October 24, 2009
Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, MN

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GK& R&L: (SING)

When I wake up to sleep no more...

(additional lyrics)

GK: In late October as the season changes and days get shorter you lose track of time. You run into old people on the street and they turn out to be people you went to high school with. (TR & SS GEEZER GREETINGS) You past comes and catches up to you, your teenage years in the evangelical church—

GK& R&L:
It's G-L-O-R-Y to know I'm S-A-V-E-D
I'm H-A-P-P-Y because I'm F-R-Double E
I once was B-O-U-N-D by the chains of S-I-N
But its V-I-C-T-O-R-Y to know I've Christ within.
I know some girls who go in for a T-H-O-N-G
And go around in tiny T-A-N-K T-O-P
They love to T-E-X-T to boys they think are hot
They say they're S-A-V-E-D but I know that they're not.

You hear voices(VOICES, WHISPERING). Birds fly overhead (SFX) who seem to be gesturing to you. (BEAR MUTTERING) Ever so often a bear will come by looking for a place to lie down.

TR (BEAR): Not looking for a place to lie down. Looking for you. I'm a Baptist bear. I was sent to talk to you.

GK: I heard about you. You were the bear who was chasing the preacher that time through the woods—

TR (BEAR): Caught him and he prayed for the Lord to make me a Christian. And I accepted the Lord as my Savior right then and there.

GK: Right. And you sat down on the preacher and you prayed.

TR (BEAR): I said, “Lord, for that which I am about to receive, may I be truly thankful.”

GK: So how did he taste?

TR (BEAR): Kind of sour. I became a vegetarian right then and there.

GK: So what do you want with me?

TR (BEAR): Came to tell you that God has a purpose for you and you better figure it out, what he wants you to do with your life. And if you can come to the revival service tonight, great.

GK: Hey, you're cross-eyed. Is your name Gladly?

TR (BEAR): Gladly, the cross-eyed bear.

GK: I'll try to make it. (BRIDGE) What is God's will for my life? I've never been sure. At one time I thought it was the post office. My mother wanted me to be a teacher. At the moment, I was on my way to visit her — she is 94 and just recently took up trap shooting. She was sitting by the dining room window in her pink bathrobe, drinking hibiscus tea, and blasting away at clay pigeons. (SPRING RELEASE, THEN GUNSHOT) (SPRING RELEASE, THEN GUNSHOT) Mother? (SPRING RELEASE, THEN GUNSHOT) Mother?

SS (OLD LADY): Who is it?

GK: Guess.

SS (OLD LADY): Did they let you out of prison already? I thought you had a couple more years. That's what keeps me going. Trying to live long enough to see you get out of the slammer.

GK: My mom is convinced that I was sent to prison for bank robbery and we let her think that. It's just easier. She does not like to be contradicted.

SS (OLD LADY): Did you go over the wall? Did somebody bake you a cake and put a hacksaw in it? Where's the rest of the gang?

GK: I'm on parole, Ma. For good behavior.

SS (OLD LADY): You? Good behavior?? Ha! (SPRING RELEASE, THEN GUNSHOT)—
She keeps the house just like it was. And when I go down the basement and see the old couch and the old Zenith table-top radio I used to listen to with my girlfriend Lois, it's like yesterday. The radio worked pretty well if you attached a copper wire to the aerial input in back and wound it around your left leg. It brought in stations from Chicago.

(STATIC, BAND PLAYS COOL JAZZ INTRO)

TR (ANNC): Live from the Pump Room in Chicago's Ambassador East Hotel, it's the Aaron Ritchie Quartet. Brought to you by Terkel Tooth Twine — Terkel — it keeps your gums healthy to give you a smile that women cannot resist —

GK: The thought of being irresistible to women was a powerful thought to me. But Lois Swanson did not find me irresistible.

SS: Where'd you get those pants?

GK: My mother gave them to me.

SS: With the zipper on the side?

GK: They used to be my sister's.

SS: That's weird.

GK: They're just pants.

SS: And what are you winding that copper wire around your leg for?

