Basket Case – episode 3


Ma and Vicky stand over the casket, staring at Frank.

MA: I can’t believe this.

VICKY: It’s okay, Ma.

MA: He looks better dead than he did alive.

VICKY: What??

MA: Look at that photo and then look at him here.  Am I right?

VICKY: Actually, yeah.

MA: Whoever the beautician was, I have to find out.

VICKY: You’re terrible Ma.

MA: (to Frank)  Frank?  Frank, this is your niece, Vicky.  Isn’t she beautiful?  (to Vicky) Vicky, this is your Uncle Frankie.  Give him a kiss.

VICKY: What? I’m not kissing him.

MA: It’s disrespectful.

VICKY: Stop, I’m going to faint.

MA: Alright, stand closer to him then.

Ma steps back and takes out her phone for a picture.

VICKY: Ma, what are you doing?

MA: Shhh, shhh, just one real quick.

VICKY: Oh…my…God—

Ma snaps a few photos.  People stare.

MA: Close your mouth and smile.

Vicky smiles painfully.

Alright, we got it.

VICKY: There’s really something wrong with you.

MA: Shut up, you look beautiful and it’s the only picture you will have with your Uncle. (to Frank)  Alright, Frankie boy.  Take care.  Look over your niece when you have the time.  Ciao.

Ma kisses Frank on the forehead.  Vicky makes a gross face.

An elderly lady with three men around her come walking in slowly.

Whispering to Vicky.

MA: Oh, here come the performers.

VICKY: Performers?

MA: You’ll see.  Just watch.

The small group of people reach the casket and suddenly there is an outcry.  Screams and tears of passion.  The woman doing all of the emoting gets seated by the group and given water and tissues.

MA: That was good.

VICKY: Who is she?

MA: That’s Ethel.  She’s been around since I was your age.

VICKY: Is she a relative?

MA: You know, come to think of it, I have no freaking idea.

VICKY: Holy shit.

MA: Talk like a lady.

VICKY: Who does that?

MA: She helps to set the tone. (beat) There’s eyebrows (regarding the woman talked about in episode 2) looking over this way now, don’t you dare look at her.  Tune her out.  Let me introduce you to your cousins.

VICKY: I have cousins?

Joseph Arnone


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