The Sum of Us (1994) Script

Let's go!

Ah, here we go.

Jeff, Jeff, Jeff, Jeff.

Oi! Oi!

First time Dad took me to Gran and Aunt Maryís for my holiday, I was, I don't know, eight or nine.

And I remember playing footy with Gran and my cousins, in the front yard.

You know those days when everything's perfect?

One of the greatest afternoons of my life.

You see, Gran would form us all into one team, and she'd be the other.

It amazes me to think of the hours and hours she'd spend playing with us.

She never seemed tired.

Later in the afternoon, she'd play 'Ludo', or 'Snakes & Ladders', or 'Tiddlywinks'.

I used to love those games with Gran.

She used to keep an old 'Monopoly' set hidden under the stairs, because Mary wouldn't let her play it.

You see, real strict Salvation Army, Mary was. I mean, Gran, too, But just not as bad as Mary, you know.

This one time, Mary went out for a while.

And the minute she's out the door, Gran whips out the old 'Monopoly' board.

"Not a word to Mary," she says.

That was the best game of 'Monopoly' Iíve ever played.

Thought me and Gran were doing something really naughty, Really wrong.

Fire and brimstone stuff, you know.

Some people may think that those days with Gran and Mary had a bad influence on me.

Could be right.

After all, I still play footy.

Stick your frigginí shoulder in his ass!

Watch it.

Only doing what he wants.

Easy!

Huh!

Jesus, you blokes! What do you think you're doing? Come on.

Oh, go on, get out of here. Go on.


G'day, mate.

You're a woman of the world, Gert.

What do you reckon?

Are you thinking of getting hitched again, Harry?

Just looking.


Iím fucked.

What was that?

I said Iím rooted.

Stopped off for a quickie on the way home, did you?

God, you're off sometimes, you know that?

Put a dirty meaning on everything.

Not lasagna again?

Are you going senile or something?

Mashed potatoes and veggies.

Three times this week, already.

Why can't we have a nice leg of lamb?

We haven't had a roast for yonks.

Things aren't so wonderful when you're cooking, you know.

Sausages and chips are a real treat, When you're in the kitchen.

I did that nice chicken curry last week.

So hot it blew the roof of my mouth off.

Oh, Iím sorry if you can't stand a little imagination in my cooking.

Iíll stick to frozen lasagna, from now on.

How long is it gonna be, anyway?

Nearly ready.

Iíll just grab a quick shower.

Why do you always decide to take a shower, Just as Iím about to dish up?

Just as Iím about to put the food...

You don't expect to sit down all sweaty, and smelly like this...

Why not? Doesn't usually bother you, Unless you're going out.

Are you going out?

Well, as a matter of fact, I am.

I thought Iíd just pop down to the pub, for a couple of beers. All right?

Got a date?

Can't a bloke go out for a drink on a Friday night, Without you making a lifetime romance out of it?

You dish up. I won't be two ticks, all right?

He'll be back in a minute.

You had a shower then, did you, Dad?

Yes. Yes, I did.

You didn't turn the taps right off, again.

Is that right, son?

Every time I go for a shower, the taps are dripping.

Now, I know you don't turn them right off because you think, You're saving the washers. But mate, Iíve told ya, that's what they're for.

And Iím a plumber. I can change 'em.

And a few flamin' washers are a damn sight cheaper, than the water rates. It drives me mental, Dad. You know, it does.

If Iíve asked you once, Iíve asked you thousand times. Turn the fucking taps off!

Yes.

Thanks.

Sorry.

Very much.

I will try.

He's very wrought up.

He only ever mentions that when he's wrought up.

He must think he's meeting Mr. Right, tonight.

He won't be eating any Sara Lee.

You're probably wondering about that.

About him meeting Mr. Right.

Well, "might as well get it out into the open,"

As the actress said to the bishop.

He won't be meeting any girl tonight.

He's what you might call "cheerful."

Can't bear that other word.

Some of you will be going, "Tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk," probably.

Can't see why, though.

He's a good, honest lad, with a heart as big as Western Australia.

And he's as much a friend as he is a son.

He's a good mate.

Mind you, he can be a nightmare to live with.

Come on, your dinner's on the table.

You didn't do the laundry.

Sorry, I forgot.

Well I need a pair of socks. I can't go bloody barefoot.

Well, whiz down to the shop and buy yourself a pair of pantyhose.

Ha, ha, ha. Very funny.

Suppose I could wash a pair of mine and dry 'em in the oven.

Oh yeah, and the house will reek of burnt nylon, like it did last time.

Come and eat your dinner.

Yeah, yeah, two ticks.

I wouldn't want you getting the wrong idea, though.

Two blokes living alone together.

It's only him.

Iím not that way inclined.

Bit of a lady's man, me. Always have been.

When I was his age, I was a right little rooter.

"Rabbit," they called me.

Till I met his mum, that is.

No more fooling around, after that.

I was faithful to her from the day I met her.

Because I knew I was one of the lucky ones.

I knew it was love.

These jeans all right, or should I wear the white ones?

How many pairs of my socks did you borrow?

I can almost see your religion.

Yeah, well, if you've got it, show it.

Haven't got that much to skite about.

Well, Harry, size isn't everything!

It's what you do with it that counts.

His mum always said that to me.

What's that for? That's not spaghetti, you know.

Don't wanna get my new shirt dirty.

Have you actually met this young man?

Or is there some young fella wandering around Sydney, who doesn't know you're about to happen to him tonight?

We've said "Gíday" a few times, down the pub.

Ah! Courting?

No, Dad. Not yet.

But you never know your luck in a big city, though.

Are you sure about this, Mum?

No, Jenny, Iím not sure at all.

Do you want me to come in with you?

No.

This is something Iíve got to do.

Now. Hmm!

Wish me luck.

Now just relax, Mrs. Johnson.

Hmm!

Iím going to show you several faces.

Now, I want you to just let them drift by, But if you see one that catches your eye, We can go back and have a second look.

Oh, my God. Sorry.

Iím a bit nervous.

