Terry, Maude and Me – The Right Funeral

Published June 23, 2015 by Naomi Rettig

INT. TAXI. DAY.

TERRY, MAUDE AND CHARLEY ARE SAT ON THE BACKSEAT OF A TAXI, CHARLEY IS IN THE MIDDLE. THEY ARE ALL DRESSED IN BLACK, CHARLEY IS IN A TROUSER SUIT, PLAIN BLOUSE, FLAT SHOES AND FUR HAT, MAUDE IS IN A TIGHT PENCIL SKIRT SUIT, FRILLY BLOUSE, STILETTOS AND TINY PILL BOX HAT WITH VEIL, TERRY IS IN A SUIT, TUXEDO T-SHIRT AND CONVERSE TRAINERS WITH MESSY HAIR.

TERRY
We’re going to be late, going back to change your hat was foolish.

MAUDE
Darling a French navy hat with a black suit is foolish. Charley made the right decision.

TERRY
It looked ok.

MAUDE
Looked ok? We don’t want Charley to go out looking just ok.

CHARLEY
I am here.

TAXI DRIVER LOOKS IN REAR VIEW MIRROR, SEEING ONLY CHARLEY SAT THERE.

TAXI DRIVER
What’s that love?

CHARLEY
Oh, nothing. Sorry, thinking aloud.

TAXI DRIVER LOOKS BACK TO ROAD AND CARRIES ON WITH HIS DRIVING.

MAUDE
Remember to talk to us telepathically poppet. People get funny when you talk out loud to us. We’re your voices in your head and no one else’s.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) I know, I know. But my lips forget sometimes.

TERRY
You could have just not worn the hat, I don’t think people do hats at funerals anymore.

MAUDE
I don’t think we need to take fashion advice from someone wearing a tuxedo t-shirt to a funeral.

TERRY
I feel I’ve made quite an effort, I could be sat here in pyjamas.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) You both look very smart. Thank you Terry for not wearing your pyjamas. Maude, thank you for being a part of the hat brigade. And I like my hat, I think it makes me look Russian.

TERRY
It doesn’t. You look ridiculous.

MAUDE
Don’t be mean.

TERRY
OK, you don’t look ridiculous if you are trying to capture the ‘I’m wearing a dead cat on my head’ look. If that’s what you were trying to achieve you have succeeded marvellously.

MAUDE
That’s not any better.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) It’s OK Maude, Terry’s entitled to his opinion.

TERRY
I’m surprised Pablo hasn’t hidden some vodka in your Russian cat hat to liven up today, funerals can be so dull.

MAUDE
Is Pablo going to be with us today?

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) No. I’ve told him it’s a serious day today not a party day.

MAUDE
Sorry Charley, this isn’t a nice day for you.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) Its ok, I didn’t really know my great aunt did I. I just thought it would be a shame if no family turned up. I don’t know any of her friends if she had any or if they’ll turn up.

MAUDE
Well at least you’ll have us with you for moral support. You’re not on your own poppet.

TERRY
Technically Maude she is physically on her own.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) Thank you both for your unwavering support.

TERRY
Sarcasm alert.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) No, I really don’t know how I would get through my days without your positivity and sunshiny smile Terry.

TERRY
You are definitely being sarcastic aren’t you?

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) Yes.

THE TAXI PULLS UP IN FRONT OF CHURCH GATES.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) This is it.

TERRY, MAUDE AND CHARLEY CLIMB OUT OF THE TAXI, CHARLEY PAYS THE TAXI DRIVER AND HE DRIVES OFF.

EXT. OUTSIDE CHURCH. DAY.

TERRY
I thought St Stephens was the church by the river?

MAUDE
No, no, this is St Stephens, look (indicates sign). There’s a lot of people going in, she must have had more friends than you thought Charley.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) Blimey, I thought I might be the only one here.

TERRY, MAUDE AND CHARLEY WALK UP THE PATH TO THE CHURCH ENTRANCE, PEOPLE ARE GOING IN AND A VICAR IS AT THE CHURCH DOOR.

TERRY
It’s probably all the staff and other residents of her care home filling it up, a day trip out and a buffet brings out the vultures.

MAUDE
Terry!

