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Literature
Fiction


“THE RELUCTANT COWBOY”


by

Tom Cole

SUPER:    “NEW YORK CITY, DECEMBER 1980.”

FADE IN

INT. NEW YORK CITY APARTMENT

POKEY CRIBBAGE, a Chihuahua-terrier mix, lies on the  1950s motif davenport fast asleep.  The football game on the TV roars scratchily.  Outside, a siren wails and flashes of red and blue cut through the window to dance across the walls.  They keep dancing.  Pokey awakens.  He makes a low-pitched, quiet howl.  He gets up, his hair raised a bit in simple irritation, and walks to his drinking pan in the kitchen.  He stands over it a moment and laps unenthusiastically once, twice -- missing the water entirely the second time.  He howls again, and there is a trace of a growl in the sound.  The sirens die away in time, and Pokey returns to the davenport and is soon sleeping again.  The TV blares on.  The lights on the wall flash brighter.  They dance on the wall and on the sleeping dog.  The TV screen is now nearly all green with the expanse of Astroturf.  Football players are running across the field.  From the TV comes the voice of HORACE GOLDING. 
 
                GOLDING (V.O.)
There are some things more important than a football game.  News from New York City.  James McKay composer and former leader of the Storm Kings shot in the back and dead on arrival at ...

There is the sound of muttering from the TV, and a pause of several seconds. 

            GOLDING (V.O.)
What?

The voice pauses again and then comes back. 

            GOLDING (V.O.)
I stand corrected.  McKay's condition is not known.......and I am told now that he has been critically...  but I will say nothing more.

 There is still another pause.

            GOLDING  (V.O.)
Idiots.  God damn it! Get me the facts first -- the facts.  Fools.

EXT. NEW YORK CITY STREET -- NIGHT -- MINUTES EARLIER

A young man is standing on the sidewalk in front of the Shawnee, an imposing, multi-story apartment building.  He thumbs through a book, holding it up to the light of a streetlamp.  A car approaches and the figure of JAMES MCKAY emerges and starts toward the apartment building.  The young man raises a .38.  Three shots are heard and a fourth only after the shooter has put the muzzle of the .38 in his mouth and pulled the trigger.  The book flies into the air and lands on the sidewalk in the light of the streetlamp.  The book is open.  Its title page is visible, and it reads, “In Our Time.” A breeze stirs and blows the title page to one side, and then for a while an invisible hand leafs through the book lying on the sidewalk.

EXT. NEW YORK CITY SKYLINE -- NIGHT

The song “Sad Times Are Coming” sung by SYLVESTER T. CRIBBAGE begins to play with a violin/organ introduction followed by Cribbage’s voice.  An ambulance is seen from a view above the city, winding its way through the streets finally to reach the hospital.

CRIBBAGE (VS.)        
PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)
When every leaf
Is gone from every tree...

INT. PASSENGER JET

The muffled, whistling sound of jet engines is heard.

SYLVESTER T. CRIBBAGE, New York Native, actor and musician, is seated in the aisle seat of the Boeing 727.  Next to him, at the window, sits another man, EDWARD WENTWORTH.  The seat between them is empty.  Wentworth is obviously Cribbage's senior.  His hair is mostly gray and he is dressed conservatively.  Cribbage is youthful, but mid-fortyish.  His hair is uniformly dark brown and it stands high, combed as it is into something like a pompadour.  Cribbage is thin, yet his face is big and blatantly expressive, good humored, and plastered on it is not a perpetual smile but what might be called a perpetual laugh.  Cribbage is wearing a suit with a vest and has on a bolo tie with a long-horned steer as the slide.  The bolo tips are silver bullets.  A female flight attendant is standing in the aisle with the beverage cart.

        FLIGHT ATTENDANT
        (to Cribbage)
Would you like something to drink?

        CRIBBAGE
(to Wentworth in a Brooklyn accent)
Sir.  You first.

        WENTWORTH
Thank you.  I'll have a bourbon on the rocks, please -- a double. 

Wentworth leans over to speak to Cribbage

        WENTWORTH
Always get a double.  You won't have to wait for your next drink, and the attendant won't be bothered twice.
 
        CRIBBAGE
Great idea!

He looks at the flight attendant.

        CRIBBAGE
A bloody Mary.  Make it a double!

Cribbage winks at Wentworth.

The flight attendant serves the older man a plastic glass with ice and two one-ounce bottles of bourbon.  She pours the bloody Mary mix from a 12-ounce can over the ice in another cup for Cribbage and puts it on his tray along with two bottles of vodka.  The older man begins to fix his drink.  He takes the cap off of one of the bourbons.  Cribbage sticks out his hand. 

        CRIBBAGE
Sylvester T. Cribbage!

Wentworth shakes Cribbage’s hand.

        WENTWORTH
Edward Wentworth.  I’m a Catholic priest.

Cribbage blanches. 

        CRIBBAGE
Well, I was raised Catholic myself.

He pulls a tiny chain from under his shirt revealing the St.  Christopher medallion. 

        CRIBBAGE
My traveling companion, Sir.  But you don't have to warn me you're a priest, Father.  I wouldn't have embarrassed you.  I talk to everyone the same: man, woman, grocery store clerk, cop on the beat, Indian chief, even priest.  Tell the truth, Father.  Were you really afraid I was going to say something just awful?

 He digs the man playfully in the ribs with his elbow. 

        CRIBBAGE
You know.  Heh, heh -- just guy to guy?

        WENTWORTH
Well, I...

        CRIBBAGE
You'll never see the best in people if you expect the worst, Father.  Seek and ye shall find and all that.

        WENTWORTH
...Well, of course I always...

        CRIBBAGE
If you're uncomfortable going plain clothes, wear the collar, Father, though I take a dim view of any priest who would wear it just to put us all on notice.  Don't you think it's time you started believing in the basic goodness of people?

Cribbage leans over putting the big laughing face close to Wentworth’s.

        CRIBBAGE
What you need, Father, is a little faith!

Cribbage cheerfully uncaps both vodkas, pours them into his cup, and tosses them down.  The flight attendant is turning from the seats opposite where she has just served another passenger.  Cribbage gently grasps her sleeve and tugs. 

    CRIBBAGE
Father Wentworth has advised that I order a double bloody Mary.

    FLIGHT ATTENDANT
I just served you a double bloody Mary not one minute ago.

    CRIBBAGE
Er, he asked me to.  He says it saves time.

        FLIGHT ATTENDANT
I think not, sir.

    CRIBBAGE
It's all right.

He points to the priest's remaining uncapped bottle. 

    CRIBBAGE
We have an extra anyway.

He leans toward Wentworth.

    CRIBBAGE
So much for your advice.

EXT. STEPS LEADING TO CRIBBAGE’S FRONT DOOR -- NIGHT

Cribbage walks up the steps to his apartment as the cab he has arrived in disappears down the street.  There are a large number of people on the street.  He sees flashing red and blue lights and hears some singing down the street.  Cribbage takes his apartment key from his pocket. The key is attached to a long, rather heavy chain. He turns the key in the lock and goes in. 

INT. CRIBBAGE’S APARTMENT
There is something about a shooting on TV, but Cribbage switches it off.  Pokey is running in circles in excitement.  Cribbage picks him up and the two hug and kiss until Pokey has calmed down.  He puts the dog on the couch and picks up the note from THE FEMALE DOG SITTER on the coffee table.  He reads her note.

    THE FEMALE DOG SITTER (V.O.)
“Pokey was very happy today.  Lots of tummy rubs! And a good walk.  Gave him his meds and we played “Snappy Dog” in the living room.  Your TV was on when I came in.  I didn’t know if you wanted it on or off, so I left it that way.  Looking forward to seeing Pokey again soon. He’s a sweetheart!”

Cribbage looks at the note and rolls his eyes. He takes the dog leash from the coffee table.  Pokey barks and runs in circles.

        CRIBBAGE
A quick pee, Pokey.  Then we’re hitting the sack.

EXT. STREET OUTSIDE CRIBBAGE’S APARTMENT -- NIGHT

Cribbage steps out of his doorway with Pokey.  He locks the door behind him with a key on a long, dangling chain and goes down the steps.  Cribbage walks Pokey down the street in the opposite direction of the lights and singing.

INT. CRIBBAGE’S APARTMENT -- DAY

Cribbage is reading the newspaper article about the shooting at his breakfast table.

        CRIBBAGE (VS.)
They said that one more shot anywhere and it would have spelled curtains for McKay. The world was almost one Storm King down.  And the best composer in the band at that.  There were a lot of big, famous names around with big, fat, swollen heads most of them.  But they’d secretly trade all the talent they had to be able to knock off hits like James McKay.  Or like he used to.  I wondered what he’d say if I asked him to help me out.  I knew he’d be in the Diamond Point Studios sooner or later. 

INT. MCKAY’S HOSPITAL ROOM -- DAY

McKay is in the bed, his arm in a cast.  McKay is fortyish and  has shoulder length brown hair.  The TV is on in the background.  A remote control has its cable going through the rail on the side of the bed.  Horace Golding is standing at McKay’s bedside.  Golding is a tall man better than 20 years older than McKay.

            MCKAY
Forget about it, Horace.  Exaggerated reports of my death and all.  It’s really kind of funny.
   
            GOLDING
I won’t stay any longer, James.  I’m glad you’re doing better.  Take care.

            MCKAY
You too, Horace.

Golding leaves and McKay turns the TV up.  Now it is blaring with an announcer’s voice.  There are shots of the neon sign outside a Broadway theater with the word “LAREDO!”

                    THE TV
Brooklyn’s own SYLVESTER T. CRIBBAGE is breaking some box office records with his quirky western stage production, Laredo! Cribbage stars in his own brainchild as Pokey Laredo, a goofy but tuneful buckaroo with a song in his heart and a laugh up his sleeve.

The TV scene shifts to the stage where Cribbage is seen in a Hollywood western cowboy outfit plucking a string bass.  He is singing his song “The Flip Side of Love.”

            MCKAY
There are two sides to love, it’s true.  Side A is sweet; Side B is blue...    
PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)

            THE TV
KNYC reporter KATHERINE STANDAGE caught up with Cribbage back stage yesterday.

Cribbage appears on the screen standing next to Standage.  He is still in wardrobe with his neck kerchief neatly knotted and his hat in hand.  The music continues in the background. 

            STANDAGE 
Well, Pokey, you’ve been driving cattle up West 42nd Street three nights a week for more than a year now.

            CRIBBAGE
    (In his usual Brooklyn accent.)
I have.  Stopping only to graze at the Carnegie Deli.

            STANDAGE 
Tell me about the show.

            CRIBBAGE 
Well, what we don’t have in storyline we make up for in toe-tapping tunes and one-liners.  And we have a cast that would make Rodgers and Hammerstein jealous.

            STANDAGE
Now, you’re the one who writes all the tunes.

            CRIBBAGE
Right.  No covers.  If you want to hear “Cool Water” for the millionth time, Laredo! will disappoint you.

            STANDAGE
What will we hear?

            CRIBBAGE
You’ll hear new material every three or four shows.  I said we didn’t have much in the way of a storyline.  But because of that, we can swap songs and skits in and out so the show stays fresh.
   
            STANDAGE
The show changes that often?

            CRIBBAGE
Morphs.  It morphs! A month from now you can come back and see it again.   

            STANDAGE
That’s good for repeat business, but doesn’t it make a lot of work for you?

            CRIBBAGE
   (Still in a Brooklyn accent)
Yes, but it’s my show, and ma’am, I aim to run herd on it.  Hey! Want to see me lose 30 IQ points in three seconds?

            STANDAGE
Sure.

            CRIBBAGE
        One, Two, Three!

On three, he sets the cowboy hat on his head.

            STANDAGE
You strike me as a somewhat reluctant cowboy, Sylvester.

            CRIBBAGE
Well, I’m from Brooklyn, for cryin’ out loud.

The last line of the music is heard. 

        THE TV
Don’t make me sing that lonesome song on the flip side of love.

        STANDAGE
Best of luck on Laredo, Sylvester.

        CRIBBAGE
Thank you kindly.

            STANDAGE
This is Katherine Standage KNYC News with Sylvester Cribbage

        CRIBBAGE 
Sylvester TEE Cribbage!

        STANDAGE
Sylvester TEE Cribbage running herd...

        CRIBBAGE 
(in a thick New York accent)
Running hoyd!

