Dust Bowl – Chapter 14
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 14 – So Long, It’s Been Good To Know Yuh
(President Herbert Hoover and his chief of staff Reginald Thorngood are slumped in their seats in the Presidential cabana at the Beverly Hills Hotel, listening to Gov. Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the radio delivering his acceptance speech as the next President of the United States…)
Thorngood: Mr. President, you ran one helluva–
Hoover: Shut up, Thorngood. Just…shut up.
(Woody Loggins and Pepe Gomez are crouched in a tight crawlspace in the ceiling of the Saint James Holy Trinity Church in Silverlake. Woody giggles while looking down at his own funeral, the wooden slats of the ceiling creaking beneath them…)
Pepe: I don’t think this old attic can support our weight, Mr. Woody. Is creaking.
Woody: Shush, Pepe. This is great. Look at ‘ol Whineberg down there delivering my eulogy.
(Below, through the cracks in the wooden ceiling slats, Max Eisenberg is speaking to a congregation made up of friends and acquaintances…)
Max: Woody Loggins was most assuredly a person. A person who I had met and become familiar with.
Woody: (hisses) Real touching, Whiney.
Pepe: Mister. Shush.
Max: But he is gone now. And we are not. Therefore we should remember him for who he was: A man.
Woody: Jeez, way to bring it home.
(Wen-Wen stands up in the front pew, shouting in hysterics…)
Wen-Wen: He’s not dead! Wood-dee is not dead!
Woody: Uh oh, wild card.
(Max grabs Wen-Wen’s shoulders and escorts her back to her seat…)
Max: There there, Wen-Wen. He’ll never really be gone if he lives on in our hearts.
Woody: Good save, Whiney.
(The ceiling boards creak louder as Rose makes her way to the pulpit…)
Rose: Woody Loggins was a complicated man.
Woody: Here come the waterworks.
Rose: To pass on in the violent way he did–
(The ceiling finally gives out and Woody and Pepe crash onto the rear church pews. The entire congregation turns and gasps as the men stand up and sheepishly dust themselves off…)
Wen-Wen: Told you.
Woody: Uh…hello everyone.
Rose: Woody Loggins, I’m going to kill you.
Woody: Well, my funeral would be a convenient place to do it.
Max: Woody. Why.
Woody: I can explain.
(The congregation looks on in waiting silence as Woody scans the room…)
Woody: I’m a ghost. We’re ghosts. Heaven is for real. We’re both ghosts. Byeee!
(Woody and Pepe turn and sprint out of the church…)
(A week later, Woody and Pepe are standing in a tiny old Mexican village. A stray dog is pulling on Woody’s pant leg as Pepe sips dirty brown water of an old milk jug…)
Woody: Get away from me, chupacabra.
Pepe: That’s a dog, Mr. Woody.
Woody: Why do they call this place “Gris County” anyway. What does ‘Gris’ mean?
Woody: An apt description. I hate this, Pepe. I thought we’d be sitting on the beach, drinking Mai Tais.
Pepe: Mexico is an impoverished country, Mr. Woody.
Woody: I’ve got it. Let’s fake our deaths and move to South America.
Pepe: Ay dios mio.
Woody: Yeah me too, Pepe. Me too.
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