(GK: Garrison Keillor; SS: Sue Scott; TR: Tim Russell; TK: Tom Keith; AF: Al Franken)


GK: ...... Do you remember your wife's birthday?

AF: Gee, I think so. August 4?

GK: Close. What size dress does she wear?

AF: I don't know. Eight?

GK: Two. Do you know where she is right now?

AF: You mean, now? How am I supposed to know that?

GK: You can find out. By calling DataMasters. Thanks to information received hourly from your credit cards and from highway surveillance cameras, DataMasters knows more about you and your family than you do. Why not give them a call?

TR: (ON PHONE) DataMasters. What can I tell you today?

AF: Do you know what size my wife is?

TR: (PHONE) (KEYPAD STROKES) She's a six. She's put on some weight lately...(KEYPAD) She's gained 17.2 pounds.

AF: Is that right? - I didn't notice.

TR: Your wife is weight-lifting and using steroids. Rather heavily. That's why the moustache.

AF: What moustache?

TR: She uses a depilatory. Your wife is lifting weights most of the morning, sir. Bench-pressing 250 pounds. Afternoons, she goes to the shooting range.

AF: My wife? Janice?

TR: She's gotten extremely proficient at the use of automatic weapons.

AF: Janice? She's a Democrat. She's always been a liberal --- always ---- take a look at her bumper stickers----

TR: She's a member of a liberal paramilitary group now. It's called the New Beginnings Brigade. Unitarians in camo. Librarians and schoolteachers heavily armed and well-trained.

AF: But why? What do they want?

TR: R-e-s-p-e-c-t. (PHONE SOUND) Wait a minute. New data coming in here. She's driving a red Ford pickup, heading west from Pierre, South Dakota.

AF: South Dakota! I thought she was at Pilates.

TR: She just purchased a one-liter bottle of Thunder Cloud Vodka. At Chuck's Drive-in Liquor Store & Video Rental.

AF: Janice doesn't drink vodka. Strictly white wine. Pinot Grigio.

TR: The Thunder Cloud isn't for her. It's for Rush Limbaugh.

AF: What?????

TR: She's got him in the front seat with her. His hands and feet are bound with duct tape and he's blindfolded and he has a big green apple in his mouth.

AF: She's kidnapped Rush Limbaugh? My wife?

TR: They're planning to get him good and liquored up and then release him, buck naked, at Mount Rushmore. On George Washington's left eyebrow.

AF: Oh my gosh. This is terrible. Kidnapping a famous overweight radio talk show host. She could do time for this. She could do a stretch in a federal pen and then get out and have to go on a book tour. I hate to think about what my kids might be up to--

TR: I see a tattoo parlor.

AF: No!

TR: I see a romance with a Congressman.

AF: Please, no-----

TR: I see a memoir ---- a childhood memoir-----

AF: Don't tell me anymore. Please.

GK: DataMasters knows everything about you, your family, your hopes and dreams. Give them a call.

© Garrison Keillor 2002