February 13, 2010
The 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 Old Chisholm Trail Brand Cheese — it the hard cheese that keeps for weeks, months, years —- and it keeps cougars away. And now today's exciting western yarn...

(STIRRING IN METAL POT. SCRAPING. COOKWARE.)

TR: What you making?

GK: Beef stew.

TR: Again?

GK: What you want?

TR: Something different.

GK: Okay. I'll take the beef out and put kohlrabi in instead. Kohlrabi stew. You want that?

TR: Those are the two options?

GK: Walleye stew.

TR: I don't care.
GK: Well, you do care, otherwise you wouldn't complain. So what do you want?

TR: Doesn't matter.

GK: It does matter. If it didn't, we wouldn't be arguing about it.

TR: Do whatever you want.

GK: I'm asking you what you want.

TR: Forget that I said anything.

GK: "Forget that I said anything."

TR: Just never mind. Doesn't matter.

GK: Passive aggressive. We've been in Minnesota too long, you're picking up the culture, Dusty. Time to head for Texas, where people aren't afraid to get in your face.

(HORSE WHINNIES)

TR: Now look, you've upset the horses.

GK: Hey you, White Blaze— (WHINNY) settle down or I'll come over there and give you something to get upset about. (APOLOGETIC WHINNY) That's better.

TR: So what's wrong, Lefty? You've been moody all week. Haven't picked up your guitar and sung. Haven't twirled your rope. Haven't chewed tobacco and spit. You just sit there looking out the window. You're in the dumps. Why?

GK: You want to know why.

TR: I want to know why.

GK: You're not going to laugh and pick me apart with sarcasm.

TR: Nope.

GK: Well—- it's Valentine's Day and here I am. No valentine. Simple as that.

(GUITAR, "TROUBLE IN MIND")


GK (SINGS):

Here I am, alone on the prairie,
And all I've got is a horse
And a long long trail ahead
And I'm not getting any younger.

I just need someone to hold onto,
Someone to tell how wonderful she is,
Someone to drink coffee with in the morning
And quietly lust after.

I'm a cowboy, an American icon,
But even icons need someone to love,
And I'm tired of being metaphorical,
I'd rather be in bed.

TR: Boy, you do have a way of summing things up in a few words, don't you.

GK: Don't you long to have a significant other? Don't you?

TR: I did. Years ago. And then I found one.

GK: Oh?

TR: Yep. Her name was Sarah. She lived not far from here. Mendota Heights. We lived together for six months.

GK: So that's what happened to you. I thought you went off with the rodeo and competed in the Brahma Bull event.

TR: Nope. I went to Mendota Heights and lived with Sarah and competed in the Condo Cowboy division.

GK: You never told me about this.

TR: I was in love with her, pardner. For all the reasons you mentioned. Someone to hold, someone to tell how wonderful she was, etcetera etcetera. But living together under one roof —- oh my. I remember it only too well. (BRIDGE INTO MEMORY)

SS: Dusty---

TR: Yes, ma'am?

SS: My name is Sarah, not Ma'am.

TR: Yes'm.

SS: And its not Mmm either.

TR: Right. Check. Gotcha.

SS: It's about the kitchen, Dusty. I asked you to clean the kitchen.

TR: I did.
SS: You call this clean??

TR: What's wrong?

SS: What's wrong??? Look.

TR: Looks good to me. Everything's where you can get at it. Looks good. (HE HAWKS AND SPITS)

SS: What did you just do?

TR: Oh. Sorry. (WIPES IT UP WITH SLEEVE) There.

SS: Darling— we need to talk. (BRIDGE)

TR: Whenever she called me Darling, I knew I was in trouble. Which I was, most of the time. The woman did her best to civilize me, but it was a fulltime job and she already had one of those, as a psychologist.

GK: You fell in love with a psychologist—

TR: I did indeed. And she did her best to teach me. Things like parallel parking.

GK: Oh yeah?


TR: Out there in Deadwood and Tombstone and Yellow Gulch and Hopeless Springs and all those western towns, you just rode up to the hitching rail and tied up, there was no need to maneuver because it was the open range, lots of room—

GK: Right.

TR: It was miserable, being at the wheel of her big S.U.V. —- (BRIDGE INTO MEMORY)

SS: What are you stopping for? Don't stop. I'm trying to teach you to parallel park. Keep going.

TR: I can't go on, sweetheart. It's hopeless.

SS: Keep trying.

TR: I have a headache, Sarah. I'm all stressed out.

SS: You have to learn parallel parking. You're a man. A man has to parallel park. Otherwise you're going to develop very serious self-worth issues.

TR: Sarah, I am a cowboy. A cowboy has a whole other sense of spatial relationships.

SS: You've got to adjust and learn how to fit in. That's what parallel parking is, Dusty. It's fitting in.

TR: Please. Don't make me do this—

SS: Put the car in reverse.

TR: Please.....

SS: Put the car in reverse. Back up. (REV) Turn in. The other way. Other way!

TR: Which way?

SS: Not that way! (CRASH CRUNCH)

TR: Please. You take over.

SS: Put it in drive. Drive, Dusty. I said, Drive. (ACCEL, CRASH CRUNCH) Reverse. (CRASH CRUNCH) There. Made it. Let's try it again.

TR: Please. No—-
(BRIDGE)

GK: But she was a beautiful woman and you loved her.

TR: I did.

GK: And she loved you.

