“I am grateful for my family, who love me despite me. For Friends both old and new, for life, each day I feel blessed anew. For food and shelter in the midst of want, For the many bridges that will not be burnt.”
(We start with Ryan up against a wall near the back door of his house. Brennan, Sarah and Michael are standing outside the back door with a sack labeled “kidnapping”. Ryan takes out a walkie talkie)
RYAN: Black Serpent, do you have the bag ready?
BRENNAN: That’s an affirmative, Charcoal Viper. As long as there are no interlopers in the vicinity, you can go ahead and jump in.
RYAN: Alright. One, two, three, go!
(Ryan sneaks out the back door, jumps into the bag and Sarah, Michael and Brennan tie it up and carry it off, laughing. They stuff the bag in Brennan’s trunk, Brennan gets in the front seat, Sarah gets in the passenger seat and Michael gets in the back seat and they drive away. Cut to Kimberly and Ethan in the kitchen)
KIMBERLY: What should we bring?
ETHAN: I don’t know, I’ve never had Thanksgiving at someone else’s house. I don’t even know why we’re doing it.
KIMBERLY: It’s a good will gesture since the events of a month ago.
ETHAN: Maybe we should bring something cold and hard on the eyes, like macaroni salad.
KIMBERLY: In a Tupperware container!
(Kimberly goes into the fridge, gets macaroni salad in a Tupperware container and puts it on the counter)
ETHAN: Alright, let’s get the kids and let’s go!
(Jacob, Madeline and Rob come in. Jacob’s wearing athletic shorts and a t-shirt, Madeline’s texting while wearing sweatpants and TOMS and a tank top while Rob is wearing a tuxedo)
JACOB: We’re here.
ETHAN: Wow, Jacob, Madeline, you couldn’t have dressed up a little more?
JACOB: It’s Thanksgiving; we usually just stay here, eat and watch football, why be formal?
KIMBERLY: Because we’re going to have Thanksgiving at someone else’s house, that’s why. Plus, Rob is way overdressed, but at least he made an effort!
ROB: Yeah, I’m representing the Donahue family better than the Donahues are!
ETHAN: You look like Yakov Smirnoff in a tux, but not funny. And with a slightly shorter beard.
ROB: (Russian accent) In Soviet Russia, you wear tuxedo!
ETHAN: That’s not how his jokes went.
ROB: (American accent) Sorry if my impression of a mid-80s vodka tycoon isn’t good enough for you, you know?
KIMBERLY: Where’s Ryan?
ETHAN: Yeah, where is Ryan?
JACOB: Well, Doctor Sherlocks, let’s deduce this little mystery. Ryan has tried to skip out of every family event since 2010, where do you think he is?
ETHAN: That little shit. Someone call him!
JACOB: Why can’t you call him?
ETHAN: Because he’s not going to answer for me or your mother, so it has to be one of you.
JACOB: My phone’s dead.
ROB: And my phone has been broken for a couple months now.
KIMBERLY: Okay, then Madeline has to call him….Madeline, how could you possibly be writing a text this long?!
MADELINE: I’m texting Oliver, mom!
KIMBERLY: Who’s Oliver?
MADELINE: He’s my new boyfriend.
KIMBERLY: Ooh, Maddie has a boyfriend, does she?
ETHAN: “Ooh, she has a boyfriend! Holy shit!” Can we dispense with the beleaguering bullshit and just find Ryan?
MADELINE: Okay, let me just finish this text.
(They wait for a mind-numbing ten seconds. Cut to Ryan, Brennan, Michael and Sarah in Michael’s room with plates of turkey, corn on the cob and ecstasy along with Mountain Dew and cough syrup on the floor)
SARAH: C’mon, Michael!
RYAN: You know I don’t like corn on the cob!
SARAH: No, I meant look at the ecstasy and cough syrup! Ryan’s in therapy, remember?
MICHAEL: The fuck?
RYAN: You’re mad at me for not taking X and drinking cough syrup?
MICHAEL: No, I’m just kind of pissed, what are we supposed to do now?
SARAH: Don’t you remember the rules, remember my Halloween party?
MICHAEL: I guess, I just kind of assumed he’d relapse by now.
RYAN: God willing.
RYAN: God willing I DON’T is what I meant to…said.
BRENNAN: We should play Monopoly.
MICHAEL: Brennan, we’ve already played a couple games today!
