(GK: Garrison Keillor, SS: Sue Scott, TK: Tom Keith, TR: Tim Russell)

SS: Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Colorado, the name to trust when it comes to hair coloring. Don't let weeks on the trail leave your hair lifeless and dull. For highlighting, tinting, accenting, streaking - in sunset butte red, gold, russet, fawn, or blue-black, it's Colorado.

And now let's join Dusty and Lefty for today's exciting adventure.


GK: Six cows. This is about the smallest herd we ever had, Dusty.

TR: Yep.

GK: Almost not worth the trouble.

GK: How far to Greeley, Dusty?

TR: I dunno. Probably closer than we think. I can smell the feed lot.

GK: I been smelling that feed lot for the past three days. What're you looking at me like that for? Haw. Git. (CATTLE)

TR: Are you thinking the same thing I am, pardner?

GK: Could be.

TR: Because if you're not thinking the same thing I'm thinking, I don't want to say anymore on account of it's so embarrassing. I never thought like this before.

GK: Like what?

TR: I'm not sure I care to say.

GK: Okay.

TR: Tell me what you're thinking so I can tell if it's the same thing I'm thinking.

GK: Not sure I follow you, pardner.

TR: I'm thinking I don't want to take these cows in to the feedlot and say goodbye to em. I'm sorry. I know that's stupid. But, that's what I'm thinking.

GK: Well, I can understand that.

TR: You travel so far with six head of cattle, you get attached to em.

GK: Uh huh.

TR: I knew I shouldn't have named em.

GK: You named em.

TR: They got such distinct personalities. That's Sarah and she's Kimberley and that's Jeanette, the three who are hanging out together and Lindsay is the loner and Kelly and Joanne are the kinda real sensitive ones. Jealous. Both of em. Like kids. So sensitive about which one gets to walk next to me. (WEEPY) I can't stand it, Lefty. I just don't see how I can say goodbye. I'm never going to forget em, I can tell you that.

GK: Okay. Here's Greeley, coming up over the hill.

TR: (WEEPY) I can't bear it.

GK: Just don't think about it.

TR: (WEEPY) How can you not think about it?

GK: Same way we've been not thinking about it for years.

TR: (WEEPY) They know what's going on. Don't tell me they don't know. Look at Joanne. Look at her. She knows. She keeps giving me accusing looks.

GK: I hate to say this, Dusty, but they're only cattle.


GK: Oh for pity's sake. Haw! C'mon! Git! (CATTLE)

TR: Don't you hit her!!!

GK: Oh give me a break!! (HOOVES, CATTLE) (MUSIC BRIDGE)


SS: Double iced tea. And a double iced tea for you. You ready to order yet?

GK: Soon as my pardner comes back from the men's room, ma'am.

SS: Is something wrong with him?

GK: Allergies. Dust affects him. Cattle hair.

SS: I think it's more than allergies.

GK: Oh?

SS: I heard him in the men's room crying over somebody named Lindsay.

GK: Say - this tofu loaf with lentils - is that any good?

SS: You don't want steaks?

GK: Not tonight.

SS: The tofu's good with truffles -

GK: Okay. And two salads.

SS: Tofu loaf with truffles, and what kind of dressing on the salads?

GK: Ranch, of course.

SS: Of course. Coming right up. (FOOTSTEPS AWAY. FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)

GK: How you doing, Dusty?

TR: Doin' better. Long as I don't think about it.

GK: Good. Well, let's talk about something else then.

TR: Let's.

GK: We could talk about the Tony Awards. Broadway. The viability of the American musical. Anything there interest you?

TR: No, sir.

GK: We could go over the main points of the Yugoslav peace agreement.

TR: No thanks. - I'm just glad we got the cattle that suite at the Motel Six. They were so darned grateful. Especially when they got to go in the pool. (WEEPY) Did you see Kimberley's eyes? Did you see how happy she was. So darned happy. Until tomorrow.

GK: Hey. Here comes Pistol Pete. Better blow your nose.- (FOOTSTEPS APPROACH) (BIG NOSE HONK) Howdy, Pete. Have a seat. How's it going?

TK: Don't mind if I do. (CREAK OF CHAIR) Howdy, Dusty. -

TR: Howdy.

