The Lives of the Cowboys
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Listen (MP3)

(THEME)

SS: The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Pinto Pointy Boots. The skinniest cowboy boots you can buy. And now, The Lives of the Cowboys.

(THEME, COWS, FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL)

TR: Nice good-looking cows here. How come our cattle never looked clean like that?

GK: Ours weren't in it for the looks.

TR: Our cows were ornery and filthy with a big cloud of flies chasing their butts.

GK: These cows are pampered, Dusty. They're slackers. They've been given everything on a silver pitchfork that our cattle have to work hard for. Look at that bale of hay--- out on the Chisholm trail- our cattle'd have to work a whole day to find that. That lazy good-for-nothing Holstein has it laid down in front of her like she was a princess— what an elitist snob — (MOO) Yes. You. (MOO) Talking about you.

(A BEAT, COWS)

TR: So why are we here?

GK: Why are we here? To know God and to serve Him.

TR: No, why are we here in Minnesota at the State Fair?

GK: The Talent Contest, Dusty. What else? (STRUMS)

TR: You gonna sing?

GK: Yep. I'm gonna sing a cowboy song.

TR: Hope you're not going to sing about heartbreak and despair and seasonal affective disorder, are you?

(GUITAR TUNING)

GK: Maybe.

TR: You don't got something more upbeat?

GK: I'm a cowboy. Cowboys are downbeat by nature. Here's the stage now, right up here.

(FEEDBACK)

SS (OFF, ON MIC): Hello Minnesota, and welcome to the annual talent contest. We're going to start things out tonight with Mr. Barry Trenco, vocals, and piano. Mr. Trenco? (APPLAUSE)

(PIANO UP FN SINGS)

FN: I eat the food they serve here at the fair
I ate a deep-fried Twinkie on a dare
And now I have to change my underwear
I love the fair I love the fair

(APPLAUSE, FEEDBACK)

TR: Who the heck was that?

GK: Just a guy with beautiful hair.

SS (ON MIC): Well, that was amazing, thank you Mr. Trenco, and now we have a young woman on vocals and guitar, Ms. Steffie Stouffer from Edina Minnesota.

SB (ON MIC): Hi there. I want to dedicate this song to my boyfriend Brad who is in the audience, and also to my sister Sydney and my mom and dad, and also to the Lord, and I just hope that he is going to turn this song to his own glory. (STRUMS, SINGS COUNTRY):
I've got nothing to wear
I hate my clothes and my hair
It's too flat on the top and it looks like a mop
And I know you pretend not to care

But I can see in your eyes
You're looking at my thighs
And wishing I were a more normal size
Life is like a really bad dream
I wish I had more self-esteem.

Self-esteem, self-esteem
How painful it is to be seventeen
Sometimes I'd like to stand up and scream
I suffer from poor self-esteem.

(APPLAUSE)

TR: You call that talent?

GK: It is what it is.

SS (ON MIC): Okay. I'm feeling that. Thank you Steffie and now we have a.Lefty. Lefty-are you out there? Lefty? Oh here he comes right now. Here is Lefty, on the acoustic guitar and vocals, it says. (FEEDBACK) Well I am sorry about that. That mic okay for you?

GK: It's fine. I'll just bend down a little.

SS (ON MIC): All right then. (GUITAR STRUMS)

GK SINGS:
I'm just an old cowboy with dust in my hair
But I got cleaned up to come to the Fair
I am a cowboy, wild broncos I ride
But I got on the Zipper and I almost died.
Whoopitiyiyo—

SS: Excuse me— excuse me, Mr. Lefty— I am going to have to disqualify you— I am so sorry — but there is a rule: No Whooping.

GK: I didn't know that.

SS: We do not allow whooping in the talent show.

GK: What is the reason for that?

SS: I don't make the rules, Mr. Lefty. I just enforce them.

GK: Well, that makes no sense. One little whoop— a little WHOOPitiyiyo—

SS: I'm sorry. Rules are rules. If we allowed you to whoop, then we'd have to allow everybody to, and pretty soon there'd be no singing, just people whooping and hollering and carrying on— we just can't allow that. And now our next contestant tonight-this is Les Worthington, from Moorhead Minnesota, and he is doing-

TK: A loon call.

SS (ON MIC): A loon call.

TK: Actually I'm doing a loon singing the soundtrack to Mamma Mia.

SS (ON MIC): So, Abba.

TK: Yes, but as a loon.

SS (ON MIC): Great. Les Worthington.

(TK LOON SINGING MAMMA MIA, HUGE APPLAUSE)

(BRIDGE)

GK: I can't believe he got to do a loon call and whoop his head off and I got disqualified for one little whoop — I tell you, this is why I became a cowboy in the first place — it's the stupid rules people make you follow.

GK: It just burns my bacon, is all. I come all the way from Wyoming. One whoop. Out on my ear.

TR: Well, why'd you want to enter the dumb contest in the first place?

GK: Thought it might give a boost to my singing career.

TR: Well, my feet hurt. I've got to go sit down. Take a load off.

GK: Shhh. Shhhh. She's about to announce the winner.

SS (ON MIC): And I have the results from this year's State Fair Talent Contest (RIPPING OPEN)---and the winner is-Les Worthington!! The Loon Singer. Les, are you out there? (TK LOON CALL, OFF) There he is, come on up here and get your prize-a thousand dollars in cash and a year's supply of Pronto Pups, delivered hot to your door the first Sunday of every month-Les Worthington, ladies and gentlemen-our winner! (TA DA MUSIC)

TK: Thank you so much. I just want to thank my mom, my dad, my brother — I want to thank my third-grade teacher Mrs. Sorenson — I'd like to thank the guys down at Parcel Post — the greatest guys in the world — I love you— (HE GOES ON, UNDER)

GK: Oh, for crying out loud. Just get over yourself. Sit down, ya idiot.

TR: Easy, Lefty. Must be a lesson here somewhere.

GK: The lesson is,accept being snookered and don't try to compete against a singing loon.

TR: Look out, here comes the guy with the hair.

(FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL)

FN: Hi. I'm Barry Trenco.

GK: I know who you are.

FN: Just wanted to tell you I loved what you did there. There was just so much feeling, so much life. You been singing long?

GK: Oh, I don't know, off and on, most of my life.

TR: Mostly off. Off-key.

FN: You write that song yourself?

GK: Yeah.

FN: Wow. That is just totally awesome. How do you do that?

GK: Oh, I don't know. I just sit down and whatever comes out, comes out.

TR: You sit down and whatever comes out just comes out?

GK: Here comes the loon guy.

(FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL)

TK: Excuse me.

GK: You're excused.

TK: You mind stepping aside so I can get through?

GK: Let me think about it.

TK: Move it, mister.

GK: You know, for a winner you've got a really bad attitude.

TK: I want to get to the bank before it closes.

GK: Oh yeah? Well, I want to get to the county jail before it closes. (TK CHOKING)

TR: Stop choking him, Lefty--- leggo—

GK: You big cheater— (TK LOON CRY) I'm a better singer than you any day of the week, mister— (TK LOON)

(THEME)

SS (ANNC): The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by the Sleep Number Saddle. Just dial up your comfort number and it adjusts the saddle to make it softer or firmer, as you wish. The Sleep Number Saddle, why not enjoy the ride.

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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