Rhubarb script
Saturday, September 23, 2006
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Garrison Keillor: ...after a word from Bebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.

GK: Summer on the frozen tundra finally comes to an end. The wild geese fly south (GEESE PASSING OVERHEAD) You play your last round of golf. (SWING, DRIVE), you go to your last outdoor supper (CORKSCREW, POP, POUR) and you sit outside with your cat Muffy (MEOW) and the smell of leaves and barbecue smoke brings back childhood memories —

Tim Russell: My mom. My sainted mother. She was the angel of my childhood. I can almost hear her voice.

Erica Rhodes: (ANGEL) My little boy— my child— someday they'll have programs for children like you, children with special needs, but now, in 1956, you only have me. Your mom.

TR: Dad went over to the dark side. (TK DEEP UNINTELLIGIBLE) Dad had a big black beard and his eyes were like ball bearings and there was a dark cloud over his head and when he got mad, he threw thunderbolts at us (THUNDER, LIGHTNING) and we never understood a word he said. (TK MORE DAD) But Mother was always there to protect us.

ER: (ANGEL): I'll shield you from his anger, my darling, and you'll grow up and be a wonderful person and never know what was wrong with you because they don't have words for it yet.

GK: Your mom was your best friend until —

TR: Oh no. I'd forgotten all about it.

GK: The day you threw the tomato.

TR: The huge rotten tomato.

GK: You were in the garden with your sister (SS SINGING FA LA LA LA LA LA) and you saw the tomato on the ground and you picked it up (SLOSH) and it was big and full of brown liquid and it stank and there were little white things swimming around in it (SQUORTS AND SLOSH) and — Why did you pick it up?

TR: I have no idea.

GK: You held it and you looked at your sister (SS SINGING) who was weaving a daisy chain and dancing around in her lovely white dress and then what—

TR: I can't remember.

GK: Of course you remember.

TR: I don't know.

GK: You do know.

TR: What did I do?

GK: You know. Think. Remember.

TR: I threw it.

GK: You threw the tomato.

TR: Something made me do it.

GK: You threw the tomato and it flew (LARGE OFF-CENTER SLOSHY OBJECT IN SLO-MO FLYING THROUGH AIR) straight toward your sister like a planet in orbit and it struck her on the side of her head (BIG SPLORT) — (SS SHOCK AND HORROR) It ruined her dress and it ruined her life. (SS TURNING TO DARK SIDE, GRUNTING, LIKE DAD) Your sister turned to a life of crime. (GUNSHOTS, SS GROWLING AND GRUNTING, CAR START, REV, RACE AWAY) She robbed one produce stand after another, all because of that tomato you threw. She became crude and coarse.

Sue Scott: Get me a pig's foot and a bottle of beer and tell that young man to come over here. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

TR: I am so sorry.

GK: Of course you are. Do you remember what your mother said to you?

TR: No.

GK: Of course you remember.

ER (ANGEL): Shame on you.

TR: She said, Shame on me.

GK: Shame on you.

TR: Shame on me. ——- NO! I refuse to be the prisoner of memory!!! (CHICKEN FLURRY) I will be free of shame!!!! I will live life one day at a time!!!!

GK: And so you sit down with Muffy (MEOW) and write a book — you write it in a frenzy (COMPUTER TAPPING) — a quarter-million words in just seven days —- (COMPUTER HIGH-SPEED TAPPING) —

TR: Done!!! (BRIDGE)

GK: You send it to a publisher and the editor is ecstatic (SS SINGING, SOPRANO) — the book comes out six weeks later, entitled THERE IS NO SHAME— and the book comes out, and it's ripped to shreds by critics. (LOSER HORN) One after another they dump on it. (BIG PLOPS) Utter contempt. (RASPBERRY) Every review, a pie in your face. (SPLORT) A poke in the eye. (WHOP, CRY OF PAIN) A knee in the groin. (PAINFUL GROAN) A stab in the back. (STAB, SHUDDER OF PAIN)

(MOANING, WEEPING)

GK: And then they sic their dogs on you. (DOG ATTACK) (DEEP PAINFUL CHORDS) And when it's all over, you're broke, living with your cat Muffy (MEOW) in a tiny hotel room with an old bed with busted springs (SPROING) and a sink in the corner (DRIPPING) and you lie there looking at the cobwebs on the ceiling and listening to talk shows all day (TV AUDIO) and drinking beer (POP TOP CAN, AUDIO CONTINUE) and wondering —

TR: What happened to me? Why did my life go to pieces?

GK: When you make your mother angry and she puts shame on you, it doesn't come off just like that.

TR: How can I get rid of it?

GK: All depends. Are you a Christian?

TR: No.

GK: Then you'll have to make sacrifices.

TR: Like what? (MEOW) No. Not Muffy. Please. She's all I have left. No, not Muffy. (MEOW) On the other hand— all she does is shed hair. And if it comes down to a choice between the cat and my own happiness— (THEME)

GK: Wouldn't this be a good time for a piece of Rhubarb Pie--

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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