5- Act 1 S8
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. What would you like to do?
Rufus Poindexter and CJ Scruggs enter and cross to the bar. They are engrossed in their conversation and oblivious to Edsel’s presence.
EDSEL: I always said Ed Earl was the best argument I can think of for Gun Control laws.
DOATSEY: Mornin’ boys.
RUFUS: Mornin’ Doatsey Mae.
CJ: Hi, darlin’!
- RUFUS: I’ve had calls from four preachers,
- six deacons and the presidents of two garden clubs.
- Don’t know why I let people talk me into serving as mayor of this
- incorporated sandtrap anyways!
CJ: Well, my insurance customers called me all night long. Half of ‘em insistin’ I sign that damn petition to close the Chicken Ranch, the other half threatenin’ to cancel their policies if I do.
They notice Edsel.
EDSEL: Mornin’ Mr Mayor.
Doatsey brings them coffee.
DOATSEY: Y’all wanna cripple that with a little dab of cream.
CJ: Naw, I need mine as strong as bear hair this mornin’!
DOATSEY: Eggs or anythin’?
- RUFUS: Naw, I’ll do well to keep this down.
- Doatsey goes back to working behind her counter. Damn Ed Earl Dodd for a fool.
- That old fart’d screw up a two car funeral.
CJ: Well I’d hate to see him be made the fall guy, when the whole town’s knowed about 6 Mona’s place since Christopher Columbus.
- RUFUS: Awww CJ. His time’s past.
- He can’t run around here in the 1970s
- acting like John Whayn with a toothache!
CJ: Maybe the sheriff ain’t the only one livin’ in the past Rufus. The Chicken Ranch served a purpose once. Aww, but everythin’s opened up today. Why we’ve underwent a world-wide sexual revolution. DOATSEY: Well it ain’t reached Nine-O-Nine East Watermelon Drive!
RUFUS: How do y’all read the public’s pulse about all this?
EDSEL: Oh, about fifty percent outraged and fifty percent self-righteous.
- Well, I’d like to offer a little civic leadership.
- But I’m not damn fool enough to do it
- until I know which way the people wanna be led.
Ed Earl enters. The men turn away.
ED EARL: Mornin’ fellas.
DOATSEY: Well if it ain’t the celebrated cussin’ sheriff o’ Lanvil County.
ED EARL: Now, if you gonna be a all-mornin’ smart-alec, I’ll take my dime to the Cattle Call Inn.
DOATSEY: Why, Sheriff, when did they start makin’ you pay?
ED EARL: I ain’t fooling Doatsey Mae. You know, your jokes is just as bad as your coffee. Now give me a cup of the goddamn stuff.
- She serves him and there in an uncomfortable silence.
- ED Earl:Well goddamn it fellas. I didn’t know that little pecker had them machines running!
CJ: Well. You sure fixed our wagon, Ed Earl Dodd. All we wanted was to keep it quiet about the Chicken Ranch. Now its the hottest thing on air since the Gong Show.
EDSEL: And Austin’s gonna carry it again on the six ‘clock news.
- RUFUS: Oh, my God! Ed Earl, ya can set up speed traps to catch the tourists,
- you can look 1 the other way when the wrong kid swipes a car to go joy-ridin’,
- hell you can even allow Mona to run her place out there.
- But the one thing you can’t get away with, Ed Earl, is broadcasting gutter talk on TV!
ED EARL: I didn’t know he was takin’ pictures! DOATSEY: What did you figure the camera was for? ED EARL: I’m just gettin’ a little sick of all this bad-mouthin’! Hell, the chicken ranch don’t 7 give me near as much trouble as the roller-skatin’ rink, or tham all night stag parties 8 out at Legionnaires Hall.
CJ: Now come on Sheriff, dang it
RUFUS: You oughta make THAT speech on TV.
CJ: The Jesus bunch claims she runs off industry that might locate here.
ED EARL: Horsecrap! She’s the biggest industry in the county herownself!
EDSEL: And the chicken ranch don’t even pollute the air or the water!
ED EARL: If you was to show a little guts of your own Edsel, you would stand up for your own town in your newspaper, ‘stead of runnin’ all that sissy crap about glee clubs winnin’ 16 ribbons and old ladies holdin’ ice cream socials in their back yards. That sawed off little fart didn’t let out no big secrets, ya know.
Nobody says anything.
Ed Earl: You guys have just went all apeshit. Hell, Miss Mona herself ain’t all that worried 20 about it. I was out there this morning and they was gettin’ fixed up for the 21 Thankgivin’ party, just like always.
- RUFUS: Ed Earl, if that television crusader gets wind of those footballers being out there,
- I’ll move to Bangkok!
ED EARL: Well, I’ll tell you boys this much: if that little excuse for a man comes round here again, I’m gonna flatten him so he has to roll down his socks to shit. Ed Earl laughs uproariously at his own joke. He pounds CJ and Rufus on the back and limps around the room in hysterics until he notices Doatsey Mae looking at him in disgust. Well I guess, I guess I better get myself back to my office so’s that everybody can 29 call me up and tell me we’ve got a whorehouse operatin’ here... for about a hundred 30 and fifty years!
- Ed Earl exits the cafe.
- EDSEL: I’m not at all persuaded that I’d like to be standin’ in Miss Mona’s shoes right now. 33
DOATSEY: At least she ain’t on her feet all day. I’d trade places with her.
EDSEL: Somehow Doatsey Mae, I don’t think I’ll hold my breath till ya do.
The scene freezes and a spotlight picks up on Doatsey Mae as she begins to sing from behind the counter.
Lights return to normal and the scene continues. DOATSEY MAE; You boys want to see a menu? We got a nice hot turkey sandwich for our Thanksgiving special.
- Naw. I got to get on home and see what kinda holiday surprise Doreen cooked up.
CJ: Well I got to get ready to watch that football game. Its on TV at two. Them Aggies are gonna do some stompin’ today. Yeehaw!
RUFUS: Five dollars says the Longhorns take ‘em.
CJ: You on. Why, we got our best team since On our best day we could beat them Dallas Cowboys. EDSEL: Can I get some of that?
CJ: All ya want, teasipper.
They hand CJ money.
RUFUS: Who do you like Doatsey Mae?
DOATSEY: I don’t like neither to be honest. But I’ll tell you who I’d put my money on.
CJ: Who’s that?
DOATSEY: Mona. Cause no matter who wins that ol’ football game, she’s gonna come out ahead.
All laugh and curtain closes.
What would you like to do?
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