Lives of the Cowboys Script
Saturday, January 1, 2005


Sue Scott: Time now for...THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS... brought to you by Vaya con Dios Vibrating Saddles — avoid saddle cramps with a Vaya con Dios — Three convenient settings. "Gentle," "Stimulating," and "Whoa, Mama!" And now, here's today's story.


Garrison Keillor: How you feeling, Dusty? (STIRRING) You almost done with that hangover? I'm making chicken soup, you care for some?

Tim Russell: Ohhhhh. I can't handle the joie de vivre like I useta, that's for sure.

GK: Haven't you read about the dangers of drinking?

TR: I have. And it led me to give up reading.

GK: Person oughta learn from experience.

TR: You have to remember it to learn from it. All I remember is that I was singing and people were walking in the other direction. And then I stuck a quarter in a scale and I was shocked to see that I weigh 15 minutes. It was a parking meter.

GK: What were you singing?

TR: What's the name of that flower with the thorns?

GK: What song is that? Never heard it.

TR: How do you know you never heard it, you don't even know what it is.

GK: That's why I don't know what it is, I never heard it.

TR: It's a flower with thorns.

GK: Rose.

TR: Right! I was singing "Give Me The Roses While I Live".

GK: They were probably going out to look for thorns.

TR: And now I got this huge champagne hangover. The Wrath of Grapes. (GROAN) What kind of soup you say that was?

GK: Chicken.

TR: The last soup you made tasted of soap.

GK: I reached for the cheese and got soap instead. It was a dark night.

TR: It was an even darker day the next day when the soap took effect.


GK: Evening, ma'am.

SS: Sir—

GK: M'name's Lefty, and this here is Dusty.

TR: Pleased t'make your acquaintance, I'm sure, and cordial best wishes for a prosperous New Year and my regards to your mother and father.

SS: Thank you very much.

TR: Not to be impertinent, ma'am, but don't I recognize you from the New Year's Eve party at the Yellow Springs Saloon — weren't you the girl in the swing? I believe I slipped a ten under your garter belt.

SS: No. But I feel like I've met your pardner here.

GK: No, ma'am. Dusty is the socialite. I like to stay with the herd.

SS: Why is that?

GK: Once you go into town and you feel the warmth of society and conversation, it feels all the more lonely out on the trail.

SS: How come you're a cowboy if it's so lonely?

GK: Ignorance. Poor career counseling.

TR: It's all he knows how to do. He applied for a job in telephone sales once and they said he smelled too bad.

SS: I don't think you smell bad at all. I think you smell very — manly.

GK: Well, I appreciate that, ma'am—

SS: A woman misses that, living in town among all those lawyers and accountants — men with their citrusy aftershaves.

TR: I thought women liked citrusy aftershaves.

SS: They're disgusting.

TR: Those men are wearing citrusy aftershaves for the sake of women.

SS: Women like the smell of — sweat on a man. Women like an— active man.

GK: You care for a bowl of soap, ma'am— bowl of soup, pardon me—

SS: And you cook too, huh? Sure. I'd love a bowl of your soup, mister.


TR (SOTTO): You gonna ask her for a date?

GK: A date to do what? Go look at sagebrush?

TR (SOTTO): Take her dancing in town. It's only fifteen miles from here.

GK: I wouldn't get back until 5 in the morning.

TR (SOTTO): Six or seven with any luck, pardner.

GK: And then be on the trail all day with 500 longhorns?

TR (SOTTO): Some things are worth suffering for.

GK: I donno.

TR: If you take her to town, look out for the place up the trail where I barked up my cookies a few miles back—

GK: Never mind. (FOOTSTEPS) Here you go, ma'am. Hope you enjoy it.

SS: How long have you and he been partners?

GK: Long time. Thirty years I guess. I was in town one night and met this girl and talked to her about maybe going for a walk with me and she thought that was something she might like to do and then it turned out she had a boyfriend. Or a guy who considered himself a boyfriend.

