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Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.

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January 22, 2007 | 11 Comments

Dear Mr. Keillor:
I have been listening to you for as long as your show has been on the air and I felt I should tell you of your newest fan: my 7-month-old son, John William. Seven-month-olds are not always the happiest of creatures and what gives him joy, through colds and teething and plain old everyday 7-month-oldness, is PHC. As soon as he hears "Tishomingo Blues" his eyes light up, he flashes a big two-tooth grin, and he leans back against me and stares intently at the laptop while it plays. So thank you for giving my little boy (and his momma) some happy quiet time. And thank you for making so many past shows available on the archives so we're not limited to it being a once-a-week occurrence!

Karen Q
Syracuse


What makes your little boy smile, of course, is being in Momma's arms when she's settled down in a chair and in a good mood, and what puts Momma in a good mood is having the boy in her arms and happy. It's symbiotic. You could get the same effect by playing Mozart, with the extra benefit of raising the boy's I.Q. Our show makes no promises about that. Or you could tune in via the Internet to the CBC and immerse him in French. Now is the time to start him on a second language, which will give him a leg up when it's time to apply to Harvard and Princeton. PHC is nothing you'd want to put on a college application, believe me. I am only trying to alert you to your responsibilities as a mother. Making a child smile is not so hard. You need to think ahead to when he's 18.


11 Comments


This type of unbearable treacle is unfortunately one of the mainstays of Post to the Host. Whenever children or dying mothers are mentioned, it gets posted. The dumb crank postings usually get their say, as well. And the "I want to be just like you when I grow up" postings are also a lock. Either stroke or provoke the Host's ego and you'll have your message printed. I enjoy syrup on pancakes, but ease up a little on this site, please.


The humility about the show and your attempt to redirect her perspective would have been wonderfully supplemented by a "Thank you" to this excited and sincere young mother. She simply was complimenting you and those who work wih you. (Betcha she already knew about Mozart...)


GK is wrong! If me and my dog enjoy the show so can a seven month old baby!

Momma, don't listen to GK's answer here but listen to him and his show and your son will be well rounded. Mother knows best, by the time he reaches the age of eighteen any school will be delighted to have him and if they don't then they don't deserve John William!


Re: "This type of unbearable treacle is unfortunately one of the mainstays of Post to the Host. Whenever children or dying mothers are mentioned, it gets posted. The dumb crank postings usually get their say, as well. And the "I want to be just like you when I grow up" postings are also a lock. Either stroke or provoke the Host's ego and you'll have your message printed. I enjoy syrup on pancakes, but ease up a little on this site, please."
-----

Let's see:

#1. Treacle

#2. Crank

#3. Obsequiousness

Hmm. #1 and #3 are out...

I guess you're right.


GK is right about the languages. My son is learning Italian at school and he also attends Greek School once a week at our church (Greek Orthodox, of course :-). It is a link to his heritage(s) and his writing and grammar skills are well above his grade level...he's my very own Greco-Roman revival. Plus, he's a big fan of PHC and GK, and so far none the worse for it ;-) We were also at the St. Louis broadcast (superb!) and he met GK at the Sheldon back in September.


Gosh. Is it my imagine or did I just get scolded by GK? Didn't really see that one coming.
For what it's worth John prefers Tchaikovsky over Mozart and Bach over both (P.D.Q. Bach, of course. My boy's got a sense of humor!).
Thanks for the kind comments Tom & Tillie. John is in the midst of cutting his first top tooth and through all the crankiness PHC really is one of the only things he'll stop fussing for without being heavily drugged. I honestly didn't even care if my post ever made it to the site. Just wanted to thank GK & the staff for the unintentional support (as well as the money saved on Baby Orajel & Infant Tylenol!).
And as for PHC not looking good on a college application, he may have a point, but I've been able to bond with more than one otherwise miserable teacher/professor in my day over PHC. It may not get him into college but it might give him a leg up in a class or two.


I also think Mr. Keillor was a little cranky in his response. Lighten up. She was paying you a compliment. I really hate that high-handed stuff. Nothing worse than when someone sincerely offers up some "thanks" and gets it thrown back in his/her face.


Now, how far can irony go? GK, why didn't you accept Karen's compliments before giving her and us the latest about child psychology? I've grown up on great radio voices (don't remember about 7 months though...) AND Mozart and Bach and Jazz.
All of that is symbiotic at times. And don't you think GKs voice over the radio or the laptop could be as well? It's not a shame; you could be proud of that as much as of your great show in so many other ways. Greetings from Austria/Europe, I'm looking forward to the motion picture that just starts in our cinemas! Werner


I was going to write a comment regarding your joke show, but after reading some of your comments to the above I think I'll not encourage your ego any more than has been done.
You kind of remind me of a "dumb bass".


GK was merely making a few joking comments, which I think were pretty funny. Lighten up, people. Learn to take a joke and don't always be looking to be offended all the time.


my goodness,

clearly you all don't know how to take the man.

you make me laugh GK.

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