"Mama's Close Call"
by Fred Passmore copyight 2003
Characters: Mama, a lady in her mid-60's. Her son Louie, who is about 25-30 years old. Three young people as paramedics. A female for the voice of the telemarketer that calls.
|Note: Click here for an alternate script for an all-female cast! Louie is changed to Louise.|
Costumes: A simple dress or bathrobe for Mama, with fuzzy slippers, as well as a wig with graying hair. (Gray spray-on hair coloring may be used instead, if preferred.) Louie is in casual slacks and shirt. The paramedics should be in white.
Props: A can of soda, a bag of microwave popcorn and a bowl, TV remote, phone, a cell phone for Louie, a medical kit, a white plastic bracelet. A real medical stretcher should be used if available, as it will add realism and comedic effect. (If no stretcher is available, a wheelchair may be used, or a table with wheels, covered with a sheet.)
Setting: Mama's living room, with a recliner, end table with lamp and phone. Another chair nearby, and as much set dressing and decoration as desired. If a TV is used, have it on one end of the stage next to the front, with it's back to the audience and facing Mama's recliner. Otherwise just have Mama aim her remote at the audience and look their way as if looking at a TV.
NOTE: Your actors deliver the dialog and you play the background music and effects tracks as listed in the script to enhance your performance.
Soundtrack: As always, the specially-recorded soundtrack will make your performance of this skit script much funnier, professional, and effective. The soundtrack for this skit is on the Combo Package #4 Soundtrack CD, along with "Battle of the Sexes: Round One."
Combo Package #4 Soundtrack CD
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"Mama's Close Call"
(Begin Track #7 on the CD, the skit intro music plays.)
(Mama, a lady in her 60's, comes in with a bag of popped microwave popcorn and looks for the TV remote.)
Mama: "The chores are done, just in time for my favorite movie! Now where is that remote?"
(She searches the room with no luck, then turns over the seat cushions in the chair she was going to sit in.)
Mama: "Aha, there you are, you little rascal! You're harder to find than a good man. And even harder to keep handy! If you were dear old Fred I'd look in the garage under the car hood."
(Sitting down in the recliner, then picks up the remote and turns on the TV.)
(Begin Track #8, the TV sounds.)
(As the sound plays, she clicks through a series of bits of old commercials. The actress should rehearse with the soundtrack to get the clicks timed right. She settles on one channel, then pushes back in the recliner, sets down her can of soda on the end table and opens the bag of popcorn.)
Mama:: "Ah, nobody around to bother me, and the movie is about to begin. I've been waiting for this all week!"
(She pours some popcorn out of the bag into a bowl, which she places on her lap. The phone rings on the soundtrack over the TV sounds.)
Mama: (With a grimace.) "It never fails!"
(She aims the remote to turn down the TV, timed with the TV sound fading on the soundtrack, and she answers the phone right after the second ring.)
Caller: (a female, with voice filtered, on mic offstage.) Hello, Mrs. Ima Whiffle?
Mama: "This is she."
Caller: "I'm with the Webugya Phone Company, and I'd like to tell you about our special long-distance rates."
Mama: "Well, hurry up, my favorite movie is coming on in a few minutes!"
Caller: "Thank you, this will only take a moment. May I ask you a few questions to help determine which calling program would be best for you?"
Mama: "All right."
Caller: "How old are you?"
Mama: "That's pretty personal for a stranger to ask. Let's just say I'm over 60. But not much!"
Caller: "That's fine. Are you married?"
Mama: "I'm a widow, my husband Fred went home to be with the Lord eight years ago when he was killed by a turkey."
Caller: "A turkey killed him?"
Mama: "Yep! Botulism!"
Caller: "I'm sorry..."
Mama: "Don't be! He's better off now. And to tell you the truth, so am I! But don't tell anyone I said that."
Caller: "I won't. Do you have any children?"
Mama: "Heavens, yes! I have two sons. All grown now."
Caller: "Do they often..."
Mama:(Interrupting.) "Larry is my oldest, he's a lawyer. He's given me two wonderful grandchilden. I'm so happy to see them when they do come to visit; but I'll tell you a little secret; I'm just as happy to see them go! I think it's a good thing they live a few hours away. After a couple of days all those loud cartoons can get on a body's last nerve."
Caller: "Well, I'm sure that when you ca...."
Mama: (Interrupting again.) And then there's my other boy, Louie, we call him Little Loiue, cause he's the baby. But he's not so little now, he's a big baby, and getting bigger all the time, but he's still my little Louie. I keep telling him to lay off the pizza, but he's still a bachelor, and he doesn't eat the healthiest food. All that cheese just plays the devil with his regularity. "Eat more greens and salads," I tell him, but does he listen? He's a writer, real creative that boy is. He writes a daily column in the newspaper. But I give him most of his ideas!"
