75l: Dick Cavett / Jimmy Cliff
Alcohol and Firearms Don't Mix
[FADE IN on Anne talking on the telephone and leaning over an intable.]
Anne: I couldn't be happier, Margie. He's too good to be true! He's, he's tall, he's handsome, he's rich, exciting... Definitely the best thing that's happened to me since George died. I'm not gonna lose him, either. I'm reading this book called "The Total Woman." Oh, yeah, he is a bit clumsy, but let's face it, an old broad like me with two kids can't be too choosy. Heh. No, no, the kids haven't met him yet. They will later, though. He's out duck hunting, he said he'd drop by afterwards. Oh, Marge, I like a man who hunts ducks.
Anne: [grins] Yeah. He said he was coming by because he said he had something very important to say to me. Yeah, I--Marge, I think he may even pop the question.
Anne: [quickly] Oh, wait a minute, that might be him now, I'll talk to you later, bye.
[She hangs up and turns toward the door.]
[As she rushes to the door, a loud report is heard from offstage. She pauses an instant, then opens the door to reveal Michael in red plaid and khaki hunting gear, a rifle in his hand.]
Anne: [happily] Hi, Michael!
Michael: Hi, Anne, how are ya?
Anne: I just made some martinis just the way you like them!
Michael: Oh, great.
Anne: Did I just hear a shot?
Michael: Yeah, it's a funny thing. I was walking up the driveway, and my gun kind of went off accidentally, and I shot a rabbit! [laughs] He was digging up your garden.
[Anne peers out through the front door and then turns back while Michael walks in and sits down.]
Anne: Uh... Michael?
Anne: [dryly] Um, that wasn't a rabbit... that, that was Skippy, my dog.
Michael: Oh, Anne, I'm terribly sorry, I--
Anne: [rushes to him] No problem, Michael, no problem, he... was getting old anyway.
Michael: You sure?
Anne: My God, in dog age, he was close to seven. [eagerly] Sit down, Michael! [pushes him into easy chair] Ah, I forgot to ask, how did duck hunting go?
Michael: Oh, well, it's not really duck hunting, it's, uh, well, it's kind of deer hunting, even though I didn't shoot a thing. I am getting better.
[His gun suddenly goes off, and the windowpane in the front door shatters with a jagged hole in the center.]
Michael: [stands up] Oh, Anne, I'm very sorry, uh--
Anne: No problem, these things happen, it was, uh, getting dirty anyway. [smiles]
Michael: I can't believe, uh--
Anne: Y'know, Michael, I'm reading this book, called "The Total Woman."
Anne: It really makes a lot of sense. It says that, well, uh... A woman's man comes first, he... he's the most important thing in her life.
[The door suddenly jangles and opens as Anne's son Duke walks in.]
Anne: Oh, hi, Duke, you're home from school early!
Duke: Yeah, we had half a day.
Michael: Hello, son. [extends his hand] How are you?
Duke: Hi. [shakes Michael's hand]
Anne: Duke, why don't you go upstairs and wash up, and then come down, and we'll all get acquainted.
Duke: Sure. Say, what's wrong with Skippy? He looks sick.
Anne: No, no, Duke, he's tired, he's sleeping.
Duke: Oh, that's strange. The mailman's lying in the lawn.
Duke: He must be sleeping too.
[Duke cheerfully heads up the stairs.]
Michael: Bright young boy.
Anne: I don't like to talk about death in front of the children, it upsets them.
Michael: I can understand--
Anne: They still think my late husband is at the polls. Voting for Lyndon Johnson.
Michael: Y'know, I had no idea you'd been widowed that long?
Anne: [dreamily] Yes, the Lord took George away from me in 1964. It's been twelve years. Twelve lonely years. But that's all over now, isn't it, Michael?
Michael: [pulls her close] Yes, it is, Anne.
Anne: I'm so happy.
[She presses her face passionately against his chest for a moment, then skips over to the foot of the stairs.]
Anne: DUKE?! Duke, come down, I'm sure you two have a lot to talk about!
[Duke obediently clambers downstairs while Michael cleans his rifle off to the side.]
Duke: Hi, Mike.
Michael: Hey, Duke, how ya doin'?
