by Joseph “Gatorman” Kristoff
Originally posted: July 16-July 29, 2007
1) (The next morning. The bathroom in Woolma's house. Woolma is brushing her wool. She is dressed in a robe and slippers, her wool slightly wet; she just got finished showering.)
2) (Woolma grimaces. She tries even harder to brush her head wool, but can't get it to set right.)
3) (She brushes the same trouble spot repeatedly, her left arm acting somewhat like a drill. She looks like she is about to explode.)
4) (Meanwhile, in Bernice's bedroom, Bernice is still in bed, having just woken up. She looks startled. Bernice's father, Bruce, comes in and checks up on her.)
Bruce: What's the matter, Bernice? Are you all right?
Bernice: Dad, I could've sworn I heard Woolma swear from half-a-mile away!
1) (Outside the Clubhouse Caboose. Woolma is seated on the first step of the right-side staircase towards the entrance. She is wearing her usual outfit, with one exception: A yellow bonnet with green trim worn over her head wool. She is sulking, unsatisfied with how her wool came out after a refreshing shower. Bernice walks by.)
Bernice: Heya, Woolma...whoa! Nice bonnet you got there!
Woolma: (couldn't care less) Hmmf.
2) (Bernice sits down next to Woolma on the step.)
Bernice: Why, what's the matter with you? You're always the cheery type. I always find you here, proud to be perfectly pretty...
3-top) (Woolma turns to Bernice and gives her a look as if to say, "are you kidding?")
3-bottom) (Woolma gives the bonnet bow a tug, loosening it and letting it fall.)
4) (Meanwhile, Portia has a startled look as she and Bingo play a friendly game of marbles in some other part of the park. Bingo looks at her.)
Bingo: What's the matter, Portia?
Portia: I think Bernice was screaming or something.
Bingo: I think she ran into a dust bunny, and its name ain't Rocco!
1) (Outside the Clubhouse Caboose. Bernice reacts to Woolma's wild head wool, which she covered up with a bonnet.)
Bernice: Goodness, Woolma, you ARE a fright!
Woolma: I know...(whimper) I'm not...me!
2) (Bernice rises from the lower right stair leading into the Caboose entrance and prods Woolma's head wool.)
Bernice: You know, I think you're overdue for a shearing. When was the last time you got one?
Woolma: (feeling defensive about her wool) Never! And I'm not getting one this week, or this year, or EVER! I don't want to go bald!
3) (Bernice puts a hand on Woolma's shoulder and tries to talk her into one.)
Bernice: Trust me...you'll have to sometime. We're your friends, Woolma, and we'll do our best to ease the transition.
Woolma: Thank you, Bernice, but I can't take that. I'd rather have this wool trimmed instead. Would you do that for me?
4) (Bernice reacts. She shakes her head.)
Bernice: No! Since when was the Caboose a barbershop?
Woolma: You have to...my life will be over if you don't! That is, until my wool grows back to normal.
Bernice: I never understood your logic, Woolma, and it looks like I'm not going to start now!
1) (The Clubhouse Caboose. Bernice and Woolma are talking about the latter's wild wool. Woolma has the idea of having it trimmed rather than shorn off.)
Bernice: Why do you want me to do it, Woolma? Why not ask your parents?
Woolma: I'm afraid they'll want me to go in for a shearing...I don't want to ask them! Please, Bernice, help me!
2) (Woolma whimpers, feeling very reluctant about what will happen next. Bernice rolls her eyes and sighs at Woolma.)
Bernice: All right, Woolma. I'll help.
Woolma: Oh, Bernice! (she hugs her) Thank you!
3) (Bernice accepts the hug.)
Bernice: You DO know I am a novice, right?
Woolma: Oh, I don't care about that. Just do your best. Yet...please, don't utter any four-letter words in my presence.
Bernice: Why, Woolma, I've never cursed in my life! What four-letter word could I possibly utter?
4) (Woolma looks Bernice right in the eyes, giving her a straight answer.)
1) (Inside the Clubhouse Caboose. Bernice has set up a chair for Woolma to sit down. Bernice ties two ends of a blanket around Woolma's neck to keep wool from getting into her sundress. Items on the table are a spray bottle of water, shears, a comb, and a mirror.)
Bernice: Just take it easy, Woolma, and hopefully it'll be over soon!
Woolma: I hope so.
2) (Bernice sprays Woolma's head wool with water, then combs it out.)
Bernice: Y'know, Woolma...don't you ever go one day without thinking of your appearance? What if you were involved in an accident and it caused your face to turn...mushy?
3) (Woolma imagines. A thought balloon appears next to Woolma, with her face indeed mushy and weird. Woolma reacts in horror to what could possibly be.)
