October 24, 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 Borax Bath Salts in a Box.......if you feel listless and indifferent, the cause may be body fungus on your back, the part you can't reach when you shower. Just lie in a tub in two inches of Borax Bath Salts — it kills fungus. And now....THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS.....(NIGHT SOUNDS, CATTLE)

(STRUM)

GK (SINGS, COLORADO TRAIL)
Eyes they were blue as sky
Or maybe they were green
She sure was a love of mine
The sweetest ever seen
Listen to the falling rain
Lying here in jail
Think about her ever night
On the Colorado Trail.

Cattle seem uneasy this evening, Dusty. Like they are anxious about something.

TR: Now that you stopped singing, they seem happier.

GK: Could be a cougar down in the coulee got em spooked, or maybe a hoot owl.
TR: I don't reckon. (HAWKS AND SPITS) Smell that?

GK: Smell what? Oh. That.

TR: Yessir. (HAWKS AND SPITS) Lilacs.

GK: Wrong time of year for lilacs.

TR: Gotta be a man's cologne. (FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING, SLOWLY, ON GRAVEL) Sounds like someone coming this way.

GK: Hello? Who's out there? (FOOTSTEPS)

HS: Evening. —(PAUSE) I saw your flickering campfire. (PAUSE) And I heard you singing.

TR: That was him, not me.

GK: What's your name, stranger?

HS: The name's Smith.

GK: Got a first name to go with that?

HS: I do.

GK: Okay. Care for some coffee?


HS: Don't mind if I do. (PAUSE) Got any cream? (PAUSE)
Two percent would be okay too.

TR: We're cowboys, mister. There is no latte in the saddle.

HS: Okay. (PAUSE)

GK: Pretty fancy boots and chaps and spurs, mister. Where you buy those?

HS: Bergdorf Goodman Western Wear. New York. (PAUSE) City.

GK: Very glittery.

TR: Are those real rhinestones or fake ones?

HS: I'm in television. (PAUSE) Or was. (PAUSE) Until I came out here.

GK: TV, huh?

HS: Yep. (PAUSE) Saturday mornings. (PAUSE) Kiddie show. Wrangler Jim And His Broadway Bunkhouse.

GK: Didn't work out, huh?

HS: Nope. Got fired.

TR: Fired—
HS: Sixteen years on the air. Show was going well and then one morning I introduced the Little Rascals and — I thought the microphone was off — and I said something rather pungent and colorful to a cameraman and the switchboard lit up. Horrified parents. I told him he wouldn't know how to pour piss out of a boot if the directions were printed on the sole. Parents didn't want the kiddoes to know about that. So I was fired.

GK: So what can we do for you, Smith?

HS: Came out here cause I want to learn how to saunter. Don't get to saunter in New York. All you can do is scurry. And I want to learn how to spit. Can't spit in New York cause there are people scurrying near you. You never get the distance.

TR: You want to spit on them what fired you.

HS: Yep.
(GALLOPING HOOVES APPROACHING, AND SS WHOAS. HORSE PULLS UP. SHE DISMOUNTS. WALKS FAST.)

SS: Evening, boys.

TR: Evening, Rosanna.

SS: Evening, stranger.

HS: Evening, ma'am.
GK: Rosanna is the proprietor of the Yellow Dog Saloon in nearby Dead End Gulch. This fellow's name is Smith.

SS: Pretty fancy hat you got, Mr. Smith.

HS: It's a twelve-gallon. I keep a prosciutto sandwich up there.

SS: Just rode out here to warn you boys that Crazy Eddie is having another one of his lunatic spells. He was in the saloon and he got into the Chardonnay.

TR: Oh oh.

SS: Crazy Eddie's okay so long as he sticks to whiskey but when he gets into the white wine he starts demanding warm goat cheese on a sesame cracker and of course we don't have any warm goat cheese on a sesame cracker at the Yellow Dog, on account of there are no goats hereabouts, but he gets out his six-guns and starts blazing away so I came out here, to warn you that he was headed this direction and he's out of his mind, stark raving mad and liable to do anything.

GK: Okay. Well, thanks for the warning. (HAWKS AND SPITS. PAUSE. SIZZLE OF SPIT IN FIRE.)

HS: How'd you spit like that?

GK: Like what?

HS: Spit a whole big cluster of saliva and hit that hot rock.

GK: Like this? (HAWKS AND SPITS. PAUSE. SIZZLE OF SPIT IN FIRE.)

HS: How'd you do that?

TR: Spitting has to come from within, mister. It's like throwing up except you don't do it all at once.

