REMEMBERING SGT. PRESTON OF THE YUKON

This is the first scene of my one-act “Pete & Joe at the Dew Drop Inn” (Best American Short Plays 2008-2009).

JOE
Got time for another?

PETE
(shrugging)
I’m not goin’ anywhere.

JOE
No one is.

PETE
No . . . Yeah . . . Hey, it isn’t our fault . . .

JOE
I’ll drink to that.

PETE
Yeah . . . When you were growing up, did you have a hero?

JOE
Well, yeah, there was a radio show . . .

PETE
About a hero?

JOE
Sure. A dog.

PETE
You mean, a talking dog, like Goofy?

JOE
Goofy’s a dog?—No, this one didn’t speak English.

PETE
He spoke dog? He barked? How can you have a radio show about a dog? He barked for half an hour? Ru—ru—ru—ru—ruff . . . Ru—ru—ru—ru—ruff . . . The story was told in barking?

JOE
(as if to a small child)
No, Pete, it was about his master. His master solved crimes in the Yukon.

(Remembering the name)

Sergeant Preston.

(Music: the Sergeant Preston radio theme. He stops to listen in memory, enjoying it greatly.)

I guess the dog was a supporting character. The star would’ve been Sergeant Preston. He was a human, although Canadian. But I identified with the dog.

(Smiling as he remembers)

What a dog!

PETE
What kind of a dog?

JOE
Come on—you couldn’t see him. It was the radio.—A husky, maybe.

PETE
That was your hero?

JOE
Yeah. Didn’t you ever have an—oh—an unconventional hero?

PETE
Well, to be honest? I used to want to be Mr. Clean. You know, all those muscles . . . helping housewives who relied on him in their domestic work . . . no intellect to get in the way . . .

(Notices that Joe is staring at him)

What? What?

JOE
Wow. Takes all kinds, doesn’t it?

(Lights fade to half, then rise on the next scene.)

Listen to the music—for a dose of neuralgia:

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2 comments

  1. Very Awesome Sid · · Reply

    Aw, what happened to Joe and Pete?

    1. You can buy the book and find out!

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