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Peanuts and a Pie · 19 May 2013

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A man is standing behind a large Cracker Jack box, ostensibly promoting Cracker Jack. People pass by some of whom are giggling. Others look with raised eyebrows. Still others walk by seeming not to notice a thing.


The Huckster


(sung to the Cracker Jack tune)


Candy coated popcorn, peanuts and a pie, that’s what you get in Cracker Jacks.


THE HUCKSTER continues to repeat the incorrect jingle. People continue to walk by. Finally, somebody stops. THE HUCKSTER continues the jingle even as THE PASSERBY tries to correct him.


THE Passerby


(incredulously)


That’s not how it goes.


THE HUCKSTER


Candy coated popcorn, peanuts and a pie, that’s what you get in Cracker Jacks.


THE PASSERBY


(getting a bit angry)


It is “prize” not “pie!”


People are still walking by, but as THE PASSERBY starts ranting, people start to gather around.


THE HUCKSTER


Candy coated popcorn, peanuts and a pie, that’s what you get in Cracker Jacks.


THE PASSERBY


(more insistently and angrier)


Prize! Prize! It is prize, not pie you nincompoop!


Upon being called a name, THE HUCKSTER stops singing. He gestures for THE PASSERBY to come behind the box. THE PASSERBY looks dumbly at THE HUCKSTER. THE HUCKSTER gestures again and THE PASSERBY understands that he is supposed to take THE HUCKSTER’s place behind the box to sing it himself. THE PASSERBY looks around at those gathering. Some encourage him with looks. Others even say an encouraging word. All are curious. All are waiting for the punchline. THE PASSERBY reluctantly takes up his position behind the large box. Everybody waits in anticipation of the jingle.


THE PASSERBY


(hesitatingly at first)


Candy coated popcorn…


With just gestures, THE HUCKSTER encourages THE PASSERBY to be bold and belt it out. THE PASSERBY starts over.


THE PASSERBY


(more boldly)


Candy coated popcorn, peanuts and a prize…


When THE PASSERBY gets to the word “prize,” a hand reaches out of the box and smashes a pie on THE PASSERBY’s face. The crowd roars. THE HUCKSTER mutely gives THE PASSERBY a towel. THE PASSERBY wipes the pie off his face.


THE PASSERBY


(starting over)


Candy coated popcorn, peanuts and a pie, that’s what you get in Cracker Jacks.


Everybody laughs and continues on their merry way. THE HUCKSTER shakes THE PASSERBY’s hand and leaves too.


THE HUCKSTER


(giggling to himself)


It took me three pies to get it.


THE PASSERBY continues where THE HUCKSTER left off (behind the Cracker Jack box singing the tune) as the camera focuses in on the portion of the large picture on the box that says “pie” (rather than prize) inside. The camera zooms out and the scene cuts to black. The song continues while the credits roll.


THE PASSERBY


(who has become the new huckster)


Candy coated popcorn, peanuts and a pie, that’s what you get in Cracker Jacks.


NEW passerby


(indignantly)


No! No! No! It’s prize not pie you moron!


The scene cuts back in from black to a closeup of the NEW HUCKSTER and the NEW PASSERBY. The NEW HUCKSTER winks at the camera and smiles.


© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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