Things I Have Learnt From Westerns...

Indians always wait until after the wagon has passed before attacking.

A decade of alcoholism can be cured in three days by black coffee and buckets of cold water: the cure is complete when the patient starts to shave again.

The term sixshooter is more of a guideline

Ooh, sounds like fun! I wanna play!

Every woman in the Old Westtm was either a prostitute or a schoolteacher.

Even if all you have to haul stuff in is a saddlebag you can still have enough pots and pans and foodstuffs to make biscuits and coffee and still get a raincoat and heavy coat in there, too. Not to mention several nice shirts with lots of fringe and doodads on them.

If you’re on a cattle drive you can have steaks every night and not have to bother with cow guts and all those extra meat products littering up your campsite.

It’s best to sleep on your blanket and cover yourself with your hat. And there are no critters like spiders and snakes and ants and other things to crawl around on you as you sleep under the stars and don’t even get moist from dew.

It predates westerns: Mark Twain noted the trope in James Fenimore Cooper’s “Pathfinder” books.

When you turn on any TV in a 50s-60s TV show, it will always be a western, and always a scene where the Indians are attacking. You won’t see them, but you can hear theme.

In times of great peril, a frontier female settler can, when firing a rifle into the air with her eyes closed, kill an Indian on a fast horse 500 yards away.

That was a running joke on Green Acres–Arnold the Pig was always watching (what sounded like) the same indian attack.

Indian agents and scouts spoke fluent Apache (or Lakota, etc.) but the Indians managed only broken English.

Nobody ever had to go to the bathroom while on a cattle drive. They held it until they got to Wichita.

Playing the guitar around a campfire always brings an Indian attack, and the guitar player is always the first to get an arrow in the chest.

An amazing number of Indians were Jewish, by the look of them.

The Old West consisted mostly of Monument Valley and environs.

And a fair percentage of them had been vaccinated against small pox.

Your thread title is wrong: should be,** "Things I have learnt from bad * westerns."*

Just like everything else, 99% of westerns are crap, which makes that 1% of masterpieces that have nothing to do with the generaliztions in thes thread that much greater.

Furniture, particularly in saloons, was invariably made of balsa, and a chair would fragment as soon as anyone was hit by one - usually from behind. As a result, being hit from over the head from behind by a chair never resulted in brain injury or death, but merely served as notice that the fight was heating up.

That when bullets strike anything from stone to wood, they make the same peeeyowww ricochet noise.

That handrails (especially those on 2nd floors or above) were so weakly constructed that any pressure would cause them to break, sending many a hapless gunman to his demise. Of course, this pressure was almost always caused by said gunmen falling onto them after being shot, but hey, that was just the way of the west.

Even if a town doesn’t have a grocery store, it will have a saloon. The saloon will have a piano and a large painting of a woman lying on a bearskin rug.

Nobody actually lives in town but at least 20 miles out on a ranch. But if you need to visit someone on the ranch you can get there on horseback in just a few minutes. But it rarely requires visiting anyone on their ranch, since everybody is in town at the saloon, usually playing cards and drinking. Nobody works.

Every doctor is a veterinarian and a dentist and is at least 60 years old and carries all his instruments in a little black bag, along with every medicine know to science of the day. Oh, and lots of bandages.

Actually, that was pretty much the priority in a lot of western towns :slight_smile:

My entry: a gang of four or five gunmen could terrorize an entire town, and only a single brave lawman could stand up to them.

Every saloon and hotel had a spunky prostitute with a heart of gold. Her entire business consisted of rejecting the advances of lawmen, rustlers and newcomers.

All fatal bullet wounds are bloodless. All non-fatal shoulder wounds bleed, but there is never any loss of shoulder function.

The 19th Century had superior soap technology to our own: a tin bath which had to be hand filled from a kettle nevertheless always had enough foam to cover a cowboy’s modesty, and a “soiled dove” surprised in her room was always in suds up to her neck.

Drunks come in several varieties. If a drunk is whiskery, he’s funny; if he’s merely unshaven, he’s either tragic {and in line for redemption, probably through the good offices of a soapy bar girl with a heart of gold. Or an unsoapy schoolteacher} or a cattle baron’s henchman looking for trouble.

The Santa Fe Trail is apparently somewhere near Harper’s Ferry.

If an Indian shoots you with an arrow, if you break its shaft off close to the skin you can pretty much recover from its effect until you have time to dig the arrowhead out. (Kinda makes you wonder how bullets are so deadly without a shaft.)