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

(PIANO, "Yesterday")

TR: And now---- Dr. Johnson's Elderberry Tea (taken twice daily it promotes regularity safely and comfortably) presents Mr. Wyler's Advice to the Young ----

GK: Thank you. As we get older and get some perspective, we realize how much freedom we've given up in order to make people like us and not disappoint them. We say yes to many things we'd rather say no to. Perfectly reasonable requests, invitations to do things and go places and see things that are perfectly okay, except you don't want to do them. You thought you wanted to or you thought maybe if you tried to you'd eventually like it but now you realize you were only being agreeable. Time to gain your independence, and when it comes to that, you will find it very useful to have lower back pain. It's a trump card. Don't hesitate to use it. Here's how it works.

SS: Why are you standing like that?

GK: Mmmmmmmmm. Like what?

SS: With your back against the wall?

GK: Mmmmmmmmmmm. Just trying to stretch my back. Ohhhhhhhhhhh.

SS: Your back bothering you?

GK: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh. No, it's fine. Just a little ---- ahhhhhhhh----ohhhhhhhhhhhh---- twinge. I'll be fine.

SS: Tonight is the Recognition Banquet at church----

GK: Mmmmmmmmmmm. Right.

SS: Are you going to be able to go?

GK: Sure. Ahhhh.

SS: Are you okay?

GK: Sure. It won't last long will it?

SS: It's a banquet!

GK: Oh. Well, I could take drugs. I've got a muscle relaxant. I can't drive but you could drive. I know you don't like to drive at night but you could and I could sit next to you at the banquet and if I sort of slump and my legs twitch and I drool out of the side of my mouth you could hand me a napkin. If you want me to go, I could go, it's not that----

SS: Maybe you better stay home.

GK: Are you sure?

SS: Stay home and put some heat on it.

GK: Is that all right?

SS: You don't look good.

GK: I feel fine. It's just a twinge. (MUSIC) ---- It's a trump card. You play it a couple times a week so she doesn't forget that you have it. You let her find you lying on your back on the floor, groaning a little. Stretching. And going ---- Ahhhh. Ohhhhhhh. ----- And once she accepts that you have a bad back, your life is your own. Use every advantage you have, especially your disadvantages. And have a nice old age. You're only old once, so enjoy it. (PIANO, "YESTERDAY")

TR: Mr. Wyler's Advice to the Young was brought to you by Dr. Johnson's Elderberry Tea ---- it promotes regularity safely and comfortably. (MUSIC OUT)

© Garrison Keillor 2003