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A Pride of Carrots

The CBS Radio Workshop 

A Pride of Carrots: or, Venus Well Served 

Sep 14 1956



CAST:

ANNOUNCER

CAUDLE

NARRATOR, Robert Nathan

POTTER

GRYPHON

EDWIN

EDWINA

ALICE, spoiled

O'DOR, Russian accent; hawkish

SHALLOT, Russian accent; dovish

SERGEANT

SPINDLE

MRS. POTTER

CASHIER

and a small gaggle of ONIONS




ANNOUNCER: This is THE CBS RADIO WORKSHOP.


SOUND: SPACESHIP BACKGROUND


CAUDLE: Well, folks, that just about winds up tonight's broadcast from the interplanetary rocket ship American Initiative. If Commander Potter's astral navigation continues to hold as true as it has so far, I will be broadcasting to you tomorrow night at this time from the planet Venus, which even now looms dead ahead of us, brighter and somewhat larger than our own Moon. This is J. Alexander Caudle speaking for Caledonia Oil, Surely White Tooth Paste, Eines Kleines Nacht Beer, and Bar-None Dog Food, and returning you now to the CBS studios on Earth.


SOUND: SPACESHIP BACKGROUND ABRUPTLY OUT


ANNOUNCER: CBS Radio presents THE CBS RADIO WORKSHOP, dedicated to man's imagination -- the theater of the mind. Tonight, "A Pride of Carrots: or, Venus Well Served" by the noted American novelist Robert Nathan.


MUSIC: INTRODUCTION ... LIGHT AND GENTLE ... THEN IN BG--


ANNOUNCER: And here, to tell his story, is Mr. Nathan himself.


NARRATOR: According to recent newspaper reports, scientists have been hearing strange and mysterious radio signals which they are convinced are broadcast from the planet Venus. And this may very well be the case. No one knows for certain that life exists on the other planets. But then, no one can say for certain that it does not. And if it does, no one can say what form that life may take. One man's guess is as good as another's, and this is mine. This is the way Venus looks to me.


MUSIC: UP ... OTHERWORLDLY ... THEN CROSSFADES WITH--


SOUND: ROCKET SHIP LANDS ON VENUS ... SHIP POWERS DOWN AS ITS DOOR OPENS ... CAUDLE AND POTTER'S STEPS STUMBLE OUT OF SHIP ... THEIR VOICES ARE MUFFLED A LITTLE BY THEIR HELMETS


POTTER: Ah, feels good to stretch your legs again.


CAUDLE: It sure does.


POTTER: You feel heavier or lighter?


CAUDLE: Mmmm, just normal.


POTTER: Then the gravity's about the same as Earth's. Look there.


CAUDLE: What?


POTTER: A daisy. You can take off your helmet.


CAUDLE: You sure?


POTTER: Sure. The presence of flora indicates the presence of air.


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, CAUDLE AND POTTER UNLATCH AND REMOVE THEIR HELMETS ... THEIR VOICES ARE NO LONGER MUFFLED


CAUDLE: (SNIFFS, BREATHES DEEPLY) Quite good air, as a matter of fact.


POTTER: Yeah, that rocket was getting a little musty.


CAUDLE: Well, this is a solemn moment, Commander.


POTTER: It is indeed, Caudle. The first men on Venus. Hand me the flag, will you?


SOUND: CAUDLE'S STEPS BEHIND--


CAUDLE: Oh-- Here you are.


SOUND: FLAG PLANTED IN SOIL


POTTER: (A SPEECH) I hereby claim this planet for the United States of America--


CAUDLE: (INTERRUPTS) Through the courtesy of Caledonia Oil, Surely White Tooth Paste-- 


POTTER: (SIGHS)


CAUDLE: --Eines Kleines Nacht Beer, and Bar-None Dog Food.


POTTER: (EXHALES) Really, Caudle; must you?


CAUDLE: Well, it's in my contract.


POTTER: But we aren't on the air.


CAUDLE: Ah, well, a little rehearsal never hurt anyone. Anyway, we will be, as soon as the tubes on this walkie-talkie warm up.


SOUND: CLICK! OF SWITCH


CAUDLE: (INTO WALKIE-TALKIE) One, two, three, four, testing. One, two, three, four, testing. 


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, THE HUM OF THE TUBES FADES IN ... THEN OUT BEHIND--


CAUDLE: There we are. (INTO WALKIE-TALKIE) CBS on Earth, from Caudle on Venus. CBS on Earth, from Caudle on Venus. How do you read me?


