(RING 3x)

GK: Hello?

SS: Duane, it's your Mother. Remember?

GK: Hi, Mom.

SS: Oh. "Hi, mom?" Is that all you can say? "Hi, Mom."?

GK: What's wrong?

SS: "What's wrong?" he says. "What's wrong?" Well, if you don't know, then I guess it's no problem. So never mind. I'll just go soak my head until I get over it.

GK: Get over what, Mom?

SS: Last Saturday. Valentine's Day. Ring a bell?

GK: Yes. It was Valentine's Day.

SS: Did you receive the box of home-baked heart-shaped cookies I left for you in your entryway?

GK: I did, Mom. Thanks. They were good.

SS: So you did get them----

GK: Yes.

SS: I sat by the phone all of Saturday, waiting for you to call and say, Thank you, Mother, for baking my favorite ginger snap cookies and frosting them as a sign of your love for me.

GK: Sorry.

SS: It took me three hours to bake and decorate those and then another hour to drive over to your place and leave them there.

GK: I'm sorry. I really appreciate it.

SS: And then walking down your sidewalk I slipped on a big swathe of black ice and I fell and banged my right hip.

GK: Oh no.

SS: The right hip that I had replaced in November.

GK: Oh no.

SS: I lay there, writhing in pain. It was the worst pain I have ever experienced since the day you were born, Duane.

GK: Mom----

SS: You have an enormous head. I hope you know that.

GK: Mom----

SS: I have not been myself since you came ripping out of me, Duane.


SS: So I lay there immobilized by pain and shock on that piece of ice you had forgotten to spread sand on. And I cried out in a pitiful voice. "Duane--- help! It's Mother. Fallen on your ice."

GK: I'm sorry.

SS: You might as well have just shot me in the hip with a shotgun. Refusing to clean your sidewalk is an act of aggression, Duane.

GK: I've been sort of busy, Mom.

SS: I've been busy too. Making you Valentine cookies.

GK: So what happened---

SS: I managed to get out my phone and call 911 and they sent an ambulance and took me to the hospital and here I am.

GK: You're still there????

SS: It's okay. Never mind. Enough about me.

GK: What's wrong?

SS: They think it's an explosive aorta.

GK: A what????

SS: An explosive aorta. Anyway, I didn't call to talk about myself. How are you and how's the book coming and how's that nice new girlfriend of yours, the one with the tattoo on her butt----

GK: Mom, what is this about your aorta?

SS: It's a congenital thing and it could explode at any time and blood would come gushing out of my ears and nose and I'd be gone. Anyway----- what was her name? Sonia? Sarah?

GK: Well, what are they going to do about it?

SS: I guess they'll try to repair it but meanwhile I'm here under observation. So I am. Was she the cocktail waitress or which one is she?

GK: Her name is Sidney, Mom, and she's an event planner.

SS: Oh. Sydney. Well, la di da. So----- do you two have an event coming up that needs some planning? Let me help. I've been waiting for years to do that.

GK: What is going on with you, Mom----- are they going to operate or what?

SS: Right now, honey, my heart is too emotionally fragile ----- they're not sure I can tolerate an operation, so they may just run a little tube up a vein and squirt some adhesive in there and see if that does the trick. I don't know. Listen---- I'm feeling faint----- let me hand you over to your father.

He's right here. He wants to talk to you! (OFF) Hank? Hank! Where are you? Duane is on the phone. (TR OFF YELLS) Well, just put it on Pause and talk to your son! (SS ON) He's coming, dear.

GK: Ok.


TR: Hello, son.

GK: Hi, dad. You're at the hospital.

TR: Yeah. Right up here on the fourth floor. Got a nice view of the river and downtown. TV reception is great. What's going on with you?

SS: So Mom has an explosive aorta?

TR: Oh, she's had that for years. Hasn't exploded yet. No, they're just doing some tests. She's fine. So----- pretty cold weather we been having, huh? You staying warm?

GK: Yeah. You?

TR: Oh yeah. We're just fine.

GK: You need me to go over to the house and check up on things?

TR: No, no. I can take care of that.

GK: Okay. Well, good talking to you.

TR: Yeah. Good talking to you, too. Keep warm.

GK: Okay. You take care.

TR: Oh yeah. I do.

GK: Okay then.

TR: You want me to hand you back to your mother?

GK: I guess so.

TR: Okay. Bye, Son.

GK: Bye, Dad.

TR: Bye now.

SS: (OFF) Just hand me the phone, Hank. No need to make a big production of it. (ON) Duane, I just wanted to tell you that as soon as I'm out of here, I'm going to whomp up a big dinner and have you and Sydney over so we can get to know her better. Is she Jewish by any chance?

GK: She is, yes.

SS: Oh. Okay, then I'll put together a whole dinner of Jewish food.

GK: Mom, please.

SS: I'll make chicken soup with matzo balls and corned beef and kosher pickles and --- what else do they like?

GK: Mom, she's vegetarian.

SS: Okay, we'll buy kosher vegetables then.

GK: Listen---- we'll talk about it later. Do you want me to come down and see you? Are you up for visitors?

SS: Honey, that's up to you. I don't want you to go to any trouble.

GK: Okay, I'll be right there.

SS: If you happen to be driving downtown and you see the sign for the hospital and there is a parking place there on the street, then okay -----

GK: I'm on my way, Mom.

SS: But don't pay for parking. Wait until 6 p.m. when parking is free.

GK: I don't mind paying for parking.

SS: I don't want you to go out of your way for me----- I'm sure you had plans for today----

GK: I can cancel them.

SS: Don't do that. I'll see you tomorrow.

GK: Are you sure?

SS: What do you mean, am I sure?

GK: You sure you'd rather see me tomorrow?

SS: Honey, we can't be sure of anything. I could die in five minutes. I know one thing. I shouldn't have baked those cookies

---- I just got all stressed out because, you know, I wanted them to be perfect, and I burned a batch and then I got the frosting wrong and I kept saying to myself, "This is for your son. Your son, Duane. The fruit of your loins." Your son who loves you...even though (SOB) he can't bring himself to say it.

GK: Okay. I'm on my way.

SS: Only if you want to, honey.

GK: I'll see you in a minute.

SS: Okay, bye now.

GK: Love you, Mom.

SS: Love you, too! Bye!

GK: Bye.