Bats
Saturday, October 21, 2000
Listen

(GK: Garrison Keillor, SS: Sue Scott, TK: Tom Keith, TR: Tim Russell)

(MUSIC)

 

SS: Are you awake?

 

GK: Mmmhmm.

 

SS: You were asleep a minute ago.

 

GK: I didn't know that.

 

SS: I was just going to wake you up.

 

GK: What for?

 

SS: I thought you wanted to be together tonight.

 

GK: Oh-----

 

SS: I mean, you said, "Let's have dinner and come home and go to bed."

 

GK: Right.

 

SS: Well, here we are.

 

GK: I thought you said you were tired.

 

SS: I am. A little tired. I didn't mean I was exhausted.

 

GK: Well, fine. Good.

 

SS: Did you have a nice evening?

 

GK: I did.

 

SS: Do you enjoy going out to dinner, just the two of us?

 

GK: I do.

 

SS: You don't wish there were other people there, so you'd have somebody to talk to?

 

GK: No. Was I quiet tonight?

 

 

SS: Compared to what?

 

GK: Sorry.

 

TR (ECHO): Take her clothes off and make love to her, ya big dummy.

 

GK: Dad, would you shut up?

 

TR (ECHO): Do your job. How many times do I have to tell you?

 

GK: Dad, I don't need your help.

 

TR (ECHO): What do you think she wore that negligee to bed for, huh? Use your noggin. Reach over and pull that thing off her and do what a man's supposed to do.

 

SS: Do you love me?

 

GK: I do. I'm crazy about you.

 

SS: Are you?

 

GK: I'm crazy about you.

 

SS: There's something in here.

 

GK: What? What are you talking about?

 

SS: A bat. It's flying around. You hear it?

 

GK: I don't hear anything.

 

SS: I'm sure it's a bat.

 

GK: I don't hear it.

 

SS: Maybe it got tired and landed. Maybe it's hanging from the ceiling.

 

GK: Maybe it found a way out.

 

SS: Would you mind getting up and seeing if it's here?

 

GK: I thought we were going to make love.

 

SS: I can't make love with a bat flying around.

 

GK: It's not hurting anything.

 

SS: Just turn on the light and see if it's around. Okay? ----Okay?

 

GK: And then what?

 

SS: Then get it out of here.

 

GK: I'm not even sure there is one. Maybe it was something else.

 

TR (REVERB): You big chicken.

 

GK: Dad---- go away.

 

TR: Get your butt out of bed and get a bag and grab that bat and get it out of here. You heard me. Do it.

 

GK: Dad, I'm 55 years old, I can manage my own life, okay? Butt out.

 

TR: I never saw anything like it. A grown man scared of a bat.

 

GK: I am not!

 

TR: What's wrong with a man that he's too scared to get up out of bed and take care of a bat so he can do his manly duty to his wife, for crying out loud? Get up and do it. You hear me? And then come back to bed and tear that negligee off her.

 

GK: Go away Dad. You've been dead for twenty years. So stop bothering me.

 

SS: Please. Turn on the light. So I know it's not hanging from the light fixture. Okay?

 

GK: Just take it easy. It's only a bat.

 

SS: Well, I don't know about you but I am not going to just lie here, knowing there's a bat in here!

 

GK: Honey. It's nothing to get excited about.

 

TR: 1941, I didn't hide my head under the covers when Tojo and Hitler came a-knocking. Went in the Army. We all did. Every mother's son. Shipped over to North Africa. Won a Purple Heart at Tobruk. Another one at Anzio. Went to England for R&R and when they asked for volunteers I raised my hand and I was in the second boat that hit Omaha Beach. Fought through the hedgerows of Normandy. Cross the Rhine. Aachen. The Battle of the Bulge. Met a lot of women and between you and me, I didn't disappoint a single one of them, and if we had a problem with bats, you know what we did?

 

GK: No, I don't.

 

TR: Used a flame-thrower. (MASSIVE THRUST OF PROPELLED FLAME). There. That took care of the problem. Impressed the ladies, too.

 

SS: Just turn on the light, will you?

 

GK: I don't understand the big emergency, I really don't. (BAT FLIES OVER)

 

SS: Did you hear that?

 

GK: Hear what? (BAT FLIES OVER)

 

SS: That.

 

GK: Okay, okay. So it's a bat. Just lie still and don't get him all riled up. Eventually he'll land and then ----

 

SS: And then what?

 

GK: And then---- I'm going to tear the negligee off your beautiful body and-----

 

SS: With a bat flying around?

 

GK: They can't see anything.

 

SS: I am not going to lie here with a bat----

 

GK: You give me a chance, I think I can make you forget all about that bat-----

 

SS: I don't know what you're talking about----

 

TR: You ever operate a howitzer? Probably not, being a draft dodger. Let me show you.

 

GK: Dad, I don't need a gun.

 

TR: It's something a guy needs to know. Here's the safety (CLICK, THUNK) ----- here's the scope (SFX) ---- you just drop the shell down here like this ---- (SFX, THEN EXPLOSION)---- (BAT FLIES PAST) Darn. Missed him.

 

GK: Dad, get this out of here.

 

SS: If you don't get up and turn on the light and get that bat out of here, I'm going to call the police. I mean it. Or the fire department. I'm going to call 911. I am not going to lie here and (BAT FLIES PAST) --- (SHE SCREAMS)----

 

GK: Just take it easy. Bats don't bite, they don't do any harm whatsoever.

 

SS: Then if they don't do any harm whatsoever, why don't you catch him and throw him out of here ????