SARAH: You guys finished a couple games of Monopoly today alone?
BRENNAN: Yeah, we’re masters of finishing Monopoly games. We’re even better at Monopoly than NBC-COMCAST, Google, Windows or Walmart.
RYAN: Okay, yeah, let’s play- (Ryan’s phone rings) one second. (Ryan looks at his phone) Oh, it’s Maddie. (Ryan picks up) What’s up, Maddie?
MADELINE: (On the phone) Ryan, mom and dad want you to come home so we can take you to the Alexanders for Thanksgiving dinner.
RYAN: Fuck, Maddie, I trusted you!
MADELINE: Ryan, none of us want to do this, so it’s not fair that we have to and you get to escape!
RYAN: I was kidnapped.
MADELINE: Yeah, I saw the kidnappers, that looked a lot like your friends, kidnap you in a bag labeled “kidnapping”.
RYAN: Ugh. Fine, I’ll go to the stupid fucking dinner. But I’m not dressing up!
MADELINE: Nobody is. Except Rob.
RYAN: Of course. I’ll be there soon. (He hangs up) Sorry guys, Madeline and Jacob are being traitorous and ratted my ass out. I have to go to the Alexanders for Thanksgiving.
SARAH: Damnit. Sorry, Ryan.
(Ryan hugs and kisses Sarah)
RYAN: Yeah. Well, have fun playing Monopoly.
BRENNAN: We will.
RYAN: You don’t have to fucking flaunt it.
(Ryan gets up and leaves)
BRENNAN: I wasn’t-
(Cut to Ethan, Kimberly, Ryan, Jacob, Madeline and Rob standing outside the Alexander household)
KIMBERLY: What is Logan having for Thanksgiving by the way?
ETHAN: We have chocolate milk at the house.
(Evan, Scott and Ellen open the door)
EVAN: Donahue family!
ETHAN: Alexander family!
ELLEN: Come in, everybody.
ETHAN: Will do.
(Everybody comes in and they go into the living room, where Scott’s ex-girlfriend Barbara is setting the table)
RYAN: Wait, girlfriends are allowed? Why couldn’t I bring Sarah?
SCOTT: Barbara and I aren’t dating anymore, we’re just friends.
BARBARA: Plus, Sarah’s family probably has their own Thanksgiving.
RYAN: No they don’t, and why doesn’t your family have their own Thanksgiving?
BARBARA: I’m an orphan.
RYAN: Oh. I’m sorry to hear that.
EVAN: You know what I’m not sorry to hear? Turkey!
RYAN: Weird segue.
(Evan goes into the kitchen and brings out an uncooked turkey)
EVAN: Ta-da! We’re going to cook this bitch, you and I, Ethan.
ETHAN: You and I? Why not Kimberly and Ellen?
EVAN: It’s 2012, Ethan, men can cook!
ETHAN: Then what are Kim and Ellen going to do?
ELLEN: There’s a Texans-Lions game on CBS.
ETHAN: Who gives a shit about the Houston Texans and the Detroit Lions? Terrible cities, terrible game.
KIMBERLY: What’s wrong with Houston and Detroit?
ETHAN: For starters, Houston is a massive mecca of illegal immigrants, traffic and humidity, but unfortunately unlike real Mecca, nobody wants to bomb it.
ELLEN: Fine, but what’s wrong with Detroit?
ETHAN Do I really have to answer that?
ELLEN: I guess not. Anyway, have fun cooking, boys!
(Kimberly and Allen go into the living room and turn on the TV while Evan peeks his head out the kitchen)
EVAN: Come on, Ethan, let’s cook!
ETHAN: (Sighs) Fine.
(Ethan walks into the kitchen)
RYAN: What about us?
SCOTT: Let’s hang out in my room.
JACOB: I’m in!
MADELINE: Me too!
SCOTT: I meant all of us, you don’t have to confirm your invitation.
BARBARA: I want in!
JACOB: Do we have room for her?
SCOTT: What? Yes! Of course!
ROB: What about me?
SCOTT: No! There’s an XBOX upstairs.
(Rob runs upstairs. Cut to Ryan, Madeline, Jacob, Scott and Barbara hanging out in Scott’s room. Madeline is texting)
SCOTT: You probably haven’t heard of this, but there’s this web comic about a struggling teacher who time travels to fifteenth century France and sets up a laser tag. It’s pretty obscure, but it’s much more than the globalized media can handle.
