Robin Theobald Out-locals ’em all

This was a commissioned ‘theatrical roast’ for the Lake Dillon Theatre Company in 2012. Robin is a legendary Breckenridge, CO resident who agreed to be lampooned for a good cause.

ROBIN THEOBALD’S SURREAL BRECKENRIDGE SCENE I

Robin is blowing stuff up. He has one of those dynamite boxes and we hear explosions offstage. Fireworks are going off. Robin cackles maniacally through it all, drinking a beer.

ROBIN
Hoo-boy! That was a good one! Patty, d’jou see that? Blew up

that old Studebaker pickup’s been sitting in the field all those years.

PATTIE
Very nice Robin. You’re going to clean that up, right?

ROBIN
Oh, yeah, sure. Just bring some more beer out here, will ya?

I’ve still got a couple cases of this old dynamite, might as well use it up. Plus I’m practicing for the Fourth of July. Lookee!

(He depresses the plunger again and fireworks go off)

PATTIE
Good god. Just … don’t start a fire Robin, please. Remember

that time in 72 when …

ROBIN
Yeah, yeah, I remember. Weren’t all these damned houses

around then. Man could blow some stuff up and start a fire and it wasn’t such a big deal.

We hear the doorbell ring

PATTIE Now who could that be?

(she exits)

ROBIN
If it’s one of those damned Town of Breckenridge code

enforcement idiots, tell him I’m loaded for bear over here and I won’t hear none-a his BS about my “unsightly property” or whatever.

(Robin swills some beer, blows some stuff up, maybe shoots a gun in the air a few times)

ROBIN Yee-ha! Man, life is good!

Patty enters with Winston Arbuckle, a developer, and his assistant, Charlie Ware.

PATTIE
Robin, there are two gentlemen here to see you.

ROBIN
What the hell? How’d you fellers get up here past the gate?

ARBUCKLE Gate was open Mr. Theobald.

ROBIN
Hmmm … well it wasn’t supposed to be. Anyway, whaddaya

want?

ARBUCKLE My name is Winston Arbuckle …

Sorry.

ROBIN (laughs uproariously)

ARBUCKLE
… and this is my assistant, Charlie Ware. I’m the principal

in Arbuckle Developments based in …

ROBIN Lemme guess, Dallas Texas?

Fort Worth. Ha! Close!

ARBUCKLE ROBIN ARBUCKLE

My company has purchased a 2,200-acre ranch over in Park County and we have an interesting idea we think you could help us with.

ROBIN South Park, eh? Go on.

ARBUCKLE
Charlie here is really the mastermind on this one. Charlie?

CHARLIE
Thank you. Now, Mr. Theobald, as you are aware …

ROBIN (holding up his hand)

Hold on a sec there, Chuck. Lemme finish something.

2.

(He blows some more stuff up as Arbuckle and Charlie look on, incredulous)

OK, that’ll do for now. Go on …

CHARLIE (now a bit unnerved)

Well, Mr. Theobald, as you know more than most, Breckenridge isn’t quite the town it used to be back in the day.

ROBIN You can say that again!

CHARLIE
And we believe a great many people miss that town and all it

stood for. But over in Park County, why, it’s still rather, er, pristine, unsullied by the rampant development that having a major ski area has brought to Summit County and Breckenridge in particular. Our idea is to re-create the Breckenridge of yore …

Did you say ‘yore?’

He said ‘yore!’

OK then.

ROBIN ARBUCKLE ROBIN

CHARLIE
was still a rough-and-tumble mining town. The good old days!

PATTIE
I don’t now how good they were. You couldn’t buy a quart of

milk in town back then, right Robin?

ROBIN
Yeah. Hell, we used to have to drive to Eagle if we wanted to

go out to dinner. Wasn’t until the Blue Spruce came along in Frisco that anything worthwhile came along.