Oh, no need to be, dear.

You know, you've just taken your first step, towards finding your perfect partner.

Have a look.

Oh!

Mmm.

Hmm!

Yes.

Iíll give the party a call.

Right. Yes. Thanks very much.

You eating, or what?

Who was that?

Man about a dog.

What bloody dog?

There's tomato sauce on it already.

Yeah, I know. It needs more.

Of course, some people think it isn't very good manners to read at the dinner table.

Some people haven't lived with you for twenty odd years.

Some people should be so bloody lucky.

You should read a few more books, you know.

Mmm?

There's a lot more to life than what you see on telly.

Like this bloke, Sir Richard Burton.

One of the greatest explorers that ever lived.

First white man to see the sacred stone at Mecca.

And the first man to discover the lakes, in Africa, that are the source of the Nile.

A man...

I thought he married Elizabeth Taylor. who could take on the world, and conquer it.

Yeah. A couple of times.

Not afraid of anything.

You should read it, you might pick up a few hints.

What for?

I do not want to go chasing all over Africa, looking for a place to have a swim.

Anyway, the whole world has already been discovered.

No, it hasn't.

Which bits are missing?

There's amazing things waiting for you just around the corner.

Wonderful things, like love. The greatest adventure of all.

Your grandmother said it once. Iíll never forget it.

"The greatest explorers," she said, "are the explorers of the human heart."

Is that why she became a dyke?

Your grandmother was not a dyke!

She was licking Aunt Maryís pussy for 40 years.

What else do you call it?

I admit her relationship with Mary was... intimate.

But she was not a dyke.

Lesbian, perhaps.

Lezzo, dyke, what's the diff?

What's the diff?

What's the diff?

There's a whole lot of flaming diff.

Your grandmother was a very beautiful woman.

And just because she found happiness After your grandfather had died, just because, in her grief, she turned to Mary, And the of them found comfort in each other's arms, doesn't give you the right to call her names.

How would you like it if I went around calling you pansy, fairy, poofter?

You do, half the time.

Only when Iím annoyed with you.

Now eat your veggies.

No, Iíve had it. Iíve done my dash.

Now, you know, you know how you get angry with me, when I don't turn the taps off in the shower?

Look, Iím sorry. It just gives me the shits.

No, no, no, no. Don't apologise. Listen, listen.

Every time you finish a meal, you always push your plate away from you.

Always.

Now, Iíve told you until Iím blue in the face, but you always do it.

It doesn't matter where we are. Here, out, Buckingham Palace, for all you care.

You'd bloody do it there, and it drives me mental!

If that's how you feel...

That's how I feel.

There's a Sara Lee in the fridge.

Mmm-mmm. No thanks, mate. Don't wanna go breaking out in zits.

Fact is, Iím running late as it is.

Bit early, isn't it?

Well, you know what they say about the early bird.

Yes, but I don't think that's the sort of worm they had in mind when they said it.

Ah, leave the dishes, Iíll do them.

Ta, Dad.

Iíll just, uh, clean my teeth.

See what I mean? He hasn't been this excited for ages.

This one must be quite something.

Your dinner's nearly cold.

Sorry.

It'd be nice if you showed some respect for your mother's cooking.

Someone has to.

Iíll grab something at the pub.

Going out again, are we?

Be nice if you spent some time at home, occasionally.

It's Friday night, for Peteís sake.

You smell like a Bombay brothel, too.

Good stuff that, Dad. "Obsession," it's called.

It costs a fortune.

So, where are you going?

Dancing?

You never bloody let up, do you?

I took dancing lessons to meet people, that's all.

Wasn't as if it was ballet or anything.

I only asked where you were going.

And you watch your tongue in front of your mother.

Sorry, Mum. Iíll see you later.

Be good, dear. Have a nice time.

And if you can't be good, be careful.

See? I do try.

No, you don't.

You don't really try.

You never give him an inch.


You, um.

You don't feel like going out?

There's a film on telly.

Don't worry, Iíll watch it in my room. Coast will be clear.

That's all right then. How do I look?

God's gift?

Did you use a whole bottle of aftershave?

Bit fierce, is it? "Obsession."

He said it was his favorite.

Probably quite nice, in moderation.

Where are you meeting him? At the Prinny?

Yep. That's if he shows up.

I thought you had a date.

Yeah, well, but, you know, knowing my luck.

There's plenty of others.

No, Dad, this is different.

He's, um, something else. Nice.

I expect he'll turn up then.

I hope so.

You've gotta have a bit more faith in yourself, Jeff.

If you were my son's friend, you know, Iíd be pleased it was you.

Things don't always work out like that in the real world, Dad.

You better not keep him waiting. It's all right Cop ya. Later.

Have fun.

Thanks, mate. Do my best.

He's 24 years old, and he's no virgin, that's a sure and certain fact.

But he's carrying on like it was his first ever date.

You might have noticed that he lacks a bit of confidence in himself, in the romantic stakes.

I can't see why. I mean, he's a nice enough looking lad, if you like that sort of thing.

But, uh, about 3 years ago, a terrible thing happened to him. He, uh, fell in love.

It didn't last that long.

The other bloke, uh, Kevin, I think it was, oh, he was a nice enough lad, but a bit flighty.

Training to be a Qantas steward or something.

And after about three months, he just moved on to greener pastures, and, it just about broke Jeffís heart.

It's true. Grandma was a dyke.

Well, lesbian.

I used to go and stay down there for my holidays, you know.

They were the best times.

Just a little brick-and-tile down by the Hawkesbury.

Nothing flash, but clean.

Gran was always polishing every bit of woodwork in the house.

So you'd get up in the morning and there'd be this wonderful smell of lavender floor polish, all over the place.

Good night.

That reminds me of a funny story.

Suppose it's a bit off.

I was there, once. Some of my cousins were staying, too.

So I had to sleep in the spare bed In Gran's room, you know.

I remember, I could see it so clearly.

Waking up that first morning, Looking across to Granís big old double bed, And there were Gran and Mary.

