Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Legend of Pecos Bill

Robot vs Dinosaur did a flurry of writing for The Greatest Stories Never Told. I was lucky to get one of my pieces in retelling the tall tale of Pecos Bill. I actually wrote two or three years ago for a Teatro Bastardo project. It's quite an undertaking and not an easy fit for a typical sketch revue. It worked just fine in TGSNT, though. I had fun researching it. I knew the Disney version of Pecos Bill, but didn't know about his tendency towards drinking whiskey and nails or that he shot his gal pal - for her own good, of course. Enjoy.

The Legend of Pecos Bill
Written by Joe Janes
third draft

CAST

Young Whizzle
Dirk /Widowmaker
Jaspar /Catfish
Durango/Moon
Pecos Bill
Slue-foot Sue


(Lights up on cowboys around a campfire. Young Whizzle tools around with a harmonica.)

DIRK
Good riding today, boys. But we’re going to have to get up early if we’re going to get the cattle to Denver on time.

JASPAR
We still have to go through tornado alley, Dirk.

DURANGO
Too bad Pecos Bill ain’t here, Jasper. He’d grab a twister by the tail and whip it over to Tulsa.

JASPAR
Who in tarnation is Pecos Bill, Durango?

YOUNG WHIZZLE
He’s the dirtiest rat ever rode the range. He stole my gal and then he shot her.

DURANGO
Come on, Young Whizzle. Pecos Bill would never do that.

YOUNG WHIZZLE
Be careful of falling in love, boys. Trying to tame a woman’s heart is like trying to break a wild horse.


DIRK
It just ends up breaking another part of your anatomy.


YOUNG WHIZZLE
Have another cup of cowboy juice and let me tell you about it. You all remember about five years back, I was dating a little philly from up north. I was woo-ing her from afar. Her name was Sue. Slue-foot Sue.

DURANGO
Sure. I heard of her. She and Pecos Bill -

JASPAR
Why’d they call her Slue Foot?

DURANGO
Cuz her feet were slue-like. Idiot.

YOUNG WHIZZLE
You girlies want to talk pee-dahl deformities, or hear my story of pain and woe?

DURANGO AND JASPAR
Pain and woe.


YOUNG WHIZZLE
Well, I finally talked Sue into coming to marrying me. Only, she didn’t have no horse, so, she found herself a catfish as big as a whale and rode it down the Mississipp. That’s where those feet of slue come in handy.

JASPAR
That don’t seem very practical. Trains and stagecoaches are fairly reliable.

YOUNG WHIZZLE
She never made it. She stopped to water her catfish, and who do you think she runs into…?

(Lights up on Pecos Bill and his horse, Widowmaker eyeing Slue-foot Sue.)

PECOS
Well, well, well. Lookie here, Widowmaker. We got us a little girlie what likes to ride catfish.

SLUE
Who the hell might you be?

PECOS
Maam, I be Pecos Bill. This here’s my ride, Widowmaker.


SLUE
Why do they call him Widowmaker?

PECOS
Oh, you know, some names just stick. (He and Widowmaker have a good laugh over this.)

SLUE
I bet I could ride him.

PECOS
He’d throw you so high we’d have to scrape that pretty little face of yours off the moon.

SLUE
I’ve been straddling a 300 pound slippery catfish between my legs for three days, I think I can handle your Widowmaker.

PECOS
Your prowess with a bottom feeder is impressive. Would you like to sip from my canteen? (He hands it to her. She sips.)

SLUE
My favorite. (She shakes it – it sounds like there’s pieces of metal inside.)

PECOS AND SLUE
Whiskey and nails.

(They sigh and look at one another.)

YOUNG WHIZZLE
Needless to say, they fell in love. Slue done forgot all about me. The catfish married them in a civil ceremony.

(Lights up on Catfish marrying Slue and Pecos with Widowmaker standing in as the best man.)

CATFISH
I now pronounce you cowboy and cowgirl. You may now commence to whoopin’ it up.

(Slue and Pecos and Widowmaker all start shooting their guns and commence to “whoopping.”)

YOUNG WHIZZLE
They whooped it up for weeks. Then one morning…

(Lights up on Slue, Pecos, Widowmaker and the Catfish all in bed.)

SLUE
Pecos, darlin’, it’s a pretty morning out.

PECOS
Uh-hunh.

SLUE
Nice morning to go for a ride.

PECOS
Uh-hunh.

SLUE
On a horse.

