On a soundstage made up to look like the American prairie, an actor made up to look like an elderly gold prospector is tugging hairs out of his nostrils. They resemble eyelashes, those hairs, but you can tell they grew up in a more sordid and unwholesome environment than an eyelid, namely the one that's up the actor's nose, and the one that's up your nose, too.
The actor's eyes are watering as he pulls at hairs. Someone is trying to give him directions about his role as an elderly gold prospector out on the american prairie. He has gotten four hairs out of his nose and lined them up on the palm of his hand. When he looks down on them, he feels like a buzzard flying over the american prairie, and what he is looking down on is really a scene. And the hairs feel like four cowboys out on the american prairie being looked down upon by a buzzard. No, they are bandits, not cowboys, because cowboys would be eyelashes from an eyelid, not hairs from a nostril. The actor goes back into his nostril for more bandits and his eyes well up with tears.
All the words of direction are coming at him in a busy shower, but few of them make it through because he is tugging hairs from his nostrils and not only can this spark your imagination in a distracting way, it will necessarily always create a kind of forcefield of sensation through which detailed instructions cannot easily pass. Incidentally, the person giving the directions is not the director, he is a man on an errand from the director, passing on what the director told him practically verbatim.
But what all this amounts to is that the man playing the elderly gold prospector out on the American prairie hasn't assimilated the important instructions given to him from, but not by, the director of the cowboy film, which is what this production aims to be.
'Do you understand?' Asks the man on an errand.
'Yes, I understand, I understand, I understand.' replies the actor, but a dark shadow passes across his face and he feels like he just met the eyes of Dracula. And also unprofessional.
'Good, you're on in 30 minutes.'
'Good, good, good.'
On one of the walls there is a large matte painting of a American prairie. The actor gazes out across the American prairie, even though it's an illusion and his eyes are focused on a spot roughly 12ft away from the tip of his nose. He gazes out across the illusion of an American prairie, not thinking about how to circumvent the awkward situation coming his way. Strangely that hadn't occurred to him. He is resigned to its certainty like we are resigned to the certainty of a bad memory. And he even takes a bit of pleasure from the feeling, like we can take a bit of pleasure from certain varieties of toothache.
William Shattner is playing the role of lead cowboy. William Shatner introduces himself to the actor made up to look like a gold prospector out on the American prairie. They have a scene together.
'Hello, I am William Shatner,' says William Shatner. He knows everyone knows who he is because he was in star trek, but he is being polite. The two shake hands and some of the nose hairs are transferred onto William Shatner's palm. He doesn't notice them, and later they fall off.
And now for a review of the song: it's dead good. Obviously.