SS: Duane, it's your Mother.
GK: Hi, Mom.
SS: "Hi, mom?" I don't like the sound of that.
GK: What's wrong?
SS: Duane, there are about ten different varieties of "Hi, Mom" and a mother can recognize them all ---- and that particular "Hi, Mom" tells me that you have other plans for Christmas. Am I right?
GK: I have no plans, Mom. What's up?
SS: You've made plans for Christmas Eve and you're just waiting for a good time to spring it on me. Aren't you.
GK: Oh come on.
SS: Turn your FaceTime on, Duane. I can tell you're fibbing by your face.
GK: I am not going to.
SS: I want to do FaceTime now.
GK: I will not.
SS: Okay. Whatever. Do whatever you want to do.
GK: What did you call about, Mom?
SS: I just worry about you, that's my problem. Forgive me for caring. I'm a mother, I can't help it. So what do you want for Christmas?
GK: I haven't thought about it. Don't go to any trouble.
SS: I'm not going to go to any trouble. Not after last year. I went to a lot of trouble last year and you still have two of my presents in your closet unopened. Unopened.
GK: For crying out loud -----when did you come in here??? did you have a search warrant?
SS: I called and called and called and you didn't answer and I went over there to make sure you didn't have a gas leak and you weren't lying unconscious on the kitchen floor with the phone in your hand.
GK: Mom, I am a grown-up adult. I don't need a warden.
SS: Well, think if your house blew up with you in it, unconscious, you'd be wishing I had.
GK: That doesn't make sense, Mom.
SS: You know what I mean. Anyway. You are coming over here for Christmas Eve? Right?
GK: If I'm invited.
SS: "If you're invited" ---- of course you're invited. You don't need an invitation to come home for Christmas. For heaven's sake.
GK: I do own my own home, Mom.
SS: Ok, Duane. Enough small talk. Now. Don't get mad --
SS: Promise you won't get mad?
GK: Just say it.
SS: Three words, Duane.
GK: Bringing a date? I'm not.
SS: No, not those three words.
GK: What three words? I don't know, Mom.
SS: Christmas Eve Service? I just --
GK: Which service, Mom?
SS: The early service.
GK: That's the one with the sermon, right?
SS: Yes, it is.
GK: And Reverend Humbug is still there?
SS: Humbert. Rev. James Morrison Humbert.
GK: The one with the drony voice who gives the sermon about Christianity being a religion of anticipation, right?
SS: He's a wonderful man.
GK: Fine, if it'll make you happy----
SS: Duane. A mother is never happy. A mother is on constant alert. Threat level orange at all times.
SS: They're doing a Nativity Procession that service and they need a Shepherd.
GK: What are you asking?
SS: You would just put on a robe and sandals and read one little paragraph about "watching the flocks by night."
GK: Mom. Why me?
SS: Well, your father is already playing the angel.
GK: An angel?
SS: He's allergic to those big fake beards.
GK: I don't know --
SS: It'd mean a lot to your father. For you to be a shepherd. All you need to do is come in the afternoon for a rehearsal.
GK: To be perfectly frank, Mom, I'd rather not. I don't believe. I'm not a believer. It wouldn't be right.
SS: Well, the shepherds weren't believers either. Until they saw the angels. Then they were.
GK: Looking at my dad is not going to make me a believer.
SS: Oh, look! Your father is here. He wants to talk to you! (CALLING OFF) Hank? Hank! Where are you? Well, Duane is on the phone. (TR OFF YELLS) Can you just put it on pause? Duane is dying to talk to you. (SS ON) He's coming, dear.
SS: He's still coming. (OFF) HANK GET IN HERE.
SS: (ON) Ok, he's here now --
(PHONE CHANGES HANDS)
TR: Hello, son.
GK: Hi, dad.
TR: How's it going then?
GK: About the same, Dad. You?
TR: Yeah. About the same.
TR: Yeah. They keep talking about snow but it doesn't look like it to me.
TR: Yeah. I guess you heard about the Christmas pageant.
TR: Your mother said you were gonna be in it so I figured I may as well too.
GK: Uh huh.
TR: Gonna be an angel. They said I don't need to sing. I can just move my lips.
TR: I got one line. You ready?
TR: "Fear not, for I give you good tidings of great joy" ---- how does that sound?
GK: It sounds good.
TR: You don't think it should be more joyful?
GK: It sounds fine just that way.
TR: Well, good talking to you, son.
GK: You, too, dad.
SS: (OFF) Hand me the phone, Hank. Well, don't throw it at me. (ON) Duane, you still there?
GK: I'm here, Mom.
SS: I am so happy. I can't tell you. My wedded husband and my only begotten son in the Christmas pagent.
GK: I didn't say I was going to be in the pageant, Mom.
SS: Well, I already volunteered you, so it's a done deal. After all I've done for you, you can be a shepherd for one night. All the meals I cooked, all the soccer games where I sat on the sidelines with the other moms-----
GK: Mom, please.
SS: Every day of my life, I wake up and think, "how's Duane? I wonder if he's all right." I carry the phone in my pocket with the vibrator on and when there's a call, I feel this trembling in my whole body, and I grab that phone --- no matter where I am ---- if I'm in church, praying for you and the phone rings ---- I run down the aisle and out the door so I can talk to my son ---- who I've been praying for----- because I'm your mother and I love you (SOBS)
SS: Yes, Duane?
GK: I'll be a shepherd.
SS: Good. What color do you want your sash to be?
GK: Whatever goes with the robe, Mom.
GK: Gold, then. That's fine.
SS: Ok, so see you Christmas eve, dear.
GK: See you Christmas eve.
SS: Dad made your shepherd's crook from an umbrella handle on a curtain rod.
GK: That's great.
SS: Can you shout Hosannas?
SS: Can you shout them?
GK: How many?
GK: I will.
GK: It'll be there.
SS: Ok, now. Love you, Dwayne.
GK: Love you, too, Mom.
SS: Bye now.
(SFX HANG UP)