SOUND: GARBLED STATIC ... THEN IN BG


CAUDLE: That's funny. They're standing by around the clock on this frequency. 


SOUND: STATIC OUT ABRUPTLY


CAUDLE: (INTO WALKIE-TALKIE) Earth, from Venus. Earth, from Venus. Come in, Earth.


SOUND: GARBLED STATIC ... THEN IN BG


POTTER: May be freak atmospherics.


CAUDLE: Oh, fine! At a time like this, to run into freak--


SOUND: STATIC OUT ABRUPTLY


CAUDLE: Potter?


POTTER: Yes?


CAUDLE: Do you see what I see over there in those bushes?


POTTER: Speaking of freaks.


CAUDLE: What is it?


POTTER: Well, it looks like a little horse.


CAUDLE: Yeah, but it's got wings and a sort of beak.


POTTER: And a tail like a kangaroo. And it's coming this way.


GRYPHON: (OFF, CLEARS THROAT; A HORRIBLE NOISE)


CAUDLE: (NERVOUS) Where - where's the ray gun?


POTTER: I'll get it.


CAUDLE: All right, stand back, you filthy beast! Go away! Go away!


GRYPHON: (OFF) I beg your pardon?


CAUDLE: I-- You - you talk?!


SOUND: GRYPHON'S STEPS TO CAUDLE AND POTTER


GRYPHON: (APPROACHES) Oh, naturally I talk. So do you. Haven't I seen you somewhere before?


CAUDLE: Certainly not.


GRYPHON: Oh, I'm sure I have. (REALIZES) Oh, yes! On CBS -- "The Outside of the Inside of the News." You're J. Alexander Caudle.


CAUDLE: Do you mean to say you get our programs here on Venus? 


GRYPHON: Venus? What do you mean, Venus? You're from Venus; up there. We call it the Evening Star at certain times of the year.


CAUDLE: But that's Earth. 


GRYPHON: Nonsense. This is Earth. That's Venus. Silly, isn't it? But that's semantics for ya. For instance, what would you call a group of carrots? 


CAUDLE: Bunch.


GRYPHON: Bunch? Oh, good heavens, no. A pride of carrots. That is, of course, on this side of the border. And a gaggle of onions. But if you were on the other side of the border, it would be an exaltation of onions, and a deceit of carrots. Semantics, you see. It depends on your point of view.


CAUDLE: (BEMUSED) I see.


GRYPHON: (MODESTLY) A charm of gryphons. 


CAUDLE: You are a, er -- a gryphon, I take it? 


GRYPHON: Of course. Rather highly placed, as a matter of fact. You notice my gold collar? I belong to the Secretary of the Interior. My name is Fido.


CAUDLE: And the Secretary?


GRYPHON: A very able carrot. Quite famous in his own right. But even more so for his wife's tassel. You've seen ordinary carrots, no doubt, with their green tops? But this is a most unusual tassel. Blue! Everyone is copying it.


CAUDLE: How does it happen that you, an animal, belong to a vegetable? 


GRYPHON: (SIMPLY) Well, one has to eat.


CAUDLE: Vegetables?


GRYPHON: Oh, dear, no. Caraway seeds, truffles, marzipan. You look a little like marzipan yourself. Do you mind if I try--? 


SOUND: GRYPHON STEPS TO CAUDLE AND BITES HIS REAR ... SCUFFLE BEHIND--


CAUDLE: Uh! Hey! Cut it out! Stop biting me!


GRYPHON: Mm. Delicious. But definitely not marzipan. What is it?


CAUDLE: Meat, you fool! 


GRYPHON: You don't say? Meat?! I never tasted meat before. 


CAUDLE: You're meat yourself.


GRYPHON: I am? Splendid. I'll just try me. (BITES HIMSELF, IN PAIN) Ooh-ooh-ooh! That hurt!


CAUDLE: Well, of course it hurt. Now stop this nonsense and lead us to your master.


GRYPHON: Oh, yes, of course. That's why I'm here, isn't it? (GRANDLY) Follow me, fellow animals!


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND NARRATOR--


NARRATOR: They had not walked far through fields of charming wildflowers, which sang like birds, until they came to a shady bower of massive ferns. In the middle, reclining on a soft bed of lettuce leaves, were two carrots -- much like any other carrots you may have encountered, excepting that one had a tassel of the most brilliant blue. The carrot with the standard green tassel rose as they approached.


EDWIN: Welcome to our planet. 


CAUDLE: Well, thank you. 


