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2003 Barkley Marathons Scream Play by Rich Limacher

Barkley Yellow gate

The Yellow Gate, Courtesy of Finally Found Something I love

Rich “The Troubadour” Limacher (aka scRitch) is a multiyear alumni of the Barkley Marathons, and occasional chicken cook. Here’s his screenplay treatment inspired by the 2003 race, as originally published on Matt Mahoney’s great site.

The Funderful Blizzard of Froz

by Takea Freakinguess

[potential screenplay, a treatment]


We’re off to feel the blizzard, The funderful blizzard of Froz We fear it is A funderful blizz If ever a freeze there froz

If ever oh ever a Froz there was Its Head is one because because Because because because because BEEE-CAUSE Because of what the temperature was

Oh, we’re off to feel the blizzard The funderful blizzard of Froz

[scene: a uncivilized warring camp]

[POV: miniature Confererate battle flag]

The bugler blows Reverie. There are stirrings and other misgivings about the camp. Dorothy, aka Sarah the Psychorunner, isn’t Totoly with some dog named Cave. But both have been totally blown away by the cyclonic brouhaha.

Psycho: I don’t think we’re in Georgia anymore.

Cave: Bark bark. [he eats it for breakfast]

The Wicked Stitch of the South suddenly alights with flicks of flame, and they’re off. Naturally. To see the blizzard.

Psycho almost immediately loses her dog. This diminutive fierce creature scampers off in the distance like nobody else’s business. Which, of course, it isn’t. Psycho suddenly finds herself accompanied by The Scaredtrou and his sidekick, the Thin Wisdom Man. All three gleefully skip to the back of the pack.


We’re off to ‘fro the frizzard, The feelingful frizzard of Froz We feel it is The frumpiest frizz If ever a Froz there was

If ever oh ever some frizz there is Our heads is capped because because Because because because because BEEE-CAUSE Because of whatever the climate is

Oh, we’re off to frump the frizzard We pitiful frizzies of Froz

[scene: a logging clear-cut, or war zone; tough to tell which]

The Bravely Lyin’: I don’t think we’re in Tennessee anymore.

Psycho: [slapping The Scaredtrou instead] This was all YOUR idea!

Scaredtrou: [sings] If I only had a brain.

Thin Wisdom Man: I chopped all this yesterday. Lotta work, huh? For a Redneck.

The thing that happens next is unthinkable. Wait a minute. Let me think about it. Oh, yeah, all four of them get lost. Soon, though, The Bravely Lyin’ scampers on ahead, thinkin’ he knows wherever the fritz the barber is, or, some other recent evidence of the catastrophically shorn.

Later, Psycho and her freaked-out companions all rejoin together and try to figure out how to slide down Lizard’s Butt Slide. Fortunately, it’s raining. So this is easy.

They come to a halt.

[POV: a red painted sign reading “Hey, M.F.’ers, I’d turn back if I were you.”]

Thin Wisdom Man: Sounds good to me.

Psycho: [slapping The Scaredtrou instead] I told you to bring some grit!

Scaredtrou: [having recently filed his taxes, sings] I could reconfigger figgers and tell ya ’bout my chiggers, if I only had a brain.

They decide to climb all the way up Haunted Flaw anyway, leaving blood on the swath behind behind them from all the prickly thorns and thistles so that later the flying Mounties can find them. [of course, that pun only works if this was Canada]

When they get all the way to the very top of Haunted Flaw, they decide, “Screw this.” Because just at that moment the freakish blizzard of Froz hits and blankets all the soon-to-be-popping flowers and stabbing sawbriars with a thick layer of, well, first sleet, then ice, and finally about six inches of snow. Hilty, the Good Ritch, no doubt did this to disguise the briars and give these people better bedding.

Meanwhile, concentrating back at the camp, The Wicked Stitch of the South is curiously counting all the book pages recently chewed by the dog named Cave. Then, wonder of wonder, he says AGAIN, “Go fetch!”

The dog scampers off, apparently oblivious to the plain fact that he shouldn’t. Meanwhile, everybody else in the Barry Old Land of Froz is sticking to the fact.

And the Blizzard, of course, just keeps on blizzin’. He, on the other hand, is now completely convinced that this IS, in fact, Canada anymore.

So, all in all, what happens by the end of this screamplay is mostly the following: Psycho and the Thin Wise Man follow Shakespeare’s “discretion is the better part of valor” advice and remain discrete. (Ya ain’t heard too much from THEM lately, now have ya? 🙂 The Bravely Lyin’ actually completely one full loop through all the first-run theaters, but has since gone into video. The dog–wouldn’t ya know–just kept goin’! And here The Wicked Stitch of the South’s prepaid campsite was only booked through Sunday. Then it became MONDAY, and damn if the dog didn’t–FINALLY–stop then. Hilty, the Good Ritch, completely melted, having sat for three daze in front of his heater going full blast. And finally, The Scaredtrou wrote this screenplay and submitted it to his agent, who promptly rejected the whole thing as Toto nonsense.

Which bring us now to the closing theme, while the credits scroll.


We’re back from feelin’ the blizzard, The funderful blizzard of Froz We feared it was A horrible froz If ever a freeze there was

If ever oh ever a Froz there was His Head was once because because Because because because because BEEE-CAUSE Because of what his temperature was

So, we’re off to feast on Eeeeester Wudda ya ‘spose this was?

Yours troubly,
The Scaredtrou

Reproduced with permission. If you’d like your Barkley report or screenplay (!!!) on the site, just let me know. If you didn’t understand any of the terms, check out the Quick Reference Guide.


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