SS: These are the good years for Jim and me. It's winter, our favorite season because expectations are so low. Nobody expects you to be scintillating in November. You go to a party and you don't have to feel like you're supposed to toss off one witticism after another. People understand if you just stand around and murmur. People understand if you stay home and eat microwave dinners and watch movies. In July, that would qualify as depression. But in the winter, it's just good sense. We watched Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" last night, so of course I couldn't sleep, and I got up for a snack and found Jim, sitting at the kitchen table writing in a notebook (SCRIBBING)-Jim, are you journaling?

TR: It's not a journal, Barb. It's a memoir.

SS: A memoir-why?

TR: I had a flashback yesterday. I remembered a Little League game I pitched when I was eleven years old and I gave up eleven hits in one inning and my own infielders were booing and throwing gravel at me. I hadn't thought of that in years, Barb.

SS: Oh Jim. That's so sad--

TR: It was a formative experience.

SS: Don't brood about it. It was fifty years ago.

TR: Fifty years? You think I was eleven fifty years ago?

SS: Almost fifty years--

TR: I am not sixty-one, Barb.

SS: I know that.

TR: Do I look sixty-one to you?

SS: No, of course not.

TR: I do, don't I.

SS: Oh Jim--

TR: That's another reason for writing a memoir. I want the people who get up and talk at my funeral to have some idea of why I was what I was.

SS: Oh Jim--

TR: I was pitching the best I could and they kept hitting doubles and triples and the coach left me in there. He just left me in. I never pitched again. I thought, "Well, I'll find something that I'm really really good at." And you know something. I never did.

SS: Oh, that's not true. That's just not true.

TR: Well, tell me-- what is it that I'm really good at.

SS: You're good at a lot of things.

TR: Can't think of anything, can you.

SS: You're good to be with.

TR: A companion. A sidekick.

SS: You're nice to be around.

TR: A dog is nice to be around.

SS: You have your moments.

TR: When? Doing what?

SS: I'm thinking.

TR: I'm not good at anything -- and I look like I'm sixty-one years old.

SS: Jim, I wonder if you've been getting enough ketchup.

TR: Oh?

SS: Because ketchup contains natural mellowing agents that help you accept that you have a place in the world, even if you're not a great big deal. Some people are helpers. Like ketchup itself.

These are the good times
They're boffo and they're socko
Here in Minnesota
And also in Morocco
Life is flowing
Like ketchup on your taco.

GK: Ketchup, for the good times

RD: Ketchup, ketchup.