Tucked up in bed, wrapped up in each other's arms.

Gran was snoring, I remember.

I lay there looking at them for such a long time.

Just looked natural somehow, you know?

Like the most natural thing Iíd ever seen.

Like love.

Hello?

Joyce Johnson?

No. No, Iíll Just get her. Mum, it's for you.

Hello?

Ah, look, you don't know me, um, but my name's Harry Mitchell, and I got your name from Desireeís Introduction Agency.

Oh, yeah. Um, Mr. Mitchell, um, pleased to meet you.

Please. Call me Harry.

Of course. Iím sorry. Harry.

But...

Look, it's all right. Um, it's the first time Iíve done this sort of thing, too.

Oh, you mean, um, you don't use Desireeís on a regular basis?

No.

No, nothing like that.

Um, no, Iím interested in a serious relationship, and uh, The most important thing to me is companionship.

Uh, I was thinking that we should, uh, meet, have a meal, you know, somewhere, uh, quiet, classy.

Um, I happen to be a member of the Rozelle Leagues Club.

Isn't that a bit rowdy?

Well, they, um, you know, have a very nice dining room, actually, and, uh, there's dancing.

Proper dancing.

Well, but if, you know, you'd prefer a movie or races or whatever...

No, no, no, no. Iíd like to have dinner at your club.

You would?

Mmm.

Oh, that's very nice, Joyce. Uh, Well, then Iíll...Iíll pick you up on Saturday, say half past 12?

Yeah. Or I could meet you there, if you like, Harry?

No, no, no, no. It would be my pleasure.

Um, Iím looking forward to it, I promise.

Me, too.

So, um, till Saturday, then.

Bye.

Bye, then.


Gíday, Baxter.

Hi, George.

That's better. Couldn't hear myself think in there.

Cheers.

Yeah, cheers.

"Baxter"?

Oh, it's a joke. The footy team, you know.

"Backs to the wall, boys, here comes Jeff."

So, you play footy.

Just the local pub, just amateur. Bit of a laugh.

Well, it's more than a laugh, from what Iíve heard.

What goes on in those locker rooms?

Oh, well, it's a man's man's world, mate.

It's all spit on the floor, and "How many sheilas did you root last night?"

Do you play any sport?

Yeah, swimming.

I do a lot of swimming.

Keeps me away from home a fair bit, I suppose that's why.

All by yourself, in the water, no one to hassle you, give you a hard time, you know.

Won a few medals, too, at school.

Wouldn't mind seeing you in your Speedos!

Iíll show you later. Got 'em on now.

if you wear your footy shorts...

You're on.

I really liked you from the first time I saw you down the pub.

It took me yonks to pluck up the courage to even say "Gíday."

I thought you weren't interested, you know.

Like, Iíve seen you, too, and in the park. I work in the park.

And Iíve seen you there, jogging, in that footy gear.

Those shorts look really sexy on you.

What you said before, about, about, home, don't you get on, at home?

Oh, Mum's all right, but Dad's a bit tricky, you know.

He's always picking on me, finding fault with everything I do.

He went through the roof when I got my job.

Gardening? What's wrong with that?

He said it wasn't good enough for me. No future in it.

But Iím bringing home nearly as much money as him, already.

He's, I don't know, he's like a stranger to me.

Someone I live with, but don't... know very well, and, don't like very much.

That's why I took up swimming.

Things are a little bit different at our house.

Do you wanna come home?


Just push it open.

Make yourself comfy.

Want a beer?

Where's, uh, uh, is your dad out?

He'll be in bed.

Well, shouldn't we be a bit quiet then?

What for?

In case we wake him up.

Ha! He won't be asleep. Not yet.

Probably come and say ďGídayĒ.

I told you, he knows all about me, what I do and who I do it with.

I bring blokes back all the time.

Not that there's that many, I mean. I should be so lucky.

What Iím trying to say is that Dad knows, and he doesn't care.

Well, if you're sure.

Scout's honour.

If they've got any left.

Come on.

Sit down.

Relax.

That's better. Cheers.

Yeah, cheers.

Iím really glad you showed up.

So, what about the other teams? The football teams.

You're just an old footy perv, aren't you?

Uh-huh.

Just 'cause they're big, butch footballers, doesn't mean they're Superman, in bed, you know.

Every year, the team goes to Manila, for the, you know, post-season holiday.

And every year, they end up in a brothel.

We've got this one real brick with ears, Jack Rhymer.

First time, he was really shocked. He'd been with this Asian chick.

She was all over him, you know. Doing everything, like a Chinese gymnast.

Jacko wasn't too keen on that.

He said he kept wishing he was with an Aussie girl who'd just lie there like a soggy cornflake.

Um.

What do you like?

Well, I don't know as Iíd win any gold medals, but,

I like a bit of action.

So do I.

Don't let me interrupt anything.

For crying out loud, Dad, can't you ever knock?

I was just going to get myself a beer. Anyone else?

No.

It's ok, I Promise you.

Relax, just carry on as usual.

But he saw us.

Fuck, he's seen worse than that.

A couple of years ago, I had a friend who stayed the night.

We were having a wake-up session.

Dad brings the tea, right in the middle of it.

Oh, what did he say?

Ah, he said, "careful of the sheets."

It broke the ice.

Well, aren't you going to introduce me?

Yes, sorry.

This is Greg. Greg, this is my dad.

Very pleased to meet you. You can call me Harry.

Sit down.

Come on.

Thanks.

Make yourself at home.

Um.

Well, up your bum.

It's just a joke. Dad's always making jokes.

Yeah, like that time with the lavender floor polish...

Steady on Dad, it's a bit off, that.

Is that? In company.

What was that about lavender floor polish?

Don't worry about it, you wouldn't be interested. It's just a misunderstanding.

What do you do for a crust, son?

He's a gardener, Dad.

Oh, yeah, deaf and dumb, is he, too?

I work at the Botanical Gardens.

Is that right? Mmm-hmm.

Uh, perhaps the young fellow would like another drink.

Uh.

Want something stronger?

