September 26, 2009
Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, MN

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The Lives of the Cowboys

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(THEME)

SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS...brought to you by Emily Fencepost's Book of Western Etiquette...if you shoot a man, should you send him a Get Well card in the hospital? Or visit him personally? Emily Fencepost tells you what's right in all social situations. Available wherever books or guns are sold. And now today's exciting adventure. (HORSE HOOVES)

GK: There it be Dusty. Mississippi River. The Ole Miss. Old Man River. Father of Waters. And the Queen City of the Upper Mississippi, the Paris of the Midwest, St. Paul, Yessir.

TR: I got no idea why in tarnation we have got to come all the way north to the frozen tundra when there are a hundred more scenic places we coulda been. This place has got all the charm of a seven-story parking ramp. And the people are about as subtle as a concrete block.

GK: You don't care for Minnesota, Dusty?

TR: Did you know that Minnesota ranks No. 1 in the Number of Slow Talkers?

GK: No.

TR: No. 1 in Obsessive Empathy for People You Don't Know?

GK: Interesting.

TR: Did you know that St. Paul is the Solitaire Capitol of the World?

GK: Didn't know that.

TR: So why are we here? Why not Omaha, Des Moines, Wichita, someplace interesting?

GK: Opportunity, Dusty. A record company called Wellness Records wants to put out an album of Recovering Cowboy Songs. So I've written some. (CHORD) As I walked out in the streets of empowerment, as I walked out in recovery today, I saw a young cowboy dressed in white linen, Dressed in white linen on his way to AA. —Still working on that one.

TR: Well, how about we stop in this saloon here and whiskify ourselves first.

GK: Fine by me. (BRIDGE, DISMOUNT. FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL) Hmmmm. Sandbar Saloon. Interesting ambience.

TR: Not the sort of saloon we're used to, that's for sure. More wine than whiskey. (PIANO, LITE JAZZ CAMPTOWN RACES) And what's that piano player playing? And nobody playing poker.

SS: (BARTENDER) What'll you boys have?

TR: Whadda got in a rotgut whiskey?

SS: We don't sell rotgut. Just blended whiskey.

TR: Okay, gimme some blended.

SS: Okay. One blended whiskey. (SFX: POURING, SHORT)

TR: That's what I'd call a short drink.

SS: One ounce.

TR: You couldn't let a little extra spill over?

SS: Before you drink this, you should be warned of possible side effects, including dilation of blood vessels, mood swings, loss of brain function, and loss of control of your motor vehicle causing you to plummet down a rocky slope as your vehicle bursts into flame and you perish in a tsunami of fire.

TR: (PAUSE) Okay, how about a beer?

SS: The excessive use of beer may cause enormous weight gain and a distended belly, loss of brain function, and obsessive devotion to the Green Bay Packers --

TR: Gimme a glass of water then.

SS: Okay. Good choice.

TR: With ice cubes and a cherry in it.

SS: The cherry contains an artificial dye that has been known to cause depression in guinea pigs.

TR: Hey, I'll take that risk.

SS: How about you, mister? You with the guitar?

GK: Me? I'll just have an iced tea.

SS: Sweet or unsweetened.

GK: Unsweetened. That's organic right? From a tea plantation that practices sustainable agriculture and the workers get a fair wage and full benefits and overtime and they sing and dance as they work and there is free wireless Internet?

SS: Yes, of course. (POURING) You wouldn't happen to be a singer-songwriter, would you?

GK: Well, as a matter of fact, I am. In fact I was just working on a song now called “The Cowboy And His Medications”.

SS: You're on medications, too?

GK: Well, sort of.

(GUITAR STRUMS)

GK (SINGS):
I have not been myself lately.
I've been irritable and depressed.
A very dysfunctional cowboy
Out in the Old Wild West.
Cause I was held up by an hombre
Out in the Montana hills.
In the train station he stole my medications,
Lord, how I miss those pills.

I said, take my boots and spurs
Take my horse, he is yours
Take my hat with its broad-brim visor
But please do not take my mood stabilizer...

And now suddenly I feel old
Those pills made me feel young.
Twenty-six, slender, tender and innocent
Sensitive and high-strung.
But that hombre took my vitamins.
And now I'm over the hill.
Took the Vitamin E and the ginseng tea,
Lord how I need those pills.

GK (SINGS) (CONT.):
I said, take my saddle and horse
Take my Colt .44s
Take the prize that I won as a livestock exhibitor
But please do not take my reuptake inhibitor.

I am lonely out on the trail
Riding across the Great Plains
A very dysfunctional cowboy
And borderline insane.
He stole my medications.
The kind that you take for thrills.
I sat trimming my cuticles for the lack of pharmaceuticals.
Lord how I miss those pills.

TR (SLOW TALKER): Hello. I am Toivo Haapaniemi Kokkonen- Keskinarkaus. Here's my business card.

GK: That sounds like a name for more than one person.

TR: It's Finnish.

GK: Well, that's good to know.

TR: I just want to say that I'm very happy that you're on the road to recovery. Remember: take it one day at a time. Today is the first step on a long journey. We help ourselves when we help others. Don't sweat the small stuff. And remember -- it's all small stuff. He who fails to plan, plans to fail.

GK: Would you mind talking a little faster?

TR: The healing process begins when we recognize that we have a problem. Every journey begins with a single step and the first step is to admit that you do not have the answers. I have the answers. You do not. And so you are going to do as I say.

GK: Would you mind bringing me a glass of red wine?

SS: Red wine may cause reduced mental alertness that could cause to poor decision-making such as entering into an unwise romantic liaison that could make you unhappy in the long run and might lead to having children before you are fully prepared to be a parent and this might cause your child to grow up with a need for therapy.

GK: Let's get out of here, Dusty. (HEE YAW, HORSES RIDING) (THEME)

SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS...brought to you by Hacienda Brand Corn Silk Tooth Floss...from our ear to your mouth—it's the best cornsilk tooth floss on the market today. (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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