(GK: Garrison Keillor; SS: Sue Scott; TR: Tim Russell; FN: Fred Newman)


GK: Last year I got so depressed around Christmastime that I went to a psychologist who as it turned out was completely booked up.

FN: Busy time for us. How about you come back in early February?

GK: Fine.

FN: Not an emergency, is it?

GK: No, no---

FN: Not trying to hang yourself with a string of lights?

GK: No, no.

FN: Not walking around three sheets to the wind in a Santa suit singing "Little Drummer Boy" and waving sparklers, are you?

GK: No, just feeling a little blue. (MUSIC) Part of the problem was lack of sleep. My former partner Jack had given me his peacocks when he went away to prison.

TR (JACK): Please. For an old pal.

GK: Peacocks make me nervous. (PEACOCK SHRIEK)

TR (JACK): Please. These are my babies. (SHRIEKS) It's only for five to fifteen years, Buddy.

GK: A male and a female. (PEACOCK SHRIEK) And they did their courtship stuff in the middle of the night. And it was a busy fall for me, I was traveling a lot, which in my line of work, a person does. I mean, bank robbery is not a 9 to 5 office job, and there's stress: you live under a constant fear of failure. On the other hand, the money is good and you work banker's hours. So there's the good and the bad. Anyway, I was having a tough time and I called up my sister a couple weeks before Christmas----

SS (ON PHONE): Where are you?

GK: Salt Lake City.

SS (ON PHONE): What are you doing there?

GK: Business.

SS (ON PHONE): ----what?

GK: Business----

SS (ON PHONE): You're selling candy in Utah?

GK: Honey, the candy store is kind of a sideline. I do other things.

SS (ON PHONE): What other things?

GK: Other things. I do things with banks. Different stuff. I'm a consultant. A specialist. Risk management. It's boring. Don't worry about it.

SS (ON PHONE): You don't know anything about banking----

GK: Well, I got lucky. Anyway, I just called to see how you are.

SS (ON PHONE): I'm fine. And thank you for the ten thousand dollars you sent. We really appreciate it, Sam and I --- we really do, Buddy. How are you? When are you coming home? We miss you.

GK: I don't know. Soon. I'm just feeling a little down. That's all. Christmas blues. You know.

SS (ON PHONE): You know what your problem is? Do you?

GK: What?

SS (ON PHONE): You try to do too much.

GK: Well, it's Christmas. I like to make it nice for people.

SS (ON PHONE): You try to do too much. You should relax and enjoy yourself.

GK: I enjoy doing what I do.

SS (ON PHONE): You do too much. You work yourself to death. You need to relax.

GK: Okay.

SS (ON PHONE): Anyway, I suppose you heard about Momma.

GK: How would I hear if you don't tell me? What about Momma?

SS (ON PHONE): Oh it's nothing. She didn't want you to know.

GK: Know what?

SS (ON PHONE): It's nothing. Don't worry about it.

GK: Worry about what?

SS (ON PHONE): I shouldn't have said anything.

GK: Tell me.

SS (ON PHONE): It's just a little thing. She had to go into the hospital on Tuesday.

GK: What???? What's wrong?

SS (ON PHONE): It's nothing. The doctor says she's fine.

GK: What is it?

SS (ON PHONE): Don't get yourself worked up over it.

GK: What's wrong?

SS (ON PHONE): I'm sorry I opened my big mouth.

GK: Tell me what's wrong.

SS (ON PHONE): Just forget that I said anything.

GK: Francine?

SS (ON PHONE): It's just a little teeny thing. You know how doctors are----

GK: Francine, tell me----

SS (ON PHONE): Me and my big mouth.

GK: Francine----

SS (ON PHONE): Let's talk about something else.

GK: Francine----tell me----

SS (ON PHONE): Let me call you back when you're not so upset.

GK: Francine----

SS (ON PHONE): What?

GK: Francine, listen to me.

SS (ON PHONE): I'm listening.

GK: Are you listening now, Francine?

SS (ON PHONE): I'm listening.

GK: Francine, I'm not upset. But if you don't tell me what's wrong with Momma, I'm going to come home and find you and I'm going to give you a Dutch rub, Francine. Remember the Dutch rub? Do you? So tell me what's wrong with Momma.


SS (ON PHONE): You sure you want to know?

GK: Tell me, Francine.

SS (ON PHONE): Her left eyeball fell out.

GK: Her what????

SS (ON PHONE): It was only the left one.

GK: It fell out????

