'Night Mother, Part II

(In a Hollywood apartment, a dashing and rather intense young man STEE stumbles around his apartment, tying his shoes and searching for his wallet at the same time. The phone rings.)

STEE: Hello.

MA:(All voice overs) Oh, hello honey.

STEE: Hey Ma. Listen, I’m heading to meet some people for dinner at 7.

MA: Tonight is Tuesday.

STEE: Yes. You’re right.

MA: And my show-

STEE: That weird English comedy Ballyhoo Something-

MA: Irish. Ballykiss Angel, yes, is on tonight and-

STEE: (sotto voce) Oh no.

MA: I’d like to record it.

(Stee sits down.)

STEE: On the VCR?

MA: Yes.

(Stee breathes deeply.)

STEE: Well, do you have the 5 pages of instructions I wrote out last time?

MA: Oh, let me go look-

(Stee looks at the clock. It reads 6:55.)

STEE: No, don’t go look. Alright, what you need to do is this: ready?

MA: Yes, ready. Thank you honey, the last time I tried to record it just came out all-

STEE: Right. OK, so turn the TV to channel 3.

MA: But Ballykiss Angel is on channel-

STEE: Yes, but-

MA: (laughing) Oh, right. I remember, of course. (pause) OK, channel 3.

STEE: Now, you need to put the VCR on channel…

MA: 10.

STEE: Right. Good. Channel 10. (long pause) Is the VCR on channel 10?

MA: Yes… but I just see snow.

(Stee thinks. A look of worry and impending doom crosses his face. He breathes deeply once more.)

STEE: OK. That’s because the VCR/TV button is pressed to the wrong one.

MA: Huh?

(Stee lights a cigarette and begins to smoke it very quietly.)

STEE: Right. OK. There’s this button on the VCR remote, called VCR/TV, or something like that.

(Stee lies on the floor, as if preparing for a long wait.)

MA: (quickly) Yes, found it.

STEE: (pleasantly surprised) Oh. OK, good. That button is what decides, when you have the TV on channel 3 and the VCR on, which machine is going to be deciding what you’re watching. In other words, the VCR can dictate what you’re watching, or the TV can dictate what-

MA: Dictate?

STEE: Probably not the right word, huh?

MA: I was thinking.

STEE: Um… "control"?

MA: Sure. How are you by the way?

STEE: Fine thanks.

MA: Good.

STEE: -can control which channel you watch. Pressing that button toggles between the two.

MA: So I press that button.

STEE: Sure, why not.


MA: OK. I pressed it.

STEE: (fingers crossed) And? (Long pause.) Mother?

MA: Hm. Oh sorry. I was watching Ballykiss Angel. So funny, the Irish.

STEE: So it worked?

MA: Yes. Great.

STEE: Great.

MA: And?

STEE: Oh. Right. So now press record.

MA: Nothing happens.

STEE: Is a tape in?

MA: (slightly angry) Yes a tape is in.

STEE: Sorry. Um, press record and play at the same time.

MA: (laughing) Oh, no. I didn’t put the tape in. OK. It’s in now. Ha.

STEE: Press record and play at the same time.

MA: OK, hold on. (pause) Yes, it says "recording".

STEE: This is good.

(Stee grabs his keys, begins to unlock front door.)

MA: Oh, shoot.

STEE: (freezing) What?!

MA: I’ve seen this one before.


This is where I let Larry King take over my body for a few minutes.

I finally got up the photos of my late puppy StellaDiane stole my thunder by also advancing to the quarterfinals in the Nicholl Fellowship. Good for her, even though she capped on my centered text and threatened to kill me in order to thin the competition…