Oyster, June 15, 2013

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery

Woodinville, WA


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Oyster

Listen (MP3)

TR: Time now for---- (FANFARE) The Art of Fiction. (FN ECHO) Fiction ---- means----- Action. Things happen in fiction. It isn't an essay in which you look up at the sky and get all dreamy and introspective. Fiction----means----action. (SLAP) (FN: OUCH.) Wake up.

(MUSIC, SURF, BOAT MOTOR, STOPPING, SHUTS OFF)

SS: Is this where you think it is, Mr. Farrington?

GK: Right down there. Fifty fathoms, Luanne. The beds of the fabulous rare Pujhay oyster.

SS: I think it's pronounced Puget, Mr. Farrington.

GK: Not this oyster. The Pujhay oyster lives, in the cold current that originates in the mountains near the gold-mining town of Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin. These oysters contain golden nuggets, Luanne.

SS: How do you know that?

GK: I found a Pujhay oyster when I was your age and I've been on the trail of them ever since. It's a wily oyster, the Pujhay. So we'll lower our oyster dredges, baited with caviar, and then haul them up, and sell them for five hundred dollars apiece to Japan where they're regarded as a powerful aphrodisiac.

SS: Are they?

GK: How would I know?

SS: Right. You're not Japanese.

GK: Got the oyster dredge?

SS: Got it right here.

GK: Caviar in place?

SS: Got it.

GK: Okay. Lower it down. (WINCH, SPLASH)

(BOAT MOTOR APPROACHES AND SLOWS AND STOPS)

GK: Oh oh. Look-----

FN: Hey. So you found it, Frank. Congratulations. (STING)

GK: Leroy Skunkweiler. How did you know?

FN: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I've been watching you for years, Frank. And now that you've done the work, move your boat aside, and let me haul in the oysters.

SS: We were here first, Skunkweiler. Back off.

FN: And I've got a pistol here that says you're wrong, little lady. (SFX)

SS: You're not going to get your hands on these Pujhays, Skunkweiler

FN: Get my hands on what???

SS: You heard me. These rare Pujhay oysters.

FN: Pujhay? Pujhay!!! (HE LAUGHS, UNCONTROLLABLY. WHEEZING. CHORTLING. THEN CRIES OUT AS HE LOSES HIS BALANCE AND FALLS INTO THE WATER. SOME BUBBLES COME UP.)

SS: He's gone.

GK: Serves him right. Oh oh. What's this?

(BIG WHOOSH OF WATER, ENGINE OF SUB. MUFFLED KLAXON)

SS: WOW. LOOK OUT!!!! It's a submarine!!!!

GK: Keep calm. (TR RUSSIAN, ON BULLHORN, INCL SEVERAL "PUJHAY") Russian sub.

SS: What do we do now?

GK: Hand me that blue bottle under your seat, Luanne?

SS: Here. What is it?

GK: It's the sperm of the sperm whale.

SS: The what?

GK: Sperm. I'm going to throw it at the submarine so its deck is covered with sperm. Don't look, Luanne. (HE THROWS. FLIGHT OF BOTTLE. CRASH AND SQUORT) (TR RUSSIAN) We're on the migratory route of the whales and this is their mating season, Luanne. And here comes one----- (WHOOSH OF WATER, WHALE CRY, WATER WHIPPED TO FROTH)

SS: She's attacking that submarine!

GK: She's trying to mate with it, Luanne. (BWANGGG. TR RUSSIAN CRY) They're trying to close the hatches but it's too late. They're taking on water. (SUB SINKING, WATER BUBBLING) They're sinking.

SS: Oh no!!!!!

GK: It's okay. They'll blow out the ballast (SFX) and pump out the water, float back up. But I don't think they'll be after those oysters anymore.

SS: And neither will you be, Mr. Farrington.

GK: Luanne!!!!

SS: What do you take me for? A dope? Those golden oysters are all mine.

GK: But why, Luanne? Why? I hired you as an at-risk youth for our summer intern program and now this?

SS: You thought because I was an at-risk youth, you could get me for free, Mr. Farrington. Well, you were wrong. Maybe you should've offered me a salary.

GK: Nobody pays interns, Luanne.

SS: Maybe now they will. ---- Swim for shore, Mr. Farrington.

GK: But Luanne-----

(CRACK OF WHIP)

SS: I said, Swim to shore.

GK: I'll never make it to shore, Luanne.

