Lives of the Cowboys, February 5, 2011
Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul, MN
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Lives of the Cowboys

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SS: The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Tucson Toasters ---- if your campfire toast is blackened and uneven, you can get perfect toast every time with a Tucson Toaster. Also serves as a spaghetti strainer and backscratcher. And now, The Lives of the Cowboys. 


GK: Cold out here, Dusty. Good we've got a campfire. Toss that log on.

TR: Yup.

GK: You seem a little down.

TR: You could say that.

GK: Believe I just did. You ever think about what you could've done with your life other than be a cowboy?

TR: Nope.

GK: Never?

TR: Once you're a cowboy, that's it, you never get the chance to be anything else. You fill out a job application form and write down your resume ---- 1974-2011. Cowboy. ------ That's it. They don't want you.

GK: I suppose.

TR: You put down cowboy on your resume, that's it, they know you got zero social skills, out the door you go. Once a cowboy, always a cowboy. (COW COUGHS)  That cow still coughing?

GK: Yep.

TR: Huh. (COW WHEEZES) Maybe we're gonna have to put her down. Don't want her infecting the whole herd. (COW COUGHS).

GK: It's just the croup, Dusty. Upper respiratory infection-- (COW BARKING COUGH) If I could just get her to drink this cough syrup. (POUR SYRUP INTO SPOON) Open up Boss. Open up. (COW AVERSION) Just one spoonful. Come on girl. (COW AVERSION, COUGHING, SPOON DROPS)

TR: We gotta head for Albuquerque in the morning, can't get tied down. I'll go get my rifle. (DUSTY STANDS, FOOTSTEPS, SICK COW).

GK: Hold on there Dusty. 

TR (OFF): You just gotta do it. Can't sit there all day thinking about it. (PICKS UP GUN) Life moves on. And the longer you wait the harder it gets. (GUN COCKS)

GK: Dusty, wait. (COW MOANING)

TR: Wait for what? Just gotta aim this thing—

GK: Who's this coming yonder? (FOOTSTEPS) Howdy, ma'am. 

JS: Howdy. Heard one of your cows coughing. Thought I'd come and see if I could help.

GK: You a veterinarian?

JS: Sort of ---- (CLINKING, MIXING). Just hang on, a minute. 

GK: What you making, some sort of tea?

JS: That's right. Comfrey tea. Organic infusion with a shot of wheatgrass.

GK: You don't have any antibiotics? 

JS: Oh, no no no. I'm a veterinary aromatherapist. (SICK COW) Give her some comfrey tea and a little lavender to help her relax. (COW BREATHES DEEPLY, HAPPY SIGH). See?

TR: Lemme taste that.  

JS: Here. (MIXING) You boys ought to drink this instead of that lousy coffee you drink. You'd feel better. (TR SIPS, HMMMM)

GK: If we felt better, then probably we'd want to stop being cowboys. Which, because we've been cowboys all these years, we're going to have to go on being. Which means your tea would only cause profound dissatisfaction.

JS: You've got to have faith ----- things could get better-----

GK: You've never been a cowboy, have you.

TR: Man, this tea is relaxing. I'm getting awfully sleepy here. Think I'll hit the hay. G'night. (THUMP, CRASH, SNORING, A BEAT)

GK: Fennel tea, huh?

JS: Yeah. Very calming.

GK: I can see that. Don't care to be that calm, personally. Better to stay on edge. In case of grizzlies or rattlesnakes or flash floods. 

JS: I say, let the Lord worry about all that and have some tea and sleep the sleep of faith. 

GK: Ah. A believer, huh? 

JS: That's right.

GK: Baptist?

JS: How'd you know?

GK: It's the big hat.

JS: Yeah, we're the big hat ladies. You got a big hat too----

GK: This ain't a Baptist hat, ma'am. I believe life is random, and we have no control over anything but we're stubborn and we just keep moving ahead anyway in blind ignorance down the trail that wanders through the emptiness and falls off the edge of a cliff.

JS: Awwwwwww. It's a beautiful world. Look around you.

GK: I see cows who're gonna be made into hamburger patties and a couple of old pathetic galoots who are only out here because they don't know how to do anything else. 

JS: What else do you see? (WIND, DISTANT COW, A BEAT). You don't see those stars?

GK: Sure I see them. And now they found planets out there where there might be other life forms and if there are, I hope they're doing a better job of it than we are.

JS: Every day is a new day. Every day we have to wake up with new eyes. And fresh hope. And if you've lost hope, you can have some of mine. I've got extra.

GK: So you go around evangelizing among cowboys, huh? That must be discouraging.

JS: Not at all.

GK: Anyway, thanks for fixing up the cow. He was going to shoot that cow, you know. (GUITAR)

JS: I see you got a guitar there.

GK: I do.

JS: How about we sing something?

GK: Fine by me. (GUITAR)

My father, how long
My father, how long
My father, how long
This poor sinner suffer here

And it won't be long,
It won't be long
And it won't be long
This poor sinner suffer here

It's a cold February
A cold February
It's a cold February
And I wish that spring would come.

And it won't be long,
It won't be long
And it won't be long
This poor sinner suffer here

We could move to Florida
Move to Florida
We could move to Florida
And live by the country club.

But we won't belong
We won't belong
No, we won't belong.
So we'll have to suffer here.

And it won't be long,
It won't be long
And it won't be long
This poor sinner suffer here.

GK: Thanks for the song.

JS: You're welcome. Say, which way is Yellow Gulch?

GK: That way. But it's a mighty rough town, ma'am. Not a good place for you. I wouldn't recommend it.

JS: All they need is some fennel tea and the gospel. And I've got it. So long.

GK: So long. Take care, Sister.

JS: You too. God bless you.

GK: We'll see about that. 


SS (ANNC):  The Lives of the Cowboys. Now you can make evenly browned toast over the campfire. With a Tucson Toaster.