Sue Scott: The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Easy Rider Saddles. The ergonomic saddle designed to make you feel relaxed and refreshed when you get off the horse. (WHINNEY, GALLOPS OFF). And now. The Lives of the Cowboys.


Garrison Keillor: Fillmore County-- we're almost there.

Tim Russell: Where'd you see that?

GK: Sign's right back there. Fillmore County. Lanesboro must be right up ahead.

TR: Where we gonna stop for the night?

GK: Right down here. Ballpark. We'll graze the cattle in the outfield.

TR: Ballpark!!! But won't that tear up the grass?

GK: Don't matter, Dusty. Kids don't play baseball anymore. Just virtual baseball. Kids are into computers.

TR: The American pastime. Gone.

GK: Yep. The American pastime now is talk. Chat. Texting. We went from laconic and laidback to being the most talkative people on earth. Trillions of words every day.

TR: Not a friendly place for us cowboys.

GK: Nope. And now we got a sort of cowboy in the White House. That ain't doing us much good either.

TR: Everytime he goes out in boots, I just want to hide.

GK: Millard Fillmore, who this county is named for, used to be considered the worst president in history.

TR: Is that a fact?

GK: Yep. And then another contender came along.

TR: Yep. Only baseball owner to become president.

GK: I think Bud Selig coulda done better.

TR: I don't think anybody's gonna name a county after Mr. Bush.

GK: No, but major league baseball is going to name a league after him.

TR: Is that right?

GK: That's what I hear.


SS (MIDWESTERN, OFF, APPROACHING): Excuse me-excuse me, hello! I am from the Minnesota Cattle Drive Regulatory Commission, and you can't drive these cattle on foot, you need to haul em in a truck. So the cattle don't get tired and maybe trip and sprain an ankle. We've had that happen. So if you drive em on foot, you need a permit. Which you don't have. And the fine for unregistered cattle on foot is fifteen dollars a head--

TR: You talking to us?

SS: Yes you...with the cows--

TR: We're cowboys. We don't need permits. We're part of the frontier. You ever hear of the wild West? Well, that's us. (HAWK, SPIT, DISTANT BIRD CRY).

SS: You do that again and I'm gonna have to call in the environmental protection people. Anyway, fifteen dollars times two hundred head (SHE FIGURES IN HEAD) -- that's three thousand dollars, plus three dollars handling -- six hundred -- plus the one-time usage fee of five hundred -- that'd be forty-one hundred dollars. Payable in cash. At our office in St. Paul. Open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

TR: Why, that is outrageous. (HAWK, SPIT, DISTANT BIRD CRY)

GK: Hush, Dusty. Listen, ma'am. We were just heading them on down to the farmer's market. I reckon we're almost there, if you wouldn't mind giving us a little leeway here--

SS: Sorry, sir. If I gave you a break I'd have to give everybody a break. Then there'd be no point to me being here. You don't mind me saying so, looks like there's something wrong with these cows here. They look a little weird or something. (WEIRD MOO)

TR: They've been eating some rhubarb on the way.

SS: Oh. Well, that'll give em a nice flavor.


SS: You play guitar?

TR: I wouldn't go that far.

SS: You wouldn't be a songwriter, by any chance.

TR: We try not to talk about that, ma'am.

SS: Because Lanesboro is a designated arts area, and so if you are an artist, you won't need to pay that cattle drive permit, assuming that the cattle drive is an integral part of the cultural tradition that your art form represents.

TR: You know, I couldn't have said it better myself.


Tonight I sit and eat my garden salad
With a lovely dressing, creamy vinaigrette,
And as I look forward to broiled salmon
I think about you, darling, O you bet.
Riding down the trail on the Root River
How I wish that you were here with me
Just the thought of you it makes me shiver
With a sort of hopeless ecstasy
You turned my head, I wanted to wed
But you didn't care for me, least that's what you said --
Riding down the trail of the Root River
I'll get some breakfast then I'll go to bed.

TR: Look out. He's going to yodel.


SS: Here's your permit. Welcome to Lanesboro.

GK: I think I could get a job singing.

SS: I think they could use another dishwasher.


TR: The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Easy Rider Saddles. Why suffer? (WHINNY). Feel good on a horse. With Easy Rider.