        STANDAGE 
...Sylvester TEE Cribbage running hoyd at the Bluebird Theater.

McKay switches off the TV.

        MCKAY
Bloody hell!

INT. GEORGE  HEINEMANN’S OFFICE -- DAY

Cribbage is sitting in a chair in front of GEORGE HEINEMANN, who is at his desk.

            HEINEMANN
Sylvester, I’m hearing everywhere that you plan to change the theme of Laredo, though with that title I don’t know how you intend to do it. 

            CRIBBAGE
The show has always morphed.

            HEINEMANN
It hasn’t suddenly changed into a cockroach.
            CRIBBAGE
Why shouldn’t it?

            HEINEMANN
It’s bad business.

            CRIBBAGE
Bad business.

             HEINEMANN
Of course.  When Middle aged Mom and Pop Midwest travel to Manhattan, they never miss your show.  They buy tickets because of the cowboy theme.  They listen to country music at home.
            CRIBBAGE
If they’ll listen to country, they’ll listen to anything.

             HEINEMANN
You mean they’ll listen to anything country.

            CRIBBAGE
No, I mean they’ll listen to anything.  And the music isn’t country anyway; it’s western.

             HEINEMANN
That fact is lost on your audience.  They fancy themselves trail drivers, Sylvester.  They come to see the hats.  I don’t want you to stagnate, but a sudden change will kill us at the box office.

            CRIBBAGE
I’ve got a New York following too, you know.

            HEINEMANN
Well, local fan clubs don’t pay the bills.

            CRIBBAGE
I’ll die of ennui.

            HEINEMANN
See you later, Buckaroo. 

INT. DOOR TO GEORGE  HEINEMANN’S OFFICE

Cribbage has his back to the door as he shuts it behind him.  He has a sour but determined look on his face.

INT. THEATER STAGE

SYLVESTER T. CRIBBAGE walks toward the audience picking a guitar and singing.  He is in reality walking in place as the props on either side of him, intensely two-dimensional cut-outs of cacti, boulders, brush, and the occasional longhorn cow, move past him on oval carousels.  On either side of the stage are plywood cliffs painted red and burnt sienna like alternating layers of vertical sandstone and sloping shale.  All of the scenery is far from realistic, but that is part of the show's look as a hokey frolic, and the moving props give the impression that he is walking down a canyon.
 
            CRIBBAGE
           (Singing)
Dreams and reality seem an awful lot alike to me. 
And dreams are the only thing that keep me going

Just dreams and the sound of my guitar! 
PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
All of the tunes were mine.  The show closed with "Good-bye Trail Mates," not my best work, but it didn't have to be.  I never even tried to outdo Dale Evans in a fare-thee-well, and this was the only one of my own that I had, and since I didn’t do any covers, that was that.  The same song closed the first record album, which was making me a very modest income.

            CRIBBAGE
        (Singing the last
        line)
Just dreams and the sound of my guitar!

The song ends with a six-note E add9 chord, the first, second, and sixth strings open.

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
When the cast took stage for the finale, a prosaic horse -- two people in a suit -- curtsied along with the actors, and then turned backwards and bowed with its proverbial south end facing the audience.  I always booted the horse's behind and the horse turned around all apologies curtsying frantically in apology.  As corny as it comes, but the crowd ate it up. One night was to be different, though.

INT. THEATER BACKSTAGE

MICHAEL ROSENBURG runs up to Cribbage in a panic.

            MICHAEL
        (shouting)
Mr. Cribbage! Mr. Cribbage!

            CRIBBAGE
What?

            MICHAEL
AMANDA can't go on.

            CRIBBAGE
What do you mean she can't go on?

            MICHAEL
She's hurling, Mr. Cribbage.

            CRIBBAGE
Well put someone else in the horse suit.  What am I, your personal valet? Christ. 

            MICHAEL
Who?

            CRIBBAGE
You.

            MICHAEL
I'm claustrophobic, Mr. Cribbage.

            CRIBBAGE
Amanda has the back of the horse.  You were born for the role.

            MICHAEL
I'll suffocate in there.  Really, Mr. Cribbage.

            CRIBBAGE
I doubt that.

INT. THEATER STAGE

CRIBBAGE AND THE CAST are singing “Good-bye Trail Mates.” Michael and another actor are in the horse suit dancing slowly about as the song ends.

        CRIBBAGE AND THE CAST
It's time to say good-bye to all my trail mates on the ride
And it's time to recollect and brush a tear or two aside...

PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
The song ended, but by that time, Michael was in a claustrophobic panic. 

Michael, in the back part of the horse suit, falls to the stage floor.  THE FRONT OF THE HORSE attempts to curtsy but is being pulled backward by the bulging back end of the horse suit containing Michael.

        THE FRONT OF THE HORSE
         (sounding like a
          stage whisper)
        Get up!

There is a gasp and a tearing sound as the back of the horse is ripped open, and Michael exits running. 

            MICHAEL
        (In a New York accent)
Aaaaaaagh! I’m dying in there!

Cribbage stands center stage, an uncomfortable smile frozen on his face, but there is an explosive laugh from the audience, and Cribbage's eyes widen.  He smiles to the audience as though it had all been part of the act.

INT. THEATER BACKSTAGE

Cribbage is sitting backstage in a chair writing on a clipboard.  AMANDA SMITH walks up to Cribbage.  She’s a pretty brunette but she looks disheveled and sick.

            AMANDA
I’m really sorry Mr. Cribbage.  I got so sick!

            CRIBBAGE
Don’t worry, sweetie.  It’s all for the best.  Believe me.  Go home and get better, sugar pop.

Amanda leaves.  There are people striking the set and others just walking around.

        CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
Serendipity.  The crowd loved Michael’s little disaster so much that I made it a regular part of the show.  I had Velcro sewed into the back of the horse suit.  Every night, Michael would tear himself out of the horse, and when he did, the audience always cracked up.  Who can figure?  Sadism?

INT. THEATER STAGE -- NIGHT

Michael tears himself out of the horse suit in a panic and runs screaming stage right.  The audience laughs.

INT. BACK STAGE -- NIGHT

Michael’s face is wide-eyed and he is sweaty and out of breath.  He hears the crowd’s laughter and turns to look back on stage as if staring back into a nightmare.  He sits in a folding metal chair, picks up a towel and wipes the sweat off his face.  His hands are shaking.

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
Changing that scene was good for Amanda too.  She was too pretty to hide in the suit anyway, so I got her a little background singing part with the other girls and everyone was happy.  Well, not Michael too much.

INT. THEATER STAGE

A cowboy is standing next to a fence doing the spoken part of a song with a swing guitar accompaniment from the orchestra pit.  He has a lariat and is motioning with it as he speaks.  On the fence three cowgirls are seated.  Two are blond and the other is Amanda.

            COWBOY
        (talking to the music)
A cowpoke town folk round here know
Can rope and brand but does it slow
He rides in the saddle rocking to and fro
And he's everybody's favorite cowboy

    AMANDA AND TWO OTHER FEMALE SINGERS             (Singing)
Pokey, Pokey Laredo!
At drawing fast he just ain't worth a dime
Pokey, Pokey Laredo!
They call him Pokey ‘cause he likes to take his time.

            COWBOY
        (talking to the music)
There was a gunfight once and Pokey won
‘Cause it took him so long to draw his gun
The other fella died from standing in the sun
He's everybody's favorite cowboy

    AMANDA AND TWO OTHER FEMALE SINGERS (Singing)
Pokey, Pokey Laredo!
At drawing fast he just ain't worth a dime
Pokey, Pokey Laredo!
The girls all love him ‘cause he likes to take his time.

INT. PRACTICE ROOM -- DAY

THE BUCKIN’ BRONX are jamming.  The band members are dressed in ordinary street clothes.  The band consists of two guitarists, a bass, a keyboard player and a DRUMMER.  The words “BUCKIN’ BRONX” are stenciled on the bass drum.  Above the words is the brand name of the drums, “LUDWIG.” Cribbage has joined the group and is singing.  He has a guitar.  The song is “Tell Someone Your Dreams.” There is a TV in the room and it is on.

        CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
Three nights a week I had the Buckin’ Bronx in the orchestra pit playing.  And I jammed with them once or twice a week too.  The practice sessions were a testing ground for new material.  We played all kinds of stuff.  And I’d occasionally go over to one of their regular gigs on 47th Street and sit in for a few tunes. 

            CRIBBAGE
         (singing)
Dreams are the only thing ‘kept me going so far.  Just dreams and the sound of my guitar.  Tell someone your dreams and they’ll know who you are.  Just from your dreams and the sound of your guitar.
Tell someone your dreams and they’ll know who you are.  Just from your dreams.  Your dreams, your dreams and the sound of your guitar.

The song ends with a screaming 6 add 9 chord.
                      PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)

            DRUMMER
Woo! Old Storm Kings ending!

The TV can be heard now. 

            CRIBBAGE
Speaking of which. 

Cribbage unplugs his guitar and walks to the TV.  He turns up the sound.
 
            THE TV
After a long stay in Manhattan's Westside Hospital, James McKay is traveling home to the Shawnee, where a deranged fan shot the former Storm Kings leader and self-proclaimed peacenik after an evening recording session.  McKay's arm is still in a cast having been broken by the barrage of bullets that nearly killed him, but the cast will be off soon, and he will regain full use of the arm, doctors say.  No word on his plans.

Cribbage stares at the screen.
 

EXT. SIDEWALK LEADING TO THE DOOR OF THE OFFICES OF DIAMOND POINT STUDIOS -- DAY

Cribbage is walking Pokey on a leash.  When they arrive at the door, Cribbage picks Pokey up, gathers the leash, and pushes open the door.

INT. OFFICES OF DIAMOND POINT STUDIOS

A RECEPTIONIST is at her desk inside.

                RECEPTIONIST
Good morning, Mr. Cribbage.  How are you today?

                CRIBBAGE
Great!

                RECEPTIONIST
And how are you, Pokey?

Cribbage grasps Pokey’s jaw and moves the dog’s muzzle, pretending that the dog is talking.

                CRIBBAGE
I’m great too!

Cribbage giggles.  He walks with pokey through another door and into the hallway beyond.

INT. HALLWAYS AND OFFICES OF DIAMOND POINT STUDIOS

Cribbage is walking through the hallways and offices carrying Pokey.  Cribbage sees James McKay talking with two other men.  One is THE STUDIO DIRECTOR. McKay’s right arm is in a cast.

                MCKAY
Just so long as we have that studio for the whole two weeks.

                THE STUDIO DIRECTOR
Yes, it’s already scheduled.  No problem.  We’re both gonna be there anyway in case you need something.  And to get you a safe ride home.

                MCKAY
Sounds great.  See you then.

The two men leave and Cribbage walks up to McKay

                CRIBBAGE
James McKay! Sylvester T. Cribbage!

He sticks out his hand and McKay shakes it.

                MCKAY
What’s the big, gold-embroidered T stand for, Mr. Cribbage?

                CRIBBAGE
            (to McKay and then to Pokey)
Terrific! What else? Oh, sorry; Terrier.  That’s right!

Cribbage laughs at his own bad joke unapologetically and then looks back to McKay. 

                CRIBBAGE
You know, James.  I have that big show Laredo in town.  I assume you’ve at least heard of it.

McKay just looks at him.

                CRIBBAGE
Well, it provides a musical opportunity of sorts.  You see, my worst nightmare is to wake up singing my very own “Good-bye Trail Mates” for the ten thousandth time when I could occasionally be doing some fresh material.

                MCKAY
So?

                CRIBBAGE
So I’ve got plenty to work with, but I lack a collaborator.

                MCKAY
Now you’re describing my worst nightmare.  Take it up with my booking agent.  The same goes for your little dog, too.

McKay walks off as if Cribbage ceased to exist.

                CRIBBAGE
               (to Pokey)
Pay no attention to him.  I’ll bet he doesn’t even have a booking agent.

INT. CRIBBAGE'S APARTMENT

Cribbage is typing at his desk wearing wire-framed reading glasses.  He is an expert typist.  He types the words "THE RELUCTANT COWBOY, A MEMOIR" at the top of the page.  He continues typing fast.       

           
            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
People have always said I had a lot of audacity.  And asking James McKay to be my collaborator the first time we ever met was pretty bold even for me.  Just the same, one listen to his last record convinced me that he might need me more than I needed him.  Convincing him was the problem. 
 
