Speaking of days, mine was spent hunched over the laptop (Ah! An idea for a new Randy Moods song: The Laptop from Laramie…) after brainstorming with Felix over what Randy Moods, my musically comedic country alter-ego, would wear on stage. A fringed leather jacket and a gorgeous cowgirl hat was where we agreed she would start. It sounded so simple – as indeed it must have been for the real Calamity Jane, in the days when you made your clothes out of a buck you’d just skinned. But in the end, simple it most definitely was not.
On top of the fringe-in-the-guitar-strings problem and the clash-of-colours dilemma, there was the fact, as I soon realised, that shipping authentic stuff over from the States would cost more than the National Debt, especially once import VAT, customs duty and the mysteriously vague ‘handling charge’ were slapped on at this end.
The result was a call to a line-dancing supplier in Dudley, West Midlands… I know, I know… but at least there was a West in the location… By the time I called them I could bandy cowboy hat names around like I had a PhD in the subject. But it turned out that they’d been stitched up by some bad-guy supplier – the one in the black hat – and no longer, it seemed, had anything to sell but really crap headgear. And that simply isn’t where Randy Moods is at.
I was on the point of giving up, but took one more look on eBay – and there, suddenly, inexplicably, all the way from the li’l town of Katy, Texas, was my hat, the one Randy would feel reeeeal comfortable wearin’ on stage, and at a dirt-cheap price! So without further ado, I snapped her up.
As for the fringed jacket, I fell in love with a chamois-coloured number made by Scully – as you must surely know, one of the premier cowgirl jacket manufacturers ‑ and duly convinced myself that a tassel or two entwined in the guitar strings could be good for the comedy. Very pricey it was, though – until, after scouring the Net for so long that my shoulder seized up, I came across a site selling that very jacket, in my size, at HALF PRICE, with only three left… So another snap purchase was made, and Randy Moods is now kitted out for her summer gigs!
So all is well… apart from the shoulder, that’s still seized up. Still, I reckon Calamity must’ve suffered a seized-up shoulder or two in her time as well. Yep, guns and laptops, they have a whole lot in common ‑ as much as – well, as much as me and the gal from Deadwood!