a concert hall in Southern California
Lew, Laura, and their
bunchkin have made their way to their seats.
Deryk: Did you
have to embarrass me like that, Mom?
women weren't laughing at the way *you're*
dressed. They were laughing at *me*. They're just
jealous. This is the nicest dress I own. And I
looked great in it in Vanity Fair. Besides,
embarrassing your kids is part of every good
Lew: You look
very nice, dear, and you're the best mother I
Deryk: But Mom,
what did you have to snarl and flex at them for?
Laura: I woulda
kicked their butts to Cucamonga if there'd been a
chair to hold onto. But I'm buff, and I thought
they should know it.
Can't we just sit back and enjoy the opera?
They're going to start soon.
rather be home.
sweetie-pie, there's more to life than
skateboards and Nintendo and studying Hebrew.
There's nothing spiritually elevating on TV
except for _Law & Order_ and (raising her
voice so all within 20 feet can clearly hear) my
up-coming show on Paramount. (voice resumes
normal level) This opera was written a long time
ago, before the sixties and secular feminism. I
am sure it is chock full of moving, spiritual
La Traviata about, Mom?
Laura: I don't
know; I've never been. But do as I now do, Deryk.
I'm being my kid's teacher, as well as my kid's
Lew: It tells
about it in the Program Notes.
A few minutes
later, Deryk looks up from his reading : Mom,
what's a courtesan?
Laura: Why are
you asking me that? What are they teaching you at
that new school?
Deryk: It says
here in the program that Violetta is a courtesan.
courtesan is a slut, dear!
The production commences and our happy trio is
following the English translation projected onto
a screen above the stage.
Was Verdi out of his mind?! What's all this crap
about drink and happiness?! Don't they know life
is full of misery? The only thing being uplifted
here is those champaign flutes.
What does that nice boy Alfredo see in that slut,
Violetta? If he had my book, _Ten Stupid Things
Men Do to Mess up their Lives_, he'd be singing a
progresses into Act II:
shacking up!! She's been spreading her legs for
him and giving him a warm place to put it for the
last three months! I thought they had standards
back in the 19th century. Are you sure this
wasn't written in the sixties?
Later in the
scene Alfredo's' father, Gastone, comes to see
Violetta, tells her her romance with Alfredo has
not been blessed by god, and that she must leave
Alfredo in order to not besmirch the family name.
Laura: At at
last, a righteous man! A man of character,
conscience and courage, not afraid to denounce
evil and do the right thing! I'll send him one of
my "I am my kid's dad" T-shirts. Darn,
I wish I'd brought one with me; I'd throw it to
him right now. It's very important to reward good
behavior. That's being a teacher.
During the next
Deryk, there's a valuable lesson to be learned.
That slut is dying from a sexually transmitted
disease. So just keep that in mind. If you don't
want to die, don't have sex outside a covenental
Deryk: Mom, the
program says she's got tuberculosis. Do you get
tuberculosis from sex?
course. Uh. Lew, I've got this great idea. What
Gastone said to Violetta I couldn't have said
better myself. It's *my* message. Let's talk to
the production manager about a series of special
performances in which I play the part Gastone
plays, except I'll be Dr. Laura, instead of
Gastone, and totally unrelated to Alfredo, 'cause
no son of mine would shack up with a slut. Who'd
believe it? So we'd have to rewrite some of it.
Just think of it Lew! All the money we could
raise for my foundation. And all the new fans of
opera I would create. Not to mention me becoming
an opera star!
Lew: Dear, he
didn't say it, he sung it, so you're very right,
you couldn't have done better. You'd have to sing
the part, dear.
Laura: Well, my
individual notes are just beautiful. I'll get my
voice coach and his pitch pipe, and I'll sing the
thing one note at a time. Dan will record each
note, then splice the tape together and I'll lip
sync it. The audience will never know, and since
I won't have to actually form the words, they'll
get to see more of my teeth. It'll be great!
resumes and as the third act is drawing to a
close, we find our not quite so happy any more
trio on their way to their car.
never been so outraged in all my life! Asking us
to leave! Of all the nerve! Just because I stand
for something and am willing to speak out against
evil. I shouldn't have been surprised when that
spineless Alfredo came back to beg that slut's
forgiveness, but when Gastone-- the only moral
person in the bunch-- does the same thing, and
takes her back as his daughter... well that's too
much for me to sit still for. I'm a prophet, and
I'll teach, preach, nag, and bang on pots
whenever there is evil to be denounced. .... And
that audience with all their shushing. They just
want to drag me down to their level.
Lew: Now, dear,
patronize me! And another thing. There was no
call for those ushers to carry me out and say I
was vibrating like a carp. Who do they think
they're talking to? I'm glad I didn't waste a
T-shirt on that Gastone--he's probably gay
anyway. ... Well, guys, thank goodness I've got
you two to support my efforts. I never realized
how truly tough my task is, or how truly depraved
the sixties were. I thought the sixties were bad
because of what's happened since, but now I see
that the sixties evil is so awful that it
infected even the times that came before.
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