INT. STUDIO -- NIGHT

McKay is in the studio, his left arm in a cast. He is standing in front of an organ. There are earphones on the top of the organ. A console is nearby. Musicians are leaving the room. Two men remain with McKay. One is THE STUDIO DIRECTOR.

            MCKAY
I’m going to listen to what we’ve done so far so I’ll be ready for tomorrow.

            THE STUDIO DIRECTOR
Okay. I think we’re going down to the office for a while. Take your time and come on down when you’re through. Then we’ll get you home.

McKay is alone. He puts on the earphones and takes a step toward the console. He laughs and sees his reflection laughing in the glass between himself and the control room.  But when he stops, it is as though the reflection does not.  It keeps on laughing.  His face in the glass changes as the reflection brays in bravado revealing itself as brainless, selfish, contemptible.  McKay looks horrified by what he sees.  He closes his eyes.  He steps back to the organ. His right hand touches the keyboard and falls into a three-note F chord.  A song comes to him all at once: Part A, Bridge, and lyrics.  And he sings.

        MCKAY                  
PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)
Just today at work
Something set me to thinking
And I wanted to go home
And maybe fix myself a drink
Today while I was working
Something came right out of nowhere
And, oh, I just wanted to go home
Hide it away we just hide it away
Cold is this heart of mine
Hide it away we just hide it away
And let the years blow by

MONTAGE: The Storm Kings are playing on stage.  The Storm Kings are in the studio. The Storm Kings are goofing off together.  McKay is composing with his Storm Kings songwriting partner. A peace march is seen.  McKay is with his wife and son. His son is walking into the distance.

        MCKAY (O.S.)
You can turn your head away
From your thoughts and all your fears
Never to be free from any word or deed, my friend
For your shoulder on the door
Just grows weak against the years
And what is done
Is coming back again
Hide it away we just hide it away
Cold is this heart of mine
Hide it away
We just hide it away
And let the years blow by
Don't you believe you can read what's in their eyes
Behind the windows of every soul lies a sea of tears
Yesterday at work something set me to thinking
Of something that I hid away for years

The collage ends and McKay is seen singing the last verse.

        MCKAY
You can run from the truth and be running from a lie
But you can't run from yourself no matter how you try
Yesterday at work something set me to thinking
And I wanted to go home and cry
BLACK SCREEN

SUPER:    “MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM.  2:00 AM.”

A ringing telephone.  VALERIE MCKAY answers.

        VALERIE
(Groggily)
Hello.

        MCKAY (V.0.)
Val.

FADE IN

Valerie snaps on the lamp on the headboard of her bed where she has just awoken.  Her eyes are almost closed.

        VALERIE
(immediate recognition)
James.

MCKAY (V.0.)
I wanted to talk to you.

        VALERIE
"Do you know what time it is here?

        MCKAY (V.0.)
No.  I assume some ungodly hour.  Sorry; thoughtless.  It's just like me, which is actually what I'm calling about.

        VALERIE
What do you mean?

        MCKAY (V.0.)
Squaring accounts.

        VALERIE
Oh, James, it's much too late for that.

        MCKAY (V.0.)
Is it?

        VALERIE
Of course, it is.

        MCKAY (V.0.)
I was hoping you were an idealist of sorts.  One who says its never too late.  I've been an idealist in words only, I think.

        VALERIE
It's never too late to make an overture, I suppose.

        MCKAY (V.0.)
I'm making one.  It's all I can do.

        VALERIE
It's nice of you.  But it doesn't change anything.  If you want me to say all that happened never mattered...

        MCKAY (V.0.)
It's not that.  I want to make amends.

        VALERIE
Well, that's what's too late, isn't it?

        MCKAY (V.0.)
I know.  So, since I can't change the past, I want to say I’m sorry.  I've become introspective.  Suddenly.  Belatedly.

        VALERIE
Introspection is a great gift.

        MCKAY (V.0.)
And the lack of it a great failing.

        VALERIE
Yes.

        MCKAY (V.0.)
Thanks for not hanging up on me.

        VALERIE
I wouldn't do that, James.

        MCKAY (V.0.)
I guess you could say I hung up on you and Danny a long time ago.

        VALERIE
You could.  And I forgave you a long time ago.  No guilt, James.

        MCKAY (V.0.)
How is Danny doing?

        VALERIE
He's doing fine.  There have been rough times, but there is some forgiveness there too.

        MCKAY (V.0.)
Thanks, Val.

        VALERIE
James, when you were hurt, I wanted to call you.

        MCKAY (V.0.)
Maybe we can talk sometime again.

        VALERIE
That would be nice, James.  Good-bye.

Valerie hangs up the phone.
INT. CRIBBAGE’S BEDROOM – EARLY IN THE MORNING

Cribbage is in bed asleep. Strains of “The Flip Side of Love” can be heard. The doorbell rings.  It rings again.  Cribbage stirs, rolls over.  The sound of the song decreases in volume.  He sits up, and shakes his head as the music fades, comes back a little louder, and then disappears altogether.  Pokey is lying next to him and wakes up. 

The dog barks, jumps off of the bed, and runs for the door.  Cribbage gets up out of bed and starts for the door wearing cowboy decorated pajamas.  He grabs a robe from a closet and puts it on.
        CRIBBAGE
Let's see who the hell it could be, Pokey.

Cribbage opens the door.  James McKay is standing at the top of the cement stairs leading up from the street.  He has a friendly smile on his face.  Cribbage leans back as if reading a book without his glasses.

        MCKAY
I was wondering when you wanted to get together.

        CRIBBAGE
        (beat)
How about now?

         MCKAY
That’s good for me.

        CRIBBAGE
Come in.  Let me get dressed.  Have you eaten? Quiet Pokey.

INT. THE COMPASS ROSE DINER – DAY

McKay and Cribbage are on the sidewalk in front of a downtown eatery. The sign on the place says, "COMPASS ROSE DINER, NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST." There is a large compass rose on the wall with a rose motif. They go inside and walk to an empty table. It is fairly busy with customers who seem especially busy to pretend that they don't notice who has come in. Cribbage and MCKAY walk through the diner to an empty table.  It is fairly busy with customers who seem especially busy to pretend that they don’t notice who has come in.  The two men sit.  A bus boy comes by and gives them each a menu.

       
        CRIBBAGE
You look at those country guys -- you know, the hat bands.  They actually believe in the hats as dumb as that may sound.  And they've just got to wear 'em, even when they're not working.
       
        MCKAY
You don't wear yours at home?
       
        CRIBBAGE
I'm from Brooklyn for Christ's sake.
       
        MCKAY
You wear one on stage.

        CRIBBAGE
Well of course, but it's just a prop as well as a joke.  The cowboys are make believe.  The costume goes with the music.  Like gladiator costumes go with heavy metal.
   
        MCKAY
You know, they're not real gladiators.
   
        CRIBBAGE
I’m hep.
   
        MCKAY
Well, tell me about this country/western musical of yours.
   
        CRIBBAGE
Everyone says country/western but never the twain shall meet. The themes differ, of course, but more importantly, western players play swing half of the time and the country boys just don’t.
   
        MCKAY
I know the western tradition. Thirties and forties swing, chunk! chunk! guitar players a la Freddy Green, Cindy Walker tunes played by Bob Wills. I admire it, but I don’t play much of it.
   
        CRIBBAGE
I’ll give you the chance to.  You'll morph along with the show.  But I need some help on the current stuff first -- at least long enough to fill out the next record album.
   
        MCKAY
Getting some resistance to change, are you? Producers leaning hard on you? Or do they know your plans?
   
        CRIBBAGE
You haven’t seen the show.
   
        MCKAY
No.
   
        CRIBBAGE
Well, tickets are hard to get, but I think I can find you one.

The waitress LORELEI ENGEL comes to the table.  She is blond and a striking beauty.
   
        LORELEI
I'm Lorelei, and I won't pretend I don't know who you are, James.
   
        MCKAY
    (to Cribbage)
It's okay.  It's worse when they pretend not to know.
   
        LORELEI
How's your arm?
   
        MCKAY
The cast comes off tomorrow, thank you.

 He sticks out his good hand and Lorelei shakes it.
   
            CRIBBAGE
Are you pretending you don't know who I am?
   
            LORELEI
No, I'm not.
   
        MCKAY
    (to Cribbage)
She isn’t even going to ask.

Cribbage points to the menu. 

            CRIBBAGE
I'll have the Western if that's any clue.

            LORELEI
Will you have hash browns...

A waitress shouts out to Lorelei.

            WAITRESS (O.S.)
He always has it the same way, Lorelei. The cooks all know.

Lorelei looks in the direction of the waitress’s voice.

            LORELEI
Thank you.

She looks at McKay.

            LORELEI
How about you , James?

            MCKAY
The same.

Lorelei leaves to put in the order.

                                        CRIBBAGE
        (looking in the
        direction Lorelei
        has gone)
She’s new here.
                MCKAY
She shouldn't be here at all.  She should be in a red dress sitting on a grand piano somewhere singing “Miss Otis Regrets.”

            CRIBBAGE
Lorelei, you know, was a German siren.

            McKay
Then she can sing. Hey, there’s something you could do. Hire her and change the name of the play from Laredo to Lorelei.

            CRIBBAGE
            (beat)
That isn’t as bad an idea as it sounds.

INT. CRIBBAGE'S APARTMENT --DAY

Cribbage is sitting at the piano, but he is holding a square-shouldered dreadnaught guitar.  McKay is sitting next to him in an easy chair.

            CRIBBAGE
Recycling is the name of the game in a stage musical. Your audience has time to remember only a few melodies and themes, so whenever you can, you give them the familiar.

            MCKAY
I think you need to tell me now why that isn’t a bore.

            CRIBBAGE
Was it a bore for you to create a great chorus and repeat it two or even three times in a song?  That’s a mini musical.

            MCKAY
You make an interesting point.

            CRIBBAGE
Creatively it’s been a challenge for me. And you’re often as happy with your remakes as your originals.  How hard can you bend that song before it’s no longer familiar? Huh? Is it even a remake if you take the talking guitar bit from one song and sing it as the melody in another with different words? It’s like anything else. You get what you put into it.

            MCKAY
Fair enough.

Cribbage strums a D chord on the guitar.

            CRIBBAGE
Listen to that.  Why does every hack guitar player from Maine to Albuquerque play in D?

            MCKAY
Playing variations around that little D shape has been the basis for about ten thousand great songs.

            CRIBBAGE
I’m hep.  But is also the trademark of the 60-year-old country singer who has that hokey Nashville accent and that big, pre-emphysemic cigarette voice.

            MCKAY
How does the cosmos self destruct when someone plays in D?

            CRIBBAGE
It's the voicing that does that, James.

He plays another D on the guitar.

            CRIBBAGE
I can hear the lame sound of a vanilla D a block away.

            MCKAY
And it isn't pleasing to your ear “Hokey” is it? Like the nasty old Nashville accent? The way you talk sounds funny to me too.  Beware of elitism, Sir Cribbage.

            CRIBBAGE
I don’t think enough of myself to be accused of that. But I do think it’s hokey to have a required accent. It gets stale. Fast.

            MCKAY
So everyone in Laredo talks and sings al natural?

            CRIBBAGE
Well, Pokey Laredo --  that’s me  --sounds more like Bugs Bunny than James Arness.

            MCKAY
Well, he’s a New York rabbit.

            CRIBBAGE
The other actors and singers tend to do the accent. Sadly. Lay it on pretty thick too but the audience expects it. But it’s not Nashville; It’s generic, backwoods bumpkin talk.

            MCKAY
All the same to me -- just like what key you play in.

            CRIBBAGE
Well, let’s stay out of D at least.

            MCKAY
How about drop D?

Cribbage turns the tuning peg on the sixth string and lowers it from E to D.  Then he strums the D chord again.

            CRIBBAGE
Listen to that drone.  Great for writing a tune for bag pipes.

            MCKAY
You're irreverent.

            CRIBBAGE
You can hear that tuning three blocks away.
            MCKAY
I've written in drop D.

            CRIBBAGE
You have.  I think once.  Your  instincts are good.  Write another that way and it will sound just the same.  There's a reason the guitar is tuned the way it is.  I like to play real guitar.

            MCKAY
Real guitar? You're so full of shit!

            CRIBBAGE
No, no! It's like the arrangement of the keys on a typewriter.  There are ways to design the keys to make typing as easy as playing hack guitar tuned to open G.  Only the same arms with the same frequently used letters would get stuck together all the time.

