......after this message from the Ketchup Advisory Board. (PIANO)
TR: .....It's been a good summer for Barb and me. Back in June, I was at the office and just finishing up a meeting with top management on Goals & Challenges ---- a G&C meeting, and as I was leaving, the CEO slapped me on the back and I had the presence of mind to let out a yelp and fall to the floor and sort of writhe there and in about two minutes an emergency crew came with a gurney and loaded me in and I had the most wonderful afternoon at the hospital, being put through the MRI scanner and hot compresses and vibrators and massage and a Valium and I was sent home and I've been home all summer, on paid medical leave. Ninety days of pure pleasure. (JACUZZI)
SS: Oh, Jim. This has been the most wonderful summer of our lives.
TR: I'll say.
SS: The beauty of lower back pain.
TR: It's wonderful, isn't it.
SS: People are so kind to invalids. So thoughtful. People from church coming and mowing our lawn and bringing us hot meals. Relatives don't expect us to come to picnics or anything. Our kids don't call up and complain because they know that we have back problems----
TR: "We"?
SS: Sorry. You have back problems.
TR: You don't have back problems, do you?
SS: No, Jim. I've gotten lots of exercise, bringing you things. Doing the cleaning and washing. Scrubbing floors. I'm feeling nice and limber. And I'm going to the Fair today.
TR: (PAUSE THREE BEATS. LONGINGLY) The Fair? The Minnesota State Fair?
SS: I'll be there all eleven days, Jim. From early in the morning until late at night.
TR: Oh. --------- This would be the first fair I've missed since I was six years old. ---------- I could come in a wheelchair----------- No?
SS: You'd only be in the way, Jim. I'm opening my own food stand this year.
TR: Something on a stick?
SS: I thought of that. I was going to sell salad on a stick.
TR: Interesting.
SS: I thought of quesadillas on a stick. And filet mignon on a stick.
TR: That's more like it.
SS: And then I decided to just sell sticks.
TR: Why would people want to buy sticks at the Fair, Barb?
SS: I'm calling them Joy-sticks.
TR: What's in them?
SS: Wood. Wood soaked in Valium.
TR: But the Fair won't let you sell drugs-----
SS: Nobody's going to know. All they'll know is that suddenly they feel terribly calm and focused. People will hear about it by word of mouth. We'll sell thousands of them. Mothers with whining bratty children, humming softly, smiling to themselves.
TR: Why do people need Valium when we have ketchup, Barb?
SS: Valium is just another form of ketchup. Relax, Jim. Take it easy.
RD (SINGING): These are the good times, in the summer sun,
People think your back hurts,
so there's no work to be done,
Life is pure pleasure,
like ketchup on a bun.
GK: Ketchup....for the good times.
RD (SINGING): Ketchup.........