Thanksgiving: The Movie

Starring Jordan Black as Donald Bigbelow

Written by Charlotte Dean

Directed by Charlotte Dean and Tracy Newman

Original film score by Tracy Newman

Filmed by Nathan Warburton

No Big Deal

Every Wednesday night, my husband and I have friends over to our house for dinner. Sometimes we play games, sometimes we make art, but no matter what, every evening ends up in some pretty interesting conversation. We’ve grown close and since most of us are not from Seattle, we’ve become a home away from home for each other. We talk about our lives, what we did that week, and who’s been pissing us off. Sometimes our conversations take on recurring themes and though the evenings come to an end, the topics come right back to life the following Wednesday.

One such topic was sparked by a comment I made one night about not understanding why cannibalism was such a big deal. I get why murder is a big deal, but if the person is already dead, what’s the problem? I told my friends that if we were stranded somewhere together and one of them died, I would have no problem eating that person. They had A LOT of questions for me and this became a popular dinnertime conversation.

A while back, I was visiting my mom in L.A. and I told her about it. I wondered if she would think of me differently. I said “Mom, I’ve thought about this a lot and I feel pretty sure that I could eat a person if I had to. Even someone I knew. So if I die and you’re starving, I just want you to know, it’s totally fine with me if you eat me.”

My mom looked at me smiling and said, “Honey, I don’t need your permission.”

 

Like this story? Check out The Proposal

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

This is a true story. It was told to me by a friend about something that happened to another friend. Like a game of telephone. So it’s true…ish.

Pretty much everything has happened to Jenny. She’s broken most of the bones in her body at one point or another, sliced her foot open on a yacht, and had multiple back surgeries. So on a quiet Tuesday morning, when the car in front of her slammed on its brakes and she, in turn, slammed into it, she wasn’t terribly surprised. Just glad that she had already dropped her daughter off at school. Jenny rolled her neck around and sighed. Another round of physical therapy for sure.

She turned off her car and went to check on the guy she hit and to find out why he had stopped so suddenly. As she got closer, she saw another car in front of his, parked in the right lane. No wonder he had slammed on his brakes! How could this jerk be parked here? This street was practically the freeway. Jenny walked over to the parked car thinking of all the things she wanted to say. She could see someone climbing around inside. “Excuse me!” she called, as she tapped on the driver’s side window. The guy inside spun around and stared at her blankly “hey.”

Jenny glared at him for a moment. “Yeah. Hey. You can’t park here! You just caused an accident.” He turned his head around to look at the cars behind him. “Well,” he said, shrugging his shoulders, “I had no choice. I had to poop, so I pulled over and went in this bucket.” He gestured with his thumb to a bucket in the back seat. Jenny didn’t want to look, but she couldn’t help it. There were two large swirls of poop. She was speechless. After a minute she said, “Um… well, couldn’t you hold it in until you found a gas station? Or at least until you got off the road?” The guy shook his head “Nah. Nah. It was an emergency and I mean, what would you have me do? Poop in my pants? That’s nuts.” He started his car and drove away and all Jenny could do was stare after him. To this day, she lays in bed at night wondering where he is, knowing he’s out there somewhere, driving around with his bucket in the backseat.

A SMALL MOUNTAIN WITH A CAVE IN IT

My mom recently sent me some of what she calls my “early works.” Basically the stories my dad would make me write before I was allowed to play Nintendo. Here’s one of many:Hermie Gets Homesick by Charlotte DeanHermie Gets Homesick by Charlotte Dean-1

Coconut Soy Delight

Dear Bridget,

I think you should know about this yogurt I ate last night. It was coconut soy delight and the texture was exactly like old, hard, jello. It didn’t taste like anything to me, but I’m sure you would have been able to taste the coconut because you hate it so much. I wish you could have tasted it. I tried to punch up the flavor by adding honey and cinnamon, but it was late and I wasn’t wearing my glasses. I ended up adding honey and black pepper. That did not improve the taste. However, as I said, it was late, I was hungry and I didn’t want to wake anyone by cooking something, so I decided to try and salvage it. Luckily, because of its gelatinous consistency, I was able to scoop off the very top where I had added the pepper and remove almost all of it. I rinsed off my spoon and added more honey and actual cinnamon this time. I grabbed my yogurt and quietly tiptoed out of the kitchen. Just as I was making my way back up the stairs, I knocked over a screwdriver that was on the banister and it fell onto the stairway, bouncing and making a loud bang with each step it hit on its way down to the hardwood floor, where it rolled around for what felt like ten minutes. I just stood there watching it, hoping no one else had heard it. I got back in bed and ate my yogurt quietly. It still tasted terrible to me and I can only imagine what it would have been like for you.

Love, Deborah

Vodka Cranberries

Dear Mona,

Great going taking down your Facebook page, fucker. I told everybody I was pregnant and you missed it. Well, surprise. I just found out two days ago. I think I’m like 5 or 6 months- it’s hard to tell. I heard you work at Best Buy now. Hook me up! I’m still pissed at you for not giving me that loan, but I’m trying to let it go so you can help me with this shit like a real friend. I feel like you’re always pregnant. Did you and Ramon really mean to have four kids? You always say yes, but anyways, question- What is your favorite drink for when you’re pregnant? Right now all I’m liking is vodka cranberries. Seriously- I drank half a mimosa the other day and then puked it. I don’t know what’s up with me. Oh I remember what I wanted to ask you- How long do you have to wait before the doctor can change the baby’s sex? My sister says mine’s a boy for sure and she’s pissed. She doesn’t want to be an uncle. I really hope you can help me out with being pregnant. I don’t have anyone else. I mean I have my family and I have Derrick, but I don’t want them. I want you to be here. I need groceries and a new blue ray. When can you come? Oh- and where do I get that wheelchair sticker for the car?

