(GK: Garrison Keillor, SS: Sue Scott, TK: Tom Keith, TR: Tim Russell, RD: Rich Dworsky)
Tonight's show brought to you by the Ketchup Advisory Board.
TR: These are the good years for me and Barb. My hair implants - the ones that grew down into my brain and caused numbness in my legs - they were replaced, and I got a raise at the paper clip factory and our neighbors went away for the holidays so we were able to go over there and rip down all of their wind chimes that had interfered with our sleep patterns for the past six years.
SS: The kids came home for Christmas and they stayed for two hours, which was what their therapist recommended, and nobody screamed or threw anything - Troy said that we had ruined his life forever, but he said it in a pleasant conversational tone of voice. Which was nice. And then we talked about the impeachment for awhile. It's nice to have things in common.
TR: And now it's January and that means it's exactly nine years, eleven months, and fourteen days until I retire from my job and we sell the house and move to Arizona and lead a life of uninhibited sensual pleasure at Sun City.
SS: Nine years may seem like a long time to wait for gratification, but we've been married for twenty-six years, so what's a few more?
TR: More than most people we know, Barb and I are able to weather the disappointments of life and keep things on an even keel, and we give a lot of the credit to ketchup.
SS: That's because ketchup contains natural mellowing agents that help a person through the little crises.
TR: Such as last week when Barb forgot the anniversary.
SS: Anniversary? What -
TR: I just spooned a little extra ketchup on my cottage cheese and I was okay about it.
SS: Which anniversary was that?
TR: January 6th marked ten years since Mr. Pokey passed away.
SS: So that's why you seemed so fragile emotionally -
TR: To some people he was only a box turtle, but to me, Mr. Pokey was just about the only living being on God's green earth who actually understood me and accepted me as who I am.
SS: January 6th. Now I remember. He slipped out the door when I was taking out the garbage.
TR: It takes a long time for a turtle to get through a door, Barb.
SS: I was holding three big garbage bags.
TR: Takes ten, fifteen minutes for a turtle like Mr. Pokey to go four feet and climb over a threshold.
SS: He was old, Jim.
TR: Unless he was given assistance.
SS: He led a long full life.
TR: He froze to death.
SS: He was twenty-two.
TR: I found him in the spring. His little shell in the flower bed.
SS: He had a good life and that's all a turtle can ask.
TR: I keep it on my dresser now.
SS: It's been ten years, Jim.
TR: I keep my cufflinks in him.
SS: It's time to move on.
TR: He was the irreplaceable turtle.
SS: Have some ketchup.
TR: Mr. Pokey loved ketchup too.
RD: These are the good years, in the morning sun. A new day is dawning, a new life has begun. The river flowing, like ketchup on a bun.
GK: Ketchup. For the good times.
(c) 1999 by Garrison Keillor