Channel X: Internal memo
From: The Office of the CEO
As many of you know, the Charlie Brown Special has threatened to pull on us this year. Since we are, as always, struggling to compete with Miracle on 34th Street (will someone please tell me why Santa Claus has gotten away with stealing Thanksgiving every year for a damn century?) it is of the utmost importance that we get a big name on this one. And as you can see from the attached script, we’ve gotten pretty desperate. To me, television is a business. But I guess people like this sort of trash.
EXT/INT. SUBURBAN AMERICAN TOWN. THANKSGIVING DAY.
Fred Astaire’s version of “Cheek to Cheek” plays loudly and joyously as we see a succession of shots —
A MOTHER in an apron decorated with French phrases smiles as she reaches for a pot holder. Holding it, she opens an oven.
A YOUNG BOY, about 11 years old, wears an old red backpack and walks along the sidewalk of a well-manicured suburban block. He passes the camera by and as we look after him, we see that he is walking towards a pumpkin that he does not see.
A shot of a tall green parsley plant against a white-washed fence as it sways ever so slightly in the wind.
Two teenagers, a BOY and a GIRL, stand inside a grocery store, facing the window where they are pasting orange and red paper cut-outs of turkeys. The boy puts a turkey where the girl was about to put a turkey and she reacts with mock-shock. She reaches into a bowl of peanut M&Ms and grabs two, a red one and an orange one, which she throws at him. The red one hits him in the eye.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade plays on an old television set. On the screen, 10 baton-throwers in a blue uniforms do cartwheel in front of an enormous marching band.
The boy gets closer to the pumpkin. The crisp autumn air blows his hair into his eyes. He brushes it away. Hold for a moment on his small fingers.
A red leaf falls down into a pile of fallen leaves.
The mother’s hand squeezes the yellow handle of a turkey baster. The camera follows the line of the baster from her slightly gnarled fingernails along the plastic nozzle as the turkey juice shoots up the baster. As we get closer to the body of the turkey, the camera goes deeper and deeper into the baster, until we seem to be swimming in the globules of fat that fill the baster at close range.
The screen goes suddenly black. The song continues.
“David Lynch Does Thanksgiving” appears on the screen.
EXT. A FOOTBALL FIELD. DAWN.
From the woods, a TURKEY emerges, looking bedraggled and missing a few feathers. Along the horizon, white alarm lights flash. As “Cheek to Cheek” comes to an end, we hear the sound of sirens in the far distance. They sound like they are moving away —