JACOB: It sounds awful. Don’t you think there’s a reason that nobody knows what it is?
SCOTT: This web comic doesn’t want recognition or popularity. Or money.
RYAN: Is the web comic called cognitive dissonance?
JACOB: So Ryan, tell me about Scott’s addiction. What is he addicted to besides hipster condescension?
RYAN: Jacob, do you really think Scott wants to discuss his struggle with addiction to Adderall?
SCOTT: You pretty much just told him!
JACOB: Why Adderall?
SCOTT: Well…I wanted to concentrate better, and it turns out that Adderall gives you a nice rush and lets you talk with people easier, it’s really fun, but now it’s kind of ruined my life.
JACOB: It sounds fun.
RYAN: It ruined his life.
JACOB: But it SOUNDS fun.
SCOTT: Well, it was a good way to distract myself from my parents.
MADELINE: What was wrong with your patents?
JACOB: Are you listening to him?
SCOTT: My dad was pretty verbally abusive while he was unemployed. He would get drunk on Riesling
and yell at me for stupid, petty things, like not petting the cat enough or petting the cat too much.
JACOB: Wow, that does suck. Didn’t your dad try to hold my dad against his will?
SCOTT: Yeah, he was pretty desperate then. But even now he takes his stress and anger that he collects at work out on me. It’s pretty damn frustrating.
JACOB: Yeah, that sounds like it sucks.
BARBARA: Well, I talk him through it. Like a kindly vet nurturing an otter back to health.
(They all chuckle. Cut to Ethan and Evan in the kitchen right next to the oven, which is pre-heating)
EVAN: Okay, now we have to wait patiently for the oven to pre-heat, so we don’t put it in yet, understand, Ethan?
ETHAN: Yes Evan, I understand how pre-heating works.
EVAN: Good. You’re making it in this business, Ethan. I could’ve had a cooking show, you know.
EVAN: Yeah, but the Food Network hung up when I cold called them out of nowhere to ask them about it.
ETHAN: Well, you’d probably be better than Guy Fieri.
ETHAN: That’s Emeril.
EVAN: So Ethan, did you hear about Tim?
ETHAN: Uh, yeah. That was pretty awful.
EVAN: I know. Apparently he was threatening the Mayor.
ETHAN: Yeah, I read about that.
EVAN: It’s awful.
ETHAN: Just awful.
EVAN: It’s terrible.
ETHAN: Okay, I think we’ve reached the quota of mentions of how terrible and awful something is before we get to the red meat of the situation, wouldn’t you say?
EVAN: Yeah, I think so. Were you indicted?
ETHAN: Yes, I was indicted.
EVAN: Have you been arrested yet?
EVAN: Are you going to have them arrest you?
ETHAN: Well, I’m not going to volunteer, but if they must, I won’t resist.
EVAN: It’s been like four days, hasn’t it?
ETHAN: Yeah, well it’s a pretty fucked situation. I hope your enjoying that cushy new job by the way.
EVAN: Why are you pissed at me?
ETHAN: Me blacklisting you was the best thing I ever did for you, Sarandon hired you out of spite, not because of your qualifications!
EVAN: Hey, let’s not reignite the flames of war, shall we?
ETHAN: Shall we reignite or shall we not reignite?
EVAN: We shall.
ETHAN: Not reignite.
ETHAN: Okay, sorry.
EVAN: That’s better. Now let’s enjoy a nice turkey dinner.
ETHAN: Has the oven finished pre-heating?
EVAN: Feel the inside of the oven and then you’ll know, my aunt taught me that, high five!
(Evan lifts his hand up to reveal a severe burn scar)
(Cut to Kimberly and Ellen watching football in the living room)
ELLEN: Ugh, your husband’s right the Lions-Texans game is boring.
KIMBERLY: Yeah, let’s turn it.
(Kimberly changes channels and the TV displays The History Channel showing pictures of the Wright Brothers)
VOICEOVER: For years, people said that it would be impossible to make something heavier than air fly. So the Wright Brothers thought what if something was lighter than air? Like aliens? (They show pictures of aliens) This is the History Channel.
