Summary: A REALLY Lost Episode (A sequel to “The Deadliest Game)
Word Count: 3000
In Memorial to Borelli
Pretty Gal on the Stage
Adam and Little Joe were traveling to home on the stage coach from San Francisco or Stockton or Secaucus. Pa had wired them to return home to the Ponderosa as soon as they could. There was to be a memorial service for his old pal, circus aerialist, Borrelli the Great.
Despite his insane megalomaniacal and all round rotten unsuccessful attempt to have Little Joe take the blame for stabbing Borelli’s romantic rival, young Carlo Alfieri, the Cartwrights were a forgiving lot.
Hoss urged Pa to host the event and let bygones be bygones. Besides, Borelli’s ancient sister had promised to bring a huge pan of lasagna and sausages and peppers and cannelloni. Hoss loved lasagna. It reminded him of his dead mother.
The only other passenger was an attractive young lady. Both brothers eyed up and down and down and up her at the stage depot.
“Sure is a pretty gal,” Joe said, his green eyes twinkling like the bottoms
of Heineken bottles glittering in the bottom of the recycling bin on a sunny
day. “She looks prettier than Petina, that acrobat gal Borelli wanted for his own.”
“She sure is, little brother,” Adam said. “And I saw her first.”
“No you didn’t. I did. And she is going to be mine. All mine. MINE MINE.”
“Is that so?” Adam chuckled. “Well Little Joe, I’m sitting next to her.”
“Well, Adam, I am going to sit opposite her and she can look right at me and see which brother is handsomer. It’s me, older brother.” Joe grinned. “ME ME ME!” He decided he would flirt aggressively and be entertaining during the trip. Joe decided he would win the heart, hand and kishkas of that pretty girl…as well as all the more romantic parts that Little Joe had memorized from “Playboy” centerfold.
Adam, decided otherwise. He would be cool, calm and polite. He would let Joe make a fool of himself acting like a jabbering monkey. The pretty gal would easily fall for his smooth charm.
Joe clambered into the seat opposite the lady, Adam slid next to her, his thigh resting warmly against hers.
Joe chattered and in his most friendly way pointed out all the sights as the coach rolled along. “The Virginia City mall… and the Hooters and Roy Coffee’s house, dead squirrel in the road, and the IKEA… There is our plether herd and the nauga breeding corral. And trees and rocks and grass…the Chevy dealership. Did I tell you we all drive not yet invented Chevys on the Ponderosa?”
“No!” said the pretty gal. She was quite impressed.
“Yes, and we are headed home for a memorial service for a real dead guy! He fell off a trapeze trying to kill me or himself or someone. SPLAT.”
“Splat!” the pretty gal gasped. “GROSS!”
“That sure is romantic, Little Joe,” Adam snickered. “Nothing more romantic than telling a lovely young lady about splattered dead guys.”
“At least I’m not telling her that she reminds me of my dead mother,” Joe argued. “By the way, did I ever tell you about my dead mother who you remind me of so very much?” Joe pulled out one of his nose hairs so a tear trickled down his handsome upper cheek as his lower cheek quivered against the stage seat. “Mama was from New Orleans and Pa said when she was in the house, it was just like springtime.”
“Just like those fabric softener sheets that you toss in the drier?” the gal smiled.
“Better!” Joe exclaimed wriggling like a happy puppy as his cowboy pants grew suddenly tighter.
”Like the potpourri we grow in the north pasture,” Adam explained, accurately tossing his heavy Webster’s dictionary at his brother’s lap. The Cartwrights were quite proud of the diverse business enterprises they managed, cattle, mining, pleathers and naugas, a blue dress factory, potpourri fields, horses, and a new scotch guard factory for settee upholstery. Joe was even talking about starting a lumber mill in Walnut Grove. Cochise, Little Joe’s pinto, was marketing his/her own brand of gourmet coffee. Pa was frequently out picking grapes with their neighbor Joyce Edwards and Hoss was developing an all-you-can-eat pancake house chain. The Cartwrights were hard working.
