Dust Bowl – Chapter 11
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 11 – Dust Bowl Refugee
(Woody Loggins is standing outside the front entrance of the Los Angeles County Asylum with Dr. Weller, his belongings in a bag at his side…)
Dr. Weller: Well Mr. Loggins, I think you’re fully recovered and rehabilitated from your mental break.
Woody: Feelin’ good, Doc.
Dr. Weller: You’re free to go. But if you’re ever feeling overwhelmed by those old feelings again in the future, don’t hesitate to come back and see me.
Woody: (grins) I have a feeling you’re never gonna see me again, Doc.
(Woody hops in Pepe’s old broken-down truck and they head toward the front gate…)
Pepe: What do we do now, Mr. Woody?
Woody: (still grinning) Pepe, I’m gonna kill myself.
(President Hoover is backstage at a campaign event in Los Feliz with his chief of staff Reginald Thorngood…)
Hoover: Is the German in place?
Thorngood: Yes, Hirschspiegel is on the roof of the building across the street from the bandstand. He’ll take a shot, missing of course; you fall, I quickly kneel at your side and apply the ketchup. The crowd will be in chaos and we’ll get you out of here before any cameraman can get close enough for a good snapshot.
Hoover: And then we head back to Washington, declare war on Germany based on the actions of this “crazed radical nationalist”, win the reelection and forget all about this Roosevelt cripple.
Thorngood: Ready, Mr. President?
Hoover: (hesitates) You’re sure he’ll miss.
Thorngood: Uh…..yeah, man. Totally.
(Woody and Pepe are walking through the crowd at the Hoover rally to meet Max, Rose & Woody’s Chinese girlfriend, Wen-Wen…)
Pepe: Please don’t kill yourself, Mr. Woody.
Woody: You don’t get it, Pepe. I’m not going to actually kill myself. I’ve screwed up so much in this life, I need a do-over. I need to start from scratch. So I’m going to fake my death and begin a new life somewhere else.
Woody: (smiles) I was thinking Mexico.
Pepe: (turns to Woody) Si?
Woody: (nods) You’ve sacrificed so much for me, Pepe. You followed me from Oklahoma to California and you’ve been a good and loyal friend. It’s time I sacrifice for you. Let’s go home, Pepe.
Pepe: (smiles) Okay, sir.
(Wen-Wen runs up and leaps into Woody’s arms…)
Wen-Wen: Wood-dee! I’m so glad you’re not cuckoo anymore!
Woody: Well, I was never ‘cuckoo’; I just–
Wen-Wen: (mashes a foil-wrapped hot dog into his hand) I got you American hot dog.
Woody: (unwrapping foil) Wen-Wen, we’ve been over this. You don’t have to put ‘American’ in front of everything. We’re in America. (takes a bite) But thank you for the hot dog. Say, did you know that a hot dog is a sandwich.
Wen-Wen: (cocks head to side) Hot dog…sandwich?
Rose: Don’t tell her that.
(Rose and Max join Wen-Wen and the boys as President Hoover takes the stage…)
Rose: Wen-Wen, a hot dog isn’t a sandwich.
Wen-Wen: Hot dog…not sandwich.
Woody: What are you talking about? Meat. Bread. That’s a sandwich, bud.
Rose: Woody, you are the biggest–
(A shot rings out and President Hoover collapses onstage, screaming as the crowd scrambles for safe haven…)
Hoover: Oh god, I’ve been shot!
(Thorngood kneels down next to the President, holding a ketchup packet…)
Hoover: Oh god, my legs!
Thorngood: Okay, Mr. President. Think you’re overselling it a little.
Hoover: No, you idiot. I’ve actually been shot! The German shot me. I can’t feel my legs.
(Thorngood glances down at a pool of blood spreading beneath the President and up at the roof of the building across the street where the German is nowhere to be found…)
Thorngood: Guess his aim wasn’t as good as we thought.
(Someone in the crowd points at Woody holding his foil-wrapped hot dog…)
Citizen: There! That man shot the President!
Woody: (holding hands up) No no, it’s a hot d–
(Woody is tackled by multiple people and dragged away…)
Woody: Gonna need that lawyerin’ again, Whineberg.
Max: (sighs, quietly to himself) It’s Eisenberg.
(Back onstage, Thorngood holds a kerchief over Hoover’s gunshot wound while they wait for paramedics…)
Thorngood: (staring into crowd) Looks like they’re arresting a man. It’s not the German.
Hoover: So we’re not going to war with Germany to win the wartime vote?
Thorngood: Doesn’t seem like it, sir.
Hoover: So I got shot and paralyzed from the waist down for nothing?
Thorngood: Sympathy vote?
Hoover: My opponent’s already in a wheelchair, you knobhead.
Thorngood: We’ll just get you a better wheelchair, sir.
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