(GK: Garrison Keillor, SS: Sue Scott, TK: Tom Keith, TR: Tim Russell)
Tonight's show is brought to you by Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.
Your kids grow up and graduate from college (TR: Bye, mom! SS: Bye, dad!) and the dog dies (DOG MOAN, CROAK) and you have the cat put to sleep (CAT SNORING) and now, finally, after twenty years of living in this squalid dormitory and gymnasium and animal shelter, you can redecorate (TR: Yes! Yes! YES!!) and make a decent home (TR: A home!), a real home where you can invite your friends over for a quiet civilized evening (TR: A home without dog hair! SS: Without Metallica and Nine Inch Nails!) No old peanut butter sandwiches in the sofa cushions. (TR: No mysterious friends in the basement!) - so you call in a designer, a very thin woman in a black dress (SS: Hi. I'm Sasha.), and at first you're taken aback by her enthusiasm (SS: Fantastic floors! Incredible windows! Marvellous!) and by her ambitious ideas (SS: I see a conservatory! An atrium! A fountain! An arcade with little shops!) and you have to rein her in a little (TR: We just want a nice bathroom and kitchen) but she gets the idea (SS: I see a nice bathroom! I see a nice kitchen!) and she draws up the plans and sends an estimate (OPEN ENVELOPE) and you faint (TR FAINT, FALL, JUNK RATTLES) and the next week the work starts (BIG ENGINE) - a bulldozer clears out the rooms (JUNK, ENGINE) and high-powered hoses are brought in to remove the dust bunnies (HOSES) and the carpet is taken up by guys with jackhammers (SFX) except for some sections that need to be blown up (EXPLOSIONS) - and finally all the demolition is finished and (DRIPPING) you settle in to wait for the plumber. (TR PLUMB: Be there on Monday.) Months pass. You leave messages on his machine. (SS SOBBING) He keeps calling back. (TR PLUMB: Be there on Monday.) Finally after two years of Mondays, you hire a lawyer. (TK VOICE BREAKING: Your honor, my clients are existing in the empty shell of a house ... their lives shattered by the broken promises of skilled tradesmen.) And four years later, in a landmark case, Brown v. Acme Plumbing & Heating, you win (TK: Congratulations. Together we've established a new beachhead in consumer law. That'll be $458,000.) and the next day the plumber comes, an old galoot with enough hair in his ears to stuff a pillow. (TR PLUMB: What seems to be the problem? RIPPING. TR PLUMB: Oh. I see -) And he proceeds to dismantle the bathroom (RIPPING, METAL BANGING) and tear the pipes out of the walls (TR PLUMB: Full o' rust, all of em) - and the catbox that sat in the corner of the bathroom? - (RIPPING) the floor is rotten there and (MORE RIPPING) the rot extends through the joists and the rafters all through the house - (RIPPING) a rare wood lymphoma has eaten your house from the inside and by the time it's removed - (TR: It's gone. SS: Our house- - TR: It's just a hole in the ground.) But you fight back. You call the bleeding-heart columnist at the newspaper and he writes a column about you. (TR COLUMNIST KIRK-DOUGLASLIKE: They say there are no more heroes. But I guess they never heard about Jack and Mary Brower.) And you're on television (SS WEEPING: Five years we've been living in a car in our driveway, waiting for a plumber. And now this -) and you get a book contract (TR: Wow) and the book becomes a made-for-TV movie (MOVIE THEME, TR ANNOUNCER: RENOVATION: An American Tragedy) and by sharing your suffering with the American people, you're able to build the home of your dreams (MUSIC)- (SS: A conservatory ... an atrium ... an arcade with little shops ... A home at last. When can you start work on it? TR PLUMB: We'll start on Monday.)
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