SS: Where you from, Mr. Smith, that you never learned to spit?

GK: He was in TV and he got fired, Roseanne.

SS: Oh. Sorry.

HS: Came out here to learn how to spit, ma'am. Want to saunter up to that vice-president who fired me and spit on the ground and I want to stand chin to chin with him and I want to say, “You dirty low down nogood egg-sucking flimflammin, cotton-pickin, fourflushin shortchangin, penny-pinchin, two-bit, bush-league, bird-brained, two-timing nitwit, weasel, snake in the grass, slimebucket and good-for-nothing guttersnipe.

SS: That's quite a mouthful, mister.

TR: So what'd you actually say to him, the fella who fired you?

HS: I said, “Sorry it didn't work out.”

GK: Not a good line. But the city isn't good for self-expression because people are always interrupting you. On the other hand, out here on the lonesome plains, you only get to express yourself to yourself.

HS: Well, I have a longing to be free.

GK: Freedom, Mr. Smith, is vastly overrated as an experience and once you've spent weeks in the saddle you'd gladly give up some in exchange for comfort.

TR: And sitting in the saddle does things to your prostate and you can't pee worth a darn and we don't have the urologists out here that you've got in New York. Out here, the veterinarian doubles as a urologist and he's used to working with horses and Brahma bulls and—

SS: Excuse me. I think I'll be leaving.

TR: Oh, sorry, Roseanne. Forgot you were here.

SS: Forgot I was a woman. Right. Well, it's not the first time and it won't be the last. But I am a woman. W-o-m-a-n. Bye. (SHE STRIDES AWAY, MOUNTS HORSE GIDDUPS, GALLOPS OFF)

GK: So, what were we talking about?

(TK OFF, ROARING, BERSERK GIBBERISH, GUNSHOTS)

GK: Never mind. Here comes Crazy Eddie.

TR: Got my lariat right here—

HS: What's his problem?

GK: We think it may be allergies. It happens whenever he's around people. Alone, miles from town, he's okay.

(MORE GUNSHOTS, RICHOCHETS)

TR: He's hiding behind that boulder so I can't rope him—

GK: Eddie! Stop shooting! (GUNSHOTS STOP)

TK: Gimme one good reason!

GK: It isn't a grownup thing to do.

TK: Ha! (GUNSHOT, RICHOCHET)

GK: You're liable to ricochet a bullet off a boulder and hit yourself in the prostate.

TK: I don't care. (GUNSHOT, RICOCHET)

HS: Listen to me, you idiot.
(FOOTSTEPS)

TK: Who's that?
HS: The name's Smith, you dirty low down nogood egg-sucking flimflammin, cotton-pickin— uh, cotton-pickin— cotton-pickin—

GK: Four-flushin.....

HS: Fourflushin shortchangin, penny-pinchin, two-bit, bush-league, bird-brained, two-timing nitwit, weasel, snake in the grass, slimebucket and good-for-nothing guttersnipe.

TK: Okay.

HS: Okay what?

TK: What you trying to say.....

HS: I'm telling you to put down that gun you little lowdown nogood egg-sucking flimflamming, cotton-pickin, uh— put down the gun. Or else.

TK: Or else what?

HS: Or else this— (HE HAWKS, SPITS. PAUSE. BIRD SHRIEK)

TK: Hey, you spit in that nuthatch's eye.

TR: And he seems to have made a deposit on the top of your head.

TK: That was some spitting, Mister.

GK: I'll just take this pistol, Eddie. You may have a future as a cowboy, mister Jim.

HS: I wouldn't mind staying out west. If I could find a good woman to love.

SS: Hello.

HS: Ma'am!

SS: Over here behind the sagebrush.

HS: I thought you'd ridden off.

SS: I doubled back.

HS: Let me borrow your guitar, Lefty.

GK: Okay. Good luck.
(STRUMS)


HS (SINGS):

Eyes like the morning star,
Cheeks nice and tan.
Here I am with my guitar
Singing to Roseanne.
Goodbye New York City
My apartment is for sale
I'm riding cross the prairie
On the Colorado Trail.

HS & GK: Ee-yodel-adi-i-adi-hoo.

TR: Good to meet you, Wrangler Jim.

HS: How far is town?

SS: Too far to walk.

HS: I don't have a horse.

SS: I do. We can ride double. (WHINNY) You climb up and I'll sit behind you. If you don't mind my arms around you. (WHINNY) (THEME)

TR: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS was brought to you by Borax Bath Salts in a Box. It kills fungus.

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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