From “Next of Kin”

The siblings catch up after a long, traumatic day vising their father in the ICU….

ANGIE: Probably the real reason dad said he loved me. I was just like him.

RICH: Never said that to me.

MIKE: Obviously, you aren’t loved.

RICH: He say that to you?

MIKE: Yeah. Then he’d give me a big French kiss.

ANGIE: What a pair of sissy-boy Marines! “Did he ever say he loved you?” (Sniffles.) “No, he never did.” Of course he loved you. He made you screwing mom, and he loved her. Plus you showed up wearing dicks, unlike certain parties. Here’s how you know for sure: he didn’t shoot you fuckers when you joined up.

MIKE: He threatened.

RICH: “I ought’a jack a round through your hamstring right now. Get it over with.”

MIKE: Yep. Pulled his piece and everything.

ANGIE: Really? Were you scared?

MIKE: Come on. It’s Dad.

ANGIE: See. You are loved.

ANGIE rises and kisses MIKE on the cheek.

ANGIE: Go easy on the tequila. It’ll give you the spins with that weed.

RICH: No kiss for me?

ANGIE: You’re not loved. You’re tolerated.

ANGIE hesitates. Gives him a quick peck. Exits.

RICH: Guess that settles that.

MIKE: Don’t get depressed. You’re at least liked.

RICH: Not by him. Not when I deployed. I’d never seen him so pissed.

MIKE: You know that song. He was worried.

RICH: Shit, I was worried.

MIKE: Be dumb not to. You were riding spear’s point.

RICH: Man. They were talking gas. Tactical nukes. Playing field looked a hell of a lot more level than it turned out to be. Gas! Gas! Grab your kit or quit breathing! False alarms must have killed me twice.

MIKE: Well, you can check that one off your list. Dad ask you about the shit? Straight out?

RICH: Dad never asked anything straight in his life. Okay, once. Real cute. Sucked dumb old me right in. We’re sharing a jar, and it was like—

MIKE: (As Dad) How’d that Soviet armor hold up?

RICH: Forget it. Didn’t even have range. We’d watch ’em fire, then laugh when it fell short. Then our armor would open up, and it was like shootin’ cans off a fuckin’ fencepost. Bing! We’re all cheerin’ and shit. Plus we had those Warthogs.

MIKE: Bad mothers?

RICH: Shit. Republican Guard throws everything at ’em. Nothin’. Like trying to shoot down Superman. Just like a big old MontyPython foot comin’ down. Squish. Bug soup.

MIKE: Cakewalk. Nice.

RICH: Open desert, forget it. You get in the cities, though….

MIKE: Goddamn civilians complicating air support?

RICH: Exactly. And they’re playin’ games, dressed in civvies. Looks like nothing, then suddenly.

MIKE: Been there. Proximity multiplies the pucker factor. Makin’ decisions quick doesn’t make ’em easier. Especially after.

RICH: Yeah. It was mostly…. Hit and run stuff. Snipers, mortars. RPGs. RPGs suck.

MIKE: Thought you were Mr.Tank Jockey.

RICH: Sure, but…. Sometimes stuff didn’t always work per the manufacturer’s specifications.

MIKE: That’s a fuckin’ shocker.

RICH: Even so, shit, tank hit with an RPG. Ring your bell pretty good.

MIKE: It’d wake you up, wouldn’t it?

RICH: Shit. “Hey! You all right?” “What? What’d you say?” “Are…you…all…right?”

MIKE: “Yeah, yeah! That was kind of tight!”

MIKE and RICH laugh.

RICH: But dudes in a Humvee? Forget about it.

MIKE: Pretty sad, huh?

RICH: Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, man. Makes its own sauce.

MIKE: There it is. Nothin’ worse.

RICH: Not unless it happens to you.

MIKE: Yeah? Then you’re just fuckin’ dead. Don’t have to watch the movie for the next forty years.

RICH: Think I’d take that trade.

MIKE: Well, son. Get back to me. (Laughs.)


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