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HOME OF THE GREAT PECAN

A Full-Length Play

By Stephen Bittrich

 

CONTACT ME FOR A COPY. 3 EXCERPTS ONLY.

 

459 Columbus Avenue, #240
New York, NY 10024
Tel: (212) 579-3015
E-mail:
SBittrich@aol.com

 

Copyright © 1997,
by Stephen Bittrich
(Draft: April, 2006)

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            EXCERPT #1

                             ACT ONE
                                   PRE-SHOW
                                   "'TIS THE SEASON"


            BEFORE THE CURTAIN:

                                   Before the curtain goes up, there will
                                   be a certain amount of Texas related
                                   pre-show music.  At the proper time
                                   when all audience members have been
                                   seated, a song by Candee Land will
                                   precede the following voice over,
                                   signalling the official start of the
                                   play.  [Author's Note - Candee Land,
                                   who is a real performer from Seguin,
                                   Texas, active in the 80's can be
                                   substituted with a fictional name if
                                   needbe; however, I suggest her version
                                   of "The Strength of my Weakness" from
                                   the album "Music of Candee Land."]


                                   JOHNNY JOHNS (V.O.)
            Hey Folks, this is Johnny Johns over at K-W-A-D radio.  It's
            a beautiful, warm October night, and you've been listening to
            the golden voice of Seguin's own [Candee Land]...a homegrown
            sensation.  We're as proud as can be to claim her as our own. 
                          (Short beat)
            Speakin' of homegrown sensations, it's about that time of
            year, folks.  They're startin' ta fall off the trees like
            hail stones 'bout now, and that can only mean one thing, the
            Hunderd and Second Annual Pecan Festival, culminating in the
            crowning of the lucky Pecan Queen.  
                          (Short beat)
            So get on out there and getchu a bucket full of those tasty
            morsels...cuz after this next song, Aileen Rottweiler's gonna
            come on the air and share with ya'll a family secret passed
            down through three generations...her blue ribbon winnin'
            pecan pie recipe.  Mmmmmm, boy!  Might wanna getchu a pen and
            paper while I play this next song...
                          (Texas MUSIC will fade into...)




                                   ACT ONE
                                   SCENE 1
                                   "BRAIN SUCKING"


            SETTING:

                                   A clear, warm Saturday night.  A large
                                   back porch out in the country near
                                   Seguin, Texas in Guadalupe County.

            AT RISE:

                                   The crickets chirp loudly.  ED (Actor
                                   E) and GREELEY (Actor G), real Texas
                                   men who know how to relax, take in the
                                   star-lit night and experience the
                                   crickets.  After a bit of
                                   "experiencing," GREELEY speaks--


                                   GREELEY
            Ed?

                                   ED
            Yeah, Greeley.

                                   GREELEY
            Crickets sure are perky tonight.

                                   ED
            Yep.
                          (Pause.  Crickets chirp)

                                   GREELEY
            Ed?

                                   ED
            Yeah, Greeley.

                                   GREELEY
            Whatta you spose those crickets are talkin' about?
                          (ED listens)

                                   ED
            Mostly cricket matters, I guess.

                                   GREELEY
            Yep.
                          (Crickets)
            Ed?
                          (Beat)
            Ever had yer brain sucked out through yer nose?

                                   ED
                          (After a beat)
            Nope.

                                   GREELEY
            Messy prospect.
                          (The crickets chirp)

                                   GREELEY (CONTINUED)
                                   (Continued)
            I'm not myself tonight, Ed.

                                   ED
            The frijoles?

                                   GREELEY
            Tammie saw this flying saucer land over't her field the other
            night.

                                   ED
            I heard.

                                   GREELEY
            Most folks are saying since her husband left in '81 she's
            been a little off.

                                   ED
            Yep.

