Goose Bumps

lili tomlin







Soup. Art.

From The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, written by Jane Wagner & Lily Tomlin

Trudy the Bag Lady: (near the play’s beginning) “Dial-switch me outta this! I got enough worries of my own. These trances are entertaining but distracting, especially since someone else has the remote control, and if the pause button should somehow get punched, I could have a neurotransmitter mental meltdown.

Causes “lapses of the synapses.”  I forget things. Never underestimate the power of the human mind to forget. The other day, I forgot where I put my house keys — looked everywhere, then I remembered… I don’t have a house.

I forget more important things, too …Like the meaning of life.  I forget that.

It’ll come to me, though. Let’s just hope when it does, I’ll be in… My space chums say they’re learning so much about us since they’ve begun to time-share my trances. They said to me, “Trudy, the human mind is so-o-o strange.”

I told ’em, “That’s nothin’ compared to the human genitals.” Next to my trances they love goin’ through my shopping bags.

Once they found this old box of Cream of Wheat. I told ’em, “A box of cereal.”  But they saw it as a picture of infinity. You know how on the front is a picture of that guy holding up a box of Cream of Wheat and on that box is a picture of that guy holding up a box of Cream of Wheat and on that box is a picture of that guy holding up a box of Cream of Wheat and on that box is a picture of that guy holding up a box of Cream of Wheat…

We think so different. They find it hard to grasp some things that come easy to us, because they simply don’t have our frame of reference.

I show ’em this can of Campbell’s tomato soup. I say, “This is soup.” Then I show ’em a picture of Andy Warhol’s painting of a can of Campbell’s tomato soup. I say, “This is art.” “This is soup.” “And this is art.”

Then I shuffle the two behind my back. Now what is this? No, this is soup and this is art!”

(Near the play’s ending) “Hey, what’s this?”

“Dear Trudy, thanks for making our stay here so jam-packed and fun-filled. Sorry to abort our mission — it is not over, just temporarily scrapped.  We have been ordered to go to a higher bio-vibrational plane.


Just wanted you to know, the neurochemical imprints of our cardiocortical experiences here on earth will remain with us always, but what we take with us into space that we cherish the most is ‘goose bump’ experience.”

‘Did I tell you what happened at the play?  We were at the back of the theater, standing there in the dark, all of a sudden I feel one of ’em tug my sleeve, whispers, “Trudy, look.” I said, “Yeah, goose bumps.”

You definitely got goose bumps. You really like the play that much?”

They said it wasn’t the play that gave ’em goose bumps, it was the audience. I forgot to tell ’em to watch the play; they’d been watching the audience!

Yeah, to see a group of strangers sitting together in the dark, laughing and crying about the same things…that just knocked ’em out.

They said, “Trudy, the play was soup…the audience…art.”

So they’re taking goose bumps home with ’em. Goose bumps! …Quite a souvenir.

I like to think of them out there in the dark, watching us.  Sometimes we’ll do something and they’ll laugh.  Sometimes we’ll do something and they’ll cry.

And maybe one day we’ll do something so magnificent, everyone in the universe will get goose bumps.”

May the peaceful intent of the holidays bring you to presence.  Very Merry – Martha

Photo Copyright © 2015 Gracenote

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