Cribbage puts his two index fingers out and crosses them.

            CRIBBAGE
It’s the exact same thing.

            MCKAY
You've got the whole fucking world figured out, haven't you?

            CRIBBAGE
I have to admit that lately things are beginning to make fairly good sense to me.
            MCKAY
Are you sure you aren’t just crazy?

            CRIBBAGE
Not enough to be noticed.

            MCKAY
I disagree. You don’t even think it’s crazy to ask me to sit right down and write you a little western tune.

            CRIBBAGE
It isn’t unless you can’t. By the way, B flat would be a very nice key to try it in.

INT. MCKAY'S APARTMENT

McKay sits at the window composing with an Ovation acoustic guitar.  It's pouring outside, and the window is streaked with rain.  He plays a "vanilla D" and sings a short western song he has written, "When the Rain Falls in the Valley."
                         PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)

        MCKAY (singing)
When I see the rain fall in the valley.
Do you see it too?
When the rain falls in the valley
I always think of you
When I feel the wind blow down the canyon
Do you feel it too?
When the wind blows down the canyon
I always think of you
Life goes on
Nothing lasts for long
You look away once and it's gone
When I see the sun set on the water
Do you see it too?
When the sun sets on the water
Can't help but think of you

INT. CRIBBAGE'S APARTMENT
Cribbage is typing at his desk.

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
Well, of course, he went right ahead and wrote it in dumbbell D.  But I had to admit that I liked it.  Short, sweet, tearful.  And the title alone put it into the western genre.  He knew that instinctively I guess.  All he had to do was put the word "valley" in the song and people would think "Red River Valley, the West, cowboys, and saying adieu to your sweet little filly.

INT. THEATER STAGE -- DAY

Cribbage is on the stage directing stage hands to arrange giant plywood gravestones with epitaphs.  McKay is there but isn’t helping with any of the work.
 
One epitaph reads, “He called Bill Smith a Liar,” another “Here Lies Lester Moore, four slugs from a forty-four, no Les, No More.” Cribbage becomes impatient and starts moving some of them into position himself.  He grabs one that says, “Ann Parker, Aged 111, the Good Die Young.” A worker behind him has one that reads, “Jake Jenkins, Nevermore to Be”

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
I wanted something to sing that would give the people time to read the funny epitaphs.

Cribbage takes time to put down the work and look at McKay.

            CRIBBAGE
What do you think?

            MCKAY
Nice.  I’m going to look around.  I’ll find you when I’m done.

            CRIBBAGE
Good enough.

McKay leaves.  Cribbage continues giving directions to the stage hands.

INT. CRIBBAGE'S APARTMENT -- DAY

Cribbage and McKay come in the door.  Cribbage is cheerfully singing and dancing

            CRIBBAGE
And when the working day is done
I ain’t gonna hang around here
I wanna go home and blow the foam off a great big, frosty mug of beer!
                                                           PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)

Cribbage opens the refrigerator and takes out a bottle of beer.  It’s an off brand called COTTONWOOD BREWERY PALE ALE.  He sings some more as he takes the magnet bottle opener off of the door of the refrigerator.  He pops off the cap with the opener, throws the bottle cap in the trash bag under the sink, and takes a swig.  Then he starts singing again.

            CRIBBAGE
When I’ve got troubles, you’ll always hear me say, “Help’s just a beer away!”

Cribbage lifts the beer bottle up to McKay.

            CRIBBAGE
Want one?

            MCKAY
No way.  I can’t drink. 

            CRIBBAGE
Can’t.

            MCKAY
You’ve read the stories.  A mean Mr. Hyde, I can be. Can’t remember the night before, so I wake up horrified at what I’m going to be told I’ve done.

            CRIBBAGE
Don’t mind if I have one, do you, Mean Mr. Peace Love Brother?

            MCKAY
Not at all.

Cribbage takes a swig of the beer and starts singing and dancing again.  McKay is not amused, but lets Cribbage finish.

            CRIBBAGE
Early in the mornin’ when you’ve had lots of sleep, that’s when the coffee’s sweet! And when you’ve been working and you have yourself a brew.  That’s when your dreams come true.

                       
            MCKAY
Do you fucking wake up singing?

            CRIBBAGE
I wake up hearing music.

            MCKAY
Your clock radio.

            CRIBBAGE
No.  Music that isn’t there.

            MCKAY
You mean in your head.

            CRIBBAGE
No, it’s outside my head. 

            MCKAY
It’s outside?

            CRIBBAGE
Yes, definitely outside.

            MCKAY
If it’s outside and it isn’t there, doesn’t it mean you’re crazy?

            CRIBBAGE
I don’t think so.  You see, as a boy I used to listen to the air -- this was before the Storm Kings and transistor radios and I didn’t like Elvis, so there wasn’t much for me to listen to that I did like.  Ah, except Satchmo.  I’d listen to the air and hear “Loveless Love” or “Hello Dolly.” I could make the background noise in a room sound like anything.

            MCKAY
When the TV went off the air, did you hear voices in the white noise?

            CRIBBAGE
Actually I didn’t.  And I can’t even hear the music now.  Well, I can, but it isn’t voluntary.

            MCKAY
The hearing of voices is an indication of serious mental illness.

            CRIBBAGE
Well, I often wake up to it, especially if I’ve had too many of these hoppy beers.

            MCKAY
Hops are hallucinogenic?

            CRIBBAGE
They are to me.   

            MCKAY
You’re a queer buggerer.  And bloody full of yourself.

            CRIBBAGE
I’m not bragging that I can create anything from what I hear, James.  It’s all stuff I’ve already listened to a hundred times.  In fact it’s just annoying now.  Like having a song stuck in your head when you’re trying to sleep.

Cribbage starts to sing again, eyes wide with feigned misery.

            CRIBBAGE
        (loudly)
Silence is golden, golden!

            MCKAY
Oh, thanks.
 
            CRIBBAGE
Now you can stay up late and create!

            MCKAY
Create what?

            CRIBBAGE
Well, I’ll tell you.

Cribbage guzzles the beer, opens the refrigerator, and grabs another.  He pops off the top with the opener, throws the bottle cap and the empty in the trash bag under the sink.  He takes a long draught.

            CRIBBAGE
You saw the new set.

            MCKAY
A bunch of funny epitaphs.

            CRIBBAGE
Yeah, the jokes stolen lock stock and barrel from Boot Hill.  Real belly busters too.

            MCKAY
You want a song to go with a bunch of fucking gravestones?

            CRIBBAGE
Exactly.  It will give the people something to listen to while they think about the jokes.

            MCKAY
I need something to think about while I listen to you talk.

            CRIBBAGE
Are you game or not?

            MCKAY
I’ll have a go at it. But here’s an observation:  the show would be a lot better without your ridiculous plywood marble orchard.

INT. THEATER STAGE -- DAY

Cribbage and the stage hands are taking down the plywood gravestones and putting up a movie screen.

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
When I heard the song, I knew I had to get rid of the gravestones and silly epitaphs.  The song didn’t fit the set.  McKay had written me another vanilla D tune, but it was a fairly serious song.

INT. THEATER STAGE -- NIGHT
Cribbage is on the stage sitting on a stool singing.  He is playing “Nevermore to Be” on a J-200 Gibson jumbo guitar out of a D shape.  Behind him are screens with a slide show of late 1800s photographs of people young and old and scenes of the prairie frontier. 

            CRIBBAGE
When the leaves turn gray in September and the winter is riding on the breeze...
                                                       PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)
EXT. CENTRAL PARK  -- DAY


Cribbage is walking Pokey on his leash. Pokey’s back arches and Cribbage is seen to grimace slightly. He reaches into his pants pocket and extracts a plastic bag. He is next seen walking and twirling the bag, which is partly full. He goes to a trash can and drops the bag into it.

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
McKay took my advice about recycling existing material.  He stole my own talking guitar riff off of “Down the Canyon” nearly note for note and laid it over the song so I didn’t even have to learn a new part.  But I decided to have one of the Buckin’ Bronx pick it out on his telecaster in the orchestra pit while I just strummed away with a D shape.

EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET IN THE CITY -- DAY
The music continues in the background. A plump, MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN walking her poodle passes Cribbage, who is walking Pokey.

        CRIBBAGE
    (smiling sweetly)
Hello, Mrs. McGreggor.

        MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN
Good afternoon, Sylvester.

After she passes, Cribbage rolls his eyes and sticks out his tongue.

Cribbage continues walking Pokey on his leash.

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
            (singing)
They say the western sky goes on forever, but there’s no sky wider than a person’s eyes.

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
It struck me as a real western too.  No swing in it, but we would get to that later.

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
When word got around that McKay was composing tunes for me, people couldn’t understand it. But I knew exactly why McKay threw in with me.  You can’t create without any context and he didn’t have any.  I had a living, breathing show.  Who cared if there were cowboys in it? McKay realized he was going nowhere -- grinding out crap only to get shot for his trouble.
 
EXT. DIFFERENT AREA OF RESIDENTIAL STREET IN THE CITY -- DAY

The music continues in the background. Cribbage is still walking Pokey on his leash.

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
I never offered to pay McKay for doing this piecework.  It would never have crossed my mind to figure out what the hourly wage of a guy like that would be. 

EXT. DIFFERENT AREA OF RESIDENTIAL STREET IN THE CITY -- DAY

The music continues in the background. Cribbage is still walking Pokey on his leash.

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
We never talked about money.  He could pick up royalties from the records, of course, and get some chicken feed from sheet music.  But he was already worth a quarter of a billion dollars, so I didn’t feel guilty.  McKay was where he needed to be and he knew it.  I was doing the guy a favor by not charging him.

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
            (singing the last line of the song)
Think of all the people nevermore to be.

Pokey’s back arches and Cribbage is seen again to grimace slightly. He reaches into his pants pocket but is out of plastic bags. He slaps his hip pockets and shirt pockets somewhat frantically. Then, furtively, he looks left and right and then behind himself.

        CRIBBAGE
    (giving a quick tug
    to Pokey’s leash)
Let’s cheese it, buddy. 

Cribbage and Pokey hurry away from the scene of the crime.

INT. DOCTOR’S OFFICE  -- DAY

Cribbage is sitting on the receiving room cot. The DOCTOR is standing in front of him.

            CRIBBAGE
I just don’t want anything that will interfere with my monomania. It’s what makes me who I am.

            DOCTOR
Oh, there are some drugs that will do just that, but I usually refer a patient to a specialist before I  prescribe any of those.

            CRIBBAGE
Do you think I need a specialist?

            DOCTOR
I’m not sure, frankly. I think we can start with my humble level of expertise until we can see where we are. Your symptoms on the face of them are quite serious, but if you were as troubled as your symptoms suggest, you’d be under expert care already. There’s no way you’d be as successful and productive as you are if there were anything seriously wrong with you. When was this last ..er.. vision of yours?

            CRIBBAGE
One month ago. Two years since the one before that.

            DOCTOR
And it’s when you wake up --right?-- when you see someone there?

            CRIBBAGE
Yes.

            DOCTOR
Hear them too?

            CRIBBAGE
Yup.
            DOCTOR
Well, auditory hallucination is easy for the mind to do. For it to conjure up a talking apparition is another thing. But I’m guessing it’s something not so serious. Lots of people just wake up dreaming. It could be nothing more than that. Let’s try a medication that’s good at getting rid of what you call a feeling of . . .

            CRIBBAGE
        (interrupting)
Unreality. I'll bet it's one of the side effects of what you’re going to prescribe.

            DOCTOR
Oh, it is. That’s called paradoxical effect when the drug gives you more of the problem you’ve got. But don’t worry; that’s unlikely. Let’s make an easy positive move and treat this unreality issue first.


            CRIBBAGE
Let’s.

            DOCTOR
        (writing on a pad)
The correct dose will be printed out for you. You can take one more pill if you have a problem but never more than one more than what’s prescribed daily. Okay?

            CRIBBAGE
Okay.

INT. CRIBBAGE'S APARTMENT

Cribbage is sitting on the piano stool, his back to the keyboard, and he is holding and playing a guitar.  McKay is sitting next to him in a chair. He is also playing a guitar, an Ovation acoustic. They are playing in swing style Gershwin's “I've got Rhythm.” The song has them both playing a chord every beat with the rhythm chop on the second and fourth beats.

They finish the song.

        MCKAY
That's so much fun.

        CRIBBAGE
I’ve got a poppy little number worked out.  It seems as though it should lead to another song, but what that could be I don’t know. 