4) (Woolma thrashes about, trying to get out of the clubhouse. She is wailing loudly, while Bernice is trying to concentrate on trimming her wool. Bernice has an arm wrapped around Woolma's chest, trying to keep her still.)
Woolma: WAAAAAHHHHH! I wanna go home!
Bernice: Hold still, you little goofball! Since when did a wool-trimming hurt anyone?
1) (Clubhouse Caboose. Bernice is spraying water on Woolma's headwool and snipping away with shears. Woolma just sits there, blanket tied around her neck to keep wool from getting into her clothing.)
Woolma: Take it easy now.
Bernice: I am.
2) (Woolma continues sitting there, facing the door. Bernice continues working.)
Woolma: My throat's dry...finish up. I'm thirsty.
Bernice: (growing a little nervous): Woolma, please don't pressure me...
3) (Bernice brushes Woolma's headfur. Her hand starts to shake. Woolma starts to grow talkative.)
Woolma: I'm not pressuring you. I'm thirsty, that's all. Oh, and how much of a tip should I give you? 15%? 20%? And what's on TV tonight? I understand there's this lovely ballet on....and how 'bout dem Yankees? Remember, I don't wanna wind up like Telly Savalas! A little to the left, please!
Bernice: Nnnngh...(hand shakes violently)
4) (Bernice gives Woolma one snip too much, as she cuts off a huge patch of wool. She has a small spot completely sheared off.)
1) (A field of flowers. Flora, kneeling down on the grass, picks out a flower and takes a whiff of the strong scent.)
2) (Upon closer inspection, there are ten petals on the flower. She starts picking them, one at a time, counting aloud.)
Flora: Ooooh...one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine,...
3, 4) (These panels are broken up into a total of eight pieces. Each panel zooms in closer on Flora's right eye. Meanwhile, a countdown is given by someone other than Flora.)
5) (A mushroom cloud appears—the same kind seen when nuclear bombs go off.)
6) (It turns out Woolma's exploded over Bernice's mishap with the shears...she is giving chase across the field, bellowing loudly. Bernice tries to avoid capture, while Flora covers her ears, grimacing.)
Woolma: Come back here, you butcher! GET BACK HERE!
Bernice: Woolma, I'm sorry! You pressured me!
Flora: I can't hear you! I think I'm deaf!
1) (A grassy field. Lolly and Flora restrain Woolma on one side, with Dotty and Portia protecting Bernice. Woolma was chasing Bernice in a rage after the latter accidentally cut off too much head wool, creating a bald spot in the middle.)
Dotty: Wait a minute, Woolma...maybe it was an accident. Bernice didn't mean to trim off so much.
Woolma: My wool is ruined! I'll never speak to her again!
2) (Bernice growls. Dotty and Portia continue to hold her back.)
Bernice: Now you LISTEN to me! I told you not to pressure me while I'm working, but you just talked talked talked talked talked! And I warned you I had no experience trimming wool!
3) (Woolma rolls her eyes. Lolly and Flora are the only two keeping Woolma from getting to Bernice.)
Woolma: I just wanted to get into a conversation...she likes baseball so much, so I'd thought I'd talk about dem Yankees!
4) (Bernice turns to Dotty and Portia.)
Bernice: That's why I was even more nervous! I'm a Red Sox fan!
1) (A grassy field. Woolma and Bernice are being restrained by the other girls. Bernice and Woolma are raging mad—Woolma at Bernice for creating a bald spot, and Bernice at Woolma for pressuring her.)
Woolma: I've been maligned! I won't waste my breath on someone like you, you miscreant!
Bernice: Oh yeah? Well, next time, heed your parents' advice, you...narcissist!
2) (Bernice isn't quite done. She growls, and kicks dirt at Woolma's knees and feet. Woolma looks down, eyes widening.)
3) (Woolma's lower lip trembles, as if getting ready to cry.)
4) (Woolma wails. Bernice grins at Woolma as Dotty and Portia turn to each other.)
Portia: I don't get it. Why is she crying? She wasn't hurt, was she?
Dotty: Trust me, Portia...when you're Woolma, getting dirt on yourself is the ultimate insult!
1-top) (Bernice's house, the next day. Bernice, reading a mystery novel, hears a knock on the door.)
1-bottom) (Bernice walks to the door and asks who it is.)
Bernice: Who's there?
Rudyard: It's Rudyard, Bernice. May I come in?
Bernice: Yeah! Hold on!
2) (Bernice opens the door. Rudyard walks inside, getting a look at the place.)
Bernice: Come right on in, Rudyard!
Rudyard: Thank you. (kisses her hand)
Bernice: (giggle) What's the story on Woolma?
3) (Rudyard sits on the couch, sighing.)