                                   GREELEY
            They don't put much credence in the flying saucer thang.
                          (Beat)
            But it's true, Ed.
                          (Beat; special vocal attention
                           should be given to the alien
                           word, "Yah")
            I come from the planet Yah, twenty million, million earth
            miles away.  My planet is warm and moist, and a zillion
            species of plant exist throughout our world.  We, my species,
            are partly plants ourselves--Pod People.  We sleep just below
            the dank soil by night and bask in the life-giving sun by
            day.  Our sun-star is our god, but, according to mythology,
            our sun is doomed to explode and evaporate our planet in the
            Yah Year twenty-twenty-two--this earth year.  Our scientists
            have confirmed this legend, so we have searched the galaxies
            far and wide for a new god.  We have arrived on your planet,
            and now we worship your sun.  In order to integrate ourselves
            into your society, we inhabit your earth bodies by attaching
            our pods to your faces and entering your brain cavities
            through the nose.  Our eventual aim is the total annihilation
            of your species.  Then we will re-adjust the orbit of earth
            to create a more tropical climate.

                                   ED
                          (After a beat)
            You fart?

                                   GREELEY
            The beans.

                                   ED
            Damn.  Potent som-bitch.
                          (Crickets)

                                   GREELEY
            "Why Seguin, Texas?" you may ask.  Little too dry for our
            pods, you might thank.  After careful scientific observation,
            our Yahian fleet was directed to Acapulco, Mexico, because it
            was concluded to possess the tropical climate which we are
            most comfortable in...but I had saucer failure over Dallas
            and had to make a crash landing here.
                          (Crickets)

                                   GREELEY
            As is well known, last month, the one called Greeley, the one
            which I now am, became engaged to be married to this Tammie
            Lynn Schneider.

                                   ED
            Yep.  Clipped the picture outta the Gazette.

                                   GREELEY
            This Greeley, however, still has not come up with the two
            thousand to buy the long anticipated 14
            carat/gold/diamond/ruby ring over't Dietz's Diamonds yet.

                                   ED
            Emma Dietz says she's expectin' it.

                                   GREELEY
            As is also well known, the long awaited, often spoken of
            "ring presenting fanfare" was to take place on the Corral
            Dance floor last night, "Frijole Friday," after a well
            publicized "surprise" announcement from the celebrated local
            country sensation, Candee Land of Candy Land and the Goolaks.

                                   ED
            Yep.

                                   GREELEY
                          (After a beat)
            That tragic Friday night, when this one, Greeley, arrived at
            Tammie Schneider's place out on One-twenty-three Bypass, he
            first stopped into her greenhouse out back the house where I,
            the Pod Pers--

                                   ED
            Why?

                                   GREELEY
            Huh?

                                   ED
            Why'd he go back there first?

                                   GREELEY
            Uh...to check the Rhododendrons he gave her.

                                   ED
            Okay, I'll buy it.

                                   GREELEY
            There, sleeping among the ivy and the ferns, was I, the Pod
            Person.  Greeley, a well-known plant enthusiast and long time
            employee of Norma Green's Thumb, caught me out of the corner
            of his eye and gasped at the sight of my glorious red and
            violet leaves.  Being an inquisitive rascal, and despite
            having seen Alien five times at the Dixie Drive-in, he
            scooched up close to my pod to get a closer look.  I could
            smell his squishy, warm brains, and before he could cry out,
            I grappled my thorny vines on to his face.

                                   ED
            Thorny?

                                   GREELEY
            Sticky?  Gooey.

                                   ED
            Gooey.

                                   GREELEY
            Of course, he missed his date that night without a word.  My
            incubation period takes a full eight hours.  For a full eight
            hours this one--Greeley--blindly wandered the dull, black
            Texas night as the pod attached to his face slowly sucked out
            his brains.

                                   ED
            Surprised it took a full eight.

                                   GREELEY
            At four o'clock in the morning the transformation was
            complete.  The spent and wrinkled pod-shell dropped off, and
            I was ready to experience this new world and sample human
            pleasures.

                                   ED
            First stop:  Seven-Eleven.