He plays the guitar and sings.

            CRIBBAGE
Sometimes it seems that the world’s just the kind it should be.
And lately it seems that the sun just shines on me
When I look into the mirror
I don’t see the sadness I used to see
Since I met you I’m so glad to be me!
Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah!

               PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)

            MCKAY
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Sounds familiar. And you’re right about it being poppy. In fact, I can still hear the sound of bubble gum popping. You're having trouble inspiring me, Mr. Cribbage.

            CRIBBAGE
Inspiration comes from within.

            MCKAY
Don’t get preachy.

            CRIBBAGE
I’m just telling you like it is.  Some British kid in India teaches you basic folk picking and you found inspiration enough to give him a lesson in what could be done with it.

            MCKAY
What song?

            CRIBBAGE
The one about your mom. 

            MCKAY
You’ve been reading all the popular fiction about me.

        CRIBBAGE
Who hasn’t? Great stories.  Did you really get the hook for “Tonight Only” off of a theater ticket?

            MCKAY
Yeah, but I think I work differently now.
            CRIBBAGE
Well, I know you do.  Your problem is you shouldn’t.

Cribbage turns to the piano.
 
            CRIBBAGE
You didn’t need the other guys in the Storm Kings to come up with a better bridge on that last so-called hit of yours.  Pokey could have helped.

Pokey looks up eagerly from his place on the carpet.

Cribbage balances the guitar in his lap plays a major 7th with both hands on the piano and sings mockingly with saccharin sweetness.

Pokey lies back down somewhat dejectedly.

            CRIBBAGE
    You’re beautiful!

Cribbage turns back to look at McKay.

        CRIBBAGE
You get stuck for inspiration and resort to a big sugar-frosted major seventh.  Your fans will develop pop pellagra feasting on a diet of corn like that.
            McKay
    You say I’m slipping.

             CRIBBAGE
No, James.  You’re resting on your lapels.

Cribbage looks at his watch and gets up.

            CRIBBAGE
Show time.  Hey, could you do me a favor and feed Pokey? Here’s the key.  Er...if you could get a chance to walk him. He'll pee on the carpet eventually if you don't.  The leash is on the piano.

He hands McKay the key with the long chain.

            CRIBBAGE
Go ahead and keep this one. I've got a spare.

            MCKAY
Is it okay to leave my guitar here? I don’t want to be lugging it back and forth.

             CRIBBAGE
Sure. Don’t forget to lock up.  Thanks.  Bye.

 
Cribbage leaves.  McKay gets up and walks to the kitchen.  He opens the refrigerator.  There is a can of dog food whose label reads, “HAPPY TAILS DOG FOOD.” Next to it is a bottle of beer.  McKay picks the bottle up.  The label on the bottle reads, “COTTONWOOD BREWERY PALE ALE, RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA.”

INT. CRIBBAGE'S APARTMENT
Cribbage is typing at his desk.
 
            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
Well, wasn't that something else? I ask him to write a little tune to follow "Oh, Yeah!" And my song turns into a 10-second intro for his smash folk hit "Down by the Riverside."

INT. THEATER STAGE
Cribbage is center stage on a stool playing a guitar and singing.  The spotlight is on him. 

            CRIBBAGE
Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah!

Cribbage switches from strumming and begins standard folk picking of the guitar which leads to the McKay composition.  He is an expert at picking the guitar.
PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)
            CRIBBAGE
There’s a place
Down by the riverside
Down by the river
Down by the riverside
A place I know
Down by the riverside    

Down by the river
Down by the riverside
Where the snowy white down
From the cottonwood trees
Is floatin’ all around
In the summer breeze
You can see it up high in the air
How I wish that I were there.

Stage lights shine on Amanda and another female singer.  They are seated near Cribbage and sing “oo” in harmony to back him up.

        CRIBBAGE
And you can sit and watch the water go by
Down by the river
Down by the riverside
And when the night falls
Down by the riverside
Sometimes the water seems
A hundred miles wide
And hours fly
Days go by
Seasons start and end
Years ride away on the wind
And we may never meet again

But maybe I'll see you
Down by the riverside
Down by the river
Down by the riverside

And we could talk
Down by the riverside
Down by the river
Down by the riverside

I know a cut-off bank there
Where you can dangle your feet
While the hot burning sand
And the summer heat
Make you thirsty as the water is sweet
I wish that we could meet
Down by the riverside

INT. CRIBBAGE'S APARTMENT  -- DAY
The orchestral part of the song consisting of only the music and “oos” from the back-up singers is heard in the background.  Cribbage is typing.  The heading on the page reads: “THE RELUCTANT COWBOY, A MEMOIR.”

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
What did a guy from Manchester know about cottonwood trees anyway -- or a guy from Brooklyn for that matter? He got it off the beer bottle.  Brewed in Riverside, CA no less.  I was getting a lot more than I bargained for here, but I couldn’t gripe about that.  Well, I was tempted to when one of my songs wound up on the B side of the single.

INSERT -- THE 45 SINGLE

Cribbage picks up a 45 single labeled “Down by the Riverside JAMES MCKAY.” He flips it over to reveal the title of the flip side.  “The Flip Side of Love SYLVESTER T. CRIBBAGE.”


INT. THEATER STAGE
Cribbage and the back-up singers finish the song.

        CRIBBAGE
That water rolls along. 
Nobody can pretend
That it’s ever to return
When it’s gone around the bend. 
Still I hope beyond hope, my friend, One day we’ll meet again
Down by the riverside. 
Down by the riverside. 
Down by the riverside.

INT. CRIBBAGE'S LIVING ROOM -- DAY

McKay and Cribbage are in the living room.
            MCKAY
You're taking my advice? You're changing Laredo to Lorelei? After that diner doll?

            CRIBBAGE
Why not? We get a blondie in a red dress who can really sing, deck the cast out in tuxedos, and we're off and running. I've got a million ideas. It's how I created Laredo.
           
            MCKAY
You'll need a song.

            CRIBBAGE
Oh, I'm on it my friend. I might need some help though.

            MCKAY
What's the name of the song?

            CRIBBAGE
Lorelei! What else?

            MCKAY
Lorelei. Just don't get any ideas about my girl, Cribbage.

            CRIBBAGE
Never crossed my mind.

            MCKAY
You've never even been married?

            CRIBBAGE
Nope.

            MCKAY
How come?

            CRIBBAGE
Well, I've had some bad luck that really seems like good luck now. And at the moment I don't need the distraction.

            MCKAY
I'll bet that Amanda distracts you.

            CRIBBAGE
Oh, it's not that I'm without libido, James. It's just that it's not worth it.  To be blunt...

He puts a cupped hand by the side of his mouth.

            CRIBBAGE
(whispering)
...every time I get what I want, I want 'em to get!

            MCKAY
Well, I've met some damnable fools in my time, but you’re fucking daft. A goddamned fool. When was the last time you had to ask someone to get? Love is what it's about. Love.

            CRIBBAGE
Oh, yeah? Love? Then when was the last time you saw your son?

            MCKAY
            (beat)
Touché. Well, I did call you a fool to your face.

            CRIBBAGE
A goddamed one.

            MCKAY
            (beat)
Sorry.

There's a short silence in the room.

            MCKAY
Why don't you show me what you've got of that song?

            CRIBBAGE
I need another day or two. But look at this.

He hands McKay a sheet of paper on which are the two names LAREDO! and LORELEI, the former just above the latter.

INSERT -- THE SHEET OF PAPER

       
            CRIBBAGE
It's for the neon sign on the Bluebird Theater. See how both names match up and share letters? Only a few characters are different. We’ll have those change blinking on and off Laredo! to Lorelei. A simple effect.

            MCKAY
You know what you could do with the “i” in Lorelei...

EXT. THE BLUEBIRD THEATER -- NIGHT

The neon billing sign shows the letters flashing back and forth from  LAREDO! to LORELEI!. The “i” in Lorelei begins to spin. A duplicate “i” is left on the sign, and then the spinning “i” becomes the exclamation point in “LORELEI!”

INT. CRIBBAGE’S BEDROOM -- NIGHT

Cribbage stirs in his bed. He awakes suddenly.

            CRIBBAGE
What? Who’s there?

        MCKAY (O.S.)
Nobody but us famous rock stars.

Cribbage turns on the light on his night stand.

McKay is sitting in the bedroom chair dressed entirely in white.

            CRIBBAGE
I shouldn’t have given you the key. What the hell are you doing here?

            MCKAY
        I didn’t need the key, Sylvester.

            CRIBBAGE
Well, I sure as hell didn’t leave the door unlocked.

            MCKAY
You have no idea what it’s like to be murdered.

            CRIBBAGE
        But you weren’t.

            MCKAY
        Actually, I was.

McKay disappears.

            CRIBBAGE
        (very loudly)
Shit!

Pokey lifts his head from the foot of the bed. Cribbage  sits up in bed, pulls open the nightstand drawer, and removes a pill bottle. He opens it and takes one of the pills out. He puts it in his mouth and swallows it. He chases it with a gulp from a half-full bottle of beer taken from the stand. He then guzzles the rest of the bottle.

He stops a moment appearing to be considering something. Then he gets up and goes down the short hallway, snapping on the light to the living room.

McKay’s Ovation guitar is there. Cribbage picks it up, holds it a moment, and puts it on the couch. The strings brushing against the couch fabric make a quiet ringing sound. Cribbage walks back to the hall and snaps off the living room light. He turns the corner into his bedroom.

For a moment all that is seen is the dimly lighted hallway and the glow of the light from Cribbage’s bedroom. Then the light goes out.

EXT. NEW YORK CITY STREET

Lorelei Engel is walking down the street, and James McKay catches up with her. When he does, they stop to talk.

            MCKAY
I was wondering if you could sing.

            LORELEI
 What?

            MCKAY
I was wondering if you could sing.

            LORELEI
 Why?

            MCKAY
Well, if you can, there’s a part I think you could audition for.

            LORELEI
Why would you think of me especially?

            MCKAY
Because I believe in serendipity. You see, the character who sings is named Lorelei.

            LORELEI
And how did that come to be?

            MCKAY
Easy. Sylvester and I named her after you.

            LORELEI
How is that serendipitous?

            MCKAY
What?

            LORELEI
And why in the world would you do that?

            MCKAY
I was smitten.

            LORELEI
Ah, I see. And now you’re making a pass.

            MCKAY
No, no!

            LORELEI
I make a policy of never mixing with the rich and famous, James.

            MCKAY
Why not?

            LORELEI
I’m not that kind of girl.

            MCKAY
I didn’t think you were.

            LORELEI
You hoped I was.

            MCKAY
You think I’m that kind of guy?

            LORELEI
You all are.

            MCKAY
I detect some bitterness there. You’ve got an ex, haven’t you?

            LORELEI
Yeah, and I’ve got two kids too that I have to share with the bastard.

            MCKAY
Oh, bad scene. So?

            LORELEI
So -- what?

            MCKAY
Can you sing?

            LORELEI
Not a note. Look. Maybe I’ll see you at the diner. I won’t be serving you though. I’m climbing the corporate ladder. Assistant manager. Starting tomorrow.

            MCKAY
Congratulations. Then I’ll see you later. I was just hoping you were waiting tables to keep yourself afloat while you looked for singing gigs.
            LORELEI
I’m sorry you’re disappointed.

            MCKAY
I am actually a little, but I’m glad we got to talk.

            LORELEI
        (smiling)
Well, bye.

Lorelei walks off. McKay watches smiling for a while and then sighs, turns, and goes on his way.

INT. CRIBBAGE'S KITCHEN -- DAY

Pokey has his head in the cabinet below the kitchen sink and is pulling trash from the bag inside.

            CRIBBAGE (O.S.)
Oh, you naughty dog!

Pokey, caught red-handed, slinks from the cabinet and cowers.

            CRIBBAGE
Oh, No, no! Good dog. Good dog! I'm sorry! Did you think I liked the trash more than you?

He picks up a now happy Pokey and kisses him. He puts Pokey back on the kitchen floor.

            CRIBBAGE
Why would I be mad at you? What is that stuff there? Something I was saving? Was it my special trash? Listen, I'm putting you in charge of the refuse department. From now on, that trash is yours. Go get it!

Pokey looks up, uncertain.

            CRIBBAGE
Go and get it!

Pokey grabs the trash bag and shakes his head. Trash goes flying.  Cribbage smiles.