Caller: "That's wonderful. I bet you enjoy talking to your sons when they call. Now I can recommend a money-saving plan..."
Mama: (Interrupting again.) "When they call? Are you kidding me? Getting Larry to call is tougher than toenails! But at least Louie comes over pretty often, he lives just down the street in a basement apartment. Whenever he gets writer's block, which is about as often as he gets all bound up, he comes over for my help! He's a good boy, though, he bought me a Medic-Alert bracelet that sets off an alarm if I need help. I don't think I'll ever need it, but it makes him feel better."
Caller: (trying to speak quickly.) "That's nice. Now, let me tell you about this money-saving calling plan that will help you..."
Mama: "Whoops! My movie's starting! I have to go now, it was nice talking to you!"
Caller: "But the plan!"
Mama: "I've got a plan... it's to watch this movie, and it's on! Goodbye, and God bless!"
(She hangs up over the caller's continuing protests, and aim her remote at the television to turn the sound back up.
(Begin Track #9: the movie comes back after a commercial ends.)
Mama: "It's already on! I'd be real mad if I had to miss this movie, I've only seen it 5 times, and I love it!"
(She watches intently as the movie plays. She is eating popcorn and smiling. After a few moments, as she is relaxed and into it, the door suddenly slams open and her son Louie bursts in with a yell.)
Louie: "Hey, Mama!"
(The door and his yell startle her so bad that she jumps in fright, launching her next handful of popcorn into the air and all over her.)
Louie: "Sorry to startle you, Mama."
Mama: (Recovering, and picking popcorn out of her hair and off her clothes.) "You didn't scare me, Louie, (then becoming sacastic) I just thought that I'd toss some popcorn everywhere to celebrate your visit!" (She throws some at him.) Hooray, welcome home! Whoopee!"
Louie: "Aw, Mama, you're such a kidder. (He gives her a hug and a kiss on her cheek.) You aren't doing anything right now, are you?"
Mama: (She turns off the TV sound with the remote to coincide with the fade of the soundtrack, or the sound man can do it if it is still playing.) "Just trying to watch my favorite movie!"
Louie: "Good, 'cause I wanted to read you something I just wrote."
Mama: "Louie, I've been waiting all week to see this!"
Louie: "Well, for Heaven's sake, tape it, Mama! Use the VCR I bought you last year for Christmas."
Mama: (With a snort.) I can't even set the time on that silly thing. Once I tried taping one of my soaps, and it played back some show with all these strange little creatures with TVs in their stomachs!"
Louie: "Sounds like you got the Telly-Tubbies by accident."
Mama: "They looked like they were an accident! Some of them atomic radiation mutations from the 50s. If I'd seen something like that when I was a kid I'd have had nightmares for weeks. I'm glad all we had was radio shows."
Louie: "That's great Mama. Now let me tell you about my st..."
Mama: "And the radio shows were the best. My favorite was when Fibber McGee would open his closet, and all his stuff would fall out everywhere! I laughed and laughed every week when he did that. That's real entertainment."
Louie: "Mama, I came over so you could listen to my poem, and help me finish it. Now just sit back, finish your popcorn, and listen to this poem I've written for my Mother's Day column. You read my column, don't you?"
Mama: "Of course I do, every day! Pedro likes it too, it's his favorite part of the newspaper."
Louie: "I always hated that bird."
Mama: "Alright, let me hear it."
(Louie pulls up a chair beside her and begins to read from the manuscript. For this, print out the poem here and give it to the actor to read from.)
Louie: "It's called, 'Memories of Mama.'"
Mama: "But I'm not dead yet!"
Louie: "It's about Mothers in general, Mama, but you inspired it."
Mama: "And I don't plan on dying soon, either. Not till I get you married and settled down. With your dating record I could live to be a hundred!"
Louie: "Please, Mama, don't start. Now, here's how it goes...'I remember Momma, for when I was just a kid...'"
(As he is reading, Mama is keeping one eye on the TV as she listens, nodding occasionally. After a few lines, he notices this and protests.)
Louie: "Mama! You're not listening!"
Mama: "Yes I am, I'm just watching my movie with my eyes and listening to you with my ears."
(Taking the remote, Louie turns off the TV.)
Mama: "But he was just about to propose to her! And then she turns him down, because she thinks she has a fatal disease, and doesn't want to break his heart by telling him. I cry every time."
