L’Ape musicale  

rivista di musica, arti, cultura

 

   

[The farm machinery show room in Texas. Jack as sales manager, dressed snappily western, doing his stuff, glibly selling a tractor to a rancher. Lureen, a brisk businesswoman, watches. A colored enlargement of a photograph of Hog-Boy, draped in black crepe, hangs prominently on the wall. ]

JACK

[in hard sell mode with a farmer]

I know you like your old D19, but you’re gonna love the D21. [slowly] Very…Serious…Power.

FARMER

It ain’t turbo-charged, though.

JACK

That’s right. BUT! It’s got the biggest engine out there. Over One…Hundred…Horsepower! Go up the side of a cliff with it. And here’s the deal. I got a used D-21 and all …..

[fade out. They walk outside and the deal is obviously clinched as they shake hands. Jack comes back in.]

JACK

[aggressively]

Soon as I get this damn sale writ up I’m headin out for Cody.

LUREEN

When are you going to grow up and quit fooling with bullriding? It’s not like you’re the champion.

JACK

You used to like rodeo pretty good when you was barrel racin.

LUREEN

I did. But that was then. Things change.

JACK

I noticed.

LUREEN

I’ve got responsibilities now. Little Bobby, more and more of the business since Daddy died. Running the house.

JACK

[Finished with the paperwork and stuffing it into folder.]

Yeah, I know. And I been thinkin about hangin up my bull rope. Maybe after Cody. I want to make some real money.

LUREEN

That’s good to hear. So when will you be back?

JACK

[Tidies his desk.]

Couple days. Course somethin might come up. If somethin comes up I’ll give you a call.

LUREEN

[Sarcastic]

Sure you will. Like the time I didn’t hear from you for a week. I hope you quit the rodeo. And the tom-catting around that goes with it. You’re a pretty good salesman, Jack. Since daddy died we’ve tripled business. Face it, Jack, thirty-one is too old to rodeo.

JACK

Sez you. Anyway, I can’t get excited about sellin to these poor old boys. I rather have a little ranch…..

LUREEN

[annoyed]

Oh please, not that ‘little ranch’ again.

JACK

I’d give it a try. If I was on my own.

But not with you. You’re sure not the ranch type.

LUREEN

[stung and sarcastic]

Thanks for the compliment. Too bad you are not as good in bed as you are selling tractors.

JACK

(insulted and mad)

Are you back on that? It happens to everybody. Now and then.

LUREEN

Every time?

JACK

Maybe you’re not my type.

LUREEN

Yeah? What is your type? Some knock-kneed flatchested teenager? I saw you looking at Shirley that brings the sandwiches.

JACK

[laughs wildly.]

You’ll never know. [Grabs jacket and departs.]

LUREEN

[turning frequently to Hog-Boy’s portrait as she paces.]

Daddy, you were right.

I hoped Jack would learn to

speak well, not like a hick,

wear white shirts and tie. Read books.

Give up his rodeo ways.

He said he didn’t have much school.

He said he would change.

But he won’t give up the rodeo and his

fishing trips with rough friends.

I know he sleeps with the rodeo girls.

The wife always knows.

He comes home and doesn’t touch me.

Doesn’t touch me for weeks and weeks.

It isn’t fair, Daddy, it isn’t right.

[The ghost of Hog-Boy quivers in front of his portrait. Lureen shrieks and steps back. Hog-Boy’s sepulchral voice addresses Lureen.]

Daughter, don’t be scared, now.

You called and Ah answered. Ah can do that much.

And from where Ah am now Ah git a real dark look at that sidewinder.

Worse than you thank, and it aint buckle bunnies he’s messin with, neither.

LUREEN

Daddy! Daddy! I can’t believe this!

HOG-BOY

Better believe it. I only got a few seconds left. Ah will protect my little gal. Ah made some contacts here. See what Ah can do….


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