(GK: Garrison Keillor; SS: Sue Scott; TR: Tim Russell; FN: Fred Newman; MB: Maria Bamford)
(BUSY TRAFFIC AMBIENCE, SOME HORNS, CARS PASSING, A BUS. WHINNY)
(FRED WILL DO PASSING VEHICLES THROUGHOUT SCRIPT, IN ADDITION TO THOSE
GK: Easy, girl. Easy. (WHINNY) We'll get going here in just minute. Hold your horses. (OLD MEN PASSING) Hey, how about a carriage ride? See New York, take a load off your feet. (CARL THE DUDE PASSING) Carriage ride, kid. Bring the skateboard with you. (CRYING BABY PASSING) Take the kid for a carriage ride, ma'am. Calms em right down, I've seen it over and over again. (BOOMBOX PASSING) Hey would you mind? It upsets the horses. (RUSTY POGO STICK PASSES) New York!
Hey, m'man --- take a look at these watches right here, the ones on my wrists ---- you know what a Rolex costs, right? This Rolex right here, this is $18. Eighteen dollars. You hear what I'm saying? You're never gonna get another one this good and in this condition. Eighteen bucks. That's my best offer, you hear what I'm saying?)
GK: Hey, don't block the sidewalk, okay? I got customers coming.
(STREET ORGAN, MONKEY)
GK: Hey, take it someplace else---- this is the carriage stand, okay? You hear what I'm saying?
(GRAVEL VOICED STREET GUYS PASSING, ANOTHER BOOMBOX, BICYCLE PASSES, HORN, FOOTSTEPS)
Yeah, is this the Avenue of the Americas right here?)
GK: Yeah, that's it. Sixth Avenue.
Great. Thanks. Appreciate it.)
GK: Don't mention it. (PIGEONS) Hey! Get off the seat! (PIGEON FLURRY, AND FLY AWAY)
MB: Is this carriage available?
GK: Yes, of course. Climb up.
MB: Your horse looks kind of tired.
GK: Been a hard day for her too.
MB: How much?
GK: For you? Fifty bucks.
GK: Without the narration, thirty.
MB: That's better. (CREAK, SHE SETTLES IN)
GK: I apologize for the smell. She's been having some gas problems. (GIDDYUP, TAPE OF HORSE RIDE STARTS) (TRAFFIC PASSING) Where you from?
MB: Minnesota. Duluth.
GK: Ahh. I knew somebody who went there once. Said it was cold.
How do you like the city?
MB: It's great.
GK: It is, isn't it. Yeah. (DISTORTED CHRISTMAS MUSIC ON OUTDOOR SPEAKER) Specially this time of year. (STREET ORGAN. TAP DANCERS) This is where the street musicians hang out. (MANDOLIN, PLAYING SANTA LUCIA) Even more of them in the summer. Down there is Starbucks. Oughta call it Tenbucks. (FIRST CAR ALARM) On your left is the Plaza Hotel, home to the stars ---- the golden statue there is a statue of General Sherman and the fountain is where Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald used to jump in when they were in the mood ---- here on the right is the statue of Jose Marti, a second baseman for the New York Mets, and we'll head into the Park. (HEAVY METAL ON PASSING BOOMBOX) Manhattan is an Indian word meaning "place of general inebriation." A city with a drink named after it. New Yorkers never refer to "New York" ---- they just call it "The City". Even if they're in London. Which they never are, because if you're from the City, why would you? (JACKHAMMER) (AIR WRENCH, BULLDOZER, MEN CALLING) CONSTRUCTION: SAWS, HAMMERS)
New York, always building. Always on the move. People come to New York so they can make enough money to move out of New York. (CAR PASSES, LOUD CAR RADIO, BASS TURNED UP) It's a place where you have $500 cars with a $4,000 stereo systems. (SECOND CAR ALARM) Building over there is the El Dorado. Ethical Culture Society is up there. That's the Jewish version of Unitarian. Also known as A.W.C. -- Atheists With Children. A very tolerant city, New York. They never refer to homosexuality as a disease here.
MB: Well, they're worried about how many people might call in sick for work. ----I see they got some snow. (GRAVEL VOICED STREET GUYS)
GK: Just in time for Christmas. A godsend. A ready-made excuse
not to have to drive to your relatives on Long Island. It's like a prisoner
on death row getting a call from the governor. (STREET TRANSISTOR RADIO
(OLD MEN PASSING)
MB: New Yorkers don't like Christmas?
GK: Well, they do and they don't. The problem is, it didn't take place here. (PIGEONS) Hey, get offa there.
(THIRD CAR ALARM)
MB: You mind if I ask a personal question?
GK: I was hoping you would.
MB: Are you from Minnesota too?
GK: How'd you know?
MB: Just a hunch. And there's a gopher on your cap.
GK: Yeah, I'm from there. (2ND CONSTRUCTION SITE, PASSING. DRILLS. HAMMERS. MEN'S VOICES)
MB: New Yorkers aren't like us, are they.
MB: Nobody here seems to know what county they live in.
GK: I've noticed that.
MB: They don't know how big an acre is. Or what a speed limit
sign looks like.
GK: Yeah, I guess they figured speed limits would sort of take care of themselves. (TUG BOAT, DISTANT) When the wind is right, you can hear the harbor. And smell New Jersey.
(FOURTH CAR ALARM. BOOMBOX PASSING)
MB: And they do all the things we were taught not to do. They walk and talk while eating, they have Pepsi for breakfast, and they interrupt.
GK: If you don't interrupt, they think you're
not paying attention.
MB: Expensive here, isn't it.
GK: Yeah. Hotel rooms are so expensive, there oughta be an option to buy.
MB: But there's a lot of old people----
GK: Who you talking about?
MB: Old people. In their seventies.
GK: Oh. Them. Yeah. It's nice for old people. Lot of museums, movies ---- everything within walking distance. And people can only visit if you buzz them up. Here's the Zoo coming up-----
(ZOO: MONKEYS, SEALS, POLAR BEAR)
MB: Is it still legal to smoke here?
GK: Outdoors? Yeah. Go ahead.
MB: I heard there was a big demonstration at City Hall protesting the new anti-smoking law.
MB: It only lasted about three minutes and everyone had to sit down and rest.
GK: Speaking of which---- we've come to the end.
MB: How much do I owe you?
GK: Hey, it was my pleasure.
GK: You're welcome, Miss Bamford.
(BICYCLE PASSES, HORN)
MB: You know my name?
GK: I recognized you from the radio. Merry Christmas. (MUSIC BUTTON, BAND)
© Garrison Keillor 2002