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Temporarily Humboldt County

An American Pageant For Thanksgiving
Adapted From Ancient Moqui Hearsay
by the Firesign Theatre

THE SCENE: Against a backdrop of the prairies, two Indians watch a heard of buffalo passing by.
INDIAN: Well, I think it's about time - the way the corn's been growing for the last two or three generations.
SECOND INDIAN: Look at that heard of buffalo! They're ready!
INDIAN: Everything's living The Great Spirit's Way - in Harmony.
SECOND INDIAN: He'll be here soon.
INDIAN: The True White Brother is coming home. Remember what the Great Spirit said? If we did what we were supposed to do, and lived according to the Plan, White Brother would finish his work in the East and come back to us.
SECOND INDIAN: It'll be nice to have the family together again.
A Conquistador, a Padre and several Spanish soldiers enter to a trumpet fanfare and flamenco music. The buffalo scatter.
CONQUISTADOR: Buenos dias, amigos!
INDIAN: Hello! You must be The True White Brother!
CONQUISTADOR: Sure! You must be The Indians!
SECOND INDIAN: Welcome Home!
All the Spanish soldiers cheer.
CONQUISTADOR: Welcome to New Spain! This is your new Father - Father Corona.
FATHER CORONA: Pax vneuti nicutm! down on your knees, now! D'ye recognize what I'm holidn' over your head, lads?
INDIAN: It's a Cross. The Symbol of the Quartering of the Universe into Active and Passive Principles.
FATHER CORONA: God have mercy on their heathen souls!
CONQUISTADOR: What the Father means is - what is the Cross made of? Gold! Have you got any?
CONQUISTADOR: What about the Seven Cities of Gold? Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas?
SECOND INDIAN: This is Gold.
CONQUISTADOR: What's that?
SPANISH SOLDIER: Corn! Now we can make tortillas!
ANOTHER SPANISH SOLDIER: We been waiting for this for hundreds of years!
THIRD SPANISH SOLDIER: I just invented tacos!
CONQUISTADOR: So this is all you've got?
INDIAN: Yes, but aren't you The True White Bother who's supposed to come and live with us in peace?
CONQUISTADOR: Sure! Therefore, I claim this rich, verdant pasture land in the name of the Empire of Spain!
VESPUCCI: Hey! Hey, Capitano! The rain, she's a-stoppa to fall! And the corn, she's all dead!
CONQUISTADOR: Shuduppa', Vespucch! I claim this stinking desert in the name of the Empire of Spain. Forever! Let's go!
The Spanish soldiers grumble. The buffalo heard mills about.
SPANISH SOLDIERS: (singing) God bless Vespucciland! M-m-m-mmmmmm...
FATHER CORONA: Oh! By the way, Domini Domini Domini, you're all Catholics now! God bless you!
CONQUISTADOR: Come on, Father! No one in their right mind would live in this stinking desert!
The Spaniards leave and the Indians hide as a wagon train enters. One Pioneer plays "Oh, Susanna" on a harmonica. Another Pioneer speaks:
ANOTHER PIONEER: Boy! I'm tired o' pushin' West! How long ago'd we leave Goshen?
THIRD PIONEER: 'Bout two hours ago! Ain't we ever gonna stop?
PIONEER: Quiet down now, boys! Wagon Boss is gonna speak!
WAGON BOSS: My fellow settlers! We stand here at the Edge O' Civilization, on the banks of the Mississippi River, lookin' West, at Our Destiny!
PIONEER: You can say that again!
WAGON BOSS: What may appear to the fainthearted as a limitless expanse of Godforsaken wilderness...
WAGON BOSS:, in reality, a Golden Opportunity for humble, God-fearin' people like ourselves, an' our families, an' our children, an' the generations a-comin', to carve a new life - outta the American Indian!
The Indian comes out of hiding.
INDIAN: Welcome, White Brother!
WAGON BOSS: Injuns! Draw the wagons up into a circle!
INDIAN: Why do you always do that?
WAGON BOSS: We get better reception that way! Do you mind if I put this antenna up on yonder peak?
INDIAN: That's our Sacred Mountain.
WAGON BOSS: This is our Sacred Antenna! It's shaped like a cross! Made out of aluminum. Er-got any aluminum?
INDIAN: We've still got some corn left.
PIONEER: Hey! Corn! Now we can make whisky!
ANOTHER PIONEER: We've been waitin' hundreds o' years for this!
THIRD PIONEER: Say! I just invented a Tom Collins!
WAGON BOSS: Here, Injun! Ya want some firewater?
INDIAN: No. We were warned by our Elders not to drink anything that would make us weak or silly.
WAGON BOSS: (laughs) Put in their well!
INDIAN: That's not a well. It's the Eye of the Holy Serpent Mound, on which your standing.
WAGON BOSS: It's a beaut'!
INDIAN: No, it's a mound.
WAGON BOSS: And right purty, too! er- can ya' move it?
INDIAN: But - why?
WAGON BOSS: Railroad's comin' thru! Right now!
A railroad train loaded with cowboys and railroaders pulls in. The buffalo are scattered and the heard is split.
COWBOY: Hey! What're we stoppin' fer?
RAILROADER: Are we in Goshen Yet?
CONDUCTOR: Cain't go no further. This here's Injun Territory!
GOVERNMENT AGENT: Well, then! It's Treaty Time!
