INT: DAVID is on the telephone to MUM.

MUM: We’ve got a mouse.

DAVID: Oh no! How do you know?

MUM: Me and your dad saw it run into the kitchen, and I’ll tell you something else: that cat of ours is useless. Why hasn’t he killed it? I’m going to get another cat, a much fiercer one who can kill it. Then we’ll have two cats.

DAVID: That seems like quite a commitment just to catch a mouse.

MUM: Yes I suppose so. Also, if you have two male cats they don’t get along, so it’d have to be a female cat.

DAVID: Can you get a fierce female cat?

MUM: I don’t know, I suppose so. Anyway, your dad bought a mousetrap.

DAVID: Oh, OK, well, erm, be careful with those, I think they can be pretty dangerous.

MUM: Well it doesn’t matter now because he’s lost it already. He either left it in Tesco or he lost it on the way home. I’ve just been on the phone talking to Rochelle about the whole thing. Her and James had a mouse you see, and she was saying you need to be careful that the cat doesn’t get caught by the mousetrap, so they bought this round one apparently, which is safe for cats.

DAVID: OK, that sounds better.

MUM: Well yes but it didn’t work. You see, it caught the mouse but it didn’t kill it properly and they had to drown it. Can you imagine having to do that?

DAVID: No I can’t. Is there a more humane type of mouse trap available? Like one that just imprisons it but doesn’t kill it?

MUM: That’s what I’ve been wondering about.

DAVID: But I suppose the problem then is, what do you do with it once you’ve got it? Where do you release it? The garden?

MUM: No! Then it’d be in the garden! I suppose you’d just try and get it back to wherever mice come from. Where do mice come from?….Fields? Field….mice?

DAVID: Maybe, but then you’d need to drive out to a field somewhere i guess.

MUM: I think they go up chimneys.

DAVID: You don’t have a chimney.

MUM: No. Rochelle said she thinks they go up behind the kitchen wall because it’s warm there.

DAVID: But that’s not where you want the mouse to go, is it?

MUM: No! Of course not! I hate it!

DAVID: Well then, that’s no help.

MUM: I don’t even understand how it’s still alive. What can it be eating? Crumbs?

DAVID: Probably. Or maybe it’s got a piece of cheese that it’s been going back to.

MUM: Yes, maybe. Anyway, you’d be alright. You’ve already got two cats.

DAVID: Yes, and no mice, which also helps.

MUM: Well, I’ve got to go. Your dad’s made me record ‘The Dirty Dozen’ for him, even though he already saw it years ago, so I want him to come and watch it now so I can delete it.

DAVID: OK mum. Speak to you later. Good luck with the mouse.



int MUM is on the phone to DAVID
MUM: I’m fed up with Tesco and their terrible website and I’ll tell you why. Well, you know my shredder? It’s stopped working you see. I don’t know why. I thought it could shred credit cards but maybe it can’t. So anyway, I’ve been looking for a new one and I saw one on the Tesco website that could do five sheets at a time for £25, which is better than Amazon, so I thought OK and I put it in my basket. Anyway, before I bought it they wanted to know my password, and I had no idea what that was so I clicked on the thing that said ‘have you forgotten your password?’, and then they sent me an email so I could pick a new one. Anyway, once I was finished with all that performance I went back onto the website and tried to buy the shredder, but before I could they said I had to create a secure account for my credit card, which I’ve never had to do before. Then they said I needed to choose a username so I chose ‘Geraldine’ because that’s my name but they said that was already taken! So I said alright, I’ll choose ‘Gladys’ because that was nanny’s name but they said that’d gone too! Then I thought OK, I’ll have ‘Peanut’ but that was taken too and I thought “Really! Who else would’ve chosen ‘Peanut’?”. So after that I chose ‘Mazel Tov’ and they said someone had already got that too and I thought this is ridiculous so then dad said a word in Yiddish that doesn’t mean anything in particular and I chose that instead and it worked. So once I’d got through all of that I thought I was finished and turned my computer off. But when I turned it back on today and went to the Tesco website, the shredder was still in my basket! So I’ve only just got round to buying it and now it’s not to come until Monday.


