The Fitzgerald Theater
Saint Paul, MN
The Lives of the Cowboys
SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS....brought to you by Old Chisholm Trail Chewing Tobacco ....now in mint, raspberry, or jasmine, so the woman in your life won't ever know. (HAWK, SPIT, AND VERY BRIGHT DING)....and now, today's episode.
(SLOW TAPPING ON COMPUTER KEYS)
GK: Dear Evelyn......we are in western Minnesota, in Kandihohi County and I am not exactly sure why except that Dusty is visiting his aunt Lois who is said to be in poor health and so he is hoping to maybe collect an advance on his inheritance, assuming there is one, which would enable us to head down the old Chisholm Trail to Mexico (FOOTSTEPS APPROACH) and were you to join us there, it would gladden my heart enormously ---- for my feelings for you have only burgeoned with time.....(FOOTSTEPS STOP) ..... yes?
SS: You care for another coffee, mister?
GK: I believe I still have some in my cup.
SS: Well, as you can see, we're sort of crowded this morning.
GK: I can see that.
SS: At least could you take your coat off that other chair so another patron can sit there?
GK: I'm expecting my pardner Dusty any moment.
SS: Oh? What does he look like?
GK: Big sad lookin' guy with watery eyes and a leathery neck and an air of hangdog depression about him.
SS: You just described about two-thirds of the men in this town, cowboy.
GK: Anyway, I'm saving him a seat.
SS: Hmph. (FOOTSTEPS, SLOW AWAY)
GK: .....and....I can assure you that the accommodations, would be bedbug free, (FOOTSTEPS APPROACH, SLOW), yours with fond recollections of your blue eyes and freckled shoulders and your luminous décolletage. ......(FOOTSTEPS STOP) Yes?
TR (DUKE): This here seat taken, stranger?
GK: My pardner Dusty is expected imminently.
TR (DUKE): Imminently, huh? Well, how about I just set down here and when Dusty comes, I'll get up and move?
GK: Well, if you don't mind the inconvenience ----
TR (DUKE): No problem. ----- (HE SETTLES DOWN, PUTS COFFEE ON TABLE) What does "décolletage" mean?
GK: Would you mind not reading off my screen?
TR (DUKE): Just asking a simple question.
GK: And it's pronounced "Decolletage"----
TR (DUKE); What does it mean?
GK: It's personal.
TR (DUKE): "Decolletage" means personal? Why not just use the word "personal" then?
GK: You know (PIANO STARTS, NEW AGE CHORDING, MINIMAL), I didn't realize this coffeeshop provided free editorial help----- they oughta advertise it-----
TR (DUKE): (SNIFFS) What's that you're drinking? Smells like a decaf to me.
GK: Well, it isn't.
TR (DUKE): Well, it sure isn't a dark roast, that's for sure.
GK: You mind not leaning over to my side? Huh?
TR (DUKE): Just commenting on your coffee. Didn't know you were so sensitive about it.
GK: What's that you're drinking?
TR (DUKE): Espresso.
GK: Oh. I thought maybe you were in chemotherapy.
TR (DUKE): It's an espresso. Say---- you mind if I plug my laptop into that there outlet?
GK: I'm plugged in there, mister.
TR (DUKE): You been plugged in there for more'n forty-five minutes. You should be all charged up by now.
GK: And I intend to stay all charged up. Hey. Piano Player. You. Hey. (PIANO STOPS)
RD: Who? Me?
GK: Whose hands are on the keys? Yours. Would you mind playing "Camptown Races" or something rather than that? I've heard you play the same four notes over and over. Play something else.
RD: That's an original composition.
GK: Well, it's not original enough. Try "Camptown Races" ----or "Sweet Betsy From Pike" or "Streets of Laredo" or something.
RD: Okay. (HE LAUNCHES INTO A SPACEY VERSION OF "CAMPTOWN RACES")
(FOOTSTEPS AND STOP)
GK: Yes, ma'am?
SS: How about a fresh coffee, cowboy?
SS: How about a latte? Maybe a pumpkin latte---- with chocolate sprinkles?
GK: I don't put vegetables in my coffee, ma'am. Nor sprinkles. You wouldn't have some percolated, would you?
SS: Just drip. Nobody drinks percolated anymore.
GK: Well, some of us do.
SS: Happy to make you a latte.
GK: No, thank you.
SS: Okay. How about you, Big John?
TR (DUKE): Another espresso.
SS: Coming up. (FOOTSTEPS AWAY)
GK: ----- Say, mister. You at the piano. Hey.
RD: What's the problem now?
GK: I asked for "Camptown Races"----
RD: This is a variation on "Camptown Races----"
GK: Well, you're leaving out the doo-dah-doo-dah-day ---- okay? just try playing "Camptown Races" ----
RD: Sorry about that. (HE RESUMES "CAMPTOWN RACES" SLOW, MINIMAL)
SS: Here's your espresso, Big John.
