The Tumbleweed Saloon
All the actors enter and exit via the saloon swing-door (SR) unless otherwise stated. A bar is (USC) have as many tables and chairs as is practicable. Saloon Girls perform a song and dance routine. Music cue 1: Saloon Girls. After song ends…Exit Saloon Girls (USL)
BUTCH: Howdy folks! And 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-doody, folks! and I want you all to shout back, howdy-doody, Butch! Will you do that? Let’s give it a try then. (exits and re-enters) Howdy-doody, folks! Great! The Tumbleweed Saloon is 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 of lead, you could’ve sharpened his head and used him as a pencil. The new owner’s arriving on the next stagecoach.
CHORUS 1: I hope they don’t turn this saloon into a Weatherspoon’s.
CHORUS 2: Folks around here don’t like change.
BUTCH: I’ll try and remember that the next time you buy a drink.
Enter Molly at a run.
MOLLY: Butch! The stagecoach has just pulled up outside!
BUTCH: Okay folks, let’s give the new owner a good impression – no cussin’ or spittin’!
Enter Belle, singing.
BELLE: ‘Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam, and I’ll show you a house full of…’ (notices everybody staring at her) What are you all staring at? Haven’t you ever seen a woman before?
CHORUS 3: Yeah, but we ain’t never seen one like you afore.
BELLE: (preening) I don’t suppose you meet many women, as refined as what I am.
CHORUS 4: You look about as refined as Jeremy Clarkson out on a stag do.
BELLE: (to Chorus 4) You’d better smarten up for starters if you wish to continue frequenting my establishment.
BUTCH: You’re the saloon’s new owner!?
BELLE: That’s right. Belle’s the name – Belle Bottoms.
CHORUS 1: I’ll be hornswoggled!
BELLE: Not in here you won’t! This is going to be a family-friendly pub.
Chorus 2 hoikes and spits on the floor.
BELLE: Oi you!
CHORUS 2: You talkin’ to me?
BELLE: Yes! You’re barred!
CHORUS 2: What fer?
BELLE: For spitting on the floor!
CHORUS 3: But we always spit on the floor.
CHORUS 4: What do you think the sawdust’s fer?
CHORUS 1: Next, you’ll be tellin’ us we can’t bring our horses in no more.
BELLE: Of course, you can’t! This is a saloon, not a stable!
CHORUS 2: I can see an ugly old mare in here, right now.
BELLE: Where? (whirls around) I don’t see any ugly old mare.
CHORUS 3: Try lookin’ in the mirror!
BELLE: (to Chorus) That’s it! You’re all barred!
Exit Chorus murmuring.
Music cue 2: Enter Doc Holliday.
DOC. H: Where’s everybody going, Molly? You’re not closing, early are you?
MOLLY: No, Doc Holliday. (moves behind bar)
DOC. H: Thank goodness – I thought I’d missed breakfast. The usual please, Molly.
MOLLY: (places a bottle of whiskey on bar) Here you are, Doc.
DOC. H: (guzzles bottle) 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.
MOLLY: But they’re the only kinda people we got around here.
BELLE: And who are you two?
BUTCH: We’re your employees.
MOLLY: I’m Molly.
BUTCH: And I’m Butch.
BELLE: I must say, you hide it 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: And where are they now?
DOC. H: In the cemetery.
BELLE: What are they doing there?
BUTCH: Not a lot.
BELLE: You mean they’re dead!?
DOC. H: Yup! They had more holes in them a sieve.
BELLE: What happened to them?
MOLLY: They got shot.
DOC. H: In the body, mostly. And I should know, I’m a doctor. (swigs bottle)
BELLE: I meant whereabouts, geographically.
MOLLY: In this very saloon.
BUTCH: Friday nights can get a bit rough in here.
BELLE: Maybe I should get myself a couple of big bouncers.
DOC. H: (ogling her bosom) Looks to me like you already have.
Enter Mayor Burke.
MAYOR: Sarsaparilla please, Molly.
MOLLY: Yes, Mr Mayor. (moves behind bar)
BELLE: How do your Mayorship.
MAYOR: Who are you?
BELLE: I’m Belle Bottoms, the new owner of The Tumbleweed Saloon.
MAYOR: Let’s hope you last longer than the previous owners.
BELLE: I plan on being around a long time.
MAYOR: You look like you already have been.
BELLE: How long have you been Mayor?
MAYOR: Ten years.
BELLE: That’s how long my late husband’s been gone. (vamping) And I’m in the market for a new one.
MAYOR: Don’t look at me – I never shop at the market.
BELLE: I’ll never forget our honeymoon. I never slept 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 – never book a room next to a lift.
DOC. H: What did your husband die of?
BELLE: He died of a Monday – or was it a Tuesday?
DOC. H: I meant how did he die?
BELLE: He worked at the Nescafe factory, and died after falling into a vat of coffee.
MOLLY: What a horrible way to go.
BELLE: Yes, but at least it was instant. (to audience) I’ll wait.
DOC. H: I’d better be off – I have surgery this morning. Can I give anybody a lift?
BELLE: You can’t drive home in that state!
DOC. H: Why not?
BELLE: Because you’re drunk as a skunk!
DOC. H: Yeah, but my horse ain’t. (exits SL)
Enter The Frisco Kid.
FRISCO: 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 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: I’ll get these, Molly!
Molly pours their drinks.
FRISCO: Much obliged. Bottoms up! (downs it in one)
BELLE: (indicating Frisco’s gun) That’s a mighty big weapon you have there, mister.
FRISCO: I’m from Texas ma’am – everybody has 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 drawings of guns
FRISCO: (looking past Belle at Molly) What’s your name, gorgeous?
BELLE: (preens) It’s, Belle.
FRISCO: Well, you’ve just dropped a clanger, ‘cos I was talkin’ to your barmaid.
BELLE: Cheek! Who are you, anyway?
FRISCO: The name’s Keith – but everybody calls me The Frisco Kid.
MAYOR: 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: (suddenly friendly) Are you planning on stayin’ long, Frisco?
FRISCO: What’s it to ya?
MAYOR: I’m Mayor Burke and I run this here town.
FRISCO: Well, from now on me and my ruthless gang will be running it.
MAYOR: Oh no, you won’t!
FRISCO: (pulls his gun) And what are you going to do about it?
MAYOR: Why I’ll…
FRISCO: You’ll what?
MAYOR: I’ll 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.
BELLE: Where are the rest of your gang, Frisky?
FRISCO: They’re outside tying up the horses.
Music cue 3: Enter Bonnie and Clyde.
FRISCO: What kept ya?
BONNIE: We had to tie our horses up outside town, boss.
CLYDE: We heard somebody say that this was a one-horse town. Didn’t we Bonnie?
BONNIE: We sure did, Clyde.
BELLE: These two idiots are your ruthless gang?
BONNIE: (proudly) We’re wanted in fifteen states!
BELLE: What for? Overdue library books?
CLYDE: How did you know!?
Enter Mayor with Sheriff Twerp who wears thick glasses and has a pair of handcuffs attached to his wrist, with one end open.
MAYOR: (pointing) There’s the Frisco Kid – now go and arrest him!
SHERIFF: Yes sir, Mr Mayor! (pulls his gun and pokes it against Belle)
BELLE: Is that your gun sheriff, or are you just pleased to see me?
SHERIFF: It’ll take more than dressing up in female clothing to fool me, Frisco.
BELLE: How dare you!
MAYOR: (turns Sheriff around) 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.
FRISCO: I doubt you could take in washing.
SHERIFF: Make it easy on yourself and come quietly. (holds out the open handcuff)
FRISCO: Whatever you say, sheriff.
MAYOR: I told you the sheriff would sort you out, Frisco.
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 takes his hand and snaps the handcuff on his wrist) What the…?
SHERIFF: (to Mayor) Let’s go, Frisco.
MAYOR: (high-pitched voice) But I’m not Frisco!
SHERIFF: An’ you can cut out the silly voice. I know it’s you. (drags the Mayor away)
MAYOR: I’ll get you for this, Frisco!
Exit Sheriff and Mayor (SL)
Frisco Gang laugh.
BONNIE: I need a drink.
CLYDE: Me too.
MOLLY: What can I get you both?
BONNIE: I’ll have a diet Pepsi.
CLYDE: And I’ll have Dr pepper.
FRISCO: I’m not having my gang, drinking pop! (to Molly) Give ‘em two whiskeys.
MOLLY: Yes, sir. (pours two shot-glasses of whiskey)
BONNIE: But boss – alcohol, always makes us do embarrassing stuff.
FRISCO: (pulls his gun) Drink up or else!
BON & CLY: Yes, boss!
Bonnie and Clyde pick up their drinks and down them in one.
FRISCO: That wasn’t so bad now, was it?
BON & CLY: No, boss. (whiskey kicks in) Eeeeha! Music cue 4: (they perform a ridiculous Mexican hat dance)
FRISCO: Stop dancing, you idiots! (they continue and try and involve Frisco) I said, stop! (bops them both on the head with his gun handle)
Bonnie and Clyde stagger about holding their heads.
BON & CLY: Ooooh, my head!
CLYDE: What happened?
FRISCO: You were both dancing like cats on a hot tin roof!
BONNIE: We told you alcohol makes us act silly, boss.
BELLE: Don’t blame the alcohol.
MOLLY: That’s five dollars for the drinks, Mr Frisco.
FRISCO: Put it on my tab.