(Kimberly changes it to another channel to see a Pepperidge Farm commercial with and old man at a table with some Pepperidge Farm raisin bread in hand)
PEPPERIDGE FARM GUY: Remember when you saw the first of these commercials in the early 80s and went out and bought yourself a ton of Pepperidge Farm bread so you could use it for years to come? Pepperidge Farm remembers. Pepperidge Farm also decays. I mean, it goes bad after a while.
KIMBERLY: Oh my God, nothing’s on.
ELLEN: Not even my husband’s cooking show.
KIMBERLY: Your husband had a cooking show?
ELLEN: No, but it’s always been a dream of his.
KIMBERLY: Well, that’s nice. Dreams are good. Is he a good cook?
ELLEN: Yes, very good. We met at Olive Gordon; he was a busboy who spilled a drink on me, way back in 1993. Then, he intentionally spilled butter on me and whispered “you’re better with butter” into my ear.
KIMBERLY: Wow, kind of creepy.
ELLEN: Regardless, we went on a couple dates where he would take me to his apartment in Montpelier and cook me some of the finest food I had ever dined on. We would watch Entertainment Tonight and talk shit about the people on it. Plus, we would file complaints about the other people who lived in the apartment for things like leaving their shoes near their door or playing their grunge music too loud while staying up all night playing Atari Live. It was the 90s, you know?
KIMBERLY: I don’t think the equivalent of XBOX Live in those days was Atari Live.
ELLEN: Well, we had really good times. We fell in love with private residential government from then on and we both put our other dreams on hold. Now he’s in actual politics working for Mayor Sarandon, I’m still the grand papaw of the HOA and I have remained faithful to Evan as long as we’ve been married.
KIMBERLY: Um…who do you think you’re talking to?
ELLEN: …What? Oh, the milkman? Yeah, I guess that counts as not being faithful.
ELLEN: Well that was back when Evan was unemployed. Trust me, unemployed Evan is an Evan you don’t want to be around. It’s like being around an unemployed Abraham Lincoln. If he’s not going to hold the Union together, what is he going to do?
KIMBERLY: I don’t think Lincoln lost his job voluntarily.
ELLEN: Well, I’m just glad he has a job now. Although he’s pretty sad that a co-worker of his was shot by the Mayor.
KIMBERLY: Yeah, well the Mayor had a right to defend himself.
ELLEN: That’s true. It’s just too bad it ended up like that. How did Ethan find out?
KIMBERLY: I think he read it in the newspaper.
(Cut to Ethan and Evan in the kitchen. Evan whipping mash potatoes while Ethan is overhearing Kimberly and Ellen talking)
KIMBERLY: (Distant, faint) I think he read it in the newspaper.
(Ethan closes his eyes. Cut back to the kids in Scott’s room)
JACOB: This house is so different from ours, you know?
RYAN: Yeah, Jacob, it’s a different house.
JACOB: No, I mean like, your back door is near the back of the house, our back door is at the side.
SCOTT: Then it’s not a back door.
BARBARA: Scott, he was just kidding.
SCOTT: Were you?
SCOTT: Oh okay.
(Jacob smiles at Barbara, Barbara giggles. Madeline looks up from her phone)
MADELINE: Here’s a question, Ryan. Why do you go to such inhuman lengths to avoid spending time with mom, dad, Jacob and I?
JACOB: Yeah, the fuck?
RYAN: It’s not you guys, trust me on that, it’s just…dad. I don’t know what’s with him, he’s a fucking two face, it’s like, he calls me a faggot on a daily basis for the last two and a half years, but every time I’m in danger or his parental obligation requires it, he suddenly loves me so much! It’s like, I don’t want to deal with him constantly keeping my personality in check and I don’t want to deal with interfamilial situations, they’re just awkward, you know? I’d rather be with people who understand and accept me.
MADELINE: We understand and accept you, Ryan.
RYAN: Madeline, you always told me to fuck myself when I went to your room demanding help, Jacob you betrayed me and went after Brennan-
JACOB: Hey, not in front of the lady!
BARBARA: Wait, me?
JACOB: Yeah, it’s rude to mention my flaws in front of women. Or anyone.
RYAN: Yeah, well it’s apparently fair game to go after me for cutting or rolling. Because dad does all the time.
JACOB: Do you still cut?
(Ryan moves his bracelets to reveal scars, to a visceral reaction from everyone)
RYAN: Yeah, I mean, I put my entire world as my cell phone background, look.