Rudyard: Well, she is feeling a little better, but it's best you stay out of her way for another day or so.
Bernice: Awww...still not over the bald spot yet, right?
4) (Rudyard shakes his head and giggles.)
Rudyard: No...believe me, I'd react the same way if I had a huge wart on my nose!
Bernice: How would she react if SHE had the wart?
Rudyard: No comment!
1) (Bernice's house. Bernice and Rudyard are talking about the debacle concerning Woolma's trim. Suddenly, Woolma knocks on the door.)
Woolma: Bernice? Are you there?
Bernice: (surprised to see Woolma come to her house) Why, sure, Woolma...hold on...
2) (Bernice opens the door to reveal Woolma, head bowed and sighing. The bald spot is still visible.)
Woolma: Bernice, listen...I'm sorry I put so much pressure on you. I should have listened to you.
3) (Woolma nods. Bernice listens.)
Woolma: Before I came here, I asked Mom and Dad to get my wool sheared. I'll have to live with no wool for a few weeks.
Bernice: Awww, don't worry. Surely you must have other clothes you can wear.
4) (Woolma's head is raised. She smirks upon hearing Bernice's remark.)
Woolma: Yes! I can finally dig out those blue jeans! They may be full of cobwebs, but a quick brush-off won't hurt! Thanks, Bernice!
Bernice: (shuddering, a bit weirded out from the mention of cobwebs) You're...welcome.
1) (Woolma's house, the next day. Rudyard is eagerly waiting downstairs for Woolma to come down. This will be the first time he's seen Woolma completely sheared.)
Woolma: (sing-song fashion) Com-ing!
2) (Woolma descends the staircase, wearing a yellow tanktop and blue jeans, along with her trademark slippers.)
Rudyard: (gives a wolf whistle) Heeeey, Woolma...I've never seen anything like it before.
3) (Woolma giggles a little. Rudyard wraps an arm around Woolma's shoulder and presses his nose against her cheek.)
Woolma: Mmmmh. Bernice was right...I should have come in for a shearing a long time ago.
Rudyard: As much as that's true, it DOES have its drawbacks.
4) (Woolma raises an eyebrow.)
Woolma: Oh? Such as?
Rudyard: Well, let's just say I won't be able to use you as a pillow anymore, like I usually do! All the magic is gone!
1) (The Clubhouse Caboose. Bernice is doing something while seated, but we can not see what. Bernice's face is tilted downward and on the right side of the panel, as Woolma opens the door and walks on in, dressed in a tank top and blue jeans in place of a sundress.)
Woolma: Good afternoon. (smiles)
Bernice: 'Lo. How'd it go with Rudyard?
2) (Woolma puts an opera CD in the CD player.)
Woolma: Oh, it was romantic! Rudyard doesn't care at all how I look. He said, "Woolma, I love you not because of your looks—it's because you make me smile every time I'm with you."
3) (Bernice, who is knitting something, turns to Woolma.)
Bernice: Hmm! Maybe you should rethink primping yourself every chance you get, then, Woolma. If Rudyard wants you for who you are, why not stop?
4) (Woolma immediately reaches for a mirror and primps away. Bernice rolls her eyes.)
Woolma: Please! Laughing wouldn't help me ease the pain of going into withdrawal!
1) (The Clubhouse Caboose. Bernice is knitting something while Woolma is twirling away to ballet music. Bernice is grimacing, trying to free herself from a knot. She is tugging at a needle.)
Bernice: (growl) Grrrr...come on, you...
2) (Woolma turns and sees Bernice struggle with her needlework. Bernice finally works out the knot, and resumes.)
Woolma: Bernice, what are you making?
Bernice: (concentrating) Well, think of this as a present, Woolma.
3) (Woolma beams upon the mention of a gift. We finally see what Bernice is making: a yellow sweater with a stylized "W" on the right.)
Woolma: A present? Well, that's rather big of you, Bernice...what is it?
Bernice: A monogrammed sweater, just for you!
Woolma: (gasps with joy!)
4) (Woolma takes the sweater and clutches it.)
Woolma: But Bernice, where did you get the material? This feels...familiar...
Bernice: (blushes) Ummm...well...
5) (Bernice puts her right hand on Woolma's shoulder and looks her in the eyes.)
Bernice: I stopped at the barber shop not long after you got sheared and asked the guy if your wool was still there.
Woolma: You mean this is my OWN...?!
6) (Bernice puts her hand to her mouth, closes her eyes and giggles.)
Bernice: Think of it THIS way, Woolma: now you don't have to worry about going without wool ever again.
Woolma: Bernice, you are a sly one!
Bernice: You're welcome, Woolma.
Woolma: (smiles) Oh yes, I forgot...thank you.