The Tumbleweed Saloon
Saloon swing-door (SR) Bar (USC) as many tables and chairs as is practicable. Saloon Girls perform a rousing song and dance routine. Music cue 1: Saloon Girls. After song ends…Saloon Girls exit (USL) Butch enters through swing-door. (all enter exit via the swing-door, unless otherwise stated)
Butch Howdy folks! Welcome to Dodgy City! I’m Butch Casserole, and I work here at The Tumbleweed Saloon. Now Dodgy City’s a mighty friendly place and we all greet each other in a mighty friendly way. So every time I come on I’ll shout ‘Howdy, folks’ and I want you all to shout back ‘Howdy, Butch’, okay? (audience respond). Let’s give it a try. (exits and re-enters) Howdy, folks! (audience respond – repeat until happy) Now the Tumbleweed Saloon’s about to get a new owner today, on account of the previous one dying from a sudden case of lead poisoning. He was shot so full’a lead, you could’ve sharpened his head and used him as a pencil. Anyway, the new owner’s arriving on the next stagecoach.
Customer 1 I hope they don’t turn the place into a Weatherspoon’s.
Customer 2 Folks round here don’t like change.
Butch I’ll try and remember that, next time you buy a drink.
Molly runs on shouting.
Molly Butch! Butch!
Butch What is it Molly?
Molly The stagecoach has just arrived!
Butch (to Customers) Okay folks! Let’s give the new owner a good impression. So, no cussin’ or spittin’!
Belle enters, singing.
Belle #Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam, and I’ll show you a house full of…# (notices everybody is staring at her) What are you all staring at? Haven’t you ever seen a woman before?
Customer 3 Yeah, but we ain’t seen one like you afore.
Belle (preening) I don’t suppose you meet many women, as refined as what I am.
Customer 4 (to others) She looks about as refined as molasses! (laughs)
Belle (to Customer 4) You’d better smarten up for starters, if you want to carry on frequenting my ‘hestablishment.
Butch You’re the saloon’s new owner!?
Belle That’s right. Belle’s the name. Belle Bottoms.
Customer 1 Well I’ll be hornswaggled!
Belle Not in here you won’t! This is going to be a family-friendly pub.
Customer 2 hoikes and spits on the floor.
Belle Oi you!
Customer 2 (to Belle) You talkin’ to me?
Belle Yes! You’re barred!
Customer 2 ‘Barred!’ What for?
Belle For spitting on the floor!
Customer 3 But we always spit on the floor.
Customer 4 What do you think the sawdust’s fer?
Customer 1 Next you’ll be tellin’ us we can’t bring our horses in here no more.
Belle Certainly not! This a saloon, not a stable!
Customer 2 Well I can see an ugly old mare in here, right now.
Belle Where? (whirls around) I don’t see any ugly old mare.
Customer 3 Try lookin’ in the mirror!
Belle (to Customers) That’s it! You’re all barred!
Customer 4 (to others) Come on folks, let’s take our custom to…(name of local pub)
Customers exit (SL)
Doc Holliday enters. Music cue 2:
Doc Holliday Where’s everybody going? (to Molly) You’re not closing early are you, Molly?
Molly No, sir. (moves behind the bar)
Doc Holliday Thank goodness. I thought I’d missed breakfast. The usual please, Molly.
Molly (places a bottle of whiskey on the bar) Here you are Doctor Holliday.
Doc Holliday (guzzles on the bottle and wipes his lips) That’s better.
Butch (to Belle) You do realise you’ve just barred most of our customers?
Belle We can do without people like that in here.
Molly But they’re the only kinda people we’ve got round here.
Belle (to Molly & Butch) And who are you?
Butch We’re your employees.
Molly I’m Molly.
Butch And I’m Butch.
Belle (to Butch) I must say, you hide it very well.
Molly You’re the third owner we’ve had this year.
Belle Didn’t the others like it here, then?
Butch They liked it fine.
Belle Then why didn’t they stay?
Molly They did.
Belle So where are they now?
Doc Holliday In Boot Hill cemetery.
Belle What are they doing there?
Doc Holliday Pushin’ up the daisies.
Belle ‘Pushing up the daisies’! You mean, they’re dead!?
Doc Holliday Well I should hope so, seeing as we buried them.
Belle What happened to them?
Molly They got shot.
Doc Holliday In the body, mostly.
Belle I meant whereabouts, geographically.
Molly In this very saloon.