SS (ON PHONE): She was watching TV and it just fell out.

GK: Her eyeball ?

SS (ON PHONE): Well, it didn't fall completely out. It was hanging there by the optic nerve.

GK: Momma's eyeball fell out? How?

SS (ON PHONE): Well, she was crying because she hadn't heard from you for awhile, and they think that her tears are a little oily on account of all the mayonnaise, so her eyeball popped out. Anyway, not to worry. She's just fine. They popped it back in. She's fine. No problem.

GK: Why didn't you call me?

SS (ON PHONE): We didn't want to bother you.

GK: What????

SS (ON PHONE): She didn't want me to tell you.

GK: When did this happen?

SS (ON PHONE): Last Tuesday.

GK: Tuesday!! And you didn't call me???

SS (ON PHONE): Well, we knew you were busy.

GK: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. (GUILT STING, AND MUSIC UNDER) I was so upset that when I walked up to the bank teller's window and handed him the note, my hands were shaking.

FN: Hi. Merry Christmas. Nice ski mask. --- What's this? A note? ---- "Empty your drawers and don't press your button." --- What is that supposed to mean? You some kind of pervert?

GK: Gimme your cash and step on it.

FN: You want me to step on my cash?

SS (LITTLE KID): Hey mister----

GK: Step back, kid. Don't want anybody to get hurt.

SS (LITTLE KID): Don't take my Christmas money, mister.

GK: Awwww, the bank's got insurance, kid ------ Hurry up, would you.

FN: Tell it to the police. (BURGLAR ALARM) ---- (CRIES OF ALARM)

GK: And I had to dash out the back door (FAST RUNNING FEET, VOICES OF ALARM IN PASSING) and into the parking lot (CAR SCREECH, HORN) (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS) and then I couldn't find the car---- (GK CONSTERNATION. RUNNING FEET CHANGE DIRECTION) ---- it was a rental ---- they all look alike ---- and finally I had to get on a bus (BUS AIRBRAKE RELEASE, AND PULL AWAY) and leave the car there in the parking lot. With my briefcase in it. Boy, I felt dumb.

TR (OLD MAN, HARD OF HEARING): Not much snow for skiing, is there.

GK: No, sir.

TR: Nice gun you got there.

GK: Oh. Sorry.

TR: What was that? A Colt pistol?

GK: Never mind.

TR: Sure looked like a Colt pistol to me!

GK: Would you mind keeping your voice down?

TR: What? (BRIDGE)

GK: I had to go back after the bank closed and get my car and so I was late for my flight home and I forgot about the pistol in my pocket when I went through airport security (KLAXON, ALARM BEEPS, SHOUTS OF MILITARY, SIRENS) and it took a long time to clear that up and then on the way home I sat next to a guy who was listening to Christmas music on his laptop---- (O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL, ON SYNTH) and it was Momma's favorite Christmas carol and it just tore me up to hear it ---- I thought of her and how hard she worked to make Christmas for us when we were kids. It was rough. We were potato farmers on the wide-open prairies of North Dakota. Lived in a hut made from burlap bags. Suffered from drought. Blizzards. (BLIZZARDS) Daddy was Swedish. (SWEDISH) It was one thing after another. Had a mean dog (DOG SNARL) who was nice to strangers and mean to us. (DOG SNARL) Walked to school. It was three miles there and four miles back. Because everyday the bridge went out. Always. Momma made our Christmas tree herself. (SS HUMMING AS SHE WORKS) A big tree. Six feet high. Made from plastic bag ties. It took her months to do it, but there are no trees in North Dakota. And there are no angels either. So she made ours out of Saran Wrap. On Christmas, instead of stockings, we hung up empty sausage casings. One Christmas Santa left me a pistol made out of tin foil. Very realistic. I still use it in my work. (BRIDGE)

SS (FRANCINE) (ON ANSWERING MACHINE): Hi, Buddy. Just want to let you know we'll be over about 8 on Christmas Eve. Sam and me. We'll pick up Momma. Looking forward to it. And don't go to any trouble, Buddy. Relax. (BRIDGE)

GK: Of course I didn't relax. I wanted it to be the best Christmas Momma ever had. And I had plenty of money. About six pillowcases full of bundles of tens, twenties, and fifties. So I hired a caterer (TR FRENCH) and he came with his whole crew, a salad chef (ITALIAN) and an hors d'oeuvres chef (SPANISH) and a sushi chef (JAPANESE), and a pastry chef (GERMAN) and they got to work (TR FRENCH COMMAND, OFF) and I had a decorator----

FN: I want an immediate visual intensity, so that when you enter --- here---- your eye is immediately drawn to the mass display of candles---- there----- 800 candles on a six-tier table --- this incredible vocabulary of flame ---- and then the line of pink pine boughs draws your attention toward the living room and the blazing fire in the fireplace, and this is a firewood specially treated with chemicals so the flames will be magenta and puce --- and you walk toward the fire and ---- voila---- you see the tree. Actually, a cactus. Tumbleweeds. Blue bulbs, blue lights. It's a total look. What do you think?

