A racing western theme with guitars and trumpets blares.
Beau: Come and sit and let me spin a tale of the notorious Best Man Boys and their final stand in the town of North Cackallackee, North Carolina. Known as the wedding capital of the state, the number of receptions and celebrations in North Cackallackee could often reach three dozen before a week’s end.
Preacher: I pronounce you man and wife.
Audience: (unenthusiastic) Yay.
Beau: But the township of Cackallackee, and its rival-sister town in the south, had no inkling as to what went into the making of a fine wedding. And as such, the people of the Cackallacks came to know the sound of The Stag Horn –
A deep horn rings out.
Preacher: Oh no.
The audience begins to mutter.
Beau: – a signal that the Best Man Boys were riding into town. The Best Man Boys was gang of cussing, drinking, fool-hardy cowpokes that could not stand to attend another boring wedding, and so they took it upon themselves to liven up each nuptial gathering with dancing, singing, drinking, fucking (but not in the street), fighting (but only in the street), and non-ending confectionaries that seemed to float down from the clouds.
Bosco: Get out of here, preacherman, because it’s time for ME to declare this marriage official; a declaration that I’ll make with this –
A shotgun is cocked and the audience gasps in fear.
Bosco: – and this.
Audience Member 1: What is God’s blessed name is that?!
Bosco: It’s a piñata, a favor from Mexico, and today is its time to die.
Bosco heaves the piñata in the air and shoots it with his shotgun. The crowd cheers as candy falls from the sky.
Bosco: Now it’s time for the drinking, and as according to tradition, the bride drinks first.
Beau: Tweren’t a man, woman, or child alive that didn’t relish the sound that low horn and the hooves of the Best Man Boys bursting through the square. All except one man.
Mayor: I’m telling you, Sheriff Hondo, that the Best Man Boy’s must be stopped. I did not spend $800 dollars on the finest preacher to come in from Arkansas just to have my baby girl liquored up in her wedding gown.
Sheriff: Well, Mayor Cummingback, if it’s the gown you’re fretting about, she ain’t wearing it no more.
Mayor: Tarnations! Sheriff, I demand you go out and arrest them boys for disorderly conduct!
Sheriff: But they ain’t hurting nobody, Gil. So they get a little rowdy, but the town seems to love them. People come from all over hoping they’ll get a glimpse of the Boys doing what they do best. I think if a man wants to spread cheer throughout the town, who am I –
Mayor: I don’t give two cusses what you think, Hondo, but I run this town and I say you need to run ‘em out!
Sheriff: But Mayor –
Mayor: Unless you want to find yourself on the losing end of the next election. I hear that new deputy of yours is a trig and ambitious lad. Mayhap he’d want to try out a promotion.
Sheriff: (sighing) All right, Gil. You made your point. But these boys ain’t just fun and games; they carry hard calibers and they know how to use them. I can’t just go out there right now, guns drawn, with all them people out there. Innocent lives are bound to be hurt.
Mayor: Oh, don’t worry Sheriff. I got a plan.
Beau: And so a trap was laid for the Best Man Boys; an ambush disguised as a false wedding. When the day came, and the Stag Horn blew, there weren’t nothing to do to save the Boys from the deception.
Sheriff: It’s the Best Man Boys, boys!
Mayor: Open fire!!!
Beau: Out of the fourteen men that rode into town, only five walked out. They were told that if they ever returned to their joy-causing ways again in Cackallackee, their necks would be meeting a rope not long thereafter. And so the last of the Best Man Boys parted ways, defeated and only husks of the men they were. Most headed out of state, hoping to find some light in another town where they could start news lives away from any wedding planning. Only one stayed in town, doing nothing but drinking at every open bar at every wedding that would allow him. Since everyone feared that word would get back to the Mayor, no one ever talked with the man. But there were a few bartenders that remembered a long ago time when a group of fellas brung jubilation that would reach the ears of the All-Mighty, and so an empty seat and a full bottle were always kept at the ready in the Cackallacks for the remaining member of the Best Man Boys.
The music changes to a slinky guitar riff.
Beau: And it is thus we find the poor man hisself, living off of a memory outlawed by town ordinance, sitting at bar and drinking whiskey, listening to a hired band that only knew how to play depressing hymns regarding celibacy and cold showers and trying to forget who he once was. But there is a new song that is about to sung in the Cackallacks, a song of hope, renewal, redemption. And though the first note of this ballad will be played by a young man that no one knows or has ever seen before in the North Cackallackee, the last note of it will be played by blaring of a deep, low horn.
Announcer: In the next chapter of The Best Man Boys – The Man With The Holey Hat!
* Co-Created with Joseph Payo