81a: (none) / Rod Stewart
Aunt Edie.....Mary Gross
Uncle Ed.....Tony Rosato
Ruth's Mother.....Christine Ebersole
Father Riley.....Joe Piscopo
[FADE IN on a funeral home as soft, mournful music plays. Ruth is dressed in black and standing in front of a closed casket while a huge weath is being carried across the room. Another woman in black walks up slowly behind Ruth.]
Aunt Edie: [gently] I suppose you expect me to bite my tongue and say, "It's all right." Well, it's not all right, it's all wrong.
Ruth: Well, I'm sorry you don't like it, Aunt Edie.
Aunt Edie: Don't like it? I hate it. That's my brother inside a closed casket. He didn't believe in closed caskets. And what kind of color is that, that's a sissy color.
Ruth: I picked it out, Aunt Edie.
Aunt Edie: Oh, Ruth. Why didn't ya ask me? I've been through this a million times. Honest to God, nobody asks Aunt Edie about anything, and nobody says "thank you." You know, I got your mother a discount on the obituary notice 'cause the neighbor's nephew works at the Tribune-Democrat.
Ruth: [forcing politeness] Thank you, Aunt Edie.
Aunt Edie: Did you get the casserole?
Ruth: Yes, thank you.
Aunt Edie: You'll thank me for it later. And don't forget to return the casserole pan, I lose more pans at these things.
Ruth: Well... I'll wash it and return it personally.
[Ruth turns to walk away, but Aunt Edie touches her arm.]
Aunt Edie: Honest to God, your father'd turn over in his grave if he knew he was in a closed casket.
Ruth: Aunt Edie--
Aunt Edie: But you kids nowadays do things your own way; I guess that's the way it goes. [sighs deeply]
Ruth: [angrily] Aunt Edie, they couldn't get the chicken bone out of his neck, okay?
Aunt Edie: Oh. Well... that's a different story, then.
Aunt Edie: Well, I guess it's not so bad.
Ruth: Thank you.
Aunt Edie: Course, he could've wore a scarf, but people would ask, "Why is he wearing a scarf at this time of year," y'know? [laughter] I woulda wore one, I dunno...
Ruth: Excuse me, Aunt Edie, I just have to talk to Mom for a second, all right?
Aunt Edie: Okay.
[Ruth walks away, but a man in a conservative blue suit and an ugly brown tie calls out to her.]
Uncle Ed: [loudly] Hey, RUTHIE! Heyyy, so, Ruth, hey.
Ruth: Hi, Uncle Ed.
Uncle Ed: How are ya, dear?
Ruth: Oh, I'm fine.
Uncle Ed: Hey, I want ya to know your old man--or, your father, there, he was a wonderful man!
Ruth: [softly] Thank you.
Uncle Ed: Wonderful man, y'know that? I--y'know remember him, last month, there, at that, uh, wedding party for your brother!
Ruth: [whispers] Yeah.
Uncle Ed: Hey, y'know, your brother got that girl in trouble, huh? [guffaws obnoxiously] Like father, like son, I guess. Y'know, he just brought a brand new pair of shoes that day, too. He comes up to me, says, "Hey: why don't you try these on, I betya we got the same foot size!" So I try them on, and what the hell... son of a gun, they FIT! [guffaws] A PERFECT FIT--heh heh heh heh heh heh heh! You don't know if he still got 'em on, do ya?
Ruth: [outraged] Uncle Ed! LOOK!!
Uncle Ed: Oh no, I couldn't, it's a closed casket, maybe a little later, when everyone's gone, yeah. Don't worry about it.
Ruth: [covering her face] Well, uh, just talk to Mom, okay, later?
[She goes to leave, but he stops her.]
Uncle Ed: Oh, sure! I will, Ruthie, because I'll tell ya, I think we're both a 15 1/2-inch neck.
[Ruth gasps and steps over to her mother, who is standing next to a priest.]
Ruth's Mother: Ruth? This is Father Riley. Father Riley, my daughter Ruth.
Father Riley: [shaking Ruth's hand] Ruth, I'm so sorry.
Ruth: Oh, well, thank you, Father. Father, could I just have a few moments alone with Mum?
Father Riley: Oh, I understand.
[He pats both women's shoulders gently. Ruth pulls her mother aside.]
Ruth: Mom, I can't take much more of this.
Ruth's Mother: Oh, I'm sorry, honey, it's almost all over. Nothing more wrong is going to happen, I promise.
[As she comforts Ruth, a young man in a bright blue leisure suit with a light blue flowered shirt appears. With a wardrobe bag over his shoulder, he turns to them.]
Ruth: What are you DOING here?!
Rod: Hey, no probs! I knew you were upset, so I flew into Pittsburgh. I didn't know how I was gonna find ya, but I just knew I had to!
Rod: Then it HIT me. You'd probably forget you and your father have the same surname!
Ruth's Mother: [politely] I don't believe we've met.