PECOS

I don’t know, Sue…

SLUE
You love that horse more than me.

PECOS
I’ve known him longer, but if it means that much to you…

SLUE
Yeah! Thank you, Bill! C’mon Widowmaker, we’re going for a ride!

(Sue leads Widowmaker behind a "hill" on stage.)

YOUNG WHIZZLE
Needless to say, it wasn’t a very good idear. Widowmaker was named Widowmaker for a reason. If anyone but Bill hopped on his back, he’d clench up. He’d become like a tightly wound spring ready to snap.



PECOS
Be careful up there, Sue. Ride him easy. Don’t use your spurs.


SLUE
Yee-haw!!! (Her elongated “yee-haw” fades off)

PECOS
Oh, no! Sue! Sue!

(Widow-maker runs back on stage and joins Pecos. They watch Slue - a small doll version - pop up behind the mountain and hit the moon and return to earth and bounce.)

PECOS (cont’d)
She’s bouncing too high, she hit her head on the moon.

MOON (whenever hit by Slue)
Ow…Ow…Ow…Ow…Ow…Ow…

SLUE (off)
Help me, Pecos Bill!

PECOS
She’s just going to keep bouncing. If I don’t do something, she’ll be up there forever. She’ll starve to death.

YOUNG WHIZZLE
So, to prevent Sue from starving to death, Pecos Bill thought it best to just shoot her.

JASPAR
That don’t seem very practical.

PECOS (taking aim)
Don’t worry, Slue. I’ll take care of you.

SLUE
Thank, God, Bill. I think there’s some rope- (he shoots) Ow!

YOUNG WHIZZLE
Now, Pecos Bill may be the greatest cowboy ever when it comes to ropin’ and herdin’ and tangling with twisters, but he was a lousy shot.

(Bill takes more shots at Slue and we hear her, and the moon, saying “Ow!” Widowmaker and Catfish join in trying to shoot her.)

YOUNG WHIZZLE (cont’d)
Eventually, one of them got lucky and Sue drew her last breath.

SLUE
…Ow…I love you, Pecos Bill.

JASPAR
The last thing she says is “I love you” to a guy who shot her for bouncing?

DURANGO
Women.

DIRK
Go figure.

YOUNG WHIZZLE
So, that’s why I think Pecos Bill is a lousy rat. He stole my gal from me and then he killed her. If I ever cross paths with him, well, it ain’t gonna end up purty.

(We hear a fierce wind. A twister hits the camp and the cowboys all start spinning around. It suddenly stops.)

DIRK
What in tarnation was that?

JASPAR
We got hit by a twister, but then it just, left.

DURANGO
Pecos Bill! He must have grabbed it by it’s tail and throwed it across the state. He saved our lives.

SLUE (enters)
It weren’t no Pecos Bill.

YOUNG WHIZZLE
Sue! I thought you were dead. I thought Pecos Bill shot you.


SLUE
He did, but he’s a lousy shot. It didn’t kill me. A twister came through a few days later and knocked me back to the ground. Since then, I learnt to tame them.


JASPAR
You saved our lives.

SLUE
I reckon I did.


DURANGO
How can we repay you?


YOUNG WHIZZLE
I sure wouldn’t mind picking up where we left off, Sue.

SLUE
You can repay me by telling me where I can find Pecos Bill.

JASPAR
Ah, revenge!

SLUE
No, I still love him. I miss him horribly. I hope he’ll forgive me for making him shoot me.

(Dirk shoots her.)

DIRK
Women.

Lights out.




THE BS NEWS QUIZ OF THE DAY

Yesterday, I asked...

"According to Rev. Jose Funes, the Vatican says it's okay to believe in what?"


Nobody went for the answers "The Devil," "Mormans" or "Santa Claus"
100% got it right with "Extra-Terrestials"

According to The Associated Press, the Vatican's chief astronomer says that believing in aliens does not contradict faith in God.

The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, says that the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones.

Funes says that such a notion "doesn't contradict our faith" because aliens would still be God's creatures.

And being God's creatures that also means we get to eat them.




(Entitled Salad, this painting by Till Nowak was in the art exhibit side of Emerging Technologies.)

2 comments:

ChicNotGeek said...

Given the opportunity, Catholics will evangelize the universe and will finally find Jesus on Mars. Amen to that.

Anonymous said...

This playlette is an absolute piece of shit. No wonder I've never heard of it. Yawn...