The Lives of the Cowboys, November 10, 2012

Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University

Chicago, IL


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The Lives of the Cowboys

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(WESTERN THEME)

SS: The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Trailhand Brand Toenail Clippers. A cowboy's boots are tight and that makes his toenails hard so ordinary clippers don't do the job ---- you need Trailhand Clippers --- they cut toenails, barbed wire, or use them to trim your horse's hooves. (BIG CLICK, WHINNY) And now. The Lives of the Cowboys.

(CATTLE)

GK: Nice town, Western Springs. You'd never know you were so close to Chicago. Feels like Montana.

TR: What we doing here anyway? I forget.

GK: Bringing cattle in. Organic free-range cattle not fed growth hormones and who have been sung to sleep every night. Some people feel that musically-raised beef is more tender.

TR: Depends on who's doing the singing.

GK: Anyway, we've got a truck coming for the cattle so I think I'm going to mosey on into Western Springs.

TR: Well---- I was planning to mosey too. I don't think both of us ought to be moseyin' lest our cattle decide they wish to mosey too.

GK: Dusty, I don't often ask for favors, but---- I don't want to be here when the truck comes. I've become rather close to these cows on our long journey over the godforsaken plains and ---- I don't think I can bear to see that look of shock in their eyes ---- the shock of betrayal ---- when the cattle truck comes.

GK: Oh, (TRUCK REV. STOP. BACKING) here he is now. Or she.

SS (MANLY): Hi. Sheila here from Livestock Transitional Care. These your cows?

GK: Yes, ma'am.

SS (MANLY): Good. Okay---- I think it'll be better if the two of you leave, and we'll take care of everything. Thanks. They like to be sung to?

GK: Yes. Why?

SS (MANLY): Brought me a singer. Hit it, Jack.

NG (SINGS): Away out here they've got a name for rain and wind and fire. The rain is Tess, the fire's Joe. They call the wind Maria.----Maria ----Maria. They call the wind Maria.

GK: Excuse me, sir. Please don't.

NG: How about a Christmas song? (HE SING) O come O Rahm Emanuel ----

GK: I don't think so. (FOOTSTEPS AWAY) (SS, TO COWS) Okay you guys. Big day. You are going to remember this for the rest of your lives. Everybody on the bus. (COWS, INTO BRIDGE)

(HORSES WALK)

GK: Well, here's Western Springs. I'm looking for a place to charge my cell phone---- how about a coffee shop.

TR: What do you need a cell phone for?

GK: In case someone wants to call me.

TR: I thought we became cowboys to get away from people calling us.

GK: Well that's the difference between you and me.

TR: Living off the grid, lonely and free, running away from a past we're trying to forget and heading towards something that probably isn't there anymore.

GK: Be that as it may, I just need to charge up my battery. Whoa. Whoa. (HORSES STOP, WHINNY) There it is, the Last Chance Saloon. Let's just tie up the horses here.

TR: Lefty---

GK: Yeah?

TR: Don't turn and look but there's a man in black leather standing in the middle of the street and he's got two pearl-handled six-guns on his belt and one of them has seven notches on the barrel.

GK: Huh. Is he looking at us?

TR: He is. And he's walking this way. Real slow-like. (SLOW FOOTSTEPS IN GRAVEL APPROACH AND STOP)

PS: You two planning on staying in town long? Reason I'm asking is that this town isn't always hospitable to people of your type. Migrants. Fly-by-nighters. Gypsies. Saddle bums.

GK: I see by your outfit that probably you are a gunslinger.

PS: Very perspicacious of you, sir.

GK: "Perspicacious" ----huh?

PS: The name's Pappadopalus. Penelope Pappadopalus.

GK: I thought Penelope was a girl's name.

PS: Not anymore.

TR: We're just heading into the saloon, mister. He needs to charge up his cellphone.

PS: Perhaps so. Just be prepared that if you attempt to perpetrate improprieties I can liable to be apoplectic and pretty punitive and not just pro tem but in perpetuity. (HE SPITS ON WORD "PERPETUITY").

TR: You care to repeat that, Mr. Pappadopalus?

PS: In perpetuity (HE SPITS).

TR: That's what I thought you said.

GK: I remember you from a poster in the Post Office. You're not from here, are you.

PS: I'm from a town on the Penobscot peninsula. Town by the name of Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin.

GK: Piscawada-what?

PS: You heard me. Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin. Just up the Parsippany River by the town of Pumpkin Palisades.

GK: How do you spell that?

PS: I spell it T-H-A-T.

GK: I mean Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin.

PS: Just the way it sounds.

GK: You're a pickpocket, as I recall. You stole fruit.

PS: Persimmons, papaya, pippins, prunes, pomegranates, and prickly pear. Plus paprika, and pickled pepper. The cops put me in the Penobscot Penitentiary for a purloined peanut butter on pumpernickel.

GK: So am I supposed to be apprehensive?

PS: Perhaps. I propose you be apropos.

GK: I'm trying right now.

PS: Otherwise you pay the piper. (BRIDGE)

(FOOTSTEPS, SALOON DOORS SWING OPEN, PIANO)

NG (SINGING, SOFTLY): Maria blows the stars around and sets the clouds a-flyin'. Maria makes the mountains sound like folks was out there dyin'. Maria....Maria.....they call the wind Maria. ---- (SPOKEN) Oh. Sorry.

GK: You again. Don't you know some other song?

NG: How about "Don't Fence Me In"?

GK: I've been wanting somebody to fence me in for years. I've been listening to the murmur of the cottonwood trees and riding through wide-open country for years and I'd love a fence.

TR: You ever straddled a saddle, mister?

NG: Once or twice.

TR: Well, try doing it for twenty years.