GK: I hired a string quartet (TR RUSSIAN) and I hired a troupe of performing cats--- (MEOWS)

SS: Through the hoop, Muffy. (CAT LEAPS) Good girl.

GK: And I hired a comedian for a warm-up act ---

TR: Anyway, the grasshopper says, "Why would they name a drink Bob?" Ha ha ha ha ha. Reminds me of the one about the two penguins on the ice floe. One penguin looks at the other and says, "You look like you're wearing a tuxedo."------

GK: And a bird act. Some parrots and mynah birds dressed up as characters from the Bible.

TR (PARROT): Awwwwwwk. Glory to God.

FN (PARROT): Peace on earth. Awwwwk.

GK: And then for after-dinner, I hired the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I leased a 747 to fly them from Salt Lake City to Minnesota and I had them come in and wait in the basement---- (FOOTSTEPS, AND SERIES OF GREETINGS/EXCHANGES 'Hello. How are you?' WITH TR, FN, SS, IN ROTATION, DIFFERENT VOICES) ---- three hundred Mormons and I had a buffet for them down there and I rented folding chairs and the plan was that they would come upstairs when they heard me knock on the floor ---- so everything was set ---- I put on a tuxedo and shiny shoes and these plastic caps on my front teeth (SERIES OF POPS) for a brighter smile, and I glued on my terrific new hairpiece (SQUISH) which is a blonde pompadour with a nice big wave in front and I went downstairs and the string quartet (STRING QUARTET, O HOLY NIGHT) was playing in the front hall and just then Francine and Sam arrived----

SS (FRANCINE): Hi Buddy. Merry Christmas, honey. The house looks gorgeous.

TR (SAM): Lotta candles there. How much did that set you back? Huh. Musta cost a mint.

SS (FRANCINE): What are all the buses on the street about?

GK: Those are for the choir.

SS (FRANCINE): Oh Buddy. I hope you didn't go to too much trouble.

GK: It's Christmas, okay?

TR (SAM): Boy, a choir, a string quartet ---- that musta set you back four, five hundred bucks.

GK: Where's Momma, Francine?


GK: Momma---- Momma----

SS (MOMMA): Is that you, Buddy?

GK: It's me, Momma.

SS (FRANCINE, SOTTO VOCE): She lost her eyesight on Monday, Buddy. She's blind as a bat. She didn't want us to tell you. (CLICKING CONTINUES, AND THE SCRAPE OF FEET)

GK: What's that in the bag she's holding?

SS (FRANCINE, SOTTO VOCE): That's her liver, Buddy. And the little one is her pancreas.

GK: What???

SS (FRANCINE, SOTTO VOCE): They were going to do a transplant, but they discovered, after they got her liver out, that the other liver wasn't the right shape, so they're waiting for another donor, and meanwhile she's got her liver there in that bag, along with her pancreas, and they're still attached through that tube going up her nose.

GK: Why didn't you tell me?

SS (FRANCINE, SOTTO VOCE): We didn't want to upset you, Buddy.

TR (SAM): Hey, how much you pay for the cactus?

GK: So she's carrying her liver in that plastic bag?

TR (SAM): And those blue bulbs ---- they musta cost a pretty penny.

SS (FRANCINE, SOTTO VOCE): It's only until they find a new donor.

GK: That plastic Blockbuster video bag?

SS (FRANCINE, SOTTO VOCE): The surgical ones cost an arm and a leg.

GK: Oh momma---- Oh momma----

SS (MOMMA): I hope you didn't go to any trouble for us, Buddy. I brought my own dinner. A little turkey sandwich. Got my own cranberry sauce so you don't need to fix any for me. I know how busy you are, Buddy. Brought my own toilet paper. Didn't want you to have to spend money on that, what with all you got on your mind. And speaking of money, you may as well turn off the lights cause I'm blind, Buddy. We can just sit in the dark and if you're busy, you go do whatever you need to do, I brought a book to read. I'm blind but it's a book I've read before so I know how it goes.

