Catchup script
Saturday, April 2, 2005
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Garrison Keillor: ...brought to you by the Ketchup Advisory Board. (MUSIC)

Sue Scott (OLDER, ON PHONE): Hi, honey. It's me. Your mother. Remember?

Tim Russell: Mom. Hi. How are you? How's Dad?

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): Both of us going to hell in a handbasket. You don't want to know. Not a pretty sight. —How are you?

TR: I'm fine.

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): Good. You still working away at those temp jobs?

TR: Mom!!!

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): I'm sorry but I worry about you, Marvin.

TR: Well, I'm okay, so don't. Please.

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): Well, I'm glad you have some kind of a job. I don't care what it is. Just so long as you do the best you can. That's what's important. Whether you're a doctor or a lawyer, or you're a temporary office employee making photocopies for $7 an hour—

TR: Mother, a lot of people in New York work at temp jobs.

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): Marvin, you are not "a lot of people". You're you. And you're forty eight years old, Marvin. But if you don't want me to talk about it, okay, I won't talk about it. So you still living down in the East Village with the six crazy roommates?

TR: Mother— it's three roommates. Okay? Not six. Three.

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): In a studio apartment, that's still a lot of people.

TR: It's a big studio.

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): Four people in one room sounds crowded to me.

TR: We get along fine.

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): Marvin, you're forty-eight, you couldn't get your own apartment?

TR: Mom, I don't know why we're having this conversation. I'm a grown person, Mom.

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): That's exactly my point.

TR: Could we talk about something else?

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): Are you still doing that theater thing out there?

TR: It's not a "thing", mom, but yes, I am.

SS: (OLDER, ON PHONE) You have another little show coming up soon?

TR: Actually, I'm up for a part in a play that I auditioned for last week and then I got called back, so I think maybe I've got it. It's a theater workshop called the Jane Street Studio.

SS: "Workshop"—

TR: A theater workshop, yes.

SS: "Workshop" means you don't get paid, right?

TR: (SIGH)

SS: Your father has a workshop in the basement, Marvin. He makes birdhouses there. Nobody pays him but it isn't the whole point of his life either.

TR: (SIGH)

SS: (OLDER, ON PHONE): These roommates of yours — they're all men, right?

TR: Yes, they are.

SS: (OLDER, ON PHONE): It might be nice to have a girl roommate, Marvin. You ever think of that? You know girls, don't you?

TR: Yes, Mother. I have friends who are women.

SS: You have girlfriends?

TR: I'm not involved with anybody right now, Mother. I don't have time for it.

SS: Okay, okay. I won't interfere. It's your life. —I saw Bill the other day downtown. Your old classmate, Bill. He's thinking about retirement. He's the CEO of his own company. He asked me, "How's Marvin?" "Fine," I said. He said, "He's not still out there in New York, is he?" I said, "Of course not, Marvin left New York long ago." He said, "You couldn't get me to live there if you held a gun to my head. Which is more likely to happen if you live in New York." I said, "No, Marvin got a big job writing for a TV series. He's in L.A., pulling down money hand over fist. We're all proud of him."

TR: I wish you hadn't done that, Mom.

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): I just want to be proud of you, Marvin. Can't you see that? I'm an old lady. I want to be proud. I'd like to have a child I can point to and say, "Look at that. Isn't he something?" That's all I want. And that's all your Dad wants. He's 75 and he's losing his marbles, Marvin. A few more years and he won't even know who you are.

TR: Okay, Mom. I'll give up New York and I'll come home and I'll get a job and I'll buy a house and I'll marry anybody you pick out for me.

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): Don't do it for me, Marvin. Do it for yourself. All I want is for you to be happy, that's all.

TR: I am happy.

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): You are?

TR: I am. I love New York. I love theater. Maybe I'll never get anywhere with it but I still love it. I'm sorry, but I do.

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): Then that's what you should do.

TR: You don't want me to come back?

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): No. Not if you're happy.

TR: Well, I am.

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): Marvin?

TR: Yes?

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): Marvin, how can you be happy working temp jobs for twenty-five years and living with roommates and spending your time doing things nobody pays you for? How, honey? —

TR: I make sure to get plenty of ketchup, Mom.

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): Ketchup?

TR: Ketchup is filled with natural mellowing agents, Mom, that help a person achieve contentment, even though he isn't a big success and he doesn't have a car or a big house or even a small house. Ketchup.

SS (OLDER, ON PHONE): I just don't understand it.

TR: Maybe you're not getting enough ketchup, Mom. (PIANO)

Rich Dworsky (SINGS): Springtime is coming, life is like a hot kiss.
Love is in the air — there's no one you would not kiss.
Life is flowing, like ketchup on your latkes.

RD: Ketchup, ketchup, ketchup.

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»

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