The Casual Reporter: November 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

WWS Hats Summoned Using Shaman Magic

Each guest at Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show receives a free cowboy hat, roughly 10 million so far, each one created by a member of the Wild West Show staff using a shamanic technique practiced by aboriginal tribes for centuries but virtually unknown in modern society until now. The video below contains never-before-seen footage of this extremely rare and delicate art form, called "summoning," which involves channeling the natural forces of the universe. With hundreds of hats to summon nightly, the process is virtually never-ending. This video was shot following a recent informal dinner engagement with friends.

Trent Hauls a Washing Machine

Pickup trucks are relatively rare in France and when I first arrived every time I saw one I pined for the truck I'd sold before moving here. I'd say to my wife something like, "Wow, look at that pickup. We should get one. They're so practical, like if you need to haul a washing machine or something." My wife would smile sympathetically and we'd go on our way.

When we were shopping for a vehicle and came across a van for sale I'd always make a similar comment. "That'd be good," I'd say. "It'd be great if we ever needed to haul a washing machine or something." This went on for years, me seeing a van or pickup or truck and absentmindedly making the comment, "That'd be great if we needed to haul a washing machine or something."

Finally, after one such comment, my wife said "What is it with you and washing machines? How often do you need to haul a washing machine? Is that what you do in Wyoming for fun, haul washing machines?" We laughed, but she had a point.
A few days later I was talking to Kevin about the PT Cruiser he'd just bought. He was proud he'd gotten it for 3,000 Euros less than the sticker and it was comfortable, had a nice stereo, etc. Then he opened up the hatch back to show me the inside and said, "This is what I really like. The back opens up and you can push the seats forward. It's big enough you could haul a washing machine in it."

What is it with the washing machine? Check this out:

The Porsche Cayenne is the sportiest, best-performing SUV, a high-performance machine that will fit a family of five, haul a small washing machine, tow a large boat and get you through the woods when there's no road.
A Porsche? Who the hell owns a Porsche and needs to haul a washing machine? Through the woods, when there's no road? Who would haul one in a Porsche even if they could? How did we men get into our heads that we all need to be able to haul washing machines? Perhaps it's a symbol of virility: being able to haul a washing machine is like being able to satisfy a woman. Size does matter.

In any case, I was very pleased a few years ago when we bought an Opel Zafira, a family minivan-type car that can seat seven but can also quickly convert into a large cargo space. Yesterday when I pulled up to the Indesit Factory Outlet store to buy a new washing machine I knew my moment had arrived. We selected our unit and waited for the guy to dolly it out to the car, then I opened up the back door. The Indesit man and I lifted the corner of the machine up to the bumper. As we tipped the machine upwards, he said of the opening to my car, "I'm not sure it's going to be tall enough." I smiled, confident, as we easily slid the washing machine into the car. I said, "Now THAT's a good car." He chuckled and smiled knowingly as if to say, "Indeed, my good friend, indeed. That IS a good car."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Kave Wins Golf Tournament

(image borrowed from the Bestpar Blog)

Last Sunday it snowed for the first time this season in Marne la Vallee, France the home of Disneyland Paris Resort, but this didn't stop the golfers participating in the annual Beaujolais tournament. According to Kave, a Native American from the Crow tribe in southern Montana who plays Sitting Bull in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (La Legende de Buffalo Bill) Disney Village, Disneyland Paris Resort, the golfers started playing in cold rain. Although the tournament organizers shortened the tournament to just 9 holes in light of the poor weather, the golfers didn't escape the snow as small snowflakes started spiraling to the ground during the final hole. By the time golfers were in the clubhouse enjoying the fine feast that also marks the tournament, the snowflakes had grown considerably in size and number.

But the real news is that Kave won the tournament! Kave, a Crow Indian, is proud to have learned golfing purely by playing it and watching others play. He's never taken a lesson and doesn't use the driving range. Yet during the Beaujolais tournament he competed against two golf-pros and a number of other golf veterans and won! Kave jokes that he's not a professional, he's a Crow-fessional. He won a piece of baggage that, he says, will be perfect for his upcoming short trip to Oregon in the United States to visit the grandfather he's never met.

Wild West Show Offers Meal/Seat Upgrades!

In efforts to control costs over the years, general managers of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (La Legende de Buffalo Bill), a dinner spectacle that plays nightly in Disney Village, Disneyland Paris France, have fiddled considerably with the menu. The result at times has been that the meal is often noted by guests as the least favorable element of the Wild West Show experience.

Until now.

The newest management team has divided the seating into a two-tiered system of VIP and regular seating. The Disneyland Paris website now contains this information:


Relive the action and adventures of the "Old West" in 1st category seating:

- Privileged seating with the best view
- A non-alcoholic welcome cocktail
- A special Barbecue Texan Skillet*

In addition to the menu:
Nachos & sauces and sweet treats with your tea or coffee*

*for adults only.


1st category seating:
Adult rate - public rate: £50**
Children's rate - public rate: £40**

2nd category seating:
Adult rate - public rate: £42**
Children's rate - public rate: £32**

At least one cast member has stated that the added 12 Euros is a good value, so if the quality of menu has been a concern of yours, you now have the option of enjoying the food almost as much as the amazing, thrilling, sometimes hilarious, often soul-stirring performances of the incredibly talented Wild West Show cast. See you soon!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cowboy Finishes Ride from USA to Jerusalem

Couy Griffin, ex-Cowboy in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (La Legende de Buffalo Bill) Disney Village, Disneyland Paris Resort France, has spent the last several months traveling horseback (as much as possible) from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to the Gates of Jerusalem in a quest to glorify the name of Jesus. The video below shows the culmination of this rather incredible journey.