TR (DUKE): Thank you, Dolores.
GK: How about you give me a cup of your drip coffee? You got a French roast?
SS: French roast?
(FOOTSTEPS APPROACH AND STOP)
TR (JIMMY): I was sitting over across the room playing a hand of poker with the boys and I heard someone say French roast.
GK: That was me.
TR (JIMMY): And who are you?
GK: Just a stranger, passing through.
TR (JIMMY): Well----This is western Minnesota, mister. This ain't a French roast type of place. You maybe want to head in to Minneapolis for that.
GK: I think I'll stay with the French roast, sheriff----- hey Piano Player? (PIANO STOPS)
RD: What's the problem now?
GK: Here's a couple bucks, how about you go have yourself a cup of something and read the paper and take your time, okay?
RD: You don't like my playing?
GK: I'd like to listen to you read for awhile, okay?
TR (DUKE): ----- You care for some truffle flavoring with your French roast? Maybe a croissant? Or a quickie?
GK: It's pronounced quiche.
TR (DUKE): Around here we call it a quickie. They serve it with pate.
GK: That's pronounced pate'.
TR (DUKE): Oh yeah, who says?
GK: Me and every other literate person in the world, that's who.
SS: Here's your French roast, mister.
TR (DUKE): Let me taste that.
GK: She poured that for me, mister. Hands off.
TR (DUKE): I'm a gonna taste that. (HE TAKES A SIP. SHAKES CHEEKS. SPITS. LETS OUT A WHOOP) Whoaaa..(SHAKE CHEEKS)
GK: Too much for you, huh?
TR (DUKE): That there is coffee I wouldn't offer to my dog.
GK: Oh yeah?
TR (DUKE): Yeah.
GK: This is a coffee that is complex on the palate and has a long creamy texture with a long harmonious finish, and if you don't know that, cowboy, then you are beyond help.
TR (DUKE): You wouldn't know a long harmonious finish from the hind end of a Holstein.
GK: And that espresso of yours has an aroma of old couch with a taste of shellac and paint thinner.
TR (DUKE): Mister, you been tastin' dust all your life and your opinion about fine coffee, it's like asking a pig what he thinks about poetry.
GK: Oh you think you know about poetry, huh?
TR (DUKE): I got more poetry in my little finger than you got in your whole ugly head, mister.
GK: Well, we'll see about that. (GUITAR STRUM) You ready?
TR (DUKE): Ready when you are.
GK: All right.
He was a cowboy, an old dusty cowboy, at least from his outfit I'd guess so
But I had to question that when I saw he was drinking espresso
Cause he may have known riding and ropin but coffee he knew not
A cowboy's supposed to drink coffee percolated in a pot.
TR (DUKE): That's nothing. I can beat that. Listen to this.
He was a stranger who wandered in like a coyote out of the snow
And he claimed that he was a cowboy but I thought O no
I could tell he was fakin when he set cross the table from me-
And he whispered to the barista bring me a nice herbal tea
SS: That was a good one, Big John.
(GUITAR STRUM CONTINUES)
GK: I'll take over. (SINGS):
Well, his name was Big John and he slumped at the bar on the old leather stool where he set
And his hands were shaking with nerves as he lit his cigarette
And it was embarrassing like a man who falls out of his stirrup
When he asked for a latte with a shot of hazelnut syrup.
TR (DUKE): Okay, Mister. Time to get serious. Let's see you draw. You heard me. Draw.
GK: Okay. I'll draw. What do you want me to draw?
TR (DUKE): A horse. (RAPID SCRIBBLING AND DRAWING AND SHADING SOUND OF PENCIL ON PAPER)
GK: There. Done.
TR (DUKE): You call that a drawing?
GK: That is neoimpressionistic post-primitive kinetic cowboy cubism.
TR (DUKE): Well, let me show you some impressionism. Look up there.
GK: Up there?
TR (DUKE): Right. (HE SWINGS, KONK. GK ARGHHH)
GK: Why you----- (SWING, KONK. TR AHHHHHH) (THEY WRESTLE. SS ALARM. WOOD CRACKING. GLASS BREAKAGE. FADE INTO BRIDGE) (TAPPING OF COMPUTER KEYS)
GK: Anyway, Evelyn, that's how come that garbled message got sent to you----- there was a fight in the coffeeshop and someone landed on my keyboard and hit SEND at the same time, so what I was about to ask was, Could you join me in Mexico in a couple of weeks, assuming Dusty gets the money from his Aunt Lois (FADES INTO THEME) which I don't yet know if he will but I expect to soon. Yours as ever, Lefty.
SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS......brought to you by the ACLU, All-American Cowboy Long Underwear. ....make sure you have two pairs. (MUSIC OUT)
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).