Day of the Dead / Dia de Los Muertos by Silvia Gonzalez S
TIME: Before a school exhibit or local celebration on Dia de Los
Monica, and Jorge are almost done preparing an altar for the Mexican
Day of the Dead celebration. The final item on the altar is a picture
of a grandfather.
MONICA: (to photo) There you go, abuelo.
JORGE: And don't forget his favorite drink.
He places a milkshake on the altar.
JORGE: And gummy bears.
He puts gummy bears on the altar.
MONICA: Gummy bears?
JORGE: He loved gummy bears.
MONICA: Jorge, no. You are totally forgetting. This is a Mexican
JORGE: So, you want us to put tequila and chorizo?
MONICA: Well, it's Mexican.
JORGE: Monica. He liked gummy bears. A lot.
MONICA: No gummy bears.
PAZ: Got the gummy bears.
MONICA: What the heck, Paz!?
PAZ: What's wrong?
JORGE: She wants us to put tequila and churros for the offerings.
PAZ: Pork or beef?
MONICA: Doesn't matter.
PAZ: For the ofrenda?
MONICA: Yes. Mexican stuff for the offerings.
PAZ: But he liked gummy bears and milk shakes.
MONICA: Gummy bears and milk shakes are not traditional.
JORGE: (with humor) But they are delicious.
PAZ: Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't we supposed to put on the
altar what the person enjoyed in their life?
PAZ: The gummy bears and milk shakes have to go on it. It's HIS
Daniel enters, wearing a skeleton costume. Ana enters, with the right
half of her face painted in Day of the Dead ornate skull-style. She's
in street clothes. Gloria enters with her entire face painted with a
skull in the same style. She is wearing either a skeleton costume or a
Mexican traditional dress.
ANA: We have the milk shake.
GLORIA: And the gummy bears.
MONICA: What the heck!?!
DANIEL (holding the gummy bears and milkshake): What's the matter? Did
I do something wrong?
JORGE: Ignore it.
PAZ: Just put it there. We brought some, too.
DANIEL: Well, anyway, I can't wait for the celebration to begin. You
like my skeleton costume? I'm a calavera. Got it online. I just love
MONICA: Hey! This is not Halloween, menso.
DANIEL: Wait a minute. What did she call me?
JORGE: She called you an idiot.
DANIEL: Sticks and stones will break my bones—
MONICA: (overlap on bones) Will you quit! No one but me, is taking
ANA: Yes we are.
JORGE: Put the milkshakes and gummy bears right in the center.
MONICA: That's so wrong. Not the way it's supposed to be.
JORGE: Yes, it is.
ANA: Well, you both, are HALF-RIGHT. Get it. Half, right. (laughs)
GLORIA: I liked that.
She points at Ana's half painted face.
GLORIA: It's on the right side.
MONICA: Ana, why's half your face painted with a skull?
ANA: In some parts they do this.
ANA: In Mexico. We all know that it started there.
DANIEL: I didn't know that. I thought it started in Florida.
MONICA: Florida! Really Daniel?! (fuming)
DANIEL: (to Monica) I saw a Dia de Los Muertos parade there. It was
the coolest thing ever. They had a 16 foot puppet alligator-skeleton.
They were parading it through. And following it were giant bride and
groom skeletons, on sticks. There was an exhibition at the park of
fancy-dressed lady skeletons.
ANA: Catrinas. Those fancy lady skeletons are called Catrinas. My mom
told me that a political journalist, a long time ago, drew them.
Either for the newspapers or leaflets. I don't remember which. She
said it's to show how rich or poor, we end up in the same way.
DANIEL: We do.[end of extract]