The Fitzgerald Theater
Saint Paul, MN
The Lives of the Cowboys
SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS....... Brought to you by Big Butte jeans, the full-figure jeans with room in the seat. And by Jim's Used Shoes. If you like pre-faded jeans, you'll love used shoes. And now today's exciting western adventure......
(OUTDOOR SFX. SKILLET, STIRRING)
GK: You care for some scrambled eggs this morning?
GK: Rattlesnake eggs. Found em up the canyon.
GK: Ain't hatched yet.
TR: Sure. (HE SPITS) Should make it into Yellow Gulch by noon, I reckon.
GK: Thinking I might spend some time there.
GK: Maybe a couple weeks.
TR: You hoping to see Lulu there?
GK: I heard she's married. But yeah.
TR: Maybe she's gotten tired of him. Maybe he smells bad. If you shot him, he would.
GK: Looks like Yellow Gulch up ahead.
FN (HOARSE, DEMENTED): Hold your horse, traveller!
(WHOAS, HORSES SLOW TO WALK)
GK: Who are you?
FN (HOARSE, DEMENTED): They call me The Prophet.
TR: Spelled how?
FN (HOARSE, DEMENTED): P-R-O-P-H-E-T.
TR: I was afraid of that. Look, mister, we've run into prophets before and none of them had anything positive to say.
FN (HOARSE, DEMENTED): Return to from whence you have come from for if you go any farther you shall not leave from this place to which you are headed. (PAUSE) You hear what I'm saying?
TR: You see, that's the exact sort of thing I'm talking about. So long.
FN (HOARSE, DEMENTED): I have more.
TR: No thanks.
GK: Good luck with your prophesies.
(GIDDYUPS, HORSES TROT)
TR: Last Chance Saloon. I have vague warm memories of it.
(WHOAS, HORSES STOP) (FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL) (DOOR OPEN, PIANO "CAMPTOWN RACES") (FOOTSTEPS, BAR TALK)
LM: Afternoon, gentlemen. How's your day going so far?
TR: It's just about to get better. Gimme your best rotgut whiskey. No ice. Straight up.
LM: How about you, mister? The same?
GK: I'd like a cranberry juice.
LM: Okay. You point out to me where the cranberries grow and I'll go out and squeeze them one by one.
GK: You got any juice?
LM: Joy juice.
GK: How about water?
LM: I don't recommend it.
GK: You got sarsaparilla?
LM: I'll have a look in the back. (FOOTSTEPS)
GK: Ma'am? (FOOTSTEPS STOP) You wouldn't happen to know where I could find Miss Lulu Walls, would you?
LM: Well, I reckon she's at home. And she isn't Miss Walls. She's Mrs. Mangrove. She married our sheriff. Three weeks ago. (FOOTSTEPS OFF)
GK: Lulu. Where'd you come from?
SS: I heard you were asking about me.
GK: You heard quick. Good to see you.
SS: I never expected to see you again. You and I were engaged and you went away and I waited four years and I assumed you had changed your mind.
GK: No, it's not that, Lulu. I just got busy doing things.
SS: Doing what? Riding all over the godforsaken prairie and sleeping on the ground and getting all filthy and lonesome and then coming to town and get drunk and lose all your money in poker and what you have left you spend on some cheap floozy and then you go back to riding the range and getting filthy and lonely again?
GK: Sounds like you been watching me.
SS: They are shipping cattle on trucks now, Lefty. Cattle driving is a thing of the past. It makes no sense. None.
GK: It's what I do.
SS: Time to change that.
GK: And do what? Come into town and wear a wool suit and a necktie and sit in an office and read reports?
SS: They got other suits than wool. Cotton, linen, polyester blend.....I still care about you, you know.
GK: I appreciate that.
DR: Your name Lefty?
GK: That's what they say.
DR: I'm J. Dewayne Mangrove. I'm the sheriff here.
SS: This is my husband Lefty.
GK: Oh. Okay.
LM: I got a sarsaparilla but it's been opened already and somebody drank half of it ---- you want that?
GK: Still have some fizz to it?
LM: If I shake up the bottle it should.
GK: Is that lipstick I see on the rim? A pale peach lipstick?
LM: Why, yes-----
GK: I'll take it.
DR: Anyways, you fellow have an ID?
TR: I ain't had an I.D. since I was 18.
DR: Well, we got a law in town now, man has to carry an I.D. at all times.
TR: I been Dusty so long I'm not sure I recollect what my last name is. Woonsocket? Wooster? I donno.
DR: You got an I.D., Lefty?
GK: Never saw the need for one.
DR: Then I'll expect you two to leave town by nightfall. Don't make me get rough with you.
SS: Oh, Dewayne. He's an old friend.
DR: Rule is a rule.
DR: Nightfall. I mean it. (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS IN)
FN: HEY. Big Messer is coming in on the 5 o'clock train! The telegraph operator down at the station told me.
SS: Big Messer???? Oh no.
GK: Who's he?
SS: Desperado. He's been saying he was gonna come up here to Yellow Gulch to settle an old score and now I guess he's gonna do it.
