I don't want to be a writer anymore. I want to be an outlaw in a contemporary
western. How grand life would be. Why, I can see myself there now...
Like Colin Farrell, the star of "American Outlaws," I am the dreamiest Jesse
James ever, looking less like a bandit and more like the grand prize in
my sister's old "Mystery Date" board game. No matter how rough the fighting
gets, my hair always stays perfectly in place, arcing out over my thick
manly eyebrows which are offset by my button nose and boyish smile.
I get laid all the time.
When battling evil railroad barons, I surround myself with relatives and
friends, such as my brother Frank (Gabriel Macht), a handsome, bearded
man who, like most men in the 1800s, is prone to quoting Shakespeare.
And my cousin, Cole Younger (Scott Caan), a hot tempered but lovable
lad with a body straight out of the "fanatics only" section of Gold's Gym.
Man, do we look great with our shirts off.
The boys and I leap on our horses and gallop across the land, robbing
banks and trading quips while the bullets fly. Me and Frank and Cole
don't really have to worry about bullets, though. Oh sure, one of us may
get the occasional flesh wound, so we can grimace while everyone fusses
over us in a vaguely erotic fashion, but we won't die, because the bullets
of our opponents can only kill ugly men and extras.
Once in a while we rob trains and, boy, do we ever get clever then! You
see, instead of just stopping a train, we do a homage to those vintage
Burma Shave roadside markers, with gang members holding up a series of
funny signs. You know, just like they did in the real Old West.
And our thrilling exploits are accompanied by authentic Wild West music
In case you were wondering, we didn't start off as sexy outlaws. At first
we were sexy Rebel soldiers in the War Between the States, protecting
ourselves from waves of enemy fire by crouching behind thin pieces of
wood. After the war ended, we came home, only to learn that the railroad
was taking our farms, with security expert Allan Pinkerton (Timothy Dalton)
backing them up.
Those monsters blew up our houses and killed my ma (Kathy Bates), so we get
our revenge by robbing banks and trains. Our neighbors love us, because
we throw some money their way and we become folk heroes, with trashy
newspapers chronicling our adventures. Oh, how we laugh at the foolishness
of the unrealistic stories. I mean, what's the point in taking the lives
of genuine historic figures and turning them into glib, glossy fairy
tales about guys more suited to the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog than the
What, indeed. See you at Westworld, folks.
Copyright © 2001 Edward Johnson-Ott