No. No. This is fine.

Got some scotch, maybe a drop of brandy left.

Well, I wouldn't say no to a drop of scotch.

You know what they say: "whisky makes you frisky."

Yeah, and, "brandy makes you randy."

Hey, pity we haven't got any rum, eh?

That's a good one, I like that.

Ha.

Iíll make it a double, then. Iíll just get the ice.


These are wonderful.

My pride and joy.

Not as good as my brother Ericís.

I don't know what he does.

Well, uh, You know what they say about tomatoes.

Same as lemon trees.

Busy at the Prinny?

Uh, yeah, it was packed.

Nice pub.

What, you've been there?

Oh, yeah.

Well, you know, when it became obvious, that, uh, Jeff was, well, that way, I thought, well, "His heart, his life," and, um, Iíd never met any willie-woofters, so, I... sorry, "gay persons."

Or none that I knew of, anyway.

I thought, well, "Iíve gotta find out what all this is about." so, uh, I got him to take me on a pub crawl.

It started off at the Prinny.

We had a great old time.

I had no idea there was that many places; uh, we ended up at the, uh, The Barracks, I think it was.

I got talking to a couple of blokes, you know, a bit nancy, but a lot of fun, really.

And, uh, and one of them, well, he must've thought I was that way inclined.

He asked me my name and when I said, "Harry", He said "oh no, that doesn't suit you at all.

"You'll always be Harriet to me."

Well, Harrietís not a name Iíve ever been fond of.

So I said, "Harriet? Never!

"Call me Henrietta."

Henrietta, eh?

It doesn't really suit you.

Eh? You reckon?

I thought it was pretty good myself.

I mean, a bit refined, you know?

Cripes, I just can't imagine my dad ever doing something like that.

What's that? What's that?

You know, when Iím working, of course.

What's that?

Cheers.

So you, uh, live at home, uh, Greg.

Ah.

Yeah. Worst luck.

And, uh, you don't get on with your family then, Greg?

Well.

Gregís folks don't know about him yet, Dad.

I see.

Don't you think that's a shame, Greg?

Leave it, Dad.

Oh, Iíve always been very grateful for Jeff being honest with me.

I mean, not that I had a lot of choice. Finding him in the back shed there when he was, what, 14, were you? You know, sticking it up Willie Jones' bum.

I was not up his b...

Well, near as bloody damn it...

You are very broad-minded...

I try to be, mate.

I have to be, you know. I mean, this is Jeffís home, and, uh, if he's unable to be himself here, where can he be?

And I want you to think of this as your home, too, eh, Greg?

You're welcome here any time you like.

We don't have any secrets from each other here.

Nothing on, uh, telly, Dad?

Nothing worth watching.

This is much better, eh?

Well, uh, up your bum, Henrietta.

Up your dress, Griselda.

You two are well away, aren't ya?

Tell me, what's your ambition?

You know, what's your dream? Apart from playing hide-the-sausage, with young Jeffrey here? I mean, what would you like to do in life?

My secret dream?

My really, truly secret dream?

Oh.

Iíd, Iíd like to plant a forest, you know?

To plant a whole forest.

And watch it grow.

And go out and stand in the middle of all these great trees, and say, "I planted this, I made this."

That's magnificent.

Do it.

That's wonderful, don't you think, Jeff?

Bloody oath.

Make a fair old swag of violins, too, wouldn't it?

"Make a fair old swag of violins, too."

Don't you have any respect for the English language?

What's wrong with the way I talk?

I like the way he talks.

It's real manly. It turns me on.

Uh, Iím sorry, Harry, that was a bit bold.

Please. Pretend Iím not here.

Yes, please.

Why don't you get the, uh, young fellow another whisky, Jeff?

No, no, really. Iím a two-pot screamer.

Iím a bit like that, myself. Two, and Iím anybody's.

Three, and Iím everybody's.

Four, and Iím nobody's.

Actually, maybe I will have one more.

I might do anything.

Feel free.

Nice place you got here, Harry.

Iím very pleased you like my boy, Gary.

He, uh, doesn't push himself very much, uh, you know, sometimes.

But, uh, he's got a heart of gold.

And he likes you.

Well, I think he's very nice.

But if you need anything to, uh, well, uh, He can be a bit of a lump.

Uh, Iíve got these magazines, you know, if you need anything to get started.

Um.

Well, are, are these Jeffís?

Yeah.

No, uh, i...I bought them.

I just, uh, wanted to find out what sort of thing he got up to.

I mean, I had a fair idea, uh, of course.

But there's, uh, some, uh, things in here, uh, that I would never have imagined.

And, uh, this one, uh, it's about, um, safe sex.

Oh, I was, uh, worried about this, uh, terrible aids thing.

I mean, who isn't these days?

Yeah.

And, uh, I just wanted to find out if, uh, Jeff was safe.

Um.

Well, you know, it worries me; he's my son.

Um, ahem and, uh, So I thought Iíd just leave these lying around, like, so Jeff could find out what it was about, but he told me that he knew...

It's all right Mr. Mitchell. I mean, I do, do safe sex, too, If that's what you're worried about.

Hmm.

Well, there you go, then, um, If you need a turn-on.

Um, well, um, have a good time, won't you?

Thanks.

Yeah, I will get out of your way now.

It's been very nice to meet you, Gary.

You, too... uh, Greg. You, too, Mr. Mitchell Don't do anything I wouldn't do, you two.

Can't believe he's gone. I thought he'd never get the hint.


Sorry, Greg. I, uh, forgot to ask, how you take your tea in the morning.

As it comes.

White, with two?

Piss off, will ya?

Don't mind me. Good night, all.

He really does mean well.

Where was I?

Look, uh, do you mind? I think Iíll give it a miss.

Come on.

It's still early.

No, really.

Another time...

Did he say something to you?

No. No. He's a wonderful man, it's, uh, it's just, uh, I got a bit of a headache, you know.

Iíve got some Panadeine.

Doesn't help. Migraine, you know.

I need those real strong ones. I better push off.

