Friday, November 21, 2008

FSW: Horrible Family Holiday edition

Happy almost-Thanksgiving everyone!
This weeks theme was:
horrible family holidays
It was graciously provided by @tjonsek, who suggested it on Richard's blog. Speaking of Richard, he took us out for a lovely Holiday dinner in New York for his salvo.
I decided to examine the origins of Holiday drama in America.
And...if you'd like to suggest a theme for next week, , leave it in comments here, or on one of the other blogs.
Meanwhile, in the early 1600's......
___________________________________________________________________
INT. RUSTIC PILGRIM LODGE - DAY
We’re inside a cabin in Plymouth in the days of the pilgrims. The furniture is all rough hewn wood, and various herbs are hanging from the ceiling drying. There’s a knock on the front door and MILES enters, dressed in full traditional pilgrim garb.

MILES
The pie looks fine. Just scrape the charred part off the top and no one will know the difference.

MILES answers the door. Two American Indians in traditional garb, MASSOTIHAN and his wife POWANIQUA stand in the doorway carrying a few baskets. The sounds of squealing children can be heard outside behind them.

MILES
Heeeeeyyyy!!! Masso! What’s up, my savage?

MILES and MASSOTIHAN go through and elaborate macho handshake \ chest bump \ grunting ritual

MILES (CONT)
Happy Second Thanksgiving Buddy!
(to PRISCILLA offstage)
Hey Babycakes, shake a leg...the Moonwolves are here!

PRISCILLA (O.S.)
Coming.

MILES
Come on in...make yourselves at home.
(shouting out the front door)
Hey Tobias, Dorothy...play nice with the Moonwolf kids, okay? No “Christians and heathens”, okay?

CHILDREN
(from off)
Awwwwwww

MILES
(closes the door)
Wow....it’s getting cold out there. Fucking Plymouth huh? Love the foliage, hate the cold.

MASSOTIHAN
Try living in a tent in this crap. Why you white guys wanted to have the first Thanksgiving outside last year is a mystery to me.

MILES
Hey....we’re European, we never spent any time outside before coming here. We were all hopped up on the “we escaped religious persecution AND survived our first year in the new world” thing, know what I mean? Any problems getting here?

POWANIQUA
We would have been here 30 minutes ago if someone wasn’t absolutely positive it was a left at the burned out oak.

POWANIQUA shoots a glare at MASSOTIHAN

MASSOTIHAN
I’ve only rode over here once before, and that was in spring.

MILES
(to POWANIQUA)
You must be Mrs. Moonwolf. I’m Miles Dogood. It’s nice to finally meet you. Masso talks about you whenever we’re in a hunting party together.

MILES shakes POWANIQUA’s hand

POWANIQUA
Just call me ‘Pow’. We’ll be here all day if you always use my full name.

MILES
Nice furs...can I take those for you?

MASSOTIHAN and POWANIQUA take off their fur wraps and hand them to MILES, who takes them offstage. MASSOTIHAN and POWANIQUAN set their parcels of food on the table.

MASSOTIHAN
I tell ya’, you white guys sure don’t know shit about wilderness living, but you got that the naming thing right. Short first name, long last name, call everyone by their first name - if that’s too long you just call someone by an even shorter version of their name...so much easier than these long-ass indian names. Just role call for tribal council meetings takes 4 hours.

MILES re-enters and walks over to see what’s on the table.

MILES
Mmmmm...smells good. Corn?

POWANIQUA
Maize.

MILES
Oh right...sorry....forgot.

MASSOTIHAN
There’s maize bread, creamed maize, and maize on the cob. She’s been cooking all week.

MILES
That’s very nice of you Pow. You shouldn’t have gone to all that trouble.

PRISCILLA enters, carrying a mug. She appears to be a little tipsy.

PRISCILLA
(to MILES)
I’ve been cooking all week too...don’t remember hearing you say I shouldn’t go to all that trouble.

MILES
Hey honey...you remember Massotihan Moonwolf, from the hunting parties?

PRISCILLA
Oh yeah...you ride horses with your shirt off, right?

MASSOTIHAN
Sometimes, in summer. It can get hot on those hunts.

PRISCILLA
Oh I bet it does...you get pretty sweaty too. Do you workout, or are you just naturally muscular?
MASSOTIHAN
I play a lot of lacrosse.

PRISCILLA
So you’re good with a long stick huh?

MILES
(ushering PRISCILLA away from MASSOTIHAN)
And this is his wife Powaniqua - ‘Pow’ for short.

PRISCILLA
Well aren’t you a cute young thing...Pow, WOW! HAHAHA

MILES
Let’s have a seat while dinner finishes cooking.

PRISCILLA
“Pow Wow”...get it? God that’s funny.

MILES
(to PRISCILLA)
I think you’ve had enough ale, turtledove.

MILES tries to take PRISCILLA’s mug away

PRISCILLA
Just try it.

MILES backs off and sits down. An uneasy quiet settles over the room. Priscilla makes a few subtle flirty gestures towards MASSOTIHAN, who looks uncomfortable. When MILES sees her she looks indignant, and just sips more ale. POWANIQUA shoots a few looks at MASSOTIHAN who gives her an “it’s not my fault” gesture right back.

MASSOTIHAN
Something smells good. Wild turkey?

