[SCENE: Ma Finch is at mrsfinch’s apartment, where she is doing her adult daughter a good deed by admitting the guys who are taking away the carpets to be cleaned, as mrsfinch is at work and could not be there. The carpet people gave a time window of between 12 and 1. At five minutes to 5 pm mrsfinch receives a phone call from Ma Finch.]

MA F: Hello, darling. I’ve done a lot of cleaning up and straightening up. The place looks a lot better.

MRS F: [apprehensively] Great, thanks, Mom, were the carpet guys late? They were supposed to be there at -

MA F: Oh, they were here on time and they’re going to [recites long list of extra treatments the carpets, admittedly, are in need of]. And I think you should call the slipcover place and cancel having the loveseat done. I think you should just get rid of it.

MRS F: [even more apprehensively] Um, I signed a contract and put down a 50% deposit for that, Mom, and they’re coming on Friday. I don’t know if I can cancel without looking at the contract.

MA F: Well, find out and get back to me.

MRS F: [gaping openly at the phone in horror] um, okay?

MA F: I think you should give it away to Habitat for Humanity and buy that yellow wing chair you like at IKEA. Plus that means we could fit in that other bookcase [a bookcase mrsfinch has twice rejected as unaesthetic and unequal to her requirements]. I moved a few things around so you can see what it would look like [followed by elaborate description of new living room configuration]

Advertisement

MRS F: [starts looking around for something to gouge her eyes out with]

MA FINCH: [cheerfully] So you’ll come home to a much tidier place. Also I took all the sheets off your bed and brought them home with me to wash because I know you’ve had trouble getting down to the laundry room.

MRS F: [dubiously] I don’t have any other sheets. The other set also needs washing.

Advertisement

MA FINCH: [breezily] Don’t worry, I brought some from home. And I did a lot of tidying so you will come home to a much cleaner place. Get back to me about the upholsterer. Byeee!

mrsfinch, now stripped of any pretense at adulting, makes weak mewing noises and rings off.