(GK: Garrison Keillor; SS: Sue Scott; TR: Tim Russell; TK: Tom Keith; AF: Al Franken)
GK: And now the Radio Theater of the Air presents "Our Neighbors, the Birds." (PIANO THEME)
(TRAFFIC PASSING. BIRDS PASSING. BIRDSONG)
SS: Are you sure that nest is secure? It doesn't feel secure.
TR: It's fine.
SS: Every time a car goes by, it feels like it's gonna fall off the tree and land on the sidewalk. I don't want to lay eggs and have them wind up frying on concrete.
TR: I've been building nests for years. I never had one fall down yet.
SS: I just wish you'd use more string and less mud. And what's this? Gum?
TR: OK. I'll go look for some string.
SS: You know, it's not too late to move to the suburbs. Less traffic. More twigs. Trees aren't so crowded.
TR: And leave the city? Hey. We grew up here.
SS: I don't know. There's just too much hubbub. And I can't stand these birdwatchers ----- HEY, YOU IN THE BROWN OXFORDS! BACK OFF! HOW'D YOU FEEL IF I BROUGHT MY BINOCULARS AND LOOKED IN YOUR APARTMENT WINDOWS? HUH? SHOW ME WHERE YOUR CAR'S PARKED, I'LL GIVE YOU SOME NATURE YOU CAN TAKE HOME TO THE FAMILY!
TR: Easy, honey. Don't let it get to you.
SS: "Don't let it get to me." I'm about to lay eggs, bring offspring into the world --- (TRAFFIC). It's so crowded here. (HELICOPTER APPROACHING, HIGH UP) What in the world is that? A hawk?
SS: Oh boy. One more thing to worry about.
TR: Honey, I want our kids to grow up where they can know all different kinds of birds, thrushes and swallows and screech owls and seagulls. A multi-avian society. I want them to be able to perch on the window ledges of great museums and poop on the statues of great men and develop a taste for food crumbs from all over the world, filo and bagels and sesame seeds and pretzels.
SS: Okay. But we could live in the suburbs and come down to the city on weekends for plays and things.
TR: Those flyways are packed. It'd take hours.
SS: Okay. Fine. I'll just spend my whole summer sitting on eggs while you go swooping around and hanging out with birds of a feather and ----
TR: I'm out gathering food. Okay? I'm not off on a lark.
SS: I hope not. It still hurts when I think of you and Robin.
TR: That was years ago.
SS: Speaking of food, remember --- no more pizza crusts. Last year I ate a pepper flake, I practically died.
TR: Yes, dear.
TR: Who're you?
AF: The name's Martin. I'm a city building inspector. Mind if I look around?
TR: Go ahead.
AF: I see you used chewing gum ----
TR: A little chewing gum.
AF: Chewing gum isn't up to code. You're supposed to use twine. And no more than 30 percent grass. I think you're over that. You build this from scratch?
TR: No, I took over an old sparrow nest.
AF: You renovated, then?
TR: Yes, sir.
AF: I'm afraid this nest was a land marked nest. You can't make structural changes without permission.
SS: So what do we have to do? Tear the thing apart and start over? I'm about to lay eggs!
AF: Hey. I'm just the messenger. I didn't make the rules. But this is a very serious violation.
TR: All right, all right. What do you want from me?
AF: Well if I somebody were to offer me a great big juicy night crawler I just might not notice the changes you made.
TR: All right. Here you go. (CRUNCHING) Ya big crook.
AF: A pleasure doing business with you. Have a nice day. (WINGS OFF)
TR: Darn inspectors.
SS: Look out, honey! Frisbee coming! (WHOOSH OF FRISBEE) Boy, that was close.
TR: A couple inches to the left and we woulda been cat food.
SS: Put your wing around me. I'm shaking.
TR: You want to move, let's move. We can leave in the morning-----
SS: (STRAINING) I think it's too late, honey. I think---- (POP OF EGG)
TR: Wow, that is one big egg.
SS (STRAINING): Got another three or four coming. --- (POP OF EGG)
TR: Remember to take short panting breaths and then a long cleansing breath----
SS (STRAINING): Oh shut your beak.
TR: Just doing what they told me to do in those birthing classes.
SS: Well, just shut up. (STRAINING) Oh, this is going to be a big one.
TR: Don't bear down. Try to relax.
SS: Do you mind? (PIANO THEME)
GK: The Radio Theater of the Air has presented "Our Neighbors, the Birds" (PIANO THEME) (TRAFFIC PASSING)
© Garrison Keillor 2002