Tim Russell: These are the good years for Barb and me. Another Christmas under the bridge. I squeezed the air out of our inflatable Santa and put him back in the box. We ordered General Tsao's Seven Joys of Turkey and a box of pumpkin dumplings and then we slept through most of it and then woke up when the phone rang. It was our kids. Thank goodness for caller ID. They left a long message about forgiveness and believe me if we'd answered the phone it would've been one of those long conversations when your ear falls asleep. Which I did then, and woke up hearing Barb weeping. (SOBS) Barb, honey-what's wrong?
Sue Scott: I just feel like such a failure. Every New Year's I make some resolution, and I never stick with it. And here I am, staring down this long staircase of abandoned hopes and dreams. (SOBS)
TR: Maybe your resolutions are too vague, Barb. Resolutions like "Be a nicer person." Or "Lose some weight, sometime." It's hard to gauge success.
SS: Oh great. Now you think I'm a failure, too.
TR: You just need to be more specific. Like, "I'm going to lose three inches from my waist by March 14."
SS: So you're saying I'm fat, huh? Well, look who's talking!
TR: Barb. It was only an example.
SS: I got pretty specific last year, I made a resolution to read Jane Austen and I got about fifty pages in and stopped and I got so stressed that I couldn't finish it that I ate about fifty pounds of shortbread. And went off to change my hair style, which is hideous by the way.
TR: I kind of like it.
SS: Oh, please. I look like an electrocuted groundhog.
TR: Yu're being too hard on yourself, Barb.
SS: Easy for you to say.
TR: I never expect anything. And when you never expect anything, you'll never be disappointed.
SS: Oh please. That's so depressing.
TR: Resolutions create unrealistic expectations that can only let us down.
SS: So you're saying that we are powerless to change.
TR: Yes. I believe we are in the grip of fate and we may as well just relax and go with it.
SS: But I want to live! Truly live! Take big risks! I want to sing from the treetops! I want to take up the bassoon! I want to walk at least three blocks a day! I want to start a mulch pile in the back yard.
TR: I wonder if you've been getting enough ketchup, Barb.
TR: Ketchup contains natural mellowing agents that help you feel ok with how things are now. So we don't need to start down that slippery slope of self-improvement that can only end in despair.
SS: Isn't that a little dramatic?
TR: I'm just looking out for you, Barb.
Rich Dworsky (SINGS):
These are the good times
The dawn finally breaks
Our hearts at last are open
Our inner selves awake
Life is flowing
Like ketchup on fruitcake
Garrison Keillor: Ketchup, for the good times.
RD: Ketchup, ketchup.