Summary: A REALLY Lost Episode. (The Missing Scenes from Truckee Strip)
Word Count: 1550
Three holes showed on Amy Bishop’s virginal white blouse.
Three holes showed where she had just been shishkababbed by the evil ranch hand.
The pitch fork that Pete Jessup (or was he Ross Marquette?) had pitched at Little Joe Cartwright had pierced Amy’s vitals from her pert private front to her pert pierced posterior. Ptu!
“Amy! “ Little Joe wept as he carried his latest beloved doomed girl into the Bishop house. He couldn’t quite decide how he could carry the limp girl and the pitch fork at the same time without tripping so he had yanked out the pitch fork, carried Amy into the Bishop house. Joe knocked over Amy’s Frontier Mesquite Bean-i.e. Baby Collection with his elbow and tucked her into her quaint virginal shabby chic bed and then went back to the barn for the pitch fork. He then reinserted the tool in his beloved’s kidney before doing her death bed scene.
“Garsh! No one weeps like Little Joe!” Hoss said admiringly. “Just gets you in your gut, don’t it?”
“In your gut? Like a pitch fork?” said Doc Martin #1 shaking his head. It wasn’t easy being a doctor in those days…no medical insurance, no golf courses. Maybe he could sell those Mesquite Bean-i.e. Babies on E-Bay. Dead Amy sure wouldn’t need them anymore.
“Little Joe’s crying is heart-wrenching. His mother, REAL Marie, was a good crier too,” said Ben with a sigh.
“What about my Ma?” Hoss said hopefully. Was she a good crier?”
“Just that one time…“ Ben started.
“Which time?” Hoss asked.
“Giving birth to you, Hossie Wossie. You weighed 148 pounds and your head was as big as a milk can.”
“Bigger!” Adam nodded.
“Other than once, Inger couldn’t weep worth a darn but she was mighty handy at lifting the end of the wagon. And she sure had a great pair of Farfenluggn!” Ben winked at his boys and made a gesture like he was juggling a pair of large cantaloupes.
“Inger had many talents,” Adam added nostalgically. “Like milking the cow, chopping the wood, and making ligon berry muffins while she was testing me on my SAT vocabulary.”
“And catching arrows in her chest!” Hoss bragged. “My Ma was good at that too. Weren’t she?”
“The best!” Ben and Adam agreed.
Joe said in a choked yet very manly voice, “She said that there is no way that it could be between a Bishop and a Cartwright! I thought she meant we would never marry because her Pa and my Pa were irrationally carrying on a grudge match much like the Montague’s and the Capulets!”
“The Sharks and the Jets!” Adam added. He loved Broadway Musicals and had played Tony in West Side Story in Back East U.
“The Corleones and the Tataglias!” Ben added. He had once toyed with the idea of putting the head of a horse in Luther Bishop’s bed but that was just not his style.
“Who would have thunk that Little Joe’s gal of the week would be shishkabobbed!?” Hoss shook his head mournfully. “It was only eight episodes since Emily Pennington croaked on me too! “
“That boy had no luck! None of us do!” Adam sighed, wishing he had gotten more than a quick torrid kiss from Lotta Crabtree.
“Hush, son!” Ben said paternally. “Little Joe is weeping so nicely. Let’s all listen. It is Little Joe‘s turn to be the center of attention this week.”
“Sure, Pa!” Adam and Hoss agreed cooperatively.
“Little Joe is weeps so well! It’s like music to my ears!” Adam swooned and in his head he dreamed of composing a song to commemorate the event. He would call it “Dead Girl Opus number 34: The Truckee Strip”. Exotic Dancers in Vegas would be inspired by the rhythms. Then it would be the spotlight dance on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and Annette Funicello would say, “Well, Dick, it has a good beat and you can dance to it.”
Adam was inspired by his kid brother’s grief and wanted to rush home and strum his guitar and compose. However, Adam was a loyal Cartwright and stood near Pa. One for all and all for one, and that one this week was Little Joe.
“Did my mother weep well?” Adam asked. He loved when Pa reminisced and the screen got all blurry and they played flashback music and Pa put on that dead squirrel blackish toupee and tried to look young and foolish. Pa could never ever look foolish. Pa was Pa! He was born with a rumbling deep voice and was wise and kind from the get-go.
“Liz? Hmmm. She was quite a gal. Quite a gal! She cried loads, especially when she and I and ate Bermuda onion and jalapeno sandwiches on picnics on Boston Common,” Ben recalled.” Then I read sappy poetry to her. Her favorite was by Joni Mitchell.”
“Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere, I’ve looked at cloud that way.
But now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone.
So many things I would have done but clouds got in my way.
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now,
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall.
I really don’t know clouds at all.”*
Adam and Ben harmonized on the lyrics as Hoss used an over-tuned wash tub to pound out a beat.
“That’s great, Hoss! It has a good beat and I can dance to it!” Little Joe leaped onto the Bishop kitchen table, barely missing the freshly baked pie that was sitting there and did the tango while weeping.
Adam hesitated for a minute. He saw the ka-bobbing pitch fork propped in a corner of the Bishop kitchen and was about to strum it like a pitchfork-guitar but thought better of it. “My heart is wrenched from my very chest watching that boy suffer!” Adam said, admiring his kid brother’s virtuoso crying/dancing talents. Joe would never be as tall as the rest of them but boy he could cry like a son of a gun.
Hoss sniffed and wiped his nose on his sleeve. He suspected that he was allergic to dead Amy Bishop’s dog Scooby Doo or the Ice Blue Aqua Velva Pa was wearing. The boys had chipped in their poker winnings and bought him a gallon of that aftershave for Father’s Day. Pa was so happy with it, Hoss hated to tell him to quit dousing himself in it each morning. Hoss decided that he would remedy the situation by dumping the Aqua Velva in the punch bowl the next time they had a party.
The Cartwright’s mounted up and started for home. Even Chub was crying but that might have been because Hoss had forgotten he was on a vegan gluten free diet and helped himself to most of the last pie Amy had made before her untimely demise.
Joe was so touched by his family being touched that he too started to sing his favorite sad Joni Mitchell tune:
“Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
Late last night
I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi
Took away my old man
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot!” **
Little Joe sang joyfully as they rode back home.
“You ok, Little Joe?” his father asked as they finished the 15th chorus of the song.
Joe shrugged “I suppose so, Pa. I sure loved Amy more than any girl I met since last week and not half as much as the girl I will meet next week!”
“Been there, done that, and will do it again!” Adam announced.
“Sure sounds good to me, older brother! Count me in on that!” Hoss grinned and high fived Adam.
“Good plan, boys,” Ben said kicking his heels into Buck. “You boys make me prouder than punch! “
“The special punch you make for parties!” The three brothers salivated at the idea. They all sure loved Pa’s special yummy punch!
“Ooof!” said Buck. Matt Dillon never kicked him like that, but then again Matt Dillon never sang very well or gave him leftover party punch in the water trough either.
“Why don’t we have a party TONIGHT and Pa can make some blue punch this time,” Hoss suggested.
“Sound grrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat to me!” Buck whinnied. “I’m mighty thirsty!”
“Us too!” said Sport and Chubb.
“Give me a cup of java!” ordered Cochise.
“Think I’ll stop by at Ross Marquette’s ranch and invite him before he transforms into a homicidal maniac and tries to kill me!” Adam called as he rode over the hill towards his friend’s house.
“Sounds like a fine way to end this episode and start the next!” Ben called.
*”Both Sides Now”, Joni Mitchell, 1967
**”Big Yellow Taxi, Joni Mitchell, 1968