A brass band enters, playing "Hail to the Chief"
GOVERNMENT AGENT: My fellow Redskins! Speaking for the Great White Father in Washington and all the American People, let me say we respect you savages for your Native Ability to instantly Adapt and Survive in whatever Godforsaken wilderness we move you to. Out there. Sign here!
RAILROADER: They did it!
All the cowboys whoop and holler. The train and brass band leave. The Indian gets up on his pony.
INDIAN: No reason to complain. It's not so bad out there. We still have our People and our Ceremonies and the Sun, Moon and Stars, and the Sand and the Black Stuff Coming Out Of The Ground...
GOVERNMENT AGENT: Black stuff coming out of the ground?
TRAILBLAZER: Civilization, ho-oooooooooooo!
A passle of Okies, dogs, model T's and dust storms passes by, leaving the Indian alone. The wind blows.
INDIAN: It's nice out here in the desert. No rain, no crops, no White Brother.
A Greyhound tour bus pulls up and the passengers file out.
BUS DRIVER: All out for Fort Stinkin' Desert! Last Indian Reservation for two thousand miles. You got fifteen minutes, folks! Get 'em while you can!
Several shots ring out.
BUS DRIVER: Get the Senator back in the bus!
The Senator fires off more shots at the Indian as he is led away.
SENATOR: Godfrey Daniel! Pesky Redskins! Which way's Goshen?
TOURIST: Howdy there, Colorful Replica Of America's Past! When is the exciting - in - its - primitive - splendor Snake Dance going to take place?
INDIAN: It's usually in August, but with all our children off in Indian School there's no one left to do the ceremonies.
Eddie gets off the bus.
EDDIE: Hiya, Pop! I'm home!
INDIAN: Hello, Soaring Eagle! It's good to have your back from school!
EDDIE: Aw, come on! Call me Eddie! I'm an American now!
INDIAN: What have they been teaching you?
EDDIE: Just what we need for a better life! French horn, Italian, water polo...
GOVERNMENT AGENT: Yes, at the Custer Memorial Indian School, Eddie's one of our Prize students. We're giving him away next week.
INDIAN: Oh, my White Brother!
A Freak gets off the bus.
FREAK: Hey, man! Don't let him bring you down, now. There's a lot of young people in this country, just like myself, who really know where the Indian's at. And don't worry. Soon we're all gonna be out here on the Reservation, livin' like Indians, 'n' dressin' like Indians and doing all the simple, Beautiful Things that you Indians do. Hey - got any peyote?
RICH TOURIST: Say, how much is that necklace you're wearing?
LADY TOURIST: Does anybody here know how to do the War Dance?
RICH TOURIST: Isn't it amazing how they survive on this stinking desert?
LAUGHING TOURIST: Ya got any scalps?
TOURIST WITH CAMERA: Lemme get a shot of you and yer squaw!
RICH TOURIST: Let's see the War Dance!
LADY TOURIST: Let's see the Dance!
TOURISTS: Let's see the Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance!
The Indian dances in a circle as more shots ring out.
BUS DRIVER: OK! OK, folks! Fun's over! Back in the bus!
MOTHER: Where's little Billy Joe?
FATHER: He's in that run-down outhouse over there, Mamma!
INDIAN: That's our Sun Altar.
GOVERNMENT AGENT: Well, Indian - just goes to show you there's an obvious need to conserve our Priceless National Heritage. The Government is turning your home into a National Monument!
The marching band gets off the buss, playing "America The Beautiful," followed by the Senator, who speaks:
SENATOR: It behooves me, 'pon this Historic Occasion, to dedicate the Stinkin' Desert National Historical Monument and Cobalt Testing Range!
TRAILBLAZER: Civilization, ho-ooooooo!
As the Indian watches, the cobalt bomb goes off. The sound dies away after a time, and the smoke clears, revealing the two Indians on horseback.
INDIAN: Well, it's about time, there's been no corn growing for the last few generations. The buffalo's gone. There's no(one) left to live in harmony.
SECOND INDIAN: I wonder where we went wrong?
INDIAN: Let's just keep to the Life Plan. Remember what The Great Spirit said. "Follow the Peaceful Way." The True White Brother is bound to come.
An assistant movie director runs on, yelling through a megaphone.
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: All right, Indians! Get ready!
A second assistant director follows, with a clap-stick.
SECOND ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Winning Of The West. "The Massacre." Take four!
He claps the clap-stick to start a "take."
INDIANS: Well, let's go...
He joins a dozen other war-painted Indians who ride up beside him, and then they all gallop away into the sunset, whooping.


This Transcript is the sole property of 'The Firesign Theatre', and cannot be reprinted without permission.
© 1997-98 (cristofer morley) All Rights Reserved
Many thanks to: ge||ge 1/2 of for supplying the pics from which I laboriously typed...