TERRY
What? It’s true. The mere whiff of a sausage on a stick and the Zimmer frames speed up. I’ve witnessed a fight over who has the last cheese and pineapple on a stick previously. Carnage.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) Let’s try and avoid carnage today please. And yes Terry, that’s aimed more at you than Maude.

MAUDE
(Smiling smugly) Ooh look, a lady vicar, how lovely and modern.

TERRY
Is she a vicar or a vicaress?

TERRY, MAUDE AND CHARLEY STOP WHEN THEY REACH THE VICAR AT THE DOOR.

VICAR
Hello there!

CHARLEY
Hello, I’m Charley. Charley Watson

VICAR
Yes, hello.

CHARLEY
I’m here for my great aunt Doris’s funeral?

VICAR
Oh! Wonderful! Well, not wonderful that it’s your great aunts funeral but wonderful that you are here. I didn’t realise she had any family.

CHARLEY
Ah yes, I hadn’t seen her since I was little but when I heard that she had died, well, I thought I’d better come and see her off.

TERRY
Come and see her off? She’s not going on a cruise.

CHARLEY
I mean come and say goodbye.

VICAR
Wonderful, she should be any moment, there’s a traffic hold up on the ring road, go on in and sit down. (SHE TURNS TO INSIDE THE DOOR) John. (JOHN POPS OUT OF THE DOORWAY) John is anyone sat on the front row?

JOHN
Just Mrs Parsons.

VICAR
Wonderful. Show Charley here to the front row seating please.

CHARLEY
Thank you.

TERRY, MAUDE AND CHARLEY FOLLOW JOHN INTO THE CHURCH.

INT. CHURCH. DAY.

THE PEWS ARE FULL OF ELDERLY PEOPLE AND A FEW CARERS. CHARLEY, MAUDE AND TERRY WALK SLOWLY DOWN THE AISLE BEHIND JOHN.

MAUDE
Crikey she’s a bit jolly for a funeral, imagine what she’s like at a wedding!

TERRY
Like a grandma on crystal meth.
MAUDE GLARES AT TERRY.
Front row seats, do we get popcorn or choc ices?

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) Behave, people don’t eat during funerals.

TERRY, MAUDE AND CHARLEY REACH THE FRONT PEW, JOHN INDICATES TO IT THEN EXITS BACK UP THE AISLE. MRS PARSONS IS SAT IN THE FRONT PEW SWATHED IN PINK CRIMPLENE EATING A BAG OF JELLY BABIES.

TERRY
Someone didn’t get the memo.

MRS PARSONS BITES THE HEAD OFF A JELLY BABY AND CHEWS IT OPEN-MOUTHED WHILE STARING AT CHARLEY.

TERRY
I didn’t know your great aunt knew Barbara Cartland.

CHARLEY, TERRY AND MAUDE SQUEEZE PAST MRS PARSONS AND SIT DOWN. CHARLEY SMILES AT MRS PARSONS. MRS PARSONS CONTINUES CHEWING JELLY BABIES OPEN MOUTHED.

MAUDE
(LOOKING AROUND) Fascinating. It’s like a museum of fashion over the decades.

TERRY
With the amount of polyester and hairspray in here we could go up at any moment. It’s a good job it’s not a cremation, one loose ember from a furnace and whoosh. Especially Barbara sat next to you. I wonder how flammable jelly babies are.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) Stop it. Have a look at the programme and keep quiet. (SHE PICKS UP THE PAMPHLET ON THE PEW)

TERRY
It’s not a programme, we’re not at the theatre. Unfortunately. We could be watching A Comedy of Errors, that’s on at The Sherman Theatre.

CHARLEY IS FROWNING AT THE OPEN PAMPHLET IN HER HANDS.

MAUDE
What’s wrong Charley?

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) This biography, it doesn’t seem right, I don’t know any of these facts about her life. (SHE TURNS TO THE BACK PAGE WHERE THERE IS A PHOTO) Sweet Jesus.

TERRY
(LOOKING AROUND) Where?

MAUDE
Not the most flattering photo is it poppet. Bad camera angle. And a chunky neck like that shouldn’t wear a choker.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) No, it’s not the photo that’s wrong. That’s not Doris.

MAUDE
Yes, (POINTS TO NAME BELOW PHOTO) Doris Wilson.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) My great aunt was Doris Watson.

MAUDE
Are you sure?

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) Yes I’m sure!

