Saturday, June 2, 2007
Sue Scott: These are the good years for Jim and me. We got a big electric bill last month, and so we've been thinking about becoming Amish. But they don't have a website. So I don't know how we're going to do that. I started washing dishes by hand though. Which gave me a lot of time to think. And I got thinking about this boyfriend back in college who got me to write all of his papers while he was busy carrying on with a cheerleader and I broke a wine glass in my hand, and had to go to the hospital and get 17 stitches. So I'm back to using a dishwasher. Jim is upset about the new 41-cent first-class stamps. So he's refusing to write letters anymore. Which he never did anyway. Our letters to the kids always got returned unopened and marked, "Don't Know You And Never Did." Anyway we should have been happy. And then one day I came downstairs and found Jim, just sitting and staring out the front window. Jim, honey? Is something wrong?
Tim Russel: I hate summer, Barb. I look forward to it for six months and then it comes and I remember that I hate it.
SS: But why, Jim?
TR: Nothing to do. Everybody goes away to their cabins. It's too hot. And I don't like shorts.
SS: Well, let's get in the car and take a trip. We'll go up to Alaska and look for permafrost.
TR: I don't want to go on a trip, Barb. I want to hunker down in a shack in the woods and grow a long beard and eat squirrels and write long angry poems against modern civilization.
SS: The 41-cent postage stamp did this to you? Made you want to be a hermit?
TR: I prefer the term 'recluse', Barb. The 41-cent stamp is just a symptom. The enormous electric bill. I'm done with civilization. I'm going to pack up a duffel bag and you can just drop me out south of Rochester somewhere, down around the Root River, and I'll fend for myself.
SS: Jim, it's not wilderness down there. It's full of bike trails and birdwatchers and nature centers.
TR: I'll just hunker down and wait for a horse and buggy to come along and I'll convert.
SS: What about me?
TR: You can convert too. You'll just have to learn how to bake and grow your hair long so you can tie it up in a bun.
SS: I'm not sure about turning Amish, Jim. I don't mind the styles. Black shapeless clothes. I mean, Armani did pretty well with the Amish look. But I'd miss the radio.
TR: The Amish have radio. I think they do.
SS: They do but it's foot-powered. You pump a treadle to provide power. After awhile, you just get tired.
TR: Doesn't sound bad to me.
SS: I wonder if you've been getting enough ketchup, Jim.
SS: Ketchup contains natural mellowing agents that help you stay put. So you don't go running off to the woods just because you feel trapped. Ketchup helps us keep us cool and happy, no matter how hot, depressing, and lonely the summer turns out to be.
TR: You're probably right, Barb.
SS: Let's go have some ketchup right now.
Rich Dworsky (SINGS):
These are the good times
Under the burning sun
We're staying close together
And pretending to have fun
Life is flowing
Like ketchup on a bun.
Garrison Keillor: Ketchup, for the good times.
RD: Ketchup, ketchup