Rod: Rod Schapps. [shakes her hand] Ruth's lover.
Ruth: No! [She looks frantically around at everybody, including Father Riley.] No! [losing her composure] He isn't!
Rod: YES! Yes, he is! [points to casket] He's DEAD! And the sooner you understand that, the sooner you can move--LOOK!! He's DEAD, Ruth, he's dead!! Ruth-- [hands bag to priest] Excuse me. Your Holiness, I can handle this. [grabs Ruth's arms] C'mon, sweetheart, it's okay.
[The others clear away as Ruth struggles in Rob's grasp.]
Ruth: LET ME GO!! YOU TWIT! I HATE YOU!!
Rod: Let it go!
Ruth: Why don't you just go away? Lemme go!
Rod: [pulling her closer] Let it go! Let it go! Get it out of your system! Have a good cry!
[She finally collapses on his shouder and sobs.]
Ruth: [muffled] Noooooo...
Rod: [cranes neck toward others] What're ya staring at, huh? Have you ever seen anyone have a nervous breakdown before? Go on about your business! [turns back] No, honey, it's all right, it's okay. [tries to kiss her]
Ruth: Rod, Rod, Rod, Rod, listen to me!
Rod: What's the matter?
Ruth: [grabs his arms] Listen to me close!
Rod: I'm listening, I'm listening.
Ruth: You have got to understand this!
Ruth: I am normal, Rod. I'm normal. And you're not!
Rod: I KNOW that! I know--remember when I told ya about that famous guy that died? What's his name, BIG guy! I wanted to cry. I wanted to cry but I couldn't. And that's what I love about you.
Rod: You just don't understand, do you? You're so innocent. [caresses her face]
Ruth: Rod. You are such a tool. [laughter] You are never gonna believe that I don't like you the least little bit, are you? [waves hand in his face] Just doesn't register! Rod, you are amazing!
[Rod grins sheepishly and looks at the floor.]
Ruth: [grabs his shoulders] Rod, I, I'm tired. I'm exhausted. Yes, I am, and right now I just need to be alone with my family.
Rod: [softly] Oh, sure. I understand.
Ruth: Okay? And I was just--I was FINE until you got here!
Rod: You cried on account of me?
Ruth: Technically speaking, yes.
Rod: Ahhhh, GEEEEEEZ!
Ruth: Rod, shut up, shut up and let me finish, all right?
Ruth: Now, I, I, I don't have much strength left--I want you to go to your van.
Rod: No, I flew in.
Ruth: Well, then go to your hotel.
Ruth: Okay? And wait for me there, and I promise I'll come by later, and I'll--
Ruth: I--yes. Hope to die.
Ruth: Okay? Okay.
Rod: [pulls out a matchbook] I'm staying at the Monongahela Arms, out on Route 54 out by the airport! See, there's directions on the matches.
Rod: There's a little map there.
[Rod turns from her and steps over to the mourners.]
Rod: Can I have my bag--thank you, Father. [takes wardrobe bag from priest]
Uncle Ed: You'll like that hotel. I've been there myself.
Rod: [turning back to Ruth] Listen... you... you better not keep me waiting too long. I think the maid's kinda sweet on me. She pulled the covers down on my bed, and she put a chocolate mint on my pillow.
Ruth: [hopefully] Great.
Rod: Naw, I was just kiddin', c'mon, I don't go for girls that throw themselves at ya.
[Out of nowhere, Ruth is overcome by passion.]
Ruth: [whispers] Rod.
[He mashes his lips against hers and bends her over almost to the floor. She grabs him to keep from falling. He pulls her up and breaks the kiss.]
Rod: [hushed] Okay, babe, take care...
[He dashes out of the room, but stops cold in the doorway and turns back.]
Rod: Dan Blocker!
Rod: "Bonanza"! Remember I talked about that famous guy died? Big guy? Dan Blocker!
Ruth: Rod, go. [She pushes him out through the doorway as he blows her a kiss.] Good, Rod. Go.
[She turns back in and walks straight into Uncle Ed.]
Uncle Ed: Hey, Ruth, was that guy one of your, uh, y'know...
Ruth: [stalks off] Drop dead, Uncle Ed!
Uncle Ed: Sure, no problem, sorry.
Ruth: [clasping her mother's hands] Mom, listen. Mom, listen. I, I, I, I'll explain this all later.
Ruth's Mother: Look, you don't have to, I'm a woman, I understand.
Ruth: No, you don't understand. Mom, I've gotta get to Rod before the Humane Society picks him up, all right? [turns to leave] I'll be home in a couple of hours.
[Ruth dashes away as the mourners gather again.]
Aunt Edie: You get the casserole?
Ruth's Mother: Yes, thank you.
Aunt Edie: You'll thank me for it later.
[Audience applauds as Uncle Ed steps in with a pair of brown shoes in his hand and starts to take off his own shoes. ZOOM OUT.]
Submitted by: Sean