Excerpts from Action News
(from Burlington Lunch)
No joke. I don’t know what my life’d be like. You always wonder, is it coming back? I gave my address, I thought it might come back, but I dunno if they’d have the right maps. There’s some that never use maps but they always get where they’re going. Should I put some coffee on?
I shoulda kept my mouth shut. But I told people what happened, it got in the newspapers. They sent somebody out, said, “Well was it men from Mars?” Men from Mars. They thought I was joking, they thought I was drunk, they thought I was crazy. Look at you and grin. But I was walking back from the Seven Eleven, you’re not crazy when you’re walking back from the Seven Eleven, I had to go up there for some half-and-half and I can’t stand that damned creamer, so I had to go up to the Seven Eleven and I was walking back and there it was.
There it was. Those dumb movies, all that science fiction stuff, but you can’t describe it. Describe what it’s like being born, nobody ever done that. Everybody’s done it, but nobody’s ever described it. There it was. What’s the word? My nephew uses all those words, there’s a word for it, what’s the word?
I shoulda kept my mouth shut. Nobody believes it. You know if some movie star said it, you know why then they’d believe it. Or a politician. You gotta be a politician or a movie star or else you gotta be drunk. Hell, I could lie. I learned how to lie, I been taught by experts. But try to tell’em the truth, it’s not on the menu. You know they offered me $5,000 from the National Enquirer. But they never called back, cause later I found out they’d got some other guy who claimed the Russians was from another planet. And this other guy, he killed his cat cause he said it’s the Antichrist. That’s the stuff they print.
(from Action News)
HAROLD: Special day, Rosalie.
ROSALIE: Sure is, Harold.
HAROLD: One in a million.
ROSALIE: A huge selection.
HAROLD: Hot dog.
ROSALIE: Here comes a joke.
HAROLD: Look out.
HAROLD: A listener writes, “I was driving into Newark, New Jersey, not long ago, and I looked out the window, and I said, ‘How did all this HAPPEN?’”
Honks a goose horn, punches button: laughtrack. Then music theme.
ROSALIE: So welcome again to the HAROLD AND ROSALIE SHOW, with yours truly—
HAROLD: And yours truly—
ROSALIE: On FM 105, WHYO and you know WHY—
HAROLD: O why o why!
ROSALIE: And we’ll be here for an hour with some chatter, some news, weather, traffic, Harold’s very special brand of nonsense—
HAROLD: The rustle of silk taffeta—
ROSALIE: And this is a special day, I’m tickled, Harold, because by special invitation we’re going out of our metropolitan area for the very first time and being transmitted by satellite to listeners around the world—
HAROLD: Bonjour, meine Damen und Herren—
ROSALIE: Buenos dias—
HAROLD: Sputnik, tovaritch—
ROSALIE: Ravioli, fettuccine—
HAROLD: Toyota, kamikaze—
BOTH: Coca-cola!
HAROLD: In the Middle East the stalemate continues, as new villages are added to the toll. A spokesman reports that a cloud hung over negotiations today, and a pillar of fire by night.
ROSALIE: More lights off around the country as picket lines stay in place, but the President says, “Don’t worry, it won’t be long,” and planes are flying in total darkness.
HAROLD: A New Mexico death cult is waiting on top of a mountain. It’s any day now, they say, and they’re taking off their clothes.
ROSALIE: Police in Baltimore report dead silence for the space of half an hour. Blamed on a faulty valve.
HAROLD: Here’s one. That twelve-year-old who shot his father admitted he planned the deed since the age of two. Prosecutors request crucifixion.
ROSALIE: In Europe, a demonstration broke out in East Berlin after a sitdown strike by workers at a gasworks. Suppressed with minor leakage. And the new teenage fad? It’s walking backwards.
HAROLD: Kids, do you know where your parents are tonight? And Rosalie, Mrs. James Robertson of Tyler, Texas, was plagued with strong odor. She kept checking her shoe. But you know what she did?
ROSALIE: (strangled) OH CHRIST!
HAROLD TAPED: Are we out of gas?
ROSALIE TAPED: They were out of gas. They pulled to the side. The freeway here was through a desolate slum, miles and miles of burned-out tenements, a miserable savage slum inhabited by . . . slum-dwellers!
HAROLD TAPED: Scuse me, we’re out of gas and—
ROSALIE TAPED: Go way, paleface!
Door slam. Screams. Gunshots.
What were they to do? No service station, no phone, no way to get a signal back to the fort before daybreak would reveal their position to the lurking natives. They heard coyotes howl.
Burst of country yodeling.
HAROLD TAPED: Look! Smoke signals!
ROSALIE TAPED: Only one light was on: the outer door of a small concrete building, the communications center of a struggling broadcast facility. For this was 1957, and the great cities of the Plains were only a dream. They opened the door.
Creaking door.
A lone announcer was slumped over the controls, his back bristling with arrows, and a scribbled note under his head—
HAROLD TAPED: “Tell Ma and Pa I love’em, and look after the pigs.”
ROSALIE TAPED: Nothing else. They began calling for help, pressing buttons—
Electronic beeps.
Sending out their message—
HAROLD TAPED: Into the void. And at last, desperate, they joined hands, and by the powers invested in their jaws, they spoke straight from the heart. . .
BOTH TAPED: Hi. We’re Harold and Rosalie. We love each other. And we’re lost. Can we. . . come into your home?
ROSALIE: I was a different person. There were things I did that Rosalie would never do. I’d just watch to see what she’d do. See my shadow on the wall of his room . . . blue flowers . . . and yeh, it was Rosie’s shadow, but I wasn’t Rosie any more. I wanted to come home and yell, Hey! I’m not Rosie! Aren’t you glad to get rid of dreary old Rosie? Don’t you like what you see? But he’d whine, I want Rosie! I married Rosie! Be Rosie again!
HAROLD: Maybe there wasn’t any Stubblefield. We both went to different rooms and sat alone. Wallpaper with flowers.
ROSALIE: Sometimes it’s like it wasn’t him. Like he had brothers. It felt like his brothers. Or maybe there wasn’t even any Stubblefield.
HAROLD: We tried to raise children.
ROSALIE: You have to be fertile for children.
HAROLD: We tried—
ROSALIE: Something has to be growing—
HAROLD: And bringing them into the world—
ROSALIE: You can’t swallow weed-killer and still raise children.
HAROLD: How’d we get on a subject like that?
ROSALIE: When they were young, we dressed them in all the softest things. We even changed the detergent. We taught them manners. We taught good and bad, and they got candy when they were good. All the sleepless nights, all the saying things over and over. They had their dumplings on their plate. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July. Year after year.
HAROLD: Every damn year.
ROSALIE: And then one day they looked up from the plate and they said, “We’re dead. Mommy, Daddy, we’re dead.” We said, “No dear, you’re not, eat your peas.” “We can’t eat our peas, we’re dead.” We said, “We’re not to blame, it was all the TV, all the noise.” They said, “We’re not concerned with all that. We’re dead.”
HAROLD: And the little one? “I’m a birthday candle, papa. Blow me out.”
ROSALIE: So then we thought we’d humor them. We accepted the fact. We could forget.
HAROLD: Forget. Except for the hopes.