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

.....brought to you by the Ketchup Advisory Board.

SS: It's been a good spring for Jim and me. We had a real nice week in Phoenix at the Acme Sands Resort and Miniature Golf and when we returned home I wrote a bitter letter to the airline complaining about a flight attendant's sarcastic remark about our matching exercise suits and we received 50,000 free miles. Our daughter called us and we talked for ten minutes and she never told us that she wished she had never been born because we had ruined her life. For Lent, I gave up anchovies and Jim gave up performance art, so that was no problem. And then to cap it all off, Jim's company offered him early retirement. I thought we had it made. And then one night I came down and found Jim in the kitchen opening and closing the refrigerator door.....Honey, what is it?

TR: I don't know. It just seems to cheer me up to see the little light come on.

SS: Is something wrong?

TR: Retirement. It scares me to death.

SS: Why?

TR: It's a genetic thing, Barb. My people were factory workers, shiphands, housewives ---- my people weren't big on relaxation. We weren't landed aristocracy. You take stress away from my people and we topple over. It's like losing the law of gravity.

SS: Oh honey----

TR: The day I retire, the next day I'll probably have a massive stroke.

SS: But you hate your job. You're always saying what a dead end it is.

TR: A dead end is better than no destination at all.

SS: But honey-------

TR: Look at George and Gladys.

SS: They're happy.

TR: They're on medications. He's depressed as all get out. Six months ago he was district manager, flying off to conventions, video conferencing, walking through airline terminals talking on a cell phone. Now he's doing low-impact aerobics and building bird feeders.

SS: What's wrong with that?

TR: Sixty-five bird feeders in the backyard and the man can't quit.

SS: Oh-----

TR: The guy wants to be the district manager of the chickadees. And he and Gladys fight all the time.

SS: Oh, they do not.

TR: Their marriage was fine as long as he was gone all the time. Being together has driven them apart.

SS: Well, it won't be that way with you and me. We have a lot in common.

TR: Like what?

SS: Scrabble. Broadway show tunes. The Jim Lehrer News Hour. And ketchup.

TR: I forgot about ketchup.

SS: Ketchup has natural mellowing agents, Jim, that help combat feelings of inadequacy in the face of unemployment. Plus extra endorphins, to smooth things out. What do you say I rustle us up some scrambled eggs and serve them with a nice layer of ketchup?

TR: You know? I'm starting to feel better already.


GK: Ketchup....for the good times


(c) 2000 by Garrison Keillor