It's him, isn't it? It's Dad.

No, it's not him.

It's not you, or anyone.

It's just me.

I can't hack it.

Bringing your boyfriend home, and not having to lie and pretend.

Look, I think it's really terrific what you've got with him, I really do.

But?

It hurts a bit.

It makes me feel guilty about what we do.

Maybe it's too domestic. Sort of makes the atmosphere, I don't know, not very sexy.

Iíd like to see you again, Jeff. I really would.

I like you a lot. You're a really nice guy.

So is your dad.

Tell him I said good-bye.

Don't go, mate. Please.

I like you, mate, you know.

I don't just mean sex. We don't have to do that, if you'd rather not.

I like you as a person, you know.

I feel comfy with you.

Just don't go, please.

We can talk, get to know each other a bit,

Iím wasting my breath, aren't I?

Yeah, sorry.

No, Iím sorry.

Iíll see you, then?

Yeah, mate. Of course.

I do like you, Jeff.

Ta.


I went down to Melbourne once.

Kevin had moved there and I thought, I thought I could talk him into getting back with me.

Didn't work, of course.

The point is I went down by train, and there was this woman.

Couldn't take my eyes off her.

Suddenly, she said, Oh.

The agonising pain of it all.

The agonising pain.

"Oh, the agonising pain of it all," that's what she said.

Iíve often wondered what she meant but...

I suppose I knew, straight away.

She just wanted someone to talk to.

Someone to laugh with, have a good time with, get drunk with.

Cuddle up to.

Tsk. Doesn't seem a lot to ask, does it?

I mean, for fuck's sake, how can you be too bloody domestic?


He seemed like such a nice lad, too.

Yeah, didn't he?

Are you seeing him again?

Plenty more fish in the sea, eh?

I was, uh, wondering what you'd like for tea, tomorrow night.

Thought Iíd buy a leg of lamb.

You always like a roast.

Nice baked potatoes, thick gravy, and, uh, don't forget to sort out your laundry.

Iíll get it done for you tomorrow.

You ever thought of going to, uh, an introduction agency?

One of those, uh, computer dating services?

They've got them in those magazines of yours.

Not tonight, Dad.

Some other time, maybe.

Fair enough.

Don't stay up too late, will you, son?

No, Dad.

She comes into my mind, from time to time.

That woman on the train.


Joyce.

Mr. Mitchell.

Please, Call me Harry.

That's very thoughtful.

Yes! Yes! Yes!


Thank you, darling.


Look at you. You're on a winning streak.

Ever since I met you, Joyce.

You look wonderful.

I must say, you always know the right thing to say to a woman.

Oh!

Life without women would be like a barbecue without beer, wouldn't it?

Speaking of which, shall we go?

Iíve reserved our usual table.

I haven't had so much fun in ages.

This is getting a bit serious, isn't it, Mum?

No, no, it's just fun to go out again with someone you like, who obviously likes you.

Mum.

It's all right, dear.

Harryís great, but we'll take it step by step.

Iím a bit more wary, these days.

Hey, look. Dad left you. It wasn't your fault.

Well, of course it was, part of it.

You can't put all the blame on one side, when a marriage breaks down.

Would you ever take him back?

No, dear. Never.

Once bitten, and all that.

Jeff.

Jeff.

Not much else to do, is there?

Sitting around here all the time, feeling sorry for yourself. Getting stoned.

You should be out looking at the world, making a contribution.

Sowing your oats, eh?

Something wonderful, like love, the greatest adventure of all.

Your Gran said it once.

I make a contribution, mate.

I look after people's drains.

You know, life would be pretty shitty without plumbers.

Not very romantic, though, is it?

Not like planting a forest.

Fair go, mate. Iím just me.

I know you are.

You have that freedom.

So go on.

Prove to me that the way I brought you up wasn't wrong, that my mother wasn't wrong, that what she found was wonderful, that it was worth everything.

All for love.

That young Gary, he seemed clean enough.

Greg, Greg, don't start, Dad.

Not now. Just go and have some fun.

You, uh, got some rich widow you're seeing on the sly, have you?

What if I have?

You're not the only one that gets lonely, son.

I like women.

I like the way they're put together.

I like them all soft and squishy.

I like having them, for Peteís sake.

Iím sick of living in sin with my own right hand.

Ease off, Dad.

Ah, that shouldn't worry you, should it?

You're going for world-champion wanker, aren't you?

Sorry about that.

Got a bit carried away or something, I don't know.

I mean it's not quite like that.

I mean, I do it.

Of course I do, who doesn't?

Got to relieve the tension, somehow.

But he makes it sound like Iím some sort of rampant sex maniac.

You don't like to think of your own Dad doing that, do you?

I mean, you know he must.

Doesn't seem quite right, does it?

He drives me screaming up the walls, sometimes.

It's not an easy thing for a man to accept, that his mother's been doing it with another woman for forty years.

I used to wonder that the love between them must be extraordinary, if they were prepared to risk everything, all for love.

That's when I started to think about blokes and blokes.

Never did it, of course. Never wanted to.

I think it was the idea of the hairy bums that put me off.


But if what Mum and Mary had was so amazing, you know, I thought maybe it's the same for men, too.

Anyway, I met my wife, then there was Jeff.

I thought, "Ah, well, it's in the blood."

It's just skipped a generation, you know, from my mother to him.

I made up my mind that no matter what, he'd be his own man.

And I knew that Iíd love him.

But he drives me screaming up the wall, sometimes.

This has all been a bit of a shock to me, Harry.

Us getting on so well.

It's a nice shock, I might add.

I didn't have very high hopes when I went to that agency.

I never expected anything serious.

It is, on my part.

How serious?

I want you to meet Jeff.

Then if the two of you get on...

Iím going to pop the question.

And, um, if we don't?

We'll cross that bridge if we come to it.

Wow.

I wouldn't want to come between you two, anyway.

You seem very close.

We've got to think of ourselves first, Joyce.

It's a big step, all the same.

But I guess we should put our cards on the table.