POTTER: (A SPEECH) In the name of the United States Navy, I--


CAUDLE: (INTERRUPTS, QUICKLY) Oh, later, Potter, later. (CHUCKLES SELF-CONSCIOUSLY, TO EDWIN) Your Majesty-- Er, that is, Your Majesties--

 

EDWIN: We're not "majesties." This is a republic. I am Edwin, Secretary of the Interior, and this is my wife, Edwina. 


EDWINA: And you're the famous news commentator, J. Alexander Caudle; and you're Commander Potter. 


POTTER: Well, precisely, madam.


EDWINA: We've been watching your trip ever since your takeoff, until we lost you when you rounded Mars. You're most welcome.

 

CAUDLE: Well, thank you, madam. You can perhaps conceive the feelings with which Commander Potter and I gaze upon this unfamiliar scene -- the first mortals ever to-- 


ALICE: (DURING ABOVE, SINGS AND HUMS THE 1956 LERNER AND LOEWE SHOW TUNE "I COULD HAVE DANCED ALL NIGHT" AS SHE APPROACHES ... CONTINUES IN BG)


CAUDLE: What's that?


EDWINA: Oh, that's my daughter Alice. She knows all the latest songs. She says she's a "cool cat" -- whatever that is.


ALICE: (STOPS SINGING) Hi, everybody! Company?


EDWINA: Yes, dear. Come here and meet our visitors from outer space. (INTRODUCTIONS) Mr. Caudle, Commander Potter. 


ALICE: Oh, I know all about them, Mother. Welcome to Carrotania, gentlemen.


EDWIN: I have already welcomed them, Alice.

 

ALICE: Oh, you don't understand the animal kingdom, Father. They'd much rather be welcomed by a young girl. 


EDWINA: Really, Alice! Where do you learn such things?

 

ALICE: At school. In zoology class.


POTTER: And where did you learn that song?


ALICE: I watch your television all the time. I want to be a great actress, and sell cigarettes. Do you think I'm mad?


POTTER: No, that sounds like a very normal ambition to me.


ALICE: Oh, I like you, Potter. You interest me. 


EDWIN: Now, Alice, you simply must stop this prattle. We're all a little on edge, I'm afraid. This last day of waiting has been-- Well, after all, they could have landed in Onionopolis!


ALICE: But they didn't. The onions didn't get them. We got them. 


CAUDLE: The onions?


EDWIN: Yes. You see, our planet is divided into two countries, the Democratic Union of Carrotania and the United Socialist Republics of Leeks and Onions. They're constantly threatening us with war.


CAUDLE: Well, why?


EDWIN: They want us to be onions.


CAUDLE: But that's absurd.


EDWIN: Of course it's absurd. Especially when you realize that the only possible thing for everyone to be -- if he wants to live a decent kind of life -- is a carrot.


CAUDLE: (POLITE) Well, naturally.


EDWIN: But the onions won't see it our way. And they can't be trusted. I'm given to understand that they plan to use nematodes. It's race suicide, of course. 


CAUDLE: Nematodes? Let me think. I-- Oh, aren't they the tiny worms that all but ruined the citrus in California back in the forties?


EDWIN: I don't know much about citrus -- not exactly my line, you know. But here, the nematodes eat vegetables. A kind of virus; too small to see. We've tried to outlaw them, but the onions won't agree. Ah, well. We'll wipe each other out, I suppose, and the spiders can take over. It's sad to think about. Just spider webs everywhere.


CAUDLE: You know, it seems to me that they worked out a way to fumigate for nematodes out in California. Gee, if I could just get through to CBS on Earth, I could find out.


EDWIN: You've had difficulties getting through?


CAUDLE: Well, at any rate, Earth isn't getting through to me.


EDWIN: I'm sure we could get you through on a planet-to-planet hookup -- particularly if you can find out anything about fumigating for nematodes.


CAUDLE: Hey, Commander, you hear that? We're goin' on the air after all.


POTTER: Yeah? Oh, splendid. You want me to make a prepared report or shall we ad lib?


CAUDLE: Well, you better type the report. You can ad lib to your wife.


ALICE: (DISAPPOINTED) Oh, you have a wife, Potter?


POTTER: Yes, my dear. Every Navy man, over a full Lieutenant, has a wife. 


ALICE: A woman, I presume?


POTTER: Oh, yes, definitely. Has to be, you know.


ALICE: What is your wife like, Potter?


POTTER: Why, er, she's female. (GESTURES) Like this--


ALICE: How odd. Bumpy, isn't she?