Butch Friday nights can get a bit rough in here.
Belle Sounds like I’ll have to get myself a couple of big bouncers.
Doc Holliday (staring at her chest) Looks to me like you already have.
Mayor Burke enters and goes up to the bar.
Mayor (to Molly) Sarsaparilla please, Molly.
Molly Yes, Mr Mayor. (moves behind the bar)
Belle (to Mayor – simpering) How do your Mayorship. I’m Belle Bottoms, the new proprietor of this saloon.
Mayor Well I sure hope you last longer than the previous ones.
Belle I plan on being around a long time.
Mayor You look like you already have been.
Belle And how long have you been Mayor?
Mayor Ten years.
Belle That’s exactly how long my late husband’s been gone. (vamping) And I’m in the market for a new one.
Mayor Well don’t look at me. I never shop at the market.
Doc Holliday (to Belle) What did your husband die of?
Belle (thinking) He died of a Sunday…or was it a Monday? But I do miss him you know. I’ll never forget our honeymoon. I didn’t sleep a wink. All night long, it was up and down, up and down. In and out, in and out. (to audience) Take my advice ladies and never book a room next to a lift.
Doc Holliday I meant, how did he die?
Belle He stopped breathing! (to Molly) I thought you said he was a Doctor?
Doc Holliday I am. Which reminds me, I have surgery in ten minutes. Can I give anybody a lift?
Belle You can’t drive home in that state!
Doc Holliday Why not?
Belle Because you’re drunk as a skunk!
Doc Holliday Yes, but my horse ain’t. (staggers off SL)
The Frisco Kid bursts in through swing-door and goes straight up to the bar.
Frisco (slaps a hand on the bar) Gimme a shot’a whiskey, barmaid!
Mayor I’ll have another sarsaparilla, Molly. (to Frisco) I believe in temperance.
Frisco I don’t care if you believe in flatulence.
Mayor We don’t want that sort’a language around here. This is a respectable town I’ll have you know.
Frisco And I’ll have you know, I’ve already shot three men today.
Frisco (brandishing his gun) So I could always make it four.
Mayor (instantly) I’ll get these, Molly!
Molly pours their drinks.
Frisco (to Mayor) Much obliged. (raises his glass) Bottoms up! (downs it in one)
Belle (pointing at Frisco’s gun) That’s a mighty big weapon you have there, mister.
Frisco I’m from Texas ma’am. Everybody’s got big ones down there.
Butch I once got into an argument with a man from Texas. He drew a gun, so I drew a gun. Then he drew another gun, so I drew another gun. Pretty soon we were surrounded by lots of lovely drawings of guns
Molly Then what happened?
Butch My pencil ran outt’a lead.
Belle (dryly) I can believe that.
Frisco (looking past Belle at Molly) What’s your name, gorgeous?
Belle (mistaken – preens) It’s ‘Belle’.
Frisco (to Belle) Well you’ve just dropped a clanger, ‘cos I was talkin’ to your barmaid.
Belle (to Frisco) Cheek! Who are you, anyway?
Frisco ‘Keith’. But everybody calls me ‘The Frisco Kid’.
Mayor (to Frisco) I don’t hold with silly nicknames. I shall call you by your proper name.
Frisco Suit yourself. But the last person who called me ‘Keith’, is feeding the buzzards.
Mayor (changing his tune) Are you planning on stayin’ long, Frisco?
Frisco Maybe. What’s it to ya?
Mayor I’m Mayor Wright-Burke and I run things around here. My Burke family, arrived on the Mayflower. Married into the Wright family and became Wright-Burkes.
Frisco That figures. Well from now on, me and my ruthless gang will be running this town.
Mayor Oh no, you won’t!
Frisco (pulls his gun) And what are you going to do about it?
Mayor Why I’ll…
Frisco (menacing)…You’ll what?
Mayor I’ll go and fetch Sheriff Wyatt Twerp. He’ll sort you out, just wait an’ see. (exits)
Butch That’s a laugh. Twerp can barely see the end of his nose. (to Belle) He once tried arresting his own reflection, for impersonating him.
Belle (to Frisco) So where are the rest of your gang, Frisky?
Frisco They’re outside tying up the horses.
Music cue 3: Bonnie and Clyde saunter on.
Frisco (to Bonnie & Clyde) What kept ya?
Bonnie We had to tie our horses up outside town, boss.
