Sunday, March 25, 2007

Conversations with Dad 3: Death and Dining in New Jersey


We begin in a diner off the New Jersey Turnpike, during a visit with Grandma.

Grandma: Do you ever tell your friends what a beautiful and intelligent Grandma you have, Ces?

Ces: Sorry?

Dad: Just tell her yes, Ces.

Ces: I...uh, I try to work it into conversation as much as possible, Grandma.

Dad: Don't be a wiseass.

Ces: Sorry.

Grandma: I'll be back. Have to go to the bathroom.

Grandma leaves table.

Dad: Hey, Ces, does Grandma look out of it to you?

Ces: Kinda, I guess. But she's not bad for 90.

Dad: What do you mean?

Ces: Well, she is getting old.

Dad: So? Marciulianos live much longer than average folks! Look at your Grandpa! He would still be alive today if he hadn't died in that hospital.

Ces: What?

Dad: Y'know, from that spill he took...when he had to go to the hospital. I bet if he didn't fall he would still be around today.

Ces: At age 102?

Dad: See? That's what I'm talking about. Marciulianos live a long time. That's another thing you got from my side of the family. Age. Smarts. Looks. The only thing you got from your mother's side was height.

Ces: Nice to throw her a bone, Dad.

Dad: They grow like weeds on that side. Way too gangly.

Ces: Wait, how old was Grandma's dad when he died?

Dad: Umm...72.

Ces: Oh...but he did have cancer...

Dad: Christ, that's just four years older than me.

Ces: Dad...

Dad: I thought I had another forty years. Christ, I hate being middle-aged.

Ces: Okay. That's it. New subject. It was really nice of you to take Grandma out to eat, Dad.

Dad: Hey, I'm a nice guy. By the way, do you have money to pay the bill? All I brought was my Sunoco card.

Ces: You didn't bring any money at all? How were you expecting to pay for the toll on the New Jersey Turnpike?

Dad: That reminds me--I need some money for that, too.

Ces: Wha..what if I didn't have enough cash on me, Dad?

Dad: Why? Because you keep wasting it all?

Grandma returns from the bathroom.

Grandma: I got toilet paper!

Ces: Oh, shit.

Dad: What the hell are you doing, Ma?!

Ces: You stole toilet paper, Grandma?

Dad: Can I have a roll?

Grandma: Sure. I think there's one or two rolls left in the men's room.

Ces: You stole toilet paper from both restrooms?!

Dad: Are you nuts, Ma?

Ces: Please ask her to return them, Dad.

Dad: Well, that'll actually only draw more attention. Besides, I could use a roll for sneezing in the car.

Grandma: You can take one from the men's room. I think there's one or two left.

Dad: I can't have one fucking toilet paper roll?!

Ces: Dad, will you lower your voice?

Dad: Who the fuck is listening?!

Waitress: Is everything okay?

Grandma: My soda's too warm.

Dad: That's because you ordered it without ice, Ma.

Ces: Maybe we should get her some ice.

Dad: She doesn't like ice. It makes her teeth hurt.

Grandma: I don't like my soda warm, either.

Dad (To Waitress): I'm sorry, Miss. Maybe she got confused when ordering. English isn't her first language. She's originally from Italy.

Waitress: That's okay. I have one just like her at home. I'll get her another glass of soda and make sure it's cold.

Dad: Thanks.

Waitress walks away with soda.

Dad: What the hell did she mean she has "one just like her at home"? Is she trying to be insulting?

Ces: I think she meant she has a mother born in another country.

Dad: No, she was making a wiseass remark. Screw her, I'm not leaving a tip.

Ces: You weren't going to leave her anything! You don't have any money, remember?

Grandma: I'm sorry Janice couldn't come.

Ces: Hmm? Oh, well, Dad and Aunt Janice are having some sort of argument, I guess.

Dad: I'm not arguing. Janice is arguing. I'm just not listening.

Grandma: At least you could visit, Ces.

Ces: No problem.

Dad: Of course he could. Ces is a really sweet kid. He'd do anything for anybody.

Ces: Uh...gee, thanks, Dad. Really.

Grandma: I just don't know why Frank and Janice have to fight. Siblings never fight.

Ces: That's not true, Grandma. Marcello and I used to fight all the time.

Dad: That's because you and Cello are two miserable little fucks who couldn't give a shit about anyone.

Pause.

Ces: Wait, what the fuck just happened here?

Dad: Don't curse in front of your grandmother.

Ces: I'm...I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Grandma. But what the hell just happened?

Dad: When?

Ces: "When?" Two minutes ago you were nominating me for Son of the Century. Now you're acting like I should get the chair.

Dad: What, you and Cello never fought?

Ces: Of course we fought! But that doesn't have anything to do with it!

Dad: Sure it did! You think I liked dealing with that? None of the other parents' kids fought!

Ces: Of course they did!

Dad: Well I didn't have to deal with them.

Waitress returns with new glass of soda and a plate of bruschetta for Grandma.

Grandma: I didn't order this.

Waitress: The chef heard you were from Italy so he made you a plate on the house.

Grandma: I'm not paying for this.

Ces: Funny, neither is Dad.

Dad: Ma, they're giving it to you for free.

Grandma: Did you order this?

Dad: For free, Ma! They made it for you for free!

Grandma: But I didn't order this.

Dad: It's free! Free! They're being nice! Eat it! (To waitress) Thank you very much. That was very thoughtful of you.

Waitress: You're welcome.

Waitress walks away.

Ces: Now can I leave her a tip, Dad?

Dad: Ma, can I have one of those?

Grandma: They made them for me.

Dad: But you didn't even want them.

Ces: We should probably get going soon.

Dad: Just a bite. One lousy bite!

Grandma: There's only three.

Dad: Why can't I have one fucking piece of bruschetta?!

Ces: How does a 40% tip sound?

Dad: Wha...why are you wrapping the other two up?

Grandma: I'm not hungry anymore. I'll eat them later.

Ces: Where did you park the car, Dad? I think I'll wait in there.

Dad: If you're not hungry now why can't I have one?!

Grandma: And what am I supposed to eat for later?

Dad: THE OTHER ONE!

Ces: I'm leaving.

Three get up from table and start to head out. Ces turns to get his umbrella only to see Grandma taking tip from table.

Ces: Wha...what are you doing, Grandma?

Grandma: You accidentally left some money on the table.

Ces: It's the tip, Grandma.

Grandma: Someone could have taken it.

Ces: Yes, Grandma. The waitress.

Grandma: But you already gave her the money for the bill.

Ces: And that was the money for her.

Grandma: What is she going to do with all that money? I didn't want you to lose any more.

Ces: Then why were you putting my money in your purse?

Grandma: Would you like a bruschetta, Ces?

Dad: WHAT?!?

Grandma: I've got two left and I can't eat that many.

Ces: I just want to leave a tip!

Dad (Whispering): Don't worry, Ces. I'll get the money out of her purse when she's not looking.

Ces: Um...uh...thanks, Dad.

Dad: That way we can pay the tolls...and I can have some bruschetta.

1 comment:

Kio said...

hehe forget about comic strips and books, this is sitcom material!

ok I'm gonna stop flooding your blog with comments now; but what you're writing is amazing.

Keep blogging!