SS: Dusty?

GK: Yeah.

SS: What happened?

GK: Well, I had to fight him, of course, and I hurt him worse than I expected to, and felt bad about it, he looked so pitiful lying on the ground, and I nursed him back to health, and by then I discovered he wasn't so bright, and I felt responsible for him. You ever read "Of Mice and Men"?

SS: George and Lennie?

GK: Us in a nutshell. (FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)

TR: So how is that soup, Miss? Don't taste soapy, does it?

SS: Nope, it's good.

GK: You care for a bowl, pardner?

TR: Don't mind if I do.

GK: I'll be right back. (FOOTSTEPS AWAY)

TR: Lefty, he's quite a cook. Learned it in the state prison. They try'n teach em a trade. Yeah. That's where I met him. He was in for embezzlement or something. Impersonating an officer. I forget. Little puny guy with glasses. I felt honor-bound to come to his rescue. People were walking all over him. I had to beat up a couple guys, but I didn't mind, I was good with my fists. Stood up for him until we were released. We've been pardners ever since. He's soft in the head, I'm not sure you noticed. His mind drifts. You ever read that book, "Of Mice and Men"?

SS: George and Lennie.

TR: Lefty's got a thing about cats. It's pitiful actually. I've got to watch him every minute. Shhhh. (FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)

GK: Here's your soup, pardner.

TR: Thanks. Looks good. (TASTES SOUP) Don't taste soapy at all. It needs a little salt, though.

GK: You want me to get you the salt?

TR: No, I'll get it. (FOOTSTEPS) (OFF) Be right back.

GK: How's that soup?

SS: It's good. You sorta look to me like the kind of guy who likes cats.

GK: I can't stand cats.

SS: You don't care for cats?

GK: No, ma'am. He tell you that?

SS: You ever do time in prison?

GK: No, ma'am.

SS: Not that I have anything against ex-cons.

GK: Of course not. You're not really taking a survey on trail usage, are you, ma'am?


SS: No.

GK: I didn't think so.

SS: I'm just trying to meet someone.

GK: Who you trying to meet?

SS: A man who smells -- manly. No citrusy aftershave. A man who smells of — sweat. An active man.

GK: Well, I guess you found him, Miss— what did you say your name is?

SS: I didn't.

GK: I see. Don't mean to pry.

SS: Good. I'd rather not tell you my name. Until I know you better.

GK: Fine.

SS: I've got a problem with commitment.

GK: I see.

SS: I prefer a loose relationship. A night, a week, whatever feels good.

GK: Men have long dreamed of finding a woman like you.

SS: Let's just play it by ear.

GK: Fine.

SS: That isn't a guitar you're holding, is it?

GK: It is.

SS: I can't believe it. I always dreamed of meeting a guitarist who smelled like a real man.


You're the cream in my coffee
You're the salt in my stew
You will always be my necessity, I'd be lost without you.
SS: You are so talented.

You're the cinch on my saddle,
You're the bird in my tree,
You will always be my necessity, I'd be lost without thee.
SS: You have a beautiful voice and I love the way you and your guitar seem— well, as one.

When men ride hosses,
And they feel nauseous,
They love their sauces,
And you're my Worcestershire, dear.

You're the tines on my pitchfork,
You're the blade on my plow,
You will always be my necessity, I'd be lost without thou.
SS: I love this song. I could listen to this song over and over and over.

I've got to say, dear,
I've lost my way, dear,
Don't need an -ism,
Need a trail and you're my Chisholm.

You're the zip in my zipper,
You're the lace in my shoe.
You will always be my necessity, I'd be lost without you.

SS: That was so beautiful.

GK: Where'd Dusty go to?

SS: The moment you started singing, he started walking that way.

GK: It's envy. And he's not right in the head, you know. (THEME)

TR: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS.....brought to you by Vaya con dios Vibrating Saddles (THRILLED WHINNY)... Batteries not included. Void where prohibited by law. (MUSIC OUT)

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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