POTTER: (SELF-CONSCIOUS) Well, er--


ALICE: (ADMIRING) You're not bumpy, Potter.


POTTER: No, I suppose not.


CAUDLE: Yes, well-- (CLEARS THROAT SELF-CONSCIOUSLY) Your Excellency, how soon do you think you can get us on the air?


EDWIN: We should be able to have it set up in a few hours.


CAUDLE: Well, now, my regular spot is eight-thirty to nine p. m., Eastern Daylight Time. You, uh--? You think you can make it?


EDWIN: We'll do our best.


CAUDLE: Oh, great! Hey, this calls for a celebration. It's too bad we haven't a bottle of champagne.


EDWINA: Champagne? What's that? 


CAUDLE: A kind of bubbly wine. 


EDWINA: (POLITE, BUT WITH DISTASTE) Wine is made from grapes, isn't it?


CAUDLE: Yes, ma'am.


EDWINA: I'm not sure I like the idea. Some of our best friends are grapes.


CAUDLE: Yes. Well - well, don't worry, ma'am. We haven't any champagne anyway.


POTTER: We could break out our emergency rations.


CAUDLE: Now that's a fine idea!


SOUND: RATIONS UNPACKED


POTTER: Got a can opener?


CAUDLE: Sure, right here. (TO EDWIN) You, uh, care to join us, Your Excellency?


EDWIN: (DUBIOUS) Well, I don't know. May I see that can, please?


CAUDLE: Oh, sure. Here you are.


EDWIN: (READS) "U. S. Navy. For emergency use only. Concentrated carrot juice." (SHOCKED) What?!


ALICE: (GASPS) Oh, Potter, Potter, how could you?!


EDWINA: Ohhhh, I think I'm going to faint. 


EDWIN: (CALLS, DISTRESSED) Guards! Seize these men! Put them under arrest! They're onions in disguise!


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND NARRATOR--


NARRATOR: Our scene shifts now to Onionopolis, capital of the United Socialist Republic of Leeks and Onions, which controls half of the planet Venus. We are in the office of the Secretary General of the Party, a large fat white onion named O'Dor, as General Shallot enters.


O'DOR: (ENTHUSIASTIC) "Death to carrots"!


SHALLOT: (UNENTHUSIASTIC) "Death to carrots."


O'DOR: Well, General, the rumor has been verified by the underground. They landed near Carrotopolis this morning. How did you permit this to happen, General?


SHALLOT: Unfortunately, our side of the planet was turned away from the direction they were traveling, so they landed on the back side, Comrade.


O'DOR: Excuses, excuses! We must have those spacemen, General! We must have their technical skill before the carrots get it or we will be in the soup!


SHALLOT: Yes, Comrade.


O'DOR: It is insufferable that we, who invented television, jet propulsion, the atomic bomb, and the bicycle, should be deprived of these two men who can tell us how to use them! It is an outrage, a national insult. (PERFUNCTORY) "Death to carrots."


SHALLOT: Er, likewise.


O'DOR: I want those two spacemen.


SHALLOT: It may be difficult, Comrade.


O'DOR: (A LITTLE NEEDY) You, uh, could call me "Excellency" or "Little Father" -- everyone does


SHALLOT: (PROUDLY) I am a descendant of the garlics. A garlic does not call anything "Excellency."


O'DOR: (APOLOGETIC) Of course, of course. I was only joking. (GENEROUS) Here, we are all comrades. All Excellencies, Little Fathers. (UNGENEROUS) Except leeks, of course. 


SHALLOT: Of course. (OBLIGATORY) "Death to carrots."


O'DOR: (LIKEWISE) "Death to carrots." (CASUAL) By the way, General -- what are you doing tonight?


SHALLOT: "Imperialistic warmongers." Nothing!


O'DOR: "Capitalistic swine." Come have dinner with me.


SHALLOT: "Decadent bourgeois." Love to! 


O'DOR: And those spacemen must be bourgeois, too, or they would have landed here.


SHALLOT: Possibly.


O'DOR: Undoubtedly! But we will change their point of view once we have made them our guests, eh, Comrade?


SHALLOT: That might not be so wise, Comrade.


O'DOR: Why not? Don't you want to learn how to set off guided missiles and ride bicycles? 


SHALLOT: That is not the point, Comrade. If we abduct these spacemen, we give Carrotania a splendid opportunity to protest. And you must remember, Comrade, protests are weapons, too. The very best weapons. They cost nothing and, properly used, they create an odor -- a real onion odor.


O'DOR: Then you are opposed to kidnapping these spacemen?


SHALLOT: Definitely.