                                   GREELEY
            For a Slurpy and a six pack of Lone Star.  Much to my
            surprise, the check out girl, Wendy, was friendly.  She knew
            this Greeley.  Knew him well.  Well enough to let him cop a
            feel back in the video game room--right between Pac Man and
            Altered Beast.

                                   ED
            I love Pac Man.

                                   GREELEY
            This encounter with human delights was inadvertently observed
            by the Seven-Eleven manager, Miss Nosy Rosy Stadtmueller, who
            made an unannounced and previously unprecedented after hours
            visit to tabulate the register receipts.

                                   ED
            Yep.  I heard.

                                   GREELEY
                          (After a beat)
            This gossipy, nosy society is not understood by we Yahians.

                                   ED
            Welcome to Texas, Bud.

                                   GREELEY
            It's not this Greeley's fault.  What was Greeley is now
            digested and only a shadow of him remains.  Petty human
            emotions hold no importance for we Yahians.

                                   ED
            Ate his whole damn brain, huh?

                                   GREELEY
            That's the only way to occupy the host.

                                   ED
            Now, can you suck out other brains?  Or are you limited to
            one brain per Pod Person?

                                   GREELEY
            You mean, could I come over there, as I am--Pod-less--Pod
            free--as it were, and suck out yer brain?

                                   ED
            Yep.

                                   GREELEY
            Yes, I could.

                                   ED
            So it's an all you can eat type deal.

                                   GREELEY
            Well, if say I found a more inviting host, I could switch,
            but then I'd have to exit the former body which would shrivel
            up and wither away--just as my pod did.

                                   ED
            Makes sense.

                                   GREELEY
            But that would be such a terrible waste of male virility.
                          (THEY guffaw.  Crickets. 
                           GREELEY turns serious)

                                   GREELEY
            Crickets have it easy, Ed.

                                   ED
            Yep.

                                   GREELEY
                          (After a beat)
            Think she'll buy it?

                                   ED
            Not a snowball's chance in hell, Greeley.

                          (Crickets and blackout)

                          (END OF SCENE)


EXCERPT #2
                                  
                                   SCENE 5
                                   "DUELING SEDUCTIONS"

            SETTING:

                                   After church.  A dual scene:  the
                                   church office and the church parking
                                   lot.

            AT RISE:

                                   GREELEY and TAMMIE are having a heated
                                   discussion outside the church.  ROSY is
                                   filing some papers away in the church
                                   office.


                                   GREELEY
            All right I did it.  I came and heard him.

                                   TAMMIE
            You heard, but I don't thank you was listenin'.

                                   GREELEY
            How could I not listen?  It's like he set his podium down
            right in fronta me--the slimy, money grubbin' snake.

                                   TAMMIE
            You are goin' straight ta hell, and I ain't going with you.

                                   GREELEY
            Look I said I was sorry, and I came and sat through a whole
            sermon without leaving.  I don't know what more you want from
            me.
                          (SHE gives him a disgusted look
                           and turns her back on him. 
                           REVEREND PAT enters the
                           office)

                                   ROSY
                          (Breathily)
            I, I filed those papers on your desk Rev-Revrend Pat.

                                   REVEREND PAT
            I could not stop thinkin' about you the whole sermon today!
                          (HE begins to mall her--kissing
                           her feverishly on the neck and
                           shoulders)

                                   ROSY
            Oh, Rev-Revrend Pat!

                                   TAMMIE
            "Sorry's" not a big enough word for what you did.

                                   GREELEY
            Look, Tammie, I know I messed thangs up, but the real problem
            is, is this--I had a little fender bender last week, do not
            alarm yourself--I am fine, but it cost me seven hunerd
            dollars just to get a few scratches worked out!  Now that in
            turn threw me completely offa my schedule ta buy you that two
            thousand dollar engagement ring that you have insisted on. 
            Here you are makin' such a big deal ta every Tom, Dick, or
            Felix that'ud listen--about the ring presentin' fanfare!
            "Frijole Friday."  Be there for the show." And due ta
            circumstances beyond my control, I don't have no ring.  So
            I'm thankin' "I go there Friday night short one ring,
            Tammie's gonna look foolish.  And she's gonna be mighty
            disappointed."  I just didn't wanna disappoint you in fronta
            all them people.