INT: DAVID’s parent’s house. DAD, MUM, and DAVID are sat in the conservatory. The three of them are sat round a table with one item on it – a large bottle of slug killer – which they are all looking at.

MUM: Ah, yes. I had to buy that slug killer because they were eating all my beautiful plants in the garden. Horrible slugs and snails.

DAVID: And did your ones look like the one on the bottle?

MUM: Some of them did I suppose. Horrible things they are, slugs. Why are there slugs in the world? They don’t have a reason to exist. I suppose they’re just there for birds to eat.

DAD: Well that’s not much of a reason to exist!

MUM: I suppose not. It’s just that they don’t need to be there. Like lions. Why are there lions? I mean, they eat antlers and things, but who eats lions? No one. And then there’s elephants, I think they’re vegetarians, and no one eats them. I don’t see how they can be part of a food chain. (MUM pauses). Morton, what was it we saw the other day?

DAD: What was that, dear?

MUM: That’s what I’m asking you.

DAD: Oh, I don’t know.

MUM: It was on the TV, and in the paper. Something was eating something. An alligator? Or a crocodile or something?

DAD: Oh yes, A Boa Constrictor ate a crocodile.

MUM: Yes! That was it! And you could see the whole crocodile inside the snake.

DAD: It ate it and then constricted it!

MUM: I’m surprised you didn’t see it David, it was in all the papers.

DAVID: Really? Why?

MUM: Because it was phononemininial!

DAD: What?

MUM: I mean it was a phenomenon. It was a phenomenal experience, you know. I mean, you’d expect a crocodile to eat a snake rather than a snake to eat a crocodile!

DAVID: I suppose so.

MUM: And then a cat chased a dog away from a boy.

DAVID: What?

MUM: Yes! How did you not see any of this? It was all over the news, but I suppose you’re very busy.

DAVID: So what happened?

MUM: Well, you look at this video, and first, what you do is you see the boy on his trike coming out of his house, and then all of a sudden this dog pounced on him but a cat came out of nowhere and chased it off, and now the Americans are going to ask the cat to start a baseball game!

DAD: It was amazing.

MUM: It was a tabby cat, just like Yossi, it wasn’t like any other sort of cat. Yossi wouldn’t do something like that though, although he did once get into a situation with a dog across the road that snapped at him. I remember the owner came to apologise to me on behalf of her dog. I don’t like those snappy dogs anyway, I like lovely big dogs. (short pause)  Would you like one of those special coffees? Rochelle loves those special coffees.

DAVID: I see absolutely no reason why not.


New mum note: The Housewife

INT: DAVID’s parent’s house. DAD, MUM, and DAVID are sat in the living room. DAVID is sat at MUM’s laptop trying to fix a problem MUM is having with itunes (there’s a whole different mum note right there). MUM and DAD are sat either side of DAVID.

MUM: And so anyway…now I’m on Linkedin.

DAVID: Mum! What? WHY are you on Linkedin?

MUM: Rochelle told me to!

DAVID: Did she really? I doubt that somehow.

MUM: She did! She emailed me saying ‘Dear Geraldine, please join my professional network on Linkedin’. I didn’t know what profession to put so I just put ‘housewife’.

DAVID: Mum, that’s just an automated email that gets sent out from Linkedin, you didn’t have to do what it said.

MUM: Well I don’t want to be on there!

DAVID: Well you shouldn’t have joined then!

MUM: Well, how do I unjoin?

DAVID: I don’t know, just don’t do everything the computer asks you to in future.

MUM: Well, OK. Anyway, what’s been happening? Did you read that terrible story about the man who died on the cruise ship?

DAVID: Yes, sad.

MUM: That was on the Marco Polo. We were on that ship for our last cruise where dad had his leg.

DAVID: Were you?

MUM: Yes, and I remember it got very choppy on the way to The Azores.

DAD: We didn’t go to The Azores!

MUM: Morton! Yes we did! You forget things!

DAD: Well, I didn’t get off at The Azores anyway. I had my leg.

MUM: You didn’t have your leg at The Azores! You had your leg in The Caribbean!

DAD: Well, either way, it spoiled the holiday. It was certainly a cruise I’d rather forget.

