SS (ON PHONE): You know you do. You get all trembly and jumpy when those little snakes come curling out on the sidewalk and you squeal and run away and hide. You know that.
SS (ON PHONE): So come on up. Don't be a stranger. No need to bring any food, we've got the brats, we've got tubs and tubs of potato salad, just come.
GK: Let me see how it goes.
SS ( ON PHONE): You want to see how it goes--
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Duane, if you don't want to come, just say No, okay? Don't beat around the bush and say, "I'll think about. Let me see how it goes. I'll get back to you on that." Okay. Just....say.....no.
GK: When is this again?
SS (ON PHONE): The 4th of July. Remember?
GK: Let me see how it goes.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): So you're not coming. Fine. Have it your way. Be alone. Whatever makes you happy. If being with your family makes you miserable, if we anger you, Duane-- fill you with blind rage and make you livid and psychotic -- then fine. You should stay away. Which you will. You always do. Frankly I'd be shocked if you came.
GK: Can I just say something--
SS (ON PHONE): Tell it to your father. He's right here. (OFF) Hank! Hank! (TR MURMURS, OFF) Just come talk to him Hank. Now. (ON PHONE) Here he comes right now, just talk to your dad now.
TR (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Hello.
GK: Hi dad.
TR (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): How's it going out there?
GK: Oh pretty good. Finishing up a book.
TR (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE):: Oh.
GK: Trying to anyway.
TR (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE):: Yeah, me too. (A BEAT) I've been trying to finish Tuesdays with Morrie for about ten years now. Just can't get through it.
GK: Right. (A BEAT) I was talking about my book though. The book I'm writing.
TR (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE):: Oh. (A BEAT) You're doing that again, huh.
GK: Yes dad, I'm doing that again.
TR (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE):: Nice work if you can get it. Well, let me give you back to your mother.
GK: Wait a second, dad--
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): (OFF) Give me the phone, Hank, give it to me (ON) Duane honey? Did you hang up?
GK: I'm still here mom. I'll call you on Monday, okay?
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): No no no. You're off the hook Duane. We've learned our lesson now, let's not beat a dead cow.
GK: I'll call you on Monday, okay?
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Well, go ahead but I won't answer the phone. I'll see that caller ID and throw the phone in the lake. Gone.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): So you're free now Duane. Free forever.
GK: Don't be like that.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Maybe somebody lights one of those hot snakes and it shoots into my eye and right through my brain. Your own mother. Dead. Killed by a hot snake.
GK: Mom, those things just sit on the sidewalk.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): You never know what might happen Duane. You never know. So we'll see you when we see you. If it's at one of our funerals, so be it. I hope you can make it. (CRACKS) If not I understand. We'll have your sister make a video with her cell phone. You can watch it on Youtube. And that's okay with us, Duane. Because you're very very busy (SOBS)
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): What.
GK: I'll come on the Fourth.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): No you won't. I know you're not going to.
GK: I will, Mom.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): You've seen fireworks before, Duane. You don't need to do it again.
GK: I'll be up there. Okay?
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Can you bring the corn salad?
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): We're gonna need a corn salad and some buns.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): And drive carefully.
GK: Okay mom. I'll call you later.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): All right Duane, love you. Can't wait to see you on the fourth.
GK: Love you mom, bye now.