                                   TAMMIE
            That is the lamest excuse of an excuse I ever heard.  And it
            jes' goes to prove that that truck's more important to you
            than I am.

                                   ROSY
            Revrend Pat, uh, uh, Revrend Pat.  I, uh, Revrend--oh, oh--
                          (SHE runs away from him around
                           the desk)
            Now les' not get carried away.

                                   REVEREND PAT
            I can't help but get carried away by you Miss Rosy.  It is
            your intoxicating religious purity which has cast a spell on
            me.  I am as David was for Bathsheba.

                                   ROSY
            Bathsheba?

                                   REVEREND PAT
            It came to pass in an eveningtide, that I, like David arose
            from off my bed, and walked upon the roof of the kings house:
            and from the roof I saw a woman washing herself; and the
            woman was very beautiful to look upon.
             

                                   ROSY
            What roof would-would this be?
                          (REVEREND PAT continues to mall
                           her)

                                   GREELEY
            Okay, listen...I was backed into a corner.  What was I
            supposed ta do?  I ain't made of money!  I thought you was
            marrying me for me.  Greeley.  I am Greeley, and I ain't no
            other.

                                   TAMMIE
            Well, if you was backed into a corner, you have tuh back into
            a corner over't the Seven Eleven?

                                   GREELEY
            It is a sad day in Texas when idle gossip mongers ruin a
            promising future of rosy, marital bliss.

                                   ROSY
            I'm not sure if this is right, Revrend Pat.  You're wife...

                                   REVEREND PAT
                          (With utmost sincerity)
            Rosy, Rosy, you have stoked the fire of my religious fervor. 
            I am a man who is ensnared in a trap.  When I see you before
            my glorious organ, magically stroking those keys, shooting
            ethereal melodies through those rigid pipes, I feel as if I
            could reach out and touch the cloak of God.  Yet it says in
            the book of James, "Let no man say when he is tempted, 'I am
            tempted of God': for God cannot tempt he any man."  Yet there
            you are, Sweet Virgin, torturously dangled before me every
            Sunday.  I say to myself, "This divine creature can only be
            put here by God and no one else."  I am in agony.

                                   ROSY
            Agony?

                                   REVEREND PAT
            Agony.  "Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes
            not be burned?"  Ah, too late.  Too late.

                                   ROSY
            But it's not too late...we haven't done anything, Revrend
            Pat.

                                   REVEREND PAT
            Oh, my sweet, sweet girl, "whosoever looketh on a woman to
            lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in
            his heart."
                          (ROSY ponders this one for a
                           moment)

                                   TAMMIE
            Okay, Greeley, I am a Christian, and as such I can forgive.   

                                   GREELEY
            Oh, thank you, Tammie.  That's mighty white-uh you.

                                   ROSY
            So even without even doing anything--

                                   REVEREND PAT
            --we are already steeped in sin.

                                   TAMMIE
            But just because I forgive, don't mean I forget.  And there
            will be a task for you--a penance.

                                   GREELEY
            A--a--say what?

                                   TAMMIE
            Somethin' you gotta do ta prove ta me where your loyalties
            lie.

                                   ROSY
            I think of you too, Revrend Pat.

                                   REVEREND PAT
            Poor, sweet dear.

                                   ROSY
            I thought they were just thoughts--

                                   REVEREND PAT
            --if only they were.

                                   GREELEY
            What're we talkin' about here?

                                   TAMMIE
            You gotta give me your truck this weekend.

                                   GREELEY
            My truck!  Why would I give you my truck?