There is a knock on the door. Cribbage walks to the living room and sees that McKay has let himself in. The TV is on in the living room and McKay is distracted by it.

On the TV is a group of rodeo cowboys, hats in hand, heads bowed in prayer, some of them even kneeling in the rodeo arena. American flags are seen.

            MCKAY
I didn't know cowboys were such little altar boys.

           CRIBBAGE
They're not really calling on the Almighty. They're just stirring the waters.

            MCKAY
What do you mean?

            CRIBBAGE
To see if any objectors float to the top. There's a difference between piety and sanctimony.


            MCKAY
You judge them rather harshly.

One of the kneeling cowboys on the screen with eyes lowered in prayer looks up furtively at the crowd. His eyes shift once from right to left.

            CRIBBAGE
Well, they’re only fooling themselves. They don’t fool me. Just my personal opinion.

            MCKAY
Which are you -- pious or sanctimonious?

            CRIBBAGE
Let's nope not sanctimonious at least. I'm afraid to say what I think I am. Just because you say you're something doesn't mean you are.

            MCKAY
You're talking about me.

            CRIBBAGE
            (beat)
You're not as thick as you look. But you're okay. At least you get it, so I have faith in you.

            MCKAY
I have lots of similarly enthusiastic worshipers.

Cribbage turns off the TV and picks up his guitar. He puts the strap around his shoulder so he can play standing.

        CRIBBAGE
Well, here’s what I’ve got. An intro and the A part. But the song is crying out for the perfect bridge, which is your department, Mr. McKay. Listen.

            CRIBBAGE
           (playing and singing the intro)
I'm giving up these lonely days forever
Though people say I'm gonna wind up blue
Though we've spent some time together I still sigh
Over that girl I want to love me
Her name is Lorelei!

Cribbage plays a swing walk-up and then a walk-down, a chord for each beat, to get to the main part of the song.

            CRIBBAGE
           (playing and singing Part A)
Lorelei, people always warn me not to try
They say you'll never be true
Everybody tells me that I'm just another guy
And I will never make you love me
It's just my turn to cry...

Cribbage stops playing.

            CRIBBAGE
See what I mean?

            MCKAY
I think I know where you can go with that.
   
            CRIBBAGE
        (wrinkling his
        forehead and singing softly as he plays)          
Everybody tells me that I'm just another guy
And I will never make you love me
It's just my turn to cry...

INT. STAGE – NIGHT

                         PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)
Taking over where Cribbage has just left off, the full orchestral version of McKay’s bridge is heard. Cribbage is in the center of the stage dressed in a tuxedo, playing a string bass, and singing.  The music is loud, upbeat, and rollicking.

            CRIBBAGE
            (singing)
But there’s a part of this town I know you’ve never seen.  And there’s a part of your heart you don’t even know is there! Let me show you where!  Oh, Lorelei I know that I, I, I! could make you love me if you only let me try. You know it always amazes me how you can get up and sing with the band. How you can still look just like an angel -- with a drink in your hand!

Actors in tuxedos appear with a blond beauty in a red dress on a piano.  They are pushing the piano on its coasters towards Cribbage.

            CRIBBAGE
        (singing)
People say, “Look out, boy.  She’ll make a doormat outta you!
She could serve me my heart on a platter; I wouldn’t care!
How can I bear to feel the way I do and never even give it a try? Oh, I’ve just got to make you love me Lorelei!

The final chords to the song are played on a guitar from the orchestra pit.  They are a walk-up that ends with an Ab6th.  Cribbage sings the last line and turns from his bass.  The piano is now within easy reach.  He puts his hand out and plays three beats containing two notes, one unchanging, the other ascending to form the classic two-note Count Base jazz ending.  He reaches to the left on the piano and plays a single low Ab to end the song.

He smiles at the girl on the piano.

INT. CRIBBAGE'S APARTMENT

Cribbage sits at his desk.  He has written out the melody of “Lorelei!” on a sheet of musical staff paper and is writing the chords above the staff to match the lyrics written below it.  Pokey is curled up on the easy chair next to him.

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
I was stuck for a bridge and all McKay did was throw everything into the key of E by hitting an unexpected F#7th Suspended fourth. 

Cribbage sings the lyrics as he scribbles F#7sus4 over the first word of the bridge, "There’s," "B7th" over the word "town," "E" over the word "never" and "C#min" over the word "seen." At the end of the line, he writes "F#min" and "B9th"

            CRIBBAGE
    (singing as he reads what he     has written)
There’s a part of this town I know you’ve never seen.

Cribbage sings the lyrics as he scribbles F#7sus4 over the word “part.” and B7 after the word “heart.”

            CRIBBAGE (singing)
And there’s a part of your heart.  You don’t even know..

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
He just strums a Bb7sus4 and an Eb9 to take him back to A flat. 

Cribbage sings the song and writes "Bb7sus4" over the word "there," holding the note as he sings long enough to finish writing the chord name.  He continues singing and writes Eb9 over the words “Let me” and Ab6 over the word “where.”

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
            (singing)
...is there! Let me show you where!

He holds up the sheet and looks at it.


            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
Well, I asked for a bridge and I got one.  Only it ran away with the whole song.  I called it the Siamese fighting fish bridge because it was pretty and could swim in circles forever.  I didn't even need to go back to what I had written.  Humbling but exactly what I asked for.

INT. GEORGE HEINEMANN'S LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Heinemann is sitting on the couch watching TV.  KATHERINE STANDAGE is doing a story on Cribbage.

            STANDAGE
Sagebrush city slicker Sylvester T.  Cribbage, who has brought his version of Dodge City to Broadway, has some plans to transform his hit musical into something more East Coast -- and you won't believe who he's teaming up with....

A clip from the show with the song “Lorelei!” is shown. The TV shifts to a picture of McKay and Cribbage goofing off together. 

            STANDAGE
Fairly reliable rumor has it that McKay himself will help in the musical transformation.

Heinemann picks up the phone and dials a number.

            HEINEMANN
Oh, Sylvester.  I have a bone to pick with you.

INT. BARRY MULLEN TV TALK SHOW SET

BARRY MULLEN is standing center stage.

            BARRY MULLEN
. . . so get ready to welcome my guests animal trainer Orsen Hughes, the beautiful Janet Clayton, and the ever irreverent Sylvester T. Cribbage!

EXT. NEW YORK CITY STREET IN FRONT OF GEORGE HEINEMANN’S APARTMENT BUILDING. -- DAY

Never More to Be Instrumental plays in the background
  PLAY SONG(Link will open in a new window.)

Cribbage is waiting for him in a sedan. Heinemann comes out of his building and opens the car door.

INT. CRIBBAGE’S SEDAN  -- DAY

Cribbage has an envelope in the gaudy shirt pocket of his cowboy shirt. It reads, “AVIS RENT A CAR.”

Heinemann picks the cowboy hat off of the passenger seat and hands it to Cribbage, who puts it on the dash. Cribbage starts driving and the hat slides off into Heinemann’s lap. Heinemann hands the hat back to Cribbage, who puts it on his head.

EXT. HIGHWAY -- DAY

Cribbage’s car comes out of the Holland Tunnel.

INT. CRIBBAGE’S SEDAN  -- DAY

Cribbage is still wearing the cowboy hat and driving.

            CRIBBAGE
I hate these little public appearances. They take up so much time.

            HEINEMANN
Just try your best to be polite this time. And try not to say anything too wacky.

Cribbage looks in his rear view mirror. He sees police cars and flashing red and blue lights.

    CRIBBAGE
What the hell is this all about?

Heinemann turns and looks through the rear window.

EXT. SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY -- DAY

The sound of Cribbage and Heinemann’s wind knocked out them is heard as they are thrown to the ground by police. Cribbage looks up and is struck in the face by a POLICEMAN.

            POLICEMAN
Stay down, you son of a bitch!

INT. BARRY MULLEN TV TALK SHOW SET

Cribbage is center stage with the cowboy outfit on.  He’s doing a stand-up act and has a black eye.

            CRIBBAGE
...I hate that!

A drum roll is heard.  The audience laughs.

            CRIBBAGE
You know what else I hate? Getting beat up by the Jersey City fuzz.  The other day I was driving down the road dressed as I am today.  Minding my own business.  I come out of the Holland Tunnel and see about ten black and whites yowling like clowder of cats behind me.  Little did I know some clown from Wyoming wearing a Stetson had just held up the First Federal.  Next thing I know, I’m pulled out of my car and two cops are taking turns trying to strangle me while the rest are beating me over the head with whatever they got handy.  Flashlights.  Nightsticks.  Chunks of cement they find along the road.  It was awful.  I have to admit they did apologize.  They said, “We’re very sorry, Mr. Cribbage, but we don’t get many cowpokes driving out of the Tunnel.  I said, “Word gets out how you treat them, and you’re not likely to get many more!”

A drum roll is heard.  Laughter is heard from the audience along with some good-natured groans and a couple of playful boos at the overdone joke.

            CRIBBAGE
But most of all, I hate going to the dentist.  The other day I was at the dentist’s and he started drilling into my mouth.  I said, “What are you drilling for -- oil? He said, “No, your wallet!”

A drum roll is heard.  The audience laughs.

            CRIBBAGE
Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen!

INT. STAGE -- NIGHT

The stage is dark except for where Cribbage stands in the spotlight wearing a tuxedo.

CRIBBAGE
An angel of angels.  Svelte, mysterious, a temptress -- but no tramp! Lorelei, a German siren.

A loud German siren is heard, and Cribbage waves it to silence with mock furor and impatience.

CRIBBAGE
Not that kind of siren!

INT. BACKSTAGE – NIGHT – MOMENTS LATER

Cribbage comes from the stage in his tuxedo. He walks quickly toward the dressing rooms and then stops.

McKay is backstage and walks up.

            CRIBBAGE
This is harder than I thought. I can’t change in time to get back.

            MCKAY
        (smiling happily)
Oh, nice, nice planning! You’ve got to go out and play cowpoke in a tux? This is great!

            CRIBBAGE
        (shouting)
A hat someone!

A stage hand runs up with a black cowboy hat and Cribbage puts it on.

            MCKAY
Well, that’ll have to do.


A MUSICIAN walks up. He is a rather disheveled, hippy type.

            MUSICIAN
Here’s the sheet music with my corrections for you to proof, Mr. Cribbage.

            CRIBBAGE
No time, buddy.

            MCKAY
I’ll take it.

The musician hands the sheets to McKay.

Cribbage gives a mock expression of determination and pulls the hat down sideways over one eye. He feigns licking his thumb and then makes a slow swipe with it across the front brim. Then he heads for the stage.

McKay looks at the sheet music. The musician is reading over his shoulder.

INSERT -- THE SHEET MUSIC

            MCKAY (O.S.)
        (reading from
        the sheet)
Lorelei! Words and Music by Sylvester T. Cribbage and James McKay.

            MUSICIAN
You got second billing.

            MCKAY
        (looking at the music)
Well, I’m growing.

            MUSICIAN
Growing?

            MCKAY
I’m morphing!

INT. BARRY MULLEN TV TALK SHOW SET

Cribbage is seated next to the host, BARRY MULLEN.

        MULLEN
That mugging by the cops really happened?

        CRIBBAGE
True story! True story!

        MULLEN
That’s a nice shiner.  Any plans to take action?

        CRIBBAGE
Are you kidding? What for? The bread? I’m making a fortune on my western record album.

He looks at the audience and rolls his eyes.

        CRIBBAGE
Besides, the cops did me a favor.  You see, my producer, Georgie Heinemann was in the car and they worked him over pretty good too.  They had us face down hogtied on the ground and our mouths propped open with a couple of sticks. Georgie spits out his stick and says, “Sylvester, I’m gonna take this as a sign.  You’ve got my permission to get rid of that ridiculous hat.”

The audience laughs.

        MULLEN
You’ve still got it on.

        CRIBBAGE
Yeah, but understand that it’s a slow process.  I think you have to get weaned off of these things.

Cribbage turns to the audience.

        CRIBBAGE
    (Keeping his Brooklyn
    accent and perhaps
    laying it on expecially
    thick)
Those stalwart pioneers headed west across dem plains.  Each one of dem newborn babes was weaned on a buffalo chip. 

The audience laughs.

        CRIBBAGE
It took courage in dem days, but dey pressed on -- westward across dem plains.  Using buffalo chips for their cookin’... 

Cribbage looks sideways at the audience.