MILES
Oh yeah....big bastard too. Shot it myself...just me and the old blunderbus, snuck up on that big bird and BLAMMO!!! One roaster.

PRISCILLA
(to herself)
Only retarded turkey in Massachusetts.

MILES
What’s happening in the Wampanoag camp these days?

MASSOTIHAN
My father-in-law is running for chief again.

POWANIQUA
It’d be Daddy’s third term.

MILES
Nice.

MASSOTIHAN
He keeps saying he can get me on the tribal council, but I don’t know if I’m cut out for politics.

MILES
I’m with you there....I’m more a man of action myself.

PRISCILLA
Action my ass.

MILES
The church...that’s where the big money is, if you’re a self starter. Go out, convert people, build a congregation, develop your own zealots. Great franchise opportunities.

PRISCILLA
Miles could have been a town elder by now, but SOMEONE didn’t want to burn that witch last May.

MILES
They never proved she was a witch.

PRISCILLA
They threw her in a river and she floated! Helllloooooo!!!

MILES
It was a stream...it was six inches deep!

PRISCILLA
Pussy.

POWANIQUA
Europeans have really mixed feelings about magic, don’t they? We’ve always been supportive of magic people like our medicine man...

PRISCILLA
Just butt of out this, Missy Pow-Now-Brown-Cow, okay?

POWANIQUA
I was just saying...

PRISCILLA
Zip-it, you skinny buckskin-wearing bitch.

POWANIQUA
Well...I never....I.....

POWANIQUA runs out the front door crying.

MASSOTIHAN
Honey, wait....

MASSOTIHAN runs after her

PRISCILLA
Forget the whiny squaw, Squanto. Mama’s got your spirit quest right here!

MILES
Priscilla!

PRISCILLA
(running over to the door shouting after MASSOTIHAN)
Once you go white, you never go back!!!

MILES
PRISCILLA!!!
PRISCILLA
I'll give you something to be thankful for...lets' lose that nobility, noble savage!
(clapping hand over her mouth like an indian war whoop)
Whoo whoo whoo whoo whoo whoo
MILES
Priscilla close that door and get over here right now or I will get the god damned village exorcist, I shit you not!!
PRISCILLA shuts the door and walks back into the room, and sits.

MILES (CONT)
Every time...EVERY time you get a little too much ale in you, you get mean and completely out of control.

PRISCILLA
I’m sorry. I don’t know what got into me. It’s just the holidays...I start missing my family, civilized cities, currency, not having bears in the front yard....

MILES
I know honey.

PRISCILLA
And we haven’t been...fruitful...in so long.

MILES
We live in a one bedroom cabin with 2 kids and no doors Priscilla.

PRISCILLA
I know. It just gets to me sometimes.

MILES hugs her.

MILES
Look....why don’t you go make some tea, and let the ale wear off a bit, okay? I’ll go find Masso and Pow and make peace, and then we’ll all have a great Thanksgiving dinner, okay? And after, we’ll figure out how soon we can build a second bedroom.

PRISCILLA
Alright honey. I’m sorry. Really.

MILES hugs PRISCILLA again, then she goes off into the kitchen. The front door opens and MASSOTIHAN re-enters, the sounds of screaming kids playing behind him. MILES runs to the door and shouts out.

MILES
(to the kids outside)
HEY!!! KEEP IT DOWN OUT THERE!!! YOU SOUND LIKE A BUNCH OF WILD INDIANS!!!!

MASSOTIHAN gives MILES a pissed off look

MILES
It’s just an expression.

MASSOTIHAN
Sure....no problem. I tell my kids all the time to stop acting like anal-retentive puritans.

MILES
Okay...sorry. I’ll never say that again, okay? Truce?

MASSOTIHAN nods

MILES (CONT)
How’s Pow?

MASSOTIHAN
She’s pissed but she'll be fine...she’ll be back, she just needs a few minutes.

MILES
Good...Priscilla’s sobering up in the kitchen. Look, I’m sorry about all this.

MILES closes the door. MILES and MASSOTIHAN sit down exhausted in the room.

MILES
I thought we’d squeezed all the drama out of this holiday last year, at the first one.

MASSOTIHAN
Nope. Trust me - we’ve had feasts for thousands of years. There’s always been drama at these damn things. The elders tell tales of holiday drama passed down from the last ice age.

MILES
Does it ever get better?

MASSOTIHAN
Nope. People keep trying though. Year after year...”maybe this year will be different”....”maybe next year will be different”. But it never will be.

MILES
So how do you guys get through these things without going nuts?

MASSOTIHAN looks around to see if anyone’s looking, then pulls a peace pipe out of his tunic.

MASSOTIHAN
Let’s just celebrate the harvest brother....know what I mean?

MILES
Harvest?

MASSOTIHAN
Hell yeah....had a bumper crop of Cape Cod Wowee, you feel me?

MILES
Now you’re talkin’ my red skinned brother. Let’s sneak out back and make some peace.

MASSOTIHAN and MILES get up, do a fist bump and head out the front door

MILES (CONT)
Oh Lord, we thank thee DEEPLY for this bounty we are about to receive....

FADE OUT.

1 comments:

R.A. Porter said...

This explains a LOT. Especially the peace pipe. I figured our forefathers had to be wasted to stay in New England after that first winter.