Humor Script posted December 29, 2020


Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Western script, humor

John and Shorty's Gift

by CrystieCookie999


Characters

John Shane The Hero, 25-35. A John Wayne sound-alike, is devoted to his faithful horse, Sterling.

Shorty John's (usually) clever, faithful sidekick, 25-35. Loves his horse, Jumper.

Mayor Gerald (or Geraldine) Perkins Wears a white, long-sleeved shirt with jacket or blazer, narrow black ribbon bow tie. Always involved with community affairs. Can wear winter duster-type coat over this.        




Setting: Border of the state of Idaho, 1894

Scene 1

Near border of Idaho in the United States of America. MAYOR PERKINS, carrying a basket full of two fruitcakes, approaches the door of JOHN and SHORTY’s cabin, suggested upstage with two walls or one long wall of a log cabin or wood slat cabin. A small fireplace is on one side, with a small table with three stools, large enough for all three of them to sit on. A butcher knife in a sheath is laying on the table. A metal horseshoe is on the table beside it. A small hatchet is also on the table. A few cast iron pans are hung over the fireplace or nearby. A small stack of chopped firewood is also by the fireplace. Large wooden barrel with hoop ring on one side of stage, with a bookshelf and a few books either painted on one wall or to the far side of the stage. JOHN and SHORTY, dressed in western clothes, enter Stage Left, approach table.

MAYOR PERKINS
(Knocks on door or door frame.) Mr. John Shane? Mr. Shorty? Are you in tonight?

JOHN
(To SHORTY.) I will get the door. (Opens cabin door. To MAYOR PERKINS.) Howdy, Mayor Perkins. Come on in and visit a while. Have you already had dinner?

MAYOR PERKINS
(Enters through door.) Yes, John, I sure have. And in case you needed something unforgettable for dessert tonight, I have brought something to present to both you and Shorty for this Christmas season.

JOHN
Well, now, that is very generous of you, I am sure. But you didn't need to cook something up on our account.

SHORTY
Aw, I'm all for an unforgettable dessert! After all, since we helped with the raffle, we had to eat all the leftover jars of donated pickled gooseberries and huckleberries that Miss Elvira Flunkenduncer made, and after that stomachache, I am thinkin' of a sweet cake of some kind now.

MAYOR PERKINS
What a coincidence! It so happens I have here not one, but TWO sweet cakes. Fruitcakes, in fact. But I wasn't the one who baked them. (Pulls two fruitcakes one at a time out of basket, presents one to JOHN and one to SHORTY.)

JOHN
(Pleased.) A cake for each of us? So who is this generous baker who thought of us lonely bachelors?

MAYOR PERKINS
(Feigns sincerity.) Why, uh, Elvira Flunkenduncer, of course.

SHORTY
(Frowns.) Aw, now she's found somebody new to bestow her home-baked goodies on. And that's us, John. Don't this just beat all? Maybe it's time to move!

JOHN
(Frowns at SHORTY, then speaks to MAYOR PERKINS.) Tell Elvira that we are most beholden for her generosity and bakin' skills, Mayor Perkins. It was right nice of you to ride all the way out here to present two entire fruitcakes to us. (Hefts the one he is holding.) It feels like it is plumb full of fruits, nuts, and, er, something else purty heavy.

MAYOR PERKINS
(Tips hat). Elvira never skimps on her baking, but since this is the first time she decided my family didn't need fruitcake this year, but instead thought you men might be feelin' overlooked, I was so grateful—er, that is, EAGER to help out a fellow citizen of our fine town, that I volunteered to bring these to you. I need to get home to my family now, but I will be sure to pass along your appreciation to Elvira.

(JOHN opens the cabin door for MAYOR PERKINS, who exits Stage with basket. JOHN, still holding fruitcake with left hand, waves goodbye with right hand, and then closes door.)

SHORTY
(Places fruitcake on table, with sound effect of a large THUMP). This fruitcake is heavier than buffalo droppings, John. Or maybe even a buffalo itself.

JOHN
(Also places his fruitcake on the table, with sound effect of large THUMP.) I think these things are purty near petrified. Maybe we should try cuttin' 'em with a butcher knife? (Pulls butcher knife from sheath. Tries to cut fruitcake with sound effect of loud HANDSAW sawing sound.) Boy, Shorty, that didn't even make a dent! (Replaces knife in sheath and replaces it on table.)

SHORTY
Cheer up, John. If we don't have to eat these rock-hard fruitcakes, I can think of all kinds of uses for them.

JOHN
Really? Like what?

SHORTY
(Picks up hatchet.) Maybe we can sharpen a hatchet on it. (Swipes his fruitcake with the hatchet blade once or twice. Lays hatchet back on table.) Or maybe we can use it as target practice the next time we go shootin'. (Snaps fingers.) I know! If someone tries to steal your horse, Sterling, or my horse, Jumper, we can clobber the horse thieves over the head with these fruitcakes. (Picks up his fruitcake, with effort, and pretends to hit someone shorter than he is.) It's our own theft prevention device, John!

JOHN
Hmmm. That is a good idea. But if you really want to get rid of horse thieves, I suggest we make 'em EAT the fruitcake. Then they really won't steal any more horses!

SHORTY
(Laughs.) We better not tell Elvira Flunkenduncer how useful her fruitcakes are gonna be! She might start bakin' 'em night and day.

JOHN
Yeah, or she might clobber us with them since we didn't eat 'em for dessert.

SHORTY
(Takes a few steps toward bookshelf and points to it.) We could even use them for bookends, John!

JOHN
All right, but you better paint them another color, just in case Elvira Flunkenduncer ever decides to visit our little cabin. We don't want her to recognize her fruitcake a'sittin' on the shelf, months from now.

SHORTY
Sure, thing, John! I'm an expert at paintin' stuff. Why, by the time I'm finished, you won't even know these used to be food.

JOHN
All right, but honestly, Shorty, between you and me, we can't even tell that now!

Lights down.



Recognized


Fruitcake image from royalty-free web search.
Purty = cowboy talk for 'pretty,' also used as an adverb meaning 'almost' or 'very.'
'em = them
The script I posted about John and Shorty before this one contained more on the character of Elvira Flunkenduncer, in person, called "John and Shorty Host a Raffle."
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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