Last night Shane and I took advantage of our Smithsonian Resident Associates membership in order to go see Garrison Keillor. We’ve been listening to A Prairie Home Companion on the weekends, so when I saw that he was going to be here, we jumped at the chance. He wore a suit with a red tie, red kicks, and red socks that were pulled up to his knees (at least from what we could see in the balcony) – and was in general just like you’d imagine – a funny, affable, self-deprecating middle-aged guy with a “flannelly” voice telling rambling stories about his youth, his friends, and his outlook on the world. My favorite part of his rambling monologue had to do with travel restrictions, and how we all take off our shoes at the airport in tribute to Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber”, even though there are few known correlations between terrorism and women named ‘Gladys’. He waxed hyperbolic, theorizing about the day when someone goes on a plane with an underpants bomb, suggesting that this would be the day that travel by train comes back into vogue.
I love Garrison Keillor. If A Prairie Home Companion isn’t syndicated in your area, I highly recommend the podcasts for either The News from Lake Woebegon, Keillor’s signature monologue, or The Writers’ Almanac, a five minute short broadcast about the day’s events in literary history.