Town Hall in New York, NY
TR (ANNC): And now, Rainbow Motor Oil and the Rainbow Family of Automotive Products brings you— Dr. Mark Schlemmer, Ichthyopthalmologist.
(WIND, SPLASH, FLAPPING OF LOBSTER)
GK: Hang onto him, Maureen. Put the oxygen muffs on his gills, near his legs, please. Right over his hips.
SS: Here you go, doctor. (SFX)
GK: Put the heart monitor under the claws. (SFX) Now fasten the chin strap. (SFX).
SS: There. All set. (LOBSTER BREATHING)
GK: Thank you, Maureen. Keep him moist. Keep the hydrator on him.
SS: You keep referring to the lobster as "him," Doctor. Is that just a guess?
GK: I'm an opthalmalogist, Maureen, I don't get into the sex thing.
SS (TO HERSELF): I've noticed.
GK: What was that, Maureen?
SS: I noticed there are people standing over there staring at you, Dr. Schlemmer.
GK: So they've never seen anyone perform eye surgery on a lobster before.
SS: I suppose they think it's pretty ridiculous.
GK: The lay person probably would think so. (CLINK OF SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS)
SS: But you don't------ right? When you gave up your lucrative practice among the well-to-do to operate on lobster eyeballs, you had a purpose in mind, right? A vision?
GK: Lobster glaucoma is approaching epidemic proportions, Maureen. The seafood industry depends in large part on lobster.
SS: So you mean----
GK: When the lobster can't see the bait, then you've got problems. And so the lobstering industry has hired me to find a way to treat Intraocular pressure caused by aqueous humor buildup which can damage the optic nerve, leading to vision loss, and sometimes blindness.
SS: Well, we all have our vision problems, don't we. I mean, some people can't see what's right in front of them, Dr. Schlemmer. Right here directly in front of them. If you get my drift.
GK: You're blocking my light, Maureen. ----- Thank you. Scalpel please. (SFX) And now I'll make the incision, right here (SFX), the lobster has a very complex eyeball, as you can see, a thousand tiny lenses clouded by glaucoma. I'm doing an anterior sclerotomy to create a drainage channel to the external conjunctiva —
SS: All those words ----- you know so much-----
GK: Now I open up the microscopic channels of the trabecular [trah-BECK-you-lar] network, so the backed-up aqueous humor will drain out through the zonules and out through the choroid to the sclera, reducing pressure. And I cut there. And there. (SQUISHING SURGERY SFX)
SS: Oh. Oh my.
GK: Perfectly normal procedure. (LOUDER SQUISHING, SFX)
SS: I'm feeling faint, Dr. Schlemmer. If I fell over, would someone catch me in his arms?
GK: Man, these are big eyeballs on this baby. Tremendous. (LOBSTER FLAPS)
SS: Uh oh. He's waking up. Dr. Schlemmer--
GK: We'll need the syringe.
SS: Oh my gosh--- my hands are shaking--
GK: We'll need to inject local anesthetic directly into his eyeball.
SS: I don't know. My knees feel weak. (LOBSTER RATTLING)
GK: Here we go. Right into the eyeball. (SYRINGE SFX)
SS: Oh my gosh. Oh my – (LOBSTER RATTLES FASTER) Hurry doctor Schlemmer.
GK: Shoot. Got the wrong spot. I'll have to do it again.
SS: Oh no.
GK: Retracting needle---(SFX)
SS: I feel nauseous.
GK: And here we go. One more time. (SYRINGE SFX, LOBSTER FLAPS)
SS: Please hurry, Dr. Schlemmer. This is terrible.
GK: This can't be rushed, Maureen. I'll just press the plunger here. (SFX). Slowly.... (EYE WOBBLE), slowly-
SS: Oh my gosh. I'm feeling dizzy.
GK: Hold steady Maureen.
SS: I really don't like eye things. I don't know if I've told you this before.
GK: You've been an ophthalmic nurse for fifteen years and you don't like eye things? (SHARK).
SS: Well, the truth is-----
GK: Manipulating the iris here. (SQUISHING)
SS: I did it for you, Doctor---you may not be ready to hear this, but-—I love you and I want to have your babies!
GK: Beautiful! We got drainage! (GUSHING, LOBSTER FLAPS) One more lobster saved from glaucoma. Now you were trying to tell me something?
SS: Oh never mind-----
GK: As I was probing the eyeball lenses, I didn't quite make out what you said.
SS: Just never mind. Just forget it. I never should have said that.
GK: If you say so.
SS: But Doctor----
GK: Yes, Maureen?
SS: Why do we work so hard to save the sight of a lobster so that he can better see the bait and bite the hook and die? What's the point in that?
GK: Maureen, I'm not a theologian, I'm an opthalmologist. My job is to heal diseases of the eye, not to think about ultimate truth----
SS: But in fact your healing of the lobster's glaucoma is leading to his death----
GK: I don't know. It's his choice, to take the bait or not.
SS: But you're working for the lobstering industry and they're promoting the killing of innocent lobster who only want a meal.
GK: I only know that I am curing glaucoma among lobsters, Maureen, which is my calling ---- the healing of disease is a good thing ----- I don't question that ---- I'm sorry that you do------
SS: Doctor, look out! It's a giant shark! (SHARK BITES, LOBSTER FLOPPING) Save the lobster, Doctor! Save him! (SHARK FRENZY) Oh my gosh. He got our lobster. Timmy the Lobster. He's gone.
GK: It's nature's way, Maureen.
SS: You cleared up his glaucoma so he could see even more clearly death coming for him -----
GK: Don't look back, Maureen. Time for our next patient. (LOBSTER FLOPPING) Ah, he's a big one. That's right, take him by the head and the tail. Put the oxygen muffs on. And the heart monitor. That's good. Okay----
TR (ANNC): Dr. Mark Schlemmer, Ichthyopthalmologist, was brought to you by Rainbow Motor Oil and the Rainbow family of fine automotive products.
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).