The Road To Calvary

I was working in a slaughterhouse. My job was to grasp two cantilevers.

The Road To Calvary[1]
Somewhere Out There
Original Broadcast Date
March 3, 1996
Friederike Frank, Joe Frank
Absurd Monologue, Narrative Monologue, 60 minutes
Preceded by: The Sacred
Followed by: God Only Knows

The Road To Calvary is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series Somewhere Out There. It was originally broadcast on March 3, 1996.


Joe works in a slaughterhouse. They process everything: 'sheep, cows, chickens, ducks, lambs, deer, moles, beavers, and, inexplicably, sometimes an occasional human being: a scuba diver wearing goggles and flippers, a Scoutmaster, a man in the bathrobe and slippers, the small dog hanging from a leash,' and occasional worker. The boss, Skeffington, pollutes the river, abuses the workers, does it proudly, dares the townspeople to stop him. Working in the slaughterhouse stimulates the sexual appetites of the workers, who copulate in the maintenance closet.

11:50: Joe and his girlfriend, Wilma, quit the slaughterhouse and take jobs at the nuclear plant. At the same time Skeffington becomes the director of operations there, operates it as safely as he had the slaughterhouse. Joe accidentally overhears a cabal that sells plutonium to Iraq. When he confronts one of the scientists in the cabal, he takes a cut of his money to keep silent, buys a villa on the Costa del Sol and reforms.

24:00: Joe recalls working at NIH 'to determine the effects of addictive substances'. He'd drink all kinds of alcoholic beverages, take illegal drugs, then perform difficult tasks to see how they affected him. One day they put him in a padded cell to study withdrawal.

27:50: Joe tells of running out of gas in the middle of the desert without water. He walks, encounters an old Indian man, sits by the fire with him for hours. It makes no difference to Joe.

30:30: Joe describes Jesus climbing towards Calvary, imagines a long list of trivial thoughts unto him, 'I still have some dry cleaning I haven't picked up. I was going to rotate the wheels on my ox cart. And there are a few carpentry jobs unfinished: some night tables, a bureau, a chest of drawers, and a matched pair of bookcases...' He imagines fleeing, all the things he could turn the cross into - but continues.

34:10: Jesus sees a couple in love, their picnic, the painter painting them, an audience watching. He notes that he's a virgin, will never have that sort of love, imagines how it could be. But forgoing crucifixion would make a mockery of his life's work.

40:20: Jesus stops at a blues club. He sees a girl he likes, likes the music, wants to hang out, but moves on.

41:50: Joe lists religious practices - says they'll all be futile if no one watches, or if you don't have god in you.

45:50: Joe's mother tells Joe about her husband, Teddy's, declining health, how badly the nurses treat him at the hospital.[1]

Legacy Synopsis

Working in a packing house, sex in the presence of death, the evil plant manager. Working in a nuclear plant, sex and electricity, plant disasters, spies. Getting rich by black mailing a spy. Working as a test subject on addictive substances. Running out of gas in the desert and having a meaningless encounter with an Indian. Jesus on the road to Calvary - he considers alternatives, witnesses lovers with an audience, stops at a blues club. Praying in a godless world. Woman talks about a man's illness.


This is an incomplete record of the music in this program. If you can add more information, please do.

Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "Created in collaboration with David Rapkin. Recorded, edited, and mixed by Theo Mondle. Music production by Bob Carlson. Special thanks to Jennifer Ferro, Carly Eiseman, and Esmé Gregson."


  1. Joe always calls his stepfather Freddy in his shows.