Dust Bowl – Chapter 8
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 8 – Blowin’ Down The Road
(Rose Nightengale is teaching English to the children of Chinese immigrants at Chinatown Elementary School when Principal Chang pulls her aside…)
Chang: Ms. Nightengale, we have an exciting treat for the schoolchildren today. Senator Roosevelt of New York will be stopping by with a small group of reporters to speak with the kids about his Presidential campaign.
Rose: Oh, that should be fun.
Chang: Also, there is a disheveled man in the hallway who says he must speak with you.
(Rose peeks into the hallway to find a wild-eyed Woody Loggins jerking his head around erratically…)
Chang: Please remove this man from the premises before the Senator arrives.
Rose: It’s alright, Principal Chang. I’ll take care of this.
(The principal leaves and Woody leaps into the classroom, slamming the door behind him…)
Rose: Woody, what are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be in the oil fields with Pepe?
Woody: They’re out there. They’re trying to get me.
Woody: The cannibal tribe of Mushu Island.
(Woody grabs a chubby Chinese boy and shakes him in his seat…)
Woody: They’re going to eat me!
(The schoolchildren laugh as Woody covers his ears. Rose grabs him by the shoulders…)
Rose: Woody, is this one of your episodes? Is this the Huntington’s talking?
Woody: I dunno. I dunno. I don’t want them to eat me.
Rose: Relax, nobody’s going to eat you. Just take a seat here at my desk. (turns to the class) Kids, everything’s fine. I’m going to go get a cold washcloth for Mr. Loggins’ head.
(A petite Chinese girl in the back raises her hand…)
Rose: Yes, Chi?
Chi: Ms. Nightengale, is Mr. Loggins crazy?
Woody: (shoots up out of seat) I’m not crazy! You’re crazy!
Rose: (hisses at Woody) Woody, sit down. You’re yelling at a child. (to Chi) Mr. Loggins is just being silly. Everything’s fine, kids.
(Rose turns to head for the washroom as a large group of security and media file into the classroom, followed by FDR wheeling himself in…)
Roosevelt: Howdy, kids! Who wants to have a chat with the future President of the United States of America!
Woody: (eyes narrow) The Mushu tribe.
(Rose is standing between a flop-sweating nervous Woody and FDR wheeling up and down the front of the classroom…)
Roosevelt: How many of you kids have heard of the Dust Bowl?
(A number of children raise their hands as Woody grips Rose’s wrist…)
Woody: He knows.
(The door bursts open again and flashbulbs go off as President Herbert Hoover and his Chief of Staff Reginald Thorngood enter…)
Hoover: The Dust Bowl is nothing but more liberal mumbo-jumbo!
Roosevelt: (swivels in wheelchair) Well, if it isn’t President Hoover.
Hoover: Well Franklin, I saw you whoring yourself to the liberal lame-stream media again, so I thought I’d set a few things straight.
Thorngood: (whispering in Hoover’s ear) Don’t say ‘whoring’ in front of small children, sir.
Hoover: (counting on fingers) #1: The Dust Bowl is nothing but a load of liberal hooey created by New York wealthy left-wing elite interests who have it out for Big Oil and Big Coal. #2: Franklin’s so-called “New Deal” is nothing but old baloney. And #3: Polio is not that big a deal.
(The children and media gasp as Thorngood claps a hand over his mouth. FDR glares up at Hoover from his wheelchair and the President begins to back-pedal…)
Hoover: Uh, I mean polio isn’t that big a deal compared to what I have.
Reporter: What do you have, Mr. President?
Hoover: I’ve got……cancer………of the brain. Yup, I’ve got full-blown brain cancer. Way more serious than a measly case of polio.
(Thorngood’s face goes white…)
Roosevelt: (skeptical) But Mr. President, won’t that affect your cognitive ability as a world leader?
Hoover: Well, it’s not that bad.
(The assembled press frown and exchange glances…)
Hoover: But still way worse than polio. Yup. The big c-word.
(The media remain silent while FDR awkwardly turns his wheels…)
Roosevelt: Well…that’s certainly something the voters will have to take under consideration.
Hoover: Yup, they will. Last word.
Thorngood: (sighing to himself) How could this day possibly get any worse?
(Woody bursts out of Rose’s chair and tears across the room before the young schoolteacher can react…)
Woody: You’ll never eat me, you Mushu bastards!
(Woody form-tackles Reginald Thorngood to the ground and as Secret Service drag the crazed Okie outside, FDR leans down in his chair and picks up a syringe that flew out of the President’s Chief of Staff’s pocket, labeled ‘polio’. FDR stares as the President inelegantly exits the Chinatown classroom, the Senator’s mind racing. The chubby boy that Woody shook in the front row raises his hand…)
Roosevelt: Yes, son?
Boy: Are you a robot?
Send all hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org