War Memorial Opera House
San Francisco, CA
The Lives of the Cowboys
SS: The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Emergency Grooming. When you've been on the trail for awhile and neglected your personal appearance and you need a non-judgmental salon, Emergency Grooming. For hair, skin, nails, and teeth. And now, The Lives of the Cowboys.
(HORSES WALKING, COWS)
GK: San Francisco, Dusty. The city of beautiful people and their admirers. Soon as we get the herd bedded down in the Presidio, we can head into town and get steamed at the Russian baths and have us some cold crab and lobster.
TR: Sure will be good to get away from these dang longhorns. Organic free-range sustainable cattle are the worst. Lotta attitude. Cattle need to have a dirt clod thrown at them once in a while, or they get uppity.
GK: Well, it's the law in San Francisco now. All beef consumed here has to be from cows who were gently treated.
TR: Can't yell at them? Can't call them names?
GK: Nope. Can't yell at any animal. Can't shake your fist at birds. Can't tug on a dog's leash.
FN: Excuse me----- you-----
GK: Yes, sir?
FN: Are you aware that horses cannot be ridden in San Francisco with the use of saddles, spurs, or reins? You're not in Texas, you know. How would you feel if someone were leading you around on a leash?
TR: Depends on what she has in mind. (STING, BRIDGE)
GK: We put the herd in a corral in the Presidio and the horses too. And I hiked down the ridge, down Pacific Street, looking down a steep slope to the Marina and the Bay. The houses up there were big mansions on small lots, Spanish style, Victorian painted ladies, stucco palaces, New England shingle, Queen Anne, and all of them were in a price range that you'd have to have written Gone with the Wind or Book of Job to pay for them. I stopped to look at one ---- it was like a cathedral, high stained-glass window in front, wrought iron gate, pillars, a turret with an onion-shaped dome, and then suddenly------ (FAST FOOTSTEPS AND STOP)
SS: Oh, hi. There you are.
GK: Yes. I guess so.
SS: You want to take my car or yours? Well, let's take mine. It's right here. You drive, okay?
GK: Okay. (FOOTSTEPS) I knew I wasn't who she thought I was, but I didn't see that I necessarily had to point that out to her. Her car was a Lamborghini. Two seater. (DOOR OPEN, CLOSE) I got behind the wheel and not wanting to betray uncertainty I started it (CAR REV AND ROAR) before I'd figured out where everything was and (CAR ACCEL) I took off. She motioned me to turn right and I did (SQUEAL, ACCEL) and headed up a steep hill that went on and on and on ----- and I had to stop about twenty feet from the top. And the car died. (SFX) When you've been out on the trail you sort of forget how to drive a stick shift and San Francisco is not a good place to practice.
SS: Just keep your foot on the brake and start the car.
GK: I know how to drive! Thought I did. (CAR STARTS, REVS, CHOKES, HORNS). Drivers in San Francisco don't have a lot of patience for learners. (CAR HORNS) ---- I'm doing my best!----- I started her up (REV) and eased off the clutch and hit the gas (BIG REV, SCREECH OF TIRES. SS: LOOK OUT!!!) and flew over the hill and straight down the other side----- (PUMPING BRAKE) pumping what I thought was the brake but it was the clutch----- I managed to avoid oncoming traffic (HORNS, SQUEAL OF TIRES) and hit the next intersection, just missing a cable car (CAR GONG, PASSING) and flying through Chinatown (SFX) and I hit some garbage cans (SFX) and sideswiped a parked car (CAR ALARM)...
GK: ...and I got out of the car, to give him my phone number. (DOOR OPEN, FOOTSTEPS) There was a guy with shades in a pinstripe suit and shoes with tassels.
TR (GODFATHER): Hey. Who are you? What you doing, driving a car.
GK: It was an accident.
SS: I'm sorry, Mister. It's my car.
TR (GODFATHER): Hey----- you're Loretta Mazeppa.
SS: Who're you? Oh---- wait ---- you're Joey Robitussin.
TR (GODFATHER): Right-o. (DOOR OPEN) Come on in. Have a seat.
TR (GODFATHER): My pitbull, Namaste.
GK: He don't bite, does he?
TR (GODFATHER): Only if you got it coming— I been wanting to meet you, Miss Mazeppa. Hoping we could talk some business. This guy in business with you?
SS: I don't know. Maybe.
TR (GODFATHER): Me and the boys came up with an App, we thought your company might be interested in. It's an App that tells you if another person really likes you or is just making nice so he can get something out of you.
SS: That sounds like an App that has a real future. Especially for a woman.
TR (GODFATHER): I got the prototype in my phone right now. And what it tells me is that you sort of tolerate me and he doesn't like me at all. That's valuable information to have.
SS: Oh, I imagine he could come to like you eventually.
TR (GODFATHER): I doubt that. What do you think, mister?
GK: Well, Mr. Robitussin, judging from that bulge under the right lapel, I think probably your App is pretty accurate.
TR (GODFATHER): Well, if you had an App like mine, then you'd know that I don't much care for you either.
SS: Why? Why the hostility? Why can't we just do business?
GK: You in the same business he's in?
SS: I'm a vice-president of Facebook. I think he's got something of value.
GK: Well, I'm just a cowboy, but us cowboys pride ourselves on knowing who our friends are we don't need an app to tell us.
TR (GODFATHER): Who is this fella? If he is from Apple, I am gonna have to shoot an arrow through him.
SS: How about you bring your app up to my office and we'll work out a deal, Johnny? (SKATEBOARD APPROACHING) Look out.
GK: And a kid on a skateboard came by (SKATEBOARD PASS) and he snatched the cellphone out of the man's hand—
TR (GODFATHER): Hey, come back here.
GK: And from pure cowboy reflex, I reached back for my lasso and made a loop , dallied it around a lamppost (WHIRLING) and threw it and caught the fellow and (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS) and sure enough, it was a kid from Google. (TR HIGH RUSSIAN, BREATHLESS) I grabbed the cellphone and ---- I ducked into a crowd and (CROWD, TRAFFIC) across the street, and into a coffee shop (ESPRESSO) and saw Loretta go running by and thought of catching up with her. I thought about it through two cappuccinos and a blueberry muffin and I was still thinking about it the next day when Dusty and I headed back down the coast. (HORSES WALKING, SURF, GULLS)...
GK: ... That cellphone with the prototype was maybe worth two or three million. There was no wedding ring on Loretta's hand. If she'd marry me, I'd let her do the driving. But does the world need a device that takes the guesswork out of social relations? No. So I threw it into the ocean. (SPLASH)
TR: What was that?
TR: Didn't know you had one.
GK: Don't anymore.
TR: You have a good time in San Francisco, Lefty?
GK: Had a fine time.
I went to San Francisco for the fog and the mist.
I went there a Christian, came back an optimist.
I walked through the rain and my spirit rejoiced.
This town may be chilly but at least it is moist.
I found me an app that was pretty hot,
It tells you who likes you and who does not.
I threw it away, now it is gone—
I'm gonna be friends with 'em all from now on. Whoopitiyiyo, git along little doggies.
SS: The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Emergency Grooming. For hair, skin, nails, and teeth.
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).