Snowman
Saturday, February 7, 2009

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(OUTDOOR AMBIENCE, QUIET TRAFFIC)

GK: Once upon a time there was a snowman who stood outside an apartment complex in Saint Paul and as the weather got a little warmer he started to feel his own mortality and ask the big questions.

TR: Why am I here? Why do I exist? Why is my nose a carrot? And who made me? So many people coming and going up this sidewalk. One of them must've made me, I suppose. But why? What good does it do? (DOOR OPENS, CLOSES, WHISTLING, FOOTSTEPS IN SNOW)

TR: Was it you, sir? You in the stocking cap?

TK: (LOUD) HEY LOUIE! HOW'S IT GOIN? YOU SEE THE GAME? GREAT, WASN'T IT? OKAY, SEE YOU AROUND. TAKE IT EASY. OKAY! (FOOTSTEPS AWAY)

TR: He didn't hear me. I wish I had a throat and a larynx. And a real nose. Instead of just a root vegetable. But most of all I wish I had feet. So I could turn around and see what's behind me.

GK: Just then a bird flew down from a tree and landed on the snowman's shoulder. AS (LANGUID): I could give you feet. Give you a throat too.

TR: How can you do that? You're just a bird.

AS: (SINGS)
I am a creature with wings
Who sings
A creature of beauty and glory
And I can make you am-bu-la-tory

TR: I like that. Is that what they call "scat singing"?

AS (LANGUID): No, scat is what I drop on the ground.

TR: Oh. —Tell me— what does that building behind me look like? I can see its shadow in the afternoon — it looks huge.

AS (LANGUID): It's nothing. Just a big box. But there's a woman on the fourth floor who I think is sort of attracted to you.

TR: Oh? What does she look like?

AS (LANGUID): (SINGS) Rather lovely, if you ask me.
Big brown eyes and a heavenly
Voice when she talks or hums
But you can see for yourself
cause here she comes.

(FOOTSTEPS IN THE SNOW)

SS (SINGS): Mr. Snowman
Send me someone
Someone to live with
Who's lively and fun
Someone who loves me
Who'll always be true
Not someone like Harry
But one like you

You stand here faithful
Day after day
You don't chase women
And run away
I love to see you
When I wait for the bus
Mr. Snowman — maybe it's us.

TR: I love you, whoever you are. Just stand right there and let me smell your perfume. Ohhhhh...it's so lovely.

(FOOTSTEPS AWAY)

TR: She couldn't hear me. And there she goes.

AS (LANGUID): (SINGS) I can change you
Into a man
I can
All you have to do is answer a
Question.

TR: What's the question? AS (SINGS): I hope it won't give you indigestion:
The question is— the envelope please—
Can you sneeze?


TR: Sneeze? AS (SINGS): Throw your head back, bend your knees,
And sneeze.

TR: And if I do?

AS (SINGS): I'll make a new man out of you.

GK: So the snowman tried to sneeze. He was cold enough, he just didn't have the experience. But he had seen people at the busstop sneeze and he thought if he could just imagine sneezing — but he couldn't—

TR: It's this carrot. How can you sneeze if your nose is a carrot?

GK: And he was sad.

TR: I'll never find out the things I want to know. So much to learn and so little time and before you know it I'll start melting and I'll turn into a puddle.

GK: And just then the wind came up (SFX) and blew a leaf against the snowman's face. (TR SURPRISE) And snowmen are allergic to leaves. And then — (TR STARTS BIG BUILD TO A SNEEZE)

AS (SINGS): That's the way, Mr. Snow
Just let it go.
Let that sneeze build bigger and bigger inside of you
And then—

TR: (BIG) AAAAAAAAAACHOOOOOOO

(CRUNCH AND CRUMBLE)

GK: And the snow blew apart into a hundred pieces and there in the snow stood a man.

TR: Wow.

AS (SINGS): And how.

TR: I am a man.

AS (SINGS): Today you are a man
You can walk, you can stand,
So many things you can do.
And that I leave to you.

TR: I'm older than I thought I'd be, though — and where'd these clothes come from? And my feet hurt. And —tell me something?

AS: What?

TR: Am I handsome?

AS: (LONG PAUSE) No.

TR: Why not? Why? If you could make me a man, you could've made me a handsome man. Hey— I'm practically bald. Why? Why no hair?

AS: (SINGS) La la la la la la
Wo wow o wow o wow o
Shang shang a lang
Such a pity
Diddy wah diddy
(FOOTSTEPS)

TR: HEY! It's you.

SS: Who you talking to, mister?

TR: You. You sang to me.

SS: You're out of your mind. Get away from me.

TR: It's me. You sang about wanting someone like me—

SS: If you don't go away, I am calling the cops. You hear me?

TR: Look. You're lonely. You want someone. Here I am. I used to be a snowman but now I'm — me.

SS: You were a snowman?

TR: I was. I used to stand right here.

SS: Yeah, well, I'm Paris Hilton. (FOOTSTEPS AWAY)

GK: The man who had been a snowman stood by the street, no money in his pockets, and now he felt cold. And hungry. Something new to him. (CARS PASSING) The bird had gone. The woman he thought loved him had rejected him. It was getting dark. But he had gotten his wish. He could walk. (HESITANT FOOTSTEPS) It was hard to get used to at first. (TR UNEASINESS, SLIPPING) But slowly he got the hang of it. And now he could see the lights of downtown St. Paul beyond the hill. And he headed that way. The simple act of motion was still exciting to him. He was curious about what he might find there. He imagined something good happening and he moved off expecting to find it, just as we all do.

AS & GK (SING): The end. The end.
The end, the end, the end.

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).

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