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Stolen Yacht (A Radio Script) by Col. Stoopnagle

Editorís Note:  This radio script, written by F. Chase Taylor, is a rarity, as Stoopnagle and Budd rarely used written scripts.  Only to appease the uneasy sponsors did they begin writing their material down.  In the following scene, the main parts are identified ĎTí for Taylor, and ĎHí for Hulick, as was their practice. Note how generous Taylor was with letting Hulick have many of the funniest lines. Words and phrases in [brackets] are Taylorís handwritten revisions.

 

AM:     The scene of the little drama the Col. and Budd are about to do for you is laid in a big store on Fifth Avenue, New York City, where they have yachts for sale.  In this particular store, they donít bother with small boats -- they just have boats fifty feet in length and longer.  The reason is that the big boats donít sell so fast and it gives the proprietor more time for rest and relaxation.  The Colonel is the owner of the store, as you may have guessed, and Budd is his assistant, Filbert.  As the curtain rises, Budd is found blowing the whistle on the Ida May, a great 60-foot beauty of a yacht.  The Colonel is looking over the customersí file. 

            BOAT WHISTLE SEVERAL TIMES. [(3)] 

T:         Filbert, for goodness sakes stop tooting that whistle.  You drive me frantic, practically. 

H:        (DISTANCE)  Just as you say, Mr. Yachtnagle, but this is such a peachy whistle and it sounds so nice.  Gosh sakes, you wonít even let me start one of the engines here in the store.  It seems that the least you could do would be to let me give a toot on a tooter once in a while. 

T:         You sound like Uncle Ezra.  Well, I guess you can blow it once more. 

            [WHISTLE ONCE

H:        Gee whiz.  Thanks.  [WHISTLE]  Youíre awfully kind, Mr. Yachtnagle.  Now Iím wholly satisfied. 

T:         Filbert, to get down to brass tacks, thereís a matter Iíve wanted to take up with you for several weeks now.  Itís quite important. 

H:        Donít tell me youíre firing me, Mr. Yachtnagle. 

T:         No, not just yet, anyway.  The little matter I wanted to speak to you about was the fact that itís been four years today since we disposed of a yacht from this store. 

H:        Four years, huh!  My goodness.  It doesnít seem more than three years and a half to me, youíve been such good company, Mr. Yachtnagle. 

T:         Nice of you to feel that way, Filbert.  I wish I might say the same for you.  Yes, itís four years today to the day.  Iím afraid our people out in Detroit are going to notice it.  Letís see.  The last boat we sold was the SSSS Hickory Nut, wasnít it? 

H:        Yessir; I believe she was the one, alright, alright.  And, at THAT; we only sold the front half of Ďer. 

T:         Hm.  Thatís so.  The man who bought the front half had a daughter who was to christen a battleship, and she wanted to rehearse. 

H:        Absolutely.  Her name was Imogene, as I remember it, and she had a little, teensy-weensy mole on her cheek.  Cute kid. 

T:         What ever happened to the BACK half of the Hickory Nut, Filbert? 

H:        Oh, we sold that to a guy who only had a very small dock.  You see, he could back it in and not have the bow sticking out into the river where other boats would trip over it. 

T:         Did she float, for goodness sakes, with the front end cut off that way? 

H:        Oh no, Mr. Yachtnagle.  She sank. 

T:         Did, eh?  Too bad. 

H:        Yeh.  But she sank so nicely -- you know, straight down and easy-like -- that the man was quite pleased. 

T:         Well, to get back quickly to our original line of thought:  What does our inventory say with regard to the actual number of yachts we have on hand here at the store? 

H:        Let me thumb over our files here a second.  Letís see.  Thereís the Ida May....the Fun and Frolic...the Up and At Ďem..and Spray, the Third.  One, two, three, four.  Four altogether, Mr. Yachtnagle.  Can I go home now and rest? 

T:         No.  I know counting boats is tiresome, but when we start something, we must finish it.  You mustnít forget to glance at our motto once in a while. 

H:        No, I mustnít. 

T:         Now you say our inventory shows four yachts. 

H:        Exactly four, Mr. Yachtnagle.  No more, no less. 

T:         Well, look around and see if you notice anything. 

H:        Hm.  Letís see....The windows need cleansing. 

T:         Nope.  Look ALL around. 

H:        Hm...Thereís a large crack in the ceiling over the Ida May. 

T:         Yes, thatís not what Iím talking about.  Give up? 

H:        I guess Iíll have to; what is it?

T:         If Iím not mistaken, Filbert, the Spray the Third is missing. 

H:        Letís look.  How many boats did I say the inventory showed, again? 

T:         Four. 

H:        Now Iíll actually count the boats...One..two...three....My goodness!  A Yacht IS missing.  I sort of THOUGHT it seemed roomy in here. 

T:         There, now.  You see?  Thatís why I am the manager here and you are only the assistant.  I have trained myself to notice things.  Yes, a yacht IS missing, and whatís more, itís the Spray the Third, the fourth boat in the inventory. 

H:        The Spray the third, the fourth.  That sounds silly, doesnít it?  The Spray the third the fourth. 

T:         Now our job is to find out where she is.  Imagine!  A perfectly good 75-footer missing and you and I donít know where sheís gone.  For shame, on both of us. 

H:        Well, Iím embarrassed, Mr. Yachtnagle; I donít know about YOU. 

T:         Well, letís get into instant action.  First, I must call the police.

            SIRENS

            I havenít even called yet.

            (JIGGLE RECEIVER)  Hello, operator!  Give me the a..the a... 

H:        Police, it was you wanted. 

T:         Yeah.  The police.  Hurry...Hello, police?  This is the Yachtnagle Boat Store -- you know, the big store on Fifth Avenue and Klaksjdnfhbgv Street, where yachts are sold dirt cheap for cash and sometimes in partial payments over a period of two years.  Well say, -- we had a peachy 75-footer here called the Spray the Third.  Sheís been stolen. 

H:        Tell Ďem what dandy deck space she had. 

T:         Quiet, Filbert.

            PHONE RINGS.

            (PHONE)  Thereís the other phone; Iíll call you back.

            HANGS UP RECEIVER.

            PHONE RINGS AGAIN.

            Answer the other phone, Stupid, I mean Filbert. 

H:        Yessir;

            PICKS UP RECEIVER

            Yachtnagle Boat Store!  Keep Drifting!  Filbert Budd speaking.  The HOLD-EVERYTHING ANCHOR COMPANY?  Yes.  You did, eh?  Just a moment.  Hang on.

            (Aside)  Thatís the Hold-Everything Anchor Company, Mr. Yachtnagle.  The guy says THEY have the Spray the Third over at their place. 

T:         THEY have it!  What on earth did they take that boat for?  How long ago did they swipe it? 

H:        (ON PHONE)  How long ago did you borrow it?  Four months ago!  My gracious!  (ASIDE)  They took it in January.  (PHONE)  Why did you want it?  (ASIDE)  He says they made more anchors than there were boats for them last year, so they just borrowed the Spray the Third to see how the extra anchor looked with it. 

T:         Tell Ďem Ďnuts!í and to send either the anchor or the boat right back. 

H:        Nuts.  And send the anchor or the yacht right back.  Goodbye!

            SLAMS RECEIVER DOWN 

T:         Gee whiz, Filbert.  Iím glad they didnít let us know when they took it.  Look!  The whole back of the store is torn out.  If weíd noticed it wasnít there, weíd have frozen to death last winter, wouldnít we? 

H:        What? 

            APPLAUSE LEAD BY [BARUCH MILLET]  

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Page created November 15, 2006.  Copyright 1998-2006 by Richard D. Squires.