Summary: A REALLY Lost Episode
Word Count: 2500
Kilt While Traveling
Hearing of fortunes to be made in America and streets paved with gold and lots of not yet invented inventions to be invented, Jock McBee had come to America from Scotland. It took him months of traveling by boat and train and stage coach until he arrived in Virginia City.
Three hoochie mama slutty saloon girls, Floozy, Boozy and Gonif, watched the kilt-wearing Scot climb down from the arriving stage coach. As usual, the three hoochie mamas were there checking out newcomers to the town and sorting out those who be good customers for the Silver Dollar or the Rusty Bucket, and customers for their own side menu of services to the men who needed those side businesses of selling cigars and whiskey and themselves, and which new comers would be easy marks for robberies.
Floozy sidled up to Jock Mc Bee, a kilt-wearing Scotsman, and said, “How long has it been since you’ve had a cigar, stranger?”
“Ten months!” he replied. “Not since I left my home in Edinburgh, Scotland.”
She reached under her petticoat and pulled out a pack of fresh cigars.
He took one, lit it, and said, “My, my Lassie! Is that good!”
Then Boozy asked, “How long has it been since you’ve had a drink of whiskey?”
Jock licked his lips and answered, “Five months, Lassie! Not since my ship docked in New York City.” She reached under her petticoat, pulled out a silver flask, and gave it to him. He took a long swig and said, “Wow, that’s fantastic!”
Then Gonif lifted up her ruffled petticoats, showing her lace bloomers and she said to the traveler, “How long has it been since you’ve had some REAL fun?”
Jock replied, “My God! Don’t tell me that you’ve got a pool table in there!”
“No, but the Rusty Bucket Saloon has a pool table and it is right down the street,” she answered. She decided she would get this guy later.
Jock Mc Bee wondered down the street and into the Rusty Bucket in Virginia City. Adam, Hoss and Joe were drinking beer and playing pool when they saw this strangely dressed fellow.
Having studied at Back East U and experienced the cultural diversity of the big cities where you could get haggis, bagels, falafel, sushi and pizza (which were not available in Virginia City) any time day or night, and seeing all sorts of fashionistas including sophisticated metrosexual men who wore black and were well groomed and had well-coiffed hair, clean nails and a knowledge of poetry and not-yet-invented art films and watching not-yet-invented “What Not to Wear” on not-yet-invented cable TV, Adam Cartwright wasn’t so put off by a kilts or spandex or sleek cashmere sweaters purchased at Bloomingdales or any other non-cowboy garb. The rest of the customers in the place were not as worldly or multicultural as Adam Cartwright. None of them watched “What Not To Wear” or even “Don’t Wear That!” or “Oprah”.
Little Joe pointed his pool cue toward the Scot’s kilt. “That shore is a cute little dressy,” the handsome young cowboy said in a cowboyish challenge.
The Scot, offended, responded, “Would you be lookin’ at me kilt?”
Hoss replied, “Well, you shore will be kilt iff’n you keep wearin’ that little dressy ‘round here.”
“Boys, boys…” Adam stepped in. “Give the Scotsman a chance. Get to know him. My name is Adam Cartwright and these lunkheads are my brothers Hoss and Joe.”
Later that night, the Cartwrights became friends with Jock, the visiting Scot (of course!). They took turns buying round after round of drinks and playing pool and debating what really was in haggis. Finally, Adam said, “It’s been nice meeting you, Jock. We have to head home. We have round-up tomorrow and have to get up early.”
”Why don’t you come with us and stay at the Ponderosa?” Joe offered. “We can use some hands for round-up if you need a job!”
“Sure, Pa would sure like to meet a feller who has the courage to walk into Virginia City in a skirt!”
”Kilt!” corrected Jock, downing a double whiskey. “A KILT!”
“What do you think? Come stay with us,” Adam invited.
”No, Laddie. I have to make the morning stage. I’m heading for Frisco! Heard that is a fine city. My Mama Cass sang to me about it,” Jock said. Then he sang:
“All across the nation
Such a strange vibration
People in motion
There is a whole generation with a new explanation
People in motion, people in motion.” 1
Then the Cartwright boys harmonized to the tune one of the Weary Willies or the Mamas and the Papas sang to them at some point…
“If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you’re going to San Francisco
You’re gonna meet some gentle people there
For those who come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there
In the streets of San Francisco
Gentle people with flowers in their hair!” 1
“What a swell song!” all the customers in the saloon applauded. Some lit matches and swayed and wept.
