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Dust Bowl – Chapter 1

Posted in erbooker by erbooker on 12/30/2013

dustbowl

The great Dust Bowl of the 1930’s strikes and Oklahoman Woody Loggins and his Mexican friend Pepe pack up shop and head West.

Chapter 1 – Dust Storm Disaster

Farmer:  Hoover’s a good man and a good President.

(An old Midwest farmer is sitting on the front porch, pouring dust out of his boot. Two other younger farmers look on as a steady stream of dust spills out of the boot onto a growing dust pile and through the wooden porch slats below for nearly four minutes…)

Farmer:  Now lemme explain to y’all why this whole “Dust Bowl” hullabaloo is a load of hooey and liberal propaganda…

~~~

(Woody Loggins looks out at his once-proud Oklahoma farm and sighs at what is now a field of dust; tractors and fences buried, emaciated cows wandering aimlessly…)

Woody:  It’s all gone, Pepe.

Pepe:  Yes, Mr. Loggins.

Woody:  You got the jalopy packed up? We should probably hit the road if we wanna make a good start by sundown.

Pepe:  Yes, Mr. Loggins.

Woody:  You know, you can just call me ‘Woody’ now. I’m not a landowner anymore. I’m just a lowly day laborer like yourself.

Pepe:  Yes, Mr. Loggins.

Woody:  (sighs)

~~~

(In the White House, President Herbert Hoover is meeting with his Chief of Staff, Reginald Thorngood. Hoover slams a large-type newspaper down on the desk…)

Hoover:  This Roosevelt Jew is makin’ me look like a real piece of shit.

Thorngood:  I don’t think he’s Jewish, sir.

Hoover:  Oh, they’re all Jews.

Thorngood:  Have you thought anymore about sending relief to those in the Midwest affected by the Dust Bowl, sir?

Hoover:  The farmers? What do those Jews want?

Thorngood:  Food, sir. Water. Basic necessities.

Hoover:  Let them eat cake.

Thorngood:  Are you…serious, sir?

Hoover:  No, I’m not serious. Get the hell outta here! And bring me a slice of cake while you’re at it.

Thorngood:  Yes, sir.

~~~

(Pepe steers Woody’s jalopy into town one last time, as Woody stares listlessly out the passenger’s side at the shutdown stores on Main Street. Pepe parks Woody’s jalopy outside Okafunkskee Country Store. Woody’s childhood crush, Diana, a young green-eyed blonde, is behind the counter; her father, the owner of the shop…)

Woody:  Hey, Di. Just stoppin’ by to let you know we’re headin’ out.

Diana:  Just like that, huh?

Woody:  Ain’t nothin’ left for us here, Di. Pepe and I are gonna head West, look for work out there.

Diana:  Woodrow, do you think someone in your…condition should be making such a drastic life decision?

Woody:  I’m fine.

Diana:  Woody, you know that disease runs in your family. You might not be in your right mind right now.

Woody:  (grins)  So you wanna come out west with us? Take care of me?

Diana:  You know I can’t leave Papa.

Woody:  Fine! I didn’t want you to come anyway!

Diana:  Woody.

(Woody slams the shop door before quickly re-entering, head hanging low…)

Woody:  We just need a few supplies before we leave.

~~~

(Across Main Street, a statuesque brunette is bemusedly watching Woody and Pepe bicker with each other while they load Woody’s jalopy with supplies…)

Max:  Rose, are you gonna help me pack or are you just gonna stand there?

(Rose turns to find her short fiancee Max Eisenberg struggling to push a large suitcase into the back of his Ford, as he finishes packing up his law offices…)

Rose:  Yes, dear.

(Rose pushes the suitcase into the trunk and Max leans against the brand-new Ford, mopping his brow…)

Max:  California, Rose. We’re on our way.

Rose:  Yes, dear.

Max:  Palm trees and millionaire movie producers in search of a good lawyer.

Rose:  Yes, dear.

Max:  Our future lies to the West.

(Rose watches Woody’s jalopy sputter away, Pepe and Woody in the front seat laughing, heading West…)

Rose:  I hope so.

~~~

(A few miles down the road heading towards No Man’s Land, Woody’s old jalopy has broken down…)

Woody:  (kicks a tire)  Stupid pile of crap!

Pepe:  (checks his cellphone)  No service.

Woody:  Well, not on that Mexican burner piece of trash.

Pepe:  What do we do now, Mr. Loggins?

Woody:  Well, we sure as hell can’t walk to California.

Pepe:  I’m not going to carry you again, Mr. Loggins.

(A truck comes rumbling down the dirt road, leaving a cloud of dust in its wake. It pulls up next to the weary travelers, the back of the truck filled with Mexican families. A father in a straw hat nods at Pepe…)

Miguel:  Ola.

Pepe:  Ola.

Woody:  Ho-la.

Miguel:  You need a ride?

Pepe:  Si.

Woody:  (whispers)  What’d he say?

Pepe:  He’s speaking English, Mr. Loggins.

Miguel:  We don’t have room for your stuff; but you’re welcome to join us, señors. We are going to California.

Pepe:  Yes, thank you.

Woody:  B-but all my stuff.

Pepe:  Stuff is just stuff, Mr. Loggins. We can get new stuff in California.

(Pepe and Woody pile into the back of the truck and it continues down the road, Woody staring back at his broken-down jalopy, his last life’s belonging. The Mexican families all begin singing a song…)

Mexicans:Esta tierra es tu tierra/Esta tierra es mi tierra…

~~~

Send all hate mail to ethanrbooker@gmail.com

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