Last week I overheard someone saying they'd seen Couy in Paris, apparently on his way back to Ireland and the United States.

Happy Thanksgiving from Wild West Show Cast Members

This video is of some of the Americans and their French colleagues who work at Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (La Legende de Buffalo Bill) Disney Village, Disneyland Resort Paris France, sharing their thoughts about Thanksgiving. The first part of the video was taped in and around Plymouth and Plimoth Planatation in Massachusetts during a family holiday there last summmer.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ex-Buffalo Bill Steve Rally Interviewed on KTLA

Steve Rally, Playgirl's "Man of the Year, Man of the Decade and Man of the Millenium", star of Playgirl's workout video "Hunkersize" and ex-"Buffalo Bill" in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (La Legende de Buffalo Bill), Disney Village, Disneyland Paris Resort, FRANCE, recently gave an interview on Hollywood's KTLA morning news as "Sebastian the Black," the character he plays in Pirates Dinner Adventure in Buena Vista, CA. He is every bit as magnificent a pirate in the interview as he is a hunk in "Hunkersize" giving me hope that I, too, can have an illustrious career beyond Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show if ever my Buffalo Bill gig peters out. Steve is truly shameless and for that I have the warmest affection for him. Go Steve!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Armistice Day 2008 - A Video Remembrance by Trent Vance

About a half hour from my home here in France lies an area where several fierce and bloody WWI battles were fought. To commemmorate Armistice Day, I took my family to see one of the battlegrounds and two American monuments. This is a video from that trip.

At the cemetery, church bells toll to mark the hour, then a series of tunes from the WWI era are played. Walking among the graves and listening to the tones of the bells bending and mixing with the breeze, playing tunes that these soldiers would have listened to, is eerie, haunting, yet comforting. These men are well-honored.

All sound and video was recorded with a consumer-level Digital 8 camera with no special equipment and no rehearsal.

The Pinkie Chronicles: Pinkie Gets Whipped

As I made my way towards the corrider backstage for my second entrance tonight I heard the unmistakable sounds of sophomoric male rough-housing: someone groaning in pain and someone else laughing and ooooh-ing in sympathy. The pain was from Pinkie. What was he up to now?

A few more steps forward into the corridor and there he was, moaning yet laughing as he grasped his right forearm in agony intense enough he couldn't speak. Brock looked on from a couple feet away, chuckling at some spectacle he'd clearly just witnessed.

I looked further up the corridor and saw Brannon, our newest cowboy, a quiet, respectful, young man, a talented roper, and an excellent horseman, standing there with a big grin and holding the handle end of a 6 foot bullwhip. Brannon cracked the whip. I filled in the "what" from there and decided the "why" didn't really matter - it's just Pinkie.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Will Obama be Good or Bad for the United States?

With Obama elected I'm curious what you think: Will Obama be good or bad for the United States? Log on to The Casual Reporter to vote (anonymously). You can also leave a comment below, either anonymously or authored, and don't forget you can subscribe to Casual Reporter Posts and/or Comments, all from The Casual Reporter blog.

Annie Oakley Sick, Principles Improvise

Last night the actress playing Annie Oakley fell ill before the show and was not able to do the entire show. Remarkably, and this is testimony to her toughness, she somehow managed to get through her two main scenes without incident, but the male principles - Buffalo Bill, Sitting Bull, and Auguste Durand-Rouel, were challenged with improvising on the judges stand in her absence. While we were all concerned for her well-being, the improvisational challenge made for a welcome break from routine. The Annie Oakley actress will likely be back in full-form very soon.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Super-Dave Thrills Guests with 1-man Rodeo

French cowboy "Super-Dave (David) Trucker" earned his pay last week when his horse Shadow bucked her way around the arena at Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Disney Village, Disneyland Paris Resort, France. The unplanned spectacle started when the Cowboys were "escorting Annie Oakley out of the arena" and the Gold Star banner somehow landed square in the middle of the Stage Left exit. Sphincters tightened, leather was grabbed, and banners were dropped as horses skidding and lurched. In the end it was just me on my horse Paco, who was getting pretty nervous at this point, and Super-Dave on Shadow, the French Flag Banner somehow wrapped around her legs and flanks.

Shadow bucked, hopped, and lurched clockwise around the arena trying to shake off the banner. The harder she bucked, the more and tighter the banner wrapped around her, and the harder she bucked. Super-Dave, terror etched in his face, did well staying on for several seconds but in the corner of the Green Mountain ranch he came off and hit the ground, wrenching his neck slightly as his head bumped against the wood at the base of the arena. Despite the fall, David held on to Shadow's reins for another second but she quickly broke away and bucked upstage.

Paco didn't like this spectacle at all. His neck strained against his tie-down, his ears pricked forward, and his nostrils flaired as he snorting like a tuba-player and danced like a bladder-engorged child.

As Shadow bolted for the exit, French intermittent Benjamin stood tall in the opening, arms stretched, intending to stop Shadow and catch her. A few arm-waves later it must have dawned on Benjamin that he was about to become a human bowling pin and he leaped out of sight just in time to miss her bewildered stampede off stage.

Super-Dave Trucker walked off mostly unscathed to a big round of applause.

And the show, as it always does, went on..