(Ryan shows them his iPhone background, which is completely black)
SCOTT: Your whole world is darkness? That’s a weird way of telling us you’re depressed.
(Ryan puts away his phone)
MADELINE: Well, Ryan, I’m sorry I ignored your cries for help.
JACOB: Yeah, and we already resolved our dispute two months ago.
RYAN: You can’t apologize again?
JACOB: Hey, you’re only getting the one apology!
SCOTT: Hey, do you guys want to see my drum set?
(They all get up. Cut to Evan and Ethan in the kitchen making salads)
EVAN: All the ingredients in the bowl get along together very nicely, the lettuce, the tomatoes, the rum.
ETHAN: You put Rum in the salad?
EVAN: I’m going to get obliterated on salad tonight.
ETHAN: Well, the ingredients get along better than the Israelis and the Palestinians.
EVAN: Didn’t the US Negotitate a cease-fire effective 2PM yesterday?
ETHAN: Yeah, well it should’ve been 1:59 PM yesterday.
EVAN: Isn’t it fun not giving the Obama administration credit for anything?
ETHAN: It is.
(Cut to the kidswalking into the Alexander garage to see Scott’s drum set)
JACOB: This is a really cool drum set.
SCOTT: Yeah, my dad bought this for my mom so she could exercise her arms, but she never used it.
RYAN: I don’t think a drum set is considered an exercise machine.
SCOTT: Yeah, it’s weird; my dad buys exercise machines for my mom just so he can get mad at her for not using them, even when they’re not exercise machines.
RYAN: That’s insane.
SCOTT: Let me play a little.
(Scott sits down on his stool behind the drum set and does an impressive minute-long drum rift, ending with uproarious applause)
RYAN: Wow that was good.
SCOTT: Thanks, I had a band at one point called “Asthmatic Governor” but we split over creative differences.
RYAN: Was the creative difference that terrible name?
SCOTT: No, it was the fact they didn’t want to be in the band.
JACOB: So when they do the Behind the Music special on “Asthmatic Governor” and they do the weird inverted filter thing, it’ll be pretty anticlimactic.
(Barbara, Ryan, Scott, Madeline and Jacob laugh)
SCOTT: Yeah, I guess.
BARBARA: Good one.
JACOB: Thank you.
RYAN: You know, I don’t want to say anything, but I’ve written a couple songs or two, and I would love to see if we could maybe pair them with music and see if I can sing them. I remember when I was in Iraq and Michelle heard me sing, it was pretty good, right Michelle?
JACOB: She’s not here, man.
SCOTT: Well, do you think our tastes in music are similar?
RYAN: They’re close enough, hipsters are just as hated as emos and we’ll bond over that.
SCOTT: Well, okay, sure, send me some lyrics. But we’d need a guitarist.
RYAN: Hmm…what about Delaware? He plays.
SCOTT: I’ll look into it.
RYAN: Cool. I think this will be interesting.
SCOTT: Hopefully none of us die of natural causes at 26 for this.
(Ethan and Evan come in)
ETHAN: Hey kids, dinner is served!
EVAN: Because of me!
ETHAN: I wasn’t taking credit, I was just telling them that it was served.
EVAN: And I was just saying that it was my doing!
ETHAN: How are you this neurotic?
(All the kids walk inside. Cut to everyone at the table. Evan is at the head of the table. There is turkey, mashed potatoes, ground meat on spinach, bacon-crusted rolls and Twinkies in the middle of the table)
EVAN: As you can see, I paid close attention to detail and even put Twinkies in the middle of the table for dessert, seeing as how this might be our last chance to eat them.
ETHAN: Obama gets re-elected and Hostess goes out of business! Of course!
KIMBERLY: Or maybe Hostess actually isn’t the stuff.
(They all chuckle except Ethan)
ETHAN: Twinkie the kid was my icon growing up. Along with Billy the KIX, the guy who advertised KIX cereal.
KIMBERLY: I don’t remember Billy the KIX.
ETHAN: Yeah, he would be like, “This cereal ain’t big enough for the two of us” or “Meet me at the OKIX Corral” or “To hell with the other cereals. Buzzards gotta eat KIX, same as worms” or “meet me at KIXback Mountain”.
KIMBERLY: So KIX used Western movie puns to promote their cereal, along with a reference to a movie about gay cowboys?
ETHAN: I could’ve sworn they did.
EVAN: Well, in the rest of our feast today, we have the classics. Tryptophan wrapped in turkey, bacon-crusted rolls and some ground meat on spinach.
ELLEN: Well, this all looks wonderful. You know, I just noticed that all three of our names are very similar. Evan, Ellen and Ethan! Huh.
EVAN: Um…okay, let’s eat!
ETHAN: Wait, don’t we have to pray?
EVAN: Oh right, God. Almost forgot about him.
(They all join hands and aim their heads downward except for Ryan, who just sits there)
ETHAN: Dear Lord, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, we thank you for the bounty we are about to receive. We realize that many in the world do not have access to such plentiful amounts of food, which is why we donate all our money to Sarah McLaughlin and the adorable African children, with their puppy dog eyes, and bodies, that she helps out every single day. Bless this room. Bless this home. Bless the architectural integrity of these walls. Bless this neighborhood for its hospitality, despite the differences that sometimes arise between two families living in it. Bless the city of Hansbay, the state of Vermont and God Bless the United States of America!
(They open their eyes and lift their heads)
EVAN: Alright, thank you Ethan.
ETHAN: You are welcome.
EVAN: Let’s eat!
JACOB: Wait, what about saying what we’re thankful for?
EVAN: YES. THANK YOU JACOB.
JACOB: You’re welcome?
EVAN: I’ll start. I am thankful for my wonderful wife and my wonderful son. I am thankful for having a job after experiencing the unbarability of my unemployment.
ELLEN: We all experienced the unbarability of your unemployment.
EVAN: Thank you, Ellen. I am also thankful for my health, welfare and relatively stable financial situation. Ellen?
ELLEN: Ditto on that. I’m also thankful for the Pokémon named Ditto.
SCOTT: Oh, I remember him.
ETHAN: No one remembers Billy the KIX?
ALL EXCEPT ETHAN: NO!
ETHAN: Um, I am grateful for the Lord Jesus Christ, may He be forever interned in our souls. Also, I’m thankful for black Friday starting today. But most of all, I’m thankful for my beautiful wife Kimberly. (They smile at each other and grips hands) I’m grateful for my three fantastic kids, Jacob, Madeline and Ryan. (Ryan chuckles) Um, okay and I’m thankful for the clothes on my back, the shoes on my feet, the roof over my head and the floorboards under my feet and the dead dinosaurs even further under my feet that we use to power my car every day. Kimberly?
KIMBERLY: I, am of course grateful for my exemplary husband Ethan and for our three kids. They may get into trouble sometimes, but I love all three of them with all my heart. Jacob, who is a wonderfully caring young man with a bright future. (She holds back tears and Ethan puts his hand on her shoulder and Jacob also holds back tears) Ryan, who despite his struggles is a gifted poet and writer and just a good-natured soul. (Ryan smiles and holds back tears as well) Madeline, who approaches every day with a positivity I admire and is out there in Rhode Island pursuing her interior decorating dreams, (Madeline smiles and holds back tears) it’s just-(sniff) extremely impressive and I love her. (Sniff) And then Ethan, who has always been very supportive of me and my business which I started with Rob, another very impressive person, and I believe that he has a very good heart and wishes no ill will on anybody and I think he tries as best he can to apply the teachings of Jesus in his life. (Ethan holds back tears and chokes up as well) Thank you. All of you.
(Madeline starts crying)
MADELINE: I’M SORRY I PUSHED YOU AWAY, RYAN! I REALLY AM!
(Ryan starts crying)
RYAN: I’M SORRY I’VE BEEN SUCH A DEADBEAT SON! I’M SORRY I’VE CAUSED THIS FAMILY SO MANY PROBLEMS!
(Evan, Ellen and Scott look visibly uncomfortable and then Jacob starts crying)
JACOB: I’M SORRY I BETRAYED YOU RYAN! I’VE SAID IT BEFORE AND I’LL SAY IT AGAIN!
(Kimberly starts crying)
KIMBERLY: I’M SORRY I CHEATED ON YOU AND THEN EXPECTED YOU TO BECOME REAQUAINTED WITH ME, THAT WAS UNFAIR OF ME!
RYAN: Wait, THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED?!
ETHAN: I’M SORRY FOR ALL THAT I DID TO PUT YOU ALL IN THIS POSITION TO BEGIN WITH!
ROB: Family. You can’t live with them, you can’t live without them.
