At six in the afternoon a crowd gathers at one corner of the town square to watch the “shootout.” Actors from one of the town’s playhouses show up in their western gear to present a cheezy melodramatic gunfight while promoting their production for the evening—usually Oklahoma! or, as in this case, Annie Get Your Gun.
This guy, the sarsaparilla salesman, started the event off by scaring everybody out of their shorts with a blast from his shotgun.
He told the crowd how his sarsaparilla
could cure all ills and promote good health.
A “customer” in full cowboy gear stepped up to endorse the product. Claiming he could hardly walk until he drank sarsaparilla, and now he could dance.
Several other characters arrived and took the salesman to task because the sarsaparilla didn't make them become taller or help their hair grow long and lovely as claimed.
This guy said most of his hair fell out after trying the drink and took off his hat to prove it.
There was then much shouting.
Guns blazed and smoke filled the air.
While the crowd watched and held their ears
the cowboys went down in all manner of agony and glory.
Soon no one in the street was left standing except the lady in the fancy dress and the bar maid. Fancy Lady encouraged one and all to show up later to see their play at the theater.