Adam was friendly but subdued. He pulled a book from his pocket and started to read “1001 ways to Recycle Lead Bullets”. He would let the lady see he was an educated gentleman and Joe was just a talkative kid with tight cowboy pants and a dead mommy. Heck, Adam‘s mother was dead and did anyone see him using that as a romantic come on? Heck NO!! He would just act morose and depressed and melancholic and recite dramatic couplets and obscene limericks he wrote. “By the way, Ma’am…”
“Yes, Mr. Cartwright?”
“Do you know a word that rhymes with ‘Nantucket’?” Adam smiled. “I write poetry. Limericks especially. I studied Limericks in Back East University.”
“OOO la la!” the gal smiled and batted her thick black false eye lashes at the darkly handsome Adam. “I do!”
“I do!?!?!?” Both Cartwright brothers gasped at those forbidden words. Clutching their chests, they momentarily fainted. All the Cartwrights suffered from extreme cases of heart-stopping “commitment phobia” and the sound of a woman saying “I do” was more dangerous to them than a lead bullet, a flaming Indian arrow or a wily coyote dropping an Acme safe on their handsome heads from a mountain top.
As soon as they regained consciousness, both brothers simultaneously decided to avoid any future contact with the pretty gal once the coach arrived in Virginia City.
Golden Girls of the West
They had traveled all this way for the memorial to Borrelli the Great. All four women got off the stage in Virginia City, weary and dusty. It was a long way from Miami to Nevada but Sophia Petrillo had to be there to say her goodbyes.
“Picture this, Rome, 1821. A beautiful peasant girl visits the circus and the aerialist falls for her. They swing around together doing…” she elbows her tall daughter Dorothy in the ribs “acrobatics in the moonlight.”
“Ma!” Dorothy gasped.
“Go on!” Blanche urged. She loved to hear a bawdy tale almost as much as she loved looking at the tight pants on some of the handsome young cowboys passing by. One young cowboy in a green corduroy jacket looked quite yummy as did the taller, darker cowboy standing next to him. They looked like they had arrived on an earlier stage as they had some luggage stacked near them.
The two cowboys were waving “Adios” to an attractive young lady who was riding away in a buckboard.
“Well, one night we were walking home from gazing at the stars and eating dinner in Pascaloopys Pasta Parlor….”
“They had those in St. Olaf…but they served Swedish Meatballs with the spaghetti. They were franchises,” Rose explained.
‘Hush, Rose. Let Ma tell the story.” Dorothy swatted her roomie with a rolled up copy of the Virginia City Enterprise. Blanch had inspired Mark Twain to write the “Jumping Frogs of Calaveras County”…but that was another episode.
“They made cannelloni to die for… and a pistachio tortoni! Anyway. As we passed this dark alley, we saw this American sailor. A good looking fella. Wide shoulders, tight sailor pants…prematurely silver hair. He was being mugged by some paskoloupe gavon pisans. He was doing pretty good!” Sophia swung her geriatric fists in imitation of the brawl. “Ba biff bam! But one of them had a stiletto and went after that sailor boy. Well, Borrelli just parks my carcass on the dumpster and leaps into action. He tosses one guy this way and swings over the fire escape and belts the other two. That sailor, Ben Cartwright, and Borelli made mince meat out of those guys …”
“What happened next, Sophia?” Blanche said imagining the gymnastic possibilities of a handsome, wide shouldered sailor and a graceful acrobat who later went on to be the Joker on Batman.
“Well those two macho guys were so proud of themselves, they went off arm and arm to celebrate in a bar.”
“And what did you do, Sophia?” asked Rose.
“Well, I was stuck on the dumpster and all of a sudden Borrelli remembered me and the two of them rush back and take me along,” Sophia explained.
“Oooh Sophia! Two men!” Blanche rolled her eyes. “Tell us more!” She eyed the two cowboys who were still standing across the street, a curly haired one with the green jacket and a darkly handsome one in black. A buckboard had pulled up and HUGE cowboy had climbed out. He helped the other two load up their bags and they all rode off reciting naughty limericks and singing “One Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall”.