Look, I might not be very, um, imaginative in the bed department, Harry, but I never said ďnoĒ to my husband, not in all the years we were married.

Not once?

Well, obviously there were certain times, after Jenny was born, and when I wasn't well. But no, apart from that he always got his onions, whenever he wanted them.

Could have had them a bit more often, too, if heíd played his cards right.

I like to be wooed.

Yes, you do, don't you?

So, as long as you're not too demanding, you'll get what you want, on that score.

I think we should stop beating around the bush.

I didn't think I was.

Well, you don't have to give me your answer, straight away, but, um, you know what's on my mind.

Will you marry me?

What's all this?

What's this all about?

Eh? What's the matter?

Iíd given up hope.

I just didn't think it was going to happen to me again.

No, neither did I.

Iíve been so lonely for so long, and I just didn't think... it's you kneeling down that did it.

Well, will you?

No.

Why?

I thought...

It's too soon.

I don't want to make another mistake.

Look, let's give it six months.

And then if we still feel the same way...

Make it three months.

It's all that talk about sex, isn't it?

It's got you all worked up.

All right. Three months.

Joyce.

I can't say Iím the happiest Iíve ever been in my life.

But Iím the happiest I can remember being for a very long time.

Yeah mate, mate, that's you, that is you.

You can't wear Y-fronts all your life, mate.

Yeah, go with The frozen one.

Too small.

What's got into you this year?

That's twice the size the one we normally have.

We don't make enough of Christmas, That's our trouble. It's the season of goodwill, family.

It's high time you started thinking about a family of your own.

Find some nice young fellow, get set up in life.

It's not that flaming easy.

Doesn't just happen to order.

The choice is a bit more limited, for one thing.

Maybe some places like San Francisco, all the blokes wear their dicks on their sleeves.

You ever thought of going there for a holiday?

I don't want to live like that, Dad.

I don't want to live in a world that just begins and ends with being gay.

I like having all sorts of people around. Kids and old folks, every sort of person there is.

I don't want to live in a world without women. I like women.

Me and the girls in the office get on great.

They know, they don't care. We laugh about it.

Fancy the same blokes sometimes.

Even fancied a couple of the girls.

Done it with a few of them to make sure I wasn't missing out on anything.

You've done it with girls?

You never told me that.

Yeah.

I didn't want you to get your hopes up.

Did you like it?

See what I mean?

Hey, hey.

Bugger it.

Could you get it up?

Of course I could. It's not exactly an obstacle course.

I quite enjoyed it, actually. Something different.

But they just don't turn me on like men do.

Would, would you like to try it again?

No, Dad. Not off the top of my head.

See what I mean about getting your hopes up?

I like doing it with blokes, Dad.

I don't think that's ever going to change because I don't want it to.

I don't wanna be limited by others' ideas of who I am. Yours or anyone else's.

I don't think Iíve ever put any limits on you, Jeff.

I...

Dad, I know.

You've been great, mate.

The best dad in the world, I reckon.

The fairest, that's a certain fact.

I don't often say it, but it's Christmas.

So thanks, mate, for everything.

I mean, you give me the first-class shits at times, and I suppose I do you.

But I don't think there's many got a father like you.

And Iím a very lucky man to have a son like you, mate.

What do you reckon?

How are we going to get the fucker home?

Magnificent, just what Christmas should be.

Tada.

Oh, not her again. I thought we'd ditch the bitch.

Never!

Your mother bought her the first Christmas of our marriage, just before you were born.

I suppose some people might see that as an omen.

She's looking a bit tacky, Dad. Why can't we get a nice star, or something?

Not as long as Iím alive.

You can do what you like when Iím gone.

Your mother loved her.

I miss her, Dad.

I miss her like crazy.

Not half as much as I do, lad.

It's not possible.

Yeah, mate, I know.

Iím sorry.

I think about her sometimes.

Sitting on a fluffy white cloud in a place called paradise.

Surrounded by lots of fat little naked babies sprouting wings.

And angels playing harps, making pretty music.

Waiting for me to come along and join her.

It helps, sometimes.

Sometimes it makes it worse.

Sometimes I miss her so much, I can hardly wait to hear the pretty music.

Come on, Dad.

Cheer up, you old pisshead. Give me a hand.

Yeah, well, you know.

You should take a leaf out of your own book, mate.

I mean, there's bound to be a few old widows floating around.

There's a few young ones, too.

But I mean within the realms of possibility, mate.

Somebody who'll fancy you.

Would it worry you if there was?

Hell, no, mate, it'd be great.

Well, there is.

What?

You old dog.

How long has this been going on?

A while.

You are lower than a snake's belly, know that?

Not a single word to me about this.

Now don't go getting all hurt.

I just wanted to be sure.

Cause for celebration?

Iíll drink to that.

So, um...

Have you, uh...

Have you stuck it up her yet?

You dirty bastard! You have, haven't you?

Don't you dare.

Listen, don't you talk about Joyce like that, if you don't mind. She's a very refined kind of person.

So is it love then, Dad?

No.

I mean, I can't honestly say that it is.

But it might be the next best thing.

Cheers.

Cheers.

So, when's it going to be?

Well, we haven't set the big day.

But you're going to?

Yeah. I, you know, if she gets on with you.

I do not come into this.

Unless you need me to move out or anything.

Of course I don't, Jeff.

And nor would Joyce want that.

She knows about you.

Yeah?

You haven't told her everything, have you, Dad?

Well, no. I mean...

Dad.

Well look.

Joyce is a very kind and understanding woman.

You'll love her and she will love you.

And, uh, you know, when things work out, because they will, Uh, well, you can stay here, in your own home, as long as you like. Until such time as you want to move out on your own or with someone.

Well Iíll be, huh?

Merry Christmas, son.

Come here, you old bastard.

Merry Christmas, Dad.

Joyce.

Happy New year.

Happy new year, Harry.

If you had told me Iím the only one that you love um, aren't you going to shut the door?

Sorry.

Ah. Is this Jeff?

Yes.

On his 21st.

