GK: I've said it many times before, but I'll say it again ---- you've got to try to be brave and cheerful to get through life ---- you've got to

Look for the silver lining

Whene'er a cloud appears in the blue,

Remember somewhere the sun is shining

And so the best thing to do is let it shine for you----

And that's especially true in New York, where things can turn sour so quickly---- (new YORK AMBIENCE, TRAFFIC, VOICES PASSING)

on my way to Town Hall yesterday, and I stopped at the newsstand at the corner....

TR: Hey, how's life treatin you, Mr. Wyler?

GK: Not so bad, Al. --- Well, look at this. Dixie Williams on the cover of Glitter magazine. Didn't she used to be addicted to corn chips?

TR: That's right. She comes by here all the time, you know.

GK: Dixie Williams the movie star?

TR: Almost every morning. Like clockwork. (NY AMBIENCE OUT, GLAMOUR BRIDGE)

GK: Unbeknownst to us, Dixie Williams was less than a block away in the offices of Solar Pictures overlooking Times Square, having a meeting with film mogul Harry Gruber. (OFFICE RUSTLING, PAPERS, ETC)

SS: Thank you for letting me make that beautiful picture, Harry. Finally, a film that reflects the new me now that I've given up corn chips.

TR: Sweetheart, let me come right to the point. The picture is a dog, a real woofer. Box office is stinkeroo. And it's your fourth turkey in a row. And I refuse to pay you more than two million for the next one.

SS: I'm shocked. Devastated. Faye---- get my therapist on the cellphone! (MELODRAMATIC BRIDGE)

GK: By coincidence, Dixie's therapist and guru DeepTrack Shopper was less than a block away sitting in Broadway Big Print Bookstore, autographing copies of his latest book, The Branches of Being: Six Steps To Being Really Happy All The Time, and he was not in a good mood.

TR (INDIAN): Where was the publicity for this event? Huh? I see no posters. No posters for DeepTrack! I write a book about happiness and you people make me furious!

SS: Would you be so kind as to sign my book, Mr. Shopper? My name is Marcia Lefse, I'm a librarian, I'm from Minneapolis, I'm in town for a convention on information delivery systems.


SS: It's for my husband. He loves your work. Could you write, "Way To Go, Big Boy"?

TR: (SIGNING) Way....to....go....Big Boy. (MUSIC BRIDGE)

GK: (FOOTSTEPS) Marcia walked out of Broadway Big Print Books with her copy of The Branches of Being and as she went through the security detector (ALARM BEEPING)----

TK: Excuse me, miss--- can I see that?

SS: What's wrong?

TK: It's okay. False alarm. Go ahead.

GK: What set off the alarm was DeepTrack Shopper's ballpoint pen that Marcia had accidentally put in her pocket.

TR (INDIAN): Oh no....not my ballpoint pen.....I keep my beta-blockers, my Prozac in there ---- without it, I'll be a very big mess!

GK: Marcia walked up the street, and a gust of wind came up (WIND)---


GK: And it blew her skirt up----

TR (OFF): Oh my gosh-----

GK: And a man in a blue pinstripe suit got a glimpse of her undies and just then the wind tore the papers from his hand (GUST OF WIND)----

TR (OFF): Oh no!!!

GK: And the papers sailed up into the air (WIND) and he ran after them (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS)----

TR (RUNNING): It's the contract for the Struthers deal! I can't lose them!

GK: It was billionaire developer Bill Jiggers and he ran after the papers as they sailed across the street (FOOTSTEPS, HORN HONK)----

TK (OFF): Hey, look out, mac! (BRAKES)

GK: And a limousine raced past him (AMBIENCE GONE, INT OF LIMOUSINE)-----

SS: Hurry, driver---- step on it----- my models will be out on the runway in less than ten minutes.

GK: The limousine was a hundred feet long and it carried famous fashion designer Tina Barcelona and her business manager Ramon Smythe-----

TR: Don't worry. We'll make it.

