Mourning Routine

Do you have a morning routine? How do you feel when your routine gets disrupted, when someone shatters the peace and quiet of your morning?

You are going to watch the scene from a famous sitcom “Frasier“.

The context:

Frasier Crane, a psychiatrist, comes back to his hometown Seattle after his divorce. He is a host of a radio show where he answers the phone calls of the listeners and their questions on air.
He is a sophisticated and somewhat arrogant intellectual who rents a beautiful apartment and starts to enjoy his bachelorhood. Suddenly he has to take in his father, a retired police officer, who is recovering from the gunshot wound which crippled him. Frasier hires Daphne Moon a British physical therapist, who believes that she is a psychic. Daphne also moves into Frasier’s apartment to take care of his father…


Watch the episode without subtitles (if you can):

If you can not watch videos on youtube, you can download this clip here.

Now read the Transcript and learn the new vocabulary:

Martin: The half ‘n half’s curdled, and the garbage disposal’s jammed.
Frasier: [pouring his coffee] Good morning to you too, dad.

garbage disposal
Jam something (up) with something

Martin: Morning was two hours ago.  And close that barn door, we got a lady in the house now.
Frasier adjusts his robe, then tastes his coffee.  He is not amused.

Close your barn door

Frasier: Hey, this isn’t my coffee.  Where’s my finely-ground Kenya blend from Starbucks?
Martin: That’s it.  Daphne put an eggshell and some allspice in it.
Frasier: [pouring it down the sink] Didn’t that just dress it up?
Martin: I like it.  Gives it a zing
.  Now, come on, sit down.  Your breakfast is ready.
Dress something up
a zing

He leaves the kitchen with a plate full of fried food.

Frasier: [following] Oh, no, dad, dad, look, all I ever have is a bran  muffin, and a touch of yogurt.
Martin: Ah, girlie food.  Besides, I already fixed your breakfast.  Now, I made you “Eggs in a Nest.”
Frasier: Ah yes, the Crane family specialty.  Fried eggs swimming in fat, served in a delightfully hollowed-out piece of white bread. I can almost hear my left ventricle slamming shut as I speak.
Martin: You want cheese on that?
Frasier: No.  I’d like to leave some blood flow for the clot to go swiftly to my brain.

bran muffin
a touch

[to himself] Can’t have my coffee, can’t have my breakfast, [sees Martin’s chair] Oh dear god, it wasn’t a dream.  I’ll get him for this. [to Eddie] And his little dog, too. [opens front door] Where’s my paper?  Who’s stolen my paper?  Mrs. Everly,  you old bat, I know it’s you!
Daphne: Yoo-hoo?  It’s right here, we brought it in for you.
Frasier: [to outside world] Sorry, sorry. [closes door and examines paper] Oh, wait a minute, this…  where’s the rubber band?  This paper has been read.
Daphne: Well don’t worry, we won’t tell you what’s in it.
Frasier: That is not the point.  Dad, dad?  Come and sit down please, would you?
Daphne: You’re going to give a speech, aren’t you?
Frasier: Oh, that’s right, I forgot, you’re psychic.
Daphne: Yes, but I think anyone could feel this one coming on.

come on

Frasier: Let us get something clear.  I am not a morning person.  I have to ease into my day slowly.  First I have my coffee – sans eggshells or anything else one tends to pick out of the garbage.
 Then I have a low-fat, high-fiber breakfast.  Finally, I sit down and read a crisp, new newspaper.  If I am robbed of the richness of my morning routine, I cannot function.  My radio show suffers, and like ripples in a pond, so do the many listeners that rely on my advice, to help them through their troubled lives.  I’m sorry if this may sound priggish, but I have grown comfortable with this part of myself.  It is the magic that is me.

Martin: [to Daphne, while exiting to the kitchen] Get used to it.

ease into something
  • Here is a short vocabulary test for you to check how you know your new vocabulary:

  • Watch the video again. This time pause it after each sentence and repeat it out loud after the speaker copying his sounds and intonation. Practice!
  • Record yourself reading the final Frasier’s speech. Act it out!
  • Post the link to your recording in the comments below. Let me enjoy them. 😉


  1. When I first read your title, I thought your post was about death?

    And I didn’t mention that I am impressed by your ingenious use of the spoiler widget like this.  I would never have thought about using it that way.

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