Do's & Donuts around 3:15 am. Veeta is mopping the porch, a bucket,
bleach and her gun within reach. She alternates mop strokes with swigs from her
tumbler which she refills from a vodka bottle. Lights of a police car sweep
across her and she looks up and scrambles to hide the mop, towels and a certain
cocktail dress. She rapidly sits in her rocker with the gun across her knees.
A tall Native American law enforcement officer with a long black braid
down his back approaches the porch, takes off his hat and sits on the
Veeta. Earl again?
You wanta press charges?
Cecil’s tent’s down.
Damn. Sorry I couldn’t get here quicker.
That’s ok. I’ll take care of Cecil. You go on now. She pats him on the shoulder as she gets up; Willis looks at
the spot where she touched him.
I’ll help put Cecil back to right. I can… stay…you know. If you want…To
guard, you know. Like before…
NO. It’s ok Willis. Go on.
(Gathering resolve) Veeta, I truly think you need someone around
here more regular to make sure everything’s alright.
(With Molly Brown bravado) Well, you know better than that.
(Holding up her shotgun) Daddy left me “The Authority Stick” here and
it seems to do the trick. You oughtta know I can’t afford a body guard or a
security company, if that’s what you mean Chief...
I mean like a husband to you.
(Archly) Willis, that’s a cozy solution to what you think is a
problem here. Sweetie, I’m set in my ways. I like the seat down in the outhouse
and the cap on the toothpaste. I am irritating in my living patterns. I stay up
late with the owls and get up at the butt-crack of dawn. That alone is not
conducive to marital bliss. (She tries to lead him off the porch to leave)
Besides, who’d want a bossy old donut rollin’ flour-covered, crack shot,
vodka drinkin’, foul mouthed, workin’ woman like me? I ain’t no spring
(Interrupting, blurting, taking her by the shoulders, going for
broke)Woman, damn it, I’m tryin’ to say something here. I would. I mean I
would want your bossy-ass self. I’d marry you. Yes, I would. There it is… Willis and Veeta, both stunned, sit down awkwardly trying to
process the moment.
Well, honey, that’s the most words out loud I think I’ve ever heard you
Uh huh. Don’t like to waste ‘em.
I like that. You go on along now.
Veeta? You ok?
Fine, Willis. I’ll call you, honey. I’ll make you dinner, how’s that? And you
can guard me then. Just go on now… Willis takes her hand, and
kisses her gently on the lips and leaves hesitantly. But then he makes a
furious return to the porch to plant a big romantic kiss on Veeta after all, and
then beats a hasty retreat not really believing what he just did. Veeta is
ruffled and glowing in the aftermath.
Cecil emerges silently from the shadows, relights his lantern,
retrieves a pair of overalls from the wreckage of his tent, tugs them on and
starts straightening up his destroyed campsite area…Veeta shakes off the spell
of that kiss, props her gun against the chair and joins Cecil in his clean up.
Veeta finds and returns Cecil’s harmonica to him.
Cecil straightens with some reverence the homemade wooden sign on the porch
depicting a hand drawn, smiling, house cat and begins to replace the wooden
figures of bears, panthers and Indians carefully displaying them on the porch
Dos & Donuts, next morning, early. Cecil, clean and groomed, sits at
the picnic table in clear anticipation, a pocket knife and a large raw piece of
wood in front of him for whittling. Veeta emerges from her donuts shop, apron
dusty with flour, with a steaming cup of coffee and a big glazed donut setting
them in front of Cecil. He delicately sips and eats, silently savoring
breakfast, and begins whittling. Mira arrives, high heels clicking. She snags
Veeta by the arm walking her to the far corner of the porch…
(Whispering quickly, dramatically) Everything looks great Veeta! You
got all the blood up. How is our “client?” I won’t let anyone in to the facial
room until we can move him tonight late…I been thinking. Let’s just put him in
the hospital parking lot right before shift change tonight. Someone’ll see him
and, “bada-bing,” he’s dealt with. I brought my personal supply of valiums to
put in his water to keep him knocked out… Suddenly a very elderly woman, Firelight Whitmire, scoots onto
the porch in a hover-round motorized wheelchair, oxygen tank strapped to the
side with tubing leading to her nose. She drives to a rest between the
Goooood mornin’ my little butter beans. Time for breakfast…I got a taste for
Mama! In a second honey…
Veeta! Our “client?”