O'DOR: Very well. I shall think about it. You can go, General. 


SHALLOT: Thank you, Comrade.


SOUND: SHALLOT OPENS DOOR, OFF


O'DOR: Oh, by the way, I have news for you. You have just been promoted to Field Marshal.


SHALLOT: (OFF, ENTHUSIASTIC) Thank you, Comrade! "Strength to onions"!


O'DOR: "Strength to onions." See you at dinner. 


SHALLOT: (OFF) "Death to carrots." I'll be there.


O'DOR: "Death to carrots." Eight-thirty sharp.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES, OFF, AS SHALLOT EXITS ... PHONE RECEIVER UP, BRIEF ROTARY DIAL


O'DOR: (INTO PHONE, SWEETLY) Hello? Secret police? General Shallot has just left my office. Liquidate him.


MUSIC: TRANSITION 


CAUDLE: I'm hungry. Wonder when they feed their prisoners in this lousy jail.


POTTER: What difference does it make, unless you have an appetite for bone meal, ammonium sulfate, and peat moss?


CAUDLE: Yecch. I guess I'm not hungry after all.


POTTER: You shouldn't have shown him the label on the can, old man. That's what did it.


CAUDLE: Well, how could I tell? I thought it'd be chicken consommé.


POTTER: Usually is.


CAUDLE: Just when I had the greatest broadcast in history lined up!


SOUND: CELL DOOR UNLOCKS AND OPENS


POTTER: Now what?


SERGEANT: There's a lady to see you.


CAUDLE: Miss Alice!


ALICE: Sssh! Not so loud. (TO SERGEANT) Thank you, Sergeant. You can leave us now.


SERGEANT: Mind you, Miss Alice, this is contrary to your father's orders, and against my better judgment.


ALICE: I know, Sergeant. But it's utterly divine of you.


SERGEANT: I shall be just outside. Scream if you need help.


SOUND: SERGEANT EXITS ... CELL DOOR SHUTS AND LOCKS


ALICE: You wouldn't hurt me, would you, Potter?


POTTER: Glad to have you aboard, ma'am.


ALICE: They say that you're dangerous vegetarians. That you eat carrots. Do you really?


POTTER: Well, you see, ma'am--


ALICE: I don't believe it. You're much too nice to eat poor little me.

 

POTTER: Thank you, ma'am.


CAUDLE: You know, you, yourself, are a vegetarian, Miss Alice.


ALICE: (INDIGNANT) I am not. I'm a vegetable. It's not the same thing at all! 


CAUDLE: Now, just answer me this: What will happen to you when you die?


ALICE: I'll be buried, of course. In the National Compost Heap.


CAUDLE: Uh huh. From which the rich, steaming soil is taken to nourish the young carrots -- right? 


ALICE: Of course.


CAUDLE: Which then must, of necessity, feed upon your decayed flesh.


ALICE: Why, of course. Why, how madly amusing! I really did eat my ancestors, didn't I? Oh, but I missed mother and father.

 

POTTER: I should hope so!


ALICE: But now, what could be more satisfying to a girl's psyche than to have her father under her belt? 


CAUDLE: Oh, have you been through analysis? 


ALICE: Of course. Haven't you? 


CAUDLE: Yes.


ALICE: Oh, it's so nice to be able to talk the same language, isn't it? My analyst says the trouble with me is my mother has a blue top. 


CAUDLE: Exactly. The active competition of an adult parent.


ALICE: It tends to make me aggressive. Kiss me, Potter!


POTTER: Eh? What?


ALICE: Kiss me!


POTTER: Good Lord! Really, I--


ALICE: Are you afraid, Potter? It isn't even Spring. I don't come into blossom till July.


POTTER: I know. But--


ALICE: Am I not beautiful? Am I not to be desired?! By the Navy?


POTTER: Oh yes! Yes, indeed! But--


ALICE: I could have your head, Potter. On a silver tray. Like Salome. 


POTTER: I know. But--


ALICE: (POINTEDLY) I could set you free.


CAUDLE: Well, for heaven's sake, kiss her, and get it over with.


POTTER: Yeah, but--


SOUND: BIG WET KISS!


POTTER: (EXHALES, SNIFFS, EXHALES DEEPLY) Ahhh. You smell so good. Like a grocery store.


ALICE: (DIZZY) Oooh, it's like April. Is this love, Potter?


POTTER: (QUIETLY MELODRAMATIC) How can I feel this way about a carrot?


ALICE: I feel a strange heat. Hot like the sun.


