Rhubarb script
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Listen

Garrison Keillor: It's summer, you're in Kansas, you're looking for excitement and all they do in your town is have tractor pulls (SFX) and cattle auctions (COWS) and every Sunday night the teenagers drive up and down Main Street (TRAFFIC PASSING) and sometimes somebody sets off a cherry bomb in an outhouse (SFX) so when the tornado siren goes off (KLAXON) you get in your car and go chasing tornadoes remembering The Wizard of Oz.

Sue Scott (WITCH): I'm melting! I'm melting! Aaahhghghghg!

GK: A tornado! (STORM SIRENS) The sky turns green (LURCHING MOAN), and the dogs howl (SFX) and suddenly there's a twister headed right for you (WIND, RUMBLING), so you start running (RUNNING, PANTING), and the dog is running alongside of you (DOG RUNNING, PANTING), and a horse (HORSE WHINNY, GALLOP) and a naked woman on the horse (WHEEEEE) and you turn this way and that way trying to get away from it, but it's no use-(WIND ROAR)-it pickS you up off the ground (MAN AND ANIMALS LEVITATE), and you're swirling around in this big funnel cloud (ECHOEY UNREAL VORTEX)—along with a cow (MOO), and a man talking on his cellphone (SFX), there's a radio (SAX) and a man trying to start a lawnmower(SFX)-And then the tornado sets you down. (WIND DIES DOWN, LANDING). And suddenly everything is black and white. It's 1975. (PIANO LESSON, BEGINNER EXERCISE)

SS (MIDWESTERN): Honey?

GK: It's your mother. It's your old house.

SS (MIDWESTERN): Keep practicing. Grandma and grandpa are going to be here in a few minutes, and they're going to want to hear you play the piano, so.

GK: The tornado has carried you back in time, you're fifteen years old and back on the farm, wearing weird scratchy clothes with metal zippers and you're going to have to do high school all over again

Tim Russell (ECHO): No! No! No! Please! Nooooooooo!!!

GK: You're going to have to sit through Mrs. Pinkley's English class again...

SS (MIDWESTERN): And the green light at the end of the dock? Huh? Who can tell me what that means? A green light? Anyone? Does it mean something to you? The color green?

GK: And Mr. Heinkel's gym glass-

TR (COACH): Climb the rope, Merle! Climb it! Don't just hang there! Pull with your arms! Wriggle on up there! What are you doing?!?! (KIDS LAUGH) I've seen girls who can skinny right up like nobody's business!!!! Look at you, hanging there like a deer in a meat locker!!!

GK: You're going to have to start raising your hand and asking Mrs. Lundquist permission to go to the bathroom again.

SS (OLD LADY): We're just about to start the filmstrip, Merle-so I guess it depends— how bad do you have to go?

GK: Your clothes smell like hay-in fact, you've got little sticks of hay stuck in your pants, and manure in your boot treads.

SS (TEEN GIRL): What is that smell?

GK: And you tried to act cool and you leaned up against the fire alarm (ALARM) and the fire trucks came (SFX) and Arlene ratted you out

SS: It was him-Merle —

GK: Endless humiliations, day after day after day, in algebra class.

(CHALK SQUEAKING)

SS: Use the quadratic formula, Merle. And Avogadro's number.

TR (NERVOUS TEEN): Um. Okay.

SS: A squared plus b square? Ring any bells Merle?

TR (NERVOUS TEEN): Okay.

SS: What could that possibly equal, Merle? A squared plus b Squared? Write it on the board, Merle. (CHALK SQUEAKING) Write it. We're waiting.

(FAINTS AWAY)

GK: All because you had the misfortune of getting picked up by the wrong tornado. And now you're stuck here. You're trapped in the worst part of your life. But then you look down at your red sneakers and you remember-(THUMP THUMP THUMP)-but there's some sort of magical words you're supposed to say. What are they? If only you could remember-- (THEME) Wouldn't this be a good time for a piece of Rhubarb Pie? Yes nothing gets the taste of shame and humiliation out of your mouth like Beeboparebop Rhubarb Pie and Rhubarb Pie filling.

Just one little thing can revive a guy,
And that is home-made rhubarb pie.
Serve it up, nice and hot.
Maybe things aren't as bad as you thought.

DUET:
Mama's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb,
Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.
Mama's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb,
Beebopareebop 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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