Gettin' My Kicks on Route 66

                                                                                 Route 66 Sign Image



                                                                                                                  Marilyn Kinsella


(Place - Chicago; along a highway.)

Characters: Snail - S and Gopher - G

Props: If you want to get elaborate you can make 2 dimensional cars for each character, but they only talk about the cars so they don't need to be shown. A checkered flag.


(Gopher and Snail are on stage with G behind S.)





G.  Come on Snail. Move it.  I'm late for my dentist's appointment.  Can't you move any faster than at a snail's pace?


S.  Of course I can.  Actually, I'm one of the fastest animals in the state of Illinois.  It's just that I like to take my time and see what there is to see.  If you are always in a hurry, the world will pass you by.


G.  Yea, yea, spare me your Zen philosophy.  I got a root canal that begs some attention. And just who are you trying to kid with that stuff about being the fastest animal in Illinois.  Everybody knows that with my super-turbo, mega-blasted, atom - powered rocket car - the Millennium Falcon - I'm the fastest.


S.  Yup, you're pretty fast Gopher, but you can't hold a library book to my trusty old '59 red corvette.  It's a dandy.  Gets 8 miles to the gallon and gets me where I want to go in 2 shakes of turkey buzzard's tail.


G.  You have your head stuck in the past, Snail ole buddy.  This is the nineties. We travel the super-highway.  Yessir, get me on that Interstate and I'll set my cruise control and I'll zip across the United States in no time. I make the best time.


S.  That's just what I'm talking about.  An interstate?  How dull.  Give me old historic Route 66 anytime.  "You take the high road and I'll take the low road.  And I'll have the best time before you."


G.  Is that a challenge I hear from your snail lips?  You really think you can beat me in your ole beat up '59 red corvette going on Route 66?


S.  Yup!


G.  Well then, you got a deal.  Whoever loses has to read the winner's favorite book to him.  By the way my favorite is R. L. Stines' Curse of the Mummy.  What's yours?


S.  Oh, I like to curl up with Tolstoy's War and Peace.


G.  Figures!  Let's meet at Chicago's Lake Shore drive on Monday at 8:00 a.m.  Be there or be square.




Scene 2  (The day of the big race. G. and S. are ready to roll in their cars.  The audience can participate by cheering for their favorite.) Black and white checkered flag on the side.


Announcer (from off stage with muffled voice):  Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, welcome to the first race of the season.  Today we have racing Go-Go Gopher in his super-turbo, mega-blasted, atomic-powered rocket car - the Millennium Falcon. And his challenger Never-fail Snail in his '59 gas-powered, red corvette.  According to the rules , there are no rules. We will see has the best time getting to Los Angeles. Gentlemen start your engines! (sounds of engines gunning in the background)  On your mark, get set go! (audience can cheer for the one they want to win.  Gopher leaps ahead of Snail and off stage.)


G.  Eat my dust Snail.  See you in L.A.


S.  (coughing - with car moving slowly off stage)  Oh, yeah, well a wise man once told me "slow and steady wins every time."


Scene III

(end of the first day)


G.  I made it from Chicago to Oklahoma City in record time.  Lets see, I stopped at Mc Donald's and went through the drive thru 3 times at 10 minutes a stop.  That's thirty minutes I wasted on getting food!  Well, a fella's got to eat.  Tomorrow I should be to the border of Texas.  I wonder how far Snail got. (exit)


S.  It sure was interesting seeing the Route 66 Hall of Fame in McLean.  Maybe they will put me in the hall of fame when I win this race.  Yep, I made it all the way to the Coral Gables motel in St. Louis after a stop for some Ted Drew's frozen custard. Pretty good.  Tomorrow, I'll see the Meramac Caverns and maybe even cruise on into the Ozarks to take in movie at a Drive -In.


G.  (Day 2)  Hello Amarillo!  The scenery just flew by today.  No time to see much of anything except maybe more McDonald's.  Getting a little bored with hamburgers and fries.  My spies tell me that Snail is  still back in Missouri!  That makes me a full day ahead of him.  He'll never catch up.


