Saturday, January 22, 2000
(GK: Garrison Keillor, SS: Sue Scott, TK: Tom Keith, TR: Tim Russell, RD: Rich Dworsky)
SS: Mr. Baker? I'm Dr. Able. I'm filling in for Dr. Charlie today. What seems to be your problem? Says here you're feeling bad.
TR: Well, I lay down last night, turning from side to side, I was not sick, just dissatisfied.
SS: I see. Were you sleeping on a pallet on the floor?---
TR: No. We have a regular queen-sized bed.
SS: Who's "we," Mr. Baker?
TR: My sweet baby.
SS: So you lay down to sleep---- when you woke up, did you have shackles on your feet?
TR: Twenty-nine links of chain and on each link an initial of my name.
SS: Sounds like the blues to me. Your water---Did it taste like turpentine?
TR: I don't drink water. Just coffee.
SS: Did it taste like turpentine?
TR: Yes, as a matter of fact it did.
SS: Let me ask you about your baby. Does she have lowdown ways? Any lowdown ways you're hoping she'll change?
TR: No. No lowdown ways. She's Methodist.
SS: Or mistreatin ways? She have any of those?
TR: We went through family counselling and we learned how to work through her mistreatin ways.
SS: Good. So she doesn't cause you to weep and cause you to moan?
TR: She causes me to moan a little bit.
SS: How often do you moan? Once in awhile? Often? Every night?
TR: Every evening when the sun goes down.
SS: Mr. Baker, I'm going to read you some statements and you tell me if they're true or false, okay?
SS: Do you feel like laying your head on some lonesome railroad line and let the 2:19 ease your troubled mind?
TR: No, I don't.
SS: Was the longest train you ever saw sixteen coaches long and the gal you love was on that train and gone?
TR: No, I've seen trains a lot longer than that.
SS: Let me get some of your family history. Your mama?
TR: She's an old mama lion.
SS: Your daddy?
TR: He's an engineer.
SS: Your brother?
TR: Drives a hack.
SS: Your sister?
TR: Takes in washing.
SS: And the baby?
TR: Balls the jack.
SS: I see. You're not a railroad man yourself, are you?
TR: I'm an accountant.
SS: So you haven't been having some hard travelling, way down the road?
TR: No, I've been staying at home for the most part.
SS: Have you been to see another doctor about this?
TR: I went down to the St. James Infirmary.
TR: I felt like I was fixin' to die.
SS: So it's the pure blues. You feel lonely.
TR: I'd rather be dead and in my grave than to be in this town and treated this way.
SS: Well, let me say this, Mr. Baker. You're troubled in mind. And you're blue. But you won't be blue always. The sun's going to shine in your back door someday.
TR: What is that supposed to mean?
SS: It means: Go to bed, lay down, try not to turn from side to side, and give me a call in the morning.
(PIANO BUTTON: ROCKING BLUES CHORUS)
(c) 2000 by Garrison Keillor