MUM: Well, it wasn’t the cruise’s fault!

DAD: No, I suppose not.

MUM: It was your leg’s fault!

DAD: Yes I suppose it…(dad is interrupted by a loud robotic voice ONE-TWO-THREE-FOUR-FIVE-SIX-SEVEN-EIGHT-NINE…repeated in quick succession)

MUM: (running across the room) Oh no, not again (FIVE-SIX-SEVEN-EIGHT-NINE-TEN)

DAVID: WHAT on Earth is that?

DAD: Oh, our phone’s on the blink. It just starts counting out numbers by itself. (THREE-FOUR-FIVE-SIX-CLICK)

MUM: There, I’ve stopped it. It sometimes happens in the middle of the night, David. It’s quite frightening really.

DAVID: You’re telling me!

MUM: I’m fed up with it. I mean, why should it do that? Nobody else’s phone does that! Anyway, never mind. What else is happening that I can tell you about? Well I suppose there’s the cat. Do you know he’s eating so much he’s driving us mad?


Mum notes #13 The Telephone Saga (originally posted 26 June 2012 at 21:24)

INT: DAVE is at home and coming to the end of a long phone call with MUM

MUM: So just before you go, there was one other thing.

DAVE: Go on.

MUM: Well, yesterday morning, I tried to call Saga because they do our home insurance. So I gave them a call, but then the phone did a funny thing, and someone answered it. I wanted to ask if it was you?

DAVE: What???

MUM: I was wondering if it was you that answered the phone to me when I called yesterday?

DAVE: Of course it wasn’t me! Why would it be? For one I don’t work for Saga! Anyway why do you ask?

MUM: Well, someone picked up the phone and said “Hello” and so I said “Hello, are you Saga?” and they said “No, what are you talking about?” So I said “Well you can’t be Saga, so you must be a wrong number”.

DAVE: And then what happened?

MUM: Well I put the phone down and then called back. I think the phone must have done a funny thing.

DAVE: Don’t you think if it was me I would’ve mentioned that it was me?

MUM: Yes I suppose so. I also thought it might have been the gardener because he’s on our phone too.

Dave: So who answered the phone when you redialled?

MUM: Saga.

Keepin’ it meal (originally posted 3 December 2011 at 18:40)

INT: Dave’s room. Dave is on the phone to his mum.

MUM: So I might as well tell you what happened to me with Tesco’s.

DAVE: You might as well.

MUM: Well, we went there yesterday, and while we were there we got one of those ‘meal deals’, you know the meal deals they do?

DAVE: Yes.

MUM: And so we got one of those, but when I checked the receipt when we got home, I saw that they’d charged us for two seperate meals, and they’d also charged us seperately for the wine! All in all it came to about ten pounds more than it should have been.

DAVE: So what did you do?

MUM: Well I phoned them up!

DAVE: Well I should bloody well think so!

MUM: Anyway, eventually I got through to a man at the shop and I told him what I bought, and he told me it was because the haddock risotto wasn’t part of the deal. So I said ‘what should I do?’, and he said ‘go back to the shop tomorrow and swap it for something else’. So we went back tomorrow, which was today, and we went at nine this morning because you know how it gets.

DAVE: Busy.

MUM: Yes, that’s right. So I spoke to a woman about it and she said ‘Oh I don’t know!’, so she got her supervisor out, and he looked at the receipt and told me that the haddock risotto WAS in the deal after all, and I said ‘I know it was because there were loads of them stacked up in that corner where they have the meal deals. You know that corner?

DAVE: Yes. I know that corner.

MUM: Then the supervisor told me it was the carrot and swede mash that wasn’t in the deal, so I said ‘That’s ridiculous! How can it be the MASH when the man on the phone said it was the HADDOCK? And anyway, the mash was there too!  I mean, I told them, I’m not trying to trick them or anything, what would be the point?

DAVE: And what did he say?

MUM: Well he just said that he’d give me my ten pounds and thirty-two pence back as a gesture of goodwil so we left.

DAVE: Very good.

MUM: And by the time we got out, the car park was completely packed.


