(GK: Garrison Keillor, SS: Sue Scott, TK: Tom Keith, TR: Tim Russell)
Tonight's show is brought to you by Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.
GK: Over the course of twenty-five years by a combination of bootlicking (TR: Yes, sir. Of course, sir. Right away, sir.) and backstabbing (TR: I don't know if you know this about Jack, but -) and a certain degree of competence (TYPING, SLOWLY BUT STEADILY), you've risen through the ranks at the Woofer Corporation to become part of middle management (SS: Good morning, sir. TR: Good morning, Miss Dendur) and you have an office with a door (DOOR CLOSE) and a credenza
(TR: Nice.) and a window with a view (TR: Wow. Over 85 billion sold.) and then one day there's a knock on that door (KNOCKS, DOOR OPENS) and a man in a blue wool suit is there. (TK: Mr. Hobbs? I'm Curtis. From Personnel. Here to talk about your severance package. TR: Severance! WHAT???) (DARK CHORD) and half an hour later you're out on the sidewalk, (PASSING CARS, TRUCKS) with your stuff in a brown paper bag (SS: Hi. You on your way out to lunch, sir? TR: In a way. Yes.) and you take one look back at the Woofer Tower (TR SOB), and the bus comes and takes you away (AIR BRAKES, ACCEL) and after you've been home for a week (TR YAWN) and worked all the crosswords (TR: Ecru. E-c-r-u) and become more familiar with daytime television (TV AUDIO DIALOGUE) than you ever thought you'd be and you have no social life anymore because unemployment has made you a pariah, nobody wants to be near you, it might be catching.
(TR: You're busy Tuesday night? how about a week from Tuesday? or maybe in April - May - no?)
So you put an ad in the paper. (TR: Experienced manager seeks position. Solid sales background. Excellent people skills. Hard worker. Desperate.) and you put another ad in the personals
(TR: Middle-aged fairly boring out-of-shape guy seeks nice people to hang out with and do stuff together. Available morning, noon, or night.) and a week later, you have a job in a video store
(TR: May I help you, please? TK: Yeah, I'm looking for a video - Chainsaw Sex Kittens from Outer Space? You got that? TR: No. TK: How about one like it? TR: I don't think so.) And then one day a woman comes in to rent a video (SS: I'm looking for A Room With A View.) And you recognize her, your high school girlfriend, Stella. (TR: I've got a Room With A View and it's also got a couch. SS: Orville!) And you take her to dinner (TK FRENCH WAITER) and suddenly you're in the midst of a huge romance (SS: Oh Orville, it's like we're - we're seventeen again!) and you're going out dancing every weekend (LATIN TAG) and it's music and wine (POP CORK) and it's passion (TR & SS HEAVY BREATHING, SIGHING) and you take her on a Caribbean cruise (LATIN MOTIF, BOAT HORN) and it's two weeks of dancing and shopping (TR: I'll take it!) and wining and dining (TR & SS SOPHISTICATED LAUGHTER) and after that you go off to Hawaii (HAWAIIAN MOTIF) and there's more wining and dining (TR & SS RELAXED LAUGHTER) and one day she says ...(SS: Orville, I've never been so happy. TR: Me too.) and you buy tickets to Mexico and a diamond ring and then you go to buy a pair of sandals (TK: I'm sorry, sir. Your credit card didn't go through.) Your bank balance has hit bottom. (TR GROAN, DARK CHORDS) you've got to raise some major cash, soon. Only one way to get it. (TR: Woofer.) The Woofer Corporation where you used to work. That big painting in the lobby. You still have a key. So late one night you let yourself in to the lobby (LOCK OPEN, DOOR)
and (FOOTSTEPS ON MARBLE) there it is, the only known landscape painting Jasper Johns ever did that has Holsteins in it (TR EFFORT) and you bring in a stepladder and (CREAKING OF LADDER, STEPS, TR CAUTION) you climb up it and ease the painting off the hooks (TR EFFORT)
and, my gosh, it's heavy (TR ALARM, LADDER SWAYS) and you lose your balance and (RIP OF CANVAS) the painting catches the edge of the ladder and (STEPS DOWN, HURRIED) you make it down (TR HARD BREATHING) and look at the Jasper Johns and (TR MOAN) there's a rip in one of the cows. (TR ANXIETY) And now - (DISTANT FOOTSTEPS, WHISTLING) someone's coming (TR PANIC) - you duck down behind a couch and someone walks right past you (FOOTSTEPS CLOSE, WHISTLING, DOOR OPEN, CLOSE. TR SIGH OF RELIEF) and it's a close call. The moment they disappear you head out the front door and you open it and (KLAXON SERIES, THREE VARIATIONS)
alarms go off, lights flash - (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS) you dash to your car and now you discover
(TR EFFORT, CREAK OF WOOD FRAME) the painting won't fit into the backseat - (DISTANT SIREN)
and the cops are coming. You drop the painting. (CAR DOOR SLAM, REV ENGINE) Time to get out of here. (TR ANXIETY, SQUEAL AROUND CORNER) You race home, but what's the use? Your fingerprints are all over that frame, the stepladder. (FAST FOOTSTEPS, DOOR OPEN, CLOSE)
You've got to go to Mexico tonight and take Stella with you and explain everything and make a new life together south of the border. There's a message on the answering machine. (CLICK. BEEP. SS ON MACHINE: Orville - hi - I've been thinking maybe we're taking things too fast. I need more time. Just to be sure.) (TR: More time!) (SIREN APPROACHING)
Wouldn't this be a good time for a piece of rhubarb pie? Yes, nothing gets the taste of humiliation out of your mouth like Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.
(c) 1999 by Garrison Keillor