TERRY
This is priceless.

MAUDE
Did she marry again? Change her name?

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) No, she never got married, she was always Doris Watson. And that’s not her.

MAUDE
Oh. Well that’s good, you won’t have inherited this ladies shocking genetic aging. Your neck isn’t fated to end up like this.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) No it’s not good, we’re in the wrong funeral.

TERRY
I can confirm that this is not good. We could be watching a Comedy of Errors but instead we are in a Comedy of Errors.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) I’m failing to see the comedy myself.

MAUDE
Its ok poppet, we’ll leave now and you can explain to the vicar on the way out.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) Ok.

TERRY
(STANDS UP AND STEPS INTO AISLE) Do we have a plan B?

MAUDE
Why?

TERRY
The wrong Doris’s coffin is coming down the aisle. And I don’t want to sound rude but there isn’t any room for you to squeeze past it Charley.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) No! What am I going to do?

MAUDE
Go along with it.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) What?

TERRY
Disaster alert.

MAUDE
Well if your Doris is being buried at eleven at the St Stephens by the river you’ll never make it in time so just pretend this is her and leave straight after.

COFFIN IS WHEELED PAST WITH A SQUEAKY WHEEL BY JOHN AND PLACED IN FRONT OF THE CONGREGATION FOLLOWED BY THE VICAR.

CHARLEY
Oh god

TERRY
Ditto that.

VICAR
We are gathered here today to say goodbye to our friend Doris, a lively member of our community who touched the hearts of all she met. We have her great niece Charley with us today and I was wondering if she would be kind enough to come up here and say a few words for us. (SHE LOOKS ACROSS TO CHARLEY AND SMILES)

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) No, no, no. This can’t be happening to me. Please make it stop.

MAUDE
Bluff it. You’ll be fine. We’re here with you poppet.

VICAR
Charley?

TERRY
Would you like me to come up with you?

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) I want you to beam me out of here.

TERRY
Now you know I can’t do that. Your mind is amazing, obviously because I’m in it, but it’s not that advanced. Yet.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) Then yes, stand up there with me please.

CHARLEY AND TERRY GO AND STAND AT THE PULPIT, GUIDED BY THE VICAR.

TERRY
What a hideous bunch they look from up here. Your hat looks really nice in comparison.

CHARLEY
Oh dear lord. Oh dear lord thank you for sharing Doris with us. She was a kind and loving lady who taught me how to…

TERRY
Knit.

CHARLEY
Knit (LOOKS QUICKLY AT TERRY)
(Audible thought) Knit?
and she liked…

TERRY
Jam.

CHARLEY
Jam. (RAISES HER EYEBROW AT TERRY) (Audible thought) you are not helping me. (out loud) Strawberry was her favourite.

TERRY
Ooh I was thinking apricot.

CHARLEY
And she enjoyed travelling.

TERRY
That’s good.

CHARLEY
She entertained me with many a tale of her circus travels when she was young.

TERRY
That’s not so good. I think you’ve lost the audience now. We were alright with knitting and jam but the circus has blown it.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) Oh no, what now?

TERRY
Put your head in your hands and pretend to cry. Maude does it all the time when she doesn’t want me to talk to her, it’s highly effective.

(CHARLEY PUTS HER FACE IN HER HANDS)

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) No tears, I can’t cry.

TERRY
Think of something really sad. Like your Aunt Doris the other side of town being buried on her own because you’re here cheating on her with dodgy Doris Wilson, jam eater, knitter and circus freak.

CHARLEY STARTS SOBBING.

EXT. CHURCHYARD. DAY.

CHARLIE, TERRY AND MAUDE ARE STOOD AT THE SIDE OF THE CHURCH, THEY HAVE MOVED AWAY FROM DORIS’S OPEN GRAVE, PEOPLE ARE SHUFFLING AWAY AND SOME OLD PEOPLE ARE GIVING HER DIRTY LOOKS.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) I’m so embarrassed.

MAUDE
It’s ok. It could have been worse.

TERRY
Not much it couldn’t. It was bad. It was like watching a car crash. Someone should have recorded it for internet humiliation. If a younger demographic was here that would have happened.

MAUDE
Why don’t we make a move poppet? We could call by to the other St Stephens, see the real grave and say goodbye properly.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) Yes, that’s a good idea.

