The Lives of the Cowboys script
Saturday, May 6, 2006
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(WESTERN THEME)

Sue Scott: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS...brought to you by Sante Fe Brand Automatic Barn Door Openers...when you come home tired from a hard day on the range and you're too tired to get off your horse (WHINNY), why not have a Santa Fe Automatic Barn Door Opener right there on your saddle (BEEP) Just make sure you don't aim it at yourself. And now...today's adventure.

EVENING OUTDOOR AMBIENCE, DISTANT CATTLE)

GK: You awake, Dusty?

(PAUSE, SNIFF)

Tim Russell: GRUNT

GK: You awake?

TR: Huh?

GK: I said, Are you awake?

TR: What?

GK: Never mind.

TR: What is it?

GK: Never mind. Nothing important.

TR: Then why'd you wake me up?

GK: Sorry.

TR: What'd you wake me up to ask me?

GK: Go back to sleep, Dusty. It's nothing.

TR: Then why wake me up for it?

GK: Sorry. Didn't mean to get you riled up.

TR: Lefty—(CLICK OF GUN HAMMER, CYLINDER) if you don't tell me what it was you woke me up to ask me, I'm going to shoot the limb of that tree so it falls on your leg.. Tell me.

GK: Well, I was just goin to ask if you believe in heaven.

TR: No, I do not.

GK: I just think that if there isn't a heaven, then I sure feel bad about treating my mother the way I did. .

TR: Well, go to sleep and forget about it.

GK: She worked so hard, cooking and cleaning and canning vegetables and doing laundry and trying to bring us up right, and then just when we were old enough to be of some use to her we all left home as fast as we could and (LIGHT SNORING STARTS HERE) abandoned her to my dad, who retired and sat in his Recliner chair next to the fish tank and watched golf tournaments on TV until he fell asleep, so if there isn't a heaven where she can be young and beautiful again and — you know — have a good life, it just would seem like a real crappy deal. For my mother. Dusty? You asleep? Dusty? Never mind.

(HE SINGS)
M is for the music of her laughter
O is for old-fashioned apple pies
T is for clean towels that smelled of lemon
H is for the heaven in her eyes.
E is for the endless love she gave us
R is for her rules of courtesy
Put them all together they spell MOTHER
And mother you're the world to me.

(HORSE APPROACHING, HORSE STOPS)

SS: How-do, stranger. Long time no see.

GK: Mom—

SS: Mind if I warm up a spell by y'r fire?

GK: Mom —

(DISMOUNTING; FOOTSTEPS)

SS: How ya doin', sweetie?

GK: Doing okay, mom. Gosh, I'm astonished to see y'—

SS: You warm enough sleeping there?

GK: Yeah. . .

SS: Kinda worried about you, sleeping outdoors. That bedroll of yours could catch on fire there— spark fly up, light the blanket...all that grease on the blanket would catch fire. When did you last wash that blanket? That isn't whiskey I smell on that blanket, is it? And do I smell smoke?

GK: It's from the campfire.

SS: You don't smoke, do you?

GK: No. How are you, Mom?

SS: I'm just fine.

GK: Are you?

SS: Just fine. Worried about you though. I know you're too busy to write, but I worry. Dangerous life out here. Cougars. Landslides. Rattlesnakes. Flash floods. Forest fires. Grizzlies. Demented people.

GK: I'm fine. You need a place to bunk down for the night, Mom?

SS: That'd be nice. Got anything to eat?

GK: Got some stew.

SS: I see. No salad?

GK: No, but I could go and collect some greens and put them together in a salad.

SS: That'd be nice. What kind of dressing?

GK: Ranch.

SS: Low-fat?

GK: No.

SS: Oh. I'm trying to lose weight. I became a dancer, you know.

GK: I didn't know.

SS: Yeah. I dance every Friday and Saturday night at the Golden Nugget Saloon in Yellow Gulch.

GK: What kind of dancing?

SS: Interpretative.

GK: Well, I should come and catch your show sometime

SS: I don't think you'd like it.

GK: I see.

SS: It's a big hit in Yellow Gulch, though.

GK: I can imagine.

SS: I go out there in my little outfit and wiggle and do my high kicks so they can see my underwear and the men toss money on stage.

GK: Good. (PAUSE) So it pays well?

SS: Hundred dollars a day plus tips.

GK: Tips?

SS: Men stuff money in my support hose.

GK: I see. Does dad know about this?

SS: I don't know. I told him. But you know dad.

GK: You're dancing in a saloon in a little skirt and men are—. Why are you doing this, Mom?

SS: I need the money so I can remodel the kitchen.

GK: I thought you just remodeled it.

SS: You've been gone a long time, Leonard.

GK: My name is Lefty, Mom.

SS: To me you'll always be Leonard, honey.

GK: I'd be glad to help out if you need money.

SS: I don't want to be a burden. Speaking of which, Maxine called the other day to see how you're doing.

GK: Maxine who?

SS: Maxine Burden. She was Maxine Petroskey. Remember? Girl with the nice bangs and the poodle skirts?

GK: Oh right.

SS: She broke up with that Al guy she was married to. You remember. The lawyer. She's single, Leonard. Nice-looking woman. Beautiful skin. You maybe oughta get in touch with her. She got the house and the vacation house in Aspen and a bundle of cash—

GK: Aw—

SS: She's still carrying a torch for you. I could tell.

GK: Then I'd have to move back to Minneapolis.

SS: What's wrong with that?

GK: I just wouldn't fit in there.

SS: Lots of people don't fit in.

GK: I'm an artist.

SS: Plenty of misfits there. You could fit in with them.

GK: I need to be alone in order to pursue my art.

SS: What's your art?

GK: I'm a songwriter. I write songs.

SS: Songs about what?

GK: How I feel about things.

SS: Anybody ever pay you money for one?

GK: Not yet.

SS: Not yet?

GK: No. Not yet.

SS: Yer sixty years old, for crying out loud.

GK: I don't give up easy.

TR: (WAKING) Whozair?

GK: It ain't no one, get back t'sleep.

TR: (BIG YAWN) I thought you were talking to someone.

GK: Nobody here, Dusty.

TR: How come you don't go to sleep?

GK: Thinking about my mother. Feeling bad that I didn't do more for her.

TR: Your mother died twenty years ago, Lefty.

GK: So how does that change anything?

TR: Better get some shuteye, pardner. We got a date to go in and see the dance show at the saloon in Yellow Gulch.

GK: Count me out. (STRUMS)

TR: Hey. Don't play until I fall asleep. Okay?

GK: Okay. (SILENCE, THEN HEAVY BREATHING, SLOW, THEN LIGHT SNORING)

TR: Okay, I'm asleep now.

GK: Good. (STRUMS)

M is for her makeup and eyeliner
O is for the olives in her gin
T is for the tightness of her Spandex
H is for her handbag, leopardskin.
E is for her emerald green stilettos
R is for Red her fiancee
Put them all together they spell TROUBLE
And mother, here's to you on Mother's Day

(THEME)

SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS...brought to you by La Casa Grande Brand Placemats for the Trail. (WHINNY) (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).

Available now»

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