The Fitzgerald Theater
Saint Paul, MN
The Lives of the Cowboys
SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS......brought to you by Trailblazer table mats and napkins for gracious dining in the great outdoors. They're soaked in alcohol to kill off ants and chiggers. (HORSES HOOVES, RIDING ALONG)
TR: Ten more miles and we come to Yellow Gulch, Lefty, and I'm'a gonna head for the Belly Up Saloon and get me a bottle of rotgut whiskey.
GK: But you were in rehab this summer, Dusty.
TR: I was. That was to give myself a fresh start. Nothing like coming back to the bottle after a little vacation.
GK: Well, rotgut whiskey and saloons ---- not my favorite things.
TR: What are your favorite things? Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens?
GK: Just never you mind. Giddup. (HORSES TROT) Town looks sort of forlorn even more than usual. (DOG YELPING)
TR: Look. A dog leaving town. Not a good sign.
GK: Bank is all boarded up and the livery stable.
TR: And the Methodist church is for sale.
GK: Well, here"s the Belly Up saloon. (SFX) Huh. Saloon"s empty. (DOOR OPEN) Nobody here. What"s going on, Roxie?
SS: Big Messer got let out of prison two days ago. He"s on his way back here. Coming back for revenge. Said he"s going to come back and burn down the town.
GK: Where"s the town marshal?
SS: Turned in his badge and ran off this morning.
TR: When"s Big Messer expected?
SS: Afternoon train from Yuma------ (TRAIN WHISTLE) why there it is right now.
GK: So he"s on that train----- that"s why everybody skedaddled. Dusty? Where you going?
TR: I say, don't get into other people"s arguments and interfere with something that isn"t really bothering you. So I"m gonna hunker down in the church. Pray, if it comes to that.
GK: Okay. You do that. Guess I"ll have to face Mr. Messer myself. (FOOTSTEPS) (DOOR OPEN, CLOSE) Hot sun out here. (FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL) (STEAM ENGINE SLOWING DOWN, CHUGGING, BIG HISS OF STEAM) Guess that must be him. The squinty-eyed man with his hat pulled down low getting down off the coach and walking this way. With the pistols stuck in his belt. (FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)
FN (DEEP): I said I was a-coming back to Yellow Gulch and I come back and now I am a-gonna do what I said I would do and that is to shoot down every dirty lowdown lying no-good hombre who done me wrong. You hear me? You can"t do that to Big Messer and get away with it. No sirree, bobcat. (CLICK PISTOL, SPIN CYLINDER)
GK: If you don"t mind my asking, what did they do?
FN (DEEP): I forget but I know that they did it and now they are going to pay for it.
GK: What sort of thing did they do?
FN (DEEP): That don"t matter. They done it and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.
GK: Well, whoever did whatever was done has skedaddled from town and the ones remaining, me and the barkeeper and the piano player, we"ve got no culpability in the matter.
FN (DEEP): Did you say "culpability"-----?
GK: Poor word choice, perhaps.
FN (DEEP): A man who uses the word "culpability" is likely a lawyer.
GK: Not I.
FN (DEEP): Or an associate of lawyers.
GK: Not hardly.
FN (DEEP): Or someone who graduated from high school.
FN (DEEP): The men who done me dirt was slick talking men just like yourself, men who used big words like "culpability"----- I got nothing but contempt for men of that ilk. (HE HAWKS, SPITS, LONG PAUSE, DING OF SPITTOON)
GK: That was what I call expert spitting.
FN (DEEP): When you"re sitting in prison, you got plenty of time to practice. And plenty of time to think about what you"re gonna do to the men who done you wrong.
GK: And when you were thinking about that, were you able to recall what it was they did to you that made you vengeful?
FN (DEEP): I don"t recall.
GK: Spit on your shoe? Insult your ladyfriend? Take food off your plate?
FN (DEEP): Don"t matter anymore. I"m here and they"re gonna pay for it.
GK: I don"t suppose it"d do any good to talk about forgiveness.
FN (DEEP): Ha! Forgiveness of what?
GK: What they did.
FN (DEEP): What they did was unforgivable. (FIRES FOUR SHOTS IN THE AIR)
GK: Okay. Forget that. And how about "Two wrongs don"t make a right."