Louie: "You've seen it before, Mama. I need you, and your undivided attention here!"
Mama: "Well, in that case, it's nice to be needed. (She puts her hands behind both ears and cups them.) Alright, I'm all ears!"
(Louie continues where he left off and reads some more.)
(She begins munching on some more popcorn as he reads. About halfway through, Mama stops eating and her eyes open wide. She tries to swallow and can't; she has a piece of popcorn stuck in her throat. She holds her throat in distress, and tries to hit herself on the back. The actress should NOT making choking noises: she can't get a breath to make a sound! Her distress is signalled by her actions and facial distortions.
Louie has stood with his back to her, and is caught up in his dramatic reading. As he gets to the part about "I wish I'd paid attention," the comedy stems from the fact that he doesn't notice all of her antics in the background. The actress should have fun with this part.
She is trying to speak to tell him she needs help, but can't make a sound. She is motioning to her throat and to her back frantically, waving and trying to get up, but falling back in the recliner. Rolling back and forth in it, she is sticking her tongue out as she silently chokes and making faces as she tries to get his attention. She tries throwing some more popcorn at him, but he only smiles, thinking she is playing with him again. He continues to read.
Desperate, Mama claps her hands rapidly to attract his attention.)
Louie: (Stops, but says without looking) "Thanks, but please, hold your applause till the end!" (He resumes reading.)
Finally, as she about to pass out, she notices the bracelet on her arm and pushes the button, setting off the alarm.)
(Play Track #10, alarm sound.)
(The alarm is so loud and sudden that Louie is startled, throwing the pages of the manuscript in the air and almost falling. Payback!)
Louie: "What in the world is that?" (Looks out of the window.) Is the convenience store getting robbed again?"
(He still doesn't notice her difficulty, and is looking around for the source of the alarm. Mama rolls her eyes in disbelief and points at the bracelet as well as her throat.)
Louie: "Is that your smoke detector? I'll check the kitchen!"
(He walks offstage for a moment. Mama smacks her forehead in dismay, shuts off the alarm by pushing the button again, and then quickly dials a number on her phone.)
Louie: (Coming back into the room.) "Well, whatever it was, it's gone now, so I guess there's nothing to worry about."
(Play Track #11 on CD, cell phone ringing)
(Louie takes it off his belt and answers it.)
(Mama tries to speak and only gurgles and gags into the phone.)
Louie: "Speak up, I can't hear you! This cell phone doesn't get good reception here at my mother's house!"
(Mama looks furious and her eyes are bulging! Louie shrugs and closes the phone.)
Louie: "Must have been some kind of prank call, all they did was make weird noises like a pig!"
(Mama has had it and slams down her phone. Hearing the sound, he finally notices Mama's plight and rushes to her.)
Louie: "Mama! Are you alright? What's wrong?"
(She points to her throat and sticks out her tongue in an exaggerated fashion, totally exasperated besides being about to die.)
Louie: "Mama! Speak to me! (She shakes her head back and forth, 'no!") Are you choking on something? (She shakes her hand frantically up and down, "yes!")
Louie: "Hang on, Mama! I'll save you!"
(Begin Track #12, the "sproing" effect coinciding with the action described below, and the comic music -the "Can-Can"- accompanying the action.)
(Louie leaps into action, stepping hard on the raised footrest of the recliner. (Sproing!) This has the effect of catapulting Mama up out of the chair into his arms, where he catches her! Getting behind her and reaching around with his hands, he begins the Heimlich manuver, squeezing into her abdomen and lifting her off the floor in the process of repeated bear hugs. Mama is flopping around like a rag doll, her arms and legs flailing in the air, and her eyes are about to pop out each time he squeezes!)
Louie: "Don't die on me, Mama, I need you! Breathe, Mama! Breathe!"
(Finally, with one final heave by Louie, the popcorn is dislodged and Mama takes a big breath. This should happen just as the comedy music ends.)
Louie: (Holding her by the shoulders and shaking her.) "Mama, Mama, are you alright? How do you feel?"
(Mama's head snaps up, and with a deadly look, she grabs him by the throat with both hands and squeezes!)
Mama: (Panting.) "How do I feel? How do I feel? A little like this!"
(Louie is choking and gasping for breath as Mama puts on the pressure!)
Mama: (With a parting squeeze.) That's how I feel!
(She sits down in her recliner holding her chest and Louie sits down in the other chair holding his widepipe. They both gasp for a few moments.)
Louie: "Why'd you do that, Mama? I saved you!"
Mama: "You and that poem of yours nearly killed me! No wonder you called it 'Memories of Mama!' A few more stanzas and a memory is all I would have been!"