“So, Borelli goes to the circus in the day and leaves me with Sailorboy Ben. He tells me how he has this life long dream of being a cowboy or being a space captain named Adama. In the night, Ben goes off to the John Wayne film festival and I am ALONE with Borelli. In the moonlight, I …heh heh …dance the night away with Borelli. Both men adored me and both proposed.”
“What did you do?” Dorothy asked as the stage driver pitched their luggage from the top of the stage.
“What could I do? I married your father, Sid Melton!” Sophia said as a buckboard pulled up in front of them.
A handsome silver haired cowboy leaped down from the seat. “Sophia?” the man asked.
“BEN! BEN CARTWRIGHT!” Sophia screeched like a teeny air raid siren in Brooklyn during a cold war shelter drill. She threw herself into the tall man’s arms and he swung her off her feet and tossed her over his head like a feather.
“Maaaaaaaaaaa!? Dorothy shrieked as Sophia flew 57 feet into the blue sky.
“Sophia!” Rose gasped. She prayed the elderly woman wouldn’t get hurt.
“Nice town you have here!” Sophia said as she soared overhead and spun down ward like a piece of dandelion fluff.
“Hubba Hubba and WOWza!” Blanche purred eyeing handsome Ben Cartwright. He was not only a hunka hunka burning love; he was a rich Cattle Baron too. He was just her type.
“Sophia!” Ben bellowed again with hospitable delight and warm, western sincerity. He caught the teeny tiny woman in his arms and kissed her affectionately then gently set her down. “Sorry I am late but the naugas broke through the fence and knocked down the hot tub and the satellite dish. I had to round up all 12,457 head my self as my boys weren’t around. We have a big contract with the Chevy company for seat covers and I couldn’t let those naugas stampede and get snagged in the potpourri fields.”
“Indeed!” Blanche leaped forward and coiled herself around Ben Cartwright like a piece of feminine Velcro. “I am Blanche Hollingsworth Devereau and I’ve heard soooooo much about you, sir. I am from the south and I love manly men!” she purred. “Would you like to see my lingerie? Or what lies beneath said lingerie?”
Ben smiled. He loved friendly guests. “Welcome! My third dead wife was from the south, New Orleans.”
“Oh? How long is she gone?” Rose said sweetly. She worked in a bereavement center and knew how sad death was.
“Oh she died many years ago, long before the show started. My youngest son, Little Joe was still called Teeny Small Baby Joe when Marie, my love, suddenly died.
“She died suddenly?” Dorothy Zbornak gasped. She was from NYC and was quite suspicious, even of virile hunky cowboys with heart stopping good looks. \
“All my wives died suddenly,” Ben sighed.
“All?” the hair stood up on Dorothy’s neck. She had grown up reading Nancy Drew books and spent many a Saturday Night watching re-runs of “Murder She Wrote“. Could Ben Cartwright be a blue beard murderer like the episode of “Diagnosis Murder” on PAX when Dick Van Dyke investigated the multi married tycoon played by some guy who had a brief career in MASH?
“Yes, Ben was married three times,” Sophia explained as she pried Blanche’s fingers from Ben’s thigh.
“Hmmmmm…” Dorothy gasped. She and Rose exchanged suspicious looks.
“Did she have insurance?” Rose asked.
“Did all THREE have insurance?” Dorothy asked.
Ben just loaded their soft sided Samsonite luggage into the buck board and ignored their foolishness. He was used to foolish women. His son’s frequently dated the most foolish women available and Ben basically found the best strategy was to either ignore the foolish woman or exclaim over the particular son’s brilliant idea in marrying her within eight minutes of meeting her. That was what Ben did when Joe announced he was marrying the psycho gypsy Tirza and when Hoss came home with the gambling widow and Adam found that Amish Morman Quaker gal. It worked like a charm.
“Ignorance is bliss!” Rose bragged as if she had read Ben’s mind. She was truly an idiot savant.
