Brain script
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Listen

Garrison Keillor: Christmas is a complicated holiday of course and that's because the brain is complicated. Want to take a look? Here's a man here (SNORING) who wouldn't mind us having a look inside his brain — let's just (AEROSOL) anesthetize his nasal passages and now we'll put this probe up his nose (SLIPPING AND SQUORTING) and we'll poke that up there and (HEARTBEAT) now you can hear his pulse and we'll just squeeze (SPLORT) right in here in the occipital lobe, in the back of the brain, where the visual images are processed.

SS (BREATHY): (SINGS)
Fever.....you give me fever
when you kiss me
fever when you hold me tight
Fever
In the morning
Fever all through the night...

GK: We're in the fantasy area of his brain, (JUNGLE NOISES). A dark magical place. (CAR CORNERING). A big irrational mish-mash of things (RAILROAD CROSSING). (This is the stream of consciousness here. (RIVER RUNNING OVER ROCKS)

SS (SOUTHERN): Sonny!!! Suppertime! We got barbecue and greens. And grits.

GK: The memory cortex. It goes all the way back to—(BABY CRY) — back to birth, evidently.

Tim Russell (FADES IN): And then you use the quadratic equation to deduce Avogadro's number, which is a derivative of the function of the mathematical proof of the—

GK: And college too. (

SS: (SINGS) Double your pleasure, double your fun, with double-rich, double-good Doublemint gum) And little bits of songs. (TR (SINGS): Have you tried Wheaties? The whole wheat with all of the bran) — (SS SINGS: See the USA in your Chevrolet.) All sorts of little things. (FN BARRY MANILOW: I write the songs....) (SS HIPHOP: You ugly, you vicious, you nothing but bad, you done me dirt, you my gangsta dad) (MOTORCYCLE) And towards the back of this memory cortex is the little thread of Christmas memory—

TR (TINY TIM): God bless us, every one.

(BAGPIPES PLAY "O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL")

TR (STEWART): No man is a failure who has friends. Remember that, honey. (BELL DING)

SS (ZUZU): Look, Daddy. An angel is getting his wings.

TR (STEWART): Attaboy, Clarence.

GK: Little bits of old movies and also (ZOMBIES, SLOW JINGLING, MONSTER GRUMBLES) scenes of horror— people shopping in a mall — their eyes blank— (CHILD WEEPING) children in pain— (TR LOW OMINOUS SANTA: Ho ho ho ho ho) Santa Claus on some kind of tranquilizer— (CHAINSAW, HUGE TREE FALLS) — this sounds like he's cutting a Christmas tree and (HORSE WHINNY, HOOVES) he's carrying it away in a sleigh (BIG DOG) and there's his dog. And (CHILD: Hi Daddy) he brings the tree home and (STRAINING, CRACKING) it's too big to fit it in the little house. (GIRL: Pa? Is it Christmas? PA: Yes, Laura. Go to sleep.) And now we're on the South Dakota prairie in the 1880s and (BLIZZARD) there's a big storm and (VIOLIN) Pa is playing his fiddle and Laura and Mary and Carrie are up in the attic (LED ZEPPELIN "WHOLE LOTTA LOVE") listening to heavy metal and out of the night (JET AIRPLANE) a plane flies over low and drops Christmas gifts and (CRASHING, EXPLOSIONS) they come right through the roof of the house — frozen hams and turkeys dropping like bombs (BOMBING) and I think it's just too complicated. Let's pull out the brain catheter and close it up (SQUORT WITHDRAW OF CATHETER, SEWING OF STITCHES, SLAP OF BANDAGE) There. Wake up. (SLAPPING)

Fred Newman: What happened? Where am I?

GK: In the barber chair. How do you want those sideburns?

FN: Trimmed.

GK: You got it. (SHAVER) What are you doing for Christmas?

FN: I don't know. I'm thinking about it.

GK: I know. We could tell. (BAND BUTTON)


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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