Rhubarb, December 15, 2012

The Town Hall

New York, NY


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Rhubarb

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GK: The question is: will you go to work next Friday on the day the Mayan calendar says the world will end or will you take the day off so you can see it as it happens— the earthquake (SFX), the lightning (SFX), the earth cracking (SFX), and steam coming up (SFX), and hot lava (SFX), the meteorites streaking through the atmosphere (SFX), the spaceship landing(SFX), and the door opening (SFX), and little green aliens come out (SFX) and meanwhile volcanoes are blowing up (SFX), and prehistoric eggs deep in the earth hatch and suddenly (SCREECH), pterodactyls fill the sky, and they battle the aliens (SFX)---who shoot their powerful lasers (SFX) and bring down the pterodactyls (SFX) and one dying pterodactyl throws himself (PTERO HIGH NOTE) ---- sorry, throws herself at the spaceship (CRUNCH, DESTRUCTION) and so the aliens are stranded here on earth (ALIEN CONFUSION) and they are heart-broken (ALIEN SORROW) but then they make friends with a dolphin (DOLPHIN & ALIEN DIALOGUE), who teaches them to operate a nuclear sub (SFX) and they disappear into the sea, the sea, the mystical sea (SURF)......

So do you go to work on Friday and miss all of that excitement, and there you are toiling away in your little cubicle (TYPING) and answering the phone (RING)....

TR (HIGH, TIGHT): Human Resources, Bob speaking. How may I help you?

(ALIEN VOICE ON PHONE)

TR (HIGH, TIGHT): What division do you work in?

(ALIEN VOICE ON PHONE)

TR (HIGH, TIGHT): Is this some sort of joke?

GK: Here at "A Prairie Home Companion" we have a rehearsal scheduled for the day the world ends and we'll all be there ----- the band comes in with something weird they want to play----- (EXPERIMENTAL MINIMALIST JAZZ, ATONAL VIOLIN, CHANCE PIANO, ETC) ---- and one of them has brought his girlfriend who sings (HM SINGS, ATONAL, REPEAT: I'm cool....but you don't get it, do you? Mister Nowhere.) and the actors are at each other's throats----

TR: What's that in your hand?

SS: I've had it with you. Up to here.

TR: You throw that pie at me, you're going to be sorry.

SS: Ha!!! (SQUORCH, PIE IN FACE)

TR: That is it.

SS: Put that fire extinguisher down.

TR: Let's see you make me.

SS: I'll do a lot more than make you.

TR: Scared, aren't you? You're scared.

SS: Scared of you? (HARSH LAUGHTER) (FIRE EXTINGUISHER)

GK: Meanwhile, there's the sound effects man. Never easy to deal with.

FN: Where's the song?

GK: What song?

FN: My song.

GK: What do you mean "my song"?

FN: My contract says I get to sing at least once per two-hour show. Right there. The small print.....page 23, section IV, paragraph 7, line three...

GK: Talk to the lawyers.

FN (SINGS):
The contract says I will do sound effects....
I will do (HONK) and I will (BARK) and I will flex my pecs. (STRAIN)
But in exchange for (CANNONS) and everything,
I get to sing, I get to sing.

GK: And so the band is playing one original composition after another (BASS SOLO, W BAND CHORDS) and the girlfriend is also a songwriter----

HM (SINGS): Perpendicular pajamas and incoherent shoes and where have you gone, Mister Used To Be?

GK: And the actors are acting out......

ER: STOP IT.

TR: You started it.

ER: Did not.

TR: Did. You little snot.

ER: What'd you say?

TR: You heard what I said. (SLAP) Hey. You hit me and (SLAP) I'll hit you right back.

ER: Okay. (BWANG) There. How's that, big boy?

TR: You want to fight, I'll fight. (BULLWHIP)

ER: Missed me. Get him, Heinrich. (DOG SNARLING) Kampfen und siegen! (DOG ATTACK)

GK: And the sound effects man is complaining about the script-----

FN: Here on page 14 ----- it says (SFX: HANDSAW) and I think what you meant was (SFX: CHAINSAW) ---- you get what I'm saying? A person wouldn't go out in the forest and walk up to a tree and (SFX: HANDSAW)---- he'd go out and (SFX: START UP CHAINSAW) cause if you (SFX: HANDSAW) it'd take hours and hours whereas if you (SFX: CHAINSAW) it'll bring the tree down in (TREE FALLING) ---- you see what I'm saying?

GK: And then a giant slithering amphibious creature slides up behind the SFX man and (FN: No! No! No!) (SFX) eats him.

GK: So that's what my Friday is going to be like, and then I'll go home and put a Lean Cuisine in the microwave (SFX), and update my Facebook page......(CLICKING OF KEYS) Hey. We've got volcanoes and pterodactyls and space aliens, but it's not the end of the world, you know?

And then I see there haven't been any updates by any of my more than 175 Facebook friends in the past 24 hours----- nothing but silence (WIND, DISTANT BIRD CRY) ------ and I have just one email----- it says:

FN ALIEN VOICE

GK: Wouldn't this be a good time for a piece of Rhubarb Pie? Nothing gets the taste of shame and humiliation out of your mouth like Beboparebop Rhubarb Pie and Rhubarb Pie Filling.

(THEME)

But one little thing can revive a guy,
And that is homemade rhubarb pie.
Serve it up, nice and hot.
Maybe things aren't as bad as you thought.

DUET:
Mama's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb,
Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.
Mama's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb,
Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.

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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