A Prairie Home Companion Segment 20 for April 5, 2014
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0:00 | 00:06:48


GK: Hello?

SS: Hello, Duane. It's your mother. Remember me?

GK: Hi, Mom. How are you? I was just going to call you.

SS: Right. So how are you, Duane? Where are you? It sounds like there are people there with you. You're not at that coffee shop ,are you? The one that charges four dollars for a cup of coffee?

GK: No, Mom.

SS: I've told you a hundred times, if you need someone else to make coffee for you, I can come over and do it for free right in your own home. And I can do your laundry in between coffees. I'd be happy to do it.

GK: I know, Mom.

SS: And I would be so quiet you wouldn't even know I was there. You wouldn't even know I was there, Duane. You could work away at that novel you've been working on for almost fifteen years now and get the dang thing finished.

GK: So what did you call about, Mom?

SS: What sort of question is that? A mother has to have a reason to call her own son? The person who bore you in her own body for nine months and then--- (SHE IS WEEPY)--- and then-----

GK: Mom, please. Don't.

SS: I'm sorry. I know you're busy. It's just that---- it's still vivid in my mind, even fifty years later. The screaming, the blood, the doctor in a panic, your father passed out on the floor, the nuns saying rosaries-----

GK: Mom, maybe you should sit down and take a deep breath and call me back later----

SS: Duane, I'm going to just say this and get it out there and I don't want you to get upset or anything, I'm just going to state the simple fact that my birthday was two days ago, Duane. And it's okay that you forgot. It's okay. I'm over it.

GK: Oh, gosh. I made a note of it and then.....I'm so sorry.

SS: It's okay. Don't beat yourself up over it. I don't expect anybody to make a fuss over me.

GK: I am so sorry, Mom. I made a note to call you and then something came up and I just lost it----

SS: It's okay. I was prepared for it. I told myself a month ago, "Don't expect anything for your birthday" and so I didn't.

GK: I am terribly sorry.

SS: So this.... quote--- "thing that came up" unquote---- who is she?

GK: Let's not go there, Mom. Please.

SS: We're there, Duane. Who is she?

GK: I'll send you an email----

SS: She isn't one of those deeply troubled young women you've always been attracted to, is she? One of those dancer types who' s fascinated by her own breathing? One of those artists who's inhaled too many paint fumes? Wait a minute. -- -- why do I hear sirens?

GK: I'm in New York. I'm in Central Park, at Sheep's Meadow----

SS: With whom?

GK: With a thousand New Yorkers enjoying a fine spring day.

SS: Duane----- a mother knows. She's there and you're signalling to her right now to be quiet and you're pointing to the phone with your finger going around in circles that means ----- I'm talking to a lunatic. Am I right?

GK: No, mom.

SS: Would you tell me if you were?

GK: No, mom. But I'm not.

SS: Well, I don't want to know anyway. I'm just calling to remind you that Wednesday is the Spaghetti Fiesta at the Senior Center and you agreed to come and give a talk on "Selling Your Screenplay" -----

GK: I'm speaking on what????

SS: Okay, so shoot me ---- I got carried away --- I told them that my son is a successful screenwriter and that he has a film coming out starring Alec Baldwin, Barbra Streisand, Walter Bobby, and Bob Barker.

GK: You didn't.

SS: I'm sorry, I was sitting next to a woman whose son is a Hollywood dermatologist and she was dropping names like crazy---- I was just trying to keep up----- and not have to admit that my son is a novelist who has yet to finish a novel he's been working on for eighteen years or more.

GK: Mom, I've never written a screenplay in my life. I can't talk about that-----

SS: But you've written fiction, so you know how to make things up. Please----

GK: How can I do that?

SS: Duane, these are old people, they'll forget what you said two minutes later. Just smile and draw diagrams, they'll be happy.

GK: Listen, about your birthday--- Let's have a belated birthday party, Mom. What about Sunday?

SS: I won't be there, Duane. I've decided to travel.

GK: Travel where? Where are you going?

SS: I'm going wherever I feel needed, Duane. You don't need me, your dad doesn't need me, so I'm going to visit the world's trouble spots and try to be helpful.

GK: Mom, could I speak to dad?

SS: He's not here, Duane. I'm not at home.

GK: Where are you?

SS: I'm in Ukraine.

GK: What? You're kidding.

SS: (OFF) Come here, sweetie pie. Talk to my son. Here.

TR (RUSSIAN): Hello. Who is this?

GK: Oh come on.

TR (RUSSIAN): Hello?

GK: Who is this?

TR (RUSSIAN): Dmitri Potemkin.

GK: Who are you?

TR (RUSSIAN): Very good friend of this woman here.

SS: Honey, Dmitri has been such a dreamboat. I am having the most fabulous time. I feel thirty years younger.

GK: What are you doing, Mom?

SS: I am reaching out to people, person to person. I'm just trying to help.

GK: Your help with what?

SS: That's what I'm here to find out.

GK: But what are you doing?

SS: I'm dancing, I'm eating fabulous food, I'm meeting people, I'm staying up late and stepping out. Toujours, gai, I say. There's a dance in the old dame yet.

GK: What does Dad say about all this?

SS: Honey, I told him I was going to the store and I don't know if he heard me or not and I don't care. Your father lives in his own world.


SS: Oh Dmitri is taking me to a party, honey. I'm putting on my dancing shoes.


SS: He's giving me a glass of vodka. Gosh, that is good stuff. Have you ever tasted the real thing? (OFF) Oh, gosh, Dmitry, I can't drink all that!!! Can I?

(TR RUSSIAN OFF) Well, you're the doctor.

GK: Mom----- we need to talk. (CLICK) Hello, hello??? Hello?

SS (RUSSIAN OPERATOR): This is the operator. Please deposit twenty rubles.

GK: Hello? I've just been disconnected-----

SS (RUSSIAN): You must deposit twenty rubles now to continue the call....

GK: I don't have any rubles. Please. I'll pay in dollars.

SS (RUSSIAN): I'm sorry. I don't understand. I am putting you on hold now.