Dust Bowl – Chapter 10
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 10 – The Ballad of Woody Loggins: Part 2
Max: Your honor, my client is suing Mr. Steinbeck and the Los Angeles Times for defamation of character over the publication of “The Ballad of Woody Loggins”, a work largely fabricated outside of the facts of my client’s name and that he is from Oklahoma.
Judge: And is it true that your client is currently a patient of the Los Angeles County Asylum?
Max: My client experienced a recent…emotional break. That is correct, your honor. But it should not affect this case.
Judge: What if the defendant were to change the character’s name and publish it as a work of fiction?
Steinbeck: Your honor, my story has already been nominated for awards and a major publishing house has offered me a book deal with thousands of early pre-orders already requested. Changing the name of the main character or any major elements could affect my financial and professional future. It’s a good name, your honor.
Woody: (shoots up out of seat) You’re damn right it’s a good name! It’s my name! And this man besmooched it!
Max: (whispers) Besmirched.
Woody: Besmirched it!
Judge: Let’s take a short recess.
(President Hoover and his chief of staff Reginald Thorngood are sailing on a yacht off the coast of Santa Monica…)
Hoover: So FDR knows we injected him with polio. What’s our next move?
Thorngood: He’s certainly got us over a barrel, sir.
Hoover: When the American people hear about this, I’m a cooked goose.
Thorngood: What if I told you there were a way to guarantee you get reelected, no matter what the American people thought of you.
Hoover: Well I’d say why didn’t you bring that up before we injected a man with polio.
Thorngood: America has never not reelected a wartime President.
Hoover: (frowns) But we’re not at w–ohhh.
(Woody and Max Eisenberg are in the lobby of the Los Angeles Supreme Courthouse…)
Woody: You’re blowin’ this case royal, Whineberg.
Max: Woody, I’m doing this as a personal favor because we’re friends. It’d be nice if you actually treated me like one for once.
Woody: Let’s be real, Max. You’re just suing the Times because you’re trying to get your name out there. You’re broke.
Max: Yeah, well you’re crazy.
(Chief Panther Swipe and his Seminole braves catch stares as they walk through the lobby…)
Chief: Mr. Eisenberg, good to see you again. Have you made any progress on our agreement?
Max: Chief Panther Swipe, what a pleasant surprise. Again. Well, I haven’t as of yet–
Woody: What the shit is this dipwad doing here?
Chief: Well, if it isn’t the white man with the big mouth.
Woody: Listen, bub. Why don’t you take a hike back to No Man’s Land where somebody might give a–
Max: Woody! Please Chief, ignore him. He’s under a lot of stress with this lawsuit we’re filing against the Times.
Chief: You white people. Always suing each other. What happened, did the newspaper hurt your feelings?
(The braves chuckle as Woody scowls…)
Max: Actually, technically yes. A writer made up a story about Woody casting him in a negative light. It’s called defamation of character.
Chief: (sneers at Woody) I can’t imagine anyone casting you in a negative light, white man. Wait a minute, if this story is adapted into a movie, there could be a part for us. Then our agreement would be fulfilled and you would be off the hook, Mr. Eisenberg.
Max: (eyes light up, races across lobby) Steinbeck! Let’s talk.
Woody: What about my character? Whineberg! (scowls at Chief) You know, you look like an idiot in that hat.
Chief: Well, you would be the expert on idiots.
Woody: You’re a butthead.
Chief: No, you are the butthead.
(In a quiet bistro cafe in Pasadena, Reginald Thorngood and President Hoover are meeting with a large stoic European man in a trenchcoat…)
Thorngood: Mr. President, this is Oliver Hirschspiegel. He’s a German nationalist and he’s going to assassinate you.
Hoover: (spits out coffee) A double-cross!
Thorngood: (wipes coffee off shirt) No, Mr. President. You see, Mr. Hirschspiegel is only going to try to assassinate you. You will then proclaim war against Germany. Americans will be forced to reelect you, afraid to change administrations during wartime.
Hoover: You’re willing to go to war with Europe in order to keep me in the White House?
Thorngood: I told you I’d do anything to keep you in power, Mr. President.
Hoover: (turning to the German, anxiously) So, you miss much?
Hoover: Nine people? Well, that makes me feel a little better.
Thorngood: (laughs nervously)
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