Truth as told by a highway traffic control worker turns out to be worth its weight in barricades. Our trip north from Morro Bay up the Coast Highway would terminate 50 miles from our start at Limekiln State Park. This is where we meet the grizzled veteran of many a highway closures.
Born in Bakersfield and now living in Atascadero our man is doing hard time at a landslide while spending nights holed up in a small motel in Gordo. The older guys are looking for a bottle the younger lads for a girl, this is how road crew life sorts out. Bulldozer operators don’t much care for the company of truck drivers, engineers don’t fraternize with the day laborers, and come the weekend the whole lot of the work crew scatters south for bigger saloons and better food.
If you were thinking the road north into Big Sur is going to open anytime soon you can forget all about that right now. My source, the man working the barricade where the road is closed says that CalTrans doesn’t know stink about nothing, road won’t be open until 2025 if it opens ever again.
My horse in in this race is a plot and I’ve got this idea my bar-restaurant-motel on Highway One perched precariously on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean just south of the landslide is where our story begins. A busload of Brazilians on tour finds their tour grinding to a halt with the landslide. The great bossa nova singer, samba dancers and band are stuck at this road closure and take up residence at this restaurant-saloon and rather than attempt to go around, turn back, or give in to the forces of Mother Nature instead launch a week of shows at this isolated spot.
The club owner unwilling to give up or give in will carry on whether the road is closed, risk of further landslides, or even the threat of his property falling being swept way by further drenching rains.
That’s pretty much what I’ve got, along with knowing the restaurant-saloon will of course collapse at the end. Before the bossa nova singer will beguile then entrap and fall for a member of the road repair crew. There will be other mischief as well. We’ll have the seductive singing of the bossa nova Brazilian, there will be samba dancers dancing, and once word gets out that this famed group is appearing here in middle of nowhere the chaos of their fans all besieging the venue to see their famous Brazilian musical group.
I noted the small cabins in Gordo, the many rooms and doors I see as offering farcical opening and closing doors with characters all in near miss moments where more mischief can be had.
I’m thinking of an older woman arriving, the mother of the bossa nova singer, and turns out maybe the singer unknown to the proprietor is his daughter from the relationship with this older woman. We could get immigration involved and have a twist where the singer is here on a cultural visa but turns out to have birthright citizenship her mother never told her about. Even as this could build to will they arrest her or not when the final storm hits and the club slides into the Pacific Ocean.
Maybe we tell the story through the eyes of the grizzled old veteran who man’s the barricades at the road closure. This is what climate change comedy looks like—