GK: Oh momma-----

SS (MOMMA): Is that an LP recording you're playing?

GK: No, it's an actual string quartet, Momma. Playing in the living room. For you.

SS (MOMMA): Oh. Sounds like a record.

GK: No, it's musicians.

SS (MOMMA): Well, you coulda fooled me.


GK: He's offering you some caviar, Momma.

SS (MOMMA): Some cat what?

GK: Caviar. Fish eggs.

SS (MOMMA): What would I want with those? Ya got any saltines?

GK: Go get her some saltines.


SS (MOMMA): You must have lots to do, Buddy ---- I'll just sit here and read my book, don't mind me.

GK: Doesn't that hurt to carry her liver and pancreas around in a bag?

SS (FRANCINE): She hasn't said anything about it. So don't worry. The house is so nice, Buddy.

TR (SAM): Who's in the kitchen? You hired people to cook?

SS (FRANCINE): Oh Buddy, you shouldn't have!

GK: It's just a few people helping out. Francois (TR FRENCH) and Luigi (ITALIAN) and Ramon (SPANISH) and Ishiguro (JAPANESE) and Dietrich (GERMAN).

SS (FRANCINE): Well, I thought it was potluck so I brought a turkey pot pie.

GK: That's fine---- I did it for momma. (BRIDGE) I got her into a comfortable recliner and got her feet elevated and put some lotion on her liver and pancreas to keep them moist (SQUIRTS) and I signaled the comedian to come in and start the show.

TR (COMEDIAN): So anyway-----Darth Vader says to Luke Skywalker: Luke, I know what you're getting for Christmas. I felt your presents. Get it? I felt your presents.

SS (MOMMA): Is this something on TV?

GK: No, momma, it's an actual comedian. Tell her another one.

TR (COMEDIAN): So ---- why is Christmas just like a day at the office --- you do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit. Hyuk hyuk hyuk.

SS (MOMMA): Who is he?

GK: He's a comedian, momma. He's funny.


TR (COMEDIAN): So Santa Claus goes into a restaurant on Christmas Eve and orders eggs Benedict and the waiter brings the eggs out on a big hubcap and Santa says, A hubcap? And the waiter says, (SINGS) O, there's no plate like chrome for the hollandaise! (WALK-OFF HUSTLE MUSIC)

GK: And the cats came on with little lights around their necks and did backflips (CAT ACROBATICS) and jumped through a flaming hoop ---- (POOF OF FLAME, SS: Up! Muffy! CAT LEAP) ---- and the parrots and the mynah went into their act ----

TR (PARROT): Fear not. I bring you good tidings of great joy.

FN (PARROT): In excelsis deo.

TR (PARROT): Hosanna.

FN (PARROT): You can say that again.

TR (PARROT): Okay I will. Hosanna.

GK: And just then the two peacocks walk into the kitchen (PEACOCK SHRIEKS), and the chef is horrified and drops the goose ---- (TR FRENCH CRY) (BIG SQUOSH) ---- and the goose slides out the door and down the hall (LONG SQUOSH) picking up a lot of lint and cat hair ---- and the peacocks ( SHRIEKS) go flapping into the living room and knock over the cactus (CRASH OF CACTUS) which upsets the table of candles (CRASH) and the cats are excited (CATS) ---- they're all over the goose ---- and so are the peacocks (PEACOCK/CAT FIGHT) and the parrots are out of their minds (FN PARROT: Get me out of here!) and the chefs (FRENCH & ITALIAN) were trying to pick up the goose and fight off the cats (CATS) and Francine was trying to put out the candles (SS FRANCINE: Sam! Get a bucket!) and there was Momma (SS MOMMA: I'm fine, don't worry about me) and then I heard 400 Mormons coming up from the basement. They thought it was their cue to come up and sing.

Frosty the snowman----.

GK: And meanwhile Sam had taken a bucket of burning candles and threw them out in the backyard and set the garage on fire (SHOUTS) and it set off the LP tanks (EXPLOSIONS) and the fire department came (SIRENS) and in the midst of it all ---- (KNOCKS ON DOOR) this guy in a navy blue suit was at the front door and (DOOR OPEN) ---- Yeah? What is it?

TR: F.B.I. You got a minute?

GK: It's Christmas.

TR: Your name Buddy?