MIRA! Shut…up! He’s gone. And no more New York cop shows for you. What’s this
It’s what “eye tal yun” guys say, Veeta.
(Steering Veeta away from Firelight, whispering, with rising panic)
Gone? He can’t be gone. He must’ve crawled off somewhere. Did you look in the
attic? How about under the shop? Under the porch?
That possum back in your attic Veeta? Just let me sit out here one night with
your Daddy’s shotgun and “bada bing” no more possum.
He’s just gone Mira. Let it lie.
‘Course gotta do it right with the first shot or they crawl off and die
somewhere private-like and next thing you know there’s a stink…whew!!
Oh my GAWD! (She collapses in a chair) What did you DO?
What did I do? For the love ‘a … I did nothing. He left on his own…somehow.
Now, I’ve opened up Donuts and you just open up Do’s. Get to teasing up some big
Tammy Wynette hair. It’s like it never happened. Right Mama?
That’s right Veeta. Never happened. I’m goin’in. All this talk about your
possum’s makin’ me hungry. (She wheels into the donut shop.)
Nothin’ is even missing except that bottle of peroxide and some towels. The
crossbow bolts. And your dress.
Oh poo! I was going to return it.
Do you see? He took all the evidence. I think we got lucky. He missed your
cash box. So, as I see it in the light of day, it was just a bad dream and it’s
(Shaky) Well, if you say so Veeta.
I say so.
We have to keep this secret forever, Veeta.
Yep. I will.
We’ve got to take the oath…
No oath Mira. That was just some voodoo Mama made up. She’s always been a
couple of rollers short of a perm…
We have to take the oath! It’s the only thing that’ll bind us. And I don’t
want anyone to know about this because of Earl.
No They stare each other down.
(Exasperated) But why ever not?
It’s stupid and I promise not to talk of this ever again. That should be
Well, I don’t think it’s enough Velveeta Whitmire.
Hush up!! WE took the oath never to say our full names in public. You just
(In a whisper) Velveeta! Velveeta! Velveeta!
Oh my God! I’m going to knock you square into Buncombe County if you don’t
cut it out.
VELLLL-VEEEEETA! Cecil is startled from his whittling and looks at the
(Pushing Mira) Stop it!
(Pushing back) VELLLLLLL-VEEEETA!
(She rears back and lets fly…) MIRRRRRACLE WHHHIP!!
Oh you BITCH! They push and slap each other until they stop teary and out of
breath and look at each other and Cecil with some shame.
Just our luck to have a Mama who named us after her favorite luncheon
I suspect the next Whitmire child would’ve been named Wonder Bread, had there
been one. I always wanted a little brother…
That’s what Daddy loved about Mama. Her peculiarities. He loved her ever
since she walked barefoot down from the mountains with that moony, off-kilter
view of things. Who knows what kin we have way back up there in the coves around
Yeah, and I don’t want to know. Veeta, the oath?
The oath, then. Cecil would you kindly avert your eyes and plug your ears.
This is family stuff. They link arms at the elbows, and cross pinkies with their free
hands and stand on one foot.
Upon our honor, we take the Hangdog Holler oath, that the events of the last
24 hours are a family secret, not to be spoken of again. I do solemnly
As do I. Reluctantly. They unlink arms and pull their pinkies apart, stop a second,
and hug. Up on to the porch comes Mira’s first client, Mrs. Galloway, a regular
with a big purse.
G’morning Veeta honey. Bring me one of those bearclaws and a cup of chicory
will you? To hell with my blood sugar. C’mon Mira. I am a lady barely clingin’
to whatever I got left in the looks department. Let’s start the engines… Mira looks at Veeta pleadingly.
Go on girl. We’re ok.
Hey Mizz Galloway. Let’s just make you even prettier than you already
That’s why I like you Mira. You’re so full of hogwash! You just got to quit
sniffing all that hair spray that’s all. Then you’ll be fine… Mira and Mrs. Galloway link arms and march into the beauty
salon. Veeta walks over and taps Cecil on the shoulder who still has
his eyes closed and ears plugged. He looks up and smiles at her and commences to
whittling and eating again. Willis arrives for breakfast, and walks toward the shop with
No end to the calls last night, trouble all around, Veeta. I sure could use
some coffee with that special sugar you have here. (He pecks her on the
cheek) Haven’t slept.
Ah damn it, Willis, more than what happened here?
Yep. Somebody stole Zeke’s pickup over in Cold Mountain. Found it at Berry’s
Diner near the tracks.
Get a description? Anybody see him?
No one saw him. Don’t know how the guy did all that. So much blood…Seemed
like he was half bled out.
Oh my word! Sounds like one tough fella I’m sure. Too bad he didn’t let
anyone help him.
Oh, he had help…We just gotta find out who that’s all.
Well we sure had a dark moon over us last night didn’t we? Let’s get you that
coffee. Your eyes look like two burnt holes in a blanket.
Wait a second. Hold your horses woman. Was I dreamin’ or did I propose
marriage to you last night?
I believe you did.
Did you say yes?
Gonna say yes?
Where’s my ring?
Oh, yeah. Ok. I’ll be back with one.
Yes you will! She opens the door for him, he goes through. She smacks him in
the rear and he lets out an amused hoot. She pauses and shivers and then goes in
herself. Just the start of another day in Mishap Gap.
Do’s & Donuts about 3 am. The porch is quiet. Headlights sweep the
front of the shop again and the sound of gravel crunches as someone gets out of
a car and stumbles uncertainly up onto the porch. He is a large man, dressed in
a suit in which he looks entirely out of place. He slouches into a chair,
breathing heavily. He cradles a red Solo “to go” cup and says in a quiet
Mira, you come on down here now. We’re goin’ home.
(From above window) I’m stayin’ here tonight Earl.
No. Nope. You’re not. Let’s go.
No, honey, I’m all settled in. I’ll be home to make you breakfast, I
Mira, get your ass down here NOW! He flings a chair. Mira and Veeta appear on the circular staircase fully
dressed. Mira’s party dress is gone, replaced by slacks and blouse.
EARL, you will now get off my porch.
(Prowling around looking at things, he focuses on the pup
Make me, bitch. Mira move it!
(Whispering) Damn, he’s still worked up. I got to go Veeta or he’ll
get too riled. You can give our “client” the best care anyway. I’ll be ok.
(Louder) I’m comin’, honey, hang on. How ‘bout I make you a nice big
cup of coffee when we get home?
(Whispering) Damn it, Mira…Don’t you dump this on me…
I’ll see you in the morning. Just stay cool. Sorry I puked.
That’s ok. But Mira…
What’s this? (Slowly drawing out the moment) Upon closer inspection,
I see that you have been up to no good, Miss Veeta. Yessiree. (Mira and
Veeta look fearfully from the stairs trying to see what has caught his
attention.) I see evidence of quite an infraction of the LAW here. There is
PHYSICAL evidence right here for anyone to see. And because I am RELATED to you
by marriage, I am going to help you DISPOSE of it, so no one will see fit to
haul your sorry ass into court. Why, if I don’t help you with this dilemma, sis,
you could do time. And although it would bring me great pleasure to think of
what they'd do to you in jail, I feel a certain kinship here. (Mira and Veeta start down the stairs)
Veeta, dear sister-in-law, (He shouts) you still housing the
homeless here? You stupid cow, you’re lowering the value of the real estate with
this little tramp camp. My property value and everyone else’s is in danger of
goin' tits up because of your half-assed notion of social responsibility. He circles the pup tent as a man clad in long johns emerges
from it and backs away into the shadows.
You better get a move on Cecil…Time to MOVE ON! He kicks over the tent and rips down all of Cecil’s belongings,
stomping everything in his path. He then topples over every wooden figurine on
(Producing and cocking a large shotgun) Be on your way Earl, NOW!
I called Willis.
(Sneering) “I called Willis.” Tonto to the rescue! Cherokee freak.
(He puts on “Indian” voice) Kimo sabe save white woman from bad man,
and make her his squaw. Ugh! You like the way he makes a teepee Veeta? Taking Mira by the back of her blouse and quick-stepping her
from the porch -
Get in your car, Mira. G’night, sister-in-law. Looking forward to a jelly
filled one after church on Sunday, darlin’. Car doors slam and gravel churns as Earl peals out of the
parking lot with the sounds of Mira’s car traveling behind. Vera uncocks the
shotgun and slumps.