Actors (including disgusting feathered animals) recall their roles in old-time westerns.
FROM THE CHAPTER ENTITLED:
“What I remember most is the heat. It’s hot? There’s the smell of death in the air? That’s our cue.
“‘Bring on the vultures.’”
“We had three moves, that’s it. We could hover in a tree – which is generally a one vulture thing – gather on the ground – that’s a group; one vulture can’t gather – or we could circle in the sky – which could be solo or in a group, depending on the budget. Vultures don’t come cheap. They ‘lowball’ ya, you can peck their eyes out.”
“There was this ‘special business’ bit they’d give us sometimes, where we’d spread our wings real wide and go ‘caw.’ Vultures don’t go ‘caw’ – that’s crows – but they liked the sound, so they dubbed it in later.”
“Circling was the worst. Nine or ten ‘takes’, circling round and round, a vulture can get pretty queasy, lemme tell ya. Why would they need nine or ten ‘takes’? Prima donna directors, thought they could get more out of us. ‘Could they have, maybe, a glint in their eyes?’ No. We just circle.”
It’s not well known, but we vultures have a pretty good sense of humor. It’s subtle. Kind of dry. What do we do that’s funny? Well, if you watch closely, you’ll see us circling in one direction, and when they cut back to us, we’re circling the other way. Once, as a goof, instead of circling, I did ‘Figure Eight’s.’ I didn’t work for a year.”
“By the way, that’s what distinguishes vultures from buzzards. Buzzards aren’t funny.”
“My biggest pet peeve? I’ve always resented the word ‘carrion.’ It’s just dead animals. Isn’t that what you eat?”