Garrison Keillor: I was twenty-one years when I wrote this song.
I'm twenty-two now but I won't be for long
Time hurries on.
And the leaves that are green turn to brown,
And they wither with the wind,
And they crumble in your hand.
Sue Scott: What are you listening to?
GK: Simon & Garfunkel.
SS: Oh. Are they still around?
GK: Mmmhmm.
SS: Are you going to wear those clothes over to the Stewarts?
GK: I was thinking I would.
SS: (PAUSE) Oh. (BEAT) You don't want to put on a suit?
GK: These are dress jeans.
SS: Your sportcoat just looks sort of like you slept in it. Oh well. (BEAT) Could we make an effort not to talk politics when we're there, especially after he has a couple of drinks?
GK: Okay.
SS: Last time was pretty awful.
GK: All right.
SS: You don't have to respond everytime someone says something disparaging about Hillary Clinton. --- Are you all right?
GK: I'm fine.
SS: Are you sure? You get so moody around Christmas.
GK: I'm fine.
SS: You just seem sad or something.
GK: Well, I'm fine. It's not a problem.
I threw a pebble in a brook
And watched the ripples run away
And they never made a sound.
And the leaves that are green turned to brown.
SS: Do you think I should turn the tree so that ugly part faces the wall? What do you think?
GK: What ugly part?
SS: The big gap between those branches-- there's a huge gaping hole there-- you don't see it?
GK: It looks fine.
SS: It's the most misshapen tree we've ever had. I'm going to complain to the florist. They never sent me one like that before. You pay $150 for a tree, you have a right to expect something without a huge gaping hole in it, don't you? I've done everything I could to cover it--- do you like that cranberry garland?
GK: It's fine.
SS: Are you depressed about something? You're so gloomy. Like you've been standing outside in the snow trying to sell matches to people---
GK: No.
SS: I've got to tell Josh we're leaving. -- Josh? (OFF) Josh, are you upstairs??
Once my heart was filled with the love of a girl.
I held her close, but she faded in the night
Like a poem I meant to write.
And the leaves that are green turn to brown.
SS (SLIGHTLY JADED, COOL TEEN): Oh, excuse me, Mr. Sandstrom. I'm sorry. I thought you'd left.
GK: We're just about to. You must be Josh's girlfriend, Hope.
SS (TEEN): Yes. I'm looking for Josh's room.
GK: It's upstairs, Hope. The one with the Biohazard sign on the door.
SS (TEEN): Oh. Okay. Um, the reason I'm like this is that your dog vomited on my pants so I was going to put these in the washer and Josh was going to lend me one of your bathrobes--
GK: Well, that's fine. No problem.
SS (TEEN): I really love your house. It's so retro. So Eighties. All these posters. So cool.
GK: Well, we try. You know--
SS (TEEN): Well, I better put these pants in the washer then. Goodbye.
Once my heart was filled with the love of a girl.
I held her close, but she faded in the night
Like a poem I meant to write.
And the leaves that are green turn to brown.
SS: I'm going to call the Stewarts and tell them we can't go.
GK: What?
SS: We're not going. Did you see his girlfriend? She's running around here in her underwear--- Josh has a mattress on the floor of the basement. He's burning incense and playing some weird trance-like music-- I'm not leaving when that's going on.
GK: Oh, come on.
SS: All I'll do is worry.
GK: Well, I don't mind staying home. Fine by me. Okay with you, Ruf? (DOG WOOFS) Good dog.
SS: I'll call the Stewarts and say that you're depressed.
GK: Me???
SS: Well, it's the truth.
GK: It's not. I'm just a quiet kind of a guy. It's a thoughtful time of year. I'm listening to an old record that I happen to like.
SS: It's okay. A lot of people get depressed around Christmas. I'll be right back.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come.
It came upon a midnight clear.
And the leaves that are green turn to brown.
SS (TEEN): Oh. You're still here. I found Josh.
GK: Good.
SS (TEEN): Yeah, it's cool. He leant me one of your bathrobes while my jeans are in the wash.
GK: That's good. Ok.
SS (TEEN): I guess we're going to go over to my place.
GK: Oh. You live near here?
SS (TEEN): No, I've got my own place, on the other side of town. My parents live in Amsterdam.
GK: (PAUSE) When you get old, Hope, don't do it the way we do it, okay?
SS (TEEN): What do you mean, Mr. Sandstrom?
GK: Christmas. We go tearing around buying souffle pans or porcelain trivets for people who are not trivet-type people and whose annual souffle output is pretty low, and you know that your gifts are going to wind up in a closet and when your friends go to the nursing home the gifts will go to the Salvation Army and homeless people will be able to pick up a trivet for a quarter.
SS (TEEN): What's a trivet?
GK: You don't want to know, Hope. It's nothing. There's this creeping Martha Stewartization of Christmas, and all these boughs appear and electric candles in every window and Christmas villages that start to sprawl and gingerbread mansions and you open up the medicine chest and find holly among the shaving cream and there are potpourri dishes where there never had been potpourri dishes and one year you decide to make a bouillabaisse with a saffron you have to send away to Bangkok for and you make the broth yourself from fish skeletons and there are things tied up in cheesecloth and mulled millet and chubs and sprats and you cull the fat with a refractor and reduce it in a chafing dish and you set it in front of people and they take a taste and they say, "Oh, it's wonderful!" and it is but it's not Christmas.
SS (TEEN): Bouillabaisse.
GK: Soup. Fish soup.
SS (TEEN): Oh. Right.
GK: Stay away from people who use the word "bouillabaisse," Hope. Stick with the soup people.
SS (TEEN): Oh. Okay. Hey, is this an LP? Cool! What is it?
GK: Just something from my youth. Have a nice Christmas.
Hello, hello, hello, hello,
Good-bye, good-bye, good-bye, goodbye.
That's all there is.
And the leaves that are green turned to brown.