                                   TAMMIE
            Cuz' I wanna drive it in the Pecan Parade.

                                   ROSY
            The thoughts are already sins.  What can we do?

                                   REVEREND PAT
            Luckily we are blessed.

                                   ROSY
            We are?
                          (REVEREND PAT crosses to get
                           his bible)

                                   GREELEY
            Tammie, Tammie, you know the Greeley truck creed:  "Nobody
            but the Greeley drives the truck."

                                   TAMMIE
            Nobody?

                                   GREELEY
            I'm surprised at you, Tammie.  You know my truck creed.

                                   TAMMIE
            I know, but I thought maybe you might make an exception
            sometime...like there might be special extenuatin'
            circumstances when you might break your truck creed.

                                   GREELEY
            A creed is a creed, Tammie.  

                                   TAMMIE
            Like maybe you might like some girl so much you say, "to hell
            with the creed, I just wanna get laid."
                          (GREELEY looks shocked)

                                   REVEREND PAT
            We are blessed, Miss Rosy.  We who are "the children of
            disobedience...in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the
            desires of the flesh and of the mind....But God, who is rich
            in mercy, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us
            together with Christ...it is the gift of God."

                                   ROSY
            Praise the Lord.
                          (THEY start making out)

                                   GREELEY
            Tammie, we have never had sex in the whole two years we've
            known each other even though I have begged you repeatedly.

                                   TAMMIE
            I'm just speaking like a hypothetical.  Would you ever let
            anybody else drive for that reason?

                                   GREELEY
            Are we talkin' about foolin' around?  This weekend, you say?

                                   REVEREND PAT
            How about a swim in the baptistry, Miss Rosy?

                                   ROSY
            Are you sure?

                                   REVEREND PAT
            We have already sinned in our hearts, Miss Rosy.  We might as
            well enjoy it.
                          (THEY exit into the baptistry,
                           losing a few garments as THEY
                           go)

                                   TAMMIE
            How about besides me?

                                   GREELEY
            What?

                                   TAMMIE
            How about sex with someone else?

                                   GREELEY
            Well, you lost me.  I thought I was with ya, but--

                                   TAMMIE
            Like say, Cynthia Morales.

                                   GREELEY
            Cynthia Morales.  I don't believe I know any Cynthia Morales.

                                   TAMMIE
            That's not what I heard.

                                   GREELEY
            Who's she sposed to be?

                                   TAMMIE
            Some slut who drove your truck, I heard.

                                   GREELEY
            Drove my--!  Now somebody's been tellin' you tall tales,
            honey pie.  You know my creed.  My truck creed!  Thas just
            horse pooky.

                                   TAMMIE
            You had better be tellin' me the truth, Greeley.

                                   GREELEY
            Tammie, puh-lease.

                                   TAMMIE
            You think yer the only fish in the sea?  You think yer the
            only man interested in me?

                                   GREELEY
                          (After a brief thought)
            Yeah.

                                   TAMMIE
            Well, that just ain't true.  There are plenty of men
            interested in me.

                                   GREELEY
            Like who?

                                   TAMMIE
            Ed.
                          (GREELEY can't help but chuckle
                           at the improbably match)
              

                                   TAMMIE (CONTINUED)
            Thas right...laugh.  Jes' laugh.  You'll see.
                          (Lights fade to black)

                                   (END OF SCENE)



EXCERPT #3
                                   SCENE 6
                                   "THE FUTURE PECAN QUEEN"

            SETTING:

                                   Sunday, early afternoon.  The bathroom
                                   of Priscilla Rottweiler.

            AT RISE:

                                   This is a relatively quick change for
                                   Actor R.  PRISCILLA (Actor R) is
                                   looking at herself in the mirror.

