GK: And now it's time for ADVENTURES IN COMMUNICATION.....(BUSY METROPOLITAN THEME).....today we'll discuss effective ways to ask someone for a personal favor in a case study we call "Picking Up Tiffany At the Airport" ---- Example No. 1. New York.



TR: Doris?

SS: Yeah?

TR: Doris, it's Sydney.

SS: Sydney who? Oh. You. Yeah? Whaddaya want?

TR: Doris, listen. I dropped my keys down a storm sewer and I'm locked out of my apartment and the super isn't home, I'm calling from a pay phone on the street --- with my last quarter --- my last quarter, Doris, so don't hang up....please ---- and my billfold was stolen, I don't know where, it's gone, and my keys and it's raining and a cab just splashed about a hundred gallons of mud all down the front of me, I'm dripping wet, and I've got dog crap on my shoe and I just came from the doctor who said I have to go in for a brain operation on Tuesday, and anyway --- I'm supposed to pick up Tiffany at the airport in half an hour ---- I'm in a jam, Doris, so could you please go to the airport and pick up Tiffany? Please, Doris. I know you still hate me and I know the custody agreement says that I'm supposed to give you 48 hours notice of any change in visitation plans, but please. I'm on my knees, Doris. Please. I'm begging.

SS: You want I should go to the airport and pick up Tiffany? You've got some kind of nerve. After what you put me through the past six years, you big creep? After you lied to me over and over and over again and you ruined my life and you walked all over me like I was some kinda garbage? After you bad-mouthed me to my family and my friends and you ran away from your marriage and took up with a young slut? A 27-year-old bimbo you met at a karaoke bar, for crying out loud? Do you know how that made me feel? Do you? Do you? And now you call up and ask me to do something for you after you treated me like I was nothing? You expect favors from me, you big jerk? You expect me to save your skin? Huh?

TR: Please. For me, Doris. I need this.

SS: Okay. I'll do it. But just this once, you big bum.

TR: Thanks, Doris. Thank you.

SS: Aaaaaaaaaaaaa.... (SLAM PHONE)




SS (OTHER END): Namaste.

TR: Uh. Hi.

SS: Trent.

TR: Chrysalis. How are you?

SS: I'm well, thank you.

TR: How's your transference?

SS: Very high. My lunar waves measured 4.2 this morning ----

TR: So you're in a positive polarity----

SS: Yes. Thanks to the wheat grass. Are you still juicing?

TR: Yes, I just had some carrot juice and beets and some tangerines and a little celery.

SS: I would not use celery with beets.

TR: No?

SS: I would not combine celery and beets. I think that's way too much yin.

TR: Oh. What do you think I should do?

SS: I would go and juice a potato.

TR: A potato. I see. Okay. Maybe I will. Listen, Chrysalis, I was calling to ask if it would be possible for you to----

SS: Oh wow. Oh ---- yes.

TR: You can?

SS: This is so incredible.

TR: Chrysalis?----

SS: I knew. I knew it all along, Mardak.

TR: Mardak?

SS: O Mardak the Great Archer. O Mardak the Breaker of Horses. Mardak the Prince of Egypt. Mardak the master of all Mesopotamia. Mardak the Singer to Women. Mardak the Bearer of Bright Jewels. Mardak the Finder of Lost Socks.

TR: Chrysalis, I'll call you tomorrow, okay?
SS: Yes, Mardak. Call me tomorrow. The moon is in Pluto and tonight I wash in cold water.
TR: You take care, Chrysalis.
SS: I will take care, O Mardak.
TR: Bye.
: Farewell, Master. (CLICK) (TR SIGH. DIALS new NUMBER. RING. PICKUP)
SS: Western Winds Airport Child Care.
: Hello, I have a child coming in on the 2 p.m. flight from Phoenix? Would you be able to send someone to meet the plane and take her home?
: Yes, sir. One moment. (PAUSE) Her name is Tiffany?
: Yes.
: Of 4839 Granola Canyon Road?
: Correct.
: Will there be someone at that address when we bring her home?
: The pool boy. Biff.

SS: Fine. Let me ask you a couple more questions--- Does Tiffany have any allergies, phobias, or aversions that we should know about?

TR: She doesn't like to be around her parents. Other than that--- no.

SS: Okay. Avoid parents. Would you like us to have a gift for her when she deplanes? Flowers? A book? A stuffed animal?

TR: Uh. Stuffed animal.

SS: Threatened species, endangered, or cloudforest tree dweller?

TR: Uh. You choose.

SS: Very good. Would she prefer an older male, older female, or younger female companion?

TR: What do you have in Older Female?

SS: At the moment, my availabilities are: Eccentric Grandma, Retired Dancer, and Swedish Yenta.

TR: Swedish Yenta.

SS: And Visa, Master Card, American Express----
TR: I'd like to put it on my Save the Spotted Owls Visa Card.
: Very good. It's all taken care of. Have a good day.
: Thank you. (MUSICAL PLAYOFF)
(OTHER END): Hello?
: Don? Hi. It's Nancy. How are you?
GK: I'm fine.
SS: How's Beth?
: She's good. How are you?
: We're all fine.
: And Leland?
: He's just fine.

GK: That's good. How's your job coming along?

SS: Oh, it's real nice. Really nice. I like it a lot.

GK: People are nice to you, then?

SS: Oh sure.

GK: That's good.

