The Gas Station
By B. Gallatin
Published: October 24, 2007
Bear Comes Out, a Native American
Old timer: Gus
Station owner: Bill
Setting: A recently refurbished old style gas station. Somewhere in the Southwestern desert of New Mexico
Opening scene: At a local restaurant Bill is new to the area from back east.
Action: Bill walking into the restaurant and introducing himself.
“How is everyone getting along? My name is Bill and I’m the proud new owner of the old gas station on route 17. “
Action: Gus leaning over slurping a too full coffee cup says,
“Welcome to town. Folks here say you hired an Indian as a helper. Is that right? “
Bill: “I sure did. His name is Bear Comes Out, a likeable fellow and he seems eager to work”
Gus: “Well all’s I can say is good luck. Now I’m not sayin’, all Indians but a lot of em’ don’t think the same way we do. They’re usually not dependable as far as showin’ up on time. They don’t take to the structured environment of a real job. You know they’re free spirits.”
Fade to scene #1.
A proud Indian finally gets his uniform shirt with his name on it, "Bear Comes Out".
Action: Bear is admiring his shirt in the reflection of the office window glass.
Action: A customer pulls in, almost sliding to a stop at the gas pumps outside.
Action: Bear, turns and trots outside and up to the driver’s window
Bear: "Shall I fill her up sir?"
Action: Bear starts spritzing and cleaning the windshield.
Action: The new station owner, Bill watches from the shadows of the lube bay beaming with pride as his Indian friend and employee is doing just exactly as he's been instructed.
He turns away smiling and returns to his work satisfied that he made the right decision to hire Bear in spite of the warning from Gus. Suddenly he hears the car at the pumps pealing out of the station and sees a big white smoke cloud from burnt rubber.
Action: Look of shock and surprise on his face. Bill runs outside wiping his hands with a red-rag.
"What happened Bear?"
Action: Bear ... pointing at the speeding vehicle with his thumb.
"He didn’t want gas; He want directions."
Action: Bill looks toward the vehicle speeding away
“Why did he leave in such a huff? What did you say?"
"He called me chief... got my name on my shirt.
Action: Bear points to his name
Action: Fade back to a continuance of the gas pump scene with the customer.
Action: Waving, gesturing Bear to move away.
“Never mind that chief I don't need gas I need directions”.
"My name, Bear Comes Out, I no chief."
"Yea, Chief whatever, how do I find hwy 114 East?"
"How you know I'm chief?"
Action: Gestures with thumb toward his chest
Action: Impatiently shaking his hands, pounding the steering wheel.
(Sarcastically)"I'm just real lucky, clairvoyant I guess. Now just tell me chief, where's 114 East I'm in a hurry?"
Scene: Back to the present
Action: Puzzled look on his face. Bill staring down the highway in the direction of the dust cloud from the rapidly departing vehicle says,
"Is that all? I wonder why he got so angry. I heard you being polite and following my instructions. Did you tell him how to get to 114 East?"
"No, I told him if he's so lucky and guessed I was the chief, then maybe he should guess where Hwy 114 East is."
Action: Bear smiles at Bill and breaks into a fake Indian war chant hopping on one leg then turning and hopping on the other.
Action: Bill puts his hands on his hips and stares skyward then shakes his head.
Fade back to the scene at the local restaurant when the locals warned him about hiring Indians.
Gus: “They don’t think like we do.”