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Head 'em up, move 'em out


I have been married for six months this week.

Bobby and I are at an age that doesn’t demand a celebration of incremental milestones. In fact, when I said "happy six-month anniversary" to Bobby, he said, "I'm not supposed to buy you anything for this one, am I?"

I haven't given him an answer yet, because I believe it's good to keep mystery in a relationship.

I tell you about this milestone, not to get inundated with cards of well-wishes, but to let you know that relationships have stages, and ours just reached the western TV show saturation stage.

Meaning, I am sick of Gunsmoke, and Bobby is not.

The good people at Time Warner Cable have two – count 'em two – Encore Western channels. On these channels play westerns. 24 hours a day. Every day.

They do this so there is absolutely no chance at all that John Wayne, Miss Kitty’s beauty mark, and every lyric in every verse of the theme to Rawhide, will ever be forgotten. Ever.

Last weekend, one or possibly both, of the western channels ran marathons of very specific western TV shows. Those shows were Laredo, Rawhide and Gunsmoke.

I know this because I lived it. All weekend long.

Monday was the Gunsmoke marathon, and since I find Marshall Matt Dillon (aka the late James Arness) quite attractive, I watched for a while. Then I died of Dodge City overdose – with my boots on, of course.

What I found out was this: I can only find James Arness to be a sexy beast for two, possibly three, episodes. I watched seven or eight episodes.

Because of this and the fact Bobby watches it everyday anyway, I have made several observations about Gunsmoke I think are worth sharing:

1. Doc Adam’s real name is Milburn Stone. I memorized this because after three episodes, he became my new favorite character. I found myself hoping somebody would get shot, beat up or overcome with the vapors so Doc would be involved.

2. The most authentic acting I saw on the show was Dennis Weaver riding his horse with one leg completely straight due to an injury sustained in an episode I miraculously haven't seen.

3. Men treat their woman real bad on these shows. And the women take it, except for Miss Kitty whose beauty mark is either intimidating or hypnotizing.

4. My favorite line from the day's episodes: "I'm gonna beat your mouth off."
Bobby watched 27 episodes, or what I like to call 13 1/2 hours straight, of Gunsmoke.

Luckily, I was sick and went to bed early and missed the episode where Miss Kitty's bangs grew out to a more respectable length.

Since Monday, I have found that somewhere around 1,483 other channels exist on the TV in my “woman cave,” the room in the house where I keep my estrogen and my sanity.

Don’t worry, the honeymoon is not over, it just got outta Dodge.