Sunbrite Drive-Through Counseling
Saturday, June 1, 1996

GK:....brought to you by your local SunBrite Drive-Through Counseling.

SS (SPEAKER): Yes, may I help you?

TR: I'm despondent, I can't sleep at night, and I am tortured by irrational anxieties that my eyeballs are falling out.

SS (SPEAKER): Okay. Do you want plain counselling or do you want drugs with that?

TR: Just counselling, thanks.

SS (SPEAKER): Counselling? Do you want the $1.79, the $2.59, or the $3.89?

TR: Uh. The $1.79.

SS (SPEAKER): Okay.

TR: No. Wait. The $2.59.

SS (SPEAKER): Very good. Would you like a small pamphlet with that or just the counseling?

TR: What kind of pamphlet?

SS (SPEAKER): We have one on despondency, one on sleeplessness, and one on eyeball loss.

TR: No thanks.

SS (SPEAKER): Just the counseling?

TR: Yes.

SS (SPEAKER): Okay. Your total is three dollars and eighteen cents. Please pull forward to Window No. 3. And thank you for coming to Drive-Through Counselling.

TR: Okay. (CAR PULL AHEAD SLOWLY, AND STOP. PAUSE. TR HEAVY BREATH, SIGH. PAUSE.)

TK (SPEAKER): You the guy with the despondency, the insomnia, and the fear of eyeball loss?

TR: Yes.

TK: Shape up, okay? Quit feeling sorry for yourself. Everybody's got problems, you're not the only one. Get a life. Okay? Get over it. Okay? Now get out of here.

TR: That's all.

TK: That's it.

TR: Could I have the $3.89 instead?

TK: Huh?

TR: You gave me the $2.59. I'd like the $3.89.

TK: You'll have to drive around and go through the line again.

TR: Okay. (CAR ROARS AWAY, CORNERS, ACCELERATES, BRAKES, AND CORNERS, ACCELERATES, BRAKES. STOP.)

SS (SPEAKER): Yeah?

TR: Despondency. Want the $3.89. No drugs. No pamphlets.

SS (SPEAKER): Okay. Go to window number 3. (CAR PULLS FORWARD. STOPS. PAUSE.)

TK (SPEAKER): You're depressed right now and that's a natural process, it's your body's way of creating a new agenda, so what you want to do is give yourself permission to be in a safe place and know that you're entitled to your feelings and to let go of them at your own speed. And take care of yourself.

TR: That's it?

TK: That's it. You want drugs?

TR: Okay. Give me some drugs.

TK: Here's a couple aspirin.

TR: Thanks.

GK: Sunbrite Drive-Through Counselling.

© 1996 Garrison Keillor

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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