CHARLIE (consulting notebook)

Well, my research tells me the Gold Pan has been around for quite some time and …

ROBIN
The Gold Pan! Hell yeah, you could always go there for a

drink, but no food. Less’n of course you ordered ‘The Sandwich,’ but no one was dumb enough to do that.

The Breckenridge of the past, before the ski area, when it

3.

The Sandwich?
Well yeah, the rule was a bar had to serve food, but the Pan

ARBUCKLE

had no interest in doing that, on hand just to be able to say government guy came by. No one much less eat it.

so they had this one sandwich they had food if some
would order it, of course,

Hmpf

ROBIN

ARBUCKLE We want to be on the leading edge.

ROBIN Bleeding edge is more like it.

Well …

ARBUCKLE

ROBIN (thinks a moment)

It’s a ridiculous plan. Buzz off.

ARBUCKLE We will make it worth your while.

ROBIN
I don’t need any of your stinkin’ dammit! Do you know how much land

money! I’m Robin Theobald, I own around here?

ROBIN

CHARLIE
Well, um, be that as it may, our idea is to build an entire

replica of Breckenridge, circa 1960, over in Park County. We have an exclusive clientele of folks who’ve already expressed interest in living there and we think you’re just the man to help us realize this dream for our future homeowners.

ARBUCKLE
We’re going to call it “New Breck,” and the tagline is

“Colorado, just like you pictured it.”

ROBIN
You have noticed nobody’s buying homes around here these

days, right?

ARBUCKLE
Well, yes, we know of the slow-down. But we think it’s coming

back, soon. Look at Wall Street — those guys are going to want to spend some of those bonuses, and this is just the kind of community that’d appeal to some banker stuck in front of computer all day.

4.

ARBUCKLE
(writing on a piece of paper)

Well, everyone has their price. Consider this sum, Mr. Theobald.

ROBIN (amazed)

OK, well, maybe it ain’t such a bad idea. When do we start? LIGHTS FADE THEN COME BACK UP

SCENE II

Now, Mr. Theobald …
Hell, call me Robin.
Ah, OK, now Robin …
Y’know, on second thought, keep callin’ me Mr. Theobald.

CHARLIE
Got it. So, what I need from you is some idea of what things

were like from your perspective in, say, 1960.

ROBIN
Hell, I wasn’t but 10 years old then. But still, I do

remember …

Charlie and Robin are sitting in chairs.

CHARLIE ROBIN CHARLIE ROBIN

FADE TO FLASHBACK

Young Robin enters as Robin and Charlie look on, Robin providing some narrative.

YOUNG ROBIN
Boy, this town sucks! There’s nothing to do!

ROBIN
It was true! Unless you liked rocks. There was plenty of

rocks to play with, throw, bust up. Yeah, lotsa stuff to do with rocks.

YOUNG ROBIN I’m so tired of playing with rocks!

(drops to his knees, hands to the sky)

5.

Breckenridge is my prison! Aaagggh! Get me out of here! Anything, even a trip to Georgetown … Leadville even.

(exits)

ROBIN (to Charlie)

So I’m guessing part of the appeal of your South Park subdivision isn’t going to be boring people to death?

CHARLIE
Well, no. Of course, they’ll have Internet access via

satellite and home theaters and such. Plus they probably won’t spend more than three of four weeks a year up here.

ROBIN
Ack, second-home owners, a scourge on the High Country! They

should all be put in cages. After they pay their property taxes, of course.

(he laughs uproariously)

CHARLIE
Please Mr. Theobald. Think! Isn’t there anything you did back

here as a boy that didn’t include whining about the rocks and lack of activities? Anything interesting we can work with, anything at all?!

ROBIN
Well, Ted Nickerson got shot sitting in the Gold Pan one day.

Zippo lighter in his pocket saved his life. We could reenact that I guess, since we’ll have a fake Gold Pan on the fake Main Street.

CHARLIE
Please Mr. Theobald, we prefer ‘Replica Main Street.’ And I

somehow doubt our clients will want to have getting shot as part of their homeowner experience.

