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The Dukes of Dummer

August 12, 2009

We went caving last week near a town called Dummer. I am not making that up. Apparently, last year, the town fathers considered a name change, but decided the benefits of being named for an early Irish settler (Mr. Dummer) outweighed the problems of being called Dummer. This led to great newspaper headline opportunities involving the phrases “Dummer mayor sticks with name …” and “Dummer town council rejects change …” and “Dummer residents tired of bloggers joking about them …”

On the drive home, I got to brainstorming and came up with this idea for a TV pilot: The Dukes of Dummer. This is not an entirely original swipe; Canadian television boasts a program called Little Mosque on the Prairie, which is exactly what you think it is. This is what we do in Canada. We steal.

Anyway, here’s my idea: The Dukes of Dummer is the fun and lively story of two cousins, Mo and Juke Duke, who are also brothers, because their fathers were brothers but their mother was the lady who works at the chip truck. Hey, it was the 1980s and Nazareth was playing at the hockey rink, and the brothers wanted poutine, and things got a little wild when Juke’s daddy found a bottle of Baby Duck he forgot he had.

These days, the Duke boys roar around Dummer in the General Brock, a 1989 Mercury Topaz with a picture of the Tasmanian Devil painted on the hood and a Bad Boys Club decal in the rear window. Because the doors are broken, they have to crawl through the hatchback, which leads to great action visuals.

Supporting characters include Uncle Geddy, a retired rock star who raised the boys; Petunia, their sexy cousin, who works at the chip stand owned by Boss Logg, the mayor of Dummer and owner of its other businesses, which include a bait shop and two taverns. Also in the cast: OPP Sergeant Bosco D. Cullane, OPP Constable Anos Thwaite and local mechanic Pooter, who wants to run for town council but is told he has no head for politics.

The pilot will set up the characters and explain that Mo and Juke have just returned to Dummer after a 60-day stretch in the jail for stealing a box of Kraft Dinner from the gas station in nearby Donwood. Now that they’re on probation, they’re being closely watched by Logg and Cullane. Future episodes will include plots like these:

  • Strangers come to town with nefarious ideas, only to be nabbed by the Dukes, who were suspected by Logg and Cullane of being the culprits.
  • Strangers come to town with nefarious ideas, only to be nabbed by the Dukes, who were suspected by Logg and Cullane of being the culprits.
  • And, of course: Strangers come to town with nefarious ideas, only to be nabbed by the Dukes, who were suspected by Logg and Cullane of being the culprits.

I’ve just mailed the pilot script to the CBC. I’ll let you know how this turns out. But hey, I could be heading for the big time, baby!

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