.....coming to you live from the Jackie Gleason Center for the Performing Arts.

TR: Hey Alice! What's this guy doin in my Center for the Performing Arts???

....here in Miami Beach

.....who else is on our show tonight, Tim Russell?

We have Dave Barry, Barry White, Barry Goldwater, Gene Barry, Barney Frank, Douglas Fairbanks, Ernie Banks, Tom Hanks, Hank Snow, Claude Rains, Nathan Hale, Tempest Storm, Hurricane Carter, Jimmy Carter, Laurel & Hardy, Marty Robbins, Robin Williams, Ted Williams, Ted Turner, Tina Turner, Al Martino, Janet Reno, Quentin Tarentino, Queequeeg, Kiki Dee, D.J. Fontana, Anna Quindlen, Vic Tanny, Amy Tan, Rin Tin Tin, Ed Wynn, Huck Finn, Thin Lizzie, Lizzy Borden, Gordon Liddy, Nelson Eddy, J. Paul Getty, Betty Boop, Bill Blass, Barbara Budd, Buddy Rich, Rich Little, Little Richard, Rocket Richard, Maude Frickert, Walter Hickel, George Dickel, Mike Nichols, Wilson Pickett, Slim Pickens, Dr. Spock, Lucy Locket, Shylock, Lochinvar, John Locke, Lucky Luciano, Rocky Marciano, Marcia Clark, Old Joe Clark, The Dave Clark Five, the Four Tops, Three Dog Night, Tommy Two Tone, One World, Zero Mostel, Ma Bell, William Tell, George Szell, Beverly Sills, Silly Putty, Muddy Waters, Joan Rivers, Dinah Shore, the Beach Boys, Boyz2Men, Anna Karenina, Nina Totenberg, Johannes Gutenburg, Swoosie Kurtz, Kurt Russell, Russell Banks, and me Tim Russell.

GK: Our show comes to you from Miami Beach (SURF, GULLS) where we've come because Minnesota is in the throes of one of those nasty mid-June blizzards that we get every once in awhile --- you're out mowing the lawn and suddenly (BLIZZARD) you're surrounded by whiteness and you realize it's not fluff from the cottonwood trees and you jump in the car (CAR PULL AWAY, RACING) and you dash to the airport (RUNNING STEPS) and you have to fight off other people trying to get on the plane (STRUGGLE, CRIES) and finally you push and shove your way on (BIG DOOR THUNKS SHUT) and a few hours later you land in Miami (JET AIRPLANE LANDING) and it's beautiful, of course (JUNGLE BIRDS), palm trees and flowers and you get outside and the temperature is 154 degrees (PANTING) so your clothes stick to you (SQUISH) in embarrassing ways (SQUISH) and you stand in line for a cab and ever so often an alligator dashes up and (TR CRY OF TERROR, OFF) grabs one of the tourists but ten minutes later you're at the beach (SURF GULLS) and you get on the boat (BOAT IDLING) and head out and put on your scuba gear and (SPLASH, AND UNDERWATER BREATHING) dive down where the Spanish galleon Blanquier Tan Blanco lies in a hundred feet of water with its cargo of gold doubloons and then you see that dark shadow with some sort of large fin on top of it ---- it's (HEAVY OMINOUS BREATHING) it's not Flipper --- and (HEAVY BREATHING PASSES CLOSE BY) thank goodness it's a woman-eating shark ---- you (SURFACE, GASP FOR BREATH) come up and head for the beach and (SQUIRTING AND SLATHERING) you cover yourself with sun screen and a little bit there and some back there and spread it around and you lie glistening in the noontime sun (SLIGHT CRACKLING) and a few minutes pass and you try to think of your Social Security number (TR GEEZER BEWILDERMENT) and it won't come to you.....and you try to think of the three parts of the Trinity.....(TR GEEZER: Well....) --- and it's true, as the Calvinists believed --- warmth and sunshine and comfort make you stupid--- and if you get too warm and comfortable, it'll lead you to (STEAMY SAX RIFF) ---- decadence. But it's a risk we may just have to take. And when you're as smart as we are to start out, you can stand to lose some brain capacity.

Down the way where the nights are gay
And the music plays from the hotel top
I took a trip on a sailing ship
And when I reached Miami I made a stop

But I'm sad to say I'm on my way
Won't be back for many a day
My heart is low because I've got to go
I had to leave my room at the Fountainbleau.

The tiled floors and the walls of white
The view of ocean, beach, and sky
Room service all day and night
And the air conditioner turned up high

The drinks are large, a quart or so
And after two, you are feeling young
And after three, there's a golden glow
And you start to speak in the Spanish tongue.

But I'm sad to say I'm on my way
Won't be back for many a day
My heart is low because I've got to go
I had to leave my room at the Fountainbleau.

DOWN IN MIAMI. On the dazzling sand....
DOWN IN MIAMI. Getting deeply tanned....
DOWN IN MIAMI. We have fried our brains...
DOWN IN MIAMI. It's time for hurricanes.

Down at the hair salon you hear
Ladies murmur about the heat this year
Trim the sides, but it has to hide
The facelift scars behind their ears

All the fancy shops full of things to buy
And the blackened fish and the flaming crepes
Then my credit card, it came up dry
And I had to leave by the fire escape.

But I'm sad to say I'm on my way
Won't be back for many a day
My heart is low because I've got to go
I had to leave my room at the Fountainbleau.

IN MINNESOTA, working on the farm....
IN MINNESOTA, cleaning out the barn...
AND PICK POTATOES....it's a long long row
AND I AM THINKING.....I would like to go

© 1997 by Garrison Keillor