A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to Akron, OH with Heather Masse, Christine DiGiallonardo, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Fred Newman and Tim Russell.
A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to Scranton, PA with Heather Masse, Christine DiGiallonardo, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Fred Newman and Tim Russell.
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson, Dan Chouinard and Dean Magraw bring their show to Spokane, WA for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to the Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, TX with our favorite regulars, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Tim Russell and Fred Newman. Additional guests to be announced.
New Philadelphia, OH
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Kent State University. Poetry, Limericks, Sing-Along and the News from Lake Wobegon.
Winter is here, people, and let’s face it — somebody has to live up here in the north, we can’t all sit around Mirage-a-Lounge, Florida, and play golf every day, somebody has to raise the soybeans and defend the border against the insatiable Canadians, and so here we are, putting on our puffy coats that make us look fat and stocking caps that destroy our hairstyle and heading out into the frigid blast and going to work and getting important stuff done, and not passing nuclear secrets around to our pals at the club or doubling the size of our penthouse on loan applications. I don’t know any Minnesotans who do that sort of thing.
When Hubert Humphrey was LBJ’s vice president, I’ll bet you anything he didn’t sit around Murray’s steakhouse in Minneapolis and show Canadian tycoons the formula for the H-bomb.
Frigid weather has its benefits, rectitude being one of them, and now I read about the Valley fever striking people in Southern California and Arizona, people who’ve inhaled flesh-eating fungi that leave them in agony, immobile, requiring rectal tubes to suck poisonous fumes from their bodies.
There is no flesh-eating fungus in Minnesota. Whatever else may ail you — discouragement, lack of self-esteem, inability to self-advocate — at least your food doesn’t taste mossy, you’re not coughing up mold from a deadly fungus that is recycling your innards. And now here is Thanksgiving for us northerners to celebrate our good fortune.
We are stoical people. Tranquilizers would be wasted on us. A big blizzard comes along, emergencies are declared, cars disappear under the drifts, teams of sled dogs take serum to isolated orphans in distant indigenous villages, still we strap on the skis and go to the office as if nothing were amiss.
Thanksgiving is inextricably tied to turkeys, a high-strung bird with no intellectual capacity whatsoever, liable to stampede in a rainstorm and pile up against a fence and suffocate by the thousands. They are bred for gigantic torsos, the white meat that is fairly tasteless — there is no gourmet cooking that involves turkeys, the bird is simply chow. And of course the name itself is a synonym for “failure.” To be a leading producer of stupid misshapen birds who panic easily is not a distinction to be craved, but Somebody Has To Do The Work, and so Minnesota produces a billion turkeys a year so that America can feel gratitude.
Minnesotans who might’ve written novels and won National Book Awards and appeared on talk shows instead spent their summer and fall supervising herds of brainless birds with giant bazooms. Imagine coming to New York and some slicker asks, “What do you do?” and you being honest say, “I raise turkeys.”
I tried to be a novelist and then had to take a job in radio at a little station in rural central Minnesota, near a couple of towns where men participated in the annual Polar Plunge in January, stripping naked and jumping into an icy body of water and splashing around and whooping and then climbing out and chugging a snootful of aquavit. It was an awesome thing to watch and it would be worth your while to google “Minnesota” and “Polar Plunge” and book a flight and see it for yourself. The men were thrilled to drop their robes and step out of their undies and stand on the dock, shivering, daring each other, as somebody busted up the ice, and finally breaking through the barrier of dread and landing in water that awakened every nerve cell in their body. (Women considered it obscene and never fought for the equal right to plunge, though obscene it was not: in icy water, the male organs diminish to the size of a dried peapod and two pumpkin seeds.)
I did not do the plunge myself but I experienced the same thing when I went into stand-up comedy. I’m a very shy person and I stand in the wings and feel dread and then walk out into the shock of applause and I forget what I’m supposed to say and it’s like a frozen lake.
Being a Minnesotan, I was brought up to feel guilt, something that the folks of Mirage-a-Lounge have never experienced. The words “I was wrong” or “I can’t believe I did that” have never been spoken there by men in extra-large white pants.
The cure for guilt is simple: step into the shower naked, and turn the knob marked C all the way on. This may also cure any fungal material. Just remember to remove any top-secret documents you may be storing there.