 

TR: Yeah. Bat dodger. Lying there in bed wishing it'd just go away, aren't you? Well, if we'd just lay around wishing Hitler'd go away back in 1941, you'd be speaking German right now, mister.

 

GK: Sergeant York!

 

TK: Yes sir!

 

GK: Give me a hand grenade.

 

TK: Yes sir!

 

GK: Take the pin out, Sergeant.

 

TK: Yes, sir! (WHISK OF PIN) Pin is out, sir.

 

GK: Over the top and everybody, heads down! (FLIGHT OF GRENADE, EXPLOSION) (PAUSE) (BAT FLIES BY) Give me that machine gun, Sergeant.

 

TK: Yes, sir. There you are, sir. One hundred rounds, loaded, sir.

 

GK: Okay. Cover me, Sergeant. I'm going up. (FOUR CLIMBING STEPS) (ROUND OF MACHINE GUN FIRE) (FOUR DESCENDING STEPS) There. Got him.

 

TK: You got him, sir. Dead to rights, sir. (BAT FLIES OVER)

 

GK: Must be more than one of them.

 

TK: Must be a whole cadre of bats, sir.

 

GK: Bring up the rocket launcher, Sergeant.

 

TK: LAUNCH CREW TO THE FRONT LINE! (repeat order, series) ROCKET CREW, PREPARE TO LAUNCH. (repeat, series) Rockets ready to launch, sir.

 

GK: Launch the rockets, Sergeant.

 

TK: ROCKETS READY! AND FIRE! (EIGHT ROCKETS FIRE IN SUCCESSION, PAUSE, THEN EIGHT DISTANT EXPLOSIONS)

 

GK: Inform headquarters that the enemy has been destroyed in this sector, Sergeant.

 

TK: I'd rather you tell her, sir.

 

GK: Okay. ---- I think he's gone, honey.

 

SS: Nonsense. He's probably hanging from the light fixture.

 

GK: He's gone. And I'm going to take off all my clothes. And after I take off my clothes, I'm going to rip your negligee off you and-----(BAT FLIES BY) (SHE SHUDDERS IN HORROR)

 

SS: Would you mind doing something!!!!???? In two minutes, I swear, I am going to call 911 and get somebody over here who can deal with this. Please.

 

GK: Sergeant York, the radio-telephone.

 

TK: Yes, sir.

 

GK: Get me division headquarters.

 

TK: Yes, sir. (RINGING HAND CRANK) Division headquarters, sir.

 

GK: Division headquarters, this is Charlie Company. Calling in air strikes on quadrant 14, sector red 4. (VOICE AT OTHER END) Yes, immediately. (VOICE AT OTHER END) Yes. Give it everything you've got. (HANG UP) They're scrambling right now, Sergeant, they'll be overhead in approximately a minute. The 115th Wing. Tell the men to take cover.

 

TK: Yes, sir. (RUNNING AWAY) (YELLING IN DISTANCE, "Everybody down," "Take cover," etc.)

 

TR (JOHN WAYNE): You did a brave thing there, son.

 

GK: Sir? Sir, I didn't know you were here--- Sir---

 

TR (JOHN WAYNE): Thought I'd mosey over and see how you were doing. I've had to deal with bats and I know what it's like. And I know your daddy would be proud of you.

 

GK: You think he would?

 

TR (JOHN WAYNE): I know he would. (PLANES IN DISTANCE) Up there, a bunch of guys in bombers who you and I will never meet. Guys from Brooklyn and Omaha and Shreveport and Seattle and Atlanta, guys with names like Olson and Siegelman and Smith and Running Cloud and Schwartzkopf who can't wait to get back to their best girl and take her to the movies and put an arm around her. But not until these bats are taught a lesson they'll never forget. (PLANES DRONING CLOSER) You and me better find us a foxhole, son. (BOMBS FALLING, PLANES FLY AWAY. SILENCE)

 

GK: Captain?

 

TR (JOHN WAYNE): What is it, son?

 

GK: You think that bat's gone now?

 

TR (JOHN WAYNE): Reckon so.

 

GK: You think she wants to make love with me?

 

TR (JOHN WAYNE): Are you kidding?

 

GK: She said she was tired.

 

TR (JOHN WAYNE): You know how to disengage a negligee, son?

 

GK: Yes, sir.

 

TR (JOHN WAYNE): Then I'm giving you an order, son. Get in there and take that beach head.

 

GK: Yes, sir.

 

SS: Are you going to turn on the light or am I?

 

GK: There's no need. It's gone. I took care of it.

 

SS: You took care of it?

 

GK: It's gone. Don't worry about it.

 

SS: How can it be gone?

 

GK: It is. Hold me.

 

SS: But---- (HEROIC ROMANTIC THEME, RISES)

 

GK: Just hold me. Don't talk right now. Okay? Let me just say this. It's a beautiful world, baby, even with all the violence and hatred, but it's a world that doesn't care about us, so we have to care about us, and we have to take hold of whatever love we can get and I'm crazy about you, I'm wild about you…..(RIP)

 

SS: Chuck?

 

GK: What?

 

SS: Why are you wearing boots? In bed? What is this rifle doing here?

 

GK: Hold me. And just for a moment, let's pretend there's nobody in this crazy world but just you and me, okay?

 

SS: Oh Chuck…..

 

GK: Just us.

 

SS: I love you.

 

GK: I love you.

 

SS: Do you?

 

GK: I'm crazy about you.

 

SS: Are you?

 

GK: Yes.

 

SS: Oh Chuck….Oh yes….Yes, yes….Yes.

 

(BAT FLIES BY. GUNSHOT) (MUSIC RISES TO PLAY OFF)

 

(c) 2000 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).

Available now»

American Public Media © |   Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy