“CULTURE OF HONOR”
"These violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph die, like fire and powder, which as they kiss consume."
(We start with Kimberly sitting in her car outside the Donahue household. She takes a deep breath and then gets out of the car, walks up to the door and knocks on it. Ryan answers it)
RYAN: Hey, mom.
KIMBERLY: Hey, Ryan. How are you and Miche-I mean Sarah.
RYAN: We’re great, thanks for asking. Hey, what movie should we see this weekend?
(Jacob walks up)
JACOB: I get to make this call!
RYAN: Please, no.
JACOB: C’mon, I haven’t gotten to in like two years!
KIMBERLY: I just need to get my mail.
RYAN: Fine, what movie would you choose?
JACOB: Um…Atlas Shrugged part 2!
RYAN: You’ve got to be kidding me. The Ayn Rand fetishism flick, the sequel? It has the production value of a mid-80s porno.
JACOB: Yeah, but it’s libertarian, so you know there’s going to be plenty of drugs and prostitutes and sex-crazed Wall Street tycoons unhinged by regulations.
KIMBERLY: Can I, like, get through?
JACOB: Plus, it would have gay sodomy, something you would like.
RYAN: Oh my God, it doesn’t have any of that! Do you even have the most rudimentary understanding of Ayn Rand’s philosophy or her stories?
KIMBERLY: Okay, I’m going through the back door.
JACOB: Ayn Rand is like the Katniss Everdeen of Libertarian literature, I mean that’s it! And until they come out with a movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey, Ayn Rand is what I’m sticking with.
RYAN: You’re so enamored with mainstream literature, it’s fucking-
(Cut to Kimberly walking in through the back door. Ethan is at the dinner table on his laptop)
ETHAN: Oh. Hey.
KIMBERLY: Hello. You look well.
(Ethan gets up and walks over to her)
ETHAN: Um, what are you doing here?
KIMBERLY: I’m here to get my mail.
ETHAN: Oh yeah. (Ethan picks up an envelope from the counter and hands it to her) You got a letter from the Chittenden County Clerk.
KIMBERLY: Ooh, yes!
(Kimberly takes the letter and rips it open)
ETHAN: Wow, careful.
(Kimberly opens up the letter)
KIMBERLY: On behalf of the state of Vermont and all of Chittenden County, I, Anne Williams, clerk of Chittenden County, present you with this business registration, allowing you to operate your enterprise. Congratulations, new entrepreneur.
ETHAN: Is that really what it says?
KIMBERLY: No, it’s a lot less prestigious than that. But it’s awesome! I’m a business owner!
KIMBERLY: Thank you.
ETHAN: Do we hug or something?
KIMBERLY: Not yet.
KIMBERLY: I guess I better start this business off the Mitt Romney way and find binders full of women!
ETHAN: Nice. But please don’t dress up like a binder and protest outside the Vermont Legislature.
KIMBERLY: I won’t.
(Kimberly starts texting)
ETHAN: Who are you texting?
(Ethan peers over and Kimberly closes her cell phone)
ETHAN: Yeah, I saw “Suspend operation Binder Bender”.
KIMBERLY: Can you blame me? It was embarrassing for Romney. Along with Candy Crowley correcting his ass about whether President Obama called the attack in Benghazi a terrorist attack the morning after.
ETHAN: Candy Crowley was being a little rude, I think, interrupting like that.
KIMBERLY: Yeah, Candy Crowley was being rude, interrupting with facts like that.
ETHAN: They shouldn’t even have a moderator; it should just be a bar fight.
KIMBERLY: It was a bar fight! Romney got in Obama’s face twice, but he ended up just seeming petty and overdramatic.
ETHAN: I mean, like an actual bar fight, where Obama and Romney are shirtless and have handlebar mustaches and circle around each other while saying “You think you’re tough, huh?” (Kimberly chuckles) See? Don’t you miss this?
KIMBERLY: I mean, yeah, but…shouldn’t you have the power on these conversations?
ETHAN: What do you mean?
KIMBERLY: I mean, I wronged you more than you me.
ETHAN: True. But I feel really bad. And with Ryan going through drug therapy, Jacob dealing with his breakup, Ryan dealing with grades and having Ryan as a son, a lot of it’s too much to deal with as one parent. Plus, there’s-
(Logan comes in)
ETHAN: Yeah. Our little fugitive here.
LOGAN: I am not a fugitive, as far as my parents know, I’m dead.
ETHAN: No they don’t, they never thought that. Look!
(Ethan picks up the Brattleboro Reformer and its headline “BRATTLEBORO RETREAT INMATE THOUGHT TO BE DEAD, BUT NO BODY FOUND SO POLICE NOW CONSIDER HIM MISSING”)
LOGAN: Oh, damnit. I forgot that your body is still left over when you die. Then why do TV shows always portray people in heaven as having their Earthly bodies?
ETHAN: Why are you talking to me? The only reason you’re here is because I don’t want to go to jail.
KIMBERLY: You’re going to go to jail longer for harboring a fugitive!
ETHAN: I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK TO DO, OKAY?! I need you. I can’t handle three kids on my own, especially when one of them is a fucking maniac. The other day he bought forty goldfish with my credit card to create a secret goldfish society in Ryan’s room.
LOGAN: What am I supposed to do? I’m cooped up at home all day.
ETHAN: This is your choice, Logan! Go out if you want and expose yourself!
LOGAN: Oh yeah, and I’ll tell the authorities you’ve been hiding me here.
ETHAN: No, no! Don’t do that.
LOGAN: So I can keep my goldfish society?
ETHAN: Oh my God, fine!
LOGAN: Well, good thing the goldfish people don’t believe in your God. They only believe in the Goldfish Prime Minister, Goldfisha Mier.
ETHAN: Wow, a Golda Mier joke. Also, you didn’t make yourself the Prime Minister of your own made-up society?
LOGAN: No, I’m the district attorney. A lot of power, though.
ETHAN: How can I deal with this alone, Kimberly?
KIMBERLY: It’s not my problem, Ethan! I have a business to run.
(Kimberly leaves out the back door. She walks down the drive way until she runs into Ellen)
KIMBERLY: Ellen! How are you?
ELLEN: I’m well, thanks for asking.
ELLEN: Hey, you haven’t sent me any status updates on my son recently, like there haven’t been any in like, five months. What’s that about?
KIMBERLY: I’m sorry, are you really still expecting me to spy on your son for you?
ELLEN: Um, that was our agreement.
KIMBERLY: You expected me to follow your son around for the last five months tracking his every move?
ELLEN: That was my understanding.
KIMBERLY: Here’s a status report. He seldom, if ever, did wrong. I stopped tracking him five months ago.
ELLEN: Well then what’s stopping me from telling the authorities about your embezzlement?
KIMBERLY: I don’t know, maybe I tell them your husband tried to hold my husband against his will at your house, so my husband had to punch your husband. Maybe I tell Evan about your illicit affair with the milkman.
ELLEN: Wha-wait, why do you think I’m having sex with the milkman?
KIMBERLY: Because milkmen don’t exist anymore! Why would one be coming to your house every day to drop off milk?! Also why does he always come when your unemployed husband isn’t home?
ELLEN: …Fine. You don’t have to spy on Scott anymore and I won’t tell the authorities about your corruption. But mark my words, I will have my revenge.
KIMBERLY: Are you threatening me with violence?
ELLEN: …No. Just petty HOA nitpicking.
(Ellen smiles and turns around to see the milkman standing outside her house)
MILKMAN: I’ve got your milk!
ELLEN: Is it 2%?
MILKMAN: No, it’s extra-large. I mean, it’s whole.
ELLEN: Great! Come in and we’ll have a glass.
(Ellen and the milkman go inside)
(Cut to Ryan in his room, on his bed with his laptop. His legs and lower torso are underneath his bed’s blankets. Logan’s also in there, sitting around his many fish bowls filled with goldfish)
LOGAN: I hereby decree that all goldfish must now make deductions for Medicare in their pay so they can have health insurance when they reach age 4.
RYAN: You’re making entitlement programs for your imaginary goldfish society?
RYAN: If you’re going to have an imaginary society, at least make it interesting.
(Someone knocks on the door)
LOGAN: Come in!
RYAN: DON’T COME IN!
VOICE OUTSIDE: Okay…
RYAN: Logan, hand me my pants over there, on the floor.
LOGAN: Wait, what?
RYAN: Hand them to me!
(Logan picks up Ryan’s skinny jeans and throws them to Ryan. Ryan catches them , puts his laptop to the side and puts on his pants underneath his sheets)
LOGAN: Ugh, you weren’t wearing pants?
RYAN: You came in here! This is my room! Thank God Rob is staying at Kimberly’s place. (Ryan gets up as he’s buttoning his pants) By the way, you need to hide.
RYAN: Because Sarah can’t know we’re harboring a fugitive, that’s why!
RYAN: Go in the closet.
LOGAN: How are you going to explain the goldfish?
RYAN: Logan, I can come up with lies on a dime, just go in the closet.
LOGAN: You mean where you were until 2010?
(Logan goes in the closet and Ryan goes to open the door, to see Sarah there, holding sliced cinnamon swirl bread)
SARAH: I brought cinnamon swirl bread.
RYAN: Oh, awesome. Wait, does this mean I’ll have to bring pastries to your house every time we hang out, or-?
SARAH: Just eat them.
RYAN: I will, I’m just saying this is a lot of pressure-
SARAH: I’m going in.
(Sarah walks in and Ryan shuts the door. Sarah puts down the pastries and sits on the bed. Ryan walks over and sits down next to her)
SARAH: Um, what’s with all the goldfish?
RYAN: Oh yeah, my dad put them in here so judgmental eyes could watch me as while I cut myself.
SARAH: Wow, that sounds like something he would do.
RYAN: Doesn’t it?
(They start making out. After a few seconds, Sarah stops Ryan)
SARAH: Hold on.
SARAH: I have something to tell you.
SARAH: Okay, I-
RYAN: You can tell me anything, Sarah. Don’t be afraid to come talk to me whenever you’d like.
SARAH: I know, I was about to, if you’d just let me-
RYAN: My door’s always open.
SARAH: Ryan! I was walking through school when Scott Alexander accosted me in the hallway.
RYAN: Does the word “accost” have anything to do with the holocaust?
SARAH: Focus, okay? He was flirting with me.
(Cut to Scott and Sarah talking in the hallway)
SCOTT: Hey, I heard you broke up with Brandon. But then almost immediately after that I heard you got together with Ryan.
SARAH: Yeah, I did.
SCOTT: Trust me, Sarah. Ryan’s a very duplicitous person. I know that because I’m also very duplicitous.
SARAH: Then why should I trust you?
SCOTT: I didn’t say you should trust me.
SARAH: Yes, you did.
SCOTT: Well, I suppose that was my duplicity coming out. Anyway, Sarah, I personally think you’re beautiful. I mean, you’re like Condoleezza Rice and I’m like Moammar Gadhafi.
SARAH: That’s your pick-up line?
SCOTT: You are an emo flower in this hipster’s ironic garden.
SARAH: Scott, I’m with Ryan, and we’re doing pretty well, so, sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
SCOTT: If you were sorry you would kiss me.
SARAH: Okay, then I’m not sorry.
SCOTT: Sarah and Scott. It has a certain ring to it?
SARAH: Yeah, like the ring you get when using dial-up internet. Listen, how many ways should I tell you “no”? Do you want it in pig Latin? No-ay!
SCOTT: That’s not pig Latin.
SARAH: Fine, then do you understand no?
SCOTT: …This isn’t over. Things being over are too mainstream for me.
SARAH: Come on.
SCOTT: Ryan didn’t treat Michelle right, and you’re pretty similar to Michelle.
SARAH: How so?
SCOTT: You want to improve Ryan, right?
SARAH: Well, he does need a lot of improving.
SCOTT: I rest my case.
(Cut back to Sarah and Ryan)
RYAN: Are you serious!?
SARAH: Yeah. And I don’t want any secrets in this relationship so I thought it best to tell you.
RYAN: I don’t want any secrets either.
(Cut to Logan in the closet)
LOGAN: What am I?
(Cut back to Sarah and Ryan)
SARAH: I’m glad.
RYAN: I can’t believe Scott would fucking do that though. I could understand him doing it not knowing you were with me, but he knew and he still did it?! He needs to learn a lesson.
SARAH: Ryan, don’t do the culture of honor thing.
RYAN: What do you mean?
SARAH: I mean when you take some stupid thing too personally and you start shit, you do it all the time.
RYAN: I don’t start shit all the time.
SARAH: Remember almost five months ago? You nearly got yourself killed trying to defend Michelle’s honor when Dirk called her a name?
RYAN: Not just any name, the name “upslice bitch”.
SARAH: Right, but was that worth dying for?
RYAN: Freedom is worth dying for.
SARAH: Don’t try and change the subject, okay? Ignore Scott; he’s a slithery hipster who’s already dating Barbara anyway.
RYAN: Fine. I’ll ignore him.
SARAH: Cool. And I’m not like Michelle, right?
RYAN: No. If you were like Michelle you would be dating Delaware. (Sarah giggles) And I would beat the shit out of Delaware to defend your honor.
SARAH: Alright. Let’s just make out.
(Ryan and Sarah start making out. Cut to Ethan on his computer in the living room. The doorbell rings. He gets up and walks to the front door to get it. He opens the door to reveal Evan wearing a suit with his hat in his hand)
ETHAN: Um…Evan, what are you doing here?
EVAN: I’m well.
ETHAN: I didn’t ask you how you were.
EVAN: Listen, I know we haven’t talked in a month, because you punched me after I tried to hold you against your will at my house.
ETHAN: Yeah, that’s kind of why I’ve avoided eye contact with you recently.
EVAN: Right. But listen, I was desperate and maniacal, I forgot myself. I apologize.
ETHAN: What are you getting at, Evan?
EVAN: Accept my apology first, please.
ETHAN: No, now what do you want?
EVAN: Fine. I was hoping to interview for an internship at Mayor Sarandon’s office. He seems like an amicable boss.
ETHAN: He once made me watch him and his girlfriend have sex.
EVAN: All the better. Could you please just put in a good word for me?
ETHAN: Are you kidding me? You expect me to put in a good word for you at the place I used to work after you and your psycho family tried to hold me against my will at your house?!
EVAN: I come to you, literally hat in hand.
ETHAN: Nobody wears fedoras anymore unless they’re douchebags, which would explain why you are wearing one!
EVAN: I’m not wearing one, it’s in my hand.
ETHAN: Well, how about you go find a job at a Burger King and trade that hat I for a fucking plastic crown?!
(Ethan slams the door in Evan’s face. Evan looks visibly livid)
EVAN: FUCK YOU, ETHAN! I CAN MAKE IT WITHOUT YOU! YOU DON’T THINK I HAVE IDEAS?! I HAVE THEM! I JUST NEED TO THINK OF THEM…first.
(Evan walks away in a huff. Cut to Ellen gaveling in the meeting of the HOA council)
ELLEN: Order, order! (Everybody quiets down) Pursuant to subsection 827 of the Cypress Creek HOA code of Hansbay, Vermont, I call this emergency meeting of the HOA council to order.
KELLY: Madame President?
ELLEN: Yes, Kelly?
KELLY: Madame President, the question that is on the mind of our coalition is what issues are so pressing to address that you needed to cancel the Meet N’ Greet Lunch-in we were holding with the HOA of Myers Meadow in Southlake, Texas, our sister neighborhood?
ELLEN: The issues are twofold. Number one, we need to appropriate money to re-introduce milkmen into this neighborhood, we of course got rid of them in 1972.
KELLY: Why are milkmen necessary, Madame President? The near ubiquity of refrigeration has rendered them obsolete!
ELLEN: We need them to accommodate the milk-based needs of many lonely women in this neighborhood. Lonely women who have increasingly grown tired of the same old milk. They’ve grown distant from the milk they once loved. They found that too much constant contact with milk since the milk lost his job has bred utter contempt for the milk, and has increased both the woman the milk’s desperation. Um…anyway, that’s why we need milkmen.
ELLEN: All in favor?
ELLEN’S COALITION: AYE!
ELLEN: All opposed?
KELLY’S COALITION: NAY!
ELLEN: In the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it and the resolution is adopted.
KELLY: Madame President, I demand a recorded vote-
KATHY: Can she do that?
ELLEN: I can do whatever I want. I am hereby invoking the PATRIOT Act to advance my agenda.
KELLY: There is no such provision in the PATRIOT Act pertaining to the operations of private government HOAs in neighborhoods!
LYDIA: Have you even read the PATRIOT Act?
KELLY: Have you?
LYDIA: What are you, not a patriot?
ELLEN: ORDER! Of course Kelly is not a patriot, that’s well established. Moving on to the motion to enforce subsection D of the 2012-2013 HOA charter, originally established rules on July 13, 1998 allow the HOA to inhibit nuisance pursuant to the discretion or rather, bias of the chair. That is why I am putting to a vote a resolution to selectively enforce that provision on the Donahue Household, located at 1190 Milk River Drive, Hansbay, Vermont, United States.
KELLY: First of all, you’re not being exactly cryptic about your desire to single out Kimberly Donahue’s house. Second of all, she no longer takes up residence there.
ELLEN: Trust me, what’s bad for Ethan Donahue is bad for Kimberly Donahue. The Donahues in general must learn a lesson about respect. They can’t just break off contracts, tell off husbands while their hat-in-hand or date someone my son wants to date. It’s nothing personal, they just need to get in line with our rules.
KELLY: You just described several personal grievances and now you’re saying it’s not personal?
ELLEN: This time it’s personal.
KELLY: When was the last time?
ELLEN: I am hereby calling for HOA enforcers to inform the Donahue household of violation of completely subjective rules such as leaving their bikes in their breezeway visible to all the neighborhood, which quite frankly makes us look like a ghetto. Also, they violate HOA rules by putting their unsightly trash out on the corner to be picked up by poor people.
KATHY: You mean, garbage men?
ELLEN: Yes, those poor people.
KATIE: How do you dispose of your trash?
ELLEN: I throw it in the sewer like a normal person.
KELLY: You mean the one that drains to Lake Champlain?
ELLEN: We’re getting off topic. The Donahues’ driveway is longer than it was last week! We’ll tell them to shorten it or we’ll fine them.
KELLY: That doesn’t even make any sense!
ELLEN: Their blinds in the front yard are an ugly color.
KELLY: What color are they?
KELLY: That’s not even a color.
ELLEN: We will fine them tenfold. This is the beginning of a new era in Cypress Creek. This HOA is declaring WAR on the Donahues!
(Cut to the following day. Ryan is sitting in Mr./Mrs. Vu’s ASL class, right next to Scott)
MRS. VU: Deaf people don’t consider themselves to be disabled. Blind people have terrific hearing and deaf people have terrific….movies. Children of a Lesser God? I mean, come on.
(As she lectures on, Ryan and Scott have the following exchange)
RYAN: Hey Scott.
SCOTT: Hey Ryan.
RYAN: Listen man, I heard you flirted with my girlfriend, man. That’s not cool.
SCOTT: She came on to ME. She accosted me in the hallway and beat the shit out of me.
RYAN: First of all, that’s not true, second of all, how is that her coming on to you?
SCOTT: Well excuse me if I think Sarah deserves better than you.
RYAN: I’ve gotten in fights with people who like my girlfriend before okay? Do you want to end up like Dirk Jameson?
SCOTT: You didn’t murder Dirk Jameson, he died accidentally by driving his car off a cliff.
RYAN: Yeah, but I fought him.
SCOTT: And he almost killed you.
RYAN: How do people know everything about my life?!
SCOTT: You write a status update every hour about what’s going on in your life and you uploaded a picture of you making a stupid pose with all your injuries in the place where Dirk beat you up.
RYAN: That’s the price of living in a social media world.
SCOTT: It was your choice!
RYAN: Scott, just don’t flirt with my girlfriend, okay?
SCOTT: Your girlfriend. I thought you were gay.
RYAN: I’m bi, okay?
SCOTT: Yeah, well why don’t you pray the bi away and become gay?
RYAN: Why don’t you pray the dick away and stop being a dick?
SCOTT: Because I need that dick for Sarah!
(Ryan gets up, punches Scott and Scott punches Ryan in the stomach. But the teacher runs over separates the two)
MRS. VU: BREAK IT UP! (To Ryan) TAKE A WALK!
RYAN: Why do people always say that when breaking up a fight?
MRS. VU: Would you rather go to the Principal’s office?!
RYAN: NO! A walk is fine.
MRS. VU: Well, you’re going there anyway.
(Cut to Ryan and Scott in the principal’s office seated next to each other in front of Principal Maxell’s desk, where he is sitting. Maxell tuts several times)
PRINCIPAL MAXELL: I am disappointed in both of you. What were you fighting about anyway? Music? Clothes? Drugs?
SCOTT: Do you think that defines our lives?
PRINCIPAL MAXELL: Does it not?
(Ryan and Scott think about it for a second and then slightly nod their heads, indicating affirmatively)
PRINCIPAL MAXELL: Exactly. But what was the fight about?
RYAN: We like the same girl.
PRINCIPAL MAXELL: Oh, I see, a classic case of jealousy. Who is the girl?
SCOTT: Why is that your concern?
PRINCIPAL MAXELL: Because I’m bored.
RYAN: It’s Sarah Blumenthal. She’s my girlfriend, but Scott is horning in on my girl.
PRINCIPAL MAXELL: Isn’t she dating the crazy kid?
RYAN: No, that ended like two months ago.
PRINCIPAL MAXELL: I was talking about you.
(Principal Maxell and Scott slap five)
PRINCIPAL MAXELL: Wow, I’ve never slapped five with a student before, this is nice!
SCOTT: Well, now you ruined it. I felt kinship towards you, and now you ruined it.
PRINCIPAL MAXELL: Oh, am I too mainstream for you now?
(Ryan lifts up his hand)
PRINCIPAL MAXELL: Put your hand down, faggot.
(Ryan puts his hand down)
PRINCIPAL MAXELL: You two have two weeks of after-school detention together.
RYAN: But sir, I have group therapy after school some days.
PRINCIPAL MAXELL: Well, school isn’t on some days, it’s on all days!
PRINCIPAL MAXELL: Wait a minute, why don’t I put Scott into group therapy with you? What’s the drug you use, Scott?
SCOTT: You assume I used drugs? But anyway, I do Ritalin.
PRINCIPAL MAXELL: Great! That’ll be your detention. I’ll call the rehab center. Hopefully rehab will kill the white whale of your addictions.
PRINCIPAL MAXELL: Like, Ahab and the white wale.
RYAN: Yeah, I get it.
(Cut to Ellen and Lydia walking up to the Donahue household. Ellen rings the doorbell and the camera stays focused on those two standing in front of the door)
ELLEN: Remember, be assertive.
LYDIA: Like, aggressive?
ELLEN: No, don’t be aggressive, be assertive.
LYDIA: Okay, am I bad cop or good cop?
ELLEN: I’m bitter cop and you’re condescending cop.
LYDIA: Will I get to shake him or something?
ELLEN: Why would you need to shake him?
LYDIA: What if he falls asleep?
ELLEN: That’s such a remote possibility-
(Cut to reveal Ethan is already standing there with the door open)
ELLEN AND LYDIA: AH!
ETHAN: How did you not notice I had opened the door like, thirty seconds ago?
ELLEN: Mr. Donahue, you are in violation of HOA rules by having your bike visible in your breezeway like their Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl-
ETHAN: My kids’ bikes don’t have tits!
ELLEN: But they make the neighborhood look trashy.
ETHAN: Your husband’s Acura has truck nuts on it, which is kind of weird considering it’s not a truck! How is that not trashy? Especially for suburban Vermont?
ELLEN: He’s unemployed, don’t judge him. But anyway, your blinds are an awful shade of white, your driveway is longer than it was last week and you throw your trash into bags and toss it to the curb, expecting magical “garbage men” to pick it up at your leisure.
ETHAN: That is what happens! Right?
LYDIA: Correct these discrepancies or you will be fined SEVERELY. YOU GOT THAT PUNK?!
ELLEN: Whoa, relax. Condescension, remember?
LYDIA: Oh yeah. I mean, maybe you could buy new blinds. I’m sure we can get someone to help you do that, eh? I mean, you do seem to expect people to pick up your trash for you.
ELLEN: Wow, that was good, I could feel the condescension radiating from your mouth hole.
LYDIA: Thank you.
ETHAN: This is ridiculous. Is this because I didn’t put in a good word for your husband at the Mayor’s office?
ELLEN: I am insulted. Of course not, it’s because your wife isn’t holding up her side of our bargain AND because you didn’t put in a good word for Evan.
ETHAN: So that includes what I said! Listen, he’s clearly desperate, but I might have more sympathy for him if he hadn’t held me against my will.
(Kimberly walks up)
KIMBERLY: What’s going on here?
ETHAN: Kimberly, Ellen and Lydia are getting revenge on us for me snubbing Evan and for you not holding up you and Ellen’s agreement by punishing us for bullshit HOA violations!
KIMBERLY: What?! You can’t do that!
ELLEN: Sure we can. We can do whatever we want. I mean, what are you even doing here, Kimberly?
KIMBERLY: I’m here to pick up some things for an investor’s presentation.
ELLEN: Ah. When is that?
KIMBERLY: October 23rd.
ELLEN: I see. Well, good for you. Be sure to correct the discrepancies by Monday the 22nd or a fine will be levied. Here are the details.
(Ellen hands paperwork to Ethan)
ETHAN: This is some bullshit. You’re not going to get away with this.
KIMBERLY: Yeah, this is arbitrary power exercised by a private government dictatorship.
(Ryan walks over)
RYAN: Oh my God, Scott Alexander is such a fucking asshole, I mean-(Turns around) oh. Hello, Mrs. Alexander.
ETHAN: What did Scott do?
RYAN: He flirted with Sarah, I confronted him about it, he was a bitch about it, I took a swing at him, he took a swing back, and now the principal ordered us to attend therapy together after school. TOGETHER. Like going to therapy’s not bad enough!
ELLEN: Excuse me, but Scott is a fine young man.
RYAN: No he’s not, he knew I was dating Sarah, he should’ve backed off!
(Scott walks up to them)
SCOTT: As Pol Pot once said, “My conscience is clear!” I am not sorry for trying to save Sarah from the deep dark depths of Ryan-land.
ETHAN You son of a bitch, you’re trying to break my son up with his nice girlfriend so he can start dating the next bipolar emo kid on the boardwalk?!
ELLEN: Don’t call my names just because your son is an inconsiderate asshole!
ETHAN: You JUST called my son a name!
(Evan walks up with two hats in his hands, one a fedora and the other a bowler hat while still wearing a suit)
EVAN: SCOTT NEEDS SHOES, ALRIGHT?! And for that to happen, I need a job!
ETHAN: Scott HAS shoes!
(Pan down to Scott’s TOMS and then pan back)
EVAN: Those are not shoes, those are glorified socks!
ETHAN: I think there’s only ONE problem in this neighborhood and it’s not elongated driveways or bicycles in breezeways, it’s YOU people! Your whole family!
ELLEN: Oh, you don’t want to do what you’re doing right now. We are the Alexanders. My family spilled the blood of innocent Native American men, women, children and puppies to build some of the first settlements in western Vermont. Native Americans refuse to carry twenty dollar bills to this day because of President Andrew Jackson’s resemblance to my ancestor Larimus Alexander’s left nut.
RYAN: Yeah, I can’t imagine any other reason why Natives would dislike President Jackson.
ELLEN: We do not relent in the cold mist of war.
ETHAN: Neither do we. The Donahues came over on ships with nothing but the clothes on our back and the numerous maladies we had contracted in the steerage of the steam ships that took us over here. My ancestors worked 400-hour weeks for mere scavenger hunt clues about where money might be stashed around the city of Hansbay. He wore a tie every day to work knowing it might wind up with his face being mauled by a cold, lifeless machine. He ate socks while the more upper-class hobos ate lint. And they weren’t long socks either. The Donahues know how to fight every single day for our goals, and we will also not relent when it comes to kicking your fucking asses.
ELLEN: I’m sorry, does this mean familial war?
EVAN: I think it does.
ETHAN: Very well.
(Ethan and Evan shake hands, Kimberly and Ellen shake hands and Ryan and Scott shake hands)
(Evan, Ellen and Scott run off and Ryan, Kimberly and Ethan run inside. Cut to Ryan, Kimberly, Ethan, Jacob and Madeline (over Skype) sitting around a table)
ETHAN: As you may have heard we declared war on the Alexanders mere minutes ago.
