Tick, May 12, 2012

Fox Theatre

Atlanta, GA


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Tick

Listen (MP3)

(ORGAN)

GK: Once upon a time there was a woodtick who fastened himself to a mathematician and as he drank his blood he got smarter and smarter.

TR: What is the life expectancy of a woodtick? I wonder. I don't know any woodticks who held family reunions so I guess we don't live long. But I want to do things ---- go places ---- I want to master integral calculus.

GK: Other woodticks were single-minded.

SS & FN (DUET, ASCENDING AND DESCENDING SCALE): Blood blood blood blood blood blood blood blood blood blood blood blood blood blood.

TR: If I change my diet and get more exercise maybe I can live longer.

GK: So he gave up blood and switched to tomato juice and he went for brisk walks every day which cleared his mind.

TR: I feel so much better. Wow.

GK: One day he was listening to a tick talk show on the radio and a woodtick named Miss Tick was talking.

SS: I see a great circle of being. I see a light in the darkness. I see all things connected. I believe that when we die we will become birds.

GK: The vegan woodtick looked up in the sky (BIRDS CALLING, WINGS) and he saw great white birds flying.

TR: Mom! Dad! Hi! It's me!

GK: He was filled with joy.

TR: Someday I will rise up and fly with you. Someday, I will have two legs and two wings. And life will be complete.

FN (LOW): Alas, alas, alas. Alas, alas, alas.

TR: Who are you?

FN (LOW): I am the Alas Tick.

TR: Why so sad?

FN (LOW): We are woodticks. We live, we suck blood, we lay eggs, we die. Everyone hates us. We hate ourselves. But we can't stop. That's all there is.

TR: Who told you this?

FN: A lass.

TR: No, you have to believe.

FN (LOW): I cannot. Alas.

GK: The vegan tick was sad and also he was getting weaker.

TR: Maybe tomato juice isn't enough for me.

GK: So he attached himself to a poet and drank her blood.

TR: How beautiful the world is. From up here behind her ear I can see the blue sky ---- trees ----- how verdant, how shimmery ----- the sunlight dancing on the water. What does it matter if life is brief so long as we live each moment fully?

GK: One day the poet went to a hair stylist. (SNIP SNIP SNIP)

FN: You've got a lovely structure back here and I don't know who cut your hair before but they sure left a lot of loose ends----- ewwwwww.

SS: What?

FN: A woodtick!!!!! (COMMOTION, RATTLE)

GK: And he grabbed a curling iron to scorch the tick and instead-----

SS (SCREAM)

FN: SORRY!!!

GK: He burned the poet and the tick leaped off----- (POP OF NEEDLE, TR SCURRY) onto the chair and down on the floor and out the door (HURRY MUSIC) and onto an elevator (DING) that was going up (SFX) and the doors opened onto a rooftop terrace (CORK POP, LAUGHTER, MUSIC, TALK) where people sat at tables looking out over the city.

TR: Wow. No woodtick ever got this far up, I'll bet.

GK: He climbed up a post and along the railing and he saw up in the sky (BIRDS CALLING) ----

TR: MOM! DAD! IT'S ME.

GK: And a big white bird flew down (BIRD SCREECH, FLUTTER OF WINGS) ----- and suddenly there was no woodtick. Gone. The party went on without him.

TR: (ITALIAN WOODTICK SADNESS)

GK: One woodtick noticed what happened. He was a Roman tick. But that was all. He simply was gone.

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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