POTTER: Like a garden. In the summer.


ALICE: I don't feel at all like a vegetable.


POTTER: I wouldn't have thought it possible.


CAUDLE: (UNROMANTIC) Look. How about getting us out of here?


SOUND: CELL DOOR UNLOCKS AND OPENS


SERGEANT: The time is up, folks.


ALICE: (DREAMILY) Oh? Oh, yes. I suppose it is. (TO POTTER) Oh, but don't worry, my darling. I'll be back. I'll be back quickly, to set you free. You'll see.


SOUND: SERGEANT AND ALICE EXIT ... CELL DOOR SHUTS AND LOCKS


CAUDLE: Well, there's the Navy for ya. What have you fellows got that I haven't got?


POTTER: (DAZED) Blossoms in our hair.


CAUDLE: Ah. You, uh, really like the girl, don't you? 


POTTER: Yes.


CAUDLE: Well, now, of course, it's none of my business, but, uh, what about Mrs. Potter? 


POTTER: What about her?


CAUDLE: Well, she isn't gonna like this pretty vegetable of yours. 


POTTER: Caudle, could you be jealous of a stalk of celery?


CAUDLE: I am not married. 


POTTER: No, of course, that does make a difference. Oh, I wish we were safe at home. There's something frightening about being in love with a carrot. 


CAUDLE: (SNIFFS) You - you smell anything, Commander?


POTTER: No.


CAUDLE: That's funny. I-- (SNIFFS) For a moment, I - I thought I smelled onions.


POTTER: Well, that's not very likely.


CAUDLE: I don't know. My eyes are watering. 


POTTER: Well, mine, too. You know, I do smell onions.


SOUND: CELL DOOR UNLOCKS AND OPENS


SPINDLE: Gentlemen--


POTTER: Eh? Who are you?


SPINDLE: You are free, gentlemen.


CAUDLE: She did manage it, then!


SPINDLE: This way. Hurry, please.


POTTER: Where is she? I can't see very well. My eyes -- they're full of tears.


SPINDLE: She's waiting for you, sir.


CAUDLE: Just a minute, Commander! This isn't a carrot. It's an onion!


SPINDLE: (TO ONIONS) Take them, Comrades!


SOUND: SCUFFLE .. AS A GAGGLE OF ONIONS GRAB CAUDLE AND POTTER


MUSIC: TRANSITION


O'DOR: So you see, gentlemen, we had no choice. The stakes were too high -- being no less than war or peace. 


POTTER: What are you talking about?


O'DOR: Simply this, Commander Potter of the U. S. Navy: How do you make war?


POTTER: How do we do what?


O'DOR: (PATIENTLY) Make war. How do you destroy whole armies -- cities, countries with all their inhabitants -- without, at the same time, annihilating yourselves? Unfortunately, there is no blight that will make compost out of carrots without doing the same for onions. I have to think of my people.


SPINDLE: (WORSHIPFUL) Bless you, Little Father.


O'DOR: (AFFECTIONATE) Thank you, Spindle-skel. (TO POTTER) You see, Commander, we are still in the drawing-board stage. We need technicians.


POTTER: Don't look at me. 


O'DOR: My dear Commander, you must understand that the end justifies the means. When onions rule the world, who would wish to be a carrot? I offer you an important place in history.


POTTER: (QUIETLY MELODRAMATIC) The only place I want to be is next to a girl with a carrot top who smells like a garden after rain.


O'DOR: Now, now, now. Let us not grow emotional. But perhaps you are closer to her than you think. (BEAT) Will you teach us to make war, Commander? You see, I am giving you another chance. Opportunity rarely knocks so often.


POTTER: I will not.


O'DOR: Very well. Perhaps we will find a way to make you change your mind. There is a little experiment I am planning with a pot of boiling water. How would you like to see your -- shall we say, girlfriend? -- floating about with only a marrow bone for company? Quite excellent soup; petite marmite, I believe it is called.


POTTER: You're bluffing!


O'DOR: Am I? We shall see. Spindle?


SPINDLE: Yes, Little Father?


O'DOR: Take these gentlemen to the solarium and entertain them. Show them the vampire marigolds and the lizard-eating oleander. And they might be amused to watch the muerte vine digest its daily mouse. 


POTTER: I warn you, O'Dor, the United States Navy will not take this lying down!


CAUDLE: Nor will CBS!


SPINDLE: This way, animals!


SOUND: DOOR SHUTS AS SPINDLE, POTTER, AND CAUDLE EXIT ... PHONE RECEIVER UP, CRADLE JIGGLED


O'DOR: (INTO PHONE, SWEETLY) Send in the other prisoner. 


