GK: Hello?

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

GK: Hi mom.

SS: Did I get you at a bad time? You're not in the bathroom are you?

GK: It's fine, mom. I'm in the bedroom.

SS: Just called to wish you Happy New Year and hope you're not drunk on champagne and getting yourself into a situation where you'll have to pay child support for the rest of your life ---- okay?

GK: I'm actually alone, mom. Just sitting here drinking a Coke and working the crossword.

SS: What happened to your girlfriend Solveig?

GK: She thought we ought to see other people.

SS: Oh. So who's she seeing?

GK: Some guy. I don't know.

SS: Huh. Just like your dad and me back in 1957.

GK: You were seeing other people?

SS: We talked about it. Or I did. I wanted to date Stan.

GK: Stan Thorson? The produce manager?

SS: He used to be very nice. Back when he had hair.

GK: You've got to be kidding.

SS: That's what your dad said. Anyway, he was so upset about it he paid fifty bucks for a bottle of French champagne and we drank it and got completely looped and nine months and ten minutes later you came along by doggone it we've lasted for fifty-five years now.

GK: You never told me this before.

SS: Oh yeah, we weren't right for each other and I knew it and I wanted to break up and next thing I knew I was in a family way and so ---- I just made the best of it. (A BEAT) Duane? Are you still there? Honey?

GK: I just don't know what to say.

SS: Well don't say it to your dad, then, because here he is. (OFF) Hank? Hank? (TR: What.) It's Duane. He's on the phone. (TR: So what?) So talk to him, that's what. Here's the phone. It's right here. No, that's the remote. Here's the phone right here. Take it, Hank. Talk to Duane now. (FUMBLING)

TR: Hello.

GK: Hi Dad.

TR: Happy New Year.

GK: Thanks. You too.

TR: Yep.

GK: You make any resolutions this year?

TR: Oh, I don't know. Stay married to your mother, I guess.

GK: Well. Aim for the stars, dad.

TR: You have no idea. How about you? Any resolutions?

GK: Let me get back to you on that.

TR: Okay. Well, good talking to you. Here's your mother.

SS (OFF): Where do all those people go to the bathroom anyway? (ON) Duane? Are you still there honey?

GK: I'm here, mom.

SS: We've got cheese dip and sparkling catawba juice if you feel like coming over.

GK: I don't know, mom. I mean, you sort of just dropped a bombshell on me.

SS: What? What do you mean, Duane?

GK: You just told me that I'm the only reason you and dad stayed together. You were going to break up and then you got drunk and pregnant--

SS: When you say it like that it sounds dirty.

GK: Well? It's a shotgun marriage, no?

SS: Duane. I do not look back. Life is too short. Live in the present, I say.

GK: Mom--

SS: There could be carbon monoxide leaking into our living room right now from the neighbor's garage, and nobody would know it and we'd just fall asleep in front of the television and by the time you finally realize we haven't called in a while, we'd be skeletons on the couch. (CRACKS) Skeletons, Duane. Two skeletons, on the couch, with party hats on and noisemakers in our bony fingers. Skeleton fingers with silent noisemakers. (SOBS)

GK: Mom.

SS: What?

GK: (SIGH) Should I pick up anything for you on my way?


SS: Just some grapes, Duane. Green grapes. And blue cheese. The good kind.

GK: Okay mom. I'll see you in ten minutes with green grapes and some blue cheese.

SS: Okay. Love you Duane, see you soon.

GK: See you mom.

SS: And Duane?

GK: Yes?

SS: Happy New Year.

GK: Happy New Year, mom.