The sound of that deep-chested, country drawl drew me to the living room. I am a sucker for a deep voice, cowboy swagger and flinty-eyed gaze. Stony Burke was my first love and I could hardly wait for Lawrence Welk to be over on a Sunday night to watch Jack Lord’s denim-clad backside hit saddle leather on a bucking bronc. John Wayne, with his distinctive crooked swagger, tilted hat and drawl-halt lines introduced me to the western comedy of McClintock! fame and I loved every minute of it. Sam Elliot has taken the cowboy role different places with being a celestial grave-digger, one-armed lawman and now an animated, cinematic, guitar-toting bovine. Yes, you read that right, a cartoon cow in a movie called Barnyard.
Settling into our faux leather chair and propping my feet on the matching ottoman and getting a glimpse of my third cowboy love, I heard a pop, not as loud as a balloon exploding, yet louder than a soap-bubble bursting, coming from the back, left of my skull, followed by the smell of burning ozone. I blinked. I blinked again. Sure enough, I AM hearing the voice of Sam Elliot coming out of the mouth of a black and white spotted cow, standing on its hind legs and sporting a pink udder with four teats looking so much like a pink milking stool a couple of hoof-widths above where a set of bull parts ought to be.
The word outrage does not do what I feel justice. I want to cover my eyes or plug my ears but with only one set of hands, can not do the impossible. Already confused and mourning the death of my cowboy dreams, Wanda Sikes cow parades across the screen sporting a pink bow between her ears showing off her pregnancy, whose belly area, to my untrained eyes, looks identical to Sam Elliot’s and every other cow on the farm. Voices are my only clue to identification of gender and gestation. The exact spot where I heard the pop, starts to itch. Is it an aneurism or am I about to have a seizure?
The script writers only get a pass if they didn’t see the layout designs for this cinematic wackadoodle. You artists and casting people have a lot to answer for. You gave Sam Elliot udders? Did you blindfold him to do voice over? Has he seen this movie? Is there a lawsuit pending? So many cowboy laws have been broken, I don’t know where to begin. I will never un-see those hideous pink-milking-stool udders hanging on Sam Elliot like a codpiece. Which brings us to the last of this series of dream-wake brain storm….next week.