A MAN WALKS TOWARDS THEM, PETE, SMILING. HE IS WEARING A BLACK SUIT, WHITE SHIRT AND BLACK TIE.

PETE
Hello.

CHARLEY
Oh, hello

PETE
I’m Pete.

MAUDE
He’s gorgeous!

CHARLEY
Charley.

PETE
I know, saw the eulogy.

CHARLEY
Oh yes, not my finest moment.

TERRY
Understatement.

PETE
I was surprised to see you.

TERRY
If this is going to be a cheesy chat up line I may vomit.

CHARLEY
Really?

PETE
Yes, I’m Doris’s nephew.

TERRY
Uh oh.

CHARLEY
The vicar said there was no family here?

PETE
I crept in below the radar, we weren’t a close family so I just wanted to blend in.

CHARLEY
That was my plan.

PETE
(LAUGHS) Didn’t work well.

CHARLEY
I know. I need to plan my plans a little better.

PETE
I don’t recall you in our family tree.

TERRY
Now you’re stuck. Tell him you’re from the circus branch of the family. Bearded lady.

MAUDE
No, just be honest, it’s the best policy.

CHARLEY
Ah, that’s because I’m not. There was a mix up. I’m at the wrong funeral. It snowballed. It’s a long story.

PETE
Then how about telling me over dinner tonight?

TERRY
Oh god it was a chat up manoeuvre. I may still vomit.

CHARLEY
Oh, um..

MAUDE
Say yes!

TERRY
Be like Zammo in Grange Hill, just say no.

CHARLEY
OK, yes I’d love to go to dinner with you.

TERRY
Too keen. You’ve just made yourself look desperate.

MAUDE
Ignore Mr Grumpy Pants. That’s the correct reply.

PETE
Great. 7pm? Where shall I pick you up from?

TERRY
Serial killer alert. Don’t give him your home address.

CHARLEY
7pm is good, name a restaurant and I’ll meet you there.

PETE
A modern independent woman.

TERRY
No, a sensible one who wants to stay alive.

PETE
Do you know The Acorn?

MAUDE
Swish!

TERRY
Pretentious.

CHARLEY
Yes, that’s good, it’s a date. Well it’s not a date. It’s just a meal out. With a new friend. New acquaintance. Maybe.

TERRY
You’re blowing it, stop talking.

CHARLEY
I’m going to stop talking now.

TERRY
You said that out loud.

CHARLEY
(Audible thought) I know. I meant to.

PETE
Ok, I’ll see you at seven tonight, my cousin that’s not my cousin.

PETE WALKS OFF SMILING.

TERRY
Oh that’s creepy, tell me that’s not creepy.

CHARLEY
(LOOKING BEHIND TERRY AND MAUDE IN PANIC)
Oh quick we have to go now.

MAUDE
Why?

PABLO DRESSED IN CUBAN PARTY GEAR AND HOLDING MARACAS IS SALSA DANCING ACROSS THE GRAVEYARD TOWARDS THEM.

PABLO
Yoo hoo.

TERRY AND MAUDE TURN TO SEE HIM.

TERRY
I thought you’d banished him today?

CHARLEY
I did, he’s got over excited and forgotten.

PABLO SUDDENLY DISAPPEARS INTO DORIS’S GRAVE THEN POPS BACK UP STILL SMILING.

PABLO
I’m ok, I think I may have dented my maracas though.

TERRY
Leg it.

CHARLEY, TERRY AND MAUDE WALK FAST THEN RUN FROM THE GRAVEYARD WITH PABLO DANCING AFTER THEM.

(END OF EPISODE)

Advertisements

8 comments on “Terry, Maude and Me – The Right Funeral

  • Naomi, what can I say, that was comic genius! Absolutely brilliant. No, really, it was. First time i’ve laughed out loud in ages.

    I particularly liked the following lines:

    ‘The mere whiff of a sausage on a stick and the Zimmer frames speed up.’

    ‘Like a grandma on crystal meth.’

    ‘Think of something really sad. Like your Aunt Doris the other side of town being buried on her own because you’re here cheating on her with dodgy Doris Wilson, jam eater, knitter and circus freak.’

    Terry is awesome and I really think there should be more episodes, too.

    I liked that so much that I re-blogging it 🙂

    Like

  • Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: