(Narrator stands down right. His delivery is fast and breathless, as it always will be.)
Narrator: Good evening, ladies & gentlemen, this is Knotty Pines, Part One. Our story begins in the office of Richard Sanka, mayor of Greenland City.
Female Voice: (Off) Mr. Mayor, a Todd Bridges is here to see you.
Sanka: Todd Bridges? From Different Strokes?
Female Voice: (Still off) No, sir. The land developer.
Sanka: Oh, yes. Send him in.
(Todd Bridges enters. He is not, as the Female Voice said, the actor from Different Strokes, but a land developer, and a white one at that.)
Todd: Good evening, Mr. Mayor. I am Todd Bridges.
Sanka: You know, there's an actor from-
Todd: I know, I know, from Different Strokes. Please, don't remind me, I get that all the time.
Sanka: I apologize. Now, what is it you came to see me about?
Todd: I would like to buy some land from you. Specifically, the acreage known as Knotty Pines.
Sanka: I don't know, I'm rather fond of Knotty Pines.
Narrator: Yes, Knotty Pines, the semi-glamorous suburb for semi-glamorous suburbanites. Home of Greenland High prom queen Julie Skylark, as well as our heroes, third-rate dinner theatre actor L.U. Squid and his ward Ben Covey. But, more about them later.
Todd: I understand your fondness. That's why I d like to buy the property and expand upon it.
Sanka: I suppose that sounds all right. How much are you willing to offer?
Todd: Perhaps before talking anymore business, Mr. Mayor, we should have a little drink. Hmm?
Narrator: Unfortunately, Todd Bridges knew Mayor Sanka's one weakness, his raging alcoholism. Will he fall for the trap?
Todd: Come on.
Sanka: Maybe just one quart.
Narrator: It looks like he will, and this just goes to illustrate what kind of person Todd Bridges really is. You see, he's not just any land developer. He's a rare breed of evil land developer, and his plan is not to expand upon Knotty Pines, but to tear it down and put up in its place an exact replica of the Lincoln Memorial?
Todd: That's right.
Narrator: But why?
Todd: Think of the tourism.
Narrator: Why wouldn't tourists just go to the actual Lincoln Memorial?
Todd: Who wants to travel all the way to Washington when they can have it right here?
Narrator: Well, a more dastardly plan has never been concocted, and being the concoctor, Bridges was dastardly. So dastardly, in fact, that he soon had Mayor Sanka drunker than anyone in the history of the Kennedy's.
Sanka: (Singing) I love the boogie, I like to nightlife.
Todd: Now, Mr. Mayor-
Sanka: Please, please, don't be so formal. Call me Mr. Sanka.
Todd: Yes, Mr. Sanka. Will you sign here and-
Sanka: Of course.
(He signs it.)
Todd: Thank you, sir.
Sanka: Wait! What did I just sign?
Todd: Nothing, really. You just sold me the deed to Knotty Pines for $96,000.
Sanka: I see. Well, have a nice evening.
Narrator: And with that, Knotty Pines was on its way to becoming the second Lincoln Memorial. Or was it? Here's where the plot thickens, as the headlines dry on the morning editions, and one of our heroes is finally introduced.
Ben: That s me.
Narrator: Yes, folks, it's Ben Covey, paperboy and all-around good citizen.
Ben: Oh, pshaw!
Narrator: Pshaw, indeed, for as Ben reads the morning paper
Ben: Jeepers! Knotty Pines sold for 96,000. Plans for expansion not evil, says Todd Bridges the land developer, not the former child star.
Squid: What was that, Ben?
Narrator: And out of nowhere, our second hero is introduced.
Ben: That's you, Lester.
Narrator: That's right, Lester Ulysses, a.k.a. L.U. Squid, third-rate dinner-theatre actor.
Squid: Oh, pshaw!
Ben: Lester, what are you doing on my route?
Squid: I was just taking my morning constitution al. What's this about Knotty Pines?
Narrator: And Ben filled him in on the details.
Squid: Not evil, eh? That s reassuring.
Ben: I don't know. There's something fishy about this.
Narrator: Just then, a strange figure stumbled into the scene.
(Sanka stumbles on.)
Ben: That's no strange figure, that s Mayor Sanka.
Squid: It is?
Sanka: It is?
Ben: Gee, Mr. Sanka, you don't look so good. What happened?
Sanka: I don't know. The last 12 hours are a blur.
Ben: The you don't remember selling Knotty Pines?
Sanka: I did what?
Narrator: And Ben Covey proceeded to tell him his whole story. But is it too late to stop Todd Bridges evil plan? Be with us next week when you ll hear Mayor Sanka say:
Sanka: I did what?
Narrator: That's next week in Knotty Pines!
"KNOTTY PINES, PART ONE" IS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AND MAY NOT BE
TRANSMITTED, PRINTED OR PERFORMED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION
OF THE AUTHOR
"Knotty Pines, Part One" debuted October 1, 1999.
Cast: Greg Mitchell: Narrator, Arlen Lawson: Mayor Sanka, Neil Campbell: Todd Bridges, Brad Smith: Ben Covey, Mark Hansen: L.U. Squid.