ROBIN
Hmmm … I thought Texans liked guns. Anyway, um, well … my

mother and I, we did like to collect things. Sure, we ordered a lotta stuff out of the Monkey Ward catalog, but a lot of things, you just had to scrounge around for them. People would pick up and leave suddenly, so we’d take a look at what they left behind.

Young Robin enters with Mother, as if going through an abandoned home.

YOUNG ROBIN Hey mom, look — an old victrola!

MRS. THEOBALD
Wow Robin, that’s amazing! What can we do with it?

6.

YOUNG ROBIN Can I blow it up mom? Huh, huh? Can I?

MRS. THEOBALD (laughing)

OK, Robin, I suppose. But be home in time for having baked sawdust and squirrel loin again.

dinner. We’re

I don’t

the same coin.

Oh boy, thanks mom!

YOUNG ROBIN

(They exit)

CHARLIE
I thought you were more of a preservationist?

understand all the wanton destruction.

ROBIN
Well, it’s a yin and yang thing, two sides of

You save some stuff, blow other stuff up.

CHARLIE
Well … is there anything from your past, from the

Breckenridge of the early 1960s, that doesn’t involve tremendous boredom punctuated by the occasional explosion?

ROBIN (thinking)

No, no not really. Things really didn’t get too interesting until the ski area opened a couple years later. When all the hippie chicks an’ Norwegians showed up.

ARBUCKLE enters

ARBUCKLE
Well, how are we doing on our themes for ‘Breckenridge: 1960!

The last exciting times“

CHARLIE
Not so good. Apparently it wasn’t all that exciting. Unless

you like rocks, explosives and baked sawdust.

ROBIN (helpfully)

We did have ketchup! Made it a little better. Squirrel was fresh.

ARBUCKLE
I was afraid of that, which is why I think it’s time to

exercise a little poetic license. CHARLIE

What do you mean?

7.

ARBUCKLE
Well, there are few people around here other than Mr.

Theobald who know anything about what Breckenridge was really like before it became a ski town. So … we just make some stuff up.

CHARLIE
Huh? But what about the historical accuracy and all that?

ARBUCKLE
To hell with that! It won’t work! We’ve gotta go big here.

And remember, we can only afford a few actors at first, so it’s gotta be sorta minimalist.

ROBIN I don’t know about this …

ARBUCKLE
OK, first idea: Breckenridge as Roswell, New Mexico!

(yelling to offstage)
I need Young Robin and Mrs. Theobald out here for the alien scene!

Young Robin and Mrs. Theobald enter

YOUNG ROBIN (pointing OFF)

Look mom! Another spaceship has crashed into Goose Pasture Tarn! Can I dissect an alien mom? Can I can I huh huh?

MRS. THEOBALD (laughing)

Well OK Robin. But wear your gloves and be home in time for dinner. We’re having fried pine cones and chipped snowshoe hare again.

They EXiT

ARBUCKLE
Great, huh? I was able to buy a model of a ship from the

Battlestar Galactica people. It’ll look perfect.

ROBIN
I remember once I waterskied on the tarn, but I don’t recall

any spaceships crashing there.

ARBUCKLE
Doesn’t matter. Selling lots matters. OK, next up, we’ve got

the reenactment: ”Ted Nickerson gunned down in the Gold Pan.“

Ted Nickerson enters, walks up to the bar, drinks something. Suddenly we hear multiple GUN SHOTS.

8.

Well?

Ted does a fantastic death scene, falls to the ground, then after a moment gets up and EXITS.

ARBUCKLE

CHARLIE
I don’t know, chief. It’s pretty violent. Aren’t people

supposed to buy here because it’s peaceful?

ROBIN
Plus, Ted’s Zippo lighter stopped the one, single, solitary

bullet that actually hit him. So I’m having a little trouble with the historical accuracy here.

ARBUCKLE (ignoring them)

OK! Up next is ‘The Gold Pan Sandwich Incident.’ By the way, the Gold Pan is the only thing we can really afford to build until we get the HOA going, so it’s going to be our default set.