FN (DEEP): Ha! (TWO SHOTS)
GK: Okay. I won"t mention that then. I will mention that according to my count, you have fired six shots from your six-shooter, mister.
FN (DEEP): And I got another six shooter right here. (CLICK OF HAMMER, EMPTY CYLINDER) ----- uh oh. No ammo. ---- There wouldn"t happen to be a store open where a man could buy ammunition?
GK: They locked up and ran off cause they were scared of you.
FN (DEEP): Well, isn"t that ironic. How about I borrow your six-gun so I can shoot the lock off the door and get in there and load up with ammo?
GK: Why would I want to lend you my gun to perpetrate a robbery and thereby make myself an accomplice to the crime?
FN (DEEP): "Perpetrate." There you go again, using lawyer words. I might just jump you and rassle the gun out of your hand.
GK: Well, if you did, I couldn"t shoot you cause it"s against the cowboy code to shoot an unarmed man. On the other hand, if I feared for my life, I suppose I could. On the other hand---- a cowboy is not supposed to shoot a lunatic so if you are out for revenge and you can"t remember what for, I believe that would put you in the lunatic class.
FN (DEEP): You calling me a lunatic?
GK: Not yet.
FN (DEEP): Tell you what. How about we settle this the manly way ---- with a good old-fashioned eyeball-to-eyeball toe to toe winner-take-all spelling duel.
GK: Spelling duel!!! When it comes to spelling, you look like an unarmed man.
FN (DEEP): Ha!!!! I spent five years in prison doing nothing but studying spelling.
GK: Prove it. "Vicissitude"----
FN (DEEP): That"s easy. V-i-c-i-s-s-i-t-u-d-e. Vicissitude.
FN (DEEP): "Ancillary"----
GK: A-n-c-i-l-l-a-r-y. Ancillary.
FN (DEEP): All right. Your turn.
FN (DEEP): That"s easy. B-a------You mean "bare" as in "bare nekkid" or "bear" as in "they could not bear it"?
GK: That"s for me to know and you to figure out.
FN (DEEP): That"s not the American way, mister. Got no bullets in my guns and you"re forcing me to spell a word I don"t even know what it is.
GK: Oh don"t be so pusillanimous.
FN: "Pusillanimous"? What does pusillanimous mean?
GK: It means to be in a state of pusillanimity.
FN (DEEP): Oh. Okay. P-u-s-i-l-l---- (A SNEEZE STARTS TO BUILD) ----- let me start again. P-u-s-i-l-l-a-n-i-m----- (STARTS TO SNEEZE) ----- One more time...... P-u-s-i-l-l-a-n-i-m-o-u-----(BIG SNEEZE).
GK: WRONG. P-u-s-i-l-l-a-n-i-m-o-u-s-s-s-s-h-h is not how to spell pusillanimous.
FN (DEEP): Dang it. (FAROFF WHISTLE)
GK: There"s your train, mister. Don"t let it leave without you.
FN (DEEP): I"ll be back, mister. I"ll be back and when I come back I will have a word that"ll give you conniptions-----a word like "logorrhea"----- or "autochthonous"-----
GK: I"ll be looking forward to that. (FOOTSTEPS, DOOR OPEN. FOOTSTEPS)
SS: Thanks for taking care of Big Messer, Lefty. He had us scared half to death. How about a drink?
SS: How do you spell that?
GK: Never mind.
TR: You okay, pardner.
GK: I"m okay, I just need to find me a dictionary.
SS: Got one right behind the bar here----- (SHE STRAINS) There you go.
GK: Webster"s Thirty-Pound Unabridged. Man uses this dictionary is going to have some excellent pecs and deltoids. (THUMBING PAGES)
TR: What you looking for?
GK: Looking for logorrhea.
TR: Logorrhea. L-o-g-o-r-r-h-e-a.
GK: How"d you know that?
TR: It means to be verbose. Over-talkative. Non-stop. I was afraid I had it.
GK: You don"t.
TR: That"s what I discovered.
GK: Your problem is Logophobia.
TR: Is that right?
GK: Hey, where"s my sarsaparilla?? Piano player---- give us a tune.
SS: The Lives of the Cowboys.......brought to you by Trailblazer table napkins and placemats for fine dining in the out of doors.
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).