Oh, takes after his dad in the looks department.

You reckon?

Some people say they can't see the resemblance.

I find that difficult to believe.

Um...

Iím really hanging out for a drink.

Make yourself at home.

Yeah.

Jeff out on the town tonight?

Too right.

New Year's Eve.

Don't expect him home until the morning.

Right.

This is really pleasant out here, Harry.

You sound, uh, surprised.

Oh, well, you know, two blokes living together, you keep it really neat and tidy.

Ah.

What are these doing here?

Oh, to be honest, uh, I bought them.

What?

Why?

Well, uh, Jeffís, uh...

Oh.

I see.

Ah.

Why didn't you tell me?

I was going to. Um, I know I should've.

You bought these?

You...you encourage him?

Jesus, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

You ought to be ashamed of him!

Iíve never been ashamed of Jeff. Not ever.

How can I be ashamed of what my seed's become?

What my love's become.

You couldn't tell me.

I mean, it's probably the most important thing in your life, and you couldn't tell me.

It doesn't change anything.

Well, it does to me.

All this time Iíve been thinking Iíve been getting to know you, you've been lying to me.

I never actually lied.

It amounts to the same thing.

Just meet Jeff.

You'll love him.

You'll see.

Harry, no. I can't.

Not now. It's not just him, anyway; it's everything.

I can't.

Joyce.

I just need to be on my own for a bit.

Sort things out in my head.

It was so good for a while there, Harry.

If only you'd been honest.

Ashamed of Jeff?

Never.

Disappointed?

Yeah, disappointed that... he'll never give me a grandchild. Disappointed that I honestly believe he'd be missing out on something wonderful.

What I had with his mum, making a baby.

Knowing that Iíd put the seed in there, and watching it grow, then seeing him.

But if he's never going to have that, then I want him to have all the things he can have.

Our children are only the sum of us.

What we add up to.

Us, and our parents And our grandparents and theirs.

All the generations.


Hello, mate.

They said you'd be up soon.

Why'd you go and do a silly bloody thing like that for?

You've had a bit of a stroke, Dad.

It was more than a bit of one, actually.

Did they tell you what it was going to be like?

You'll be all right, mate.

Iíll look after you, no sweat.

Things will be just the same as always, Dad, I promise.

Can I get you anything?

Need to go for a wee or something?

Silly, eh? I suppose they look after that sort of thing here.

But still, you never know.

Why do you keep moving your hand?

Can you hear me?

Once for "yes."

Twice for "no."

Oh, Dad.


...smooth.

Are you knocking off early?

What do you mean, it's 5 past.

What are you, a bloody clock-watcher now?

I thought you might give us a few minutes extra.

Considering that cock-up you made with that bed of Pansies last week.

He's a prick. Don't Take any notice.

Water off a duck's back.

You're in a good mood.

You piss off, Iíll put your gear away.

Thanks, mate.


Great, boys! Is there going to be a rodeo later?

Hey, why don't you come with us, Walter? Come with us!

Love to.

Marty! Marty! We'll see you there.

See you down there.

Police estimate tonight's crowd to be nearly 600,000.

This is believed to be the largest crowd ever to gather for the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.


Mum.

What are you doing up?

You're late.

What have you been doing?

What were you doing? You were all over the late news!

I was having a good time with my mates.

I ought to beat the shit out of you.

Well, why don't you try?

Get out. Get out of here now.

You can come back once for your things, when Iím not here.

Then that's it.

I never want to see you again.

He doesn't mean it, Gregory. He's angry.

No. He does, Mum.

Damn right, I do.

Fair enough.

Here you go, Dad.

I fixed it up a treat, mate.

Now we can talk to each other, sort of.

What do you think? It's good, isn't it?

No, it's not silly, Mate. It's good. It works well.

I thought we'd have an outing this arvo, take you down the supermarket.

Pick up a nice bit of Ffsh for your tea, Some of that frozen lasagna you like so much.

Here's the remote. You want it on?

What about your wee pan?

Need a piss?

Come on, Harry, now.

You know you're not going to be able to piss in the supermarket, right?

Hmm?

Iíll just go and get us ready. Back in a tick.

The trouble with having a stroke is that people treat you like a fuckwit afterwards.


Shut up, Dad.

Don't make a row.

Jeff.

Gíday.

Thought it was you.

Gíday, Greg.

How're you going, Mr. Mitchell?

Not too good, by the look of things.

Dad's had a bit of a stroke.

Yeah, I heard. Down the pub.

He can't, uh, speak or anything, But he knows it's you.

How can you tell?

Just can.

So how are things?

Oh, not bad. Iíve left home.

Your folks?

Mum's been great, but Dad, uh...

Found a place of my own, actually.

A studio flat, they call it.

It's quite nice, but...

There's hardly enough room to swing a cat, and it's pretty expensive.

I would've, uh, thought you'd have found some nice... friend to move in with.

I wish.

Uh, you know, I do meet blokes, but they're all only after one thing.

That's not everything in life, is it?

Can't understand it.

Look, we better push off. Iíve got to get dad home.

Yeah, of course.

Iíll see you later, Mr. Mitchell. Hope you're feeling better soon.

Yeah, thanks Greg.

Listen, uh, I might drop round one night, and make sure he's looking after you properly.

Uh, probably be a bit difficult.

Oh, well, if you don't want me to...

No, it's just, it's, you know, a little difficult with Dad.

You've gotta have a life of your own life, surely.

Yeah, of course... Dad, Dad, Dad... yeah, of course I do.

It's just, you know, maybe when he's a bit better, eh?

Yeah.

Tooroo.

See you later.

Yeah, two ticks!

No, sorry. Don't want any.

Jeff, My name's Joyce Johnson. Iím a friend of your dad's.

Joyce, yeah. Sorry, come in.

How is he?

As well as can be expected, you know, um.

Doc says he'll never walk again. He can't speak, of course.

Do you want to see him?

Oh, I didn't realize it was that bad.

He'd be pleased... to see you.

Dad, someone to see you.