TK: What's wrong with you?

TR: Nuthin.

GK: Dusty's got a hangover.

TK: Best way to prevent a hangover is not to stop drinkin, if you ask me. What you boys got in that glass?

GK: Whiskey.

TK: With lemons in it?

GK: It's a kind of Mexican whiskey. It's new.

TK: Lemme taste it.

GK: I don't think you'd like it. A little raw for you.

TK: Lemme have some.

GK: Too strong for you, Pete. Order yourself some straight bourbon.

TK: How come your pardner's so quiet?

GK: He's thinking.

TK: About what?

GK: About the peace agreement in Yugoslavia.

TK: What about it?

GK: He's thinking it over. It takes him longer because he doesn't know that much.

TK: Lemme taste that whiskey. (ICE CUBES CLINK) (TK BIG SPIT TAKE) That ain't whiskey! That's tea! (FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)

SS: Here's your tofu loaf with truffles. (SETS DOWN PLATES) And your salads with the ranch dressing. (FOOTSTEPS AWAY)

TK: Did I hear her say ... "tofu loaf"?

GK: It's toasted antelope.

TK: It don't look like toasted antelope.

GK: Well, it is. It's an antelope and these little things are from another part of the antelope.

TK: You boys drinking tea and eating tofu???? What's next? You gonna start a cowboy book club??? You gonna start campaigning for ANIMAL RIGHTS??? Huh? Haw haw haw haw haw! (HE WALKS AWAY, LAUGHING.)

GK: Well. There goes our reputation.

TR: Yeah. We may need to make one of them mid-life career changes.

GK: Awwww, you'll get over it.

TR: I could be a riding instructor. Maybe a school bus driver. Governor of Minnesota.

GK: You're a cowboy, Dusty. You're just going through a phase.

TR: I'll never be able to look a cow in the eye again.

GK: Sure, you will. Try some of these.

TR: What are these?

GK: Testosterone tablets. Macho munchies. I take em sometimes.

TR: They help?

GK: They prevent tears and they make a guy quiet. And they give you a terrific sense of direction. (MUSIC BRIDGE) (MUSIC BRIDGE, DRAMATIC. COWS.)

TR: Well, here we are. Feedlot. Goodbye, cows. (CATTLE MOOS)

GK: You want to have a moment alone with em before we drive em in the pen?

TR: Nope.

GK: That testosterone helped, huh?

TR: Yep.

GK: You want some more?

TR: Nope.

GK: Fine. Fine. Whatever. (FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)

TK: Hey, if it isn't Dusty, the tea-drinking he-man, how was that tofu, huh?

TR: I'll show you how it was - (TR EFFORT, KONK, TK OOF)

GK: Easy, Dusty.

TR: Tea-drinking he-man - take that. (SWING, KONK, TK GROWN) And that. (SWING, KRRACK, TK OOFFF) And how about this? (TR BIG EFFORT, LIFTING. TK WEAK PROTEST)

GK: No, Dusty - Dusty, don't - don't throw him in the - (BIG SQUISHY SPLASH OF TK LANDING IN SEMI-LIQUID ORGANIC MATERIAL) - Poor Pete. Those were his best boots too. I better go help him - (FOOTSTEPS)

TR: Lefty! Don't open that gate! (CREAK OF GATE. CROWD MOOING. AVALANCHE OF MOOS. CATTLE HOOVES. SUSTAINED HEAVY MOOING. GRADUAL FADE. SILENCE.) You let all the cattle out, pardner! A hundred thousand cows?

GK: Headed straight for Greeley!

TR: Somehow I don't think you and I are welcome around here -

GK: Didja see the look on Kimberly's face went she went by?

TR: Kimberly who?

GK: That little white-faced heifer!

TR: I don't know what you're talking about.

GK: Kimberly and Joanne - they were together - remember how Joanne used to give her the cold shoulder on the trail - now they're like pals!

TR: I didn't see anything. C'mon. Let's get out of here. Giddup. (HORSES WHINNY, WHOOPS, HOOVES AWAY) (THEME MUSIC)

SS: Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Tomahawk Brand Cuticle Softener. Keep your cuticles Kissin' Soft, with Tomahawk. (MUSIC OUT)

(c) 1999 by Garrison Keillor