S.  The Ozarks sure have a lot to offer with white water rafting and fishing at Tablerock.  And I bet I put a ton of weight with all that home-cookin' at the Pig's Hip cafe.  Now there was some lemon meringue pie to die for.  I think tomorrow I'll mosey on into Oklahoma.


G.  (Day 3) Gee, I wonder what that big hole in the ground was back in Arizona?  I went by so fast I couldn't even read the signs.  Made it into California before dark.  Just a couple hundred more miles and be in Los Angeles before Snail can say Jack Robinson.


S.  Oklahoma sure is fascinating.  Think I'll hang around and take in a Pow-Wow.  An Osage chief is suppose to be there and some spectacular dancers. Think I'll pick up a few souvenirs at Wolf-Robe's Trading Post.  Of course, I'll have to stop at the Will Roger's Museum.  Afterall, this stretch of Route 66 is called the Will Roger's Memorial Highway.   I'll spend some quality time at a nice place called the Will Rogers Motor Court.  Best to let my trusty old '59 Corvette take a breather before we hit that hot desert.


G.  (Day 4) Ha!  Beat that Snail.  I knew I could get here first.  I'll just wait for Snail.


S.  Thought maybe that detour that took me way out my way was going to take me out of my way WRONG!  The wrong road can sometimes be the right road.  I never had so much fun - miniature golf, the Big Blue Whale Water Slide, and fishing at the Little Polecat Creek.  Stopped at Bob Taylor's, the pork-rib king for supper then drove into Chandler - the Pecan Capital of the World.

Travellin' doesn't get any better than this.


G.  (Day 10)  If Snail doesn't get here before long I'll win by forfeit.  It's been 10 days now.  What's keeping that slow poke?  I could have made it back to Chicago by now.


S.  Wow, what a day!  I went all the way to the bottom of the Grand Canyon by donkey. That will be some adventure I can share with my grandchildren. Tomorrow it will the Painted Desert and then it's off to Meteor Crater.  I'll have to get a Navajo blanket for the night I spend out under the stars.  I hear it gets plenty cold in the desert at night.


G.  (Day 15)  That's it "Mr. I'll Take the Low Road" either gets here by tomorrow or I win.


S.  (walks up behind Gopher)  Howdy Doody, Partner.


G.  Well, there you are.  I've been waiting so long my whiskers are turning gray.  I thought you said you were going to beat me, but I showed you.  I got to Los Angeles three times faster than you did.  So I win.


S.  Now just hold your horses or horse power, if you will.  Were you talking about making Los Angeles in the best time or having the best time getting to L.A.?


G.  Snail, what are you talking about?  I got here first. So I had the best time.


S.  Gopher, you may have gotten here first, but you didn't have the best time.  I had the best time.  Just what did you see on your speedy trip across this fair land.


G.  Well, let's see.  I stopped at 32 McDonald drive-by windows and slept at 4 motels.


S.  Yeah, but what did you see and do.


G.  Do?  I got here first.  That's what I "do."


S.  And you call that the best time?  I call watching the sunset over the Grand Canyon having the best time.  I call eating homemade apple pan dowdy and listening to Hank Williams on the radio having the best time.  I call shopping at the Jack Rabbit Trading Post having the best time.  I call...


G. Yeah, yeah.  But I had the best time.  I got here first!


Come out from the back of the stage with the two puppets.


Narr.  It seems we have a problem about who won the race.  Who had the best time?  We will have to take a vote.  Those who think gopher had the best time by getting to Los Angeles first signify by saying Go-go Gopher.


Those of you who think Snail had the best time by taking his time and seeing the sights signify by saying Snip snap Snail.


Well, I guess we will have to agree to disagree.  Some think that getting there first means the best time.


Some think that taking your time is the best time. Whatever, Gopher and Snail wish you all the best time as you finish your summer reading.  


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