JACOB: No, I did not hear this. Why would we do that?
ETHAN: Honor, Jacob. Honor.
JACOB: Care to offer any specifics?
ETHAN: They fucked us over, okay? Ellen’s punishing us for imaginary HOA charter violations, Scott flirted with Ryan’s girlfriend and Evan is being a desperate little bitch. We have to fight back.
MADELINE: How though?
ETHAN: Ryan, I want you to organize a fight with Scott which the school will see. It’ll be after school somewhere where they can’t see you. I’ll have to train you, but I think you can put some meat on those bones, girl.
RYAN: Did you just call me a girl?
ETHAN: Kimberly, I want you to sabotage Ellen’s political influence through tricks that would make the Romney campaign slightly uncomfortable.
KIMBERLY: Why not tricks that would make them sick?
ETHAN: Because that would involve murder.
KIMBERLY: You don’t seem to think very highly of your candidate.
ETHAN: I wanted Santorum! Anyway, I will blacklist Evan everywhere to make sure he doesn’t get a job and Jacob, you will vandalize their property.
JACOB: Can do, will do.
ETHAN: Great. Madeline, you will cyber hack or whatever, the Alexander computer network.
MADELINE: Why do you think I know how to do that?
ETHAN: Figure it out, okay? Cyber hack the database and…the cloud…will explode. Alright, we need allies. Who though?
RYAN: My friends, Jacob’s friends, Kimberly’s HOA friends and of course, the Super Friends.
ETHAN: Yes! I’m Super Man, Kimberly’s Wonder Woman, Jacob’s Robin, Madeline’s Batman and Logan is the dog.
RYAN: What am I?
ETHAN: You’re a new super hero, The Wrist Slice Kid. You can spurt blood on people and make them feel sad by reading poems.
RYAN: “My wisdom cannot traverse the treacherous path of my mind, it hydroplanes down the slick, dark and tumultuous road of my soul and takes the opportunity to skid off a bluff, almost intentionally, into an aquifer of selfishness, despair and self-hatred.”
ETHAN: Boom! Perfect. Kimberly, I honestly don’t expect you to be too involved. You have a business to run, you don’t live here, I am fine if you want to sit this out for the most part.
KIMBERLY: …You know what? I think my business needs a second floor.
(Kimberly smiles and Ethan smiles back. Cut to Ellen, Evan, Scott, Phillip, Aaron, Grimes and Detective Zimmerman sitting around the Alexander kitchen table)
ELLEN: I think we all know why we’re here. We hate the Donahues. We must make an example of them. And I’m not talking about a word problem type example where Ethan buys four apples and Kimberly charges him twenty cents an apple.
EVAN: Nobody thought you were talking about that.
ELLEN: I’m saying we need to poison those apples!
SCOTT: Really? We’re going to poison the Donahues?
ELLEN: No, of course not, but we’re going to make an example out of them. Not-
PHILLIP: Like a word problem, got it.
ELLEN: I will sabotage Kimberly’s business, Evan will make Ethan’s lighthouse job substantially harder, Scott will beat the shit out of Ryan, Dirk’s Warriors will take care of any contingencies that might arise and Detective Zimmerman will vandalize and defame. Now how do you like them apples?
DETECTIVE ZIMMERMAN: Why do we keep getting back to apples?
ELLEN: You’re comparing apples and oranges.
EVAN: Let’s focus. Are we going to beat those Donahues bastards? (Everybody except Evan chants “YES WE CAN”) No, yes we WILL. “Yes we can” would not be a grammatically correct response to an “Are we” question.
(Cut to Ryan, Kimberly, Ethan and Jacob talking around the kitchen table)
ETHAN: Ryan, are there boxing gloves somewhere that we can use for your training?
RYAN: Yeah, I think there’s some in the backyard. I’ll go get them.
(Ryan walks out the back door, opens up the gate to the backyard and walks sees a stranger rifling through a filing cabinet in the middle of his yard. Ryan walks by the man and his randomly placed filing cabinet)
FILING CABINET MAN: Asshole.
(Ryan stops walking and turns around with anger etched into his visage. Cut to black)
© Copyright 2016 NEONETWORK. All rights reserved.