October 24, 2009
Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, MN

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Rhubarb

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GK: It's a beautiful fall day and (TV AUDIO) there you are on the sofa watching a dumb show on TV — (ARGHH) you are overwhelmed with self-loathing and you pick up the remote and turn off the TV. (CLICK) And you feel good about yourself again. (YES YES) You feel youthful, energetic, brave. (TARZAN) You look out the window. Your backyard is a disgrace. Your neighbors are looking at it and talking about you. (LOW MURMUR OF SCANDALIZED VOICES) So you grab a rake and you get to work (WHISTLING, RAKING) and then you remember that your neighbor has a mulcher. And he's not using it. He's all done with his yardwork. His yard is a thing of beauty. And he's gone for the day. So you open up the gate (SFX) and cross his yard (SFX) and open his garage door (SFX) and there is his mulcher. (CHORD) And you start it up. (STARTING MULCHER) It's a powerful machine. (MULCHER) And suddenly it's racing across his yard and pulling you along with it (MULCHER REVVING) and it's digging a trench across his yard (SFX) and down his driveway (SFX) and it's gaining speed going downhill (SFX) and it smashes into his mailbox (SFX), and a fire hydrant (SFX) and into the empty house across the street, which has just been foreclosed (SFX) and down the street (SFX) — where is the brake? You can't find the brake — and now you step into a hole (SFX) and the mulcher gets loose (SFX)....

GK: ... and it heads straight for a playground (CHILDREN PLAYING) as overhead news choppers are sending live coverage (HELICOPTER) as the mulcher goes racing toward the playground (SFX) dragging you through the mud until a child (SS: Hey) reaches over and pulls the sparkplug (QUIET). You head back home (SFX) and you turn on your TV manually (CLICK) and there is a clip of you, soaking wet, covered in mulch, chasing after the runaway mulcher with your pants around your ankles. It's humiliating. (SHAME) And the phone rings (SFX) and it's your boss, leaving you a message on voice mail (ANGRY MALE VOICE) and you're fired. Time to leave town. ( TRAIN WHISTLE) You hop a westbound freight to San Francisco and there you sign on as a deckhand on a tramp steamer headed for the Far East ( BOAT HORN) and through the Golden Gate you go (SEA GULLS, WAVES), and as you sail out on the Pacific, while you still have cellphone coverage, you check your voice mail. There's a message from your wife. (SS: Darling, please. Come back. I love you. The children love you. Please don't leave us. Come back.) And you try to explain this to the captain but he doesn't understand English. (TR: EGYPTIAN.) Weeks pass and you land on the Malay Archipelago and you're unloading cargo (CRANE, VOICES) and you're thinking maybe you can write a book about this and maybe you can sell your story to the movies and you buy a laptop from a merchant in the bazaar (CHINESE) and you sit down to write your memoir but first you go online for e-mail and your wife has sent you a link to YouTube and you click on it and there she is —
(SS: "Honey, I called up Rob next door and he came over and he mulched and then he stayed for dinner and — I don't know how this happened, but— he's so wonderful, so thoughtful, we sat and we talked for hours, he and I, and — did you know he was an English major? I didn't. Anyway, the upshot is that — well, he and I—)

(THEME)

GK: 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.

(RHUBARB THEME)

(SINGS)

One little thing can revive a guy
And that is a piece of 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
Bebopareebop rhubarb pie
Mama's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb
Bebopareebop rhubarb pie
Bebopareebop 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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