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The Bestest Batch

Directed by Jess Thomas

With Christian Haines, Maryssa Wanlass, James Nelson & Ray Renati

Jeb Joe (Ray) and Billy Joe (Christian) are sitting at the kitchen table. Sally (Maryssa) is off stage.

JEB JOE: Sally Jo! When’s that boy gonna git here?

SALLY JO (OFF): He ain’t no boy DaDaw, he’s a full growed man!

BILLY JOE: There ain’t no way she’s gonna get it right.

JEB JOE: Billy Joe, this may be our on’y ways outa this. You know I ain’t got much time on this patch a dirt an’ Sally Jo’s our last chance.

BILLY JOE: All this piddlin’ aroun’s gonna send us all catty wampus.

Sally Jo comes on with a platter of cookies and puts them down on the table.

SALLY JO: Shut your pie hole Billy Joe! I been bakin’ up MaMaws cookie recipe longer’n you been chokin’ yer chicken an’ if there was a prize fer that, you’d win the blue ribbon!

JEB JOE: C’mon now sugar lump, Billy didn’t mean nuthin’ by it.

BILLY JOE: Yes I did.

Sally Jo smacks Billy Joe on the back of the head. He jumps up to retaliate but she’s too quick and puts him in a head lock and starts slapping the top of his head.

BILLY JOE (CONT’D): Daddy! Make her stop!!

Jeb jumps up and pulls them apart.

JEB JOE: Alright, cut it out, you two! Now, Billy Joe, yer Sis has been working to make MaMaws famous Purdy-nut cookie recipe jist right and if she gits it, we’re gonna be rich.

SALLY JO: An’ this Man comin’ over has oodles of money and he can finance the distribution of these here cookies to the whole United States... and maybe even France!

BILLY JOE: How many times you been sayin’ that? You brought so many "Men with oodles of cash" over folks’ve started thinkin’ we’re runnin’ a Cat House... an’ looky who’s the kitty cat!

She lunges at him. He cowers like a little girl.

JEB JOE: Now settle down, Honey. If this batch tastes as good as I’m smellin’, I think you got ’er in the bag!

SALLY JO: I think yer right Daddy. I think I finally found the secret ingredient!

BILLY JOE: Wha’dja find, some Japanese wombat ’er sump’n?

SALLY JO: Shut yer trap, Billy. All my fix’ns are fresh an’ local growed!

There is a knock at the door.

SALLY JO: That’s him! Now, behave yerselves and act like yer not white trash... Billy, tuck yer shirt tails in!

Billy Joe tries but only gets it half right. Sally Jo goes off to get the door. Jeb and Billy stand trying to look sophisticated.

SALLY JO (OFF): Well, good evenin’ Mr. Preston... Won’t you come in?

They enter.

SALLY JO: I’d like to introduce my Daddy, Jeb Joe Gentry...

JEB JOE: You can call me DaDaw.

SALLY JO: An’ my twin brother Billy Joe...

BILLY JOE: You can call me Billy Joe.

SALLY JO: This is Mr. Preston.

RONALD: Please, call me Ronald.

BILLY JOE: Ain’t that a clowns name?

She smacks him.

SALLY JO: Won’t you sit down Mr. P... Ronald?

RONALD: Thank you. (seeing the platter on the table) Are these the famous cookies I’ve been hearing so much about? They smell scrumptuous.

SALLY JO: Oh, they are scumchus... I mean... is that good?

RONALD: Sure. You haven’t heard that before? Interesting.

JEB JOE: Why don’t you have a seat Ronny.

Ronald sits at the table.

RONALD: So, Sally Jo, why don’t you tell me a little about your recipe. If my company is going to invest money, we need to know everything.

SALLY JO: Well, the original recipe came down th’ family line from my Great, Great Grandma Ruby Jo Gentry. Then my Great Grandma Dixie Jo, passed it down to my Mama. Trouble was, MaMaw got th’ Die-mentia an’ fergot most a th’ ’gredients when she passed it down to me.

BILLY JOE: Yep. An’ she’s been tryin’ to remake it ever since... with DaDaw an’ me bein’ th’ Guinea Pigs. ’Member that one batch she made tasted like bull frog, DaDaw.

JEB JOE: Shore do. Then there’s that one that tasted like cow manoor.

BILLY JOE: Then the ’gator manoor.

They both start laughing.

SALLY JO: Why’ncha tell Ronny here how you know what ’gator manoor tastes like Billy Joe.

They stop laughing and look at each other

SALLY JO (CONT’D): Anywho. We had lot’s a other ’tential ’vesters lookin’ in t’ buying the recipe but I could never git th’ ’gredients quite right. There was one ’loosive piece a th’ puzzle I couldn’t fer the life a me find. ’Til that last ’vester turned me down.

JEB JOE: Yeah, what was his name?

BILLY JOE: Crawfish er Crawdad er sumpn like that.

SALLY JO: Mr. Crawford.

RONALD: From Mama Loco’s Cookies and Cakes? My, you have had some pretty heavy hitters.

SALLY JO: Anyways, when he turn’t tail, I worked day and night an’ I finally cracked it! I found the secret ’grediant!!

RONALD: Well, let’s give it a try!

She holds out the platter of cookies and he eats one.

RONALD (CONT’D) OH MY GOD! That is perhaps the best thing I have ever tasted!! and these are all natural ingredients?

BILLY JOE: T’ain’t no way to get nuthin’ but nachrul ’gredients out here... ’lest you take old Mr. Sikes’s mule cart down t’ Cotton Holler.

RONALD: Well then, I think we have a deal Ms. Gentry!

Everyone is joyous; handshakes all around

RONALD (CONT’D) I’ll send our lawyer around tomorrow with the contracts. Now we want to make sure we keep this quiet for now. Then we’ll start slow; all local source, small batch.

SALLY JO: Yes sir Mr. P... Ronald.

RONALD: Well, goodnight folks.

ALL: G’ night!

He leaves.

JEB JOE: Well Sally Jo, you done it! We’re gonna be rich, rich, rich!

BILLY JOE: Hey, maybe we can get one a them Seement ponds like they have in that Hillbilly show!

SALLY JO: Now all I gotta do is come up with some more a that secret ’gredient.

JEB JOE: Yeah, what was it anyways?

SALLY JO: That last ’vester, Mr. Crawford.


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