Hell’s kitchen (originally posted 26 October 2011 at 16:49)

INT: DAVID’s parent’s house. DAVID and MUM are in the hallway. DAVID has just entered the house briefly to drop something off and is about to leave. DAD is in the kitchen, which adjoins the hallway, but the door is fully closed.

MUM: So how are you getting on with the new house?

DAVE: Fine, apart from the freezer’s broken and the TV aerial points don’t work

MUM: Well make sure you chase up your letting agency about it because I was speaking to Ruth the other day, and you know that she owns a property in King’s Lynn, and she said….Hang on a minute (MUM opens the kitchen door). Are you alright in there?

DAD (off stage):  No. The recipe says to mix all this batter in with the sausages but the sausages aren’t cooked and the batter is all over the….

MUM (interupting)OK fine then, carry on. (MUM closes the kitchen door). So Ruth said that you should make sure everything’s been PAT tested.

DAVE: Yup.

The Cardigan (originally posted 14 June 2011 at 13:33)

INT: DAVID’s parent’s house. DAVID and MUM have just come down from the upstairs room, where they have established that a cardigan that MUM was not familiar with, actually belongs to DAD, and not DAVID, as she had previously suspected. DAVID is about to leave the house and is standing by the front door. MUM is holding the cardigan in the hallway and DAD enters the hallway from the kitchen.

MUM: Morton! I thought this was the cardigan Rochelle bought David for Christmas, but he says it must be yours.

DAD: Really? I’ve never seen it before. David, are you sure it isn’t yours?

DAVID: It isn’t mine dad, it’s extra-large, it must be yours.

DAD: How strange! When would I have got this?

MUM: Do you think Rochelle bought it for you for Christmas?

DAD: Do you think she did?

MUM: I don’t know, I’m asking you.

DAD: Did she say she did?

MUM: When?

DAD: Whenever?

MUM: No, she hasn’t said anything about it.

DAD: Well she was on the phone earlier, did she say anything about it then?

DAVID: Look, I really need to…..

MUM: No of course she didn’t say anything then, we weren’t talking about it then.

DAD: Shall we call her back and ask her?

DAVID: Don’t call her back and ask her. (Rochelle lives in New York city)

DAD: (taking the cardigan from MUM and trying it on): Well it’s very nice

MUM: Have you worn it before?

DAD: I haven’t seen it before!

MUM: Well if it wasn’t your Christmas present from Rochelle, then what did she give you for Christmas?

DAD: I don’t remember (a few moments of silence follows as everyone tries to remember what Rochelle bought DAD for Christmas, which was six months ago)

MUM: Well, perhaps you bought it for yourself

DAD: (looking at himself in the mirror): I don’t think I did. In any case, it’s lovely. David, are you SURE you don’t want it?

DAVID: NO, it’s not mine, it’s yours, I don’t want it, and even if I did it wouldn’t fit. It’s very nice. Enjoy it.

DAD: Oh well, if you’re sure.

DAVID: I’m very sure. Now I really must be leaving because I need to go somewhere where people aren’t discussing the origins of this cardigan.

MUM and DAD: OK, see you later, bye!

DAVID exits the house. Whilst walking back to his car, he can still hear MUM and DAD talking about the cardigan.

Any colour, as long as it’s… (originally posted on 7 July 2010 at 20:41)

INT DAVE’s parents house. DAVE has just entered the house for a chat with MUM, but encounters DAD on his way in

DAD: Hi David!

DAVE Hi Dad, is mum around? I wanted to ask her something quickly.

DAD: No, she’s out as it happens, but I’m glad you’re here, I wanted to show you something. Follow me.

DAD leads DAVE into the conservatory and points to a machine sitting on the middle of the table

DAD: I was wondering if you might want this.

DAVE: Well, erm…what is it, exactly?

DAD: It’s a Halogen cooker!

DAVE: Oh, OK. Well what does it do that’s any different to a normal cooker?

DAD: Nothing. That’s why we want to get rid of it.

DAVE: Well no thanks then. I’d just have the same problem.

DAVE and DAD leave the conservatory as MUM enters through the front door

MUM Hello! I’m back! Oh hello David! How are you?

DAVE Fine thanks mum, how are you?