Later, Tina

Imogene

Imogene was the kind of beautiful that’s not beautiful on the outside. She wondered if she’d be alone forever. Hardly anyone in Bedford County even noticed her. Except for Linus. He’d follow Imogene everywhere she went, filming her, picking her trash outta the garbage and what not.

He wasn’t really right in the head, but Imogene didn’t have any other admirers, so she always gave him a smile when their eyes met. Plus, he wasn’t ugly, just a lil bit off. He’d been one of those kids who couldn’t have pets cause they’d always end up dead and opened up. A few neighbors who’d lost their cats suspected him of foul play, but nothing was ever proven. Imogene didn’t have any pets, so she wasn’t really worried about Linus.

Well, and so it was on most days, Imogene would walk through town nearly invisible with Linus trailing about ten steps behind her. She never knew why he followed her on some days and not on others – and the truth is, she was starting to care. So on the days he wasn’t watching her, she went looking for him. He was easy to find. He was most always smashing on rocks in his front yard with no shirt on. It was a good look for him, thought Imogene. He’d look up from smashing and smile at her and then go right back to smashing.

One day when Linus wasn’t following her, and he wasn’t in his front yard, Imogene went up to the house. Now, that took a lot of courage. Linus’s father was known for yelling and throwing beer cans, though no one had seen him for a while. “Linus,” called Imogene, “you in there?” There was no answer.

Imogene peeked through the window. She could see Linus’s dad sitting on an armchair with a beer in his hand. Looked like he was asleep. She called out again “Linus?” Still no answer. Imogene noticed the door was open, so she let herself in. She took a closer look at Linus’s dad and realized he wasn’t sitting in the chair, he was the chair. He’d been expertly stuffed and positioned. Imogene heard someone grunting behind her. She spun around to find Linus standing right there. “Linus, did you do this?” she asked. Linus nodded slowly. “It’s just beautiful. May I take a seat?” Again, Linus nodded, smiling shyly.

Imogene sat on Linus’s dad and leaned back. The chair rocked a little with her weight. A rocking chair! Imogene had always wanted a rocking chair. Linus took the beer can out of his daddy’s hand and replaced it with a nice cold fresh one for Imogene.

She looked at Linus and it was like she could see into the future. They’d be married. It’d be a simple life, but a nice one. He’d make all the furniture and she’d do the cooking and cleaning and of course she’d read to the kids. She wasn’t sure Linus could even talk, let alone read.

Still, she thought, he sure would make a fine husband.

I Want the Backpack

Dear Stephanie,

Happy Birthday! I’m really sorry your party got cancelled on Saturday. Does Alex really have lice? Eew. My mom said you’re gonna get it too for sure. Are you sad about not getting your party? I am.

Well, I’m writing to cheer you up and tell you I got you a really good gift.

It’s bangles and stickers and lip-gloss and a backpack of Elsa from Frozen. It’s blue with glitter and when you squeeze Elsa’s face it plays “Let It Go.”

Stephanie… I want the backpack.

My mom said it’s not your fault the party got cancelled and I’m not mad at you. But still, I didn’t get to go. We’re coming by later to drop off you your gift and I think you should open it and then say you want me to have the backpack. Because of how much I love Elsa. I know you do too, but not as much as me. And I mean, it’s not even your birthday anymore.

You’re such a good friend. I know you’ll do the right thing.

Love, Olive

P.S. What are you guys going to do with all the party favors?

The Proposal read by Laraine Newman

@The Groundlings

July 29, 2014

Filmed by: Ron Sarfaty

My Dead Body

Stephan-

Thank you for your email. Yes, I do want to marry you. I’m sure. And it’s not because of all your money.  I actually love you. I have no problem signing your prenup. In fact, I have something for you to sign as well. Basically, it says that when the police find my dead body, they should question you first. I don’t think you’re going to kill me, but statistically if someone’s going to kill me, it’s you. And I just want you to be investigated.

By signing my agreement you’re saying “I’m on board with that!” There’s a lot of fine print here and I don’t think you need to read it all. It just gets into the specifics of different ways my body might be found and some sample questions the police should ask. Like, “Oh so we’re supposed to believe that your wife hit herself on the head with a bat?” Obviously I’m just ball-parking it. No one really knows what’s going to happen. I just have this feeling. You know?

Shawna thinks I’m nuts for marrying you, but I told her I love you. You don’t choose who you fall in love with, right?

I wrote down as many scenarios of my murder as I could think of and I added a suggested response from you for each. Most are obvious like: if I’m shot, you should ask the police to test your hands for gunpowder residue. Some are less about you being tried and convicted and more about you feeling my pain. Like if I’m drowned, I suggested you have Pierre hold your head under water for two minutes so you know what I went through.

Let me know if you have any suggestions – I may have gotten a bit “Romeo and Juliet” on a few. Like, you don’t actually have to drink the poison, but I think we should have some just in case you can’t live without me. Please have the papers signed and get them back to my lawyers by Friday.

Your loving fiancé, Joanne