Grandfather Buffalo

A play by
Marten Schick Ingle


List of Characters

Grandfather Buffalo- Medicine Man/Freelance Angel
Sonny- Ex Native Bluesman
The Kid- Future Rocker/Son of Sonny and Mrs.D
Venus- Waitress with a Long Magical past
Mrs. D-Despairing Psychic Mom
TST-Multi-Dimensional Bad Guy/Good Guy
Wally-Game store Owner
Tammy Kaye-Divorcee/Recovering Thrill seeker
Euro Couple-misplaced Tourists


ACT  1

BLACKOUT
Fade in on video screen (screen covers the back of the stage)

Night shot from side of a highway somewhere in the desert
A Greyhound bus whooshes by
A dim light comes up DOWNSTAGE LEFT and we see
SONNY AND GRANDFATHER BUFFALO

SONNY lies seemingly dead on the ground and GB looks down at him

GRANDFATHER BUFFALO
That's your son's, that's just passed
SONNY
What... what the fuck?
GB
Your kid, your boy, your own flesh and blood
SONNY

What? Who the fuck are you anyway?

SONNY tries to push himself up to get a better look at GB he can't hold himself up and falls back to the ground

SONNY
Whoooo. I guess I really did it this time I'm well fucked now

GB
Yea, well, looks like it alright

SONNY
Yea, well what the fuck do you know and what'er ya doing standing up there like some weird ass walking cactus or some kind of fucking ghost


SONNY makes a big effort to push himself up
he drags himself over to a rock and rests his head on it so he can see GB better

SONNY

You look all old and fucking zombie dead and shit like a burnt-out piñata of a moldy old cactus that got halfway bashed in and 'jes sat out in the yard in the fucking rain

GB (laughs)
Yea go on and talk old boy, you’re in a right mess there yourself, yep, a right ole mess, but you don't got to stay that way

SONNY
Fuck you. what d'you know anyway.
I'm just kinda, wasted, That's all

SONNY rubs his throat and peers up at GB
SONNY
I'll be a damm sight better once I get one of them ice cold Tecates down my dryass throat

GB
Yea,right. Just lift your sorry ass up off the ground and go get one

SONNY
Yea,smart ass maybe I just will

SONNY tries to sit up more but his leg rolls further away and left arm just jerks up like its been broken in 10 places

SONNY
Damm. I'm plain fucked.get me a beer will ya, Man? I'm damm powerful thirsty right now

GB
Well in fact, Sonny there ain't no beer here I can help you get something else, maybe something more satisfying than a beer

SONNY
Fuck you shut up and why ain’t there no beer here?

GB
Just ain’t no beer in these parts

SONNY moves and does a flop right over on his stomach with his face into his hat (a Red BULLS Beret)
he is still mumbling but his voice is now muffled by the hat
(A strange sound and a coyote yips not too far off downstage RT)



GB
Just set there like that a spell Old Boy Set there while I try and figure all this out
what I Can do and what I Can't do are pretty much the same
But what YOU CAN do and what YOU CAN'T do, That's all up to you, Sonny Boy
I come to take you along, at least the best part of you that ain't laying there all fucked up and broke
I come to take you to that place where your Spirit can sleep off this darn reckless drunk you been on for all these years
and maybe then you can move on, find another direction, choose another path or who knows,
maybe you'll just wake up sitting cross-legged on the sand in front of your old shack and
watch a light rainstorm come swirling up the valley and slowly spin around and drop some gentle, sweet rain on your sleepy head

SONNY is shaking and quivering still mumbling into his hat

GB bends down and tries to calm SONNY

We hear the weird sound again then the sound of two more coyotes from different parts of the stage
SONNY twists around and with the help of GB and flops back leaning up against the rock

SONNY
That's a fuck of a lot harder than I thought Damm I've never been so damm fucking tired in my life
GB
That would be one way of putting it


SONNY
Fuck you and the horse or dammassed buffalo you rode in here on
Why don't you just come out and say what you mean instead of being all sly and mysterious and talking this half assed shit all the time

GB
Well SONNY you might be right there but I don't rightly know what to say or do at the moment

GB squats down next to SONNY and pulls out a Medicine Pipe he fumbles for a match
and finally takes a lighter from Sonny's jean jacket pocket and lights the pipe
He blows a big puff of smoke

GB
Hmmmm….

SONNY
HMMM… fucking what?

GB puffs out another big cloud of smoke and the smoke rises and becomes a Cloud
the Cloud appears on the video screen in the back of the stage behind them
then the Cloud swirls and the Stage lights come down on GB and Sonny
(ONSCREEN)
we see the image of SONNY drunk and weaving across the highway
Screen Images cut back and forth- close-up of SONNY, the lights of a beer truck speeding down the highway,
the driver watching a DVD, and listening to Country music
Images cut back and forth until in a freeze frame they stop
The truck driver looks up in horror from his his DVD as he is about to run over a drunk and oblivious SONNY

GB
(Puffing another big cloud)
HMMM

SONNY
(Stunned by what he's just seen)
Woooo…weeee…… Damm!

GB
Well… this is it, isn't it?
This is the precise moment that you bought the farm, got your one way ticket to the happy hunting grounds
or just strayed a bit too far down the Highway to Hell

SONNY
Hell… what Hell? I don't believe in any of that phony white Christian ass religious shit

GB
Don't matter

SONNY
What don't matter?

