Sunday, 2 August 2009

Mother's Tongue

See posts passim to contextualise the following:

Mother: I could strangle your bloody father!
Daughter (HOLDING 'PHONE AWAY FROM EAR): I'm sure he's not really a tramp.
Mother: What?
Daughter: I doubt whether Sid Dene is really a tramp.
Mother: Who's Sid Dene?
Daughter (QUICKLY): Ignore me. I've just woken up.
Mother: Are you in bed?
Daughter: I've got Swine 'flu, remember?
Mother: You should get up. You'll feel much better. Anyway, I am so cross with your father I could spit!
Daughter (RESIGNED): Why? What's he done now?
Mother: Mark's been round.
Daughter: Mark?
Mother: His biographer.
Daughter: Mmm?
Mother: You know that Trade Fayre your father was at in Birmingham?
Daughter: No.
Mother: Yes, you do. When he was selling Space Invaders.
Daughter: Still no.
Mother: You do. We'd just moved back to Leeds.
Daughter: In 1979?
Mother: Yes.
Daughter: I was thirteen.
Mother: That's beside the point. (TRIUMPHANT). He wasn't there!
Daughter: Who wasn't where?
Mother: Mark's been going over the first draft.
Daughter: Where's Dad?
Mother: In the bath.
Daughter: Is Mark in the bath with him?
Mother: Don't be stupid. Mark's sitting on the pouffe in our bedroom. I was on the landing, dusting, and I happened to hear Mark read out 1979.
Daughter: He's reading loudly then.
Mother: He has to. Your father keeps topping up the hot water and the immersion's noisy.
Daughter (WEAKLY): I'm really not feeling very well, Mum.
Mother: Your father wasn't at the Trade Fayre. He was in Spain. Playing golf with Jimmy Tarbuck! And you weren't well.
Daughter: I'm not well now.
Mother: Your father's life has been a closed book.
Daughter: Not for much longer.
Mother: What does that mean?
Daughter (SIGHS): I'm going to have to go, Mum.
Mother: I'm not going to tell him I know. I'm playing my cards close to my face.
Daughter: Chest.
Mother: That too. (QUICKLY). Have to go. He's pulled the plug out.

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