Behind the Scenes – Permission to Laugh



Author: Even though I was the one struggling through this moment in my story, it still makes me laugh. What was I thinking???? Anyway, next time you see someone struggling to walk with a walker – be kind. There is a reason they are blocking your way. Don’t judge. Don’t stare. Just go around!

My Movie Memoir Screenplay Novel, by Betts Keating
Chapter Six – Diastasis Symphysis Pubis

Then there was the time we decided to go to a movie. Disney’s Monsters, Inc., had just opened and my sister and I thought it would be fun to take my daughter to her first movie. If you are thinking to yourself, “this isn’t going to go well,” you’re right. It didn’t.



MUSIC: something with big horns that implies “action.” Similar to theme song from Magnum P.I.

CAMERA HOLDS on exterior of apartment building with MOMMY and SISTER coming down stairs.

MOMMY hobbles down carefully with obvious pain putting all of her weight on the guard rail (ironically in conflict with music).

MOMMY is wearing unattractive elastic brace around hips on outside of clothing.

SISTER walks down the stairs without any difficulty, wearing the BABY in front facing baby carrier and also carrying a metal walker.

ALL reach sidewalk, rearrange and begin moving toward street corner. It is torturous how slowly they are moving. Again in direct conflict to music.

The city continues to bustle around them. People zoom past them in a blur of speed. Cars honk loudly.

CUT TO: Close up of MOMMY’s feet and walker on sidewalk. Emphasize sound of MOMMY’s movement.

Shuffle. Shuffle. Thump. Drag.

MUSIC screeches to stop


MUSIC starts again

REPEAT: Shuffle. Shuffle. Thump. Drag.

MUSIC screeches to stop


MUSIC starts again

REPEAT: Shuffle. Shuffle. Thump. Drag.

MUSIC screeches to stop



TITLE: 40 Minutes later

FADE IN: CAMERA HOLDS on front of theater.

Fresh as a daisy SISTER stands next to panting, sweaty MOMMY leaning heavily on walker.

SISTER buys tickets while MOMMY gives sheepish grin to clerk behind window.

CLERK shakes his head in disbelief. The scene before him doesn’t make sense.

MUSIC begins playing again

MOMMY puts on brave face and continues into the theater.

CUT TO: MOMMY as she finally makes it to seat and collapses in giant relief. Sister swoops in and sits down with perfect ease, even while carrying BABY.

Are you OK?

Fine, fine, yes, I’m fine.
(brush off – obviously lying)

SISTER looks at MOMMY incredulously (one eyebrow raised). MOMMY’s tough-girl facade dissolves into a slow giggle which quickly turns into loud laughter. Soon both MOMMY and SISTER are crying they are laughing so hard.

Me, myself and I, we’re idiots.

Laughter continues.



The movie theater that I so desperately needed to reach was literally across the street, less than 400 yards away, and yet it took me 40 minutes to get there. It took 40 minutes. If you ever want to really challenge yourself, try walking in NYC with a walker when you have the kind of injury that makes it impossible to pick up your feet. Not pretty, but funny in a thank-God-that-is-not-me-train-wreck, sort of way. I’m giving you permission to laugh, I did.

©2016 Betts Keating. All rights reserved.



Read more of Betts Keating’s story in her memoir, My Movie Memoir Screenplay Novel, available for purchase at

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