Louie: "Gosh, I'm sorry, Mama! I was so caught up in trying to remember you in a poem that I forgot about you in real life!"
Mama: (Catching her breath, she is calming down now.) Well, you did save me after all. I'm sorry I choked you, Little Louie! I was just scared, and a little mad, that's all."
(Also catching his breath, he stands and goes over beside her recliner, kneeling to hold her hand.)
Louie: "That's all right Mama, I forgive you. I'm just glad you didn't die while I was occupied reading you my tribute! That would have been too ironic even for a writer to express."
(He kisses her cheek and she hugs him.)
Mama: "Why don't you finish reading me your poem? I was a little distracted for most of it."
Loiue: (Brightening.) Alright! (Picking up the papers, he sits down in the chair next to her and begins to read from the beginning.)
(Begin Track #13, "sweet" music plays as he reads it.)
Louie: "I remember Momma, for when I was just a kid,
no matter where I went, or when, she knew just what I did.
Her wisdom and her insight were known throughout the land,
and were just as sharp and striking as the smacking of her hand.
But her scoldings and her rappings were tempered by her love,
and it was by my Mama's kisses that I knew of God above.
Each night she'd tuck us into bed, and help us say our prayers,
she'd soothe away our worries, and sing away our cares.
Now that Mama's home with Jesus, in heaven far away,
I wish I'd paid attention to the things she had to say.
I miss the way she looked at me, love shining in her face,
If only I could see her now, and feel her fond embrace.
So, as the years fly swiftly by, no matter where I roam,
my memories of Mama... will always bring me home."
(Mama is enjoying it much more this time around, dabbing her eyes as she mists up near the end.)
(The "sweet" music ends about the same time as he finishes the poem.)
Mama: "That's wonderful, Louie. If you hadn't been here to help me, I'd be laid out in lavender and you'd have been reading that for my eulogy."
Louie: "Well, I wanted to give you the roses while you're still here to appreciate them."
Mama: "And while there's still time to make more memories. You should write one about that."
Louie: "Hey, that's a great idea! I'll write another one, and make it be about a living mother, and how you should cherish her while you still can! I'll call it, "Making Memories With Mother." That's much better! It's brilliant! (He hugs her even harder and her eyes bulge again.) You're a genius, Mama! A real genius!"
Mama: "Well, that's funny, the older you get, the smarter I get!"
Louie: (As he stands to leave.) "Yeah, I've been noticing that! I've got to rush home and write the poem, and I'll publish both in this Sunday's column; one for those whose Mothers are gone, and one for those who still have them. Are you going to be alright?"
Mama: (Waving him on.) "Oh, I'm fine now. You go on, I'll just finish my movie now, if I don't get any more interruptions!"
Louie: (Heading out the door with his papers in his hand.) "Thanks, Mama! I love you!"
Mama: "I love you too, Little Louie!" (As the door closes, she leans back in the chair and sighs.) "That was a close call! I guess it's a good thing he came over after all, if not, I might have checked out with no-one here. (She looks heavenward.) Thank you Lord, for letting things work out for my good."
(She gets the remote and clicks on the TV again, pushing back in the recliner.)
(Begin Track #14, the rest of the TV movie, and skit conclusion.)
Mama: "Now, to watch the rest of my movie in peace! Third time's the charm. (Watches for a moment.) Oh, good, this is my favorite part!"
(She opens her can of soda and just as she takes a large swig, the door bursts open again, causing her to spew it out all over herself! A paramedic bursts in, carrying a medical case.)
Paramedic #1: "Mrs. Whiffle? We received an emergency medic-alert signal from your bracelet!"
(Mama, startled by the intrusion, becomes strangled on the soda and is coughing and choking as she tries to tell them she's all right.)
Paramedic #1: (Turning to others outside, he yells to them before she can answer.) "She's in here! Bring in the stretcher, and hurry, she looks like she's in pretty bad shape!"
(The CD track continues, and the comical musical outro fades up and plays as the action takes place.)
(Two others rush in with a stretcher and, as she struggles to tell them she is fine, they quickly put her onto it and, as the first medic checks her vitals, they rush her out of them room, their shouts to each other drowning out her protests as they come echoing back.)
Mama: (As they are lifting her onto the stretcher and wheeling her out the door, she recovers and is yelling at them.) "Stop, put me down! I'm fine now, Little Louie helped me! All I wanted to do was watch one simple little movie, but noooo! What are you doing with that? It's cold! Are you getting fresh with me, young man? Let me out of here!" (Her voice fades into the distance.)
(The musical outro comes to a humorous peak and ends.)
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