(yelling OFF)
We’re ready for the sandwich scene!

A MINER enters and approaches the bar. We hear some 1960 music playing (like ‘The Twist’)

MINER
Gimme a beer, an’ I’m starving. What’ve you got to eat in

this dump?

BARTENDER
Nothing. Shut up. No food here. Drink up and skedaddle.

MINER
What? Colorado state law section 53 paragraph 4 clearly

states that a bar has to serve food. Or else it could lose its liquor license.

Um, well, um ..

BARTENDER

MINER
Well, do you have something for a man to eat around here, or

do I need to write a strongly worded letter to the state official who oversees such matters.

BARTENDER (coughs, uncomfortable)

Well, we do have … The Sandwich. But I uh, not sure I’d really recommend …

9.

MINER (laughing)

‘The Sandwich?’ Like, you’ve got only one of them? That don’t sound right.

BARTENDER
Um, I meant a sandwich. Course we got more’n one.

MINER
Alright then, now you’re talking. Bartender, I am a hungry

man, and I demand you now serve me a sandwich, or The Sandwich, if’n you only got one.

(the record stops playing with a mighty scratch)

MINER
What? You folks ain’t never seen a man eat a sandwich afore?

The bartender brings out the sandwich, holding out in front of him as if it’s toxic waste. He waves away some imaginary flies.

MINER (inspecting sandwich)

Hmmm … it don’t look none too savory. But as I said, I’m a hungry miner, dammit! But you better line up a shot of whiskey as a chaser. Not sure I’ve ever seen a sandwich quite like this before. What’s the meat in there? No, don’t tell me — I wanna guess. Bread looks a little funny. Lettuce may have a little slime on there, but I’m a miner, dammit. OK, hold on … here goes …

He takes a bite, followed by the shot, then drops to the floor dead.

BARTENDER Can’t say I didn’t warn you.

(picks up the phone and dials)
Yeah, this the coroner? This is Jeb down at the Pan. We had a guy eat The Sandwich. What’s that? Oh, it was a quick one this time, probably about 3 seconds. OK, we’ll see you in a minute.

ARBUCKLE
Eh? Eh? Good stuff, right? Just imagine some jackass from

Texas, comes down from his fifth home on the hill, walks into Replica Breck, and he’s treated to this kind of thing going on. Goin’ on all the time. Hell, actors are cheap — feed ’em and oftentimes they’ll even work for free!

ROBIN
I have to say, I kinda like it!

10.

Really?

CHARLIE

ROBIN
Sure. Why not? It’s just a little embellishment is all.

ARBUCKLE
That’s right! Just a little embellishment. So, Mr. Theobald,

any ideas for more skits?

ROBIN
Well, there was one feller I knew as a young man in my mining

days, name-a Earl Knight. Lived in the house where Amazing Grace is now. He used to say when he hit the big strike, he’d know it cuz he’d sit around inside the house an’ spit watermelon seeds on the floor. Well, one day working the old Vulcan Mine we hit a nice seam of ore, and we did just that: got some beer and watermelon and sat around spittin’ the seeds on the floor.

ARBUCKLE
Yes, yes? And so the skit would be …?

ROBIN
Well, just that. Two guys eatin’ watermelon an’ … spittin’

the seeds on the floor.

(sound of crickets, maybe a dog barks)

ROBIN
An’ maybe, maybe they’d have a contest to …

(losing them)
… see who could spit the farthest?

ARBUCKLE
Got anything else? Something that won’t make our homeowners

want to move to friggin’ Canada? ROBIN

CHARLIE
How about a sort-of composite character who sits out front of

the Gold Pan and just tells outrageous stories about the old days? Like Robin Theobald 20 years from now?

OK, let’s hear it.

Who, me?
You’re Robin, ain’t ya?

ROBIN

ARBUCKLE

ARBUCKLE (gestures to Robin)

11.

