Mary's Boarding House and the Art of War, Episode Six for Podcast

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Romance
Henry tracks down Louis on horseback. Then is later surprised by Joni, while taking a bath. Towards the end of the episode, Henry will share some of his personal views on Mormons with Mary; with Ryan Running Dog (the Narrator) as always, injecting some of his unwanted thoughts as well.

Submitted: June 16, 2016

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Submitted: June 16, 2016

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Mary’s Boarding House and the Art of War (a podcast script)

Adapted for a podcast, from the original series of the same name, by Jim Pack

Original Copyright date March 27, 2015

(Episode Six)

Mary Thornberg (reading)

“Prohibit the taking of omens, and do away with superstitious doubts, until death itself comes, no calamity need be feared”.

(Sound track of Shamanistic by Kevin Macleod starts in the background).

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Narrator

Episode Six of Mary’s Boarding House and the Art of War.  This episode is entitled:  “When Facebook Makes You Cry”.

My name is Ryan Running Dog from the Cedar Valley Goshute Band of Western Shoshone Indians, I am your host and narrator, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, you’ve all heard the drill before long knives and if you haven’t, then why are you listening to this episode first?  Go back and listen to the others in their proper sequence, then click onto this one. 

For the rest of you, this is the story of a very attractive (for her age anyway) female long knife named Mary Thornberg, who runs a boarding house full of other interesting long knives. 

Now listen carefully all you long knives in the audience, unless you are something else, like say an Apache or Navajo, in which case you listen too; unless you have something better to do right now, like maybe go gambling at a Morongo casino, but I digress.  Anyway, listen as Mary reads from her diary:  Go ahead Mary, start reading from your diary.  Wait a minute!  Why is she getting to read from her diary?  I’m the Narrator?  And since the subject is being broached, why is she reading the little Sun Tzu blub before every episode?!!  She’s not the narrator, I am! 

(Long silence)

Total silence is my apparent answer, never mind long knife director.  (muttering to himself) It’s like pulling teeth sometimes with these long knives.  Read from your diary long knife woman:

(While Mary reads from her diary Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kije, Symphonic Suite, Op.60: II. Romance, is lightly heard in the background soundtrack).

Mary (reading)

“Dear Diary:  April 7th 2016. 

Today I felt really bad for Louis.  We finally get him to come out of his shell and engage with others, even getting him to get over his fear of being in the common areas of the house; then all of a sudden I noticed something amiss.  Yesterday I looked out my kitchen window and I spied Louis outside in the back, away from the house, I assume so no one would see him quietly crying.  I couldn’t hear him crying, but his involuntary sobbing motions were unmistakable, even seen from behind my kitchen window.  He was definitely crying.  There was no concealing those tearful jags and the wiping of his reddened eyes. 

My concern and curiously had gotten the better of me and I walked outside to ask Louis what was wrong and he immediately attempted to brush away his tears and dismissively pretend that nothing was wrong whatsoever; like he wasn’t even crying in the first place, “I’m not crying.  I just have something in my eyes”, he obviously lied to me.

After my interruption he quickly left the property on his way to somewhere else; somewhere where there were no nosey landladies to ask him questions he didn’t want to answer; somewhere, I suspect, where he could be left alone to dry his tears in peace. 

Mortimer has known Louis and protected him from bullies for years, long before either of them had moved into to my boarding house, so I asked him what might be wrong?”

(Soundtrack fades into silence).

Narrator:

Now watch white eyes, as she confronts Louis’ friend Mortimer Spangle, regarding his cry baby long knife friend. 

Mary (angrily to the Narrator)

He is not a cry baby!!  He’s just very sensitive.

Narrator

Cry baby.

Mary

No he’s not!!

Narrator

Yes he is.  Cry baby long knife, afraid of his own shadow.  He needs to man up. 

Mortimer (to Mary)

Ignore him, or we’ll be here all night.

Mary (to Mortimer)

How long have you two been friends, Morty?

Mortimer

Since the second grade.

Mary

I saw him crying out back, do you know why?

Mortimer

What day is it?

Mary

April 7th.

Mortimer

Crap!!  It’s happening again!!

Mary

What’s happening again?

Mortimer

This happens every year when his birthday comes up; ever since he joined Facebook three years ago.

Mary

Is it his birthday today?  I didn’t know it was his birthday!

Mortimer

No it was his birthday yesterday and most likely no one on his Facebook account sent him a birthday greeting, just like they didn’t last year and the year before that.  Damn it, I should have been more proactive and headed him off this time.  Try to distract him from dwelling on those Facebook birthday greetings, or the lack of them.  But I got distracted myself and forgot it was his birthday too.  Damn it!!  I meant to head him off this time.

Narrator

I rest my case.  Cry baby long knife.

Mary (now trying to ignore the Narrator)

Louis is on Facebook?  Really?