GB
Don't matter what you want to believe or what you don't want to believe

SONNY
Damm! same shit again

GB
Well, it's kinda like this SONNY Boy

SONNY
Will you stop calling me BOY!

GB
Like I said Sonny, you got a number of Choices that you can make. Like.. You ever been to Disneyland, Sonny?

SONNY
What the fuck's Disneyland got to do with it?

GB
You ever been there?

SONNY
(Thinks back)
Yea, maybe, once...Yea there was this hippie chick named Joanie, Jo Ann un, Josaphine, No Melinda, yea, Melinda
We got all fucked up and went down there I was hanging out for a while with her she had the the sweetest…

GB
I'm sure

SONNY
And the funkiest

GB
I can only imagine

SONNY
She was the whole entire Love Boat all by her own bodacious self

GB
Sure. So you remember, Disneyland?

SONNY
Man she had some moves

GB
Right,

SONNY
I could jest get lost in all that

GB
OK Sonny
S
ONNY
Soft and sweet 'n tender booty of hers for days
G
B
You just go ahead and keep a hold on to doing that memory while I try and explain

SONNY
Wow? Did we really do that in the Pirates of the Caribbean
(Lost in memories)

GB
You used to buy a coupon book with tickets in it, in order to get on the rides down there at Disneyland and the tickets were lettered from A to E
Now all the A, B and C tickets were for the rides that were kinda kid stuff and tame but as you got up to the D and E tickets, the rides got a heck of lot more interesting Way more intense and exciting but here was the catch
You had a lot more of them A, B and C tickets in the coupon book than you did those D and E tickets

SONNY
Wow and then we smoked a doobie on the buckets

GB
You following me, Sonny?

SONNY
doobie, yea A, B, C, D, E

GB
You would hold on to them D and E tickets use them sparingly to try and make a good day of it
but you would usually end up having to go buy Extra D and E tickets to maximize your fun

SONNY
So What?

GB
Sonny, This is the part that ain't exactly like Disneyland I mean where we are now, this “here” You just can't get any more of them D and E tickets

SONNY
What you mean I can't get anymore Goddamed tickets? I got some cash stashed in the back yard Under the right rear wheel of that fucked up rusted out 55 Chevy, Must be at least 500 dollars

GB
Sonny, in this life you’re only given one coupon book You Only get dealt so many E tickets, Sonny

SONNY
Fuck you, You old mummified cactus motherfucker

GB
I don't make the rules, Sonny. It's just the way this wonderful mess of a Universe works You only get a couple of really intense and maybe satisfying experiences in one short life and when you use them up,That's it

SONNY
What's it? What do you mean that's it? I'll go and but me a goddammed million of them fucking E tickets right now! or a couple hundred at least...

GB
Look Sonny, You only got so many chances to get the best out of your life
You cash that big E ticket in on whatever ride they got going for the moment You know it's going to be the best, the most intense, exciting incredible and you been waiting and waiting, not only in that line that seems to go on forever but all the time up to that day that you waited and waited and then said yea here's where I'm gonna use that last E ticket

SONNY
(it seems to have finally hit him)
DAAAAMMMMMM....

GB
So here we are and you’ve gone and cashed in all your tickets SONNY From those big exciting E's right down through the D's, C's and B's
And now maybe you got one measly, boring, kiddie stuff A ticket left
You got only the most humble and common of choices left right there

GB points up to the screen to the stop frame before the crash

GB
Right there when you drifted drunk and heedless out on to this highway you went and shot the "go for damm broke" life that you were given

SONNY
Yea, yea, go on

GB
So Sonny, It comes down to this Seems like you got that one little ticket maybe it's the last good thought that slipped out from the dimness of that wiped out head of yours and now you gotta cash it in That is, if you ain't already spent it but I'm not sure.. I'm not sure…

SONNY
What do you mean, you're not sure? You not sure about What? What you been smoking in that pipe of your's there Buffalo Brain?

SONNY suddenly seems to slowly fall asleep or fall into a trance

GB
Well, I can't be so sure it's not like it's as simple as I'm making it sound…
I was just supposed to pick what was left of you just collect you and then take you along further down the road
Well I guess you saw for yourself really what a mess you are after standing in front of a big assed 18 wheeler carrying TECATE
and not noticing some drunk and fucked up Indian weaving his sorry ass all over the highway
But something went somehow RIGHT! Something deep down in the workings of it all
Maybe what you had in your heart right there, in that tiny millionth of a moment right there before you cashed it all in,
Maybe you had one lowly and humble “A” ticket left

GB takes a long puff on the pipe and then knocks the ash out

GB
But only You can figure it out. you gotta dig, dive, crawl, deep down inside yourself and come back up with some kind of answer
No matter how long it takes for you or for me
Well I done this all before, coming round to take folks on home and I've done all I can now
but I ain't seen it like this before
something's gone and changed what with your boy just passing by like that
I don't know how this is gonna play out
they sure don't tell me all the rules
I got to make a lot of stuff up just on my own

The Weird Sound has turned into some kind of low and rhythmic pulse
the coyotes are starting to sound like singers
a song is starting to be made out
Spirit Medicine Wind Change music

GB starts to dance with the pulse of the music and slowly circles SONNY
who rises off the ground and a glowing light surrounds him

GB and SONNY move slowly offstage stage RT

The song fades into the sound of the Greyhound Bus rumbling and humming along the night highway...