“I lost my heart in San Francisco,” sighed Hoss, thinking of his ill-fated engagement to the gambling widow.
“Me too! I left my heart in San Francisco!” shouted Tony Bennett from a small table in the back of the saloon. Tony, a cousin of Nick Bianci and Georgio Rossi, who made Vino De Ponderosa. Tony was traveling through Virginia City on his way to Vegas and a club date at the Sands Hotel with Charo.
“I can play it on the bagpipes too!” Jock bragged. “Want me to play some polka tunes so we can dance?”
”Let’s pass and say you did,” Cosmo, the bartender urged, knowing that the sound of bag pipes could cause the customers to riot and glass to break in the saloon.
“Well then, let’s call it a night,” Adam said. “Just remember, if you need a job, come out to the Ponderosa.”
The Cartwrights departed and Jock remained, hoping against hope that he and Tony Bennett could play a duet. After the visiting Scot drank a few rounds in the Rusty Bucket, he staggered out heading down the street to the International House Hotel where the Cartwrights told him he could rent a room at a good rate and get free not-yet-invented cable and Wi-Fi and a nifty continental breakfast featuring fresh waffles and croissants and air miles points on his not-yet-invented credit card. Unfortunately, Jock was so drunk he fell down, crawled under a wagon and passed out.
The three saloon girls, Floozy, Boozy, and Gonif, were walking home for the night (they are neighbors at the saloon girl condos on the left-hand side of Virginia City) and found the Scotsman passed out partially under a Conestoga wagon. His upper body was under the wagon and they couldn’t see who he was; however, they would have to help him get home.
The first saloon girl, Floozy looked under his kilt and said, “He’s not one of the Cartwrights”.
The second, Boozy, looked under his kilt and said, “Why he’s not even from Virginia City!”
“Heck! He isn’t even from Nevada Territory!” said Gonif, who stole Jock’s fur sporran. (The Sporran [Scottish Gaelic for ‘purse’] is a traditional part of Scottish Highland dress. It is a pouch that performs the same function as pockets on the kilt).
A crowd gathered and a few of the men carried the unconscious man down the street to the hotel and someone went to get Doc Martin. The doctor examined him and sat next to Jock’s bed in the hotel until he regained consciousness more than a day later.
After checking out the Scotsman, Doc Martin told Jock Mc Bee, “I have some bad news and some very bad news.
Jock sighed. “Well, might as well give me the bad news first.
“I ran some tests on you while you were unconscious. I tested your blood and urine, the tartan of your kilt and all your other vital signs that we could test. They showed have 24 hours to live.”
Jock was shocked. “24 HOURS! That’s terrible!! WHAT could be WORSE? What’s the very bad news? I’m far from my home in bonny Scotland and I’m going to die!”
”Well …. I’ve been trying to tell you since yesterday but you’ve been unconscious.
“Oh no, that’s terrible. How long have I got?” Jock asks.
“10…” said the doctor.
“10? 10 what? Months? Weeks? What?!” Jock asked desperately.
“I can’t believe it! Run the tests again,” the Scotsman pleaded before Doc hit zero.
“OK!” the doctor agreed. “Let me examine you one more time.”
“Doctor, Doctor, I just can’t stop my hands shaking!”
“Do you drink a lot?”
“Not really – I spill most of it!”
Doc looked at Jock and said,” Maybe you should consider drinking coffee.”
“Not tea?” Jock asked.
”No, Mr. McBee. You are out west, not in Scotland. If you want to fit in here, it is coffee, not tea.
”COFFEE! Doc yelled. Then he continued his examination. “I think you caught a chill from wearing a kilt. And that isn’t necessarily fatal.”
“But I’m in terrible pain!” whimpered Jock.
“Where are you hurting?” asked the doctor.
“You have to help me, I hurt all over”, said the Scotsman, He moaned and he groaned.
“What do you mean, all over?” asked the doctor. “Be a little more specific. Show me where you have pain.”
Jock touched his right knee with his index finger, just under the hem of his kilt and yelled, “Ow that hurts.” Then he touched his left cheek and again yelled, “Ouch! That hurts, too.” Then he touched his right earlobe, “Ow, even THAT hurts”, he cried.
”You scream like a little girl!” said Doc Martin, who was used to manly cowboys who didn’t wear kilts and had bullets dug out of them with less whimpering.