GK: People have called me that, yes. Over the years.

TR: This your ski mask?

GK: Hard to tell---- they all look alike-----

TR: Do you happen to own a pistol made from tinfoil?

GK: Why would I have a thing like that?

TR: I understand you paid for your Christmas tree with this 100-dollar bill?

GK: I can't remember a thing like that----

TR: You don't remember paying him with a 100-dollar bill?

GK: You know, in all the joy and excitement of the season, the joy of giving and so forth, I don't remember. (BRIDGE)

SS (FRANCINE): You shouldn't try to do so much, Buddy. You do too much. I could've brought turkey loaf. You didn't need to have that goose flambe. All that blanched salmon and asparagus puff pastry and glazed oysters and choucroute au canard and marinated pigeon eggs in bechamel sauce and artichoke fritters and mango-jalopeno stuffing and celery mousse and confit of risotto and the blackbird pie flown in from L.A. ---- you tried to do too much, Buddy.

GK: I only wanted it to be nice for Momma.

TR (SAM): How much didja pay those Mormons, Buddy---- bet you spent a bundle on that----

GK: I just wanted to make it nice. I wish you hadn't burned down the garage, Sam, but---- it can't be helped, I guess.

SS (FRANCINE): Those Mormons sure were nice. Boy. Even after the smoke got so thick and we had to clear out of the house, they stood there singing in the snow. That was nice. And singing all the requests. "Climb Every Mountain" and "Somewhere My Love" and "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" and "Papa Don't Preach" and then when they put on those do-rags and started rapping ---- doing that Run DMZ LDS stuff ----- they sure had it going on ---- I sure am down with those Mormons.

GK: I just wanted Momma to be happy. That's all I wanted. Just to make my momma happy.

Oh thou who maketh Mom happy at Christmas----(BRIDGE)

GK: I worked so hard to make that Christmas happy and fun and the peacocks ran off and never came back and the garage burned down and momma wound up in the hospital with an even worse liver and pancreas problem and I couldn't believe the expense ---- the cats---

SS (CAT LADY): You said you were going to fly us first class. (MEOW) Each of us. That's five seats. The cats do not double up in a seat.

GK: And the comedian----

TR: I need $300 to replace the tux. It got stained by the parrot. When the goose was dropped.

GK: And the parrots brought a lawsuit against me----

FN (PARROT): Mental cruelty.

GK: And the chefs (ELABORATE FRENCH) cost thousands and thousands of dollars and the designer ----

FN: That's $10 per candle. And $1200 for the cactus-----

GK: For the cactus?

FN: It's a Christmas cactus.

GK: And there was Momma's medical care----

TR (DOCTOR): We are going to put her liver back in her. But in her leg. We're going to put it in her calf.

GK: Put her liver in her calf?

TR (DOCTOR): It's going to cost $50,000. (STING)

GK: So I had to do another bank job the day after Christmas. Flew to New York and hit a bank in Queens, near the airport, or tried to.

SS (NYER): What do you mean, "hand over the cash"? What is this? Huh? Who are you? Where you from? Speak up. What's your problem? Hand over what cash? How much? And I can't even read your handwriting down here. What does this say? Huh? Read that to me.

GK: Where?

SS (NYER): This part right here----

GK: That? That says, "Or else."

SS (NYER): Or else????? Or else what? Huh? OR ELSE WHAT?

GK: Or else I'll do something-----

SS (NYER): I don't get it. You mean if I don't give you money you're going to ---- what? Do what?

GK: I'll be forced to take measures.

SS (NYER): What is that supposed to mean? Forced to take measures? Who are you? What is this about?

GK: It's a stick-up.

SS (NYER): You call this a stick-up? Where's the stick?

GK: It's in my pocket.

SS (NYER): Let's see it.

GK: I don't want to.

SS (NYER): Show me the stick.

GK: Do I have to?

SS (NYER): Show me the stick. What you got? Bet you don't even have one. Let's see it.

GK: People are looking this way.

SS (NYER): (LOUD) This guy says he's got a pistol ---- I say, let's see it! Huh? (CROWD AGREEMENT)

GK: Boy, you know, you New Yorkers have got a reputation in this country for being a pain in the wazoo-----

SS: He hands over a note saying it's a stick-up, I say, Okay, fine, but let's see the heat, let's have a look at the hardware. Come on. I'll bet you don't even have one. Bet you got a little toy derringer. Bet you got a little stub of a pencil wrapped in tinfoil. What a putz. Boy. Men. (BRIDGE)

GK: I finally left with nothing. I was broke. I took a bus to see Jack in the federal pen in Pennsylvania----..(BIG STEEL DOORS OPEN, FOOTSTEPS) Hi pal.