                                   PRISCILLA
                          (Presenting a delicate,
                           thoughtful address)
            Thank you.  Thank you, one and all.  I'd like to thank the
            members of the selection committee for this great honor.  I
            am sure it could not have been an easy decision considering
            all of the intelligent, beautiful contenders for the crown--
                          (As SHE nods to each of the
                           losers)
            --Tawnya Blackhorn, DeAndra Loogan, Cynthia Morales. 
            Wonderful, wonderful competitors all. I pledge that I will
            wear the crown of Pecan Queen with pride and distinction for
            the year to come.  No thank you speech would be complete
            without thanking my dear, dear family--my baby brother, Deke,
            my father, head engineer of Structural Metals, Inc.--
                          (Waving to Daddy)
            --hi, Daddy.  And lastly, but certainly not leastly, my
            mother, who, by example, has taught me the true meaning of
            womanhood-- 
                          (Priscilla's mother, MRS.
                           ROTTWEILER--Actor T--knocks on
                           the bathroom door.  Her voice
                           is muffled)

                                   MRS. ROTTWEILER (O.S.)
            Priscilla?  Priscilla dear--

                                   PRISCILLA
                          (Her polite demeanor becoming
                           absolutely Satanic)
            WHAAAAAAAT!  I'm practicing my speech for Christsake!

                                   MRS. ROTTWEILER (O.S.)
            Supper's ready, honey.

                                   PRISCILLA
            Oh, for the love of God, Mother, just start without me!

                                   MRS. ROTTWEILER (O.S.)
            I fixed that low fat meatloaf just like you wanted.

                                   PRISCILLA
            I'm in the middle of my speech!  I'll be down in a minute! 
            Comprende inglese?

                                   MRS. ROTTWEILER
            Okie dokie, honey.
                          (PRISCILLA lets loose a huge,
                           painful sigh, as SHE tries to
                           recompose that sweet, dutiful
                           demeanor)

                                   PRISCILLA
            Hi, Daddy.  Hi, Daddy.
                          (SHE can't quite remember what
                           comes next, so SHE takes a
                           deep breath, and until it
                           comes to her)
            Hi, Daddy.  And lastly, but certainly not leastly, my mother,
            who by example has taught me the true meaning of womanhood. 
            Je t'aime, ma mere.  I think it was that wise philosopher,
            Camus, who said, "This is the dog's dick."
                          (Beat)
            Oh, my.  Did I just say, "dick"?  Mercy me.  I have just said
            "dick" and turned you all into horny toads.  Dick, dick,
            dick.  Dog's dick.  
                          (Like SHE is doing a newsflash)
            "Pecan Queen shocks the world--says 'dick' in front of an
            adoring crowd of onlookers."  Now that I'm Pecan Queen, there
            are going to be a few changes around here.  First of all,
            DeAndra Loogan, you will carry my train for the entire year-
            always following a respectful twenty-eight steps behind.  I
            have a veeery long train.
                          (PRISCILLA's little brother,
                           DEKE--Actor G--knocks at the
                           door)

                                   PRISCILLA
            WHAAAAAT?

                                   DEKE (O.S.)
            I gotta pee.

                                   PRISCILLA
            So go in a bottle, that's why you got that little wiener.

                                   DEKE (O.S.)
            It's supper anyway.

                                   PRISCILLA
            Leave me alone, you little retard.  I'm practicing my speech. 

                                   DEKE (O.S.)
            I gotta go.

                                   PRISCILLA
            Go--down--STAIRS!!  Why do you think we have three bathrooms?

                                   DEKE (O.S.)
            Priss.

                                   PRISCILLA
            Geek!
                          (Beat)
            Oh, oh, my dear fans!  To subject you to such ugliness is
            such an unthinkable breech of etiquette.  Where was I?  Ah,
            yes, of course.  This will be the year when the Pecan Queen
            makes a difference.  This will be the year when the Pecan
            Queen takes some action--solves World Hunger.  World Peace. 
            And combats gaucherie in all its forms.  This I promise.
                          (PRISCILLA waves and nods to
                           the masses in the mirror. 
                           Lights fade to black)

                                   (END OF SCENE)

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