May 1, 2010
The Town Hall

New York, NY

«archive page

Wildlife

Listen (MP3)
Listen (RealAudio)

(ORGAN)

TR (ANNC): And now, Rainbow Motor Oil and the Rainbow Family of Automotive Products brings you— Clint McKnight, Veterinary Periodontist.

(ORGAN UNDER)

(FOOTSTEPS IN WOODS, OWL HOOTS)

SS: It's getting dark, Dr. McKnight.

GK: I see that, Maureen.

SS: I know that we're out here searching for animals with gum disease, but you need your rest too, Doctor.

GK: I appreciate your concern. (PUSHING THROUGH BRUSH) But I'm following these caribou tracks. An animal with severe gum recession is likely to chew elm bark to relieve the pain. And that's what this caribou is doing.

SS: I know that, Doctor. And I admire your dedication. But we could easily get lost and have to spend the night out here. (TO HERSELF) Oh I want to spend the night with him. But in a hotel. Not the woods.

GK: What was that?

SS: Just talking to myself.

GK: Just because the Fish & Wildlife Service has cancelled its wildlife periodontal program doesn't mean I can abandon these animals to the ravages of tooth decay. We'll keep going on my meager savings and when those run out, we'll rob banks.

SS (BREATHLESS): But that's immoral.

GK: Right and wrong mean nothing when you're fighting periodontitis. It leads to heart disease, Maureen. Morality can't stop us.

SS: Yes. Us. (TO HERSELF) Oh why can't he see that I'm crazy about him. Even though he has mosquito bites all over him and smells bad — I love him.

GK: What was that?

SS: Nothing, Dr. McKnight. Just nattering on.

GK: Thousands of caribou out there who need the calculus scraped off their incisors —

SS: When I came to work for you, you had a wonderful practice, treating elderly cats for urinary infections.

GK: Wildlife periodontry is my true calling, not feline urology. That's why I sold the practice to Dr. Finger and burned down my home and collected the insurance money. I did it so I could come out here, and serve these caribou and plane and scale their root surfaces so they can bite and chew without pain or discomfort. I can't go back to cats now.

(CARIBOU MOAN)

SS: What's that?

GK: See? In the underbrush? It's the caribou whose trail we've been following. Dart gun, please.

SS: Local or full anesthetic?

GK: Full please.

SS: Dart gun.

(DART GUN BLOWS, THUK, CARIBOU CRY AND FALL)

GK: Got him. Scaler please.

(FOOTSTEPS THROUGH UNDERBRUSH)

SS: Hand scaler or ultrasonic?

GK: Ultrasonic.

SS: There.

(CARIBOU GROANS)

GK: He's got a pocket here, shine a light please, Maureen.
Thank you. (ULTRASOUND) We got here just in time. Root planer.

SS: Root planer. — (CHISELING) I love to watch you work.
(BREATHLESS): You're so passionate. So engaged.

(CHISELING)

GK: I believe that work is the great salve for all of life's disappointments.

SS (BREATHLESS): Oh—you have.... disappointments?

GK: Drill, please. Thank you. (DRILLING)

SS (OVER DRILL): I hope I'm not a disappointment to you, Dr. McKnight—

GK: What?

(CARIBOU GROANING)

SS (OVER DRILL): I said I hope I'm not a disappointment to you!

(DIFFICULT DRILLING)

GK: There. (DRILL OFF, CARIBOU GROAN) I think we got it.

SS (BREATHLESS): Am I?

GK: Water pik please.

SS (BREATHLESS): Here.

(WATER IRRIGATION SFX)

SS (OVER): You didn't answer the question.

(CHISELING)

GK: You? A disappointment? Never. You're a grade A professional dental hygienist, Maureen. Air jet, please.

SS: Here. (AIR JET)
Is that all? A grade-A professional?

GK: Excuse me?

SS (BREATHLESS): Dr. McKnight—I—I want to—

(AIR JET STOPS)

GK: Floss please. Let's use the mint wax. He'll wake up refreshed.

(FLOSSING)

GK: That's it. Get in all the tight spaces.

SS: Oh my.

GK: Move it all around. That's it. Just like that.

SS (TO HERSELF): I feel flushed.

GK: He's coming out of the anesthesia, Maureen. Watch out that he doesn't kick you. (CARIBOU ROUSES) He's waking up, a caribou whose gingivitis and receding gumline have been treated and now he has a rich full life ahead of him. He's fully satisfied.

SS: I only wish that I were. (SATISFIED CARIBOU)

GK: Don't put away that dart gun— I see another caribou — over there. (CARIBOU) A female. Might as well give her an exam. Don't want gum disease to stand in the way of a romance. Full anesthetic, Maureen. Maureen— what are you doing with that dart gun?? No, don't. (DART GUN, THWOP OF DART. GK GROAN) You shot me. Maureen-

SS: I'm in love with you, Dr. McKnight.

GK: But the caribou--

SS: Caribou be damned--I'm going to take your limp body and throw you over my shoulder and carry you back to the car. I'm going to drive you to town, Doctor. And then—

GK: And then what? —

(ORGAN)

TR (ANNC): Join us again soon when that question will be answered — on the adventures of Clint McKnight, Veterinary Periodontist. Brought to you by the Rainbow Family of Automotive Products.

(ORGAN OUT)

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»

American Public Media © |   Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy