Got Milk! (working title) Presentation script - Act 1 Book and lyrics by Kellen Blair and Hillary Rollins Music by Bill Johnson
Hillary Rollins 1219 Ashland Avenue Santa Monica, CA 90405 310-450-1137
LIGHTS UP - CAST ON STAGE FOR OPENING SONG (”It’s All About Cows”)
BOSSIE TODAY THE MIDWEST OFFERS MORE THAN EVER BEFORE THERE'S ART AND STYLE AND HISTORY GALORE JACK IN CITY, TOWN, AND COUNTRYSIDE ALL THERE'S SO MUCH TO EXPLORE BOSSIE SO HATS OFF TO THE GREAT LAKES SHORE ALL AND, ALSO, MARY TYLER MOORE (DA DA DA DA DA DA DA DA DA) ANNIE STILL, SOME UNKNOWING BLOWHARDS THINK IT'S BORING AND PLAIN East-coast snobs!
ANNIE WITH LITTLE MORE THAN FIELDS OF WAVING GRAIN ELSIE THEY SAY TO CHOOSE TO SUMMER HERE YOU’D HAVE TO BE INSANE ALL AND HERE'S THE WAY THAT THEY EXPLAIN THIS TERRIBLE MIDWEST DISDAIN... IT'S ALL ABOUT COWS A WHOLE LOT OF COWS CHARLIE ALTHOUGH THE HEARTLAND'S MORE THAN FARMING TIPPY AND THERE'S MUCH HERE TO FIND CHARMING BERNARD STUFF YOU WON'T FIND IN NEW YORK OR IN L.A. ALL LIKE PEOPLE WHO PRAY AND ACTUALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY WEIGH BOSSIE PLUS, IT HAS THEATRES AND MUSEUMS THAT CAN RIVAL EITHER COAST COWBOY AND FARMER DAN AND, HEY, NOT TO BOAST, BUT TWO COMMITTED GUYS IN IOWA CAN TAKE THEIR WEDDING VOWS,
AIN'T YOU IMPRESSED? THEIR UNION IS BLESSED ALL AND YET, NO MATTER WHAT WE TELL THEM AND NO MATTER HOW HARD WE SELL THEM THE MIDWEST THE TRUTH, THEY SUGGEST, IS… IT'S ALL ABOUT COWS! ANNIE You know what we’re talking about-BERNARD East-coast snobs! THEY THINK IT'S FOR COWS! ANNIE Well, it is, but it’s also for-BERNARD A WHOLE LOT OF COWS ELSIE BUT LIKE THE SEXY FARMER'S DAUGHTER THAT'S A MYTH WE OUGHTA SLAUGHTER ANNIE, BOSSIE, TIPPY 'CAUSE TODAY THOSE DAUGHTERS TAKE A REAL DIM VIEW OF PITCHING THEIR WOO AT TRAVELLING SALESMEN PASSING THROUGH BOSSIE THEY'VE GONE TO FANCY UNIVERSITIES AND MASTERED THEIR OWN FATE ANNIE THEY'RE SECRETARY OF STATE! ALL BUT THOUGH THESE FRAUS HAVE LEFT BEHIND THE HAY LOFTS AND THE PLOWS, TIPPY THEY’VE PASSED EVERY TEST, ELSIE WHILE STILL FULLY DRESSED, ALL THEY GET DEPRESSED WHEN CITY-SLICKERS SAY… JACK (impersonating an “East coast snob” speak/sung) "YOU ORIGINALLY HAIL FROM THE MIDWEST?! OH, SURELY, YOU JEST! I THOUGHT…
IT'S ALL ABOUT COWS!" ALL BUT YOU, YOU KNEW DOOR COUNTY WAS THE ONLY PLACE TO BE YOU COULD HAVE SPENT THE SUMMER MONTHS IN LONDON OR PAREE BUT YOU, YOU DIDN'T BUY THE LIES ABOUT OUR REPUTATION INSTEAD YOU BOUGHT WHAT MORE FOLKS OUGHT A GREAT MIDWEST VACATION! CHARLIE AND NOW THAT YOU'RE ENSCONCED IN "THE HAMPTONS OF WISCONSIN" ALL WHO'D KNOW YOU'D GO AND BLOW YOUR DOUGH TO SEE A CHEESY, LOW-BROW SHOW BY ROLLINS, BLAIR AND JOHNSON… BERNARD Snobby east-coast writers!!! ALL …THAT'S ALL ABOUT COWS! AND NOTHING BUT COWS WE KNOW YOU CAME HERE FOR THE CULTURE ‘CAUSE YOU'RE SUCH A "CULTURE-VULTURE" BUT OUR CULTURE'S FOUND IN YOGURT SOLD IN TUBES ELSIE (spinning her many udders like a stripper) WE'VE ALL GOT NINE BOOBS! BULLS EXCEPT FOR THE BULLS! COWBOY & FARMER DAN AND SEVERAL RUBES! ALL BUT LATER ON, WHEN YOU ARE PISSED NO MORE, AND HAVE TIME TO REFLECT, YOU'LL FIND NEW RESPECT FOR THE COW-ARDLY WAY WE LIVE AND ALL THE CORN-PONE WISDOM WE ESPOUSE ELSIE AND THEN THERE'S MY CHEST… (SHE spins HER udders again) BULLS, COWBOY, FARMER DAN
HOW CAN YOU PROTEST? ALL AND THOUGH WE MAY BE SLOW, ONE THING WE KNOW OUR BOVINE SHOW'S THE BEST! OR, AT LEAST, IT'S BETTER THAN THE REST… Wait, “The rest”?!
FARMER DAN But it's the only show for miles around!
ALL WELCOME TO THE GREAT MIDWEST! IT'S ALL ABOUT COWS! .
ELSIE Yes, it really is all about cows, and that was our brand new opening number! CHARLIE But as far as the rest of this presentation goes, the material you’re about to see will not necessarily be in this order in the final show. BOSSIE Despite being billed as of “Act I”, our intention here is really to present the amount of material that is already written and which adds up to approximately half the evening, but not necessarily the first half. JACK This is because “Got Milk” is a revue comprised of a series of self-contained songs and sketches intended to be “moooo-ved” around to create the best running order once it’s all been written. COWBOY For instance, the last song in this presentation is probably not going to end “Act I” but will most likely end the entire evening. BERNARD That said, when the writer’s build the final running order and knit together the transitions, they do intend to create a sort of overall context for all the individual bits. FARMER DAN Not a plot, per se, but a sense of a reason for the evening and a sense of development so that the overall piece adds up to more than just the sum of its parts. TIPPY To that end, they have created a basic group of characters -- the herd and the folks from the opening number -- who will be seen again and again in different sketches and contexts. ELSIE Of course all the actors will double and triple in other, smaller, one-time roles as needed, but each one will also be assigned a basic character whose wants, needs, fears, foibles and son on will drive the piece. BERNARD Okay, enough bull. Let’s get “moooove” on. called, “It Might Be...”
Our next sketch is
ALL exit except for JACK, ANNIE, CHARLIE, and TIPPY and BERNARD. Lights change. The group looks off as if watching something intently distance.
JACK Well, there goes Ted. That lucky son of a heifer finally made it! (Yells) Good for you, Ted! CHARLIE He’s off to ramble in that ranch of relaxation! ANNIE Off to prance in that pasture of paradise. TIPPY (Realizing it’s her turn) Off to...frolic in that... field of... frivolity. (A beat.) BERNARD You guys aren’t serious, right? You do know that Ted’s about to be turned into a hamburger, don’t you? ANNIE Well, if “turned into a hamburger” means “exploring a new world of never-ending happiness,” then yes. “Turned into a hamburger” he shall be! BERNARD Come on, guys, quit joking around. That’s the slaughterhouse. The barn of death? The “hang you upside down and chop off your head” place? JACK (Rapidly) I don’t know what barn you’re talking about, Bernard, but we’re talking about that giant barn over there where all cows eventually go and never return for mysterious reasons that nobody fully understands except that it’s a place where all cow are undoubtedly happy! BERNARD It’s a place where all cows are undoubtedly happy meals! Come on, guys! CHARLIE Sometimes I lay awake all night wondering what marvels await us there! BERNARD Listen, if you really want to know, I’ll tell you exactly what... (Jack steps in front of Bernard. “It Might Be...”)
JACK WE WONDER WHAT WONDROUS DELIGHTS WE MAY FIND BEYOND THAT INDUSTRIAL GATE WHERE FIN’LLY WE’LL LEAVE ALL OUR PLIGHTS FAR BEHIND AND LEARN OUR LUXURIOUS FATE! ALL BUT BERNARD BUT WHAT CAN IT BE? OH, WHAT CAN IT BE? WE CAN’T KEEP FROM WONDERING WHAT IT MIGHT BE... BERNARD I’m trying to tell you guys, it’s... CHARLIE IT MIGHT BE A FORT FOR A MILLION TO FEED IN, ANNIE OR MAYBE A PORTAL TO SOME SORT OF EDEN, TIPPY WHERE GRASS IS GREEN AND WARM AND DENSE, JACK A FIELD MUCH LIKE THIS ONE BUT MINUS THE FENCE. BERNARD A portal to Eden? That’s completely mad, cow! ANNIE IT MIGHT BE A HOME FOR THE FOUR-LEGGED “CHOSEN,” CHARLIE WHERE BUFFALO ROAM AS THE BULLS ARE BULL-DOZIN’. JACK A CHANCE FOR REST ANNIE (gestures toward her breasts) AND UDDER EASE, TIPPY WHERE FIN’LLY WE’LL DO WITH OUR MILK AS WE PLEASE. BERNARD Why are you even speculating? It’s very clear! They’re going to EAT YOU! JACK THIS ENDLESS DEBATING IS MAKING US FLIP, ANNIE AND TIPPY WE HATE THIS UNDYING SUSPENSE!
JACK THERE’S GOTTA BE SOMEONE WHO’LL GIVE US A TIP, CHARLIE AND NOT IN THE LITERAL SENSE! ANNIE Oh! Maybe it’s some sort of super-cow training facility. JACK Holy me, that would be awesome! TIPPY Or a giant party with all of our favorite cowlebrities. Like SiGUERNEY Weaver! Mary HOLSTEINbergen. Jennifer ANGUSton!
CHARLIE Whoa. Wait a second. Maybe inside that barn is another giant field with another barn, which contains another giant field and ANOTHER barn, which contains... BERNARD You’re all completely crazy! It isn’t ANY of those things! ANNIE You know, Bernard might be right. Really? Sure...
BERNARD CHARLIE (A3) IT MIGHT BE A FAIR OR A BOVINE MOO-SEUM, ANNIE WITH HOOFPRINTS SO RARE IT’LL THRILL US TO SEE ‘EM. JACK IT MIGHT BE VAST IT MIGHT BE DEEP JACK AND TIPPY WE’RE SO PERPLEXED IT’S HARD TO SLEEP ALL BUT BERNARD DESPITE THE FACT WE COUNT THE SHEEP AT NIGHT.
WE HOPE TO FIND OUT JUST AS SOON AS WE CAN, AND WE MIGHT! BERNARD (Fed up) I hope so too! I hope you find out immediately so I won’t be surrounded anymore by the society of brainless bovines!
We’re a society?
JACK Hey look, the farmer’s coming back! (FARMER DAN enters and walks up to the cows. ALL but BERNARD raise THEIR hands and jump up and down, as if to say, “pick me! Pick me!”) FARMER DAN Well, Bernard, your time has come. BERNARD You’ve got to be kidding me. ME?! You’re taking ME?! (FARMER DAN starts leading a reluctant BERNARD off-stage as the others wave at HIM cheerfully.) ALL BUT BERNARD (Ad lib) Congratulations! Way to go, Bernard! You did it, buddy! JACK YOU’RE OFF TO A WORLD WHERE YOU’RE ALWAYS A WINNER, ANNIE WHERE ALL KINDS OF BIG SHOTS WILL HAVE YOU FOR DINNER! CHARLIE SO REST YOUR HIDE AND DON’T DESPAIR, JACK AND TIPPY A FATE LIKE YOURS IS TRULY “RARE,” ALL BUT BERNARD YOU’LL FILL WITH PRIDE AS FOLKS DECLARE, “WELL DONE!” YOUR LUSCIOUS NEW LIFE BEING SERVED... HAS FIN’LLY BEGUN!
Lights change. Two bulls - MATTHEW MILKTOAST and PAT BULLCANNON - and one cow - ARIANNA HEIFERTON enter. (Or actors from earlier scene transform into new characters.) MILKTOAST You’re tuned to NBR - National Bovine Radio -- and it’s time for Political Bull, the show that looks at “all things cow” from left, right and center. Today we’re talking about global warming. Representing the left, please welcome Arianna Heiferton... HEIFERTON (heavy Greek accent) Hello, Matthew, and may I say, it’s about time the average, hardworking, American cow had his or her say on this hot topic. I mean, after eight years of those pigs at the troughs ruining the environment-MILKTOAST We’ll get to that in a minute, Arianna, just let me-BULLCANNON Lookit, Arianna, there’s simply no evidence that anything is getting warmer with the possible exception of you wild-eyed radicals gettin’ all hot under the udders-MILKTOAST (trying to be heard over them) And on the right, say hello to Pat Bullcannon-HEIFERTON Well if you selfish beasts hadn’t been sitting around for the last eight years just chewing your cud while the planet burned-MILKTOAST (sheepishly) Of course, I’m your moderate moderator in the middle, Matthew Milktoast-BULLCANNON --How would you even know if the planet was burning, Arianna? Your herd is so far out in left field you wouldn’t recognize an actual fact if it bit you in the hind quarters! MILKTOAST Let’s moooove on to the topic at hoof.
Global warming is--
HEIFERTON --Excuse me, my “hind quarters”? Are you going to sink to that tired old sexist manure? Commenting on a heifer’s anatomy because you can’t deal with the fact that she actually has a brain?! BULLCANNON --You have a brain the size of a kumquat!
HEIFERTON We all have brains the size of a kumquat -- we’re cows! BULLCANNON If you milkers had stayed in the barn where you belonged and left the real work up to the bulls-HEIFERTON --Uh, oh, I think someone’s feeling a bit like a steer! BULLCANNON --Are you calling me neutered?!
If the snip fits...
HEIFERTON (making scissor gesture toward his crotch)
MILKTOAST Now, wait a minute! There’s nothing wrong with being a steer! (BULLCANNON lowers horns, begins snorting, and paws the ground with his hooves, ready to attack. MILKTOAST stepts in front of HEIFERTON to protect her.) MILKTOAST (cont’d) Can’t we all just try to get along? HEIFERTON (over MILKTOAST’S shoulder, to BULLCANNON) Where’s the beef, huh? (BULLCANNON makes bull attack bellow sound...) Huuhhrrrnrrhh!!!!
BULLCANNON (HE charges HEIFERTON and MILKTOAST. MILKTOAST runs away screaming...)
MILKTOAST (HEIFERTON stands HER ground and is “gored” by BULLCANNON and carried off, still jabbering at him.)
HEIFERTON Oh, sure, as soon as someone doesn’t agree with you you see red! Typical reactionary reaction...
(ALL exit, lights change.) (COWBOY enters with guitar and takes center stage. I Coulda Been Rich By Now.)
COWBOY USED TO WRITE 'BOUT COWS EV'RY CHANCE I GOT. HAD A NEW IDEA EV'RY DAY BUT IT SEEMED AS SOON AS I WROTE ONE DOWN MY IDEAS GOT STOLEN AWAY THOUGH THE WHOLE WORLD LOVES THAT JIM HENSON FREAK HE'D A BEEN A NOBODY NOW, IF HE DIDN'T SNEAK THAT INITIAL PEAK AT MY PUPPET "KERMIT THE COW" EACH TIME I WATCH THAT MUPPET CRAP I CAN SEE WHAT SHOULDA BEEN MINE I COULDA BEEN RICH BY NOW I SHOULDA BEEN RICH BY NOW IF THEY’D DUMPED THE FROG AND WENT ALONG WITH THE COW I'D BE A RICH MAN NOW MOO-DE-LAY-HE, MOO-DE-LAY-HE, MOO-DE-LAY-HE! COULDA WORN TUXEDOS AND SLEPT IN SILK IF I'D BEEN A GIANT CELEB, BUT THEY TOOK MY BOOK KNOWN AS "CHARLOTTE'S MILK" AND REPLACED MY DREAMS WITH A WEB THEN I WROTE A SCRIPT THAT BECAME THE SOURCE FOR THAT AWFUL SHOW, "MR. ED." SURE, THEY CHOSE A HORSE, BUT THAT HORSE OF COURSE SHOULDA BEEN A HEIFER INSTEAD I'M WELL AWARE THIS WORLD'S UNFAIR BUT IT'S TIME THE RECORD WAS STRAIGHT! I COULDA BEEN RICH BY NOW I SHOULDA BEEN RICH BY NOW IF A HORSE AND A SPIDER HADN'T COME FROM A COW I'D BE RICH A RICH MAN NOW! MOO-DE-LAY-HE, MOO-DE-LAY-HE, MOO-DE-LAY-HE! I COULDA HAD ME A LIMOZINE AND A SWELL TWELVE STORY HOUSE IF THEY HADN'T TRADED MICKEY THE COW FOR A DUMB UNLIKABLE MOUSE They even swiped my theme song.... M-I-C See, it's a cow.... K-E-Y Why is that farmer touching him there? C-O-DOUBLE-U STILL THERE AIN’T NO CAUSE JUST TO SIT AND MOPE AND REFLECT ON WHAT MIGHTA BEEN I’VE BEEN DOWN ON LUCK BUT I’M UP ON HOPE AND I KNOW I’LL NEVER GIVE IN ‘CAUSE IN TIME YOU'LL SEE I’LL BE STINKIN’ RICH I'LL BE OVERFLOWIN’ WITH DOUGH SEE I GOT THIS GREAT NEW EXCITING PITCH FOR A COW-THEMED MUSICAL SHOW
It'll be a great big ole' bovine review, unlike anything that's ever been done before! (The COWBOY freezes, looks around the stage and at the set. Maybe even grabs a program from an audience member. Looks dejected). I COULDA BEEN RICH BY NOW I SHOULDA BEEN RICH BY NOW BUT I LOST MY LIFE AND NOW IM HAVIN' A COW CAUSE I SHOULDA BEEN RICH I WOULDA BEEN, COULDA BEEN, SHOULDA BEEN RICH! MOO-DE-LAY-HE, MOO-DE-LAY-HE, MOO-DE-LAY-HE!
(COWBOY exits and lights change as FARMER DAN enters. HE is exhausted.) FARMER DAN Golly, what a day. Milking cows, feeding cows, cleaning cows, breeding cows. Here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo! How did Old McDonald do it? I hope I never see another cow again! (Suddenly, FAIRY COWMOTHER appears.) FAIRY COWMOTHER You shouldn't ever say such radical things! Even in understandably innocent moments of exhaustion. What? Who are you?
FAIRY COWMOTHER I'm your Fairy Cowmother, Farmer Dan. So, you really think the world would be a better place without cows, do you? Very well… ( (waves her wand) Cows never existed! FARMER DAN Well, technically I said I hope I never see another cow again not that I wished they never existed. FAIRY COWMOTHER Yeah, well. That's your problem. FARMER DAN And there's no problem that can't be solved by a delicious dinner. (He walks to the kitchen and opens his fridge.) FARMER DAN (CONT'D) (cont’d) Hey! Where's the beef!? FAIRY COWMOTHER Beef? Steak? Burger? Cow brain stew? What are those things? Take a closer look; I think you'll even find you don't… got milk. See, the cartons are all empty. FARMER DAN If cows never existed, why are there even milk cartons in the first place? FAIRY COWMOTHER How else are we going to find those damned kids?! Good point. I'm hungry!
FARMER DAN But what the horse-feathers am I supposed to do now?
FAIRY COWMOTHER You're hungry are you? Makes you stop and think, doesn't it? (Without Cows.)
FAIRY COWMOTHER (cont’d) CAN'T YOU SEE THAT EV'RY BOVINE HAS A PURPOSE? SHOW RESPECT FOR ALL THE BANQUETS THEY ALLOW AND A DONUTS PRETTY SCARY WHEN IT CAN'T BE DIPPED IN DAIRY, YEAH WE'D NEVER EAT IF NO ONE HAD A COW THEY'RE A CHEAP AND EASY WAY TO FEED A PLANET, SO WITHOUT 'EM THERE'S A DAUNTING LACK A' CHOW WHEN YA GRILL AND MARINATE 'EM EVEN VEGANS WISH THEY ATE 'EM, YEAH THE WORLD WOULD STARVE IF NO ONE HAD A COW WE SHOULD STOP AND THANK THE BOVINES THERE'S A MILLION BILLION REASONS THEY ABOUND TAKE SOME TIME TO THANK THE BOVINES YOU DISCOVER WHEN YA LIST 'EM HOW THEY'RE VITAL TO OUR SYSTEM, CAUSE A MORE DELIGHTFUL FRIEND CANNOT BE FOUND SO BE THANKFUL THAT THE BOVINES ARE AROUND! (A SCRATCHING sound is heard.) What's that noise?
FAIRY COWMOTHER The starving children of the world scratching at your door. Do you want to look them in the eyes and tell them what you've done? Because I sure don't. FARMER DAN No! They'll go away. And so will you! If I just relax on my comfortable leather chair and wake up from this nightmare… (He SITS on his chair, then jumps up.) FARMER DAN (CONT'D) (cont’d) Ouch! This chair is covered with sandpaper! FAIRY COWMOTHER That's right. No more leather, Farmer Dan. FARMER DAN Yeah, but sandpaper? It couldn't have been like… cotton or something? No.
FAIRY COWMOTHER (beat) SAY GOODBYE TO ALL THOSE LEATHER BOOTS AND JACKETS WHAT DO PEOPLE NEED WITH CLOTHING ANYHOW? BY THE WAY, IF YOU HEAR SNEEZING THAT'S BECAUSE THE WORLD IS FREEZING, CAUSE IT'S AWFUL COLD WHEN NO ONE HAS A COW.
WITH NO LEATHER WE'RE WITHOUT OUR FAV'RITE FASHIONS, PLUS THE BEDROOM SCENE IS KIND OF BORING NOW AND WITH BELTS GONE IT'S APPALLING HOW OUR PANTS ARE ALWAYS FALLING, (Farmer Dan’s pants fall, he trips) YEAH WE TRIP A LOT WHEN NO ONE HAS A COW SO LET'S STOP AND TAKE SOME TIME TO THANK THE BOVINES THERE'S A MILLION BILLION REASONS THEY ABOUND TAKE SOME TIME TO THANK THE BOVINES YOU DISCOVER WHEN YA LIST 'EM HOW THEY'RE VITAL TO OUR SYSTEM A MORE DELIGHTFUL FRIEND CANNONT BE FOUND SO BE THANKFUL THAT THE BOVINES ARE AROUND FARMER DAN I guess there's a lot around this house that came from a cow. FAIRY COWMOTHER And not just this house, Farmer Dan. Look outside. THE EARTH IS BLAND AND BARREN NOT A SINGLE BLOOM ALIVE WITHOUT A COWS' MANURE, OUR GORGEOUS FAUNA CAN'T SURVIVE FARMER DAN What in God's name have I done? FAIRY COWMOTHER What in whose name? Without the most sacred creature of the world's oldest religion, Hinduism, the whole "God thing" never took off. Nobody can help you now, Farmer Dan. FARMER DAN I'm calling the police! (The FAIRY COWMOTHER steps in front of the phone, somewhat threateningly.) FAIRY COWMOTHER The phone won't work. FARMER DAN Don't tell me without cows phones were never invented. FAIRY COWMOTHER No, you just haven't paid your phone bill in months. You're a DAIRY farmer - how do you think you make money these days? You don't! In fact - this isn't even your house. You're trespassing! (A SCARY LOOKING GUY slowly enters, pointing a rifle at FARMER DAN.)
SCARY LOOKING GUY Get a move on, stranger! Or I'll pump your noggin' full a' lead! (Suddenly LOUD EXPLOSIONS are heard from outside.) FARMER DAN What the…? What was that? FAIRY COWMOTHER Nuclear war. You see… EV'RY COUNTRY'S PLAGUED WITH VI'LENCE AND DESTRUCTION, SINCE YOU MADE THE HEIFERS TAKE A FINAL BOW, CAUSE A COW'S EFFECT IS CALMING BUT THEY'RE GONE SO NOW WE'RE BOMBING. PEOPLE HAVE A COW WHEN NO ONE HAS… A COW FARMER DAN I've learned my lesson! FAIRY COWMOTHER WHY SHOULD ALL THOSE HELPLESS PEOPLE HAVE TO SUFFER CAUSE SOME NIMROD THINKS HE'S HOLIER THAN THOU? I said I'm sorry!
FAIRY COWMOTHER SO BEFORE YOU SHOUT ABOUT 'EM THINK HOW LIFE WOULD SUCK WITHOUT 'EM, IT'S A WORLD OF PAIN WHEN NO ONE HAS… (Suddenly the ARTISTIC DIRECTOR of the American Folklore Theatre enters, confused. He stops the music.) ARTISTIC DIRECTOR What's… going on here? FARMER DAN Um… a scene. From the show…? What show?
FAIRY COWMOTHER Without cows around to inspire this revue, the show you're in was never written. We're all just crazy people who broke into this theatre. ARTISTIC DIRECTOR I'm going to have to ask you to leave. (to the audience) All of you. Please leave. Now.
FARMER DAN Wait! Please! Give me another chance! What do you want me to do? Grovel? Yes.
FAIRY COWMOTHER FARMER DAN (starting slowly) I'D… LIKE… TO… STOP AND TAKE SOME TIME TO THANK THE BOVINES NOW I SEE THE ZILLION REASONS THEY'RE AROUND IT'S APPARENT WHEN YOU LIST 'EM HOW THEY'RE VITAL TO OUR SYSTEM THERE'S AN AWFUL PRICE TO PAY WHEN THE COWS HAVE GONE AWAY, ‘CAUSE ALTHOUGH WE SELDOM SEE THEM THEY'RE AROUND US EV'RY DAY ALL FOUR YEAH A MORE IMPRESSIVE CREATURE CAN'T BE FOUND! (The ARTISTIC DIRECTOR and SCARY LOOKING GUY exit.)
FAIRY COWMOTHER You seem to finally understand the significance of cows, so… (waves her wand) The world has been restored to normal. (FARMER DAN frantically digs into his pockets, then sighs with relief.) FARMER DAN Whew. Zuzu's peddles. FAIRY COWMOTHER Well, goodbye forever. FARMER DAN Wait! As long as you're here… what happens if I wish for… I don't know… a world without violence? FAIRY COWMOTHER Sorry, my powers are only meant to help people learn ironic lessons through temporary suffering. Speaking of which, I have to fly… I think I hear your neighbor wishing for a world without verbs. (The FAIRY COWMOTHER flutters away.)
FARMER DAN Well… time for me the cows. By which I… Cows… hands… bucket… (frustrated) Verbs!!!
(THEY exit and lights change as TIPPY enters.) TIPPY A world without cows?! What an awful, terrible thought! (SHE shivers) TIPPY (cont’d) Shake it off, Tippy, just shake it off...breathe... (SHE takes a cow-yoga pose) TIPPY (cont’d) Now think lovely thoughts...about a world without flies in your eyes...about a world in which a mother’s milk flows for her babies and not for “The Man”, “The Man with The Can”... (SHE drops yoga pose) Oh, but do you suppose there really is such a place?...I know there is...There must be! (Lights change to pin spot on TIPPY. “India”.) (MORE)
24. TIPPY (cont’d) It’s not a place a cow can get to by a boat or a train. far away, behind the moon, beyond the rain...
INDIA WHERE THE YOGIS SIT 'NEATH THE BANYON TREE IN INDIA AND EXPLORE THEIR SPIRITUALITY AND FOLKS LIKE ME CAN ROAM WILD AND FREE FINDING THEIR TRUE PATH IN HINDU INDIA INDIA WHERE A SIMPLE MAN OF GOD ONCE SAID TO INDIA DON'T FIGHT TO WIN, JUST FAST INSTEAD HE GOT REAL THIN AND THEY ALL GAVE IN THAT'S HOW FREEDOM CAME TO HINDU INDIA COMING FROM THE WEST YOU CAN'T COMPREHEND AND YOU MAY PROTEST YOU JUST CAN'T TRANSCEND ALL OF IT SEEMS ODD IF YOU'RE CHAKRAS ARE WEAK BUT THERE'S A GOD WITH A SIX-ARMED PHYSIQUE WHO'LL PROVIDE RELIEF ON A LOTUS LEAF AND PERHAPS YOU'LL EVEN GIVE UP BEEF! LIKE THEY HAVE IN INDIA PEOPLE GRIND ME DOWN SO I WANT TO FLEE TO INDIA WHERE THEY KINDA THINK I'M A DEITY I’LL MARINATE I MEAN, MEDITATE! TILL I ACHIEVE A SACRED STATE IN INDIA...
OR MAYBE I'LL JUST REINCARNATE IN INDIA
(It dawns on HER that this probably won’t happen)
(As TIPPY exits, ELSIE enters stumbling and carrying a bottle of Kahluah in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other.) ELSIE (to audience) Well, if it ain’t the Chuck E. Cheesehead convention... (off the bottles in her hands) What are you lookin’ at? Ain’t you never seen a White Russian before? Dasvidanya, baby! (takes a swig from both bottles) You don’t even know who I am, do you?! I mean, first it’s all, “Miss Elsie” this and “Miss Elsie” that, and “What flavor cud would you like today, Miss Elsie?” But when your teets run dry and you have a few flies buzzin’ round your butt, you’re nothin’ but twinkle in Louis Vuitton’s eye... (swigs from one of the bottles again) Well, you can kiss my skinny rump roast, for all I care! I may be a dried up rack o’ ribs now, but I was big in my day! You bet your sweetbreads, I was, I was the biggest! “Elsie”!!! Borden’s marvelous mascot, the “It” cow! From Tupelo to Timbuktu, anybody who ever even thought of suckin’ down a glass of moo juice knew my name. Advertising Age Magazine voted my face one of the top ten icons of all time! Before Joe Camel, before the Energizer Bunny, there was...“Elsie!” (Lights change. “Big Fat Cow Part 1” (MORE)
26. ELSIE (cont'd) ...Ah, those were the good old days, when the hay was stacked... (off her udders) ...And so was I.
I WAS A LADY OF LACTATION WITH A BULGING BAG NOW I NEED A SHOT OF HORMONES FROM SOME KNOCKED-UP NAG STILL, THE MEMORIES LIFT MY SPIRITS WHEN THE MAMMARIES SAG THE MEMORIES OF THE DAYS I WAS A BIG FAT COW! WHEN A COW IS YOUNG AND BEEFY SHE CAN STRUT HER STUFF WITH PRIDE, BUT TIME’S A THIEF AND SERVES UP GRIEF WITH PAIN ON THE SIDE AND SOON HER FULL-GRAIN LEATHER FACE IS WORN-OUT NAUGAHYDE! OH TAKE ME BACK TO WHEN I WAS A BIG FAT COW! AS MILK-FED VEAL I’D HAVE HAD TO BE HOUDINI TO ESCAPE THE SCALLOPINI AND THE PARMESAN SO I CUT A DEAL I’D SELL THEIR CHEESE AND BUTTER BUT THEY THREW ME IN THE GUTTER WHEN MY LOOKS WERE GONE! THEY USED MY IMAGE EVERYWHERE THAT BUT IMAGES STAY FRESH WHILE LIVING AND NOW I’M OUT TO PASTURE WITH MY MY TALE ABOUT THE DAYS I WAS A BIG
MILK WAS SOLD FLESH GROWS OLD TALE UNTOLD! FAT COW!
It all began when I was just a chorus cow in the dairy exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair... (A large rotating platform with automatic milking-machines circa 1939 appears on stage with a bevy of bovine beauties hooked up to them. As they’re milked, they dance and the platform rotates ala a Busby Berkley production number. Among them is Young Elsie, whom Old Elsie watches with longing. A gathering of fair-goers are enthralled and applaud wildly. Off to the side, a Borden’s executive and an ad man are watching.) COW CHORUS IT’S BORDEN’S MILK WITH A CAPITAL “B”
IT’S HEALTHY STUFF FOR YOU AND ME WHITE AS SNOW, SMOOTH AS SILK THE ANGUS SISTERS SAY, MOO, MOO, MOO, MOO DRINK BORDEN’S MILK SKOO-BE-DO-WAH! EXEC It’s a hit! They love the Rotolactor! This show is going to put Borden’s on the map! You’re a genius, Reid, an advertising genius! AD MAN It’s show biz -- everyone’s a friggin’ genius. tell you! What do you mean?
It’s not enough, I
AD MAN The crowd only watches when it’s milking time! In between, we’ve got nothin’. What if we found a cow so lovely, so talented, so fat, that they just couldn’t resist her, even between milkings?! EXEC Sure, but where would we find an animal like that?! (At that moment YOUNG ELSIE makes a mistake in the dance and falls down because she’s so fat. The crowd gasps. YOUNG ELSIE shouts back at them...) YOUNG ELSIE What are you looking at? Ain’t you never seen ‘cow tipping’ before?! (The startled crowd begins to laugh, applaud and relax, assuming it was all part of the choreography.) That’s it!
AD MAN You’ll Do Lobelia!
I’ll do what?
AD MAN You’ll Do Lobelia, the cow! EXEC Hey, my sheep may be nervous, but I draw the line at-AD MAN --No, that heifer! Her name is You’ll Do Lobelia...
(The EXEC stares at the ad man. They freeze, as Old Elsie turns to the audience to interject) Yep, it really was. up?!
ELSIE You think I could make this kind of manure (She turns back to watch the scene as it unfreezes.)
EXEC But she’ll need a stage name...
AD MAN How about “Francis Gumm?” (They freeze. “BIG FAT COW - PART 2”)
ELSIE They settled on “Elsie” and a star was born... I WAS JUST A HOOFIN’ HEIFER IN THE CHORUS LINE TILL THEY BRANDED ME A BRAND NAME BACK IN ‘39 AND SOON THE GRASS WAS GREENER AND THE OATS MORE DIVINE! I LIVED THE LIFE OF RILEY AS A BIG, FAT, COW! By the time the fair closed in 1940 I was a household name. Why, I was bigger than cheeses! (She stares the audience down for a beat, then chastises them in an ad lib manner.) Don’t get your panties in a twist, I said, “Cheeses...like camembert or brie...But I was, I was more famous than Mickey Mouse! I had my own radio spots, I got my own fan mail, why I even starred in a movie. That’s right, an RKO Feature entitled, “Little Men”! It was on the set of that picture that I met a handsome young stunt bull named Elmer... (Old Elsie turns to watch the scene as a DIRECTOR enters, followed by YOUNG ELSIE in full costume and make-up and an ACTRESS dressed as a Louisa May Alcott character with a milking pail and three legged stool.) Moooo! Quiet on the set!
YOUNG ELSIE DIRECTOR Rolling! And...action!
ACTRESS There’s my good girl -- ready for your milking, Missy? (As the ACTRESS sits about to milk YOUNG ELSIE ELMER THE BULL enters. He’s a hunk. ELSIE and ELMER lock eyes and SHE goes into heat, kicking the ACTRESS in the head, knocking HER and HER milking equipment over as ELMER goes after ELSIE and all hell breaks loose. ) Cut!
DIRECTOR (The scene freezes and OLD ELSIE takes the focus again.)
I was over the moon!
HE WAS A RODEO REBEL WITH BUCKING-BRONCO MOVES I WAS A WELL-BRED JERSEY BUT HE SWEPT ME OFF MY HOOVES I THOUGHT WE’D HAVE A FUTURE IN A LONG BARN BUILT FOR TWO BUT HE WOULDN'T GO TO WORK, HE ACTED LIKE A REAL BEEF JERKY, SO I HAD THEM TURN HIM INTO GLUE! (Lights come up on another part of the stage illuminating a giant bottle of Elmer's Glue on a pedestal with candles and white lilies, as if it were a funerary urn) ELSIE (cont’d) I told everyone he'd gone off for a peccadillo with a picador from Pocoima, but… (takes a swig) ) Oh, what the hell, that’s all just spilt milk, right? I bought me a fine "Cowdillac" and took my act on the road! (During the following YOUNG ELSIE and others enact a “whirlwind US tour” montage where we see HER being loved and adored by crowds all wearing milk mustaches.) I HAD MY CHARMS DISPLAYED UPON WITH OPEN ARMS THEY GREETED ME AND I WAS THROUGH WITH FARMING THIS FEMME WAS QUITE THE CREME
A BIG MARQUIS FROM SEA TO SEA ONCE I’D BEEN TO PAREE! DE LA CREME OF BIG FAT COWS!
But it wasn’t enough. I wanted more, I wanted to be a star on the Great White Milky Way! That’s right, Broadway! Sure, I’d been in pictures, but there’s no place like the theatre, where it ain’t over til the four-footed fatso sings! So one fateful day, I set out from Rahway, New Jersey to Shubert Alley, the heart of the New York theatre district, when all of a sudden my truck was hit from behind... (SHE whips off the wilted daisy neck piece to reveal a cervical neck brace.) After the accident, it was all down hill. tranquilizers for the pain. (MORE)
I got hooked on horse
31. ELSIE (cont’d) The Borden people told everyone I was too injured to be saved, that they’d had to “put me to sleep” for my own good, but the rumors of my euthanasia were highly exaggerated! It was all a bum steer. God, I get sick to my four stomachs just thinking about it. The truth was...
I’D PASSED MY PRIME TURNED MANGY, THIN AND BONY THAT’S WHEN HIRED THOSE PHONY ELSIES IN DISGUISE (Younger cows wearing copycat daisy neck pieces enter and parade around like super-models)
THEY LOOKED SUBLIME THEY’D POSED FOR BEN AND JERRY’S, FOR CALIFORNIA DAIRIES AND THOSE GATEWAY GUYS
BUT THEY’LL GROW OLD THEMSELVES SOMEDAY AND HIT A WALL AND I’LL BE THERE APPLAUDING FROM A FRONT ROW STALL! I KNOW I SHOULDN’T GET A KICK FROM WATCHING THEM FALL (SHE trips THEM and THEY go down like dominos) BUT THE MILK OF KINDNESS ONLY FLOWS IN BIG FAT COWS! Now I know what you’re thinking. “At least you had your day, Elsie! What about the rest of us, whose creme never rose to the top, who just couldn’t gain a pound, no matter what we did. Oh, we tried,” you say, “We stuffed our faces with everything in sight, but no matter what we did, no matter how much we ate, we just keep losing weight!” I know, it’s not fair, but that’s the way it is. So forget about it, ladies, let your skinny-freak-flag fly! Besides, I may have been the biggest bovine the world has ever known, but I didn’t have something wonderful that ya’ll do have...that’s right, that fine load of bull sittin’ next you tonight...your man! So go on, guys, let her know how lucky she is...turn to her right now and tell her, “Honey, to me you’ll always be a big, fat cow!” (SHE ad libs around this until SHE gets the whole audience to participate.) OLD ELSIE SO LADIES, IF YOU’RE WORRIED THAT YOU’VE GROWN TOO LEAN JUST LET THAT FINE BULL STUFF YOU FULL OF DAIRY QUEEN AND IF YOU TWO CAN STICK LIKE GLUE YOU’LL SEE WHAT I MEAN-IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU’RE THINNER OR YOU’RE FATTER AS LONG AS IN THE HEART OF YOU YOU KNOW THAT THERE’S A PART OF YOU THAT’S ALWAYS GONNA BE A GORGEOUS BIG...FAT...COW!
TIPPY and BOSSIE enter. TIPPY This next and last number will probably close the entire show and be proceeded by a scene or group of scenes in which my character, Tippy, leaves the farm...or at least tries to. BOSSIE But in the end, as everyone knows, you can “mooooove” away all you want, but there’s no place like home... (The rest of the cast enters and joins them. Light change. Heartland.)
ELSIE IT'S NOT A PLACE FOR DIVAS OR DRAMA QUEENS OUR COMMON GOALS WILL KEEP US EVEN-KEELED FARMER DAN ENRICH THE EARTH AND RAISE IT'S YEILD CHARLIE SO EVERYONE'S OUTSTANDING IN THEIR FIELD! COWBOY IT'S NOT A PLACE YOU'LL END UP GETTING RICH ANNIE YOU'LL WORK REAL HARD IN ORDER TO SURVIVE BERNARD BUT EVERY DAY YOU'LL FEEL SO ALIVE WE'LL WORK TOGETHER ALL (EXCEPT TIPPY) AND THAT WAY EVERYONE WILL THRIVE! THE HEARTLAND THAT IS WHY WE CALL OUR HOME THE HEARTLAND TIES THAT BIND AND SPACE TO ROAM WE'LL HOLD YOU CLOSE IN OUR HEARTS TIPPY OTHER PLACES SOMETIMES CALL TO YOU WITH GREENER GRASS AND SHINY FIELDS OF GOLD BOSSIE, ELSIE, BERNARD BUT ALL OF THAT WILL SOON GET OLD TIPPY AT NIGHT YOU'RE COUNTING SHEEP, ALONE, WITHOUT A HAND TO HOLD ALL THE HEARTLAND THAT IS WHY WE CALL OUR HOME THE HEARTLAND TIES THAT BIND AND SPACE TO ROAM WE'LL HOLD YOU CLOSE IN OUR HEARTS REAPING ONLY WHAT WE SEW WE'LL DO MORE WITH LESS WE'LL BIRTH THE CALVES AND PULL THE HOE AND HARVEST OUR SHARE OF REAL HAPPINESS COWBOY & FARMER DAN FOR MANY GENERATIONS WE HAVE WORKED THIS LAND ALL COWS & BULLS TO LIVE OUT HERE IT TAKES A SPECIAL BREED
ALL OUR ROOTS GROW DEEP FROM ANCIENT SEED JUST ADD THE RAIN AND SUN AND EVERYONE HAS ALL THEY NEED! THE HEARTLAND THAT IS WHY WE CALL OUR HOME THE HEARTLAND TIES THAT BIND AND SPACE TO ROAM WE'LL HOLD YOU CLOSE IN OUR HEARTS