(The crying calms down as Ellen, Scott and Evan sit in shock)
KIMBERLY: Wait…what do you mean?
ETHAN: Um…I have some news. I was kind of indicted a few days ago.
KIMBERLY: Oh my God, Ethan, you were indicted?
ETHAN: Yes. And I hope this doesn’t make our guests uncomfortable.
EVAN: You are our guests.
ETHAN: Well, the guest’s always right.
EVAN: That’s the customer.
ETHAN: Can I help you?
EVAN: I live here!
ETHAN: Listen, I am in big trouble. They’re charging me with bribery, extortion and misuse of public funds. If they can prove those things and convict me for them, then there’s pretty hefty jail time. However, I will fight the allegations tooth to nail for this family.
RYAN: But you’re guilty, aren’t you?
ETHAN: Yes, but looks can be deceiving.
RYAN: I’m not basing this on looks, I’m basing it on the fact that you just admitted you’re guilty!
JACOB: Dad, you can’t go to jail! We need you!
ETHAN: I know. I’m so sorry I got us into this position. If I avoid jail time, I’ll never do anything like this ever again, not even if hip teens from a 1950s PSA urge me to do it.
KIMBERLY: Well, what if you do go to prison?
ETHAN: Then Jacob will have to be the man of the house for a while. Until he graduates and then Rob will have to be the man of the house for a while.
ROB: How do you know I’m still going to live here when Jacob graduates?
ETHAN: Trust me, I know. But this is all just worst-case scenario talk. I have a good lawyer; I can get out of this.
KIMBERLY: I can’t believe this. How would you survive in prison?
ETHAN: It’d be a white collar prison; I’d be in a chain gang with Bernie Madoff, Jeffrey Skilling and Rod Blagojevich.
KIMBERLY: What about providing for us?
ETHAN: Jacob would have to get a job and Kimberly you would probably have to put your business on hold so you could get a pay check.
KIMBERLY: Oh my God…
ETHAN: If we have to, you guys can smuggled in cigarettes and drugs during visitation, and I’ll sell them to inmates, then smuggled the money back out to you to help you guys pay for daily expenses.
KIMBERLY: Well, don’t do business with Madoff of Blagojevich if you’re doing that-why am I entertaining
this scenario?! Also, how are you so calm about this?!
ETHAN: Kimberly, I’m fuckin’ freaking out on the inside but that’s not going to help the situation. I need to remain calm for the good of all of you. Kimberly, when I called you the other day and told you about Timothy, I wasn’t being entirely truthful. I was there when the Mayor shot Tim, I saw it happen.
ETHAN: Yes. This is a very tense time for all of us and we need to remember to stick together. We need to remember to be thankful for what we have. And that means spending time with your family, Ryan.
RYAN: Does it also mean not calling your son a faggot?
ETHAN: Ryan, you know I was just “tripping’” or whatever you kids call it. I’m messing around.
RYAN: Come on dad, sometimes you’re serious.
ETHAN: Maybe when I’m tired, or…awake.
ETHAN: Fine, you’re right. But Madeline, it also means paying attention to your family and not your phone. (Madeline nods) And Jacob, for you, that means-
(A knock on the door is heard)
EVAN: Who the hell is knocking at this time?
(Evan gets up and walks to the door and opens it to see Vermont State Police along with James P. Mongeon, the Vermont State’s Attorney)
JAMES P. MONGEON: Is Mr. Ethan Donahue in this household?
EVAN: Did you just call me an asshole?
JAMES P. MONGEON: What? No, I said household, wow “household” and “asshole” do sound similar now that I think about it.
EVAN: I am offended by your language. Bye. (Evan slams the door and locks it) The Vermont State Police are here and they look PISSED.
ROB: Ethan, what’d you do to the Vermont State Police?
ETHAN: You just don’t get it, do you?
KIMBERLY: Ethan, we need to hide you in a cake or something.
ETHAN: No, that’s where the cigarettes are going to go if I go to jail. Listen, why should I hide? To delay the inevitable? I’ll just go peacefully.
ETHAN: Open the door, Evan.
EVAN: Alright. Thanks for making my Thanksgiving Dinner really awkward.
ETHAN: You’re welcome
(Evan opens the door to see the Vermont State Police and the State’s Attorney)
EVAN: Wow, you guys didn’t move a muscle, did you?