Borelli’s Memorial service went better than anticipated. People made heartfelt speeches, reminisced and sang songs.
Hoss described the last time/first time he met Borelli. “Pa insisted I wear an evil Hoss disguise. Nothin’ like a plaid flannel shirt and battered stetson to change how a man looks.”
Next, Adam West, who later played Batman to Borelli’s portrayal of the Joker talked about the time he tried to have his girlfriend pose as Ben Cartwright’s wife but Adam Cartwright leaped into the hotel window and killed him. “No one played a freakish clown better than Borelli, unless it was Jamie Hunter Cartwright.”
Petina tearfully told of Borelli’s lecherous jealousy and how she really wished she had the opportunity to see Joe Cartwright shirtless and in tights. Most of the women in the place cheered, whistled and stomped and yelled their agreement with that proposal. One woman, Susan, even did an efficient power-point presentation on the various benefits that having Joe shirtless and in tights would have to Virginia City, women in the US and humanity in general. The non-denominational minister had to clear the room for a half an hour while medical crews headed by Doc Martin and Trapper John MD revived the group.
Some even sang songs composed especially for the occasion.
The high point of the event was the performance by the Cartwright brothers. The song had nothing to do with Borelli, but it demonstrated the great versatility of talent the Cartwright boys had. Adam played the guitar while the other two sang.
“I Got You Babe”
by Hoss and Joe
[Little Joe:] Pa says we’re young and we don’t know
We won’t find out until we grow
[Hoss:] Well I don’t know if all that’s true
‘Cause you got me, and baby brother I got you
[BOTH:] I got you babe I got you babe
[Little Joe:] They say my loves won’t pay the rent
Before it’s earned, my money’s all been spent
[Hoss:] I guess that’s so, you don’t have a pot (he pats Joe’s flat stomach and Joe pats Hoss’s chubby belly)
But at least I’m sure of all the things we got
[Little Joe:] And those blue dressed gals are really hot
[BOTH:] I got you babe I got you babe
[Hoss:] We have Hop Sing’s fake flowers in the spring… We get doomed gals to wear our rings
[Little Joe:] And when I’m sad, you’re a clown
And if I get scared, you’re always around
[Little Joe:] So let Pa say my hair’s too long
‘Cause I don’t care, with you I can’t go wrong
[Hoss:] Then put your little hand in mine
[BOTH:] ain’t no hill or mountain our horses can’t climb
[BOTH:] I got you babe I got you babe
[Hoss:] I got you to hold my hand
[Little Joe:] I got you to understand
[Hoss:] I got you to walk with me
[Little Joe:] I got you to talk with me
[Hoss:] I got you to kiss goodnight?
[Little Joe:] I got you to hold me tight
[Hoss:] I got you, I won’t let go
[Little Joe:] I got you to love me so
[BOTH:] I got you babe
I got you babe
I got you babe
I got you babe
I got you babe!
Finally as a dramatic climax to the memorial, Borelli’s romantic rival, young Carlo Alfieri climbed to the top of a high, tall, ladder and he and the voluptuous Petina performed the double, triple, vaulting spiral summersault spin leap of al dente linguini right into the huge steaming lasagna that the anonymous doomed ranch hands had placed in the front of the church.
“Hooray and Amen!” the crowd cheered.
“Pass the parmesan cheese!” Hoss Cartwright bellowed as he whipped his personal ladle from under his hat and his oversized dish from his vest.
“Har har har har!” chuckled Adam cynically as Sophia Petrillo passed each cowboy a heaping plate of pasta.
“Manga!” she urged.
“Did I ever tell you about my dead mommy?” Joe said, searing his tongue on a molten pocket of ricotta cheese. A tear ran down his handsome upper cheek.
“OH BAYbee!” sighed Blanche running her hands up and down Ben’s thigh.
“Did he have life insurance on those dead women?” Dorothy asked again.
“Delicious cup of coffee, horsie,” Rose smiled at Coochie as the pinto filled her cup with his/her special blend.