The Lives of the Cowboys script
Saturday, May 30, 2009

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SS (ANNC): The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Santa Fe Campsite Spray. Itís the aerosol spray that makes your campsite smell fresh and piney, like the wilderness, and not like a barn. And now, The Lives of the Cowboys. (THEME) (COWS)

GK: There she is, Dusty. St. Louis. The Gateway to the West.

TR: Yessir.

GK: And also the gateway to the east.

TR: I never heard that.

GK: Most gates swing both ways--

TR: What do you mean by that?

GK: Suppose there might have been some people who came through here heading west and got out there and saw it and decided to head back. Decided the west wasnít for them and went back east.

TR: But the west meant freedom—

GK: Right. The freedom to be fools. Look at us. Weíve been driving these same hundred cows for the past ten years, going from town to town, looking for a good price, which keeps getting lower, so we donít sell cause we donít want to take a loss, and weíre running an elderhostel program for livestock. Cows are dropping from arteriosclerosis.

TR: But look at us. Nobody telling us where to go, what to do. No dress code. No security check. No questionnaires. No PIN numbers. When was the last time you had to give your Social Security number?

GK: Last week.

TR: Last week! For what?

GK: None of your business.

TR: Tell me. I want to know.

GK: I applied for a job. In town.

TR: A job doing what?

GK: Teaching guitar.

TR: You? You canít even play guitar!

GK: Sometimes those are the best teachers.

TR: How could you do this?

GK: How could I do it? Twenty years of hopeless tedium under the hot sun in the company of a hundred ornery longhorns and a monosyllabic partner.

TR: What do you mean, ďMonosyllabicĒ? The penicillin cleared that all up.

GK: I applied for a job. Sorry if it upsets you.

TR: What sort of jobs you apply for?

GK: Companion. Life coach. Psychotherapist.

(A BEAT, COWS)

TR: Had no idea you were looking for a job. (HORSE HOOVES APPROACH)

TR: What do we got here?

SS: Whoa whoa whoaó(DISMOUNT, FAST FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL) Hiya fellas. Can I take a minute of your time? (FN GIBBERISH, OFF) My name is Connie Zwieback and this is my husband Lorenz.

GK: Looks to me like your husband is in need of help. (FN DEEP INCOMPREHENSIBLE)

SS: I suppose he is. Heís demented. Heís been like that for awhile.

GK: What caused him to go berserk?

SS: Well, we have four children. Eleven, thirteen, fifteen, and nineteen.

GK: Well, now that makes sense. So what can we do for you, Mrs. Zwieback?

SS: You advertised that you were available as a companion. And I thought that if you could just take Lorenz away on horseback for a month or two, and let him experience the cowboy life, maybe he would return to his senses.

TR: Usually it works the other way, maíam.

SS: I just thought that the fresh air, the sense of adventure, the long and winding trail and so forth—

GK: I think she has a point, Dusty. The cowboy life is so irrational anyway, maybe this is the future of it — as a kind of therapy—

TR: Well— He doesnít look like a bad sort of fellow. And he doesnít have a guitar. Thatís a plus right there. SS; Lorenz is not a musician, sir.

TR: Thatís good enough for me. — Looks like I got me a new partner, pardner.

SS: And it looks like I got me a new boyfriend—

GK: Well, I donít know about that—

SS: Got me a nice house, all paid for. Iím ready to retire. Sell the house, move to California. Wouldnít mind having somebody to go with me. Somebody who can ride and rope and wrangle. If you know what I mean.

GK: But why would you leave St. Louis? Youíve got the St. Lous Cardinals. Baseball the way baseball was meant to be. Youíve got a great symphony orchestra. Art museums. Beautiful old neighborhoods.

SS: I want something new. Like California.

(GUITAR)

GK (SINGS) I canít live on the coast in the fog and the mist
It would turn me into an inhumanist
I would mold and mildew and sneeze and cough
And my bones would rust and my legs would fall off

SS: How about Florida then?

GK: Iíve been down South, near the magnolia trees,
And itís nice if you are in your late 70s
But humidityís high and the temperatureís hot
Itís nice if you are a snake and Iím not
Whoopitiyiyo and South I canít go.


SS: I could go to New England.

GK: Iíve been to Boston which is terribly quaint
Where everyoneís brilliant except when they ainít
And they look down their noses if they heard
You speak and they think that you misspelled a word.
Whoopitiyiyo Boston I donít think so.

SS: Well, where do you want to live then?

GK (SINGS):
O I am a misfit and I do not belong
Among decent people and so Iíve gone wrong
And Iím riding the trail out on the prairie
Where life is sustainable though temporary.
Right here in the middle , no trouble, no hurry,
Here in the heart of St. Louis Missouri.
Where the Missouri river and the Mississip meet
Where the days are delicious and the evenings are sweet.
Whoopitiyiyo git along little doggies.

(BRIDGE, HORSES WALK, COWS)

TR: Guess you missed your big chance, pardner.

GK: I donít think it wouldíve worked out.

FN: I think you wouldíve gone crazy just like I did.

GK: Lorenz! Youíre talking!

FN: I always was talking, I just wasnít getting through to people.

TR: So how come you became demented?

FN: Cell phones. Walking around with a cellphone, waiting for it to ring. Drove me nuts. The cellphone turns a man into a receptionist. (COWS)

GK: Well, thereís no coverage out here so your problem is solved for you.

FN: And I didnít like the color of the kitchen walls. Bright yellow. Hated that. (CELLPHONE)

TR: Thatís not me.

FN: Thatís me. Sheís calling. What should I do?

TR: Youíre a cowboy. Do whatever you feel like doing. (CELLPHONE)

FN: Okay. (HE THROWS CELLPHONE, DISTANT SPLASH)

GK: If youíre gonna be crazy, may as well do it out in the open. Got five hundred miles of privacy in all directions.

TR: Speaking of which. Hi-ya! (HORSES GALLOP OFF) (THEME)

SS: The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Santa Fe Campsite Spray.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

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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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