Winter, January 21, 2012

The Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, MN


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Winter

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(MUSIC)

GK: It's cold in Minnesota, no big surprise there, and I believe in being cheerful about winter and not letting it get you down, I say-----

Try to be warm and cheerful when the arctic winds start to blow
Remember love blooms when it is coldest, that's why the spring you know requires snow.
A heart filled with love unceasing can always triumph over freezing and ice.
So do not be embittered and angry and always try to be extremely nice.

(BLIZZARD, WIND)

GK: But it's hard, especially if you didn't grow up here -----

SS DELICATE SOUTHERN: When I lost our family's plantation at Belle Rive, I moved up to Minnesota to be with a gentleman friend, but he moved away and now I'm alone.

GK: If you're not from here, you don't know how to dress for the weather.

SS DELICATE SOUTHERN: I'm just gonna run to the store in my nice slip and my little shawl.

GK: And you skid on a patch of ice and (HORN HONKS) you run into the ditch and you get a flat tire (TIRE GOES FLAT, CAR SLOWS, SS SOUTHERN: OH DEAR, WHAT IS THAT?) and the car won't move (HONKING, SS SOUTHERN: OH PLEASE SOMEBODY COME HELP ME), and you sit there in the car, waiting for someone to help you ----

SS DELICATE SOUTHERN: I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

GK: But the truth is that there are not as many Good Samaritans as there used to be, especially not during rush hour (HONKING, ANGRY TR: HEY LADY, MOVE IT) and the few there are are busy promoting their memoirs on talk shows -----

TR: My next guest is a man who's made a habit of stopping and changing flat tires for stranded motorists and he's written a book, called HOW CAN I HELP. Al, good to have you----

TR: Thanks, Bob.

TR: So what inspired this lifetime of service to others, Al?

TR: It was just the way I was brought up, that's all, to alleviate suffering and pain and the only reward I ever needed was to see a stranger smile (FADING)

GK: He's not going to help you, and meanwhile the Boy Scouts are all working for their Facebook merit badges.

TR (TEEN): Be prepared --- yeah, right --- and I was like totally unprepared for Trish telling me that Megan, like, thinks I am totally hot. Wow.

GK: Meanwhile, here you are, a very cultivated person (SS SOUTHERN: OH, WHY THANK YOU, THAT'S VERY KIND), you have not changed a tire yourself for thirty years, (SS SOUTHERN: AT BELLE RIVE WE HAD SERVANTS DO THAT FOR US) plus which you are not dressed for the weather, (SS SOUTHERN: I WORE THIS SILK SLIP AND THE WRAP, I JUST WASN'T THINKING) and you call 9-1-1.

SS EVELYN: Yeah, what's the problem?

SS SOUTHERN: I am stranded on the freeway with a flat tire, ma'am.

SS EVELYN: So?? What do you expect me to do about it?

SS SOUTHERN: I need someone to come help me. It's very urgent.

SS EVELYN: You know where your trunk is located?

SS SOUTHERN: Yes, but I've never changed a tire in all my born days.

SS EVELYN: Call your boyfriend then.

SS SOUTHERN: I don't have a boyfriend.

SS EVELYN: What happened to him?

SS SOUTHERN: I am a very cultivated person and he was entirely too rough and crude for me.

SS EVELYN: Call him up and tell him you changed your mind.

(BLIZZARD)

GK: And now you notice something else. Your gas tank is almost on empty. You're stuck by the freeway and it's miles to the nearest gas station and probably there's no mechanic there anyway, just some minimum-wage clerk in a cage, and you'll freeze to death out here and (MUFFLED WOOFS) ----- wait, there's a huge dog at your car door, a St. Bernard with a little barrel around its neck ----- (DOOR OPEN, BLIZZARD, DOG WOOFS, JINGLE OF COLLAR)-----

SS SOUTHERN: Oh wow. Just in the nick of time. I'm saved.

TR DOG: My name is Bernie, I'm wondering if you could spare me a couple bucks. I need to get to a liquor store and buy me some brandy.

(HICCUP)

SS SOUTHERN: Why, you're drunk. I can smell it on your breath.

TR DOG: I just had a few for the road. It's a long road.

SS SOUTHERN: You ought to be ashamed of yourself, a rescue dog drunk on brandy.

TR DOG: It's miserable thankless work, rescuing strangers on a cold day. How about this? I'll go get some brandy and I'll call for help and come back for you and we can drive south until there's no more snow.

SS SOUTHERN: Oh, how did I ever get myself into this predicament? Here I am, dressed wrong for the weather, unable to do a simple thing like change a flat tire. Oh Mitch. Where are you? I need you, Mitch. (MUSIC) I have learned my lesson, believe me.

GK & AS:
VERSE 1
Life is like a winter highway
Through the hills and dales it winds
Snow is falling and its icy,
Still you try to make good time.
Watch the curves, the narrow bridges
Take the downhill nice and slow
Keep your hands upon the gearshift
An' your eye upon the road

CHORUS
Blessed Saviour who created
Laws of physics we obey
May our car not meet another
Coming toward us, Lord we pray
VERSE 3
As you head into the snowstorm
At a steady fifty-five
Let reality direct you
Let it guide you as you drive.
See the S.U.V.s who wound up
In the ditches as you pass
Keep your hands upon the gearshift
Lift your foot up from the gas.

CHORUS
Blessed Saviour who created
Laws of physics we obey
May Newton's First Law of Motion
Not put us in the ditch today.
We cannot do all we wish to
Sometimes nature is contrary
And its rules must be respected
This we learn in January.
And sometimes the trip is cancelled
And the plane stays on the ground
You'll spend the night in Minnesota
Where amusement must be found

CHORUS
Blessed Saviour who created
Laws of physics we obey
Teach us to enjoy inertia
Here in St. Paul for today.

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).

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