The New Economy
Saturday, September 25, 2004
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(DRUM ROLL)

(MOUTH TRUMPETS)

SS: THE... NEW... ECONOMY! (TK & TR ECHO, REPEAT...."THE... NEW... ECONOMY")

GK: The American economy is in a state of change and things that we used to assume, like high wages and job security and a pension, may no longer be true. To learn how to cope with new conditions, we may need to study former periods of history to see how people lived under similar conditions in the past.

TR: (BANGS STAFF ON FLOOR FIVE TIMES) Lord Chamberlain, come here. (LONG SERIES OF FOOTSTEPS)

TK: Your Excellency, Beneficent Ruler, Source of All Wisdom and Light, My Lord, My Liege.

TR: Send away that secretary and bring me another secretary. A fresh secretary. One with bouncier hair and sparkling eyes. This one, her eyes no longer sparkle. The sparkle is gone. Send this one to the scullery and bring me a fresh one. And also fresh coffee. This coffee no longer excites me. I wish coffee that makes me tremble and perspire.

TK: Yes, Sire. Fresh coffee. Immediately. (LONG SERIES OF FOOTSTEPS. CREAKING DOOR OPEN, SHUT)

TR: (A LONG SIGH) Why must I manage everything myself? Every little detail? (CREAKING DOOR OPENS, SHUTS. SERIES OF FOOTSTEPS)

TK: Your Excellency, Beneficent Ruler, Source of All Wisdom and Light, we prostrate ourselves before your majesty.

TR: Whom have you brought me, Lord Chamberlain?

TK: A new secretary, my Lord. One with sparkling eyes.

SS: (HIGH TINKLY LAUGHTER)

TR: Hmmmmm.

TK: Very bouncy hair, my Lord.

SS: (SMALL CRIES OF DELIGHT AS SHE TOSSES HER HEAD)

TR: Yes, but can she dance on her desk on her tippy-toes?

TK: Yes, my Lord. UP ON THE DESK, WENCH. DANCE. (CRACK OF WHIP) (DANCING FEET, SS CRIES OF DELIGHT) See, my Lord?

TR: Yes. hmmmmm— But does her voice sing when she answers the telephone?

TK: Yes, my Lord. ANSWER THE TELEPHONE, WENCH. (CRACK OF WHIP) (TELEPHONE) (PICK UP)

SS (SINGING): Office of His Excellency, How May I Direct Your Call?

TR: All right. But if I catch any dullness in your eyes, you'll be feeding the hogs, you hear me?

SS: Yes, sire.

TR: Which reminds me. Get me some new hogs. The old ones are filthy.(MOUTH TRUMPETS)

GK: A good attitude is a prerequisite for employment. People who don't have a good attitude can't expect to be employed. People with a poor attitude will become lepers and sit cross-legged begging in the square.

(KEENING AND WHINING)

SS (OLD): Alms for the poor. A crumb, please? A penny... a farthing... please, sir, have pity.

TR: Don't touch my shoes! HEAR ME? Keep your fingers off my shoes.

SS (OLD): I was only wanting to touch the tassel, sire.

TR: Do not touch the tassels on my shoes. How many times must I tell you (FADES, GRUMBLING)

GK: People who attempt to foment dissatisfaction among the peons, serfs, and minions will be dealt with severely.

TK (COCKNEY): It ain't fair. We work our fingers to the bone! We deserve something too!

TR: TO THE STOCKS WITH HIM! (REPEATED. TO THE STOCKS, TO THE STOCKS)

TK: TIE HIM IN THE STOCKS.

TR: BRING THE DEAD FISH AND ROTTEN FRUIT AND THE DUNG! (REPEAT: BRING THE DUNG) (HURLING DEAD FISH) Shame! Fie on you! Fie and double fie! (MOUTH TRUMPETS)

TR: Lord Chamberlain!!! (BANGS STAFF ON FLOOR FIVE TIMES) Lord Chamberlain!!!! (SERIES OF FOOTSTEPS)

SS: Excellency, Beneficent Ruler, Source of All Wisdom and Light, My Lord, My Liege.

TR: I called for the Lord Chamberlain. Who are you?

SS: I am your secretary, sire. Remember? (CRIES OF DELIGHT AS SHE TOSSES HER HAIR)

TR: Oh. Right. Where is the Lord Chamberlain?

SS: He was banished to the swine barn, your excellency.

TR: He was? By whom?

SS: By you, sire.

TR: Oh. Yes. Right. Why?

SS: His attitude was poor. He became gloomy.

TR: Oh. Right. Then perhaps you can do this. I'm sick of the wailing and weeping of the beggars and supplicants in the streets. They disgust me.

SS: Yes, your Excellency.

TR: Take them away in a truck somewhere. And bring me a new wine. This one no longer interests me. I want a fresh and ebullient wine. An insouciant wine.

SS: Fresh and ebullient, sire.

TR: And don't forget insouciance. And bring me a new sword. This one is too heavy. I can't swish it around the way I like to. I want a swishier sword. This is a big old clunky sword. I want a swishy one.

SS: This sword doesn't look clunky to me. It looks very swishy. See? (SWISHES) Even I can swish it. (THWOP) Oh dear. I didn't mean to do that.

TR: You've cut my hair off. (GASP OF HORROR) My scalp—it's bleeding. You've scalped me. My hair is gone. (HIS VOICE GETS SMALLER, WEAKER) My beautiful hair is all gone. Ohhhhhhhhhhh.

SS: My Lord?

TR (SMALL HIGH VOICE): I can't lift my arms. I can't walk. Oh my goodness me. I've become terribly weak, almost inert. I'm like a little tiny sparrow. Help!(SMALL WEAK VOICE) Help!

GK: Don't be surprised by unexpected outcomes. Stuff happens. Today's emperor is tomorrow's whipping boy. And even that job isn't secure.

SS: Minion???? Come here.

TK: Your excellency...

SS: Bring me a new whipping boy, this one is no fun anymore. (TR WHINING AND SNIVELLING) Bring me a fresh whipping boy. A big strong one I can hit really hard. This one is too swishy. (TR SNIVELLING)

GK: Lessons from the past, here on The New Economy. (ELABORATE MOUTH TRUMPETS)

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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