The Lives of the Cowboys script
Saturday, October 18, 2008

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(WESTERN THEME)

SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS.....brought to you by the Old Chisholm Trail Bookstore. The Old Chisholm Trail is a long boring trail to ride, so pick yourself up a good book at the Old Chisholm Trail Bookstore. And now today's adventure on The Lives of the Cowboys.

(OUTDOOR AMBIENCE, CATTLE. HORSES' HOOVES. GK & TR WHOOPS. CATTLE REACTIONS)

GK: There you go. Get em in the pen.

TR: Heeeyaww! In you go, ya miserable longhorns!

(CREAK OF GATE SWINGING) MORE WHOOPS (CATTLE, HORSE WHINNY)

TR: Whew. Can't believe we're all done. Finally made it to Abilene.

GK: Let's leave the horses here and walk. Man, that was a long hard ride. Good thing the wind's blowing. Not sure I could stand upright otherwise.

TR: You look pretty rough, pardner.

GK: Oh yeah?

TR: You look like you been embalmed and it wore off.

GK: I feel that way too. Thinking I might retire.

TR: In Abilene?

GK: Well, why not. I could buy me a wind turbine and sit in the shade and watch the blades turn around. But first, I want to find me a drug store so I can get something to put on these chigger bites. Man they are irritating. (FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL) One more reason to go north for winter. Get away from chiggers.

TR: Best thing for chiggers is whiskey. Applied internally.

GK: This does not look like a hard-drinking town to me, Dusty. This looks like a church town. One up there, and there's one, and there's another.

TR: I need a drink. I'm stiffer than a sun-dried frog on the Interstate.

SS: Excuse me, sir.

GK: Yes, ma'am.

SS: I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy.

GK: Yes, ma'am.

SS: And is that a guitar on your back?

GK: It is, ma'am.

SS: Well, I'm from this church right here and I was thinking maybe you could come in and play your guitar.

TR: Ma'am, we are bone-tired and filthy, just got in off the Chisholm Trail, and church is too good for us — we are looking for the back booth of a saloon where we can sit and marinate ourselves in spirited beverages.

GK: Besides, ma'am, that is a Church of Christ church and if I'm not mistaken you don't permit musical instruments of any sort.

TR: Why is that?

GK: Well, they didn't want trombones, but rather than single them out, they just banned all instruments. Mainly it was trombones and of course organs. Anti-organ. Organs were too high church and these were low church people.

TR: Well, when it comes to church I like to get real low and find me a saloon.

SS: Anyway, it isn't for church service, mister—it's for my little girl. I came for prayer meeting and she's making a fuss and — (SHE SOBS) I am just worn out. I'm at the end of my rope.

GK: Well, I can take care of your little girl — where is she? (FOOTSTEPS)

SS: Right around here by the back door. — My husband went off to the football game in Amarillo and we came to pray for the team and — she's in here —

GK: Says "Crying Room" (DOOR OPEN, INFANT BAWLING)

SS: I can't get her calmed down. I don't know what's wrong.

GK: What's her name?

SS: Laura.

GK: Well, that's a pretty name. (GUITAR STRUMS)

GK: (SINGS)
Eyes like the morning star, cheeks like the rose
Laura was a pretty girl, God Almighty knows
Weep all ye little rains, wail, winds, wail
All along, along, along the Colorado Trail

(CRYING SUBSIDES)

Chorus:

Bright all the lonely night, bright all the day
Keep the herd a'rollin' on, rollin' on its way.

SS: That's amazing. She's asleep.

GK: I always had that ability with women. Keeping them awake I never could do, but —

SS: Where'd you learn that?

GK: Out on the trail, singing to cattle. They get spooked easily, lightning, mountain lions, snakes, and you have to calm them down, otherwise they'll be gone. In a flash. Toughest thing is to calm them down when you're scared yourself. That takes real leadership.

SS: So that's how you earn a living?

GK: Well—

TR: I wouldn't call it a living, ma'am. It's what we do and I guess we're still alive but there ain't necessarily a connection between the two.

GK: Well, I suppose we should head out, Dusty—

TR: You wouldn't know where I could find a saloon, would ya, ma'am?

SS: We're Church of Christ. I never saw the inside of a saloon in my life.

TR: Well, they're not much to look at, but once your vision blurs they do have their advantages.

GK: You're in a church, Dusty. You're not gonna find saloons in this part of town. (DOOR OPEN)

FN: Scuse me. Oh, hi Louise. Looks like you got the baby to sleep. You gonna come in and join us for the prayer meetin? Almost set to start.

SS: Uncle Fred, these are my friends Dusty and Lefty. Say—You used to hang around in saloons before you came to the Lord. Dusty's looking for a nice saloon to go ta. Where is there one?