Mortimer

Yes. And I guess none of his so called Facebook friends, mostly all strangers to him, give a shit about him.  And he literally has thousands of them.  He friends anyone who will friend him back.  Poor sad and lonely Louis.  As we all know he has trouble relating with people face to face.  He lives his life more online than off. 

Mary

He is such a recluse, I find it hard to imagine that he is even on Facebook.  I’m not on Facebook.  I used to be.  But I got fed up with it.  Are you on Facebook?

Mortimer

No, I’m not into social media.  Joni prefers Twitter.  Oddly enough, unless Henry Larond is on it, which I doubt, Louis is the only one presently living in the house who is; which is ironic given how reclusive he is.

Narrator

I’m on Facebook, not that any of these snooty long knives would want to “friend me”. 

Mary (to the Narrator)

Cry baby Shoshone!!  How can we “friend” you if we are not even on Facebook, not that we would even want to, if we were.

Narrator

Read the script as written long knife actress.  I’m the only one here that should be veering off script.

Mary

Just why should you be the only one that should veer off script??

Narrator

Just because I can.  Read you next line.

Mary (to Mortimer)

I am feeling so sorry for him right now.  I feel so bad that I didn’t know it was his birthday.

Mortimer

Don’t be.  He doesn’t expect any of us to remember his birthday.  None of us are Facebookers.  Therefore we don’t receive email alerts reminding us that it is his birthday.  And that is what really hurts his feelings, because he knows that people on Facebook have been getting email alerts to remind them that it’s his birthday.  And every year he doesn’t get any birthday wishes from them.  Facebook is hell on people who are not popular.  Yesterday he was probably sitting by his laptop waiting and hoping for someone to notice and send him a birthday wish.

Narrator

Pathetic.  Now back to Mary’s Diary:

Mary

“I then went into the kitchen and baked Louis a belated birthday cake.  And when I finished that task, I went to my computer and reactivated my old Facebook account. Then I sent my own friend request to Louis.  However, after close inspection of his Facebook profile, I noticed that his security settings were probably preventing any alerts to his fellow Facebook friends.  That’s right.  None of them were getting email alerts, birthday and/or otherwise.  Evidently Louis was not all that tech savvy when he set up his account.  Obviously, he must have assumed that since he was getting birthday email alerts regarding his Facebook friends, they must also be getting alerts reminding them of his birthday; which of course, they weren’t. 

Poor Louis.  All those needlessly shed tears over nothing, simply the result of improperly imputed security settings.  Unfortunately, he didn’t come home last night so we could all celebrate his belated birthday and help him change those improperly imputed security settings”.  

Narrator

Off somewhere being a cry baby long knife, obviously.  Now listen white eyes as Mary continues to read from her insipid diary on the very next day.

Mary (angrily at first, as she tries to ignore the Narrator again)

Mary’s Diary, April 8th!!

“Today, early in the morning Joni and Mortimer went driving around town to search for Louis.  They took Joni’s car.  Henry Larond is also searching for him on horseback.  I stayed behind at the house, in case Louis returned on his own accord. Unfortunately, we couldn’t report him as a missing person yet, because it hadn’t been 24 hours since he left the house”. 

Narrator

Mary’s Diary, later that day: 

Mary

“It’s now 12:00 PM.  So far no Louis”.

 (Shamanistic begins again in the sound track).

Narrator

Now picture this in your pinky white long knife brains, at this point in the episode you can see several views of Henry Larond riding his horse Anabell, looking down at the ground to seek out trial sign, in his search of the cry baby long knife, Louis. You do not here him speak however, there is no written dialogue for this segment, as there is no one to speak to, except his horse.  All you hear is the musical soundtrack from the instrumental "Shamanistic", by Kevin MacLeod.  It’s on ITunes. 

(The sound track increases in volume and Ryan gets up and starts chanting and dancing an impromptu Ghost Dance.  If recording is done in front of a live audience he should encourage a woman in the audience to dance with him, as he injects more modern dance steps into his routine.  When the instrumental concludes he sits down again).

Smith

Just out of curiosity, was that a Ghost dance that you were performing?

Narrator

Why yes it was long knife, partially.  How very perceptive of you.

Smith

Isn’t that the dance that Native Americans perform to magically make the Buffalo return and all their long knife enemies disappear in thin air, never to return?  If it is, it doesn’t seem to be working.

Narrator

Perhaps, I’m not doing it right.  Well, you know what they say long knife.  “Practice makes perfect”.  Now back to Mary’s Diary, yet again.

Mary (reading her diary)

“Good news, Henry found Louis and brought him back, both riding double on Anabell.  What a relief that was!!  They were laughing about something when they rode up.  About what?  They wouldn’t say.  Must be a guy thing.  Later Henry told me not to bother about resetting Louis’ security settings.  But again, he would not tell me ‘why’.  And I did not ask.