SS: That's up to you.

GK: It's five miles to shore.

SS: Good luck, Mr. Farrington.

GK: Luanne, let me have one oyster. Just one. There are thousands down there. I just want one. To eat on the half shell. Before I die. You can have the gold.

SS: You're pathetic.

GK: You were on your way to reform school for pushing that bookshelf over on your mentor and I rescued you. And now you have half-a-million dollars worth of Pujhay oysters. The least you can do is give me one. Please. Pull up the dredge and just give me the smallest oyster in there.

SS: Awwww, okay. (RATCHET) Gosh this dredge is heavy. Must be a hundred oysters in it. (SHE STRAINS, RATCHET)

GK: I think I'll have more than one, come to think of it----- I think I'll have them all.

SS: No way! Ha------- hey----- where'd you get that gun?

GK: I knew I couldn't trust you. So I put this derringer in my boot.

SS: What are you going to do?

GK: I'm going to start the motor, Luanne. I'm going to drop you off at that little island way out there. I think a few weeks alone stranded on an island in Puget Sound may be just what you need.

SS: Before you do that, look behind you, Mr. Farrington.

GK: I know that old "look behind you" trick, Luanne.

SS: Remember that sperm whale? The female? (WHALE) I think she's got a crush on you---- (WHALE LOUD, MOUTH OPENS, WATER FLOWAGE, SALIVA, SWALLOW, SLIDE DOWN GULLET, SPONGY TISSUE AND LIQUIDY SFX. REVERB)

GK: Luanne? Luanne?

SS: Where are we?

GK: Guess.

SS: It's all dark and slimy and smells of algae and stuff.

GK: We're in the stomach of a whale. (GAGGING) And I don't think he likes the taste of us.

SS: I think he's going to puke. (GAGGING, VOMIT, FLOWAGE, SPLASHES)

GK: Hey, there's the boat. Grab onto it.

SS: There's someone in the boat-----

(FN LAUGHS)

GK: Leroy Skunkweiler!!!???

FN: You left me here to drown, Farrington. But I was rescued by my faithful Indian companion, Vikram Gupta Kapoor.

TR (INDIAN): Yes indeed I have now rescued my good friend from the water where he was and you see how quickly things can change. Oh my yes. Big big change.

SS (LOW): What are we going to do?

GK: "We"? Now you and I are teammates, Luanne. You perfidious teenager.

SS (TO F.N.): If you gentlemen need help finding the oyster beds, I can help.

FN: Sure. What the heck. Give her a hand, Mr. Gupta Kapoor.

TR (INDIAN): Here, take hold of my hand, young woman. (SPLASH) Good. Up you go.

FN: Sink or swim, Farrington. Bye bye. (MOTOR STARTS, BOAT MOVES AWAY)

GK: What now? (WAVES) All alone, five miles from shore, in the cold water, nobody in sight. (SEAGULL) Why did this happen to me? I didn't deserve this. All alone, left to drown. This is so meaningless. It makes me question the existence of God. Why is He so cruel to me??? (WATER WAVES) Wait a minute. This isn't an essay. It's fiction. And I'm the writer. Get a grip. (WHOOSH OF WATER, AS DIVER SURFACES)

SS: Hello there. I'm Commander Trueheart, U.S. Navy Seals. Saw you out here and came to rescue you.

GK: You're not a Navy Seal.

SS: No, but he is. (SEAL) That's Ricky. Go ahead, get on his shoulders, and we'll get you out of here.

GK: I have to get these golden oysters.

SS: Already got em. That's why I was down there. They're on that barge back there. (BOAT HORN)

GK: Wow. Looks like you got a couple tons of them.

SS: Sixteen tons, sir.

GK: Wow. A million bucks worth.

SS: Four million.

GK: Boy. We should celebrate tonight. You and me.

SS: I will. If you'll marry me.

GK: Fine. One more thing.

SS: What is it, lover?

GK: See that motorboat up there with the two guys and the girl in it?

SS: Yes?

GK: Blow it up.

SS: Anything for you, babes.

GK: No. Don't. Sorry. Can't do it. I'm a Christian. Darn.

SS: He's not.

GK: Who?

SS: The barge captain. (TR CHINESE)

GK: Oh. Well. Okay. (ROCKET LAUNCH, FLIGHT. EXPLOSION)

(THEME)

TR: The Art of Fiction. Action. That's what fiction is. So get out of here and DO SOMETHING.

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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