Rhubarb
Saturday, June 14, 1997
Listen

.....brought to you by Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.

It's June, (BIRDS), it's beautiful, it's green, life is calling to you (SS: Hi big boy) and there you are trapped in your tiny work cubicle (TR SIGH) at the Associated Federation of Organizations (TYPEWRITER, SLOW), writing memos that nobody in their right mind would ever read (TR LANGUISHING SIGH), looking at cartoons pinned to the wall and a picture of your wife (SS: Loser) and meanwhile life is out there waiting to be lived, gorgeous and primitive (JUNGLE CREATURES) ---- life (BIRD CRY)....and you're stuck writing garbage (TR DRONE: ....the need to prioritize the implementation of the horizontal integration of new technologies into the.....) and one of your fellow workers walks by and looks at you and laughs (TK CRUEL LAUGHTER). A bad day, and at last (KLAXON) the five o'clock whistle.....(MARCHING FEET)....and the elevators fill up (WEARY EMBITTERED VOICES) with disgruntled office workers in their shabby white shirts, their pallid complexions, their tiny anxious eyes, their arms twitching from repetitive stress......and one of them laughs at you. (SS LAUGHTER) and you feel humiliated as you walk to the peon parking lot and get into your 1976 Toyota (CAR STARTING HARD, MISSING, BELCHING) and you wend your way home (CAR ACCEL) through freeways jammed with psychopaths (SWERVE. TR; Hey! HONK TR: Jerk!) and you get home and your wife is there (SS DULLY: Hi. TR: Hi.) and your teenage son looks at you and laughs cruelly (TK TEEN LAUGHTER) and your heart sinks, but you change out of your prison clothes (TR SIGH OF RELIEF) and into your plaid shorts (JUNGLE DRUM RIFF) and your tank top (STRIPPER DRUM RIFF) and suddenly you're a new man (TR TARZAN CRY) and you step into the backyard and you can feel the eyes of neighbor women on you (DRUM RIFF), you can see curtains part, you can see the reflections of binoculars (DRUM RIFF) and you start up your power mower (MOWER START AND REV) and you mow your back yard (FAST BACK AND FORTH MOWING FROM FIXED PERSPECTIVE) and when it's done, you go to get the rake, but you leave the mower in gear (MOWER PITCH RISES, TR CRY OF ALARM) and it takes off ----through the yard (CHICKEN FLURRY) and through the back door (CRUNCH) and down the hall (TK TEEN: Dad!) and across living room carpet (MOWING, CAT MEOW) and out the front door (GLASS BREAKAGE) and across the front lawn (MOWER ACCEL) and it knocks the fire hydrant off the curb (BWANG, GEYSER OF WATER) and water is shooting a hundred feet into the air and finally after the firemen (SHOUTS) have come and shut off the valve (RATCHET, GRUNTS OF EFFORT) and the water is slowed to a trickle (DRIPS), you walk into the wreckage of your home. (SS: You're an embarrassment, Todd. TR: I'm sorry. I'll clean it up. I promise. SS: It's not the house. It's you, Todd. TR: What about me? SS: There's a bran flake. It's stuck to your cheek.) And you look at yourself in the mirror. (TR: Oh my gosh.) You've had food stuck to your face. (TR: I ate that for breakfast.) It's been there all day. (TR: All day....a bran flake....on my face. And nobody told me.) It's at times like that, you want a piece of Bebopareebop Rhubarb Pie. Yes, nothing gets the taste of fear out of your mouth like rhubarb pie.

But one little thing can revive a guy,
And that is a piece of rhubarb pie.
Serve it up, nice and hot,
Maybe things aren't as bad as you thought.

DUET:
Mama's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb,
Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.
Mama's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb,
Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.

© 1997 by 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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