SS: We'd better make it.

TR: We'll make it.

SS: This is my breakthrough show.

TR: It's fabulous, darling. Absolutely fabulous. (GLAMOR BRIDGE)

GK: They were on their way to the showing of Tina Barcelona's spring line of dresses, made from cabbage leaves and the plastic collars from six-packs and Kleenex sprayed with lacquer-----

TR: It's absolutely the first time anybody anywhere has introduced cabbage leaves into haute couture----

SS: I'm so nervous I can hardly spit.

TR: It's going to be beautiful. (GLAMOR BRIDGE) (NY TRAFFIC AMBIENCE)

GK: As Tina Barcelona's hundred-foot limo raced toward the showing, it went through a mud puddle (CAR PASSING FAST, SPLASH, TR YELL)---- and it splashed water all over Metropolitan Opera tenor Maximo Tortellini-----

TR: (ITALIAN) Oh no---- how could you do it to me? Today of all days!!!

GK: He was on his way to the store to get a bottle of water.

TR (ITALIAN): Mama mia!!!

GK: And tonight he would sing the part of Rudolfo in "La Boheme," his big debut----

TR: My best suit.....ruined....my shoes....soaked.....my throat----- (HE BUILDS TO A BIG SNEEZE)

GK: And just as he sneezed, a girl with an ice cream cone ran into him from behind---- (BIG SQUOOSH, TR TENOR CRY)-----

SS: Oh. Sorry, mister. Didn't see ya. (MISERY CHORD)

GK: Her name was Melissa Simpson, and she and her parents had come to New York from Santa Monica for spring break, and she was sick of it and ready to go home----- they walked back to their hotel room, and she said to her parents-----

SS: I hate both of you, you're both so dumb, I'm sick of looking at you----

TR: What's wrong, honey?

SS: I hate you both, you're the stupidest people I ever saw in my life, you're disgusting and you bore me---- okay?

TR: But we've taken you to nice shows----

SS: Ohhhhhh boy. You took me to see a bunch of stupid tap-dancing? Like, I'm not into tap-dancing? Okay? Get it?

TR: What do you want to see?

SS: The Crushed Walnuts---- they're at CBGBs----

TR: Fine! We'll go. All three of us.

SS: Three of us?? are you kidding? (MUSIC BRIDGE)

GK: Meanwhile, Dixie Williams had reached her guru DeepTrack Shopper on the cellphone----

SS: DeepTrack, I need you. All of that positive resonance that I worked so hard to build, it's all gone now ----- I'm nothing, DeepTrack. I'm a piece of garbage.

TR (INDIAN, ON PHONE): I'm too upset to talk now, darling, I must go back to Los Angeles---- (MUSIC BRIDGE)

GK: Dixie was standing by a hot dog stand operated by Dmitri Smirsk of Odessa----

TR (RUSSIAN): All beef kosher hot dog, only a dollar----

SS: You got corn chips with that, mister?

TR (RUSSIAN): Yes, of course I got corn chips.

SS: I'll have corn chips and a hot dog. And hurry. (MUSIC BRIDGE)

GK: And just at that moment, Tina Barcelona and Ramon Smythe pulled up in the long limo---- (CAR STOPPING)

SS: We're here! Just in time----

TR: Wait here, driver---- we'll be back in an hour---

SS: Mr. Smythe? Do you really think people will pay $1500 for something that wilts?

TR: Only one way to find out, my darling. Come---- (MUSIC BRIDGE) (NY TRAFFIC AMBIENCE) (FOOTSTEPS)

GK: As Tina Barcelona climbed out of the limo, three feet away Dixie Williams bit into her hot dog so that (SQUIRT)----

SS (TINA): Mustard!! all over my dress!!!

TR (RUSSIAN): What's that dress made of anyway? cabbage?

SS (TINA): Oh no. It's the wrong address. The show's not here.

