75g: Richard Pryor / Gil Scott-Heron
Don Pardo: Ladies and gentlemen, Shelley Pryor!
[ZOOM in on Shelley. She is at center stage with long, straw-colored hair, an olive green leisure suit, dark slacks, and very long fingernails.]
Shelley Pryor: You know, this being the season to be jolly and everything, I’ve written a little story to help you get your jollies... [grins] ...and it’s about my most favorite place in the world, the carousel in Central Park.
[Calliope music starts playing]
You see, once upon a time,
There was the most beautiful white carousel,
With two horses in love.
Now here’s their story I tell.
Now, the boy’s name was Ching,
And the girl’s name was Jing,
And their was abounding,
A most wonderful thing.
Until one day... [play “dum-de-dum-dum” from “Dragnet”]
Well, you see, Ching was a carousel horse.
Now, he was white out of one dozen.
But he couldn’t go up and down, [makes up-and-down motion]
Like his uncles or his cousins.
Well, this made Ching
Very, very sad,
Because going up and down
Made children glad.
And every Sunday they would run to the park,
And ride on the carousel
Until way after dark.
But they wouldn’t ride Ching.
Now that, of course, was a very sad thing.
[piano music gets louder]
Well, you see, Ching used to be able to
Go up and down,
Until one day this fat lady
Rolled into town,
And when she heard the music,
And she could tell that the music
Came from the carousel,
And carousels were her favorite thing.
So she ran to the park
Where she saw little Ching,
And she jumped on Ching--
And broke his spring.
And that was the end of his up-and-down thing.
[makes up-and-down motion]
[sad piano music]
Well, then, then, the grown-up people came,
And they took Ching off the carousel
To this tunnel underground,
And they stripped his white paint,
And they colored him brown.
And they tied a little cowboy’s scarf around his neck,
And they nailed a little metal box to his side,
And he carried the sign that said,
“Ten cents a ride.”
And they put him in front of a supermarket
On the other side of town,
And now he just rocks back and forth. [makes up-and-down motion]
He couldn’t go up and down. [grins]
But you know what?
Jing-a-ling, she still loved him very, very much,
Even though her friends would all fiddle.
[in nasal, nagging voice]
You CAN’T love a horse like him.
I mean, he doesn’t have a spring.
Now, think about your kids:
They’ll be stuck in the middle.”
Well, come on, I mean, stuck in the middle
Because he doesn’t have a spring?
Now why should true friends
Be worried about such a thing? [grins]
Or, was it that he lived
On the other side of town,
And that she was white,
And he was brown?
Well, you know, it’s really very funny
That even to this day,
Some carousel horses,
And ponies that rock,
And you know, some people too
Are still in shock?
I mean, it really is a shame,
That no one ever understood,
That underneath their paint,
They were all made of wood.
But I, uh, I guess that’s a horse of another color, huh?
[Shelley grins mischievously and bows as the audience applauds.]
Submitted by: Joe Cornfield