The Lives of the Cowboys script
Saturday, October 1, 2005
Listen

(THEME)

Sue Scott: The Lives of the Cowboys... brought to you by Heifer brand Hand Lotion......many cowboys lose their true love because their hands are all rough and bruised from fighting for their true love.....if that's you, try Heifer Hand Lotion. And now "The Lives of the Cowboys".... (THEME DOWN) (COWS, CRICKETS)

Garrison Keillor: Smells like autumn's coming on, boys. Might get some frost tonight.

Peter Ostroushko: Feels like I better hurry up and finish knitting this sweater for myself.

GK: What kind of yarn you using, Slim?

PO: It's two-ply marled polyester—machine washable, and easy to block.

GK: Nice orange color.

GK: Nice scarf you're knitting, Lucky.

Pat Donohue: Thanks. —This is only the second scarf I ever did. First one, I gave to a woman in Butte, Montana.

GK: Looks nice. Kind of a long one though, isn't it.

PD: That's because I forgot how to stop.

GK: You got to bind it off.

PD: I forgot how.

GK: Tie it off with a knot.

PD: I don't want to make a mistake.

GK: You can always pull it apart if it doesn't look right.

PD: Well, I guess that's true.

John Niemann: Hey Dusty— I got an extra pair of needles if you want to try it.

PO: Yeah.

TR: I don't knit.

PO: How can you say that if you never tried?

TR: Cowboys don't knit. Women knit for us maybe but we do not sit around knitting ourselves.

GK: That's a rule of yours?

TR: Look. We're less'n six miles from Yellow Gulch. What if somebody rides out from town and sees four cowboys sitting around a campfire with knitting needles? We'll never hear the end of it.

GK: So? The cowboy life is a life of freedom. If we aren't free to make our own clothes, then there's something wrong.

TR: It just ain't done.

GK: It is done. We're doing it. Whatcha making there, Bucky?

JN: Saddle cover.

GK: Nice.

JN: Trying to keep my butt from freezing.

GK: Wish I had one.

JN: This is the first time I ever tried an argyle pattern.

GK: You're doing a nice job.

JN: What are you making? A gun holster?

GK: Actually it's a wine cozy.

PO: A what?

GK: Wine cozy. You slide it up onto the stem of your wine glass, so it's easier to hang onto.

PO: Where you get wine out here on the trail?

GK: Well, Aspen, of course. Santa Fe.

PO: Cheyenne?

GK: Nope.

JN: Guys I know in Cheyenne wouldn't care to see a fellow cowboy with a wine glass in his hand.

GK: One more good reason to have a wine cozy. Helps conceal the glass.

TR: If you drank wine in Cheyenne, you might have to knit yourself a bulletproof vest.

(PAUSE)

PD: Any of the rest of you ever feel so lonesome this time of year that you'd like to sit down and have a good cry?

TR: Oh for mercy sake—

PO: Let him talk — if he wants to talk about crying, he can talk about it—

TR: We're cowboys!

PO: Heck, I feel like crying sometimes.

PD: What do you do when you get that feeling?

PO: I sit down and knit.

(OFF, HORSE'S HOOVES, AT A GALLOP, APPROACHING, TK WHOOPING)

TR: Oh oh! Look out! I toldja somebody's come! Put away those needles!

TK (PULLING UP ON HORSE, WHINNYING): Whoa! Whoa! — Whoa! (HORSE WHINNYING, CIRCLING) Whoa! (HE DISMOUNTS FROM SADDLE. SLOW WALK TOWARD CAMPFIRE) Evening.

TR: Evening, mister.

TK: You don't know my name?

TR: You're Big Messer.

TK: That's right. I'm Big Messer. I'm the man who rassled a grizzly to a draw and danced with a mountain lion and swallowed a rattlesnake whole and tied a knot in the devil's tail. I rode a tornado for fifty miles and didn't get nary a scratch. I live on a diet of tarantulas and fruit bats and vultures. I am the master of death and desolation, more powerful than smallpox or typhoid. Grown men shrink back at the sight of me and — are those knitting needles?

GK: These are knitting needles, Big Messer.

TK: That's what I thought. So you boys are sitting here knitting, huh?

TR: I'm not, Big Messer.

TK: What are you knitting?

PO: Knitting a sweater.

TK: I always thought about knitting.

JN: Got an extra pair of needles here.

TK: I'm a little hungover.

PD: Here. We'll show you how.

PO: Take your ball of yarn like this and tie a slip knot and that's your first stitch. You just slip the loop around the needle and then you put this in through here, like this, and off you go.

TK: Here, lemme take off my gunbelt so I can sit down.......

GK: Knitting has given us a chance to build new male friendships, Big Messer (HAWKS AND SPITS) and talk about stuff so if you want to talk, just go ahead, nobody's going to think less of you.

TK: Okay, I'll keep that in mind.

(PAUSE)

PO: You still going out with Yvonne Beebalo?

GK: Me?

PO: Yeah.

GK: Her name was Evelyn Beebalo and I haven't seen her in five years but yes, I think we're still going out. I just don't get to Wichita that often. How about you? You still with—

PO: Tina.

GK: That's right. Tina.

PO: Yep, still together. I think we are.

GK: Great. Good to hear it. (BEAT) You ever think of quitting the trail?

PO: Yep.

PD: Me too.

GK: But what would we do if we quit the trail?

PO: Sit around and talk, I reckon.

GK: Talk about what?

JN: That's the problem right there. You retire, you got time to talk and not much to say.

PD: Well, it's going to happen to all of us eventually.

PO: We're the last of a dying breed.

GK: That's the truth.

TK: What do I do if I make a mistake?

PO: Just pull it apart and start over again. It's easy. I'll show you. (GUITAR STRUMMING) GK (SINGS):
Last night as I lay on the prairie
And looked up at the stars in the sky
I wondered if ever a cowboy
Can sit down and have a good cry.

ALL:
Roll on, roll on, roll on little dogies roll on roll on
Roll on, roll on, roll on little dogies roll on.

PD:
We cowboys are stoics by nature
For autumn is cold, dark and bleak,
I lie by the campfire and whimper
And feel the hot tears on my cheek.

ALL:
Roll on, roll on, roll on little dogies roll on roll on
Roll on, roll on, roll on little dogies roll on.

JN:
I'm glad we could bring up these issues
And speak honestly from the heart
And then sing a chorus together
And every man sing his own part.

ALL:
Roll on, roll on, roll on little dogies roll on roll on
Roll on, roll on, roll on little dogies roll on.

PO:
It's cold and the winter is coming
And my heart is lonely and blue
So I'm glad to sit round the campfire
With a Cowboy Support Group like you.

ALL:
Roll on, roll on, roll on little dogies roll on roll on
Roll on, roll on, roll on little dogies roll on.

THEY HUM A CHORUS UNDER.....

TK: How long have you known these guys?

TR: Don't know em at all.

TK: Could you help me — I think I dropped a stitch.

TR: Don't know nothing about that.

TK: What's wrong?

TR: Don't put your hand on my arm, okay?

TK: Why not?

TR: Don't make me show you why not.

(MUSIC DOWN, THEME MUSIC UP)

TR: The Lives of the Cowboys... brought to you by Santa Fe brand table napkins, for the trail.

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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