80c: Ellen Burstyn / Aretha Franklin, Keith Sykes
The Old Lady
Old Lady.....Ellen Burstyn
Little Girl.....Gail Matthius
[ open on interior, darkened kitchen, as a little girl in a rabbit costume rings the bell ]
Little Girl: Hi! I'm from Millard Elementary School, and I'm selling tickets to the Christmas pageant. We're doing "Alice in Wonderland" this year, it's an 8:30 a.m., and that's 'cause the first graders have lunch at 10:30, and I play the rabbit!
Old Lady: Can I give you a radish, instead of a dollar?
Little Girl: I'm not really a rabbit.
Old Lady: Oh. Well, come on in. [ she closes the door ] I've got some candy left over from Halloween, you can take your pick.
Little Girl: No. No, thanks.
Old Lady: Oh. Well, how about some stew?
Little Girl: Stew?!
Old Lady: Yeah.
Little Girl: No, I gotta go -- [ she heads for the door ]
Old Lady: No, come on, sit down, it's already made. You'll have some stew.
[ they sit at the table ]
Little Girl: Oh. Uh -- my Mom says I'm supposed to have, uh, stew from strangers! Uh, and that's why I have to go home pretty soon -- I'll probably have stew -- and, uh --
Old Lady: Yeah, well, I just taked to your mother, and she said you should have dinner with me. Now, eat it.
Little Girl: You -- you know my mother?
Old Lady: Sure, I know your mother. Now, eat.
Little Girl: Oh. [ she picks at the stew ]
Old Lady: You know, one Halloween my boy Jim was a rabbit. He didn't want to be -- he wanted to be a robot, but I didn't hear him too good. Jim's speech wasn't always real clear -- I used to say Jim and his tongue weren't on speaking terms. Anyway, he loved dressing up for Halloween. He always dressed up as something tough. One year he was Spiderman, the next year he was G.I. Joe, and the year after that he was a rabbit -- but, like I said, it wasn't his fault. He said "robot", I heard "rabbit."
Little Girl: Do you want a ticket to the Christmas pageant?
Old Lady: What's the matter? Don't you like your stew?
Little Girl: No, uh -- it's fine. But I'm ALLERGIC to stew!!
Old Lady: Well, no one's allergic to stew.
Little Girl: I am!
Old Lady: No, you're not! Now, eat!
Little Girl: Oh, uh -- uh, oh -- I REALLY AM allergic to it, but, also, it's because -- um --
Old Lady: Because, what?
Little Girl: It's... because... I don't like CAT MEAT!!
Old Lady: [ taken aback ] Cat meat? That ain't cat meat!
Little Girl: Yes, it is! Julie Rogers told me that you go into people's houses at midnight and steal their cats! Then you take them home and strip off the skin, and then you use their tails to brush your teeth.
Old Lady: How does Julie Rogers know this?
Little Girl: She SAW you! She stays up late! She swore on a stack of Bibles.
Old Lady: Does Julie Rogers have anything else to say?
Little Girl: No. But Guy Martin did! He says that the reason you have those tomato plants with strings around them is... to capture children?
Old Lady: Hmm. When my boy Jim was little, he had the idea that if you put the seeds for tomatoes and lettuce nad carrots all in the same hole, you could grow a salad. [ she laughs ]
Little Girl: Is it true you never change your clothes?
Old Lady: I used to tease him that he ought to water it with vinegar and oil. [ she laughs ]
Little Girl: [ looking around ] Where's Jim?
Old Lady: Jim and I had a favorite song. You know "Gold Mine in the Sky"?
Little Girl: [ shaking her head nervously ] Uh-uh.
Old Lady: [ singing ]
"There is ia gold mine in the sky far away
It will find you and I soem sweet day."
[ she rises and crosses the kitchen to open the door ]
Old Lady: Is someone there?
Little Girl: Well... I gotta go now! If my mother calls... tell her I'm on my way home. Okay? [ yelling ] IF MY MOTHER CALLS, TELL HER --
Old Lady: I don't know your mother.
Little Girl: Um -- well, thank you for the stew... ma'am.
[ the Little Girl slips through the door, as the Old Lady closes it and retreats into her kitchen ]
[ fade ]