FN: Oh I donno…

TR: I can come to the Lord later but I want to go to a saloon first

FN: Well, I'm not sure I should be leading a man astray….

GK: Oh you're not leading him, he's way out there in front of you……

FN: What sorta saloon you looking for?

TR: Well, I don't want some kind of wine bar with a whole lotta liberals talking about their favorite latte and so forth.

FN: In Abilene, that's not going to be a problem.

TR: Just looking for a nice place to drink a beer and get in a conversation with a good-looking woman.

FN: You're gonna find the good-looking women in church, mister. The ones in bars — I donno — they've been ridden hard and put up wet.

TR: In church though, the lights are too bright. — and I tend to look a lot older than what I feel, especially when I've had a drink.

FN: Well you gotta tell me first what you going to do in a saloon — I don't want to be responsible for you getting into trouble.

TR: I'm just gonna have me a snootful of whiskey and carry on a little pointless flirtation with women who know better.

FN: How about half a snootful?

TR: Mister this is America and I have the right to drink a snootful or a double snoot — it's my business and none of your own — (VOICE RISING) I don't care what church you belong to, you can't tell other people how to live their lives! (BABY WAIL)

GK: Now look what you've done. You woke up the baby.

SS: Easy, easy……go to sleep, Lulu. (STRUMS)

GK: (SINGS)
Put your little foot, put your little foot,
Put your little foot in here.
Put your little foot, put your little foot,
Put your little foot in here.
(HE CONTINUES)

(BRIDGE)

(FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL)

GK: Grace's Oasis Saloon. Look okay to you, Dusty?

TR: Let's go in.

(FOOTSTEPS ON FLOOR, CREAK OF BARSTOOLS)

(FOOT TAPPING)

GK: Hey mister—

RD: Yeah?

GK: How come you're tapping your foot?

RD: Am I tapping my foot?

GK: You are. How come?

RD: Well, for thirty years old Pistol Pete used to play "Camptown Races" on that piano over there.

GK: I see. What happened?

RD: Somebody shot the piano.

GK: So why do you still tap your foot?

RD: I can still hear "Camptown Races".

GK: You mind stopping?

RD: I wish I could.

GK: Than go sit over there—

RD: Okay. Sorry—If you lived here, you might be obsessive too.

SS: Howdy, I'm Grace. Welcome to my oasis. What can I do for you, boys?

TR: I'd like a glass of rotgut Chardonnay.

SS: Got an Oklahoma Chardonnay.

TR: Good. 'll take that. (POURING)

SS: How about you, mister?

GK: You promise not to laugh?

SS: When you live in this part of Texas, laughter doesn't come easily.

GK: I'df like an herbal iced tea.

SS: (SHE LAUGHS, THEN CACKLES, THEN WHOOPS AND CHORTLES) (SHE CALMS HERSELF DOWN) Sorry. What kind of — (SHE LAUGHS AGAIN, CACKLES, CHORTLES)

GK: Never mind. I'll just go outside and find out where the other weirdos are and hang out with them.

SS: Oh, I didn't mean to make you feel bad. You're a nice guy. You've got real nice eyes. You remind me of someone I once knew. A real sweet fellow.

GK: Thank you.

SS: I was in love with him and then he took off.

GK: Men are like that.

SS: He used to sing to me.

GK: I could do that.

SS: You do and I'll go find you a — (SHE LAUGHS) what did you want to drink

GK: Never mind….

(GUITAR STRUM)

GK: (SINGS)
Each night out on the plains as night is falling
And look up at the stars and feel serene
And listen to the chiggers softly crawling
I always picture home in Abilene....

Moonlight in the heart of Texas
How I wish that I were there tonight
Nothing to harm us or vex us
Nothing but friendliness and utter delight.
I hurt from bug bites
And from old bar fights
But I'd love to come and see you and turn out the lights.
Moonlight in the heart of Texas
How I wish that I were there with you.

(CRASH OF GLASS)

TR: You put her to sleep, Lefty. She topped over and fell into the glassware. Sound asleep. (SS SNORING)

GK: It's my fate, I guess.

TR: Just as well. Cowboys are not meant to be in love. We are meant to have superficial relationships with women who suffer from low self-esteem. Time to hit the trail, pardner.

GK: I donno. I'd sort of like to stay for a few days anyway.

TR: You stay a few days, then you'll want to make it a week, and eventually you'll get to like it so well, you lose your capacity for suffering, and when a cowboy does that, he isn't a cowboy anymore. Let's go. (HORSE WHINNY) Giddup. (HORSES GALLOP) (THEME)

GK: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS… (MUSIC PLAY OFF)

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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