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30 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
MOMMY
Why Grandma, look at you! What is all that you’re carrying?
They’re boxes. What do they look like?
DADDY
My goodness, Grandma; look at all those boxes.
Where’ll I put them?
MOMMY
Heavens! I don’t know. Whatever are they for?
That’s nobody’s damn business.
MOMMY
Well, in that case, put them down next to Daddy. There!
I sure wish you’d get the john fixed.
MOMMY
Daddy! What a terrible thing to say to Grandma!
Yeah. For shame, talking to me that way.
MOMMY
Daddy’s sorry, Grandma.
Well, all right. In that case I’ll get the rest of the boxes. I suppose I deserve being talked to that way. I’ve gotten so old. Most people think that when you get so old, you either freeze to death, or you burn up. But you don’t. When you get so old, all that happens is that people talk to you that way.
MOMMY
Daddy said he was sorry.
Well, that’s all that counts, people being sorry. Makes you feel better; gives you a sense of dignity, and that’s all that’s important…a sense of dignity. And it doesn’t matter if you don’t care, or not, either. You have got to have a sense of dignity, even if you don’t care, ‘cause if you don’t have that, civilization’s doomed.
DADDY
How dare you read Mommy’s book club selections, Grandma!
Because I’m old. When you’re old you got to do something. When you get old, you can’t talk to people because people snap at you. When you get so old, people talk to you that way. That’s why you become deaf, so you won’t be able to hear people talking to you that way. And that’s why you go and hide under the covers in the big soft bed, so you won’t feel the house shaking from people talking to you that way. That’s why old people die, eventually. People talk to them that way. I’ve got to go get the rest of the boxes.
DADDY
I love my Mommy.
There. That’s the lot of them.
DADDY
They’re wrapped so nicely.
You won’t get on my sweet side that way…
MOMMY
Grandma!
…telling me how nicely I wrap the boxes. Not after what you said: I whimpered for hours…
MOMMY
Grandma!
GRANDMA
(To MOMMY)
Shut up!
(To DADDY)
You don’t have any feelings, that’s what’s wrong with you. Old people make all sorts of noises, half of them can’t help it. Old people whimper, and cry, and belch, and make great rumbling sounds at the table; old people wake up in the middle of the night screaming, and find out they haven’t even been asleep; and when old people are asleep, they try to wake up, and they can’t…not for the longest time.
MOMMY
Homilies, homilies!
GRANDMA
And there’s more, too.
DADDY
I’m really very sorry, Grandma.
I know you are, Daddy. It’s Mommy over there makes all the trouble. If you’d listen to me, you wouldn’t have married her in the first place. She was a tramp and a trollop and a troll to boot, and she’s no better now.
MOMMY
Grandma!
GRANDMA
(To MOMMY)
Shut up!
(To DADDY)
When she was no more than eight years old she used to climb up on my lap and say, in a sickening little voice, “When I gwo up, I’m going to mahwy a which old man; I’m going to set my wittle were end right down in a tub o’ better, that’s what I’m going to do.” And I warned you, Daddy; I told you to stay away from her type. I told you to. I did.
MOMMY
You stop that! You’re my mother, not his!
I am?
DADDY
That’s right, Grandma. Mommy’s right.
Well, how would you expect somebody as old as I am to remember a thing like that? You don’t make allowances for people. I want an allowance. I want an allowance!
Mommy
Grandma! I’m ashamed of you.
Humph! It’s a fine time to say that. You should have gotten rid of me a long time ago if that’s the way you feel. You should have had Daddy set me up in business somewhere…I could have gone into the fur business, or I could have been a singer. But no, not you. You wanted me around so you could sleep in my room when Daddy got fresh. But now it isn’t important, because Daddy doesn’t want to get fresh with you anymore, and I don’t blame him. You’d rather sleep with me, wouldn’t you, Daddy?
MOMMY
That’s right. Why are they so late? Why can’t they get here on time?
Who? Who? Who? Who?
MOMMY
You know, Grandma.
No, I don’t.
MOMMY
Oh, more or less. Look how pretty Grandma wrapped these boxes.
I didn’t really like wrapping them; it hurts my fingers, and it frightened me. But it had to be done.
MOMMY
Why, Grandma?
None of your damn business.
MOMMY
Go to bed.
I don’t want to go to bed. I just got up. I want to stay here and watch. Besides…
DADDY
Let her stay up, Mommy; it isn’t noon yet.
I want to watch; besides…
MOMMY
Well all right, you can watch; but don’t you dare say a word.
Old people are very good at listening; old people don’t like to talk; old people have colitis and lavender perfume. Now I’m going to be quiet.
MOMMY
Oh, I forgot to tell you, but it was ages ago.
(The doorbell rings)
Oh, goodness! Here they are!
Who? Who?
MOMMY
Oh, just some people.
The van people? Is it the van people? Have you finally done it? Have you called the van people to come and take me away?
DADDY
Of course not, Grandma!
Oh, don’t be too sure. She’d have you carted off too, if she thought she could get away with it.
MOMMY
Oh, Daddy, you were so masculine; I shivered and fainted.
Shivered and fainted, did she? Humph!
MOMMY
You be quiet.
Old people have a right to talk to themselves; it doesn’t hurt the gums, and its comforting.