TR (JACK): Hey buddy.

GK: How you been?

TR (JACK): Not so bad, Buddy. How's Emma and Gus?

GK: Who?

TR (JACK): The peacocks.

GK: Oh. Fine.

TR (JACK): Send me a picture sometime. I miss em. And --- uh ---- how's business?

GK: Lousy. I don't know. I'm losing my touch or something. I'm broke.

TR (JACK): You're broke? You didn't--- touch the loot we stashed in the garage did you? (STING)

GK: The garage. I forgot all about it. There was a half-million bucks in fifties and hundreds hidden in the rafters. No wonder the smoke was so thick and gray. ---- No, Jack. I didn't touch that money.

TR (JACK): It's still there?

GK: I haven't looked lately, but why wouldn't it be there?

TR (JACK): Check on it, would you?

GK: Soon as I get home, I'll have a look. (BRIDGE) And that's when I went to see the psychologist.

SS (FLEXNER): So ----- sit down ---- tell me what's going on in your life ---- the Kleenex is right there ---- I've got extra in the closet.

GK: I'm a bank robber, ma'am, and I was trying to make a nice Christmas for my momma who's blind and who carries her liver and pancreas around in a plastic bag and I wound up burning down my garage with a half-million dollars stashed in the rafters.

SS: Okay.

GK: The FBI is on my trail and I've lost a couple peacocks who I was keeping for this guy and I don't know how to tell him and I'm losing my touch professionally, plus which I have a lot of sad childhood memories to deal with and it's very difficult for bank robbers to sustain close personal relationships. Something about using the mask leads to a fear of intimacy. I donno.

SS: Okay.

GK: And she gave me some advice I'll never forget---- (PIANO BA-DUM-BA-DUM-BA-DUM AND --- TO THE TUNE OF "YOU'VE GOT TO WALK THAT LONESOME VALLEY")

SS (SINGS): You've gotta do things that make you happy
You've gotta do them for yourself
Nobody else can do them for you----
You've gotta do things that make you happy for yourself.

GK: And she was so right. Why had I gone into bank robbery? I don't enjoy larceny. I get no pleasure from it at all.

SS: I get no pleasure out of being a psychologist. My real love is baton twirling. Maybe it's silly, but a person loves what she loves, and I love to twirl.

GK: And she got out a pair of batons and she lit them (TWO POOFS OF FLAME) and they flamed up and she twirled as we sang----


You've gotta do things that make you happy
You've gotta do them for yourself
Nobody else can do them for you----
You've gotta do things that make you happy for yourself.

GK: And out in the waiting room, a guy heard her singing and he came in, it was the guy from the FBI----

TR: That's the best advice I've heard in years.

GK: What are you doing here?

TR: I ask myself that quite often. What makes me happy is bass fishing, not law enforcement.

GK: Does that mean I won't be prosecuted?

TR: Soon as we find that missing half-million dollars, you're gonna be doing time in prison and I'm gonna be out on a lake fishing.

FN: I doubt that very much.

GK: It was Harry. My lawyer.

FN: I say it ain't armed robbery if the gun was made of tinfoil. We'll fight this to the Supreme Court. And then I'm going to give up law and focus on playing the cello. (BRIDGE)

GK: So I took the psychologist's advice and this year for Christmas it's just me and momma.

SS (MOMMA): Don't go to any trouble for me, Buddy.

GK: I won't, don't worry.

SS (MOMMA): I brought a sandwich.

GK: Good. So did I.

SS (MOMMA): And I've got my book, so don't feel you have to entertain me. You just do whatever you were going to do.

GK: I will. I've got a book too, momma.

SS (MOMMA): That's good. And if you want to leave ---- if you have a dinner date with anybody, you go right ahead, Buddy, don't mind me.

GK: We're going to spend Christmas eating our sandwiches and reading our books, momma and me.

SS (MOMMA): If you want to listen to the radio, you go right ahead, Buddy, it doesn't bother me whatsoever.

GK: It's okay, momma. Don't need the radio.

SS (MOMMA): No, but if you change your mind and you want to listen to a program or something, you go right ahead, I don't care.

GK: It's okay, momma. It's just fine. (MUSICAL BUTTON)

© Garrison Keillor 2002