ROBIN
Well, OK. 20 years, eh? So I’d be like 80-something. I need

something to get in the mood.

ARBUCKLE Bring in the giant beard!

(STAGE HAND enters with big, gray, clip- on beard and a big slouch hat. Robin puts it on. Other actors available come out and gather around him)

ROBIN
(laughing a crazy old coot

laugh throughout)
I remember the winter of ’59 … or was it ’58? I

get those two mixed up …

ARBUCKLE
Don’t worry about the facts fer cryin’ out Pete’s

get to the good stuff!
ROBIN

Oh, right, right.
(reassumes old guy persona)

Anyway, it snowed so much that winter, why … we an extra shovel!

sometimes

sake! Just

had to buy

Holy hell you’re Remember, poetic

ARBUCKLE
killin’ me! Pump it up, pump it up! license!

ROBIN
um … it snowed so much it, uh, it buried

Um, yeah, right,
our home completely and we had to, uh, use a periscope to look outside just to see if the sun was up.

ARBUCKLE
OK, better. Keep it going. Out-local us, Robin! Put us

dipshit second-home owners in our place! We suck! We don’t know crap about Breckenridge!

ROBIN
Yeah, back in those days did we have a Walmart?

No!

ALL

ROBIN
Did we have them factory outlet stores?

No!

ALL

12.

ROBIN
Did we have $15 million log mansions with Jacuzzi spas and

antler chandeliers and climate control systems? ALL

NO! No! No!

ROBIN (warming up)

No, we did not, and hallelujah to that. Hell, we used to ride up and down Main Street at midnight, on mules, nekkid an’ drunk as skunks. Mule was drunk, too. We’d blow shit up an’ shoot our guns in the air and there weren’t no code enforcement officer tellin’ us our mule was parked fer longer’n 3 hours.

ALL

Hell no!
We’d-a shot him if he did!

Hell yeah!

ALL

ROBIN

ROBIN
We wore short-sleeved shirts in January and broke out the

swim trunks when it cracked 50 in summertime. The flies were as big as birds and the birds were as big as airplanes. Men were men an’ women were men too.

ALL Um, yeah, right, sure, OK.

ROBIN There were no tourists.

Hell no!
No Vail Resorts. Hell no!

ALL ROBIN ALL

ROBIN
We just had ourselves. And our rocks an’ guns and explosives

an’ a bunch-a old crap we found lyin’ around. An it was all we needed.

ALL

Hell yeah!

13.

How’s that?

Wonderful!

ROBIN
(resuming his normal self)

ARBUCKLE

(his cellphone rings)
Hold on a moment. Hello? Yes? Oh, I see. Very well. We’ll be on the first flight down there.

Who was that?

CHARLIE

ARBUCKLE
The Money. He says the three lots we’ve sold so far isn’t

nearly enough and he’s pulling the plug. ROBIN

The Money?

Well sure, boondoggle

ARBUCKLE
you didn’t think I’d put my own money into this

did you?

ROBIN
But, what about Replica Breck? All these actors, the fake

Gold Pan? You’re just abandoning it?

ARBUCKLE
Sorry Robin. The Money says we’re doing something else.

Charlie, you should have an email about it.

CHARLIE (looking at his phone)

Ah, yes. It’s a themed development in Florida. Using all the foreclosed homes and empty neighborhoods to stage some kind of zombie apocalypse gated community. Apparently they’ve got strong interest so far.

ARBUCKLE
Sorry about that, market forces at work, you know. Come

Charlie …

REMAINING ACTORS What about us/where’s our pay/what the hell?

ARBUCKLE
There’s a sandwich and a bag of chips for each of you in the

trailer. Enjoy!

He and Charlie exit; Robin is left alone on stage. He saunter back to his original chair at his home and pulls up his blasting box.

14.

ROBIN
Well, I guess that’s that. Hey Patty! Grab me a beer wouldja?

END

(He blows some stuff up and fireworks go off as)

FADE TO BLACK.

15.

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