Saturday, December 16, 2006
Garrison Keillor: And for the same reason some people love Christmas in New York. You're in the midst of a lot of people who don't mess with Christmas who order in Chinese and afterward go to a movie (MOVIE AUDIO, MANLY VOICE, THEN WOMANLY WEEPING, MANLY, WOMANLY). And yes, you may feel you need to go to an office party where there will be air-kissing (SFX) and maybe one of those fist-pounds (SFX) or a Wall Street Hand Shake (CRUNCH), or a big manly sports hug (PATS, GRUNTS, POUNDS) let's see that in slow-motion. s, full and slo-mo) but you just tell people, We have to leave early. That's the beauty of New York. Everybody has to leave early, everybody has something else they have to go to, nobody stays til the end. So you say goodbye (AIR KISSES) and you escape to the street (TRAFFIC) and head for the subway where a man is playing a Christmas carol with his MetroCard and his car keys. (SFX) And another man is hopping down the platform on a pogo stick (SFX) and singing (SFX) it's New York. Everybody wants to get in the act.
And you do have something you must go to. It is your child's piano recital. You take your seat in the auditorium and the lights dim and the first child comes out (FOOTSTEPS) and sits down and begins to play (Rich Dworsky: TO A WILD ROSE) and you sit there in the dark and you're waiting for it and you know it's coming and it's only a matter of time and yes (MAN HUMMING ALONG) there's a hummer in the house and CELLPHONE) he has a phone and while he stifles that (BIG SNEEZE, AND COUGHING) someone has an attack and has to get out a coughdrop (CELLOPHANE) and they wrestle with the wrapping and now the child is done and (LIGHT APPLAUSE) now your child comes onstage (FOOTSTEPS, HEART POUNDING), your own child, your precious, your flesh and blood, puts his skinny butt on the pianobench and there is a long silence has he forgotten the piece (PANICKY BREATHING) is he terrified? Is he being scarred for life? Why did you make him do this? Please, honey, play the piano. (PAUSE, THEN LOW CONVERSATION) Oh shuddup, would you that's my kid up there. Okay, mister, you asked for it. (WHIP CRACK) There. That'll quiet you down. (TO A WILD ROSE)
He plays beautifully. (SUBWAY) He isn't rattled by the subway, or by somebody's watch (WATCH BEEPS HOUR) or by the person suffering from consumption (BIG COUGHING ATTACK) or by the cellphone (TEQUILA TONES) your child is a true artist twelve years old but so poised, so mature you're so happy that when the piece is finally over (TO A WILD ROSE COMES TO AN END) you leap in the air (WILD WHOOPING) and you set off explosives (ROCKETS) and you hop on your elephant ( ELEPHANT BELLOW) and you go galloping down the street (GALLOP, FADING, A FEW MORE ROCKETS)