Clyde We overheard somebody mention that this was a ‘one horse town’. (to Bonnie) Ain’t that right Bonnie?
Bonnie It sure is Clyde.
Belle (to Frisco) These two idiots are your ‘ruthless’ gang, are they?
Bonnie (bragging to Belle) I’ll have you know, we’re wanted in fifteen states!
Belle What for? Overdue library books?
Clyde (amazed) How did you know that!?
The Mayor enters with Sheriff Twerp who wears thick ‘jam-jar’ glasses and has a pair of handcuffs attached to his wrist, with one end open.
Mayor (points to Frisco Kid) There he is sheriff! Now go and arrest him!
Sheriff Yes, Mr Mayor! (pulls his gun and bumps into Belle, poking her with it)
Belle Is that your gun sheriff, or are you just pleased to see me?
Sheriff It’s no use pretending you’re a woman, Frisco. (grabs her arm) It’ll take more than dressing up in female clothing to fool me.
Belle (shoves him off) How dare you!
Mayor (turns the Sheriff around to face Frisco) He’s over there, Twerp!
Sheriff Tryin’ to fool me by moving around, eh? (after much fumbling around, he finally manages to grab hold of Frisco) Okay Frisco, I’m taking you in.
Belle (aside to audience) I doubt he could take in washing.
Sheriff Make it easy on yourself and come quietly. (holds out the open handcuff)
Frisco Whatever you say, sheriff.
Mayor (to Frisco) I said the sheriff would sort you out, didn’t I?
Frisco Yes, and I’d like to shake your hand for showing me the error of my ways.
Mayor Always happy to shake the hand of a reformed man. (offers handshake. Frisco grabs his hand and quickly snaps the open handcuff on his wrist) What the…?
Sheriff (tugging at the Mayor) Let’s go, Frisco.
Mayor (gobsmacked – high-pitched voice) But I’m not Frisco!
Sheriff An’ you can cut out the silly voice. I know it’s you. Now come along. (drags the protesting Mayor away)
Mayor I’ll get you for this, Frisco!
The Mayor is dragged off (SL) by the Sheriff and Frisco and his gang laugh.
Bonnie I fancy a drink.
Clyde Me too.
Molly (to Bonnie & Clyde) What can I get you?
Bonnie I’ll have a diet Pepsi.
Clyde And I’ll have an orange squash.
Frisco (to Bonnie & Clyde) I’m not having members of my gang, drinking soft drinks! (to Molly) Give ‘em two whiskey’s.
Molly Yes, sir. (pours two shot-glasses of whiskey)
Bonnie But we hate alcohol, boss.
Clyde It makes us do embarrassing stuff.
Frisco (pulls his gun) Drink up, or else!
Bonnie & Clyde (terrified) Yes, boss!
Bonnie and Clyde pick up their drinks and down them in one.
Frisco That wasn’t so bad now, was it?
Bonnie Actually it was quite ni…(whiskey kicks in)…i…i…i…Music cue 4: Goes into a ridiculous Mexican hat dance)…ice.
Molly (pointing to Clyde) It doesn’t seem to have bothered him.
Clyde (the whiskey kicks in and he goes into ridiculous ontortions, slapping back of neck, stamping feet, pulling hat down over ears, etc. I…I…I…(grabs Frisco and dances him across the floor, singing)…I…I…I like you very much…
Frisco Stop it you fool! (Clyde continues) I said stop! (hits him on the head with his gun)
Clyde falls to the floor and Bonnie immediately helps him to his feet
Clyde What happened?
Bonnie You’ve been singing and dancing again.
Clyde Oh, dear. Who was I dancing with this time?
Frisco Me, you fool!
Clyde Sorry boss.
Frisco gang sit at a table with their drinks.
Marjory dressed in a Temperance League outfit enters.
Butch (to Marjory) Can I help you madam?
Marjory I’m Marjory Teetotal, from the Temperance League. And I’m here to save fallen men.
Belle Well save one for me.
Marjory (to Belle) Don’t you realise the problems that drink causes?
Belle My only problem is selling enough of it.
Marjory Mark my words! Alcohol will bring society to its knees! Then what will you do?
Butch Lower the bar?
Belle (showing Marjory off) On your bike, dear. (turns to the others) She’s right in a way. Drink killed all three of my husbands. The first one died from drinking milk.
Molly How come?
Belle The cow sat on him. The second one died from drinking too much coffee.
Butch Was it instant?