I did ask Henry where he found Louis, however.  He said Louis left very easy to read trail sign, i.e. tracks, all the way up into the nearby hills.  He found Louis just inside the mouth of a rock wall cave, on the side of a cliff face.  Evidently that is where our poor dear Facebooker had spent the night drying his tears, offline.  Henry must have some very refined wilderness skills to read trail sign like that.  I must say, he never ceases to amaze me.  A very impressive man, that Mr. Henry Larond; in more ways than one.  Please be still my heart.  For now let’s just keep that tiny little sentiment to ourselves, Dear Mr. Diary”.

Narrator

Mary loves Henry.  Mary loves Henry!!

Mary

Shut up!  Back to my diary.

 “Speaking of trail signs.  After bringing Louis home, Henry pulled me aside and told me something that was very alarming.  While tracking Louis’s footsteps, Henry noticed someone else’s”.

Henry

Harry Landers has been watching your place from a distance.  Positioning himself not on your property, but adjacent to it.  He seems to be staking your place out, from every direction on the compass.  His tracks form a complete 360 degree circle.  Far enough away to remain concealed, but close enough to make a very long rifle shot.  Not an easy shot, but doable if he is a good marksman.  I didn’t tell Louis about this.  I don’t want to frighten the poor guy, anymore than he is already, regarding Landers. 

Mary

I thought they took his rifle away?  Does he have another rifle?

Henry

Some of those tracks tell me that he is sometimes lying down, prone, with his head pointed in our direction, as if he were looking at us through a rifle scope.  I have also seen rifle butt depressions in the ground. 

Mary

How do you know they are Harry’s tracks?

Henry

He leaves behind a very distinctive set of footprints.  And some of them are quite recent.

Mary

How recent?

Henry

Yesterday.

Mary

Are you sure they are his?

Henry

As I said, very distinctive footprints.  He walks like a duck.

Mary

Yeah, that would be Harry alright. 

Mary (reading her diary again)

“Dear Diary

By the way, Louis liked his belated birthday cake and friended me right back on Facebook at the very next opportunity.  I will make sure he gets at least one birthday wish next year on Facebook, alert or no”.

Narrator

Now pay very close attention to the next day’s diary entry.  This should raise some of your eyebrows, long knives.

Mary

“Dear Diary:  April 9th 

Joni, that little scamp, confided to me today that she had a very inappropriate encounter with Henry Larond in the upstairs bathroom.  I’m really going to have to sit down and have a very long talk with that naughty girl”.

Narrator

This requires a little narrative background.  Picture this long knives, Joni, the other good looking female long knife in the house, is standing just outside the shut bathroom door with her ear to it,  carefully listening.  She faintly hears splashing noises from the other side of the door.  It’s the unmistakable sound of someone taking a bath!  I wonder whoever could that totally stark naked person be?  Hmmm? 

(Light water splashing sound effects are heard).

Joni (speaking from the other side of the bathroom door).

Are you in there, Henry?

Henry

Yes, I’m taking a bath.

Narrator

Trust me long knives when I say this, she knows quite well that the good looking, now naked as a jay bird, long knife is in there taking his bath.  Therefore, she brazenly and abruptly enters the bathroom, accidently on purpose, of course.  Things like this never happen when I’m taking a bath. Darn. 

Joni

Oh, sorry Henry, I didn’t know you were taking a bath. 

Narrator

Yeah, right!!

Joni

Nevertheless, I’m glad I caught you in time.

Narrator

Yeah, I’ll bet she is.  The tall good looking and now quite naked long knife is stunned by her abrupt entrance, but tries not to over react.  Nevertheless, he now attempts to cover himself, as best he can, with the obligatory, yet very small and now very wet, white wash rag, as he remains seated in the cast iron, antique bathtub; now full of crystal clear water and with no bubble bath soap available to help conceal his long, lean, muscular nudity.  Oh, dear, how unfortunate is that?

(Pause as everybody in the cast is looking at the Narrator).

What?!!

Henry (forging ahead)

Pardon me Miss Joni, but I happen to be indisposed at the moment.  Perhaps you didn’t hear me.  As you can see, I’m taking a bath.

Joni

Please don’t stand on my account.  Unless of course, you feel it’s the chivalrous thing to do when a lady enters a room.

Narrator

There is now a very long silence as they both stare at each, almost like it was a stare down contest to see which one looks away first; the immodest female long knife, having absolutely no intention, whatsoever, of loosing this competition, does not avert her eyes.  Not  once.  (pause)  That’s long enough, say your next line immodest female long knife.

Joni

Nevertheless, it is a very good thing that I’m here right now. 

Narrator

Oh, I bet it is.

Henry

And why is that a good thing, miss?

Narrator

Yes, tell us brazen one, why is that a good thing?