[Just when Duke reaches the landing, Michael points the gun straight at his chest, and a shot rings out. Duke crumples to the living room floor. A chair spins slightly as he lands. Anne and Michael watch in disbelief for moment.]
Michael: [horrified] Oh. Oh, my Lord, I--
[Anne rushes up and stop Michael in mid-stride.]
Anne: [passionately] No problem!
Michael: Anne... that was your son!
Anne: That's right--it was my son. But we can't live in the past, now, can we? We must live for today and... tomorrow. Our tomorrow. [slowly pushes him into chair] Right, Michael?
Michael: [sits down with her on his lap] Yeah, I guess so. You're so understanding, I...
Anne: Well, I try not to be bothered by trivialities, and you should too. I can help you relax. Like it says in the book, "The Total Woman." There's an entire chapter on whipped cream.
Voice: [off camera] Mommy, am I crazy, or did I just hear shots?
Michael: [casually] Say, who is that?
[CUT to Patty walking down the stairs in a robe and drying her hair.]
Patty: I was in the shower, I could've sworn I--
[Michael lifts up his rifle reflexively and fires another perfect shot.]
Patty: Uhhhhhhh... [drops to the floor]
Anne: [closing her eyes] My late daughter.
Michael: [stands up] Oh. I, I am, now, am very sorry...
Anne: [grabs his arms] No problem, Michael, no problem. Look, Patty was young, but those were nineteen fruitful years.
Michael: Yes, but...
Anne: She even went to Europe last summer!
Michael: Well... [walks away in stunned disbelief]
Anne: Getting back to the book, Michael... you know, it says... It says that a woman should help her man feel less uptight--he should be catered to when he comes home. [pushes him gently down into the easy chair] Don't you agree?
[Michael sighs and takes her hand.]
Michael: I guess I do, Anne. Listen, um... Well, now that we're alone, as it were... [glances in Duke's direction] Well, there's something I, there's something I wanted to ask you.
Anne: [with baited breath] Really?
Michael: [nervously] Yeah. Um... I've never asked anybody this before, I'm kind of nervous--
Anne: Take your time.
Michael: Anne... will... [sighs] Uhhh. I'm so old-fashioned. Look, look... [stands up] You sit here.
Michael: I guess... I just wanna do it the right way.
[He drops to one knee as she sits in the chair.]
[His rifle goes off and shoots Anne point-blank in the right lung. Anne grimaces and glances down.]
Michael: Anne? Anne. Are you all right?
Anne: No problem, just hurry up, what was it that you wanted to ask? [stifles a laugh]
Michael: You sure you're all right--
Anne: I'm fine, Michael.
Michael: Oh. Um... [snickers] You look nervous too--I'm so nervous, you know. Uh, uh. Y'know, I could really use that martini now, I'll tell ya.
Michael: Yeah, it'd probably help me pop the-- well! [gestures awkwardly]
[Anne nods obediently and struggles to rise from her chair, leaning on Michael for support.]
Michael: Y'know, as I was saying, I... well, we've known each other for a little while now, Anne, and, uh...
[She lurches toward the intable for his drink and manages to serve it neatly to him.]
Michael: Oooooh, did you think I could have a twist? Just a little drier.
[Anne reaches stiffly for an olive and plops it into his martini.]
Michael: We've known each other for, I guess, a few, months--
Anne: Is that okay?
Michael: That's fine, that's perfect. No problem.
[Anne finally collapses at his feet. After regarding her for a moment, Michael stands up and sets the rifle back at his hip. CUT to a closeup of Michael with his martini in the other hand.]
Michael: [in a spokeman's voice] This message has been brought to you by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
[SUPERIMPOSE "A PUBLIC SERVICE MESSAGE" at the bottom of the screen.]
Michael: Hello. You know... a gun is only as dangerous as the man who uses it. [doffs his hunting cap] Bullets and alcohol don't mix. [confused] Or is it bullets and tobacco? No, wait... [puts cap back on] If you don't drink, don't shoot. [confidently] Don't smoke while you're loading your gun!
[Struggling to remember his tagline, he sets the down the gun pointing up at him, and it promptly fires once more.]
Michael: Oh, boy.
[FADE to a slide reading, "Presented by THE PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL FOR CLEAR THINKING." FADE to black over applause.]
Submitted by: Sean