Wildlife, April 9, 2011
Town Hall in New York, NY
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TR (ANNC): And now, Rainbow Motor Oil and the Rainbow Family of Automotive Products brings you— Dr. Mark Schlemmer, Ichthyopthalmologist.


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).


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.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

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