Saturday, June 16, 2007
Tim Russell: These are the good years for Barb and me. We've been a little down lately, what with summer and everything. I mean, one sunny day after another you start to feel sort of brain deadso we rented a movie called "Snowballs In Hell" where it starts snowing in this little town of white houses with picket fences and before you know it, the Ice Age has set in and enormous hairy creatures come up out of deep caves and rip people's arms out of their sockets and eat them raw. Barb got to scream really loud and it just made both of us feel more alive. And she got rid of these beige drapes we've had for twenty years and got blue ones instead. And that really lifted the mood around here. We were feeling buoyant. And then one day I came downstairs and found Barb, looking all mopey. Barb. What are you doing?
Sue Scott: Oh, Jim. Remember when we were in grade school, and we had to stand up in front of the class and tell what we did over the summer?
TR: I do Barb. I was good at those.
SS: Well I hated it. Some people got up there and talked about how their family went to the Grand Canyon or had some big fancy vacation or went on a boat and everything-it always made me so tense, Jim.
TR: I thrived on that tension, Barb. I used it as fuel.
SS: I mean my family never did anything in the summerso what was I supposed to say-I spent the whole summer lying around on the grass watching ants? That's not what the teachers wanted to hear. They wanted action points.
TR: Watching ants is a good thing, Barb. You just have to know how to talk about it.
SS: I mean I could have lied and told about how I went mountain climbing, and my family froze to death and I had to eat their bodies to survive but-I don't know Jim. I just don't like to lie.
TR: You don't have to lie, Barb. You just embellish.
SS: Well, anyway I was just sitting here thinking, what if I die right now, and I get up to heaven, or wherever it is I'm going, and God wants a report, huh? Like, what have you been doing all this time down there?
TR: I think he knows, Barb. I wouldn't worry about it.
SS: I wouldn't know what to say, Jim. What-I got up and did the laundry, and grocery shopping and then came home and took a nap? I mean, that's not what God wants to hear, does he?
TR: You just have to frame it in the right way. It's all in the context.
SS: I mean, where is all my charity work? I never volunteered at a hospital, or adopted a strip of highway-I mean, I couldn't even take in that stray raccoon who wandered into the garage?
TR: So that's what this is about, isn't it, Barb? You're angry that I didn't let you keep that raccoon.
SS: Oh I don't know how I feel
TR: That raccoon was sick, Barb. It was coughing. It may have had rabies.
SS: Well we could have taken it to the vet, Jim. Right?
TR: Barb. Vets don't do raccoons. Trust me.
SS: That animal needed us.
TR: Barb, raccoons need other raccoons. They've got things all worked out between them. We are not part of their system. Trust me.
SS: I just lay awake all night thinking about it. I mean, where is that raccoon now, Jim? And what must he think of us?
TR: Barb. I wonder if you've been getting enough ketchup. Ketchup contains natural mellowing agents that help you see that your life is okay and you don't have to justify it by taking in raccoons who might bite you and make you very sick.
SS: Well, maybe you're right Jim.
Rich Dworsky (SINGS):
These are the good times
Our friends have come to meet us
They're calling on their cellphone
Asking what the name of the street is.
Life is flowing
Like ketchup on fajitas
Garrison Keillor: Ketchup, for the good times
RD (SINGS): Ketchup, ketchup.