JAMES P. MONGEON: No we did not.
EVAN: Come in.
(Mongeon and the Vermont State police walk in while Ethan kisses Kimberly, and then hugs all his kids. He then shakes Rob’s hand and walks over to Mongeon)
JAMES P. MONGEON: I’m James P. Mongeon from the Vermont State’s Attorney’s Office.
VERMONT STATE POLICE OFFICER: Mr. Donahue, you’re under arrest for bribery, extortion and misuse of public funds. (The police officer puts Ethan in handcuffs) You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in the court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you by the state. Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you?
ETHAN: Could you repeat that, officer?
VERMONT STATE POLICE OFFICER: Wow, haven’t heard that one before.
(Ethan is hauled off by the officers as James Mongeon also walks away)
KIMBERLY: Bye honey! We’ll post your bail!
RYAN: Bye dad!
JACOB: What was he going to say to me?
MADELINE: Bye dad!
(Mongeon closes the door behind him)
ROB: Family. You can’t live with them. You can’t live without them.
KIMBERLY: You’re trying that one again?
ROB: Well nobody said jack the first time around.
KIMBERLY: Yeah, we were hoping it would blow over.
EVAN: Listen, if you guys want to leave, that’s perfectly understandable.
KIMBERLY: No, we’d just drive ourselves crazy if we left.
RYAN: Shouldn’t we post his bail though?
KIMBERLY: We will after dinner, Ryan. But let’s not let your father getting arrested ruin Thanksgiving. Ryan, what are you thankful for?
RYAN: Um, I’m thankful for my family, my friends, drug therapy, Obama’s re-election-
KIMBERLY: Oh yeah, I forgot to gloat about that.
RYAN: Yeah. But I’m not thankful that dad just went to jail.
JACOB: Yeah, that’s sticking in my craw a little bit.
MADELINE Mine too. My craw is jam packed with sticks.
KIMBERLY: What is a craw?
SCOTT: Maybe like a law of the crab lands? Like when Crabs make laws in their little crab societies?
RYAN: Okay, it’s definitely not that.
KIMBERLY: Ugh, you guys are right this is pretty hard to keep up. Should we just eat?
ELLEN: I think so. We should get a full stomach and then just talk about the long road forward.
EVAN: Fucking finally, let’s eat!
(They all start eating. Cut to Ethan in a jail cell across from some guy)
ETHAN: What are you in here for? As the classic question goes.
GUY: I tried to break into Toys R Us before black Friday even started.
GUY: I figured I gotta get my tramplin’ done early.
(A cop walks over)
COP: Hey doucheweed, your bail’s been posted.
ETHAN: Well, halleluiah!
(Ethan gets up as the cop unlocks the prison cell and Ethan exits it, and then the cops locks it again. Ethan walks to the front of the police station to see his family and Rob waiting there. They all hug and then walk out of the police station as “Where Will We Go” by IAMDYNAMITE plays. Cut to Ethan speaking with an attorney in a board room looking extremely stressed. Mayor Sarandon comes in late and Ethan and Mayor Sarandon shake hands and sit down. Cut to Ryan sitting on his bed with his head in his hands. He looks over to his bedside table to see razor blades, a mini-bottle of Schnapps and his bottle of Prozac. He takes the Prozac, opens the bottle and takes the Prozac with a swig of Schnapps. Cut to the whole family talking in the living room with a couple of tissue boxes in the room, it appears very emotional. Cut to Kimberly trying to calculate living expenses on her laptop, then becoming overwhelmed, sipping a 7-Up and putting her head down. Cut to Jacob looking through the online classifieds looking for any potential professions. He then switches to Facebook and sends Barbara a message reading “Hey” and then patiently waiting for a response. Cut to Ryan and Delaware on Skype with Scott, Delaware plays a guitar riff and Scott seems impressed. Then cut to Madeline talking to Ethan in the kitchen. She gets a text, but chooses to ignore it. Then back to all of them in the living room, talking as the song ends)
JACOB: Hey dad, what were you going to tell me before I got arrested?
ETHAN: What? Oh, I was going to tell you not to go after Barbara, she’s not into you.
MADELINE: It’s not worth it.
KIMBERLY: I agree.
JACOB: She looked at me!
(Fade to black)
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Short Story / Mystery and Crime
Short Story / Mystery and Crime
Short Story / Mystery and Crime
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