At this point, MUM and DAVE sit down in the armchairs in the living room as DAD wonders quietly out the front door

MUM: Yes I’m fine. I’ve just been to play Bridge but I had to go somewhere else because my Bridge club aren’t meeting at the moment because Marilyn……

DAD re-enters with MATTHEW from across the road following him in

MATTHEW: Hi all, it’s just me – Matthew! your friendly neighbour from across the road!(Authors note – he did actually say that, I’m not making it up)

MUM and DAVE:: Hi Matthew!

DAD and MATTHEW exit into the conservatory

MUM: What are they doing?

DAVE: Oh, I think Dad’s probably seeing if Matthew might be interested in your halogen oven. He was trying to get me to take it earlier.

MUM: Oh God! What’s he doing that for? You don’t want that, it’s terrible! That thing broke our kettle!

DAVE: What? How did it do that?

MUM: Well, it’s so big you see, it took up all the space on our sideboard and ended up pushing the kettle onto the floor and it smashed!

DAVE: Oh, I see.

MUM: So we need to get a new kettle. I’m going to buy a red one, with a red toaster, because red is in, you know.

DAVE: Is it?

MUM: YES! Anyway I went to the shops this morning but they didn’t have a red kettle and a red toaster so I’ve bought a cheap ten pound kettle, just as a stopgap.

DAD and MATTHEW come out the lounge, heading towards the front door

MATTHEW: Well thanks for showing it to me Morton, I’ll have a word with the missus and will let you know. See you soon! MATTHEW exits

MUM: Morton! You weren’t trying to give that awful halogen cooker to Matthew were you?

DAD: Well, I thought he might be interested, and besides, David didn’t want it.

DAVE: Shame it’s not a microwave. I could use a microwave. I’m just on my way to the tip with mine after it blew up yesterday!

MUM: Oh! Well you can have ours!

DAD: Yes! Take ours!

DAVE: What? Why are you getting rid of your microwave?

MUM and DAD together: Because we’re getting a red one!

Mum – Some short ones from today (originally posted 31 May 2010 at 17:59)

INT: Dave’s parent’s house. Dave has come round to give his parents some presents from New York, and to tell them about his holiday. DAVE, MUM, and DAD are sat in the living room

Part One:

DAVE: One thing I didn’t like about New York was the lack of toilets everywhere. They have all these huge cafes, bars, restaurants and coffee houses and almost all of them only have the one toilet, which is unisex. So you end up having to queue for ages to get to the loo.

MUM: That’s terrible! What does Rochelle do when she’s there? She needs to go sometimes!

DAD: Well everyone needs to go sometimes Geraldine!

Part Two

MUM: So while you were away in America, Apple released this new thing over here last week.

DAVE: Ah yes, the Ipad, so I heard.

MUM: But I don’t know what it does. What does it do? How is it supposed to be different from all the other things? What does it do? I mean, what can it do that makes it different? Does it jump up in the air?

DAVE: Yes, that’s right mum. It jumps up in the air. That’s what it does.

Part Three

MUM: I wish we’d have gone to Lidl today now. I could have got some more of that rhubarb. That was good rhubarb. Not like that OTHER rhubarb. Not like that rhubarb they had in Southwick Square (MUM pauses for a few seconds here, in which time I can only imagine she is ruefully reflecting on the inferior quality of the rhubarb on offer in Southwick Square)

Part Four DAD takes lead vocals for this one

MUM: So what did you think about that Fergie scandal?

DAVE: Dunno really, I’m no real fan of hers but I don’t like it when newspapers run these kind of sting operations. They shouldn’t be creating news just to report on it.

MUM: No, and it’s not fair to put temptation in people’s way.

DAD: The police aren’t allowed to do that sort of thing, there’s a name for it.

DAVE: Entrapment?

DAD: No, it’s a word meaning entrapment though.

MUM: Well what is it if it’s not entrapment?

DAD: Can’t think of it. It’ll come to me.

TEN MINUTES pass, multiple conversations around the cat, David Laws, and the price of Office 2010 are had in the meantime

DAD (banging his fist on the arm of the chair): Got it! It’s entrapment!

MUM and DAVE together: That’s what we said in the first place!

DAD: Oh, was it? Well that’s the word I was thinking of anyway.