Harry? Iím So sorry about you... about your being sick.

Oh, he's not sick now.

Look, I'll leave you two alone, so you can have a chat.

Look, it's all right. I just dropped by, I...

Iíll make a cup of tea.

Iím really sorry, Harry.

Tea's ready.

Look, um, I won't stay.

My daughter, um, Jenny, she's waiting for me.

Bit of a shock, seeing him like that.

He used to be so full of energy.

Ah, still is.

Always wanting to go down the park for a walk, or walk down the shops... or 'wheel', I should say.

Must be difficult for you.

No.

Got a nurse comes in three times a week, and it's my dad, you know.

Look, drop in again some time.

He likes visitors.

Sorry I gave you such a hard time, before. I thought you were one of them missionaries.

We get a lot of them around here.

When it's blokes like the Mormons, I just open the door, tell 'em I'm a poofter and watch them blush.

You tell them what?

Iím a poofter.

Didn't he tell you?

Yeah, he was going to. He was a bit worried about how you might react.

No, I knew.

You're nothing like I expected.

Real sweet on you, he was.

Had his heart set on you.

How was it? Are you ok?

There's no fool like an old fool. Isn't that what they say?

You're not so old, Mum.

No.

But Iím a fool.


My mother was 80.

She was getting infirm, and Mary was a bit younger.

But neither of them could look after each other anymore.

And we all made the decision to split them up.

My brother took Mum. And Mary... went to a home.

It was for their own good.

How many times did we tell ourselves that?

We drove Mum away, and she didn't say a word. She didn't speak for days. She just sat in her new bedroom with her suitcase full of memories.

And she died in her sleep one night, not long after that.

Tsk.

And I never had the chance, or the guts, To ask her the one thing I wanted to know.

I always wanted to know What they said to each other that last night, Lying there in that great old brass bed, knowing that it was for the last time.

Knowing that they were never going to see each other again.

Knowing that they were being taken away To different places, to die.

I can't imagine what they would have said.

How do you say "thank you" for forty years of love?

What words could you possibly find?

By then, They were both as deaf as posts, so, they'd lie there, Shouting their love and their good-byes to each other.

Did they find comfort in the idea that they, uh, might meet again soon, in the next world?

So, I don't know what I would have said to Jeffrey if Iíd known the stroke was was going to happen.

I know I would have said something.

Only now, I'll never know what it was.

Ok, Dad. Time for number twos.

Iíll be back in a bit to wipe your bum.

Got the fish on for tea, right?

I used to imagine, in my darker moments, that it'd be the other way around. That, uh, you know, he'd catch that dreadful disease, and Iíd be the one nursing him to the grave.

But not this.

Dear God.

Anything but this.

Ah.

Maybe in a few years' time, when Iím gone, he'll find someone, even if it's only out of sheer, bloody loneliness.

But it won't be love, because by then he'll have forgotten how.

I can't imagine anything worse could happen to a human being, than that.

Sorry.

It always used to be a very private thing to me, going to the lav.

Not anymore.

Ripper of a day, isn't it?

Weather report said it was going to rain.

They still don't get it right very often, do they?

Might get an ice cream on the way home. Do you fancy an ice cream?

Don't suppose you could manage an ice block, not unless I chopped it up for ya.

Might be a bit messy.

You need to wee or anything, Dad?

Well, I do.

You'll be all right, Dad. I won't be long.


Gíday.

Fancy meeting you here.

Iím planting.

What?

Iím...

Yeah, I know. I saw you from over there.

Well, I wasn't actually sure it was was you; I was just having a perv.

Nice legs.

You're looking pretty fit yourself.

No, no, I need some sun.

At least you've got a tan.

It's only my arms and legs.

The rest of me is as white as a ghost.

Looks all right to me.

You didn't come and see Dad.

Well, I didn't think you wanted me to.

Yeah, look, Sorry I was a bit off last time I saw you, but I wasn't sure how you'd react to Dad, you know.

It's not the most romantic thing in the world, is it, looking after your father after he's had a stroke?

I thought you might think it was too domestic.

Look, the thing is, um, Iíd really like to see you again.

You all right then, Dad?

Iíll read to you for a bit, eh? Do you want me to read to you?

No?

What do you want to do?

Sit here and listen to the flowers grow?

All right.

Sorry I was a while, but I ran into young Greg.

You probably remember him best as Gary.

Could've knocked me down with a feather.

But I suppose it's only natural, him being a gardener, and this being a garden.

Couldn't help myself.

I asked him over for tea one night.

I was thinking he'd say, "Oh, yeah?" and that'd be that.

Could've knocked me down with a feather when he said, "Is tomorrow ok?"

"Yeah, ripper," I said.

I was a bit worried about you.

How he'd feel about you.

But he just shrugged and said, "That's life, isn't it?"

And he said he'd bring his toothbrush.

That's making it fairly plain, isn't it?

He might even stay the night.

Iím not going to rush things, though.

Joe Cool this time, you just watch me.

Not too cool, though; I don't want him to think Iím not interested, y'know.

Iím just gonna be me.

Whoever that is.

What's up, Dad?

What's the matter, mate? You're crying!

What's wrong?

Hey, come on.

It can't be that bad, whatever it is. Come on.

It's all right, dry your eyes, come on.

Eh?

Oh, don't, Dad. Please.

It breaks me up to see you like this, you know it does.

There's nothing to get upset about, mate.

Iím here.

Iíll always be here.

Ok?

Is it Greg?

Don't you want him to come to tea?

I won't. Iíll stop him, if you want me to.

Iíve got his number.

Is that it?

Dad, come on, Dad.

Dad, Dad, Dad.

Come on, tell me.

One buzz is for 'yes', two buzzes for 'no'.

Yes, you want me to cancel.

No, you don't want me to?

Yes.

That's what I thought.

You all right? You sure?

Huh?

Silly old bugger, getting yourself worked up over things, eh?

Nothing to worry about, Dad. I promise.

Not a worry in the world.

Turned out real nice after all, didn't it?

I wonder if he'll show up.