Joni

Don’t worry Henry.  I won’t be getting into the tub with you.  Unless, you feel that it is our civic duty to help conserve water during this terrible drought that California is now facing. (pause) By the way, I just got back from the store with some luffas.  Do you know what a luffa is Henry?

Henry

Yes, I know what a luffa is. 

Narrator

I don’t know what a lufffa is. 

Joni 

I have an extra one.  You may have it.  Would you like me to show you how it works?

Henry

No.  That won’t be necessary.  I know how they work.

Narrator

I would like to know how it works.  Does it vibrate?  The female long knife now moves towards the edge of the tub to inspect her prey more closely. 

Joni 

They are marvelously good for your skin.  They're grown in the tropics.  

Narrator

The naked long knife now slips deeper into the tub, in a futile attempt to somehow preserve what is left of his modesty and dignity.

Henry 

Yes, I know where they come from.

Joni 

They’re very good for scrapping and scrubbing excess dead skin from off your body.  Sure you don’t want me to scrub your back for you?  It’s a very hard area for most people to reach by themselves.

Henry 

No.  That won’t be necessary.  I have very long arms. 

Joni (now sounding somewhat disappointed)

Alright then, anything else I can do for you?

Henry

No, that will be all for now.  Just toss the luffa into the tub.

Narrator

Code for “Step away from luffa”, and the female long knife does just that.  Now if I only knew what a luffa was, I could die a very happy Western Shoshone, (pause) From the Cedar Valley band of Goshute Indians. 

Henry

Please remember to close the bathroom door.(sound effect of a door closing)  I meant with you being on the other side of the bathroom door.

Joni

Oh, right.

Narrator

The brazen female long knife then opens the bathroom door again and leaves, being sure to close it behind her this time.

Henry (muttering)

Note to self.  Remember to turn the lock next time.

Joni (now muttering to herself)

I love it when they play hard to get.(pause)  That’ll learn him not to turn the lock on the bathroom door. 

Narrator

Back again to Mary’s Diary.

Mary

“Dear Diary, April 10th

Joni has suddenly become quite taken with the two Mormon missionaries Smith and Wesson (especially Smith), ever since it turned out that they were both instrumental in saving the life of Henry’s horse, Bluebell; along with accomplishing the apprehension of Harry Landers.  And lately she keeps inviting those two over to the house; against Henry’s unspoken wishes; at least unspoken to her.  He has quietly voiced his concerns to me in private, however.  Somehow I suspect Joni is inviting those two Mormon boys over to the house to get a rise out of Henry.  Perhaps to make him jealous?  Good luck with that.  Such an obvious, tired, old trick; please!!”  

Mary

Why don’t you want Smith and Wesson coming over to the house?

Henry

I’m wise to their ways.  Remember I was once an LDS missionary myself.  They’ll keep coming over nice and polite, being very helpful, ingratiating themselves, even offering to do needful chores here and there around the place, then before you know it, they’ll be dunking you, Joni and maybe even Mortimer into the nearest Mormon baptismal.  You’ll all become one of the pod people, just like them.

Mary

And of course you have no designs of dunking any of us into some Born Again Christian baptismal of your choosing, do you?

Henry

No I was planning on dunking all of you into the Merced River; more picturesque that way.

Mary

And colder.  Good luck with that.  So you think that Smith and Wesson are just trying to ingratiate themselves with us, in order to deceive and lure us into the LDS Church?

Henry

Ah yeah!!  That’s what I would be doing, if I were in their shoes and have done so in the past, when I was in their shoes. 

Mary

So does this deception include them saving the life of your horse from Harry Lander’s rifle bullet, so that they might ingratiate themselves with you?

Henry

No.  I’m sure they did that act out of their own personal sense of decency and honor.  That being said, I’m also sure they are not above making use of their own personal sense of decency and honor, when it later becomes advantageous and behooves them to do so.  Don’t get me wrong they are both fine fellows, but they are also both trained masters of the soft sale.

Mary

You like those two boys, don’t you?

Henry

Yes I do.  And that is what a hate about Mormons.  They’re all so darn likable and nice; so nice, they practically nice you to death.

Narrator

Listen again white eyes to Mary’s Diary, the second half of that day’s entry.

Mary

“Before I retired for the night I told Henry that I really wasn’t clear on the differences between Mormons and Born Again Christians, as outwardly they seemed so similar to me. You know, people who like to dress nice on Sunday, sing hymns out of a book; both claiming to be followers of Jesus.  Seriously, what’s difference?”

Henry

If you have five or six hours, I can explain the difference.

Mary

No I’m way too tired right now.  Let’s do that some other time.

Narrator

End of Episode Six.

Accompanied by a reprise of the musical soundtrack "Shamanistic", by Kevin MacLeod, as the Narrator reads the end credits. 

 


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