Mad Cow disease did pop up in the news back in the beginning of 2001, so I figured I could rewrite a very dialogue-heavy piece of prose into a decent radio script. I thought the literary bent might win me some points, but it did not. Just a note, I did slip in one topical joke, a poke at a coffee creamer commercial that was around at the time. Hey, I enjoyed writing it and I thought I nail the tone pretty well, and added my own jokes. But, no sale.
MAD COW PARTY
GK: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy is back in the news. Apparently, a new strain of Mad Cow disease has been detected in Europe. Once again, the Europe cattle industry, including the Britain's, is in a panic. Frankly, I hadn't given British cows much thought until what happened the other day. I was reading "Alice In Wonderland" to my daughter for the first time. (We had just returned from Disney World and I wanted to put the Spinning Teacups in perspective for her.)
I had gotten a copy from the library. It was a very old copy in so-so condition, but it was the last one they had. Anyway, when I got to chapter seven and the tea party, a packet of folded note paper, yellowed with age, dropped out. It was the original draft of the tea party in Lewis Carroll's own handwriting:
(A few bars of Disney's "Merry Unbirthday to You")
GK: Alice approached the glen to find a table set out under a tree and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it; a Mad Cow was sitting between them, fast asleep, her tail occasionally swatting the flies off the honey pot. The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it--
ALL:--No room! No room!--
GK: --they cried when they saw Alice approach--
AL: --There's plenty of room!--
GK: --said Alice indignantly.
MC: No, no, you'll have to moo-ve--
GK: --responded the Cow--
AL: But I'm so tired. I just wanted to sit for a moment.
HT: I won't stand for sitting---
GK: --declared the Hatter as he sat.
AL: I'm quite hungry, also. Is that Swiss cheese I see on that platter?
MC: Not at all! That's my brain. Moo.
AL: Your brain? But, Mr. Cow how can that be? Don't you need your brain?
MC: Moo. Not at the moment. I'm running for office.
HT: I'm having some tea! Would you like some, dear?
MC: Moo. I'm not a deer, I'm a cow.
MH: Actually, she's a heifer.
HT: That's just fine, half-a-cow is better than none. Now, young girl, would you like some more tea?
AL: I've had nothing yet, Mr. Hatter, so I can't take more.
HT: You mean you can't take less. It's very easy to take more than less.
MC: Moo. Unless you're a Spanish Moor named Les.
MH: Well done! An excellent line, bovine. Would you like some milk with your tea?
MC: I can't possibly have tea without milk! I am a cow, after all. Moo.
(the cow coughs, then whispers something.)
AL: Oh my, you have a cold. Are you a little hoarse?
MH: Don't be silly, you stupid little girl! How can a big Cow be a little horse?
AL: Well, a door can be ajar. Perhaps the answer lies there.
MH: It's riddles you like, eh? Then riddle me this, why is a raven like a writing-desk?
MC: Silly rabbit, a raven is nothing like a writing desk! Have you ever tried to write on a raven? Preposterous! Moo.
GK: At which the Mad Cow began to drool into the Hatter's tea cup, so the Mad hatter declared---
MH: I want a clean cup! Let's all move one place on.
GK: The Mad Hatter moved as he spoke, and the Mad Cow followed him. The March Hare moved into the Cow's place and Alice rather unwillingly took the place of the March Hare. The Hatter was the only one who got any advantage from the change; and Alice was a good deal worse off than before, as the March Hare dropped some pie all over his setting.
AL: Excuse me, but what kind of pie is this?
MC: It's cow pie. I just made it. Moo.
AL: We have cows at home. They wear bells about their neck. Do you?
MC: No, I have a horn. Moo.
HT: A recitation, we must have a recitation. Cow, it's your turn!
MC: Twinkle, twinkle, little calf
You're a wonder, at least by half.
MH: My favorite! Girl, do you know it, perhaps?
AL: I've heard something like it, Mr. Hare.
MC: All around the barn you fly,
Like a catcher in the rye---
ALL:Because we like you!
MC: That poem makes me weak at the knees!
MH: I thought it was the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy.
MC: Yes, yes, that also. Moo.
AL: You're all quite mad. This is the stupidest tea party I've ever been to!
MH: How about coffee? Do you like coffee?
MC: I love cow-fee! Lots of Cow-fiene!
MH: We have coffee. We have International blends. Just like that time with the waiter in Paris.
AL: This is utter nonsense!
MC: That would be me. Moo.
GK: And with that, Alice left in a huff.
That's where the paper version ended. My research reveals that Walt Disney attempted to "convinced" Carroll to change the Cow to a mouse. Lewis resisted until Disney had a couple of thugs work him over with some baseball bats. The rest, as they say, is history.