Theme (Park) From An Imaginary Western

Here’s another of my occasional Marshal Amp monologues. Yesterday I performed it – or something like it, as I kind of improvise from notes – at a local pub’s Americana night.

Two visitors from the USA were there so I was even more than usually nervous. Their gracious response, typical of so many Americans, brought home how untypical my monstrous stereotype really is!

Howdy, y’all!

They tell ya the good ol’ days is dead and buried. Uh-uh … fake news! Ah’m here to bring ya the good news … they’re back! Them good ol’ days is alive and kicking.

All ya gotta do is get yourself down to Marshal Amp’s Authentic Wild West World!

Ya heard it here first, folks. Au-then-tic. The real deal. I remember sitting on my daddy’s knee and hearin’ his stories about how the West was won. My daddy heard them stories sittin’ on his daddy’s knee. And his daddy heard ’em sittin’ on his daddy’s knee.

Can ya guess where his daddy heard ’em? (Pause.) You got it in one! That was my great-great-great-granddaddy. Got shot in the knee by Billy the Kid. Had to use his other knee for tellin’ them stories.

Only kiddin’ ya, folks, little family joke there! But I ain’t kiddin’ ya about Marshal Amp’s Authentic Wild West World. It’s so good, ya gonna love it!

Tell ya, down there we got the whole kit and caboodle! We got injuns attacking wagon trains. We got the Gunfight at the OK Corral. We got a big bank robbery every single show. We got trick shootin’ from a movin’ horse. And we got all your favourite heroes – Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Buffalo Bill …

Yeah, great family show! Good guys in white hats, bad guys in black hats … and plenty of  hangin’s to keep the kids happy!

Very popular, too! Packed to the rafters every show! Complete sell-out so get there early … well, actually … y’all seem a sensible bunch, so I’m gonna level with ya here … the honest truth is, our audience numbers been droppin’ off lately.

Ain’t exactly sure why, folks! So we been doin’ some re-search on that there interweb. Tell ya, they got netsites on there fulla fake news. Get this. (Reads) ‘Wild West Not Wild At All.’

No cowboy hats, no Stetsons! Can you believe it? Reckons they wore bowler hats or beat-up top hats. No check shirts, neither, just thick black clothes they wore for months! Says the injuns was shocked ‘cos they use to wash every day. You ever see an injun take a wash in a movie? But you see plenty cowboys in them tin baths … and them ladies scrubbin’ their backs with them big loofahs!

What else? Oh yeah, injuns didn’t attack wagon trains much … felt sorry for ’em, apparently, tried to help ’em out! Wrote down this figure for ya. Outa every 100 deaths on the trail, only 2 or 3 of ’em caused by injuns. Wait, it gets worse! Reckons the injuns didn’t ride round and round them circles of wagons. Oh no, the only wagon circles was at night to stop the animals escaping!

Oh yeah, no bank robberies neither. Well, 8 in 40 years! That’s, er, one every … five years. Don’t sound right, considerin’ there was 5,600 US bank robberies in the year 2010. And they tell ya the West was s’posed to be less violent than other parts of the country. Homicide rates lower, no big gunfights, no mass hangin’s … sorry, kids!

Listen to this. Gun control was stricter than today. Towns prohibited firearms. Turns out the OK Corral was just one gang goin’ against Tombstone’s anti-firearm rules … and the battle only lasted 30 seconds! If Marshal Amp’s Authentic Wild West World did that, you’d be askin’ for your money back!

Oh, and the guns was mostly cap-and-ball – that’s fancy talk for a marble launched by black powder. Could go anywhere. If I was aimin’ at that buffalo head over there on the back wall, they reckon I’da missed. The only damage woulda been the burns on my shootin’ hand. And no shootin’ competitions, neither, ‘cos they didn’t want nobody knowing they was so bad. Just used to boast how good they was, so you wouldn’t take ’em on!

By the way … Marshal Amp never misses … alternative fact!

This is what we’re up against, see? Turns out the marshals was mostly vigilantes runnin’ protection rackets. Wyatt Earp … big hero of mine … lived off of gamblin’ and maybe pimpin’! The guy he made his deputy, Doc Holliday … another big, big hero … they says he was a hired killer!

They twist it round the other way, too. Says here, outlaws used to moonlight as lawmen. Butch Cassidy … forget that silly movie with the singing, he was one bad dude! … Butch Cassidy was a – get this! – security guard. Huh! Same with Billy the Kid.

Hey, maybe my great-great-great granddaddy got shot tryin’ to rob a bank … only kiddin’ ya!

D’ya know what I think? I reckon this is all one big conspiracy to confuse people, tryin’ to make ’em think for theirselves instead of trustin’ their hearts! And I blame those stupid movies, y’know, Blazin’ Saddles and Midnight Cowboy … nothin’ but farts, fools and faggots! Just tryin’ to muddy the waters …

And talkin’ of Muddy Waters, this here’s a song by him:

(To end on a Crescendo, plays harmonica and sings I’m Ready – great song to sing when you’re pumped up and which includes this apposite verse: I got a action pistol, a graveyard gun / That shoots tombstone bullets wearing ball and chain / I’m drinkin TNT, I’m smokin dynamite / I hope some screwball starts a fight / Yeah I’m ready, etc.)

Thank you, folks, and remember we allus ready to welcome you to Marshal Amp’s Authentic Wild West World! 

Adios, y’all …

Image result for western gunfight

Image: Homework 2 – Yola

20 thoughts on “Theme (Park) From An Imaginary Western

  1. Okay, Dave, I’m laughing. Sure glad I got down this far in catching up on blogs. Been at it all day. Teach me to take vast amounts of time off. Did you know that Billy the Kid got his start by stealing butter from the local farmers around Silver City, New Mexico. And that’s not fake news. You should add it to your show. Here’s some thing else. My family married into the Earp family, was apparently related to Pat Garret, and had a real live outlaw shooting sheriff in Texas. Woohoo! –Curt

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Curt, despite the subject being somewhat close to home! I think the actual story of those times is much more interesting, because it’s more human, than the slick formula those old cowboy films served up in our youth – your little snippets and personal connections being a fascinating case in point. The truth always lies somewhere between extremes, the western myth on one side and the debunking on the other. Thanks for your kind and generous response. Yeehah!

        1. I never read cowboy novels but of course grew up with the TV cowboys – Hopalong Cassidy, the Cisco Kid, the Lone Ranger, etc. I remember our endless shoot-em-ups with cap guns and the often iterated complaint, ‘Hey, you gotta take your shots!’ meaning you’re dead!

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