        CRIBBAGE
Using buffalo chips for their eatin’!

The audience laughs.

 
INT. MCKAY'S APARTMENT  -- NIGHT

McKay sits composing with a guitar.  He strums a slow tempo
-- a CMaj6 on the eighth fret and slides to the fifth fret for an A minor.  He continues with Fmaj, Bb9 and back to a four-note CMaj6, keeping the same tempo for the other chords.  On the last line, he begins playing a swing guitar style with the rhythm chop on the second and fourth beats.

            MCKAY (Singing)
“Hey, Lorelei! How time just seems to pass us by.
Can't you think of something I can do?
I know you've got your job
And you mean to earn your pay
And I know you're always giving.
Maybe it's time you gave your heart away.”

PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)

INT. THEATER STAGE -- CONTINUOUS

Cribbage is on stage seated with a guitar.  He takes over the song just where McKay has left off but in a much louder, clearer voice and at a slightly faster tempo with a sound system and backing bass and drums. 

            CRIBBAGE
“Hey, Lorelei!
Isn't it too much for you?
You just get by.
Can't you let me lend a hand?
You've got to seize the moment
Before you're old and gray.
If it's time to start living,
Maybe it's time you gave your heart away.”

Cribbage goes to the bridge, which is a key change to G major.

            CRIBBAGE
“I see your eyes and I see envious skies,
But the way you live your life you've always got to hurry.
And I see you at odds with a heart full of worry
Cause you're always alone.
Just like me”

On the word "me" the G chord becomes a seventh and functions as the dominant leading back to the key of C and the A part of the song.

                    CRIBBAGE
“Hey, Lorelei!
Why should you do it all alone?
Why should you try?
Can't you see me standin' by your side?
I know you've got your kids
You've gotta feed them every day
So I know just how you're driven
But maybe it's time you gave your heart away
Maybe it's time you gave your heart away”

The word "away" in the tagged line at the end of the song is held for as close to two measures as Cribbage can manage and the sixth has been left out so the guitar chord is a simple, clear C major.  It's the end of the act, and the curtain closes to applause. 

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
I saw my chance to save poor Michael at last from life imprisonment in the horse suit.  He’d been a trooper.  I wrote a new line at the end of the song so the show could close with it instead of “Good-bye Trail Mates.” And good riddance to bad rubbish!

INT. THEATER STAGE  -- NIGHT

            CRIBBAGE
I see your eyes and I see envious skies,
But the way you live your life you've always got to hurry.
And I see you at odds with a heart full of worry
‘Cause you're always alone.
Just like me
Hey, Lorelei! If you don’t give your heart away, one day you’ll look back and cry.

The curtain closes the house lights come up and the crowd stands and applauds.

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
Ah, and then for the finale.  No more Happy Trails stuff.  Instead, how’s about a syrupy lullaby?  And McKay didn’t even help me on it.  Get rid of the cows, keep the corn.  I saved this one for the encore

The house lights dim. The curtain opens. The stage is dark with only Cribbage in a spotlight.


                CRIBBAGE
Thank you friends for inviting me back. I think as a fare-thee-well I just play this old lullaby.

                CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
Old, you know, like it’s already a classic.  That’s how to package a song.
               
PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)
                CRIBBAGE (singing)
Looks like the darkness in the sky is slowly fading...


The music fades away.  It’s the end of the show, and the curtain closes to applause.  The horns start loudly playing McKay’s bridge music for the song “Lorelei!” and the curtain opens again.  The performers take their bows. 

INT. PRACTICE ROOM -- DAY

THE BUCKIN’ BRONX practicing, guitars, bass, drums.  Cribbage is singing “You Can’t Fool Me” and is picking a guitar in a Merle Travis style.

            CRIBBAGE
Your non-stop naggin’ and third degree
Are part of a plan to murder me
I may look dumb
But I know what you’re thinkin’
PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)
            THE BUCKIN’ BRONX
You can’t fool me
You’re just trying to start me drinkin’!

            CRIBBAGE
You met me down in Laramie
You threw a bottle of beer at me
I may look dumb
But I know what you’re thinkin’

            THE BUCKIN’ BRONX
You can’t fool me
You’re just trying to start me drinkin’!

            CRIBBAGE
I used to talk about my catch
Now, all I’ve got is a shouting match
I may look dumb
But I know what you’re thinkin’
            THE BUCKIN’ BRONX
You can’t fool me
You’re just trying to start me drinkin’!

The song ends in a tag.

            THE BUCKIN’ BRONX
You can’t fool me
You’re just trying to start me drinkin’!

            CRIBBAGE
Well, that’s a fun one.  Too country for Laredo, much less Lorelei.

            DRUMMER
I like it.
            CRIBBAGE
Well, you can have it.  Try it at the Ten Gallon Manhattan.  It’s a good sing-along for those gin fizzes.  That’s it boys. Tomorrow’s practice is cancelled. Heinemann has me out of town for three days. Promo stuff. Hate it. See you Friday for the show.

The BAND MEMBERS start breaking down their equipment.

        BAND MEMBERS
I had fun. Thanks, Sylvester. See you then. Thanks, Sylvester.

INT. HALLWAY PHONE IN THE BLUEBIRD THEATER

Cribbage is on the phone.

        CRIBBAGE
Hi, James. Say, I’ve got to go out of town and I suddenly got a swingin’ idea.

        MCKAY (V.O.)
What could that be?

        CRIBBAGE
Well, I was thinking that if you might be popping into my apartment to compose anyway, you could do me a favor.

        MCKAY (V.O.)
You want me to take care of Pokey. Yeah, okay. He and I are pals.

        CRIBBAGE
Oh, thanks. That saves me dealing with the dog sitter again. I love her dearly, but she’s bats. Just make yourself at home there as usual. I’ll be back Thursday. Thanks zillions, Buddy.

        MCKAY (V.O.)
Don’t mention it. Enjoy your trip.

Cribbage hangs up the phone.


INT. CRIBBAGE’S KITCHEN TABLE -- DAY

McKay is seated at the table writing, and Pokey has his paws on his leg. Pokey jumps down and looks up.

McKay finishes writing and looks at Pokey.

            MCKAY
This is for the revised edition of my book. You were my inspiration, Pokey.

He lifts the sheet of paper to read.

            MCKAY
        (in way
        over-the-top
        Scouse)
There's a certain kind of green fly
You know the ones I mean
The ones when doggie defecates
Come flyin' on the scene
They appear as if by magic
They appear as in a dream
With their emerald opalescence
And their iridescent sheen
When doggie doesn't defecate
These flies are never seen
So where do green flies come from?
From some green fly machine?
From the carcass of a rotting steer
In some dried up ravine?
Where do green flies come from?
Do they hatch from a green fly bean?
Or when doggie poops does someone somewhere
Open up a screen?
And let the green flies fly about
To on his stool convene?
I'll never know the answer
But I judge from their cuisine
That the place the green flies call their home
Is a place that's none too clean!

He puts the paper down.

            MCKAY
What do you think? Suppose it could go in Laredo? I guess not.

Pokey looks up quizzically.

INT. DINER -- MORNING

McKay sits down at a table. He is next to a window through which rain can be seen falling on the street. The diner is not very busy.

A WAITRESS comes and gives him a menu.
           
            WAITRESS
Would you like me to bring you something to drink, sir, while you decide on your order?

            MCKAY
Just coffee and, no, I already know what I want -- the Western.

She takes out her pad.

            WAITRESS
Hash browns or fries?

            MCKAY
Hash browns.

The waitress writes on her pad.

            WAITRESS
Whole wheat, white, or rye?

            MCKAY
Rye.

            WAITRESS
Eggs done how?

            MCKAY
Over hard. You know, I'm curious. I wasn't asked for my choices last time.

            WAITRESS
That’s because Sylvester Cribbage always has his Western the same way.

            MCKAY
Sylvester TEE Cribbage. I remember now.

            WAITRESS
Right. I'll get your coffee.

            MCKAY
        (to himself)
Sheesh! She wasn't even here and she remembers. Our little breakfast must have been all the buzz around the steam cabinet.

            LORELEI (O.S.)
You know, I've only seen you here once.

McKay looks up and sees Lorelei standing there.

            MCKAY
Oh, hi.

            LORELEI
Mind if I sit for a minute?

            MCKAY
Please.

Lorelei takes a seat across from McKay.

            LORELEI
I'm beginning to wish I could sing.

            MCKAY
New job's rough, is it?

            LORELEI
I shouldn't complain. It's what I want. You might be surprised to know that. There's a lot to learn. I mean a lot. So that's what I want to do.

            MCKAY
Good for you. I'm not surprised.  Singing's for losers anyway.

            LORELEI
I don't think you're a loser.

The waitress comes with the coffee. McKay puts in cream and sugar.

            MCKAY
So I take it, it's the ex-hubby.

            LORELEI
I guess it shows.

            MCKAY
It must; I can be pretty thick.

            LORELEI
Things would be so good if he weren't making trouble.

            MCKAY
I'm sorry. But just ignore that jerk. Enjoy your new job and your kids.

            LORELEI
James, he's not a good person. How could I have been so dumb?

            MCKAY
It's always a crap shoot. You never know a person until time passes. I'm especially qualified to say that; look how long it took my wife to find out about me. I didn't make trouble. I just ran. I guess you could say that's even worse.

            LORELEI
At least you can admit it.

            MCKAY
Just don't let it give you the blues.

            LORELEI
There's a lot of that going around.

Lorelei looks through the window at the rain.

            LORELEI
Just look at that sky.

She gets up.

            LORELEI
Well, I've got to go boss some folks around.

            MCKAY
That's the spirit. 

            LORELEI
You're not as bad a guy as your ex-wife might believe.

            MCKAY
Thanks. I think. If you need to talk some more...

            LORELEI
I really meant what I said before about my not mixing that way.

            MCKAY
I would like to see you again.

Lorelei looks at him quite sternly.

            MCKAY
It's an effort for me. I don't like to press.

            LORELEI
Then don't.

Her expression softens and she relents.

            LORELEI
Thanks for being so nice.

            MCKAY
It's my pleasure, dear.

Lorelei leaves. The waitress comes with McKay's Western.

INT. STAGE -- NIGHT

Black blues singer GREGG COLEMAN is on stage singing the song “Even the Sky’s Got the Blues.”

            COLEMAN
        (singing)
I keep looking out the window
The whole town's soaked with rain
I know it ain't you, Baby
Only me who's feeling pain
And they say you want to see me
But I know it's gotta end
You're only gonna come back
And do the same thing again

And I'm the kind of guy
Who would never even sigh
But now I find myself staring out the window
And way up high
Seems even the sky's got the blues...
                       
          PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)

EXT. NEW YORK CITY STREET -- NIGHT

McKay stands on the sidewalk looking at the lighted sign that reads “THE TEN-GALLON MANHATTAN -- LIBATIONS, VICTUALS, AND  WESTERN MUSIC”

McKay walks into the club. The band members recognize him at once and wave at him. One member quickly waves a barmaid to him and whispers to her. Then the band starts “You’re Just Tryin’ to Start Me Drinkin’.” The audience, most of whom are drunk, respond with enthusiasm. They’ve apparently heard it played on a previous evening and are right on time when they sing the refrain: “You can’t fool me, you’re just trying to start me drinkin’”

THE GUITARIST is at it with his Travis style thumb picking and slips into a Travis Version of “I’ll See You in My Dreams” to fill out the song.

The BARMAID comes to McKay’s table with a drink.

        BARMAID (to McKay)
It’s from the band.

        MCKAY
I  ...

Band members see from the stage that the drink has been served and smile and nod at him as they play. McKay smiles and raises the glass. He doesn’t drink but puts the glass back on the table.

THE GUITARIST is back to the drinking song and picking the last verse as he sings.

        THE GUITARIST
I used to talk about my catch
Now, all I’ve got is a shouting match
I may look dumb
But I know what you’re thinkin’
You can’t fool me
You’re just trying to start me drinkin’!

McKay Raises the glass to his lips.

        THE BUCKIN’ BRONX AND THE         CROWD
You can’t fool me
You’re just trying to start me drinkin’!

INT. CRIBBAGE’S APARTMENT -- NIGHT

McKay is standing unsteadily in front of Cribbage’s refrigerator with the door open. He grabs the sole bottle of Cottonwood Brewery PALE Ale inside and slams the door shut. He tries to snatch the magnetic bottle opener from the door but drops it. As he leans down to get it, he is faced with a quizzical Pokey.