Belle No, he lingered awhile. And my third died from drinking treacle. Mind you, I always knew he’d come to a sticky end.
Molly (to Frisco) That’s five dollars for the drinks.
Frisco Put it on my tab.
Molly Sorry, but we don’t give credit.
Frisco Not even for a paying guest?
Belle (perks up) ‘Paying guest’?
Frisco I’m thinking of staying here for a bit.
Belle Open him a tab, Molly! (taking Frisco by the arm) Let’s go find a room.
Frisco (removing her arm) Later, Belle. I must make a bank withdrawal, first.
Belle You don’t have to pay up front for my services, Frisky.
Frisco That’s mighty kind of you. But I always feel naked without cash in my pocket.
Clyde The problem is, a lot of money these days is tainted.
Bonnie What do you mean?
Clyde Well it ‘taint yours and it ‘taint mine. (laughs)
Frisco (to Bonnie & Clyde) Shut up and follow me.
The Frisco gang exit.
Belle (to Butch) You can show me to my room now.
Butch (scared) Me! I think Molly ought to do that.
Belle You can’t expect a young slip of a girl to carry a big heavy bag upstairs.
Butch I didn’t realise you wanted me to carry you!
Belle I was referring to my luggage!
Butch (straining to lift the heavy bag) What’s in this bag?
Belle Just clothes and some toilet-water.
Molly I think you’ve left the toilet in here as well.
Belle Never mind, I’ll find it myself. (lifts bag like it’s light as a feather and exits SL)
Butch (to audience) She must be on steroids!
Saloon Girls enter (USL)
Girl 1 Hi guys! Has the new saloon owner arrived yet?
Molly Yes, and it’s a woman.
Butch At least we think it is.
Girl 2 What’s she like?
Molly Well she’s already barred most of our customers. So we might soon be out of a job.
Girl 3 Then why don’t we all move to New York?
Girl 4 It’s a real swell place.
Butch What’s so ‘swell’ about it?
Music cue 5: Saloon Girls. After song ends…
Molly I’d love to go, but I can’t leave father here on his own.
Girl 1 But you haven’t seen your father in years, Molly.
Girl 2 He spends all his time in the mountains, prospecting for gold.
Girl 3 And there’s little prospect of him finding any.
Fester runs on.
Fester Gold! I’ve struck gold! (laughs manically)
Molly Father! Is that you underneath all that hair?
Fester Yes, Molly.
Molly Oh, father! (hugs him) I hardly recognised you, it’s been that long.
Fester I know Molly, an’ I’m sorry. But I’m gonna make it up to ya, now that I’m rich.
Belle enters (SL) and spots Fester.
Belle (to Fester) Come along grandad! We don’t want the likes of you in here, making the place look untidy.
Molly (shocked) He’s my father, Belle!
Belle Oh, bad luck dear.
Fester (looking around) This place has changed since I was last here.
Butch Which is more than can be said for you. (wafts the air)
Girl 4 (to Fester) So you’re like…totally rich then?
Fester Richer than old King Midas himself.
Saloon Girls crowd excitedly around Fester, fussing over him.
Belle (to Saloon Girls) Clear off you, gold-diggers! (pushes Girls off (SL) and turns to Fester) Now then, handsome. Did I hear you say something about being…‘rich’?
Fester Yes, and I’d like to deposit something in your strongbox. I’ll just get it out fer ya. (rummages in his trouser pocket and takes out a paper) These are the deeds to my goldmine. I want you to put them where no, low-down claim-jumper, can git their greedy paws on them.
Belle No problem. (takes the deeds and tucks them down her top)
Molly Aren’t you gonna put them in your safe, Belle?
Butch If you ask me, they’re probably safer where they are.
Fester Do you serve food here? I’m starvin’!
Belle Would you like to come to my private quarters for a little nibble?
Fester Ah, sure would!
SFX: Fart sound.
Fester (wafting air) Sorry ‘bout that. I’ve been eating nuthin’ but baked beans fer months.
Belle (to Molly) Bring us up a bottle of Champagne, Molly. Oh, and some air-fresheners. (to Fester) This way my little goldmine. (leads him off)
Butch Now that your father’s rich. I suppose you’ll be leaving us for the bright lights, Molly.
Molly I don’t really know. I haven’t had much time to think about it.
Butch Okay, Molly. You fetch the bubbly and I’ll fetch the air-fresheners.
They exit opposite sides.