GK: Better reception.

SS: Maybe you need to buy a new radio.

GK: Can't afford one. (STATIC, BAND PLAYS COOL JAZZ INTRO)

TR (ANNC): And now for your dining pleasure here's the Quartet with an Aaron Ritchie original called “Hanging With The Bass” (MUSIC: COOL JAZZ — BASS SOLO & MONK PIANO CHORDS)

SS: Do you like jazz?

GK: It's cool.

SS: You think so?

GK: Yeah.

SS: Really? You don't seem like the sort of person who'd like jazz.

GK: Of course I do.

SS: Have you ever been to Chicago?

GK: Many times.

SS: Really?

GK: Oh sure.

SS: You have not.

GK: What makes you say that?

SS: When did you go to Chicago?

GK: That's not important. Why do you think it's so preposterous that I might've?

SS: Oh, a minute ago, you did go, and now you “might've”—

GK: I did go.

SS: What's it like?

GK: Hard to describe. Big. You comfortable?

SS: Yeah. But aren't you afraid that someone's going to come find us? Here on the couch together?

GK: We're just listening to the radio.

SS: Yeah, but— you've got your arms around me.

GK: Isn't that okay?

SS: I guess so.

GK: You don't seem sure.

SS: I have to go pretty soon.

GK: Where?

SS: Somewhere.

GK: Why?

SS: It's a long story.

GK: I have time.

(MUSIC)


GK: I hadn't exactly gone to Chicago. I had gone to Chicago Avenue which is in south Minneapolis. Back then my family thought that God's will for our lives was to stand on a street corner and sing while Daddy preached.

(JAZZ BASS SOLO SEGUES QUICKLY INTO.....)

GK&R&L: Come and as you tread life's journey (ETC) and then hum under—

TR: My friends, as you pass by on this fall day on Chicago Avenue, are you following God's will for your life? Are you where you should be? Are you drawing close to the Lord?

(DIAL TURNING, INTO COOL JAZZ SOLO)

SS: Is something wrong with your radio?

GK: There is. I keep meaning to get a new one. It keeps changing channels.

SS: So tell me more about Chicago.....

(DIAL TURN, STATIC)
GK: (SINGS)
I would beg and steal
Just to feel
Your heart beating close to mine —-

SS (MOM: Turn that radio down.

GK: Sorry, Mom.

SS (MOM): I'm trying to concentrate up here. (FOUR
SPRING RELEASES AND SHOTGUN BLASTS)

GK: It's an odd time of year, October. The past and the present sort of all meld together. And as long as your mother is still around, you're still a kid.
(SHOTGUN, OFF)

SS: What time is it?

GK: I don't know. Let me check my cellphone.

SS: Your what?

GK: Cellphone.

SS: What is that? A phone? Are you kidding? Where's the cord?

GK: Oh my gosh. You're not going to believe this.

SS: Is it late?

GK: It is.

SS: Is it past seven? I was supposed to be home at seven.
GK: It's 2009.

SS: The year???

GK: The year.

SS: What happened?

GK: I have no idea.

SS: Two thousand and nine.

GK: Almost two thousand and ten.

SS: How can that be?

(QUIET DRUM SOLO)
GK: Late October. Geese heading south. (SFX) Winter is coming. (WOLF) Still don't know what God wants me to do. No idea. (GUNSHOT)

SS (OLD LADY): There. Ninety-eight out of a hundred. Not bad for an old lady.

GK: Pretty good, Mom.

SS (OLD LADY): You better get yourself a job.

GK: I'm trying.

SS (OLD LADY): They teach you any job skills in prison?

GK: No, not really. I learned how to use a hacksaw. And I sang in a gospel trio.

SS (OLD LADY): There's good money in gospel. Look at Billy Graham. He went a long way.

GK: I'll do my best, Mom.

R&L&GK: When the roll is called up yonder, when the roll is called up yonder, when the roll is called up yonder, when the roll is called up yonder I'll be there. (THREE JAZZ CHORDS)

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