SOUND: DOOR OPENS


O'DOR: Well, well! Come in, young lady. Don't be bashful; I won't eat you. 


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES


ALICE: What do you want with me? Why did you bring me here?


O'DOR: I suppose you wouldn't care to tell me the whereabouts of the Carrot Eighth Army. (NO RESPONSE) No? Oh, youth -- so stupid. So impulsive. So desirable. But so uncooperative. (CARELESSLY) By the way, your friend Commander Potter is here. 


ALICE: (GASPS)


O'DOR: He, too, has proven uncooperative. We may have to press him a little.


ALICE: You wouldn't dare!


O'DOR: He is being shown the muerte vines at this very moment.


ALICE: (HORRIFIED) Not the meat-eaters!


O'DOR: Why not? The Commander is meat, I believe. 


ALICE: Oh, no, no! Not that!


O'DOR: Of course, I could be persuaded to change my mind. Oh, you have such lovely skin, my dear. So moist and tender. 


ALICE: Please!


O'DOR: You smell good, too. Like a salad -- fragrant, but delicate. What freshness! What youth! I adore you. 


ALICE: I loathe you.  


O'DOR: You do not realize your situation. One word from me, you are in the soup. 


ALICE: I would a thousand times liefer--


O'DOR: Or, what is perhaps more to the point, your friend Mr. Potter is left alone with the vampire marigolds.


ALICE: Oh, no! No! 


O'DOR: Oh, ho! Oh, that fetches you. You really care for him, don't you?


ALICE: More than life.


O'DOR: All the better. Is much more exciting to make love to a woman already in love. Adds a kind of seasoning, as it were.


ALICE: You - you nettle! You noisome weed!


O'DOR: Splendid, splendid! So sweet, and so hot. Almost like a Spanish onion.


ALICE: Is this the way you make war? On women and children?


O'DOR: War? Who is making war? I am making love.


ALICE: You are odious to me.


O'DOR: Very well. We will try Mr. Potter in the muerte vines. 


ALICE: Oh, no, no, no. I can't stand it. 


O'DOR: You give up? You give in?


ALICE: (DULLY) Will he have a safe conduct back to my father?


O'DOR: Yes, yes.


ALICE: Will there be one for me? 


O'DOR: Later.


ALICE: Write it out.


O'DOR: But of course. (AS HE WRITES) For Mr. Potter -- a pass. Also for Mr. Caudle. And now -- for Miss Alice.


SOUND: O'DOR PRESSES A BUZZER ... DOOR OPENS


SPINDLE: Yes, Little Father?


O'DOR: Spindle, you will let the spacemen go. And you will see that this lady is returned to her own people -- later.


SPINDLE: It shall be done, Little Father.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES


O'DOR: Now, divine creature, at last you are mine.


ALICE: No. No, stand back!


O'DOR: Silly girl, drop that paper knife and receive the kiss of the Little Father.


ALICE: (STRUGGLES) No. No.


O'DOR: (LONG DEATH GROAN AS HE IS STABBED)


SOUND: O'DOR'S BODY SLUMPS TO THE FLOOR


ALICE: (BEAT, QUIETLY INTENSE) It is thus a carrot kisses!


SOUND: DOOR OPENS ... CAUDLE AND POTTER'S HURRIED STEPS IN


POTTER: Alice! 


ALICE: Oh, Potter! Potter, thank heavens you're safe! 


POTTER: You are crying? 


ALICE: It's nothing; nothing. It's only onion juice. Here are your passes. Go quickly, both of you! 


POTTER: And you? 


ALICE: I must wait for a little while. If I go with you now, they'll be suspicious.


POTTER: No! If we have to die, then we'll die together! 


ALICE: Oh, no. No, my dear Potter. That wouldn't help my country -- or this little world -- or even me. I've become very sensible, Potter; very realistic. Don't you see? It doesn't matter about me. But you-- You, Potter-- You're the hope of the future. Look, I'll try to catch up to you at the frontier. If I don't come -- be kind to carrots, Potter -- for my sake. Go now -- and God bless you.


CAUDLE: Come on, Potter; we're on the air in an hour.


SOUND: MURMUR OF ONIONS APPROACHING ... THEN IN BG


ALICE: Hurry! Hurry! They're coming back!


POTTER: I'm staying with you.


ALICE: No, no, my dearest Potter -- go! Go; the world needs you -- the universe needs you!


CAUDLE: Come on, Potter!


