Garrison Keillor: I was never one of the cool kids in school, the talented ones, or even the smart ones.
Sue Scott (OLDER): We have the results of your Basic Skills test, Carson--
GK: Oh, good, Mrs. Huff.
SS (OLDER): You weren't planning to go on to college, were you?
GK: I don't know-- I sort of was hoping to --
SS (OLDER): The test results show that you have high aptitude for gathering nuts and berries, but not much when it comes to verbal skills.
GK: I was sort of thinking -- English major.
SS (OLDER): You?--(SHE CHUCKLES INCREDULOUSLY)-- Oh, I don't think you're going to be an English major, Carson-- (SHE LAUGHS). Not you. I don't think so. (SHE WALKS AWAY LAUGHING)
GK: My best friend was my dog, Bruno. (WOOF) And my Uncle Walt, who was rich and had a big white Cadillac and a girlfriend named Lola and a chauffeur named Sparks.
Tim Russell (WALT): Hey, Carson. How's tricks? You still knockin the girls dead, huh? Huh? Want to see me pull a quarter out of your nose? Huh? Hey-- you had two quarters up there. Look at that. Quite a schnozz, huh? How about behind your ears? Hey hey. Looky here. (WOOFS)
GK: Pretty good, Uncle Walt.
SS (SUGAR): Hi there Carson. You sure look nice in that rayon-blend shirt. Rayon-blend looks real good on you.
TR (WALT): Brought you a little present, Carson. Huh? What do you think? Huh?
GK: They're beautiful, Uncle Walt. (BRIDGE) Uncle Walt was an engraver who made a living printing $100 bills. He always brought a couple dozen samples when he came. -- They look so real.
SS (SUGAR): He's an artist, Carson. A regular Monet of money.
TR (WALT): Hey, Lola and me, we were going down to Barbados for Thanksgiving-- want to come along?
GK: I don't know. With my poor self-image, I'd probably be more comfortable staying home. And it's Thanksgiving. Right, Bruno? (WOOFS)
TR (WALT): Thanksgiving is a big snoozefest, kid. You sit around listening to old people yak about their backache and their bum knees and their lumbago. Come on.
GK: I better ask my parents. (DISTANT SIREN)--
SS (SUGAR): It's the cops!
TR (WALT): Let's go, Sparks. In the car, Lola!
GK: Okay, I'm coming. C'mon, Bruno. (WOOFS)
TR (WALT): Jump in! (CAR DOORS SLAM, SQUEALING TIRES, SIREN)
GK: And we went racing away in the Cadillac, fishtailing down the street with the coppers on our tail. (SIREN CLOSER)
TR (WALT): Throw those sharp tacks out on the highway, kid!
GK: This big sack of tacks here?
TR (WALT): That's the one!
GK: So I threw out the tacks and the police cars (TIRES EXPLODING) ran over them and got flat tires and we got as far as Davenport, Iowa, (MOTOR MISSING, SPUTTERING) and we waited around in the Four Leaf Clover Motel for a new distributor head that Sparks ordered from the Cadillac dealer -- and I learned how to play poker.
Tom Keith: My deal-- aces and deuces wild, low man calls, five-dollar lead, no inkles, two down and you're out.
GK: What's this game called?
TK: It's called Spit in the Wind. (DEALING) Two up, two down, and one in the pocket. Dealer goes first. (CARD SLAP) Man in the hall. (CARD SLAP) And one for your mother. (CARD) Weiners! (SLAP)
GK: I call. (SLAP) One more behind the door. (SLAP) And one in the oven. (SLAP) Gophers in the woodpile. (SLAP) And walk through the soup. (SLAPS DOWN THREE CARDS)(WOOF)
TR: That's some pretty fancy poker-playing, kid--
TK: Yeah. Not bad for a 13-year-old. (BRIDGE)
GK: The truth was that Bruno was watching their cards and he signalled me by thumping on the floor. (DOG THUMPS LEG, COLLAR JINGLES, PANTING) And so I won a bucket of money.
SS (SUGAR): Let's blow this popstand! I'm sick of it, Walt.
TR: Where's the distributor head, Sparks?
TK: They're driving it up today. Should get it here to Newport by tomorrow morning.
TR: Newport!!!! You told 'em Newport???
TR: It's Davenport. Ya big dummy.
SS: Ohhhhh (SHE SCREAMS A LITTLE SCREAM) -- I can't stand it any longer. I'm getting out. (BANGING ON DOOR)
TR (POLICE, MUFFLED): Police!!! Open up!!!!
TK: Cheese it! The cops!!! (HURRY, FURNITURE SCRAPES, FOOTSTEPS, DOG BARKS)
TR: This way.
SS: C'mon, Carson.
GK: C'mon, Bruno. (WOOF) (HURRY BRIDGE)
GK: We snuck through the weeds and left Davenport on the nine o'clock freight (WHISTLE, TRAIN CLICKCLACK PAST) and we thought it was going to Jacksonville, but actually it was going to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. (COWS)
SS: Get me out of here! I don't want to be in no cowtown.
TR: Don't worry. We got a ton of dough. We'll get a ticket to Brazil. To Sao Paolo. (SALSA BRIDGE)
GK: So we got on the plane but it didn't go to Brazil.
SS (SHIVERING): This ain't Sao Paolo. It's twenty-two degrees out! (STING)
GK: And that's how I wound up in St. Paul. I had forty grand in counterfeit money that I'd won cheating at poker and I spent it on cosmetic surgery--
TR (GERMAN): Look in the mirror, Herr Wyler.
GK: My gosh.
TR (GERMAN): The spitting image of Harry Hooper--
GK: I asked for Gary Cooper! (STING)
TR (GERMAN): Mein Gott... (MUTTERING IN GERMAN)
GK: You've made me into an older heavyset gentleman. I'm only a kid and you've made me sixty-two!!! (STING) It was tough. I had no money and no job skills. Just a wonderful dog. (WOOF) And it was Bruno who led me through the blinding storm that night (BLIZZARD) -- (FOOTSTEPS IN SNOW, SLOW) I can't go any farther-- I'm going to lie down...and sleep...(DOG GROWLS) Bruno kept pushing me to take another step. (BLIZZARD, GROWL) Until I walked into the door of the radio station. (BONK, DOOR OPEN)
SS: Oh thanks goodness -- you've arrived-- the show is supposed to go on in two minutes--
GK: What show?
SS: The five o'clock show-- and the announcer hasn't come yet!
GK: Who are you?
SS: I'm the station manager's daughter.
TR (OLD MAN, APPROACHING): Who is it, Mary? Are we still on the air?
GK: You are as long as I'm here--just show me to the microphone.
SS: It's right there.
SS: You're so strong and calm and confident. (TO HERSELF) My hero.