(GK: Garrison Keillor; SS: Sue Scott; TR: Tim Russell; FN: Fred Newmann; RD: Rich Dworsky)

GK: --but first this word from the Catchup Advisory Board.


TR: These are the good years for me and Barb. I started a self-defense class that's based on the art of withering insults. Our son auditioned for a reality TV show, but he didn't get cast because he refused to eat night crawlers. The neighbor kid, the one who was starting a garage band, got some amplifier feedback that tore the fillings out of his teeth and currently he is on very serious tranquilizers and watching the Golf Channel. We should have been happy. Then late one night I found Barb sitting in the kitchen with a collection of plastic bottles.-Honey, what's wrong?

SS: Oh, Jim, you know me, I do everything I can to keep us in good health --- the air-filtering machines, the ionizer, the vitamins, the organic pillows, the acid-free napkins ----

TR: The new toothpaste with aloe vera.

SS: Right.

TR: The cruelty-free potpourri dishes. The radiation filter on the TV screen. Which makes it like radio. But that's fine.

SS: I'm just reading an article about bacteria ---- it says that anti-bacterial soap just makes bacteria more resistant. By fighting the bacteria, it makes the bacteria stronger.

TR: Like the way I insult your brother, and he keeps showing up for Thanksgiving

SS: Our kitchen is probably crawling with deadly bacilli right now. Bacilli that Lysol only energizes. And every time someone comes to visit us, they introduce new strains of germs.

TR: But we can't go through life fearing contact with other people. Except for the Schumhofers, of course.
SS: It's so dangerous now, with germs. You could pick up the telephone and, even as you're talking, you feel a sore throat coming on and tomorrow it's a fever and next week a whole lot of people you don't like at all are coming around with fruit and flowers and telling you that they forgive you. I don't want it.

TR: Why not go back to ordinary old bar soap, then? It was good enough for our parents. They were fairly clean. My mother was.

SS: We go back to ordinary soap and this bacteria that our anti-bacterial soap has stimulated will swoop in here and ---- Oh, Jim. Every healthful thing I do seems doomed to failure!

TR: That's not true. Since we started drinking limeade, neither one of us has had a problem with scurvy.

SS: I guess you're right.

TR: No problem with rickets. Thanks to ketchup.

SS: It prevents rickets?

TR: There's something in tomatoes that resists infection, Barb. And ketchup's natural mellowing agents give a person a sense of well-being that reduces anxieties that can weaken our immune systems.

SS: Oh, Jim, you're so right--

RD: These are the good years, the world is bright and green,
Our life is in balance, our hands are fairly clean
Life is flowing, like ketchup on baked beans

GK: Ketchup-- for the good times.

RD: Ketchup--. Ketchup--.

© Garrison Keillor 2002