Summary: A REALLY Lost Episode
Word count: 900
The Café Scene
Chapter One: The Episode
The Cartwrights were in San Francisco on business for a few days.
“Lets have lunch, boys,” Ben suggested to his three sons when they finished their meeting with the cattle buyers. “A new café opened up down the street.
“Let’s go there,” said Adam. He liked new things.
“Sounds good to me,” Little Joe agreed. He hoped there might be some pretty waitresses in the new café.
“I’m starving!” Hoss added. He was starving.
“Then, let’s go!” Ben led the way to Smith’s Café.
The Cartwrights sat at a table enjoying their meal when an old cowboy walks into the café with a full-grown ostrich behind him. As he sits, the waitress comes over and asked for their orders.
The old cowboy said, “I’ll have a steak, fried potatoes and a beer,”
The waitress turned to the ostrich, “What’s yours?”
“I’ll have the same,” said the ostrich.
The Cartwrights, to say the least, were amazed.
A short time later the waitress returns with the order. “That will be $.40 please,” and the cowboy reached into his vest pocket and pulls out the exact change for payment.
The next day, the Cartwrights met with the timber buyers. Hungry for lunch they returned to the Smith’s café. The same cowboy and the ostrich returned as well, and the cowboy said, “I’ll have a steak, fried potatoes and a beer,” and the ostrich said, “I’ll have the same.” Once again the old cowboy reached into his pocket and pays with exact change.
This became a routine. Each day that week the Cartwrights go to the café for lunch and have the same experience. On the last day of the week, while they are enjoying their meal, the strange pair enters again. The old cowboy and the ostrich sit down near the four Cartwrights.
“The usual?” asks the waitress.
“No, this is Friday, so I will have ham, baked potato, apple pie and beer and shot of rotgut,” said the cowboy.
“Same for me,” said the ostrich.
A short time later the waitress came with the order and said, “That will be $.62.” Once again the cowboy pulls exact change out of his pocket and placed the coins on the table.
The Cartwrights can’t hold back their curiosity any longer.
“Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always came up with the exact change out of your vest pocket every time, cowboy?” Little Joe Cartwright asked.
“Well,” said the cowboy, “several years ago I was in the desert and I found an old Indian talisman. When I rubbed it a Navajo Shaman appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would always be there.”
“That’s brilliant!” said Adam who admired brilliance.
“Most people would wish for a million dollars or something, but you’ll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!” added Ben, who appreciated honor.
“That’s right. Whether it’s a gallon of milk or a champion stallion or a ranch house, the exact money is always there,” said the cowboy.
Then Hoss asked, “One other thing, sir, what’s with the ostrich?”
The cowboy sighed, paused, and answered, “My second wish was for a tall chick with long legs…who agrees with everything I say.
Chapter Two: The Bird
Please note, no ostrich was harmed in the filming of this episode.
The ostrich in this episode of Bonanza was played by a young actor who later gained immense international fame as “Big Bird” on Sesame Street.
James Lipton asked “What was it like for a young nobody bird to appear on a popular show like Bonanza?”
“All the cast and crew treated me great. Pernell Roberts was especially generous to me and spent time going over my lines and discussing ecological issues with me. On the last day of shooting Lorne Greene gave me a case of Alpo and a bird feeder,” he reminisced in a recent interview with James Lipton on “Inside the Actor’s Studio”. “Michael Landon was great too. It was one of the first episodes of Bonanza he had written and he generously added a few extra lines for me and changed the climatic scene as well.”
“He did? How?” Lipton asked Big Bird.
“Well, that last scene, the old cowboy was supposed to order fried chicken and I was really uncomfortable with that line. Mike changed it to “ham”, not chicken. Mike even invited me to be a guest on Little House as Mrs. Olsen’s hat but I had scheduling conflicts.”
“And what about Dan Blocker? Hoss was always my favorite,” confessed Lipton. “He had such dignity and such a range from comic to dramatic to action hero. He was wonderful.”
“Yes James, I agree. Dan was wonderful to me as well. He told me never to give up, that no role was too small and to invest my earnings in real estate,” said Big Bird. “Dan was remarkable. No contemporary actor except John Goodman can come close to Dan Blocker’s talents.”