POTTER: (RELUCTANT, BUT PASSIONATE) Farewell then, my dearest Alice.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


SOUND: RADIO STATIC ... THEN IN BG, ACCOMPANIES FILTERED VOICES-- 


CAUDLE: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen of Earth and other species throughout the planetary system! This is J. Alexander Caudle bringing you the very first broadcast from Venus, through the courtesy of Caledonia Oil, Surely White Tooth Paste, Eines Kleines Nacht Beer, and Bar-None Dog Food.


EDWIN: (DISTRESSED, BABBLES INCOHERENTLY, THEN IN BG) 


CAUDLE: Oh, I-- Excuse me a moment, ladies and gentlemen. There - there's some confusion here in the studio. We - we've just received a bulletin.


EDWIN: (BABBLES INCOHERENTLY TO CAUDLE, THEN OUT BEHIND--


CAUDLE: (TO EDWIN) What's that? -- Oh, no! -- Alice? -- In the soup?!


MUSIC: TRANSITION


SOUND: CASH REGISTER RINGS


MRS. POTTER: Let's see. And I'll need a pound of peas.


CASHIER: Pound of peas.


SOUND: CASH REGISTER RINGS


MRS. POTTER: And a cauliflower.


CASHIER: Cauliflower.


SOUND: CASH REGISTER RINGS


CASHIER: You must be very happy to have your husband back again, Mrs. Potter. And all those write-ups in the papers! My goodness. Did he really get to Venus, like they said? I missed the broadcast.


MRS. POTTER: (UNENTHUSIASTIC) Yes, he did. A bottle of ketchup.


CASHIER: Bottle of ketchup; mm hm.


SOUND: CASH REGISTER RINGS


CASHIER: You know, he looks a little thin, in his pictures. I guess maybe they didn't have much to eat up there. 


MRS. POTTER: I guess not.


CASHIER: What was it like? Did he tell you?

 

MRS. POTTER: He hasn't said much. Uh, four dozen onions.


CASHIER: (SURPRISED) Four dozen? 


MRS. POTTER: That's right. 


SOUND: CASH REGISTER RINGS


MRS. POTTER: (UNHAPPY) He - he eats them all the time. Raw. 


CASHIER: Raw? (CHUCKLES, WITH A SHRUG) They say onions are good for colds. 


MRS. POTTER: I know. 


CASHIER: There's lots of things like that. Like, "carrots make  your hair curly."

 

MRS. POTTER: Oh, he won't touch carrots.


CASHIER: He won't? Not even cooked? 


MRS. POTTER: Not even cooked. I served a petite marmite the other night and - he got up and left the table.


CASHIER: No! Now isn't that something? 


MRS. POTTER: One sack of, uh, peat moss. 


CASHIER: What's that for? 


MRS. POTTER: (EMBARRASSED) He - he says he's got blossoms in his hair. 


CASHIER: Hmm! 


SOUND: CASH REGISTER RINGS


CASHIER: That'll be three forty-seven, Mrs. Potter. I'll have someone take them out to the car for you. 


MRS. POTTER: Thank you.


CASHIER: Goodbye now. (BEAT AS MRS. POTTER DEPARTS; THEN TO HERSELF) Blossoms in his hair? In February? 


MUSIC: CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: THE CBS RADIO WORKSHOP, produced in Hollywood by William N. Robson, has presented "A Pride of Carrots: or, Venus Well Served" by Robert Nathan, with the author as narrator. "A Pride of Carrots" was adapted for the Workshop by Mr. Robson, who also directed the production. Heard in the cast were Helene Burke, June Foray, Tracy Roberts, Daws Butler, Ted Bliss, Richard Hale, Alan Reed, Sam Pierce, and Bill Thompson. The original score was composed and conducted by Jerry Goldsmith.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: Next week, from New York, the Workshop will examine that so-often-discussed and little-understood subject, the Oedipus Complex, with illustrations from Sophocles, who first dramatized it, to Eugene O'Neill, who is by no means the last to probe its dramatic depths.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN OUT


ANNOUNCER: For Mozart's "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A minor," played by Robert Casadesus, and for Elisabeth Schwarzkopf's moving interpretations of songs by Richard Strauss, join us on Sunday when, on most of these same stations, WORLD MUSIC FESTIVALS will be on the air, with highlights from the famous Salzburg Festival. 


Stay tuned for five minutes of CBS News, to be followed over most of these same stations by MY SON JEEP.


America listens most to the CBS Radio Network.


MUSIC: CLOSING ... UNTIL END

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