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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Steamed Beef Balls

  1. FADE IN

  2. Act 1

  3. INT. STUDY - 9:30

  4. Smart phone in hand, PETER is talking to someone.

  5. PETER (To phone): Have I settled all my tax liability?

  6. SOMEONE (From phone): Yes, you've paid the whole sum on Feb 4.

  7. PETER : (To phone): But I haven't got any receipt.

  8. SOMEONE: We don't do that. But we can send one if you want.

  9. PETER (To phone): Yes, please.

  10. Ending the call, Peter looks pleased.

  11. PETER (V.O.): Good, I can focus to see what financial matters are bothering my Mum.

  12. Pausing.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Yesterday, my sister said Mum needed my help. Am I my Mum's main anchor?

  14. Act 2


  16. Having done orders, Peter waits for his takeaways.

  17. PETER (V.O.): Steamed beef balls should be particularly fine for my Mum.

  18. Peter takes a photo of stacks of bamboo steamers.

  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I always think it smart that Chinese use such eco-friendly bamboo steamers to cook and serve dim-sums.

  20. Pausing.

  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But I'm going to take away my dim-sums in foam containers.

  22. Peter checks a notice.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The restaurant will only resume full service on April 21.

  24. INT. PETER'S MUM'S HOME - 12:00

  25. Opening the foam containers, Peter's MUM (91) sees steamed beef balls and other buns.

  26. MUM: Wow! The steamed beef balls are so big.

  27. Peter's Mum opens her mouth to show Peter her only tooth.

  28. PETER: Don't worry.

  29. Peter uses chopsticks to cut a steamed beef ball into small pieces in a bowl before passing it to his Mum.

  30. PETER: Eat first.

  31. Capturing the moment, Peter sends the photo to the family chat group.

  32. PETER (V.O.): The Cheung family members should be pleased to eat her eating.

  33. PETER: Would you take the jabs so that you can go to restaurants?

  34. MUM: No! I'm OK now...No, I've already lost inches in height...

  35. Later, Peter's Mum passes bank books and deposit slips for Peter to see.

  36. MUM: I can't read the small prints. There're deadlines. I don't know what to do.

  37. Peter examines them one by one.

  38. PETER: Don't worry about your fixed deposits. The banks won't take the money away from you when they mature.

  39. Peter's Mum nods.

  40. PETER (Cont'd): An account freeze isn't a problem either, as no one can take your money away from ATMs.

  41. Peter's Mum smiles.

  42. INT. PETER'S NT HOME - 18:00

  43. Checking his smart phone, Peter sees a missed call.

  44. PETER (V.O.): Oh, it's from my Mum.

  45. Calling back, we hear the busy signal.

  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Is she calling me for help?

  47. As Peter repeats calling, the busy signal repeats.

  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Anything wrong? She's living alone. I must go back to her home and check...

  49. Peter's phone rings. We see on screen it's from Peter's wife.

  50. WIFE (From phone): Are you home yet?

  51. PETER: No.

  52. WIFE (From phone): Your Mum has called me to tell you to phone her when you're safe at home.

  53. Act 3

  54. INT. STUDY - 19:45

  55. Returning, Peter makes a call.

  56. PETER: Mum, have you eaten the remaining steamed beef ball?

  57. MUM: Yes! You're home! I feel good now!

  58. The conversation continues for a while.

  59. PETER (V.O.): The bond between mother and son remains unchanged by time and distance.

  60. Pausing.

  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): To visit Mum today reminds me how much I'm loved.

  62. FADE OUT

  63. THE END

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