TR: If you're looking to deputize people, don't look at me Sheriff. I am half drunk and I am planning to finish the job. (PAUSE)
DR: Gimme a glass of gin, Sadie.
SS: You can't drink now, darling. That's not going to do you any good.
DR: I never meant to go into law enforcement, Lulu. But I needed a job so I took it. The pay was good and the benefits. Excellent health care plan. But what is the point of a good health care plan if you are going to get yourself killed? Doesn't make sense. (TO GK:) Here.
GK: I don't want your badge. Don't pin that on me.
DR: Too late. You got it and you got her, too. I'm out of here. (FOOTSTEPS OUT)
GK: Well, I will be danged. What a swift turn of events. If this were a play, I'd be looking around for the exit.
FN (OFF): SHERIFF!!!! I KNOW YOU'RE IN THERE. LET'S SEE IF YOU'RE MAN ENOUGH TO COME OUT.
GK: I take it that's him.
SS: Yep. But you don't need to go out there.
GK: Well, I'm goin out.
GK: I'm not going to wait for him to come in here. (FOOTSTEPS, DOOR OPEN, FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL)
FN: Who are you?
GK: You're about to find out.
FN: I got no quarrel with you. You had nothing to do with what they did to me.
GK: I don't suppose it would interest you to talk about letting bygones be bygones. Water under the bridge and spilt milk and all that. (TWO GUNSHOTS) Guess not. Or talk about how two wrongs don't make a right.
FN: Ha!!! (TWO GUNSHOTS) Don't waste my time.
GK: And maybe it doesn't interest you to talk about the importance of facing the future and not obsessing over the past. (TWO GUNSHOTS)
FN: You are getting me good and riled up, sir.
GK: By my count, you have now fired six shots from that six-shooter, mister.
FN: Then I guess you better shoot me before I reload.
GK: That would violate the cowboy code, I can't shoot an unarmed man. And it would show pusillanimity on my part.
FN: PUSILLANIMITY!!!! Did you say Pusillanimity? P-u-s-i-l-l-a-n-i-m-i-t-y. I challenge you to a spelling duel and I am filled with prospicience at the thought of it.
GK: Ha. Easy. P-r-o-s-p-i-c-i-e-n-c-e. Prospicience. I'll have you know that spelling happens to be my métier.
FN: Your métier!! Ha!!! We'll see what is your m-e-t-i-e-r with an accent on the first E. I don't think spelling is your strong suit. I think what you got is logorrhea.
GK: Not I. I am as taciturn as they come. L-o-g-o-r-r-h-e-a is not my game. But I'll say this, Messer. Your name fits you perfectly. What we might call a euonym.
FN: A euonym!!!
GK: A euonym.
FN: You mean, e-u-o-n-y-m? Ha. How foolish of you to think I couldn't spell that. How gauche!
GK: G-a-u-c-h-e. You, Mr. Messer, are about to be annihilated.
FN: Fat chance. A-n-n-i-h-i-l-a-t-e-d. How fortuitous.
GK: The words are supposed to get harder. F-o-r-t-u-i-t-o-u-s is a word that any third-grader knows.
FN: Third grade was as far as I went.
GK: Soon as I dispose of you, Messer, I am going over to the saloon and have me a sarsaparilla.
FN: A what?
GK: Some call it root beer, I call it sarsaparilla.
FN: That ain't a real word.
GK: Go ahead. Take a guess.
GK: Close. S-a-r-s-a-p-a-r-i-l-l-a.
LM: Here's the bottle, sir.
GK: Read the label, Messer. Au revoir.
FN: Au revoir, huh? Uh-------- O----------R
(CROWD LAUGHTER, CONGRATULATING LEFTY, INTO BRIDGE)
TR: Well, I guess you showed him. What about you and Lulu?
GK: What about us? She wanted to talk about what wrong with the relationship. I say, beware of women who use the word "relationship" -----
TR: My feeling too.
GK:. ----- Why, who's this up ahead?
(CROWD SFX) Looks like a bunch of cowboys around a campfire. Howdy, gentlemen. (CROWD MURMURS, TALK, GREETING) You got room at that campfire for one more? Where's my guitar? (STRUMS)
My heart is sad and I feel wretched
Longing for the one I love
Love's a virus and you catch it
And that is all you can think of.
Oh bury me out on the prairie
Underneath a heavy stone
I lost the one I hoped to marry
And so I'll lie here all alone.
I am no Socrates or Plato,
Just a guy with pistols on his hips.
I have walked the streets of Laredo
And I avoid relationships.
I lost the only one I loved.
Cause I have intimacy issues.
And now the shoes beneath her bed
Are not mine but his shoes.
I loved a woman name of Lulu
And we said goodbye today.
A pretty woman she can fool you
But a cowboy always gets away.
Bury me beneath a cactus
Put some thistles in my heart.
If pain is what inspires a genius,
This song must be a work of art.
GK: One more chorus, boys, and then I got to hit the trail.
O bury me beneath the snowbanks
With the other lonely men.
Resurrection? I say, No thanks.
Why go through it all again?
SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS.......Brought to you by Big Butte jeans, And by Jim's Used Shoes.
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).