GK: How about you just wander over yonder and not sing for a while?

(FOOTSTEPS AND STOP)

SS: And what can I do for you gentlemen?

TR: I'd like a bottle of rotgut whiskey. Like it good and raw. Straight up, no ice, in a cracked glass, unwashed, with lipstick marks on the rim. No lemon, no cherry.

SS: Okay. What shade of lipstick you hoping for?

TR: Bright red.

SS: Okay, got this one right here. Sheila drank outta this. Drank a sarsaparilla. Sheila's 37 and 28 and 36. Blonde. High heels.

TR: How old is she?

SS: That's for her to know and you to find out.

TR: Well, that sounds pretty good to me.

SS: And what about you, cowboy?

GK: I'd like a cranberry juice with soda and a slice of lemon.

SS: A what berry?

GK: Cranberry juice with soda. And also I need an outlet to plug in my cellphone.

SS: Cellphone!!!! What you need a cellphone for? Who's going to call you? I wouldn't call you if I was running for ratcatcher and you were the last undecided voter in the county. I wouldn't call you if my pants were on fire and you had the only garden hose on the block. I wouldn't call you if I was 70 years old and you possessed the secret of longevity.

GK: Well, then I won't be expecting a call from you, I guess.

SS: Ha. Nobody calls anymore. Everybody texts. And as for outlets, those are reserved for our regulars.

GK: Well, this outlet right down here isn't being used by anybody----

SS: Okay, but what if one of the regulars comes in and needs it?

GK: Well, there are two empty plug-ins there----

SS: What if two people walk in and need it?

GK: I'll let them have it.

SS: Sorry. It's for our regulars.

GK: I would be a regular if you were a little friendlier, ma'am. Your antipathy perplexes me.

PS: Who you calling unfriendly, mister?

GK: All I'm asking is to use an outlet to charge up my cellphone.

PS: I need to plug in my pencil sharpener and my priapic palpitator.

SS: Here's your rotgut whiskey, mister, in the glass with bright red lipstick.

TR: Thanks. ---- You gonna let this Piscacadawadaquoddymogginite push you around, pardner?

GK: I don't know. I'm sort of having an epiphany here.

PS: An epiphany!!! Did you say EPIPHANY?? Who put you in the pulpit, pal?

TR: You gonna let him pull your pinky, pardner?

GK: I am pondering that right now....

PS: Epiphany, my aunt Polly---- when I pop you one, I hope the paparazzi are around and the picture gets in the papers.

TR: Who you planning to pop?

PS: Your purported partner with the epiphany here. The party pooper. Hey---- what are you doing? Get that away from me. What is that?

GK: Sneezing pepper.

PS: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA—CHOO. (GLASS BREAKAGE) Why you----(POKE IN SNOOT)

TR: WHY YOU---- (SWINGS, KONK) (FIGHTING, PUNCHING, GLASS BREAKAGE, CHAIR BREAKAGE, WOOD CRUNCH, NG SINGING: Maria, Maria.....Maria, Maria...Maria, Maria......GLASSES SLIDE DOWN BAR AND FALL OFF, BIG PUNCH, LONG BRIDGE, HORSES)

TR: Well I guess we showed him, partner.

GK: Yeah, she maybe gonna be changing her cellphone charging policy after this, you bet.

(THEY MOUNT UP, GIDDUP, HORSES AT WALK)

TR: You can save on power if you turn down your contrast, BTW.

GK: What you say?

TR: Btw. By the way. And close down some of those apps. Those eat up battery power like crazy.

GK: How do you know?

TR: Cause I got myself a mobile device.

GK: You did?

TR: Figured maybe it'd be a way for you and me to talk.

GK: Really? I thought you didn't want to talk. You haven't said much of anything in the past twenty-two years.

TR: Well, I thought about saying something. Didn't know if you were listening or not.

GK: I'm astonished, Dusty. I thought we had pretty much given up on communicating.

(THEY RIDE ALONG FOR AWHILE)

TR: Well, I'm willing to give it a shot if you are.

GK: Okay. Call me.

TR: Okay. (DIALS KEYPAD, PAUSE)

(DOG BARK RINGTONE)

GK: Hello.

TR: Hi there.

GK: How's it going?

TR: Oh, not bad.

GK: Where are you?

TR: About fifteen feet behind you.

GK: Okay. Good to know. How's your day going so far?

TR: Got a busted nose and maybe a couple ribs, but otherwise okay. You okay?

GK: Yeah. Little stiff and sore.

TR: Yeah, me too.

GK: But it could've been worse.

TR: Yeah. ---- "Could've been worse" ---- you sound like a Democrat.

GK: Nope. Talking about the bar fight.

TR: Oh right.

GK: You a Republican, Dusty?

TR: Sometimes.

GK: Recently?

TR: You know, I went to the polls in Yellow Gulch and they offered me a glass of whiskey if I'd vote their way and so I did and now I forget which way that was.

GK: Huh.

TR: Too bad there isn't an election every week, is what I say. You a Democrat?

GK: I'm of the Indigent party. It's like Independent but more so. Involuntary Independent.

TR: Speaking of that, did you get the money for the cattle we sold?

GK: I gave her our address, she'll send the check.

TR: What's our address? Didn't know we had one.

NG (OFF): Maria— Maria— Maria—

GK: I see you there, mister.

NG (OFF): Maria—

(GUNSHOTS, HORSES BREAK INTO TROT)

(THEME)

SS (ANNC): The Lives of the Cowboys- brought to you by Saddle Bob's Beeswax Salve. A cowboy's hands are dry and hard --- so before you go to the dance, use Saddle Bob's Salve ---- she'll be grateful.

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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