St. Paul, City of Ambiguity
Saturday, October 2, 2004


GK: Shadows lengthen on the high bluff of the upper Mississippi, in a city known to few Americans—join us now as we explore...St. Paul, City of Ambiguity. (MISTERIOSO THEME)


SS: Do you know how to get there?

TR: Yes, I know how to get there. I've studied the map and I know exactly where I'm going. (CAR ACCEL, INTERIOR CAR AMBIENCE)

SS: I hope it's not like the last time we went over to St. Paul.

TR: Okay, okay—

SS: St. Paul is not like Minneapolis, honey.

TR: Look. Don't worry.

SS: Streets in St. Paul—there's no system. None.

TR: Elaine, please.

SS: That's why I gave you that onboard computer for your birthday.


SS: With the global positioning system. So we could go to St. Paul. Why don't you use it?

TR: For a trip over to St. Paul? I don't need a computer!

SS: Please—

TR: I don't need it. I've lived in the Twin Cities all my life. I know St. Paul. (BEEPS) Oh for heaven's sake.

TK (ROBOT): Go north two blocks.

TR: I don't need it. We're only going to St. Paul.

TK (ROBOT): Go north two blocks.

TR: Turn it off.

TK (ROBOT): Do not turn off computer.

SS: Please. Remember the last time—


TK (ROBOT): Turn right in one tenth of one mile on Eleanor Avenue.

SS: St. Paul is so strange. You go by Ford Parkway, then Pinehurst, then Highland, then Eleanor—In Minneapolis, you'd have Eleanor, Ford, Glenhurst, Highland, Iglehart, and so forth—

TK (ROBOT): Ford is not after Eleanor. Scheffer is after Eleanor and then Bayard and Hartford.

SS: I was only trying to make a point.

TK (ROBOT): Don't confuse the computer.

TR: Why is that red light blinking?

TK (ROBOT): You went past your turn. You must turn around and go back.

TR: I don't have to turn around— I'll just turn right here and go around the block.

TK (ROBOT): Make a U-turn and go back one block to Eleanor.

TK: I'll just turn here—

TK (ROBOT): Do not turn here.

SS: Why not do what the computer says?

TR: I know what I'm doing. (BRAKES, CAR HONKING BEHIND)

TK (ROBOT): I told you not to turn here.

TR: We'll just go to the end of the block and turn right—

SS: Why is it that you can't bear to take directions? Why?

TK (ROBOT) : She's right you know.

TR: I don't know what you're talking aboutů

TK (ROBOT): You hear but you don't listen.

SS: See what I mean? Even the computer knows.

TR: It doesn't know anything. It's a computer!

TK (ROBOT): An inboard computer.

TR: You know, if everyone would just shut up and let me drive, we'd be there in two minutes.

TK (ROBOT): Forty-two minutes.

SS: You are going the wrong way—you insist on pushing ahead—and you get angry at people who disagree with you. Maybe you ought to be President.

TK (ROBOT): Good point.

TR: Just stay out of this, would you? I know where I'm going.

TK (ROBOT): Okay, genius. I'm shutting myself down.

(BEEP. SEVERAL BEEPS) (VOICE SLOWING, FALLING) Good luck ...on finding...your way. Bye.

TR: See— I'm turning right and Eleanor is going to be right up here and—

SS: This isn't Eleanor. It's Arundel.

TR: Arundel! I thought Arundel was up around Avon and Grotto. What's going on?

SS: Why is this block so dark? There aren't any streetlights—(OMINOUS TWILIGHT-ZONE MUSIC) I knew we should have stayed in Minneapolis.

TR: Just calm down.

SS: In Minneapolis, you've got Aldrich, Bryant, Colfax, Dupont, Emerson, Fremont, Girard, Humboldt, Irving— you don't suddenly throw an Osceola in there just for the heck of it.

TR: We seem to be in a forest.

SS: It's so dark. (JUNGLE SOUNDS OUT THERE, BIRDS, APES, ETC) There are things moving out there.

TR: It's okay.

SS: It's not okay. Turn the computer on. Please.


SS: What's wrong?

TR: I don't know. (BEEPS) How do you turn this thing on

TK (ROBOT): I can't help you. I'm asleep.

TR: Please— help us— we're lost—

TK (ROBOT): Okay (BEEPS) As long as you put it that way.

SS: Where are we?

TK (ROBOT): You are in a time warp.

TR: What?

TK (ROBOT): It's 1987.

SS: What? What did the computer say?

TR (TEEN): It's the Eighties, Elaine.

SS (TEEN): The Eighties???? We have to go through the Eighties again?

TR (TEEN): If it's the Eighties, we're not married.

SS (TEEN): I knew this was a mistake.

TR (TEEN): You knew what was a mistake?

SS (TEEN): Coming to St. Paul. Now it's twenty years ago and we're going to have to go through all of that all over again.

TR (TEEN): Maybe we don't have to.

SS (TEEN): What do you mean?

TR (TEEN): I don't know.

SS (TEEN): You don't want to marry me?

TR (TEEN): Do I have to?

SS (TEEN): What does that mean?

TR (TEEN): I'm not sure.


SS (TEEN): Maybe we better stay in the car.

TR (TEEN): Why?

SS (TEEN): What if we go in the house and there's a lot of people and something happens and one of us meets someone else and —

TR (TEEN): You want to stay in the car?

SS (TEEN): I don't know. I don't know what I want or who I am. Why did we come?


GK: St. Paul, City of Ambiguity. Shadows fall and the lights dim as we walk the streets of St. Paul. Jefferson, Juliet, Palace, James, Juno, Kenneth, Cleveland, Finn, Vandalia. Cretin.

SS: Cretin?

GK: Cretin. St. Paul, City of Ambiguity.


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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