TR: Get in the car, darling. It's okay. Just watch the door---- (BIG RIP)


GK: And Tina Barcelona stood there in her underwear. And just then, up the street came Mr. Jiggers, chasing the papers from the Struthers deal which came fluttering down into Dixie Williams's hands-----

SS: What's this junk?

TR: Those are mine! Thank you!

GK: As the designer wept bitterly (SS CRYING), covered with cabbage leaves and plastic yokes and Kleenex----

SS: I can't believe this could happen to me!

TR: Here---

GK: Said Mr. Jiggers.

TR: Put my jacket on.

GK: And then it began to rain. (THUNDER AND LIGHTNING)

(RAIN FALLING) Rain came down in buckets.

TR (RUSSIAN): Here---- we can stand in the doorway----- (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS)

GK: And they all took shelter in the doorway of a club called the Mozambique. Mr. Jiggers---

TR: Thank goodness the papers didn't get wet=== they're still legible.

GK: And Dixie----

SS: Where's Faye?? my p.r. person--- she has my umbrella?? Faye????

GK: And Mr. Tortellini----

TR (TENOR, TRYING TO SING): Mi mi mi mi mi.....do re mi fa sol la ti do. (CRACKS ON LAST TONE)

GK: And Tina Barcelona----

SS: What if someone sees me? In a blue pinstripe jacket! And green shoes!!

TR: It's all right, darling. It's you.

GK: And Melissa Simpson----

SS: If I have to go see one more show with tap-dancing, I'm going to barf. I mean it.

GK: And then the librarian came in to get out of the rain----

SS: Hi! I'm Marcia Lefse, from Minneapolis ---- nice to meet all of you ----- I'm in town for a library convention ----- supposed to be at a session right now on "Interfacing Virtual Curricula Systems Analysis," but hey----- So how's everybody else doing today? (GLUM MURMURS)---- Oh come on---- You can't stand around with long faces just because it's raining! You're in New York! There's life to be lived!

GK: That's right, Marlys. You've got to (HE SINGS)

Look for that silver lining, whene'er a cloud appears in the blue.

Remember somewhere the sun is shining,

And so the best thing to do is make it shine for you.

A heart filled with joy and gladness

Can always banish sadness and strife,

So always look for the silver lining

And try to find the sunny side of life.

SS (TINA): Easy for you to say. I'm ruined. Cabbage! Why did I do it??? In two days, all those clothes will turn brown!

TR (TENOR): And me----- this morning I could sing like an angel, and now ---- mi mi mi ----- I make a sound like a sick kitty cat.

SS (MELISSA): And me---- I've got to go with my stupid parents and sit through a borrrrrrring show. Yucchhhh.

TR (JIGGERS): I've got five minutes to get to my office to sign the contract on the Struthers deal, or else I"m ruined! And wouldn't you know it? not a cab in sight----

SS (TINA): Sir? Take my limo. Go ahead. If I can keep your jacket.

TR (JIGGERS): I can? Gosh. Thanks! (FOOTSTEPS RUN OFF)

SS (MELISSA): If only I didn't have to go to that dumb show!

TR (RUSSIAN): Here, you can have my tickets to the opera!

SS (MELISSA): Is there tap-dancing?

TR (RUSSIAN): Not a bit of it.

SS (MELISSA): Fantastic.

TR (ITALIAN): But how can there be an opera without me?

SS (MARCIA): I found these little tablets in this ballpoint pen--- maybe they can help----

TR (ITALIAN): I'll try anything!

SS (DIXIE): No----- don't take those. What you need is a sense of joyfulness.

TR (ITALIAN): I do? Joy?

SS (DIXIE): Repeat after me. A heart filled with joy and gladness

TR (ITALIAN): A heart filled with joy and gladness----

SS (DIXIE): Can always banish sadness and strife----

TR (ITALIAN): Can always banish sadness and strife.----It worked! I can sing!


ALL: So always look for the silver lining

And try to find the sunny side of life----- (THUNDER, LIGHTNING) (MUSICAL BUTTON)

© 1998 by Garrison Keillor