BELLE: I’m sorry, but we don’t give credit.
FRISCO: Not even for a paying guest?
BUTCH: Paying guest?
FRISCO: I’m thinking of staying here for a bit.
BELLE: Open a tab, Molly! (taking Frisco’s arm) Let’s go and find you a room.
FRISCO: Later, Belle. First, I need to make a bank withdrawal.
BELLE: You don’t have to pay up front for my services, Frisky.
FRISCO: That’s mighty kind of you. But I feel naked without cash in my pocket.
BELLE: The problem is a lot of money these days is tainted.
FRISCO: What do you mean?
BELLE: Well, it ‘taint yours and it ‘taint mine. (laughs)
FRISCO: I’ll see ya later Belle. (to Bonnie & Clyde) Let’s go.
Exit Frisco gang.
(chants off) Down with demon drink! Down with demon drink!
Enter Ladies of the Temperance League, chanting.
MOLLY: Can I help you ladies?
STELLA: I’m Stella Artois, and we’re all ladies of The Temperance League.
BUTCH: Apt name, Stella – but what are you doing in a pub?
STELLA: We’re here to save fallen men.
BELLE: Save one for me, won’t you?
STELLA: Don’t you realise the problems that drink causes?
BELLE: The only problem I have is selling enough of it.
STELLA: Alcohol will bring society to its knees – then what will you do?
BUTCH: Lower the bar?
BELLE: (shooing them off) Goodbye ladies! (turns) Show me to my room, Butch.
BUTCH: I think Molly ought to do that, Belle.
BELLE: You can’t expect a slip of a girl to carry a big heavy bag upstairs.
BUTCH: I didn’t realise you wanted carrying.
BELLE: I was referring to my luggage!
BUTCH: (straining to lift her bag) What’s in this bag?
BELLE: Clothes, makeup, and toilet-water.
BUTCH: I think you’ve left the toilet in here.
BELLE: Never mind, I’ll find it myself. (lifts bag as if featherlight and exits SL)
BUTCH: She’s obviously on steroids.
Enter Saloon Girls (USL)
GIRL 1: Has the new saloon owner arrived yet, Molly?
MOLLY: Yes girls, 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 regulars.
BUTCH: So, we might be out of a job soon.
GIRL 3: Maybe we should all move to Tombstone.
GIRL 4: Sounds like another dead-end place.
MOLLY: I can’t go to Tombstone and leave father here all alone.
GIRL 1: But you haven’t seen your father in years, Molly.
GIRL 2: He spends all his time prospecting for gold.
GIRL 3: And there’s little prospect of him finding any.
Enter Fester at a run.
FESTER: Gold! I’ve struck gold! I’m rich! Rich I tell ya! (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’m know Molly, an’ I’m gonna make it up to ya, now that I’m filthy rich.
BUTCH: Let’s be honest Fester, you’ve always been filthy.
FESTER: This place has changed since I was last in.
BUTCH: Which is more than can be said for you. (wafts) Phowar!
Enter Belle (SL) she spots Fester and starts shoving him off.
BELLE: Come along Worzel Gummidge! We don’t want the likes of you in here, making the place look untidy.
MOLLY: But he’s my father, Belle!
BELLE: Oh, bad luck dear.
BUTCH: And he’s rich!
BELLE: (to Fester) How rich?
FESTER: Richer than Jeff Bezos.
Saloon Girls crowd excitedly around Fester, fussing over him.
BELLE: Clear off you gold-diggers! (shoos Saloon Girls off SL and turns to Fester) Well hello, handsome. I’m Belle, the owner of this saloon.
FESTER: In that case, I’d like to place something in your hand.
BELLE: Shall we go to my room first?
FESTER: No need. I’ll just get it out fer ya. (rummages in his trouser pocket)
BUTCH: I hope this won’t get us shut down.
FESTER: (produces a paper) These are the deeds to my goldmine. I want you to put them somewhere safe.
BELLE: No problem. (takes the deeds and tucks them down her top)
MOLLY: Shouldn’t you put it in the safe Belle, to stop anyone getting their hands on it?
BUTCH: They’re probably safer where they are, Molly.
FESTER: Do you do food? I could eat a horse an’ come back for the saddle.
BELLE: Would you care for a nibble in my private quarters?
FESTER: Will the food be hot or cold?
BELLE: Who mentioned food?
SFX: Fart sound.
BUTCH: (wafting) Phwoar!
FESTER: Sorry ‘bout that. I’ve been eating nuthin’ but baked beans fer months.
BELLE: Bring us up a bottle of Champagne, Molly. Oh, and some air-freshener. (to Fester) This way my little goldmine. (leads him off)
BUTCH: You fetch the bubbly Molly, and I’ll fetch the Febreze.
MOLLY: Okay butch.
Exit Molly and Butch opposite sides.