            MCKAY
        (Menacingly)
What do you want, you ingrate? Take you for your walkies and the only time you deign to as much as say hello is when I’ve got the bloody refrigerator door open. Hungry, are you? You miserable cur!

Pokey, frightened at the tone, turns and runs to the bed in the room across the hall from the kitchen. He sits up and looks nervously at McKay, who has turned his attention to the bottle and opener. McKay uncaps the beer and chugs the contents. He tosses the empty bottle on the countertop and slaps the opener back on the refrigerator door.

            MCKAY
Ought to be something more down the street.

When McKay speaks, Pokey leaves the bed and runs around a corner out of sight.
 
McKay pulls the apartment keys from his pocket and heads out of the kitchen through the living room.

EXT. FRONT DOOR OF CRIBBAGE’S APARTMENT -- NIGHT

McKay stands on the top of the cement stairs and fumbles with the key. It is attached to its length of sturdy, rough chain. McKay holds the door open while he inserts the key in the door lock. Drunkenly, he slams the door shut. The swinging keychain is caught tight, slammed in the door, but McKay reaches over and turns the key to lock the apartment. The chain loops over the key, holding it fast. McKay tries to remove the key, but the chain is jammed in the door, and the key will not budge.

            MCKAY
Bloody hell!

He yanks at the chain and lets out a cry of pain. His fingers are cut and bleeding. McKay turns from the door, staring at his bloody hand. He takes a step forward and falls down the stairs, barking his knuckles on the rough cement sidewalk at the bottom. He stares at his smashed knuckles.

He gets up and staggers down the street. He walks until he is barely visible. He can be seen to turn a corner in the distance.

EXT. NEW YORK CITY STREET – NIGHT – FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER

McKay crosses a dark street to where he sees a storefront lighted. He stubs his toe on the curb when he reaches the other side and falls face first on the sidewalk.

He looks up to see Lorelei standing above him. She helps him to his feet.

            MCKAY
I’m locked out out of the apartment.

            LORELEI
        (inhaling through her nose and grimacing)
Whew! You’re more than that.

            MCKAY
Yeah, I’m sick.

            LORELEI
You’d get run over just hailing a cab home in your condition. I’m just down the street. I’ll put you up, but only if you behave yourself.

            MCKAY
Okay.

They begin walking. Lorelei steadies McKay, and he drunkenly embraces her as they walk. She pushes him away. McKay smiles with the smile of a loveable drunk. The mean drunk has gone out of him in the presence of Lorelei.

They reach her apartment and Lorelei unlocks the door.

            MCKAY
Kids with a baby sitter?       

    LORELEI
Yeah, their grandmother in Connecticut. Nice break for me, and my mom can’t get enough of them.

They go inside the apartment.  McKay turns pale. He covers his mouth.

            MCKAY
Oh, God, where is it?

Lorelei points to the bathroom. McKay falls to his knees in front of the toilet and vomits in the bowl. Lorelei rolls her eyes in disgust. McKay flushes the toilet and then stands and drinks from the sink faucet. He splashes water on his face.

            LORELEI
This way.

She leads McKay to the children’s bedroom and McKay falls onto one of the beds and rolls onto his back. Lorelei, not very lovingly, tosses a blanket over him. McKay lies on the bed looking up with a contented, drunken grin on his face.

            LORELEI
I’ve got to be at the restaurant early, so you can have breakfast there. That’s if you’re through throwing up by then.

McKay doesn’t answer. He is already snoring with the vestiges of the drunken grin still on his face. The door is heard to close.

INT. CHILDREN’S BEDROOM -- MORNING

Daylight is streaming through a window. McKay is lying asleep on the bed. He’s on his back and doesn’t appear to have changed his position during the night. There is the sound of voices and of police radios. McKay awakes, confusion on his face. The door to the bedroom bangs open and police begin pulling McKay from the bed.

INT. CRIBBAGE’S HOTEL ROOM -- DAY

Cribbage is sitting on one of the large double beds in the fairly plush hotel room. A football game is on TV and it is interrupted suddenly by a NEWS ANNOUNCER.

            NEWS ANNOUNCER
A shocker from New York City. James McKay, former Storm Kings leader and victim of violence has himself been arrested in the brutal beating of Lorelei Engel. Engel is rumored to have been the inspiration for the Broadway stage production Lorelei! Details are sketchy now, but police investigator William Marshall says there is evidence that McKay is the perpetrator and will be charged with the crime. Engel is in a coma and unable to provide any information. Her condition is listed as guarded. We will be back with more news on this breaking story as soon as it is available.

Cribbage puts his face in his hands. Then he stands and goes to the other bed where he has left his suitcase. He opens the suitcase and takes something from it. He walks to the desk by the window and sets a small candle there and lights it with a match. He puts his hand over his mouth and looks out the window.

INT. POLICE STATION INTERROGATION ROOM -- DAY

McKay is sitting on a folding metal chair with his arms on the table in front of it. He is unshaven, hung over, distraught. He puts his head on the table but lifts it when the door opens. THE POLICE INTERROGATOR enters. He is overweight and is dressed in slacks and a wrinkled white shirt that isn’t completely tucked in. He sits in the chair next to McKay.

        THE POLICE INTERROGATOR
            How did you injure your hands, Mr. McKay?

        MCKAY
            I don’t remember.

        THE POLICE INTERROGATOR
            Well, let’s talk a little about it and see if we can.

        MCKAY
            I want a lawyer.

        THE POLICE INTERROGATOR
            (beat)
            Okay. Sit tight and I’ll be back in a minute.

INT. POLICE STATION OFFICE -- DAY

Through a two-way mirror, McKay can be seen exhausted with his head back on the table. THE POLICE INTERROGATOR and a FEMALE DETECTIVE are looking at him.

        THE POLICE INTERROGATOR
            Well, he ain’t dumb. He’s a son of a bitch, but he ain’t dumb.

        FEMALE DETECTIVE
            Don’t worry; he’s good for this and we’ll get him for it.

INT. THEATER STAGE
Cribbage is alone on stage, seated, playing a guitar in the spotlight and singing.

            CRIBBAGE
Hey, Mr. Heartache
Don't knock on my door
You've been around here before
Don't need you to bring me a reason to sigh
Sometimes it's a sad sad world ...
                                       
          PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)
INT. JAIL CELL -- DAY
McKay is curled in a ball at the edge of a bench in a cell. A JAIL OFFICER opens the door to the cell.

            JAIL OFFICER
            (gruffly)
You’re in the clear. She woke up and pinned it on the ex.

            MCKAY
Is she all right?

            JAIL OFFICER
You’re free to go.

            MCKAY
Is she all right?

            JAIL OFFICER
I’ve told you all I know.

EXT. JAIL BUILDING -- DAY

McKay stands on the sidewalk confused. He looks up to the sky.

INT. CRIBBAGE’S APARTMENT -- DAY

McKay is sitting on the sofa. Cribbage is seated on the piano bench facing him.

            MCKAY
Have you ever done really wrong?

            CRIBBAGE
Oh, more than once I’m afraid.  Not so bad.

            MCKAY
And how did you face yourself?

            CRIBBAGE
I said to myself, “The name’s Cribbage -- not Christ.”

            MCKAY
Christ himself wouldn’t forgive me.

            CRIBBAGE
Er..  James, you didn’t do it --remember?

            MCKAY
Don’t you understand? I didn’t know I didn’t do it.

            CRIBBAGE
Look. Your name’s James, not Jesus.

           MCKAY
It’s not just this. It’s my whole fucking life. If I hadn’t been so drunk I would have woken up. Kicked his bloody arse.

            CRIBBAGE
Christ. If you hadn’t been drunk you wouldn’t have even been there.

        MCKAY
I’m a fake.

        CRIBBAGE
What has that got to do with your current crisis?

            MCKAY
I can’t make amends.

            CRIBBAGE
You can make Peace, James.  Peace with yourself. C’mon. It looks as though you’ve been given yet another second chance, so just thank your lucky stars and be happy.


SUPER:    “ONE MONTH LATER.”

INT. THEATER STAGE

Gregg Coleman is in a tuxedo center stage singing an operatic version of “Nevermore to Be." The melody is now the talking guitar riff and the original melody is now played in the background”
PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)

                COLEMAN
Folks I know are contemplatin’
‘Bout a westward land that’s out there waitin’
Where the boughs hang heavy beneath a perfect sky

The clouds roll white, the stars all shine 
The berries are ripe and as red as wine
The water is sweet
And the whispering wind divine

But there was no tomorrow
No path that I could see  
No break of dawn no destiny
And how without their sorrow
Was their joy to be?
The westward land was lost to me

When I awoke my heart was achin’
For a paradise is godforsaken
If the people there are nevermore to be
And the people there were nevermore to be



There is a pause with the music fading, and suddenly the singer almost shouts the last words.

                COLEMAN
Think of all the people
Nevermore to be!

INT. BACKSTAGE
            CRIBBAGE
    (looking toward the stage)
Oh, that’s so much more on the mark than Laredo!

He looks at the people around him. They are actors and singers and they are smiling along with him. McKay walks up.

            CRIBBAGE
        (to McKay)
Well, not everything’s great. They’ve talked me into putting on the cowboy duds again and browsing around some to-do with the bosses. It’s tonight, so I’ve got to get moving. Not thrilled, but I’ve gotta do it.

COLEMAN arrives from the stage and is greeting people.  McKay offers his hand and the singer shakes it.

            MCKAY
Pretty cool, Coleman,
               
        COLEMAN
Well, I thank you, sir.

Coleman leaves to greet others.

            MCKAY
        (to Cribbage)
You know, I’ve possibly forty years left to get whatever it is finished. I’m thinking of making a list.
               
            CRIBBAGE
I think it would be a good idea.
               
            MCKAY
You know, I’m glad I fell in with you, Sylvester.

            CRIBBAGE
I thought you might feel that way eventually. Oh! Before I forget. I had breakfast at the Compass Rose Diner.

            MCKAY
I haven’t gone back there.

            CRIBBAGE
Maybe you should. They told me Lorelei will be back at work tomorrow. Be kind of nice to welcome her.

            MCKAY 
Would you come with me?

            CRIBBAGE 
Of course I would.  Let’s do it!  Seven tomorrow.  Sharp.

            MCKAY 
I’ll be over early.

INT. MCKAY’S APARTMENT -- NIGHT

McKay is at a white grand piano.  He is dressed in white.  He is singing “You Can’t Dream the Past Away.”

            MCKAY 
Time flies so fast
So live for today
And dream of tomorrow
‘Cause you can’t dream the past away

 The song ends with a simple major chord that fades away.

PLAY SONG

INT. CRIBBAGE’S BEDROOM -- DAY

Cribbage awakes lying on the bed with his cowboy outfit still on.  Pokey is asleep at the foot of the bed.  Cribbage hears “Sad Times Are Coming” playing in his head.  The mix is amateurish and the tempo is slow and uneven.  The organ is scratchy and Cribbage’s voice is out of tune, broken, and raw.  Cribbage’s face seems pained by the sound of it.

            CRIBBAGE (V.O.)
I take what I see as my reality
Just to wake up to a sad old song
With the same old name and the same old pain
Just yesterday I picked up my guitar
But I couldn’t sing a word
Of my own refrain
And the only thing I heard
Was someone calling out my name
Don’t you see sad times are coming?

Cribbage shakes his head, gets up leaving Pokey asleep on the bed and walks groggily to the kitchen.  He gets a can of coffee from the shelf and opens the top.  He looks up when he hears the voice of Horace Golding on the TV in the living room.  He puts down the coffee and listens.
   
                    GOLDING (V.O.)
There are some things more important than a football game.  News from New York City.  James McKay shot in the back and dead on arrival at ...

Cribbage’s face looks bewildered and then panicked.  He rushes to the living room.  The screen is nearly all green with the expanse of Astroturf.  Football players are running across the field.  Cribbage stares.  Several seconds pass by. Then the words “TV’S WORST BLUNDERS” appear on the screen. 

There  door, opens it, and sticks his head in.  It is McKay.

                    MCKAY
Are you ready?

                    CRIBBAGE
Let me get my hat.


FADE TO BLACK


THE END

OUTRO MUSIC

Lullaby with the Stars
PLAY SONG    (Link will open in a new window.)


or Perhaps Nevermore to Be Instrumental:

PLAY SONG (Link will open in a new window.)
 



 


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