Doc Martin carefully and thoroughly checked Jock for an hour and made his diagnosis. “My initial terminal diagnosis was incorrect; you are not fatally ill. You have a broken finger and a cold in your kishkes from the cold wind blowing under your kilt.”
“That’s all?!” Jock was so relieved he jumped out of bed and started to play his bagpipes which had been dumped in the corner by the desk clerk when the stage driver brought Jock’s luggage over.
“You need to rest here in the hotel for two weeks,” said Doc Martin to Jock as he ran out the door to avoid ear damage from the sound of the bag pipes
Two weeks later Jock shows up on the Ponderosa.
“The doctor said he would have me on my feet in two weeks,” Jock McBee explained.
“And did he?” Ben Cartwright asked the Jock, the kilt-wearing stranger who his sons had brought out to stay on the Ponderosa.
“Yes, but I was robbed and lost all of my money except for the $10 I had hidden in my bagpipe case and the $10 I had in my ghillie brogues. That’s why your sons offered for me to come out here and work for some more money.
“Did you run out of money? Is that why the hotel tossed you out, Jock?”
”Not quite, Mr. Cartwright,” Jock said as Hoss and Joe showed him into the bunk house. “I had enough to pay for the hotel.”
“So why did you leave so abruptly?”
“At 4 o’clock every morning,” Jock told Ben, “they hammered on my bedroom door, one the walls, even on the floor and ceiling. Heck, sometimes they hammered so loud I could hardly hear myself playing the bagpipes.”
Eventually, Jock got settled in the bunk house and the Cartwrights took the kilt wearing hand out on the range to see the Ponderosa.
They rode out to see the herd and were standing looking at one of the Ponderosa prize cows in the south pasture. Ben pointed to a cow standing under a tree and said to Jock, “Look at that fine Ponderosa cow.”
Jock disagreed, saying “No, tis a Scottish cow.”
Scottish cow?” Ben was indignant. “That cow was born right here on the Ponderosa! Its mother was a cow born on the Ponderosa and its father was a bull born on the Ponderosa! There is no way this is a Scottish cow.”
Jock disagreed, saying, “No, Mr. Cartwright. Tis a Scottish cow.”
“I was right here when that cow was bred!” added Adam.
Jock disagreed, saying, “No, it’s a Scottish cow.”
“I was here when it was born!” argued Hoss. “She’s a Ponderosa cow.”
Jock disagreed, saying, “No, it’s a Scottish cow.”
“I branded that cow during round-up!” said Little Joe. “She’s a Ponderosa cow.”
Jock disagreed, saying “No, it’s a Scottish cow.”
Now Ben Cartwright is completely furious. “A Scottish cow? That cow was born right here on the Ponderosa! Its mother was a cow born on the Ponderosa and its father was a bull born on the Ponderosa! There is no way this is a Scottish cow. We saw it bred and born and branded. It’s not a Scottish cow!” Ben was turning bright red with fury and looked like he was ready to explode at Jock.
“Pa, calm down!” Hoss put his arm around his father’s shoulders.
“It’s not a Ponderosa cow. I insist it’s a Scottish cow,” Jock said calmly.
Adam took a deep breath. “Jock, how can you say this? Explain how this animal is a Scottish cow. It is an AMERICAN cow! A Ponderosa cow!”
The Scotsman thought for a moment and then clinched the argument. “No, it’s a Scottish cow – it’s got bagpipes underneath!”
Hoss and Adam had to restrain furious Little Joe who was about to punch Jock in the nose. (Don’t they always!?)
“How dare you insult Ponderosa cattle?” Ben roared.
Concerned about Ben’s dismay, Jock figured music would soothe all the Cartwrights as well as the cattle, especially the Scottish cow. “Would you like to play my bagpipes?” He pulled his bagpipes out of his valise and smiled? “I play in a pipe band. We march and play.”
“Why do pipe bands march when they play?” Hoss asked as Jock started to play. The unique sound echoed off the Sierras causing a landslide. Lake Tahoe had a tidal wave. The cattle stampeded at the sound.
Ben growled “Why does he march while he plays? Moving targets are harder to hit.”
All four Cartwrights drew their guns and fired. The rest is history.
And that is how Jock got kilt traveling.
1 The lyrics are the property of the respective authors, artists and labels; the lyrics are provided for entertainment purposes only