(GK: Garrison Keillor, SS: Sue Scott, TK: Tom Keith, TR: Tim Russell)

Tonight's show brought to you by the Ketchup Advisory Board.


TR: These are the good years for Barb and me. We've found a new church home, one where nobody knows us, so nobody asks us how the kids are, so we don't have to lie. We discovered a new conditioning hair rinse that makes our hair seem bouncy and fun- loving, even though we're both in our fifties. Our homeowner's insurance covered my accident when I came home drunk from my buddy's retirement party and fell down the basement stairs, and in the course of plastic surgery, I was able to get them to put a cleft in my chin which I'd always wanted, at no cost to me.

SS: I love that cleft in your chin, Jim. And the way they redid your nose. You used to look like George Mitchell and now you look like Robert Mitchum -

TR: I know. And yet, I've been feeling down in the dumps all week.

SS: But why, Jim? Life is so good right now. The kids are gone, the pets died -

TR: I'm not doing what I want to be doing, Barb. I never set out to be a quality control inspector at a paperclip factory. It just happened. It wasn't what I had in mind in the overarching scheme of my life.

SS: What did you have in mind, Jim?

TR: Remember when you first met me? I was singing at that coffeehouse -

SS: The Electric Raccoon. I remember it well.

TR: It was dim in there but I saw you when you came in with your girlfriend.

SS: Moon Child.

TR: Right. You were wearing red serapes and white painters' coveralls and tie-dye T-Shirts.

SS: You were wearing a black silk shirt and black chinos and dark glasses and you were singing a song about islands.

TR: It was a song I wrote. (HE SINGS, DYLANLIKE) So many unanswered questions like broken glass in the alleys behind the billiard parlor of my mind ying to find the girl in the red dress with the sapphire eyes. Crazy morning cold and snowy blowing lonely like a gopher trying to get back to his hole. Trying to find my soul.

SS: I remember it. And afterward we came up and asked if you were hungry and wanted to come over for chili.

TR: And I did and I forgot my guitar at the Electric Raccoon. And when I came back in the morning, somebody had stolen it.

SS: So what do you wish you were doing now instead of what you're doing?

TR: I wish I were writing songs, Barb.

SS: You do?

TR: I have a lot of songs from thirty years ago that I never finished.

SS: Do you know what I think, Jim? I think you haven't been getting enough ketchup, lately. Ketchup has natural mellowing agents that help to smooth out the little crises of life that people used to write songs about.

TR: You're right, Barb.

SS: What do you say we go fix us some lunch, Jim -


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.

RD: Ketchup ... ketchup ...

(c) 1999 by Garrison Keillor