SFX, January 26, 2013

Overture Center for the Arts

Madison, WI

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Listen (MP3)



GK: It's been a cold cold week (WIND) up here on America's northland, where volunteer snowmobilers defend our border against the rapacious Canadians (SFX) and against persons unknown.

TR (PINCHED, EVIL): I see that you two are heading for the airport......

FN: Yes, Flo and I are flying to Fort Myers, Florida.

TR (EVIL): Would you do me a favor and take this little bag of stuff aboard the aircraft?

SS: What's in it?

TR (EVIL): I'd rather not say. (DANGER CHORD)


GK: In Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakotas, houses sit vacant while the owners luxuriate in Florida and Arizona, leaving big gaps in our line of defense. We don't call those people "snowbirds," we call them "deserters". (STING)


FN: Me, sir?

TR (PATTON): Where. Do. You. Think. You. Are. Going?

FN: Phoenix?

TR (PATTON): Did I give orders that you go to Phoenix? DID I?

FN: No, sir.


GK: Nonetheless, they leave, often under cover of darkness, and they go south, and it's very nice for awhile. (BIRDS, SURF)

SS (MIDWESTERN): Look. Ten below back home this morning.


SS (MIDWESTERN): Aren't you glad you don't have to shovel the driveway?


SS (MIDWESTERN): What's on your mind, Al?

TR (MIDWESTERN): Wondering if I turned off the water heater.

SS (MIDWESTERN): Back home?


SS (MIDWESTERN): Call Tom and ask him to go check.

TR (MIDWESTERN): Tom's down here now.



SS (MIDWESTERN): How about Bob?

TR (MIDWESTERN): He's down here, too.



GK: A house left unoccupied in winter (BLIZZARD). Extreme cold. Metal contracting from the outside. The heat inside causing expansion. (CREAKS, GROAN) You don't have to be a physicist to know that the structure is put under severe stress. And without living breathing people inside to humidify, the wood gets dry, it cracks. (SFX) Rats come in (SFX). Raccoons. (SFX) They make nests in your beds. They eat your shoes. (SFX) They flip switches on and off. (SFX) They turn off the gas and the pilot light goes out on the water heater. And then they turn the gas back on. (HISSING) And the animals smell the gas and they get out. (SFX) And four days later------ (BIG EXPLOSION, REVERB. AFTER- EXPLOSIONS)

SS (OLD): What was that?

TR (OLD): Thompson house blew up.

SS (OLD): Shouldn't we call 9-1-1?

TR (OLD): Too late for that.

SS (OLD): Guess so.

TR (OLD): Went to Florida.

SS (OLD): Yeah.


TR (PREACHER): Winter. We've got to stick together.

GK: The first rule of winter is don't leave beer in the car ---- it will freeze and blow up (SFX). Always scrape your windshield (SFX) because even if it looks pretty clear, the moment the sun hits your windshield you'll be blinded and you'll run into a ditch. (CAR SKID, LANDS IN DITCH)

SS: Oh boy. In a ditch. Supposed to be at a meeting at noon and what am I supposed to do now? (CHORD)

GK: Get your emergency kit with the chains, a flashlight, jumper cables, flares, and a rifle.

SS: What????? A rifle???? But I'm a Democrat.

GK: When it's a cold as it is now, you have no choice. The only way to survive is to wait for a bear to come along and shoot it and cut it open and clean out the internal organs and climb inside the warm carcass, and wait until help comes.

SS: What??? Are you nuts??? I'm a member of the Sierra Club. I'm a Unitarian. I am a vegan.

GK: Sometimes life presents us with stark choices and we have to do what is necessary, distasteful as it may be.

SS: I've never killed anything in my life. Not since I became a vegan------


GK: Here he comes. It's you or him.

SS: Oh---- him. A male bear. For some reason I was assuming it would be----- female. Are you sure it's a male? Oh---- right---- I see that. Hmmmm. Interesting. (BEAR GETTING CLOSER) Those beady eyes -----the mouth breathing ----- reminds me of my old boss at the University. (BEAR CLOSER) He used to rear up on his hind legs just like that. (GUNSHOT) (BEAR DIES)-- Now what do I do?

GK: Here's a knife. Cut him open and take the guts out.

SS: Really?

GK: Quick, while he's still warm.

SS: Um. Okay. That knife is kind of small.

GK: Those of you listening at home may want to walk into the next room for just a minute. The following scene contains graphic violence that may be upsetting to small children. If you are susceptible to nausea or fainting spells you should check with your doctor before you listen to this scene which is a realistic depiction of an animal's viscera and vital organs being torn from the body and thrown into a hot steaming pile and later eaten by foxes. Listening to this could cause psychological problems in small children for years to come and necessitate expensive therapy and perhaps make it necessary to---- ARE YOU DONE WITH HIM?


GK: You cut all the guts out of him?

SS: Yep. (SHE SETTLES INTO THE CARCASS AND PULLS IT AROUND HER) Mmmmm. Boy, this is comfy. This bear carcass is just my size. All warm and steamy and wet. I like this. I could stay in here for a long time. Oh boy. I never thought I'd enjoy something like this but I do. Oh man, do I. (SHE GOES ON MURMURING, UNDER BRIDGE)

GK: It just takes getting used to, Winter. If you're a Floridian or an Arizonan or Texist, you can learn how to master ice and extreme cold. And you'll feel so much better about yourself when you learn the art of.....




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).

Available now»

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