TR: In her own way, she did.

GK: Why couldn't you make a life together?

TR: We were just too different. I liked to do what I'm doing right now, squatting here, poking at the dirt with a stick, chewing on a stalk of grass, squinting, looking at the horizon. And spitting at it. Squatting and squinting. It's what a cowboy does. Sarah didn't go for squatting and squinting. And spitting. Anytime she was around, it was a No Spitting Zone. And she had a lot of friends and she wanted them to be my friends too. Because they were wonderful people. Which they were. But not to me. But she kept taking me to dinner parties and receptions and open houses and fundraisers. There was something practically every night. (BRIDGE INTO MEMORY)

SS: You're going to have a wonderful time. They're wonderful people. You'll like them. Just give it a chance.

TR: How about I just sit in the car and wait for you?

SS: Don't be silly.

TR: I can't do this, darling.

SS: Come on. Be positive. Smile—

TR: I don't know those people—-

SS: You'll get to know them—

TR: But what do I say?

SS: Just be yourself. Smile and converse and have a good time.

TR: You're gonna sit next to me, aren't you?

SS: Of course not. Hello! Hi! Muffy! Brent! (AIR KISSES) Jonathan! Amanda! (AIR KISSES) You look so lovely in that--- Leo! Siobhan. Hi. I'd like you to meet my boyfriend, Dusty.

TR: Hi there. How they hangin? (HE TRIPS, FALLS. MAJOR GLASS BREAKAGE) Sorry. (ORGAN STING) Oh, I'm so sorry. (SILENT MURMURS) That was a valuable antique, wasn't it.

TK: Well, it was from the Ming Dynasty. But—- hey —- we'll just learn to treasure the fragments. (STING, INTO BRIDGE)

GK: So you broke up—

TR: Well, I went away and she didn't seem all that interested in getting me back and I kept calling her and getting voice mail and then she unfriended me on Facebook and that was that.

GK: Didn't know you were on Facebook.

TR: I was. She talked me into it. I just had one friend. Her. When she unfriended me, I forgot my password and I haven't been back.

GK: That is so sad.

TR: I donno. I'm over it now.

SS: You are?

TR: Sarah!!!! Hey. Where'd you come from???

SS: Heard you were in town so I dropped on by. Like you to meet my husband, Mark.

TK: Hi there. Sarah's told me so much about you.

TR: Sorry to hear that.

SS: You must be Lefty.

GK: Yes, ma'am.

SS: Well, you look good, Dusty. How's the cowboy life treating you?

TR: Oh, about the same. Can't complain.

GK: Dusty tells me you're a psychologist.

SS: That's right.

GK: Research?

SS: No, I do couples counseling.

GK: Oh. Well, it's singles counseling I need.

SS: I do some of that. What's your problem?

GK: Oh, just bitter loneliness and long periods of utter tedium interrupted by moments of sheer despair. That's pretty much it.

SS: Have you tried to find someone to be with?

GK: Well, when your life ranges from loneliness to tedium to despair, you don't feel like it's a life that anybody in their right mind would want to share, and frankly lunatics are not that attractive to me, so here I am, riding back and forth on the range herding cows which is wildly inefficient and pays very little and is far from fulfilling and I did fall in love with a woman named Evelyn Beebalo and she wanted to marry me but I wouldn't let her because I loved her too much to ever let her get mixed up with a person like myself.

SS: Well, I'm sorry to hear that. Mark and I have been together for three years and we're intensely happy.

TK: That's right.

SS; The level of passion in our relationship has risen by about 13% annually, according to the WPCI, the Wisconsin Passion Correlatives Inventory.

GK: That's the test you take?

SS: That is the leading test of romantic passion, the WPCI.

GK: Well, isn't that interesting.

TK: Every day I live at a constant heat of sexual passion
that you might not be able to tell, but it's there —- Oh boy, is it there.

SS: He adores me. He scores at about nine or ten on all fifteen checkpoints on the American Psychology Association Adoration Index.

TK: I have been deeply in love for three years and I expect to be even more so as time goes on. Every day in every way, our marriage keeps getting better and better.

GK: So what can I do to get that for myself?

SS: We're having a couples meeting tonight. You should come.

GK: A meeting?
SS: Fifteen couples and we'll discuss our progress and I'll offer my own insights and there's a discussion and it only costs $125 to join and then each session is $85. It's wonderful.

TK: It's changed my life completely.

GK: I can see that. Well, let me think about it.

SS: Good to see you, Dusty.

TR: Yep.

SS: You're looking good.
TR: You too.

TK: Nice to meet you. Keep in touch.

TR: Yep. (SS AND TK WALK AWAY)

GK: So—-

TR: Yep. (HE HAWKS AND SPITS)

GK: Nice woman.

TR: Yeah.

GK: Guess we're gonna be cowboys for awhile longer, huh?
TR: Guess so.

(GUITAR, "TROUBLE IN MIND")

GK:

It is February, and it's Valentine's Day
And I'm singing this song to you
Whoever you are, wherever you are,
I miss you so.

TR: You set to go?

GK: All set to go.

TR: Let's ride. (GIDDYUPS, HORSE WHINNIES, HOOVES TROTTING AWAY, GIDDYUPS, HORSES BREAK INTO GALLOP)


(THEME)

SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS.....brought to you by the Santa Fe Brand Body Scrub. Gets you nice and clean but it smells like sweat so nobody knows.

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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