SS: Have you talked to Mom lately?

GK: No. Why? Is something wrong?

SS: No, no. She's fine.

GK: Are you sure?

SS: Oh yeah, she's busy as a bee out there. Go go go go. You know Mom.

GK: Well, that's good to hear.

SS: Say, Don?

GK: Yeah?

SS: I called to ask you a really big favor, if you'd be able to go out to the airport and pick up Tiffany ---- she's coming in today from Arizona ---- she was down there on that field trip with her high school class ---- you know, I told you about that ---- and I hate to take off work cause I just started the job and Leland was going to go, but then he had to go over to Ellsworth ---- so I was wondering, if it wouldn't be too much trouble, if you could go pick her up? At two. At the airport.

GK: Sure, I could do that.

SS: I sure would appreciate it if you could.

GK: No problem.

SS: That's great. I mean, I'm sure I could get time off if I asked, but I hate to ask cause I just started Monday. You know.

GK: I understand.

SS: I'd be glad to pay you for your gas and all.

GK; No, no. No problem.

SS: Well, that's great. And then if you could just bring her home here, I'd sure appreciate it.

GK: You bet.

SS: You sure that's no problem.

GK: No problem.

SS: You'd tell me if it was, wouldn't you?

GK: Don't worry about it.

SS: I know, but you'd tell me if it was a problem.

GK: But it's not, Nancy.

SS: I know, but ---- you've done so much for me, and I hate to ask this.

GK: It's all right. Really.

SS: Well, thanks, Don.

GK: You're welcome.

SS: I'm really indebted to you.

GK: Naw. Don't worry about it. Is that today she's coming in?

SS: Yes. At two o'clock.

GK: Oh.

SS: It's a problem, isn't it.

GK: No, I can work that out.

SS: I knew it was going to be a problem.

GK: It'll be okay.

SS: I knew it. Listen, I'll take off work. It's all right.

GK: No, really, I can do it.

SS: I'm sorry I bothered you.

GK: Nancy, I'll go get her.

SS: I know you're busy, and I shouldn't have asked.

GK: Don't be silly.

SS: And now I'm wasting all your time with this stupid phone call.

GK: It's no problem. I can do this.

SS: You're probably in the midst of a meeting right now.

GK: I am, but it's okay.

SS: Oh my God. Please forgive me.

GK: It's okay. Nancy---- really.

SS: You're probably there with your boss and everybody just sitting there-----

GK: As a matter of fact, yes.

SS: Oh my god.

GK: Nancy, just settle down.

SS: I could just go shoot myself.

GK: Nancy, please.

SS: Don, I'm sorry. I won't bother you again.

GK: Nancy, don't do this.

SS: I'll never ask you another favor.

GK: Nancy----- I can go get Tiffany. Please. Let me.

SS: I feel so ashamed.

GK: Nancy ---- I'm asking you, as your brother, please let me go to the airport and pick up Tiffany.

SS: Don, it's been one thing after another.

GK: Please let me do this.

SS: They hate me here. They do.

GK: Of course they don't.

SS: They do. I'm no good at this job.

GK: Nancy-----

SS: And Leland is disgusted with me.

GK: Nancy----

SS: I think he's about to leave me.

GK: Please----

SS: And Tiffany hates me.

GK: Nancy-----

SS: I don't know why I bother to keep going on. I honestly don't.

GK: Nancy, I'm coming over. Where are you?

SS: Never mind, Don. I'll deal with this.

GK: Where are you?

SS: My life is in the toilet, Don, but it's my problem. It's not yours.

GK: Nancy, talk to me.

SS: I'm sorry I bothered you.

GK: Nancy----

SS: Forgive me. It won't happen again.

GK: Nancy, listen to me for two seconds. Please. Nancy. Just listen. Okay? Don't talk. Are you listening to me? Nancy?

SS: I'm listening.

GK: Okay. Listen. It's March, Nancy. It feels like psychosis, but actually it's just March. We're halfway through it, Nancy, and we can make it the rest of the way. Nobody hates you, your life isn't in the toilet, it's simply sensory deprivation, Nancy. We've been living in a deep freeze. We're crazy as rats in a coffee can. But we're all crazy, okay? So it's going to get better. Really, it is. Trust me on this. Okay?


GK: Good. You go ahead and cry. It's good to let it out. It's good to let all of that anger and frustration out. And while you're letting it out, I'm looking at my calendar here and I can't possibly go to the airport today.

SS: That's okay.

GK: I've got to meet Beth for lunch.

SS: I understand.

GK: If I cancelled, she'd kill me.

SS: That's okay. Thank you, Don.

GK: Can you find someone else?

SS: Yes. Don't worry. Thank you, Don. Thank you for all you've done. You're so good to me.

GK: I suppose Beth and I could get her.

SS: No, no. It's too much.

GK: We could eat lunch at the airport.

SS: No, no, Don. Thanks but no.

GK: Are you sure.

SS: I'm sure.

GK: Okay. Well, you take care.

SS: You too.

GK: Are you okay now?

SS: I'm fine. Are you okay?

GK: I'm fine. Bye now.

SS: Bye now.



TR: This has been ADVENTURES IN COMMUNICATION....."Asking for a Personal Favor".....For printed transcripts of this segment, give us a call. We'll see what we can do. (MUSICAL BUTTON)

© 1997 by Garrison Keillor and Laurel Wroten