78s: Maureen Stapleton / Linda Ronstadt, Phoebe Snow
Mrs. Arthur.....Maureen Stapleton
[ open on interior, living room apartment, as the doorbell rings ]
[ slowly crosses the room to answer the door ]
Mrs. Arthur: Oh!
Daughter: [ enters ] Hi, Mom! Happy birthday!
[ they hug ]
Mrs. Arthur: My baby!
[ they maneuver around the room and finally sit upon the loveseat, as an awkward silence envelops them ]
Daughter: [ breaking the tension ] Well! Mom, how have you been?
Mrs. Arthur: [ she sighs, turns away ] Oh, I'm all right...
Daughter: Mom, what's wrong?
Mrs. Arthur: Nothing! Nothing, I'm fine! Don't worry!
Daughter: Okay, I won't worry. [ she pats a small dog sitting with them on the loveseat ] How's, uh, little Bootsie here?
Mrs. Arthur: Worried.
Daughter: Mom, are you ready to go to dinner? [ she stands ]
Mrs. Arthur: Well, I thought -- I thought we could have an appetizer here first!
Daughter: Mom, Mom -- we'll eat at the restaurant.
Mrs. Arthur: Oh, but I made your favorite! Brisket and a roast potato!
Daughter: Mom... Mom, I made a reservation at your favorite restaurant -- Madrigal -- It's your birthday. I'm taking you there so you'll be happy!
Mrs. Arthur: But, honey -- oh, baby -- I HATE to see you spend your money on me. Why don't you save up and... buy yourself a coat?
Daughter: Mom, I have a coat. I have LOTS of coats.
Mrs. Arthur: Well -- you -- you -- you could have MY coat! [ she grabs her fur off the loveseat and hands it over ]
Daughter: Mom, I don't want to take your coat. I don't want it, alright?
Mrs. Arthur: I'm sorry...
Daughter: Mom, could you stop apologizing?
Mrs. Arthur: I'm sorry...
Daughter: Mother! You are just -- you are just trying to make me feel GUILTY!
[ they sit ]
Mrs. Arthur: Don't DO anything that makes you feel guilty, and you won't feel guilty.
Daughter: Mother, could you just go and put the brisket back in the fridge, and we're going out to dinner, okay? It's your birthday.
Mrs. Arthur: [ she throws up her arms ] Whatever you want...
[ Mrs. Arthur gets up and exits into the other room ]
[ she stands up on the loveseat and begins to jump on the cushions like a little girl ]
[ after a moment, she climbs down, crosses the room and dials the phone ]
Daughter: Uh, yeah -- is this the doorman? Uh -- I was wondering, uh -- could you, uh -- send a cab for Mrs. Arthur's apartment, 18-K? Yeah. And you'll phone us when it's there? Okay, thank you.
[ she hangs up and returns to sit on the loveseat, as her mother returns from the other oom carrying the brisket ]
Mrs. Arthur: Oh, here, baby -- take the brisket!
Daughter: Mom, I don't -- I don't want it!
Mrs. Arthur: Well, honey, I don't like brisket. I never eat it, so take it, I can't --
Daughter: I don't -- Mother! I don't want to walk into a restaurant carrying a brisket!
Mrs. Arthur: You can CHECK the brisket!
Daughter: I DON'T want to check the brisket!
Mrs. Arthur: Why?! Is there a law saying you can't check a brisket while I -- I don't see the President passing new legislation about checking brisket!
Daughter: [ through clenched teeth ] I am NOT... taking... the brisket... to... the restaurant!
Mrs. Arthur: [ insisting ] Take the brisket.
Daughter: [ taking the brisket ] Help, God. Get me out of this discussion.
Mrs. Arthur: It was a $12 brisket.
Daughter: Okay, Mom, okay. Alright. [ she opens her purse ] $12... $12. Here, Mom -- take the $12! [ she hands the money over ]
Mrs. Arthur: Mrs. Kelman's daughter checked a veal roast at Trader Vic's!
Daughter: [ putting the money away ] Mrs. Kelman's daughter calls her every day... Mrs. Kelman's daughter took Mrs. Kelman to Nassau... Mrs. Kelman's daughter has three wonderful grandchildren... and Mrs. Kelman's daughter does it with your dentist in the SAME chair where you get your teeth cleaned!
Mrs. Arthur: I DON'T want to hear this!
[ silence, as they struggle for something to say to one another ]
Daughter: That's, uh -- that's a nice tea set. Is it new?
Mrs. Arthur: [ pleased to talk about it ] It's Japanese! [ she picks it up ] Here. Take it!
Daughter: [ exasperated ] Mom, would you quit trying to give me stuff? It's your birthday. Can't I give you something?
Mrs. Arthur: All I want is your respect.
Daughter: Oh. I'd rather give you a gift.
Mrs. Arthur: What?
Daughter: [ she opens her purse and pulls out some cigarettes ] Nothing. Do you have an ashtray?
Mrs. Arthur: What for?
Daughter: I want to throw up in it.
Mrs. Arthur: I thought you QUIT smoking?
Daughter: [ as she lights up ] Mrs. Kelman's daughter quit smoking. The adulteress!
Mrs. Arthur: Is, uh... that what you're wearing?
Daughter: No. This is what Carmen Miranda is wearing. She's wearing what I'm wearing. Our outfits got mixed up on the way over here.
Mrs. Arthur: Are you sure you'll be warm enough to eat?
Daughter: No, Mother. Actually, I'm not sure whether I have any clothes at all! You know, I'm 32 years old, and I don't know how to dress myself! I mean, I don't even know how gto cook an egg. I think you just break it out onto a plate, and it comes out scrambled. And, you know, Mom? I tap dance in the bath tub. And I'm always putting my finger into electric sockets. And, uh -- this is something you don't know, Mom -- uh -- I shave my armpits with a carving knife. And I forget to put my pants back on every time I go to the bathroom! And I LOVE picking my nose SO much, that the underneath of YOUR couch is caked with SNOT!! [ she puffs on her cigarette ]
Mrs. Arthur: [ she picks up her dog ] Maybe Bootsie would like some brisket?
[ the telephone rings; Daughter picks up ]
Daughter: Oh. Oh, yeah. Thank you. Thanks very much. Alright, we'll be right down. [ she hangs up ] Mom, the cab's here.
Mrs. Arthur: Here. [ she holds up her fur coat ]
Daughter: [ helping her into the coat ] Mom, don't you think you're gonna be hot in this coat? It's so heavy. [ a beat ] Wait. Wait a minute. [ she laughs ] You have lipstick all over your teeth.
Mrs. Arthur: [ pointing in her mouth ] Here?
Daughter: No. Wait on, I'll get it. Come here. [ she wipes off the lipstick with a Kleenex ] There you go.
Mrs. Arthur: How do I look?
Daughter: [ tenderly ] You look beautiful. Come on, let's go.
[ Daughter exits the apartment, as Mrs. Arthur turns around to take the brisket with her before exiting ]
[ zoom out, with SUPER: "coming up next... Sesame Streetwalker" ]
[ fade ]